Drug Policy

Mary, Mary, Why You Buggin'?

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Pittsburgh-based U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan is back in the news. You may remember her from such hits as, "the first federal obscenity case in 20 years," "the railroading of Dr. Bernard Rottschaefer," "the overtly political prosecution of Dr. Cyril Wecht," and "I spent $12 million in taxpayer money to convict Tommy Chong of selling bongs."

Buchanan's latest effort is a sting on companies that sell masking devices to help people pass drug tests. Earlier this month, federal agents raided nine locations in six states where they suspected sales of products like the "Whizzinator," made famous by actor Tom Sizemore and Minnesota Vikings running back Onterrio Smith. There's no specific federal law criminalizing the sale of masking products, and none of the sites raided by federal agents were actually in Buchanan's district. My guess is that she's likely to charge manufacturers who ship the products into states that do have broad drug paraphernalia laws, or that have specific laws against masking products, under federal conspiracy statutes.

But it gets better. In the raid on Spectrum Labs in Newport, Kentucky, federal agents seized 8,000-10,000 copies of the movie AKA Tommy Chong. The movie is a documentary critical of Buchanan and the federal government's persecution of Chong. Federal agents apparently think it's drug paraphernalia.

"It's a way to punish the distributor financially," Mr. Chong said. "There's no way to get the DVDs back until the investigation is over." Mr. Chong said he has no ownership in the film.

He called the documentary a "focal point" of the raid. It was released about a month ago, and sales were slow, Mr. Chong said.

"It's selling like crazy now, thanks to Mary Beth. She's brought us a nice publicity gimmick."

Buy your very own copy of the movie here.

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  1. Whoever thought Tommy Chong would go from dopey stoner to dopey stoner polical prisoner?

    Even if you really think that drugs are bad, there’s gotta be bigger fish to fry than Tommy Chong.

  2. I wish Georges Laraque would smack Mary-Beth Buchanan with his hockey stick…

  3. Dave’s not here, man.

  4. with his hockey stick

    So that’s what the kids are calling it nowadays…

  5. My guess is that she’s likely to charge manufacturers who ship the products into states that do have broad drug paraphernalia laws,

    Why don’t those states enforce their own damn laws?

  6. Why don’t those states enforce their own damn laws?

    Because that would require them to piss off people who actually vote in their elections.

  7. I shall sleep more soundly tonight, knowing Ms Buchanan is on the job. Documentaries about Tommy Chong are, despite the willful ignorance of certain people, the number one existential threat to America.

    Of this there can be no doubt.

  8. Just bought mine!

  9. Why isn’t this a Hatch Act violation? Why wasn’t it a Hatch Act violation when the Bush administration singled out a Canadian marijuana seed distributor for prosecution based on their support of legalization campaigns?

  10. My guess is that she’s likely to charge manufacturers who ship the products into states that do have broad drug paraphernalia laws,

    Isn’t this protected by the Interstate Commerce Clause? In the absence of federal statutes, state laws can’t interfere with such shipments.

    Or let me guess, selling Whizzinators and shipping them across state lines doesn’t count as interstate commerce.

  11. Somebody, anybody, explain to me again why Republicans are more libertarian than the Democrats.

  12. Yeah, terrorists are flying planes into skyscrapers and this stupid bitch is going after bongs. Man, do I feel safe.

  13. Buchannan is a lapdog of Bush.

    Anyone who voted for Bush (twice some of you!) have no right to complain. Shut up and enjoy your elected emperor.

  14. J sub D | May 21, 2008, 10:55am | #

    Somebody, anybody, explain to me again why Republicans are more libertarian than the Democrats.

    Because most “libertarians” aren’t actually libertarians. They just hate paying taxes, and will vote for the party that lowers their taxes, no matter what else they do.

  15. none of the sites raided by federal agents were actually in Buchanan’s district.

    If the mayor of NYC can sting gun stores in other states, and the feds can arrest foreign nationals for running legal gambling businesses in other countries, Mary Beth can persecute folks wherever she wants. [sigh]

    And no, I didn’t mean “prosecute.”

    Somebody, anybody, explain to me again why Republicans are more libertarian than the Democrats.

    They aren’t. They’re just marginally better on my hot-button issues.

  16. eh, don’t need a whizzinator. best method, free & cheap:

    B vitamins (for the yellow)
    Creatine tablets (for the dilution)
    An aspirin (washes away metabolites from bladder walls)

    Most important: drink LOTS of water. This is how 99% of these products work, through dilution. Testers know this and look for nice yellow if pee looks diluted they test creatinine levels.

  17. Most important: drink LOTS of water. This is how 99% of these products work, through dilution.

    The better tests screen out pee that is too diluted. Trust me, I know – worst day of my life, etc.

    Drink lots of water for at least a day or two before the test. Also, schedule the test for the afternoon if you can; your first couple of bladderloads after a night’s sleep have more metabolites in them.

    Pee tests are being phased out in favor of hair tests and cheek swabs. No idea how to game those.

  18. They’re just marginally better on my hot-button issues.

    That’s pretty much where I am.

  19. Low body-fat and doing lots of high-intensity cardio exercise will help out in drug tests too. Your body will metabolize a lot of the detectable compounds quicker.

  20. Arresting and prosecuting individuals in order to silence political opposition is an egregious abuse of office. It is also a favorite tactic of the drug warriors.

  21. Oh nice, yet more wasting money and ruining lives all in the service of advancing Mary Beth Bukake’s power and career.

  22. America is at an awkward stage. Too late to work within the system. Too early to starting shooting people.

  23. Geotpf

    Because most “libertarians” aren’t actually libertarians. They just hate paying taxes, and will vote for the party that lowers their taxes, no matter what else they do.

    Outside of your own obvious prejudice, is there any actual evidence that supports this statement?

  24. McCain will probably appoint her AG if he’s elected president.

    Actually, I’m surprised she isn’t AG already.

  25. Mary Beth Bukake.

    FTW!

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