Drug War Updates

Thanks to everyone who read through my series last week. Just as a followup to the last part, where I talked about the botched police raid on a small town mayor’s residence in Maryland, the Washington Post has a far more in-depth look at the case.

Here are some more updates on stories I’ve been following, and some other news of note:

– Scott Morgan has been following the Obama Administration’s first steps corcerning drug policy. He’s appointed Ed Jurith to serve as interim Drug Czar, a position he once held under President Bush. In somewhat more promising news, the Drug Czar’s blog Pushing Back wiped its archives clean of all content posted during the Bush Administration. The three posts since January 20th don’t appear to have any factual errors or grossly misleading statistics. That may be a new record.

– The ongoing attempts to extradite Canadian marijuana seed seller Marc Emery continue, although there hasn’t been much in the news recently. According to Emery’s website, the three defendants in the case, Emery, Michelle Rainey, and Greg Williams, are scheduled to appear in court next week. The actual extradition hearing is now scheduled for June 1-5. If Emery and his co-defendants are extradited, they will face trial here in Seattle.

– The jury heard closing arguments in the case of Ryan Frederick, the Virginia man who is facing capital murder charges for shooting police office Jarrod Shivers during a drug raid. Frederick maintains that he had no idea that Shivers was a police officer, and reacted the way he did because his house had been broken into a few days before. As prosecutors have tried to paint Frederick as a cold-blooded cop killer, their case has been falling apart around them, eventually revealing that the informant who told the police that Frederick was growing marijuana was the same guy who broke into his house.

– The case in Kitsap County against medical marijuana patient Bruce Olson continues this Friday at 1:30 PM at the courthouse in Port Orchard (614 Division St). At the last hearing, the turnout in support of Olson was so impressive – about two dozen supporters showed up – that the prosecutor voiced a complaint over the amount of attention the trial is getting. I hope the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office realizes that the days of quietly ruining the lives of harmless people may be over.

– Finally, I feel the need to explain something to the various media outlets across the globe who’ve reported on the Michael Phelps story like it’s the scandal of the year.

Michael Phelps is not the one who needs to “grow up”. You are.

If Michael Phelps was caught taking bong hits in Beijing the night before a race, overslept the next morning and finished last, that’s a scandal. But if Michael Phelps, when he’s not training for anything, competing for anything, or operating a motor vehicle, gets stoned at a party, that’s not a scandal. That’s pretty normal behavior for a 23-year-old. Over 100 million Americans have smoked pot. Stop acting surprised when you see it. It’s not that unusual.

And beyond that, it’s not even that unusual for successful professional athletes to smoke pot. Remember that spectacular catch that won the Super Bowl yesterday for the Steelers? The guy who made that catch got arrested for smoking blunts in his car in October. Really messed up his season, huh?


  1. 1

    Martha Koester spews:

    And then there was that Canadian snowboarder who was stripped of an Olympic gold medal after testing positive for MJ. He won it back by successfully arguing that marijuana is not a performance-enhancing drug. No shit, Sherlock!

  2. 2

    Puddybud, Hey it's the New Year... spews:

    Lee, I too have been reading about the Ryan Frederick case and the police state “informant”. It’s a really sad state we’re in.