DEA Fights Drug War in California Cannabis Clubs

WASHINGTON – If polls are any indication, the events of Sept. 11 have sparked a resurgence of support for Uncle Sam’s activities. But not all government agencies are enjoying this renewed swell of pride and confidence.

The Drug Enforcement Agency, long a target of attacks by those who believe the drug war to be a failure, is taking its still share of hits, but now the concern is that they are too busy bullying ailing cannabis smokers to join in the war on terrorism.

"(The DEA) do not appear to be sharing in the effort to combat the war on terror," charged Dave Koppel, a criminal justice expert for the Independence Institute and a critic of the war on drugs.

Koppel believes that rather than taking a lead in eliminating Afghanistan’s massive opium trade, long a source of cash for the Taliban and Al Qaeda, the DEA doesn’t seemed to have changed its priorities. Case in point: three major DEA raids after Sept. 11 on California facilities that supply medicinal marijuana to the terminally ill.

"It seems they are going after the last problem in the Drug War that you’d think is important right now — they’re going after people with AIDS who are trying to keep their food down."