Just over a year ago, on August 10, 2005 my friend and associate,
Dustin Costa was arrested in his own home by six California 'peace'
officers with drawn guns. At first they seemed a motley group indeed,
but to anyone familiar with the details of the case, there was a
certain cruel logic in that police overkill because they represented
every California police agency with the most remote claim to
jurisdiction in Merced, CA where the bust was carried out; however,
they were really on a mission from the DEA, because they were there
to arrest Dustin on federal drug charges and take him into
federal custody at the Fresno County Jail. He has been there ever since––
completely ignored and nearly forgotten by the medical marijuana
'movement' that claims to represent him
What makes his case a nearly unique and especially obscene miscarriage
of justice is that, at the time of his arrest, he had been out on bail
on state charges for the same offense, a substantial 'grow' intended
for medical use. He had already made eighteen court appearances and was
orchestrating his defense so adroitly that no trial date had even been
set. Clearly the development that had changed the equation enough to
allow his controversial arrest was the Supreme Court's June ruling in
the Raich case, which approved federal prosecution of those
charged with violating its drug laws; even in states with 'medical
marijuana' laws. Although the Supremes clearly hadn't considered the
issue of double jeopardy, there were posts from lawerly types to
'reform' lists pointing out that as separate 'sovereigns' each
government was entitled to pursue its own case.
So much for fairness and collusion.
Although Dustin has been held under extreme conditions in a hell-hole,
he has continued to work for what he believes in and has been
interviewing many of his fellow prisoners (nearly all of whom are short
term county jail prisoners). The following letter is an example of how
well he has been using his time to understand what is happening and
refine his message:
Received From Dustin Costa, dated August 9, 2006
Very few of those now attempting to restrict use of 'medical marijuana'
in California claim it isn't medicine. Even such recent enemies as
Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin and San Diego District Attorney Bonnie
Dumanis now claim to support its use by the 'seriously ill.' However,
the most powerful, influential, and perhaps most self-interested 'dog'
in the state-wide fight over medical use remains the federal
government, which continues to insist that marijuana has no medical
value whatsoever, and further, is both a dangerous drug and a menace to
society. Because of the dangers it represents, they claim, anyone using
or supplying it deserves a long term in prison. The government then
offers local police additional resources to make sure medical marijuana
offenders wind up behind bars. They claim, and perhaps even believe,
that they only want to make America a safer place to live.
Wouldn't it be ironic if we were one day to discover that the real
menace to society has been our federal government? Wouldn't it be a
real twist of fate to discover that marijuana has the awesome potential
to make America a safer place?
What if you were to discover that the government has borne false
witness against marijuana, beginning with Congressional testimony in
the Spring of 1937, and that the deceit and suppression of truth
continues to this day?
Would you be surprised to learn that the biggest victims of the
government's big lie are suffering from debilitating mental conditions
like ADD, bipolar disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, autism,
depression, and the whole range of anxiety-related disorders?
Did you know that people with those conditions now make up 70% of
America's prison population?
America currently has 2.2 million people behind bars, a number which is
growing at the rate of 1000 each week. 80% of them are there through
the war on drugs. In the 38 years since the drug war began, America has
become the largest per-capita jailer on Earth. Would it surprise you to
learn that most of those new prisoners are those with potentially
the most to gain from marijuana; who, if allowed to self-medicate with
it, wouldn't be 'criminals' at all?
Imagine what it would mean if it turns out that marijuana is one of the
wisest choices for treating adolescent mental disorders and also 'safer
than aspirin and more effective than Ritalin?"
The logical implication would then be that the government has been
relying on the false information it has gathered and spread with
our tax dollars to further its agenda of incarcerating and
brutalizing our poorest and most defenseless citizens in a campaign
that relies heavily on fear, bigotry, and hatred.
It is that campaign which has transformed our prison system into
our principal source of 'Mental Health Care.' If you agree with that
policy, then you also agree with Mark Pazin, Bonnie Dumanis and the DEA.
P.O. Box 872
Fresno, CA 93712
I'm sure Dustin would appreciate feedback my readers.