Diane Sands is used to having her name taken in vain.
That's just part of being a liberal from Missoula in the Montana Legislature.
But her name surfaced recently in a way that offended and troubled her at a profound level.
A possible witness in a federal drug investigation was asked whether Sands might be part of a conspiracy to sell medical marijuana. The questions came from Drug Enforcement Administration agents from Billings who were investigating medical marijuana businesses, and Sands learned about the inquiry from the witness' attorney.
"So now, if you're a state legislator who has been working on medical marijuana laws, you are somehow part of a conspiracy," said Sands, who represents House District 95 in Missoula and works as development director for the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula. "It's ridiculous, of course, but it's also threatening to think that the federal government is willing to use its influence and try to chill discussion about this subject."
DEA spokesman Mike Turner said the DEA is not in the business of making political statements through name-dropping in its investigations. "We're certainly not out there dropping people's names with the intention of doing them harm," he said. "We're not in the business of scaring people." [Newland says: That's right. They're in the business of supporting commodity prices for the most vicious businessmen on earth.]