#315 Feds Escalate War On Activists

Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2005
Subject: #315 Feds Escalate War On Activists


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DrugSense FOCUS Alert #315 – Tue, 16 August 2005

It is becoming increasingly clear that the federal government is
seeking to silence marijuana activists in every way possible. When it
appears that a medical marijuana activist may walk under state laws,
the feds step in.

Fred Gardner’s column “Feds Takeover Prosecution of Dustin Costa”
discusses a good example. Please read the column for details:


You would not know the full story without reading Mr. Gardner’s column
by reading the article, below, from the Merced Sun-Star. Please send a
letter to the editor to the Sun-Star focusing on the full story.

Also please consider writing about this issue to the other newspapers
in the valley from Bakersfield to Sacramento. Here is a list of major
newspapers with the contacts for letters:

Bakersfield Californian Contact: opinion@bakersfield.com

Fresno Bee Contact: letters@fresnobee.com

Lodi News-Sentinel Contact: letters@lodinews.com

Modesto Bee Contact: letters@modbee.com

Sacramento Bee Contact: opinion@sacbee.com


Pubdate: Mon, 15 Aug 2005
Source: Merced Sun-Star (CA)
Copyright: 2005 Merced Sun-Star
Contact: editor@mercedsun-star.com
Website: http://www.mercedsun-star.com/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/2546
Author: Mike De La Cruz


FRESNO — A 58-year-old Winton man indicted by a federal grand jury on
marijuana-growing charges is awaiting a hearing in federal court.

Dustin Robert Costa, also known as the Rev. D.C. Greenhouse, was
arrested recently on federal charges of cultivation of marijuana,
possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, and possession
of a firearm in connection with drug trafficking offenses.

A detention hearing is scheduled Wednesday for Costa in Fresno Federal
District Court and a status conference is scheduled for Aug. 22, said
Assistant United States Attorney Karen Escobar, who is prosecuting the

Court documents indicate Costa reportedly was growing marijuana at his
Winton residence in early 2004.

Merced County Multi-Agency Narcotics Task Force agents reportedly
found 908 growing marijuana plants and 8.8 pounds of processed
marijuana at his home.

According to his Web site, Costa is a cannabis patient and a caregiver
to patients.

United States Attorney McGregor Scott said that although California
voters passed Proposition 215 in 1996, which legalizes marijuana for
medical use, marijuana remains an illegal drug under federal law, as
affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court last June.

Escobar said Costa faces a mandatory-minimum five years or a maximum
of 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000 for each drug charge.

For the gun charge, Costa is facing a mandatory consecutive term of
five years.

Costa remains in custody at the Fresno County Jail, Escobar

“Costa has been flaunting the law for months now under the guise of
Proposition 215,” Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin said. “What Costa
has done is take the original intent of medical marijuana and has used
it for his own agenda.”


Thanks for your effort and support.

It’s not what others do – it’s what YOU do


Additional suggestions for writing LTEs are at our Media Activism Center:


Or contact MAP Media Activism Facilitator Steve Heath for personal
tips on how to write LTEs that get printed.


Future media activism sessions in the DrugSense Virtual Conference
Room are announced at http://www.mapinc.org/resource/pal_sched.php



Please post a copy of your letter or report your action to the sent
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E-mailing a copy directly to heath@mapinc.org if you are not
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may learn from your efforts.

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Prepared by: Richard Lake =.