Saturday, February 26, 2011

No File on Harvey Milk

(The politician embraces his pal, the Pope of Pot, back in the day. Credit: Dennis Peron.)

About a year ago, I was at my favorite medical marijuana dispensary, the Market Street Coop, and my friends asked what I knew about the Drug Enforcement Administration having a file on gay icon Harvey Milk. They reminded me that Harvey was a vocal proponent of legalizing pot and had a close political and financial relationship with Dennis Peron, the longtime Pope of Pot.

Since the only way to learn what, if anything the DEA, had on Harvey, I sent off a Freedom of Information Act request to the feds. Practically a full year later, I've received a reply stating no DEA file on him was found after searching the archive, and we now know the DEA wasn't keeping tabs on him:

After reviewing your request as constituted, we conducted a preliminary search for responsive records pertaining to Mr. Milk. ... As a result of our query, we were unable to locate records responsive to your request. ...

Good to learn there is nothing at the DEA on Harvey, however, let's not overlook the year-long period it took for the feds to conduct a search for a deceased individual. It should not take any federal agency 12-months to rummage through the public records, then finally get back to the FOIA requester.

This matter of how long it takes the feds to expeditiously process a request needs to be addressed by Democrats and Republicans in Congress. Our government is taking too long with FOIAs and the lengthy process that all-too-easily stretches into years, and without Congressional action I don't see a reduction of processing time happening soon.

Here is the letter I received from the DEA:

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