A federally funded drug task force seized as evidence up to 200 petition signatures for marijuana legalization in Washington State in a series of early-morning raids this week. Seizing the petition signatures is bad enough. What's worse is what the task force did on its raids of a legal marijuana dispensary and its owner's home.
Drug agents handcuffed a 14-year-old boy and pointed a gun at his head. Then they took $80 from a 9-year-old girl's Minnie Mouse wallet that she earned for straight A's on her report card.
Now the drug agents - funded by the US Department of Justice - say they can only find two pages of the petition. But they had time to make photocopies of the petition, keeping the names and addresses of residents who signed.
We started our own petition demanding the release of the seized signatures that we'll deliver to the task force headquarters next week.
Sign our petition to demand the federally funded drug task force release all 200 petition signatures and destroy any other copies.
Ironically, it's this kind of reckless waste of time and money that makes marijuana legalization a safer, smarter alternative than the failed war on drugs.
Sensible Washington is the group whose marijuana legalization petitions were seized by the federally funded agents. The group is well on its way to let Washington State residents vote on legalization on the November ballot, but this raid can put it in jeopardy.
The intended effect of this raid is to put a chill on other citizens from signing the petition, who will fear having their names and addresses exposed to a drug task force. It's intimidation, pure and simple. And your tax dollars are paying for it.
That's why it's important we speak out about this gross violation of first amendment rights. We need to make sure that not only is every petition signature returned, but any other copies must be destroyed.
Demand the drug agents give back all of the seized petition signatures and destroy any copies they made. Sign our petition here:
The only thing these petition signatures are evidence of is an exercise in democracy. Thanks for standing with us,
Monday, May 24, 2010
Firedoglake on WA I-1068: "Feds seize 200 legalization petition signatures"
Jane Hamsher (Firedoglake):