Federal Prosecutor Tries to Silence Drug Policy Activist (Again)


A federal grand jury in Topeka is investigating pain treatment activist Siobhan Reynolds for obstruction of justice because of her advocacy work on behalf of Steven Schneider, a Kansas physician accused of writing inappropriate narcotic prescriptions. The Associated Press reports that the grand jury—apparently at the behest of Assistant U.S. Attorney Tanya Treadway, who is prosecuting Schneider and his wife, Linda—recently issued a subpoena demanding "all correspondence with attorneys, patients, Schneider family members, doctors and others related to the criminal case and malpractice lawsuits against the Schneiders." Reynolds does not plan to comply. "I am going to fight it as far as I need to," she told A.P. "If I were to give in here, lawful advocacy against the United States in court will effectively be brought to an end. So…a lot is at stake here." Reynolds, who is challenging the subpoena on First Amendment grounds, said in a motion, "This is a direct attempt to intimidate me and silence me."

The Drug War Chronicle notes "this isn't the first time Treadway has tried to shut Reynolds up." Last July the prosecutor unsuccessfully sought a gag order barring Reynolds from discussing the case publicly or talking to Schneider's patients.

More on Reynolds here. More on the conflict between drug control and pain control here.