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Ending Marijuana Prohibition

Show-Me Cannabis Files Lawsuits Against Three Missouri Drug Task Forces

missouri drug task force show me cannabisA press release sent to me by the hardworking people from the Show-Me Cannabis campaign. If you are able, please make a donation so that they can keep up their good work:

Show-Me Cannabis announced today that lawsuits have been filed against three of Missouri’s drug task forces for failing to comply with the Missouri Sunshine Law. This announcement comes on the heels of a report released by the organization last week exposing rampant misconduct within Missouri’s drug task forces. The report is titled, “Secret, Dangerous, and Unaccountable: Exploring Patterns of Misconduct in Missouri’s Drug Task Forces” and is available at www.Show-MeCannabis.com/Report.

http://show-mecannabis.com/2015/02/report/.

Today’s The lawsuits announced today were filed against the St. Louis Metro Multi-jurisdictional Undercover Drug Program, the Kansas City Multi-jurisdictional task force, and the East Central Drug Task Force. All three cases allege failure or refusal to comply with the Missouri Sunshine Law, and seek remedies pursuant to RSMo Chapter 610. The relevant legal documents are available at www.Show-MeCannabis.com/Media/Press.

“Missouri’s drug task forces, who are trusted to enforce the law, routinely act as though they are themselves above it,” plaintiff Aaron Malin said. “The citizens of Missouri have a fundamental right to know what their government is doing on their behalf, and that is why the Sunshine Law was enacted. Missouri’s drug task forces have repeatedly ignored their legal obligations, and today we are taking them to court to force them to follow the law. report, authored by Show-Me Cannabis Director of Research Aaron Malin, documents patterns of abuse and illegal conduct across the state: “Missouri’s drug task force officers, because of their multi-jurisdictional nature, are not subject to the basic levels of oversight common in traditional police departments,” Malin said. “In many cases, there is simply no responsible oversight in place.”

In recent weeks, the Missouri Department of Public Safety requested millions of dollars in funding for drug task forces. Show-Me Cannabis is encouraging Missourians to contact their state legislators in Jefferson City to request Missouri’s drug task forces be defunded and dismantled. Show-Me Cannabis is also considering legal action against drug task forces that violate Missouri law.

Show-Me Cannabis is an association of organizations and individuals, who believe that cannabis prohibition is a failed policy, and regulating and taxing cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol would better control the production, distribution, and consumption of cannabis than the current criminal market system does. The group seeks to engage Missourians in a serious, public discussion about the issues associated with marijuana consumption, including medical cannabis, industrial hemp, public safety, and financial analysis in order to address problems associated with the current, failed policy.

######Some of the most egregious examples discussed in the report include: The St. Louis Metropolitan Drug Task Force denies its own existence to citizens filing open records requests. The MUSTANG Drug Task Force harasses citizens who attempt to obtain basic information about their public finances.The NITRO Drug Task Force pretended we had the wrong number when we called their publicly listed number to file an open records request, before admitting to the lie minutes later. NITRO maintains they aren’t subject to the Sunshine Law. The COMET Drug Task Force accidentally copied us on an internal email discussing how to best avoid complying with the Sunshine Law. They later attempted to avoid providing records showing the task force failed to maintain adequate oversight with the claim that the records could be closed under an exception to the Sunshine Law relating to terrorism. The Jefferson County Drug Task Force failed to establish an oversight board as required by state law (RSMo 195.509). Their commanding officer responded to open records requests by mocking our request and refusing to comply with the Sunshine law. Despite claims that drug task forces help combat the spread of dangerous drugs like methamphetamine and heroin, most of the state’s task forces primarily seize marijuana.Missouri’s drug task forces regularly work with federal agents to circumvent the Missouri Constitution and pad their own budgets, all at the cost of our public schools. Article IX Section VII of the Missouri Constitution requires seized funds be deposited in a public school revolving fund, but drug task force officers routinely use federal loopholes to keep the money for themselves (and even use it to pay themselves overtime).

  • Sinclair

    No matter what the reason is it is not a good thing when cops don’t follow laws.

  • As money gets moved to other projects as states realize its been going in the wrong places, those living on government funding of war on drugs will struggle. I think it needs to be about accountability of our public officials and that’s why I started https://www.patreon.com/yavozerb and https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/595421565/ongoing-texas-medicinal-marijuana-political-poll to start getting polls sent everywhere I can. happiness would be anyone in tx walking in a voters booth can pop open this site and see who is supporting and who isn’t moments before they vote.

  • JohnS

    Congratulations to Show Me Cannabis for a very interesting and thought provoking report. I am very pleased that Missouri has such a well-organized and intelligent activist group. The individual who prepared the report should follow up with a progress report revisiting the points and publishing an update in a few months. There is no shame in distilling the situation down to a few relevant points and continue to pound them over and over until we see results.

  • Sarijuana

    I shouldn’t read this kinda stuff just after I wake up in the morning. It makes my blood boil when I read this shit. Missourians should thank God that they has this group of intelligent individuals to help protect their rights, because this isn’t just a marijuana issue, it is a civil rights issue that affects everyone. Law enforcement needs to be accountable, everywhere, all the time. The sooner they are all dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century to see the error of their ways and that they too have been brainwashed by the Regan years, the better off the whole country is, including law enforcement. There will always be bad cops, but I can’t believe the majority of officers wouldn’t want to reinstate the respect and support of their communities that they enjoyed before the War on Drugs was waged. I could go on and on about this, but I’ll spare you all.

    • Jean Anne Lewis

      Spot On! :-)

    • ZEMTEK

      Just too bad the SMC gives money to cops for their pensions in their legalization bills. the group Missouri Cannabis Reform on facebook is gathering volunteers to help collect signatures on a much better bill that has been approved to gather signatures. Look us up there to join.

  • Nathaniel

    Rarely are there instances where cops have banded together to repeatedly break the law, unfortunately this is one said instance. This news is disturbing given the issues Missouri law enforcement has had of late. It feels like organized crime more than just a few obstinate officers bucking the system.
    Refusal to adhere to a state law from multiple “task forces” is proof positive something is wrong. However, in case some folks were still skeptical, having a task force deny their very existence then reverse the lie several minutes later or having an intercepted email discussing the best way to circumvent the Sunshine law is nothing short of a slap in the face and a kick in the groin to the citizens of that fair state.
    I believe N.W.A. wrote a song that adequately describes how the public should feel when law enforcement acts like this.

  • Kathleen Chippi

    Great lawsuit!!!

  • Cyndysub

    Good, bring them to justice and knock a big hole in their pay because most people think with their wallets instead of their brains and hearts.

    • ZEMTEK

      That’s why I am supporting the Missouri Cannabis Restoration and Protection Act. It gives the cops no extra money like what SMC does in their legalization effort.

    • ZEMTEK

      And it has been approved to gather signatures. You can join Missouri Cannabis Reform if you wish to help make MO a better place. even if your not from MO you are welcomed to join. https://www.facebook.com/groups/407826009376872/