Drug Czar, Above the Law


Montana officials want to know why the head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Scott Burns, thinks he doesn't have to obey state campaign finance reporting law regarding his campaigning against the victorious Montana medical marijuana initiative I-148. Burns regularly swoops down on states to campaign against any proposed changes in marijuana law, and regularly refuses to report expenditures involved in his campaigning to state governments–Burns has similarly insisted Nevada's campaign finance regs don't apply to him. Montana's Commissioner of Political Practices Gordon Higgins has asked Burns for "information about the scope of your responsibilities as Deputy Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy that may lead you to claim immunity."

[Link via Rational Review.]

NEXT: Field of Screams

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  1. Because he’s an asshole with no integrity or honesty?

  2. Of course we oppose such laws, but if they exist, government officials shouldn’t be allowed to flout them.

  3. Gary, don’t be so quick to assume that “we” oppose mandatory reporting of campaign contributions and expenditures. I’m against every type of limit or regulation on spending, but I’m for disclosure. I don’t think that’s an unlibertarian position.

  4. I oppose limits on personal political speech, Gary, but I certainly have no problem limiting political speech paid for by my tax dollars.

  5. Josh,

    Not what I was talking about.


    I have no problem with non-disclosure.

  6. Right, but what’s with the “we”?

  7. Any expenditures the Feds make on propaganda aimed at the citizens of one of the several states ought to be a matter of public record, “reform” laws or no, right?


  8. Steve,

    We is me, my wife and Jean Bart. 🙂


    Yes, I have no problem with the disclosure of government expenditures; indeed, Art. I, sec. 9 cl. 7 requires such:

    No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

  9. I would seriously propose that the Montana state government arrest Burns the next time that he crosses the state line.

    A night in jail while the legal issues get sorted out would be a nice wake-up call to such arrogant federal officials.

  10. I second John’s motion.

    Do I hear a third?

  11. So moved.

    I’ve always wondered about something like that, say the San Francisco cops arresting a pair of DEA agents attempting to shut down a buyers club.

  12. Because most of the people who are against steroid use as a performance enhancer do not take it as a given that it can be used that way healthily. If you are going to convince such people otherwise, you are going to have to address that concern in an upfront manner. But most people on your side of the argument do not seem interested in understanding why your opponents think the way the do, just in castigating them for incorrect beliefs.

  13. John Walters did the same thing in Nevada in 2002.


  14. Montana should arrest Scott next time he comes through, show some gumption, create entertainment. Man, when is states rights gonna come back in vogue?

  15. Just this past week, the King County (Seattle WA) Bar Association joined a number of other prominent local groups to recommend that the state of Washington modify their laws to read that all public drug policies and laws will be at the state level only.

    See: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v05/n357/a03.html

  16. Isn’t it against _federal_ law to use government resources for political campaigning? Seems to me I remember Al Gore getting into some trouble over that.

    But then, I’m not surprised that the head of the only US Government agency openly and flagrantly dedicated to the production and dissemination of propaganda would think that the rules don’t apply to him.

    Count me in favor of having the Montana state police arrest the asshole the next time he sets foot on their soil.

  17. Gary Gunnels quoting the Constitution.

    Proof that even the devil can quote scripture. 😉

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