(courtesy NORML Foundation,
In an effort to curb drug
trafficking through the mail, the United States Customs Service is asking
Congress to pass legislation which would allow the agency to search all
mail leaving the United States.
Last Friday, at a hearing
titled "Drugs in the Mail: How Can It Be Stopped," held by the House Committee
on Government Reform's Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and
Human Resources, the United States Postal Service testified in opposition
to the proposal, citing Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable
searches and seizures. No bill has yet been introduced in the House.
"For over two centuries,
the American public has had an expectation of privacy in their mail," said
Kenneth Newman, the Postal Service's deputy chief inspector for criminal
investigations. "[W]hen considering Fourth Amendment protection against
warrantless searches, mail is in a special category... and is entitled
to the same protection accorded a person's home. This requires probable
cause and a federal search warrant to seize and open mail."
"The Postal Service is to
be commended for standing up to the heavy hand of the Customs Service,"
said Keith Stroup, Executive Director of the National Organization for
the Reform of Marijuana Laws. "I would suggest they send Customs
a copy of the Fourth Amendment, which they apparently have never read."
NORML asks citizens who oppose
this obvious violation of the Fourth Amendment to contact members of the
House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources.
A list of subcommittee members is available online at http://www.house.gov/reform/cj/members.htm.
-- END --
Issue #139, 6/2/00
DEA Supersnitch Goes Down in Flames, DEA Supervisors Next? Or, Who Will Investigate the Investigators? | Ecstasy Panic Looms: 1985 All Over Again? | Grow Canada: Health Canada Medical Marijuana Contract Has Bidders Abuzz | Two Drug Policy and Sentencing Reform Newsletters Come Out | ... While Another Newsletter Concludes Its Distinguished History | Pressure Builds to Reform Rockefeller Drug Laws | US Customs Urges Congress to Allow Searches of Out-of-Country Mail | Massachusetts State Senate Approves Needle Exchange Bill | Action AlertS | Media Scan | Event Calendar | Hartford, Connecticut Job Opportunity | Editorial: My First Controlled Substance
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