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Our Drug Laws Literally Allow Police to Steal From Innocent People

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I received this email through the Flex Your Rights website a few weeks back and found it quite disturbing, though perfectly typical and unsurprising by drug war standards:

I'm a retired police lieutenant from a large midwestern city. Prior to my retirement my department, like so many others, saw dollar signs when new laws in response to the "drug war" (gawd, what a mistake THAT has turned out to be) allowed law enforcement to seize property with either flimsy or non-existent probable cause.

Special police units were posted on the expressways leading into the city with instructions to stop as many cars as possible, search them and the occupants, and if anyone had more than a few dollars, SEIZE IT.

Our command staff gleefully reported to us that the burden of proof was on the citizen to prove that the money was NOT drug proceeds, and since the amount of money seized would often be less than the amount that the citizen would have to spend to sue us, that we could be assured of keeping the bulk of the money.

I was flabbergasted. To make things worse, part of my yearly performance rating as a police lieutenant was based on how much money and other real property, such as cars, that my troops seized. On my instructions, my troops never seized a dime.

Turning law enforcement officers into bounty hunters is one of the most tragic mistakes this country has ever made.

Keep up the good work.
Lieutenant Harry Thomas (ret.)
I can't verify any of this, but I really don't need to. Lt. Thomas describes the asset forfeiture epidemic that corrupted law enforcement agencies throughout the nation, necessitating the formation of Forfeiture Endangers American Rights (FEAR) in 1992 and the passage of the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000. And now that forfeiture laws have been "reformed," police have since felt free to continue confiscating property under the most ludicrous circumstances because the drug war says it's ok.

Lt. Thomas's story provides a particularly disturbing picture of police officers being commanded by their superiors to operate as an extortion ring. The recognition that citizens would have a difficult time proving their property "innocent" demonstrates an unconscionable willingness to seize property from law-abiding citizens. Put simply, the behavior described above is theft in both effect and intent.

Make what you will of this particular account, but if you think that one could implement forfeiture laws such as ours without provoking this exact behavior, then I dare you to put your life savings in a briefcase and drive around Indiana consenting to police searches.

United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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And thats exactly what I call it,I was growing pot for the impending chemo/rad that was to follow my ''full neck disection surgery'' I'd been diagnosed w/stage4 larygeal cancer there is no stage 5. I was nailed for growing such plants charged w/production w/intent to sell by the very smart members of the NJdrug task force that entered my house claiming they had witnesses and a warrant,I was the proverbial deer in the head lights, first I was on prescription drugs, therefore a little' out to lunch' next I still had staples in my neck, next I couldn't yet properly use the electronic aid I was given me by my speech therapist,the ''brainiacts noticed this but proceeded to ask me questions anyway ,interpreting my answers as they felt best,then they stole 7000.00 in cash from a safe in the house. IN courtroom our''my wife[caregiver] was charged w/ the same thing because she did not become Orwellian'' on me Our legal team shot through nearly all the cops bullshit,no witness no warrant!! before my cancer and subsequent early retirement,I was 62 ,and it was 2006,I shared an Advertising co. that grossed 7 million a year had 16 well payed employees,and we owned the building,21,600 sq.ft,my home paid for,and quite a nice nest egg of matured bonds ,and other savings,yes of course I was growing my tiny garden to sell! assholes! they got away w/the 7000.00 chalked up as part of the fines,all else were pd.imediately,our Chg.went from first degree to fourth,some house arrest w/ammenities,some parole and these officers can't see any logic in pot being illegal, 2 years prob.commuted to 1 yr.w/a good pr. of PO's who feel likewise,.....thieves???most assuridly!!! corruption? applenty!!! and because I live in NJ there's no surprise there at all ,It is w/o a doupt one of the most corrupt states!!...PS ..I was growing my own because what was avail. was either inconsisted,,,crap,,unnavailable.remember I had to cook w/it or use it in a vaporizor,it had to be consistant to keep me from the pain,the vomitting and give me that much needed appetite!! ,needless to say I quit chemo/rad halfway through since their meds don't work and the fake thc knocked me out ,...way too strong,....never could understand The DEA says MJ has no medicinal qualities yet Merck spent billions to produce its artificial thc''marinol''??? go figure I must be stupid!

Marijuana vs Marinol

"never could understand, the DEA says MJ has no medicinal qualities yet Merck spent billions to produce its artificial thc ''marinol''!??? go figure, I must be stupid!"

Jeez, guy, it's because Big Pharma has the big bucks, to buy the politicians, so Merck's lucrative Marinol remains the only federally legal THC, so that Merck's proceeds from Marinol remain high. Follow the money!

Merck charges $150 per pill, meanwhile you can buy real MJ from the local black market at $250 an ounce (better pain and nausea control for two whole months), or you can grow your own for free.

MJ vs. MArinol,

yeah I was being fascicious when I wrote that,actually Mercks not doing so great w/it ,sales are down,most Health Ins. esp Hmo's[ what a surprise] won't foot the bill as it is unproven, I was a test case ,and I've read of scads of others,it does have differant effects on differant people ,and some of its side affects are horrendous,,trust me friend I've been fighting big pharma for at least 30 years been an,anti war activist since I came home from Vietnam in '67,....PS all 25 members of my Laryngeal cancer support group [ they're all many years my senior] believe MJ at least for medicinal reasons should be legal and Marinol should be given liberally to the DEA [makes one sick] at their own expence,I thought it was hillarious!....donl



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