U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Director Asa Hutchinson has got
his priorities mixed up. As head of the only federal agency wholly
devoted to keeping dangerous drugs off the street, Hutchinson should
be targeting criminals. But in a misguided show of federal force,
about 30 DEA agents recently raided the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource
Center, which provides medical marijuana to 960 members who are
suffering from AIDS, cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other
deadly diseases.

It was a waste of time, money and law enforcement agents, at a time
the nation cannot afford to waste any of those things.

California voters approved Proposition 215 five years ago, legalizing
the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Marijuana can prevent the
nausea associated with some chemotherapy cancer treatments. It eases
suffering for some AIDS patients and restores their appetite and has
been prescribed for years for glaucoma, which can cause blindness if
left untreated.

The DEA agents spent six hours searching and seizing items at the
resource center, including computers that contain clients' medical
histories. That's 180 hours of DEA agents' time spent in forcing
seriously ill people to seek drug dealers to relieve their pain.

After the raid, Los Angeles District Attorney Terence Hallinan asked
Hutchinson to back off. Hallinan said the Cannabis Club has reduced
crime, saved money, contributed to public health, and keeps sick
people away from street drug dealers. Hutchinson should listen up.
His show of force in Los Angeles did no one any good.


Newshawk: Sledhead
Pubdate: Tue, 13 Nov 2001
Source: North County Times (CA)
Copyright: 2001 North County Times
Contact: editor@nctimes.com
Website: http://www.nctimes.com
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/1080
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/find?115 (Cannabis - California)