Election Complaints Filed Against ONDCP

On Thursday, Feb. 24, 2005, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) filed a complaint with the states of Montana, Oregon and Alaska against the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), claiming its refusal to file reports on what it spent to fight state marijuana initiatives violated state law.

A similar complaint was filed in 2002 in Nevada. Nevada officials declined to take action, claiming that ONDCP Director John Walters was carrying out the duties of his office. They cited an 1890 U.S. Supreme Court decision that federal officials are immune from state action when exercising the functions of their offices.

ONDCP stated through press secretary Jennifer Devallance that MPP is using this issue "as a chilling effect to prevent people from speaking out against the dangers of marijuana."

Steve Fox, director of government relations for MPP, stated that "Montana law requires those who campaign for or against an initiative to disclose their expenditures. [ONDCP] publicly and actively campaigned against I-148, but failed to make the legally required campaign finance disclosures. For an administration that trumpets its efforts to advance democracy around the world to defy the most basic legal requirements of fair and honest campaigning is shocking."
From Associated Press, Feb. 25, 2005