counterdrug

Washington: Military Department Paying $110K To Settle Marijuana Activist's Suit

NationalGuardCounterDrugProgram[FredsPatchCorner]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Washington state Military Department has agreed to pay $110,000 to a King County marijuana activist and a Seattle attorney to settle a long-running public records lawsuit centered around the Washington National Guard's counterdrug task force.

Activist John Worthington of Renton and attorney William Crittenden sought the release of flight records and other documents, reports Adam Ashton at the Tacoma News Tribune.

Worthington, 51, had tried to get the records since 2008 under Washington's Public Records Act, which applies to state agencies. King County Sheriff's deputies seized six marijuana plants from Worthington's home in 2007.

"They went after me because I'm an activist, and I've been terrorized out of growing," Worthington told the Seattle PI at the time, reports Curtis Cartier at Seattle Weekly. "I can't have my kids frisked like they're criminals. That was disgusting. I'm not Al Capone -- I'm a dad."

The National Guard wasn't involved in that raid, but Worthington views the Guard's involvement as a federal entity in a state counterdrug task force as a violation of federal law prohibiting military authorities from participating in domestic law enforcement.

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