Drug czar won’t respond to Nevada campaign law complaint
CARSON CITY, Nev.– The national drug czar has declined to respond to complaints that the he broke Nevada law by not filing reports on money spent opposing November’s marijuana ballot initiative.
The Marijuana Policy Project, which backed the defeated initiative to allow possession of up to 3 ounces of marijuana, said drug czar John Walters failed to submit his campaign finance report.
Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller asked Walters for a response earlier this month.
But the Office of National Drug Control Policy said in a letter received Tuesday by Heller that Walters is immune from enforcement of Nevada’s election laws.
The letter from office general counsel Edward Jurith said Walters was immune because he was a “federal official acting within the scope of duties, including speaking out about the dangers of illegal drugs.”
Heller said he would review the response and may seek the opinion of state Attorney General Brian Sandoval.
Bruce Mirken of the Marijuana Policy Project said Walters’ response indicates “he has moved from simply ignoring the law to actively defying it.”
Mirken said past U.S. Supreme Court decisions found that the key test of immunity is whether state or local regulation “intrudes or interferes” with the federal government activities.
“The claim that he was just doing his job is obvious nonsense,” Mirken said. “He was explicitly campaigning against Question 9.”