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Real public servants are free enterprising individuals who, inspired, embrace challenge, take risks, and create, sometimes big, and often, they create jobs in the process, all out of their ideas, and self initiative...

Thursday, November 3, 2011



Food Chain Radio Show #750 • November 5, 2011


Which government should be in control: Local or Federal?


Marijuana was made illegal in 1937. Today, you may not legally consume any part of the plant, unless you have sneezed more than once since birth, in which case you are now eligible to consume the plant as medical marijuana.


Thus, we have an interesting dilemma for all concerned: How does one obtain legal medical marijuana from an illegal marijuana farm?


The good folks in Mendocino County, California crafted what they believed was a reasonable, home-grown solution to the dilemma by simply normalizing the farming of medical marijuana. Nearly 100 farmers agreed to participate in a county program that allowed for a maximum of 99 plants per farm. Each farmer paid the county sheriff $50 per plant to superintend production and enforce environmental rules and security procedures.


When the Mendocino County Sheriff took control of medical marijuana farming, business blossomed for farmers like Matthew Cohen, whose Northstone Organics featured home deliveries to surrounding communities. Everybody was happy: Mendocino County made money; farmers made money; and those in need had their need satisfied. Other counties looked on the success of Mendocino County and began to make their own plans to take control of medical marijuana farming.


Just when everyone was getting down to the business of living happily ever after, heavily armed agents of the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency brought a battering ram to Matthew Cohen’s front door, and chain saws to his medical marijuana garden. Said U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, “We are making this announcement… to put to rest the notion that large medical marijuana businesses can shelter themselves under state law and operate without fear of federal enforcement.”

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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database


Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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