Newsbrief: Feds Reject MPP Complaint Against Drug Czar 6/6/03

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The Marijuana Policy Project's "war on the drug czar" campaign suffered a second defeat this week as the federal Office of Special Counsel (OSC) ruled that drug czar John Walters did not violate federal law when he campaigned against a failed MPP-sponsored marijuana legalization initiative in Nevada last year. Last month, Nevada state officials declined to pursue campaign finance violation charges against Walters after the state attorney general's ruled that he is probably exempt from state campaign finance laws.

MPP complained to the OSC, an independent agency charged with investigating campaign violations by federal executive branch officials, that Walters' campaigning against its ballot initiative violated the federal Hatch Act, which prohibits those officials from using their official position to influence the outcome of elections. But the OSC ruled that ballot initiatives are not elections and that federal officials are free to campaign against them.

MPP has announced that it will appeal both the Nevada and the OSC rulings. A third front in the group's attack on Walters, an April 2nd complaint to the General Accounting Office by Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), is pending. That complaint charges that Walters illegally used taxpayer money to inspire local law-enforcement officials to lobby in favor of harsher marijuana penalties.

MPP may not yet have succeeded in nailing Walters, but the drug czar must notice the nipping at his heels. It's always nice to see the bad guys have to play defense once in awhile.

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Issue #290, 6/6/03 Editorial: Courage and Perseverance | Thousands Rally in NYC to Demand Repeal of Rockefeller Drug Laws | Medical Marijuana Cultivator Rosenthal Sentenced to One Day, Plus Probation | DEA Uses RAVE Act Threats to Block Montana NORML/SSDP Benefit | Dems on Drugs: The Presidential Contenders and Their Drug Policies | In a Strong Reversal, Congress Prohibits Drug Czar from Running Ads Against Ballot Measures and Candidates | Newsbrief: Texas Governor Signs Bill Freeing Tulia 14 | Newsbrief: Sentencing Reform -- No in Oklahoma | Newsbrief: Sentencing Reform -- Yes in Missouri | Newsbrief: Feds Reject MPP Complaint Against Drug Czar | Newsbrief: The Next Prohibition? Surgeon General Supports Banning Tobacco | Newsbrief: Belgian Marijuana Decriminalization Now in Effect | Newsbrief: DEA Can't Kidnap People in Other Countries, Federal Court Rules | The Reformer's Calendar

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