From: NORML California
Date: 20 Jul 93 21:11 PDT
Subject: CDPRC Protests Bolinas LSD Bust
BOLINAS, CALIFORNIA: Drug reform activists are calling for an end to harassment of LSD and psychedelic drugs following the government's announcement of its biggest-ever LSD bust in Bolinas on June 29. Local residents expressed shock at the arrest of Sage Appel, 50, Marcella Whitefield, 27, George Horvath, 33, and Neal Dry, 38. who were well-regarded in the community.
Bolinas, a countercultural enclave on the coast north of San Francisco, has been the object of ongoing DEA harassment and an involuntary training ground for narcotics agents, who ride through the hills in tie-dye shirts on trail bikes looking for marijuana gardens.
The defendants, who are accused of operating a major nationwide LSD distribution network that sold over one million doses of crystal LSD to undercover agents over a period of four years, face a minimum of twelve years to life under current federal sentencing laws.
California Drug Policy Reform Coalition spokesman Dale Gieringer denounced the government's persecution of psychedelic drugs. "Twelve years to life for a consensual, non-violent 'crime' is not acceptable. No one thinks the defendants in question present any threat to the community. Unlike our narcotics agents, they were basically honest, peaceable people, who provided a valued service to their customers. At most they owe some back taxes."
Law enforcement described the Bolinas ring as a major nationwide LSD supplier that distributed over one million doses per month. However, defense attorney Tony Serra, a Bolinas resident who is representing George Horvath, accused the DEA of escalating the size of the ring by demanding ever-increasing amounts of LSD. Government informants dealt with the ring for four years, busting it only when they were afraid it was about to go out of business. Despite this, the government failed to achieve its long-standing goal of catching one of the handful of LSD chemists who are thought to be supplying the U.S. from the Bay Area.
The CDPRC denounced the DEA's "creative conspiracy" against LSD. "The DEA hates LSD because it epitomizes many of the best characteristics of the alternative drug culture: it is non-addictive, rarely causes crime or violence, and often begets strong spiritual feelings. Moreover, it is distributed by people who have a strong ethical sense that is difficult for narcotics agents to penetrate." The CDPRC noted that the risk of bad trips, while real, is comparatively low: in San Francisco, where LSD is used by thousands of ravers every weekend, the Haight-Ashbury clinic reports treating less than a dozen LSD cases a year.
The CDPRC is circulating a petition calling for an end to DEA persecution of psychedelics and demanding that psychedelics, as well as cannabis, be made legally available. For copies, contact
2215-R Market St #278,
San Francisco 94114
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