|Submitted||Oct. 19, 2016|
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To Whom It May Concern:
This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:
The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.
In the event that there are additioanl fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.
October 18, 2016
VIA FedEx (Delivery refused today at 09:03 am)
Office of Legal Counsel
Attn: Michael Passante, Chief FOIA Officer
White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
750 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20503
Re: Freedom of Information Act Request
Dear FOIA Officer:
Pursuant to the federal Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, (FOIA) this letter constitutes and is submitted as an individual and freelance journalist to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).
Californians for a Drug Free Youth, CADFY, a 501(c) 3 organization (EIN 77-0202396), is a community drug free coalition grantee and receives HIDTA funding designated for the California Border Region.
Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), was purportedly founded in 2013 as a 501(c)(3), however, there is no record of an IRS ruling. SAM Action is a 501(c)(4 ) social welfare and political action organization (EIN 47-3688463) (FPPC ID 1387789) that received its IRS ruling in 2016, It’s led by Kevin Sabet, a former senior advisor to the ONDCP and the White House. The mission of both Both SAM and SAM Action is to prevent the legalization of marijuana.
Below please find a list of the potential IRS and/or code violations:
● In 2013 CADFY became a fiscal sponsor for SAM using federal initiative grant monies that pays for HIDTA employee staff and infrastructure to process SAM donations. Because SAM has not filed taxes since its founding in 2013 it can be inferred that the fiscal sponsorship was an effort to mask transparency and accountability critical to the governance of non-profits. Because of the fiscal sponsorship we are unable to see how donations are being spent by SAM and if they are being co-mingled with their political action committee Sam Action Inc. For example there is currently an investigation alleging FPPC violations in California against SAM ACTION for failing to properly register and report its contributions to the No on Proposition 64 campaign. Additionally, the failure to correctly and timely disclose the receipt of contributions is a serious violation of the California Political Reform Act.
● Beginning in 2013 SAM partnered with HIDTA’s across the nation in what they describe as public education campaigns, but SAM and HIDTA do so without without disclosing the link between their funding sources (CADFY) and the dual role of John Redman (See attached Napa Valley Register News Article) as both executive director of CADFY and demand reduction Director of California HIDTA.
● Since 2013 there have been a series of HIDTA reports written by Rocky Mountain HIDTA, Northwest HIDTA and California HIDTA post marijuana legalization in 2012. These reports have been disseminated to other government organizations and news media in an effort to block legalization in states outside of Colorado and Washington.
● In 2016 a California Initiative to legalize marijuana was placed onto the ballot. California governmental organizations have coordinated numerous conferences, with SAM and HIDTA representatives on marijuana legalization. Each of these conferences have been promoted by law enforcement, prosecutors and other government agencies using state and local government resources. Each HIDTA is grant funded and managed by a Executive Board comprised by Federal, state and local law enforcement. Employees who exercise functions in connection with federally financed activities are subject to the federal as well as state laws and policy proscribing political activity.
Because the Executive Director for CADFY is also the Demand Reduction Director for CA HIDTA this creates a perception of impropriety. As government representatives HIDTA appears to be spending public funds to create an advantage for a one-sided political campaign with SAM Action, a political action committee. This can create a perception of irregularity and result in a potential breach of the public trust. This activity can violate core democratic principles that would be fairly characterized as advocacy as opposed to information. The information requested may show that government resources were used for political purposes and directed by and with Kevin Sabet and SAM and their political action committee.
Access to and copies of emails between the California Demand Reduction Director of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) John Redman and Kevin Sabet, doing business as Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), SAM Action Inc (EIN 47-368846) a nonprofit 501(c)(4) and their PAC titled A Committee Against Proposition 64 with Help from Citizens (nonprofit 501(c)(4) FPPC ID 1387789) or as an individual starting January 1, 2012.
Access to and copies of emails between the California Demand Reduction Director of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) John Redman and Kevin Sabet, doing business as Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), SAM Action Inc (EIN 47-368846) a nonprofit 501(c)(4) and their PAC titled A Committee Against Proposition 64 with Help from Citizens (nonprofit 501(c)(4) FPPC ID 1387789) or as an individual starting January 1, 2012 and California Border Group (San Diego - Imperial Group) HIDTA staff starting July 1, 2012.
Access and copies of emails between John Redman, Kevin Sabet, as an individual or through SAM affiliates and any HIDTA analysts, demand reduction coordinators and/or Executive Directors in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada and Washington regarding marijuana legalization intelligence reports and their dissemination starting January 1, 2013.
Access and copies of emails between John Redman and the No on Proposition 64 Campaign (California Public Safety Institute) Emails addressed to Wayne Johnson (political strategist) and/or John Lovell or other representative of the No Campaign. Time periods starts at January 1, 2015.
This requests includes any analyses, memos, opinions or other communications that discusses marijuana legalization ballot initiatives and the role of HIDTA in writing marijuana impact reports to help or support opposition campaigns in Arizona, California, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada.
Request for Expedited Processing
Please provide expedited processing of this request which concerns a matter of urgency. As a freelance journalist, I am primarily engaged in disseminating information and covers information about which there is an urgency to inform the public about an actual or alleged federal government activity.
I certify that my statements concerning the need for expedited processing are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. I look forward to your reply within 10 business days, as the statute requires.
Request for News Media Fee Status
I would like to receive the information in electronic format. As a representative of the news media I am only required to pay for the direct cost of duplication after the first 100 pages. Through this request, I am gathering information on whether government resources were expended by HIDTA in a manner prohibited by law. This matter is of current interest to the public because of the the number of marijuana legalization referendums and initiatives that will be voted on and that have been covered in the media.
This information is being sought on behalf of The Influence for dissemination to the general public. As a freelance journalist and political commentator I have been published in Vice, The Huffington Post, Substance.com, The Influence, The San Francisco Chronicle, Orange County Register, San Diego Union Tribune, The Daily Breeze, Daily Democrat and Sacramento Bee. Please waive any applicable fees. Release of the information is in the public interest because it will contribute significantly to public understanding of government operations and activities.
If my request is denied in whole or part, please justify all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. I will also expect you to release all segregable portions of otherwise exempt material. I, of course, reserve the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to deny a waiver of fees. As I am making this request as a journalist and this information is of timely value, I would appreciate your communicating with me by telephone, rather than by mail, if you have questions regarding this request.
Thank you for your consideration of my request. As provided in 6 C.F.R § 5.5(d)(4, I will anticipate your determination on our expedited processing request within 10 business days. For questions regarding this request, I can be contacted at (714) 232-3722 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Diane M. Goldstein
To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Oct. 19, 2016. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.
Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.