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Show-Me Cannabis Sues Fourth Missouri Drug Task Force


missouri marijuana drug task forceBy Aaron Malin

On May 20, 2015, Show-Me Cannabis announced the latest in a series of lawsuits aimed at requiring Missouri’s multi-jurisdictional drug task forces to obey state laws regarding open public records and open public meetings. The case filed today targets the MUSTANG Task Force, headquartered in Cole County and also operating in Boone, Callaway, and Cooper Counties, for its ongoing, unlawful refusal to properly allow Show-Me Cannabis access to open public records.

“The Task Force clearly understands that it is subject to Missouri’s Sunshine Law,” said Aaron Malin, Director of Research for Show-Me Cannabis. “But over the past year the Task Force has unlawfully redacted information from open public records, intentionally provided documents other than those we have requested and, more recently, ceased responding altogether to our requests for open public records.”

“It has been more than twenty-five years since Missouri courts firmly established that law enforcement officials are required to respond properly to Sunshine Law requests, and eight years since courts made clear that this obligation existed even if the same organization submitted multiple requests,” explained Dave Roland, the attorney representing Show-Me Cannabis in the lawsuit.

More than one month ago Roland sent a letter to Callaway County Sheriff Dennis Crane, the Task Force’s Custodian of Records, reminding him of the legal decisions affirming his responsibility under the Sunshine Law and warning that his continued refusal to comply with Show-Me Cannabis’s requests could result in litigation. Despite this letter, Crane has steadfastly refused to respond to at least three requests for open public records that Show-Me Cannabis made between December 29, 2014, and April 1, 2015.

“It would be one thing if the Task Force had claimed either that it had no records matching the requests or that the law prohibited it from producing the requested records – but the Sunshine Law does not give MUSTANG the option of flatly refusing to respond to citizens’ lawful requests for open public records,” Roland added.

Unfortunately, MUSTANG is not alone in its disregard for Missouri’s Sunshine Law. Earlier this year Show-Me Cannabis published a report entitled, “Secret, Dangerous, and Unaccountable: Exploring Patterns of Misconduct in Missouri’s Drug Task Forces” which detailed numerous examples of these drug task forces flouting state laws that demand their transparency and accountability to the public. The report is available at www.Show-MeCannabis.com/Report. Show-Me Cannabis also has litigation pending against St. Louis City’s Metro Multi-Jurisdictional Undercover Drug Program, the Kansas City Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force, and the East Central Missouri Drug Task Force, headquartered in Audrain County, for similar violations of the Sunshine Law. Details regarding these cases are available to the public at www.Show-MeCannabis.com/Media/Press.

“Missouri’s drug task forces are trusted to enforce the law, but they routinely ignore the laws designed to hold them accountable to the public,” plaintiff Aaron Malin said. “Missouri law gives citizens a right to know what their government is doing on their behalf. We are pursuing these cases to prove once and for all that law enforcers are not themselves above the law.”


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Johnny Green


  1. jessie james on

    That’s the only way they will change it is wrong that’s the point I have no more patients for someone who makes it us and them fine I’m for us yes its cruel but the other option is the same bullshitI’ve been imprisoned for two years back in th 90s for simple possession and have seen police brutality for 30 years do you have any idea how many people murdered by these scum Google dea shoot 14 year old girl or Google dea forget man five days in cell there hundreds repeat hundreds of these cases not talking about mike brown or travon punks but decent folks good citizens don’t come on dude me I’m 45 years old personally watched prison guard kick repeatedly man dying of heart attack telling him get up Google erick fields I could go on and on that’s the problem they live on ruining and taking lives if you personally witnessed some of this maybe you would understand my thinking at some point you can’t be reasonably any more there once was a cop chasing a car over expired tags the guy ran he shouldn’t have but did cop chased him over a hundred through town until he crashed t boned another car going through intersection the car he hit was that cops wife and child killed them both that cop said after he would never chase a car again he finally learned only after his family was killed but if it had been yours or mine you couldn’t even sue cause he was in the process of doing his job can u understand my point google Kenneth caplan a cop who shot a woman in the head in a road rage in Harris county Texas not even charged with attempted murder just assaul with deadly weapon try that and see what u get charged with I’m tired of forgiving this trash they should be held accountable my step dad is a cop by the way and thinks the war on drugs is total bullshit I know how my statement sounds I was not raised like that but after a lifetime of the same crap over and over you start hating all cops I’m a legal grower in Colorado but live in Texas marijuana prohibition promotes hate for cops but they won’t see it claiming we don’t make the laws we only enforce them but they all belong to police union who uses there dues to lobby for the laws not to change its like the as Nazis claiming they were just following orders and did nothing wrong enough I say whatever it takes just like them

  2. The war on drugs has given us a cruel, unjust, criminal justice system. And it’s understandable that we react with anger. I have two family members in prison myself.
    But come on dude, that’s just wrong.

  3. Sue them! They even claimed they are doing anti-terrorist operations. Remember when Bush said you are either with us or with the terrorists, he didny give you no choice. Cannabis users and drug junkies are consideredt terrorists, including anyone that doesnt play in tune with the gov.

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