By Aaron Malin
The Show-Me Cannabis Foundation works tirelessly to investigate and publicize the practices and impacts of cannabis prohibition in Missouri. We look closely at the secretive and violent activities of Missouri's multi-jurisdictional drug task forces. These task forces make a huge proportion of cannabis arrests in Missouri each year, and also regularly violate the law themselves.
We have used Missouri's open records law (Sunshine Law) to obtain thousands of documents from hundreds of drug warriors in every corner of the state. They have revealed, on many occasions, that the most zealous proponents of marijuana prohibition have a very hard time following laws themselves. Our open records requests have revealed a very wide array of unscrupulous and unlawful activities, including:
- A Saint Louis task force attorney pretended his task force didn't exist in response to an open records request.
- A Kansas City area drug squad, with jurisdiction limited to narcotics, repeatedly undertook non-narcotics cases including homicide investigations.
- An east-central Missouri task force with jurisdiction in six counties physically prevented us from attending a public meeting under threat of arrest.
- A mid-missouri drug task force covers for an officer who kicked a restrained suspect square in the face, allows him to resign quietly, and helps him find another law enforcement job within the month.
- A northwest Missouri drug task force denied their existence in a recorded phone call before claiming to be exempt from both state AND federal law.
- Drug warriors from across the state received state-approved law-enforcement training credits for attending a taxpayer-funded seminar where they learned the latest propaganda for advocating against cannabis policy reform.
We also published a comprehensive report that details these abuses, and many more, earlier this year. Unfortunately, we have encountered continuous lawbreaking even following the publication of that report, so a second version is currently in the works. We will continue to shine a light on the drug war, and the drug warriors, in Missouri, but we need your help to do so. From the hundreds of open records requests we've pursued to the five lawsuits we've filed against drug warriors illegally harboring secrets, our research requires substantial resources. Drug task forces and the Missouri Department of Public Safety sometimes charge hundreds or thousands of dollars for a single set of public documents in an attempt to price us out of our research. Drug task forces we've been forced to sue for access to public records think they can succeed in keeping public documents from us by filing numerous frivolous motions that might make it too expensive for us to continue fighting.
Source: Show-Me Cannabis