The appointment has many in California's medical-marijuana community wondering if Russoniello would intensify the crackdown on the state's cannabis clinics. As federal prosecutor for the Northern District from 1982 to 1990, he was a cofounder of the CAMP (Campaign Against Marijuana Planting) program, an annual series of paramilitary federal-state raids on pot farmers and their neighbors. He also accompanied Nancy Reagan to the Oakland elementary school where she first intoned her anti-drug mantra, "Just say no," in 1984.
Russoniello fitted in well with the Reagan administration's crime policies, which switched enforcement priorities from white-collar crime to drug offenses. (In fact, Rudolph Giuliani, then the third-ranking Justice Department official, interviewed him for the job.) The Reagan "war on drugs" whacked marijuana farmers and small-time black crack dealers with five-year mandatory minimums and intensified forfeiture laws so that someone caught copping $50 worth of dope could have their car confiscated. In a 1994 interview with Smoke and Mirrors author Dan Baum, Russoniello recalled that he was happy that the department was going to get tough on drug users as well as on dealers; that he believed drug treatment was a government-sponsored crutch, that methadone maintenance merely prolonged addicts' dependence; and that the widespread pot farming in Northern California was like "an open wound on our prayer hand."
Oh, well that sure as hell flushes California's electoral votes down the toilet for any Republican OTHER than Ron Paul. And probably Oregon, Washington and maybe more than half of Nevada.
All these years and I am still being amazed by Bush's amazing political tone-deafness.
Or doesn't he realize just how much small grower "pot money" is going to go to Democrats, statewide, at all levels?