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National Briefing / Colorado

Agency retracts Latino warning

August 29, 2009|Times Wire Reports

An advocate for Latino rights says she was appalled to learn that the U.S. Forest Service is warning the public that campers who eat tortillas, drink Tecate beer and play Spanish music could be armed marijuana growers.

Polly Baca, co-chairwoman of the Colorado Latino Forum, said the warning is profiling and discriminatory, and could put Latino campers in danger.

The agency quickly retracted the warning, issued Wednesday amid an investigation into how much marijuana was being cultivated in Colorado's national forests.

"It is inexcusable and we regret that this insensitivity distracted attention from the real problem of illegal marijuana cultivation on federal land and the threats to human safety and environmental degradation it poses," said Hank Kashdan, associate chief of the U.S. Forest Service.

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