Yesterday I read the story of Daniel Chong, a University of California San Diego student who was taken from a 4/20 party at a friend’s house that had been busted by the DEA for unspecified reasons. The DEA took him into custody, but quickly determined that they had nothing to charge him with so they said they would release him and even offered to give him a ride home. Sadly, this is not what happened. Daniel was left for dead, in a DEA holding cell for almost five days.
During this time frame, Daniel had no human contact, no food, and no water. Then he did what any of us might do in order to survive this horrific situation. Daniel became delusional after days of screaming for help, drinking his own urine in order to survive, and eventually becoming so disoriented he became suicidal and carved “sorry mom” into his arm with the broken glass shards that used to be his glasses.
This is a prime example as to why you need to be aware of what the DEA does to drug users, specifically college students who smoke marijuana. Think about how many students you know who have smoked pot on April 20th, and now think about how many people smoke pot recreationally. Pretty massive number right? This could have happened to any one of them, including you.
The fact that the DEA has yet to issue a formal apology, and is claiming the incident to be an accident simply goes to show that we are pouring millions of dollars into an agency that is utilizing its money and police state-like powers to lock up non-violent recreational marijuana users. Not to mention that this marijuana user happened to be a student, who says he may never return to school because of this life altering experience.
It is important that we view this “accident” as an opportunity to stand up to the DEA. If events like this are allowed to continue without accountability or responsibility, who’s to say what’s next? As students and people who believe that the war on recreational marijuana users has completely and utterly failed, it is now time to mobilize and organize students across the country to stand up against the DEA and the Federal government. This act of torture carried out by the DEA cannot and will not stand with the American people. It is now up to us to make sure the DEA is held fully responsible, and that this never happens again.
Please visit www.ssdp.org to find out how you can start a Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapter at your college, or find out if one already exists. 2012 is going to be a major year for drug policy reform, in particular marijuana legalization. Now is the time to join the movement more than ever to end the failed prohibition of marijuana once and for all.
Oregon SSDP State Coordinator