By Aaron Malin
Show-Me Cannabis announced Monday the commencement of legal action against three Missouri's drug task forces, alleging violations of state laws requiring transparency from public officials. This announcement comes on the heels of a report we released 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 on our website here.
The lawsuits announced Monday were filed against the St. Louis Metro Multi-Jurisdictional Undercover Drug Program, the Kansas City Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force, and the East Central Missouri Drug Task Force, headquartered in Audrain County. All three cases allege failure or refusal to comply with the Missouri Sunshine Law. Show-Me Cannabis has made the pleadings available to the public here.
Missouri's drug task forces are trusted to enforce the law, but they routinely ignore the laws designed to hold them accountable to the public. The citizens of Missouri have a fundamental right to know what their government is doing on their behalf, which is why Missourians enacted the Sunshine Law. Now, we are asking the courts to prove that law enforcers are not themselves above the law.
This litigation has received an excellent wave of media coverage from across the state, including coverage from outlets in St. Louis, Mid-Missouri, the Lake Area, and elsewhere. We've also spoken with a number of reporters who have not yet published their stories, so keep an eye out for more coverage as the week progresses.
Unfortunately, this litigation is extremely expensive. Drug task forces in Missouri have broken the law for decades, in part because no one has had the money to call them out in court. If this project is important to you, please make a contribution so that we can continue to challenge unscrupulous drug warriors in court.