Tag: State of Washington

Crowdsource Request: Help Identify This Asahel Curtis Photo

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

asahel-curtis-41231aI recently acquired an Asahel Curtis photographic negative and ask your help in determining where it was taken and possibly who are the persons depicted.

Asahel Curtis was a prolific photographer who captured numerous cultural and scenic aspects of Washington, Oregon and Alaska during his career spanning from the early 1890s until 1941.

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Suspending Students For Odor Of Marijuana On Their Persons Problematic In Legal States

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

wenatchee-high-school-logoThere is going to need to be a rethinking of how schools with their propensity toward zero-tolerance rules adjudicate students they suspect of marijuana use or possession. That issue was played out in over the course of recent months at a high school in Wenatchee, Washington where in October of last year school administrators suspended for five days a student based upon the odor of marijuana on his person. Washington is a state having legal recreational and medicinal marijuana possession and use.

Though marijuana possession or use is for those under twenty-one years of age is a status offense–a misdemeanor and violates school policy–having a odor of marijuana in itself is not indicative of violations of law. The student and his mother denied the student using or possessing marijuana, however the school district continued with the suspension. It turns out, as alleged by the mother and is the most probable explanation, the student had the aroma on his person as a result of her harvesting legal medical marijuana in the household. The mother has a prescription for medical marijuana.

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WA State Agency Promoting Art Of Convicted Cop Killer Leonard Peltier

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Leonard Peltier
Leonard Peltier

On the 40th anniversary of the murder of two FBI agents, Washington State is honoring the art of the two agents’ killer.  It is a shameful and dishonorable act that highlights the man who took the lives of two young law enforcement officers and an affront to their families who have for forty years endured resurrection of this killer in the news with little mention of the fallen officers.

Last Thursday I read of a Native American art exhibit being held at the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries headquarters in Tumwater, Washington. Being a fan of Native American art I travelled to the agency to review the artwork. To my dismay in the main rotunda of the state agency’s offices I saw four paintings from Leonard Peltier along with cards reading how to contact Mr. Peltier’s gallery for purchases of his works. I am familiar with his art and these works are consistent with his style of painting.

Leonard Peltier is currently serving two consecutive life sentences for the 1975 murder of FBI Agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams at the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Now, we have a situation where a government agency is promoting the art of this convicted cop killer, which is only certain to generate controversy in the Law Enforcement Community along with the families of those who have lost their loved ones. The State of Washington is sponsoring a murderer’s artwork and providing free advertisements toward its purchase. I view this as highly unethical and a strong conflict of interest. The State of Washington should not be in the business of helping convicted cop killers profit while in prison. It is an insult to the families of agents Coler and Williams and those who have served in the profession.

The great irony of this affair is that the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries is the agency charged with paying benefits to police officers injured on the job and to also administer the Washington State Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund.

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