Great! Another WOD thread. I'm getting bored with the immigration threads.
As did the Clinton, Bush-41, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, Eisenhower, Truman, and (ta-da) Roosevelt administrations.
As ludicrous as the continued war on pot is, its 69-year history cannot be placed solely at the feet of the current presidential administration. IIRC, it was a Democrat (FDR) in the White House when Bureau of Narcotics chief Harry Anslinger testified before Congress about how cannibis (a long accepted part of the physicians' pharmacopia until 1937) made white women have sex with black jazz musicians.
When I was going through chemotherapy, my oncologist informed me of this use and was not judgmental..
Say no more, that's the key to the whole question. Marijuana would already be legal if not for the fact that hundreds of thousands of cops, prison guards, bureaucrats, judges and lawyers derive their livelihood from keeping it illegal. Jobs for the boys.
The last time I checked, "nearly half" is not a majority, and an opinion poll is not an election. If pot were "regulated like alcohol", then the random "sobriety" police check points would have to include field urine tests for the presence of THC. If marijuana were "regulated like alcohol", the Federal and state taxes would soon make dope even more expensive than it is right now. More expensive dope would lead to (you guessed it) illegal "bootlegging", requiring more BAMTF (Bureau of Alcohol, Marijuana Tobacco and Fire Arms) Agents to insure that the Tax Man gets his cut.
Of course, the same drug lords who control pot and other drugs today will find ways to run the bootlegged pot operation (meaning that the crime and violence associated with drug trafficking would continue, legalization proponents arguments to the contrary notwithstanding). Now, the dopers would get to smoke their extremely expensive legal weed (or their less expensive, but illegal bootlegged weed) in the privacy of their own homes (much as they do right now), but once they hit the streets they would be subject to the same "public intoxication" laws as the average alkie. So what has anyone to gain from "regulating marijuana like alcohol"? Nothing, really.
Remember kids, Officer Friday says that "Marijuana is the fuse, LSD is the bomb!"
How in the world can $8 billion be spent on enforcing merely the marijuana ban? Frankly, the article sounds like a bunch of left-wing propaganda to me.
No property may be seized unless the government has probable cause to believe that it is subject to forfeiture.(1) Forfeiture [however] is the biggest growth area in law enforcement partly because federal and local police agencies usually keep a large amount of the booty they seize.
Federal Judge Richard Arnold noted in 1992 that some observers were questioning "whether we are seeing fair and effective law enforcement or an insatiable appetite for a source for increased agency revenue." (2)
Modern drug forfeiture law dates from 1970, when Congress passed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. That Act included a civil forfeiture provision, 21 U.S.C. sec. 881, authorizing the government to seize and forfeit drugs, drug manufacturing and storage equipment, and conveyances used to transport drugs. This provision was intended to forestall the spread of drugs in a way criminal penalties could not: by striking at its economic roots. When criminal prosecution sends a dealer to jail a subordinate will most probably take his place, but seizing the means of production and other capital may shut down the trafficking business for good. In the 27 years since, the list of properties subject to forfeiture has greatly expanded, and the required connection to illegal drug activity has become ever more remote. Congress amended the forfeiture law to include proceeds traceable to drug transactions in 1978, added real property in 1984, and in 1986 promulgated a "substitute assets" law providing that property of an equal value may be forfeited in place of forfeitable assets that are no longer available. Today cash, bank accounts, jewelry, cars, boats, airplanes, businesses, houses and land are all fair game.(3)
...law enforcement agencies now rely on forfeitures to fund a significant part of their operations. The gross amounts are prodigious: By 1987 the Drug Enforcement Administration was effectively paying for itself, with seizures exceeding its annual budget.(99) Between 1985 and 1991, the Justice Department collected more than 1.5 billion in illegal assets;(100) in the next five years, the Justice Department almost doubled this intake, depositing $2.7 billion in its Asset Forfeiture Fund.(101) It appears that this forfeiture income is sometimes required to operate the Department, which has regularly exhorted its attorneys to make "every effort" to increase "forfeiture production" so as to avoid budget shortfalls.(102) Like concerns motivate state and local officials. A 1991 Justice Department memorandum observed that state and local law enforcement agencies were becoming increasingly dependent upon equitable sharing of forfeiture proceeds.(103) (As of 1994 the Department had transferred almost $1.4 billion in forfeited assets to these agencies.(104)) Similarly, a study of multijurisdictional drug task forces participating in the Byrne grant program found that these task forces had seized over $1 billion in assets between 1988 and 1992,(105) and that many of their commanders " expect to have to rely increasingly on asset forfeitures for future resources."(106)(4)
The Volusia County, Florida, sheriff's department set up a "forfeiture trap" to stop motorists traveling Interstate 95 and seized an average of over $5,000 a day from motorists between 1989 and 1992-over $8 million dollars total. (5) No doubt, a large part of this seizure was because as The Orlando Sentinel noted, "Deputies routinely said bills in denominations of $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 were suspicious because they are typical of what dealers carry."(6)
The Justice Department routinely gives monetary rewards to individuals who report information or make accusations that lead to a seizure. The forfeiture program thus turns many airline ticket agents into conspirators with the government, since anyone who pays cash for an airline ticket stands a chance of being reported as a suspected drug dealer or an accomplice to drug dealing.(7)
Willie Jones of Nashville was flying to Houston on February 27, 1991, to purchase plants for his landscaping business. The ticket clerk reported him to nearby Drug Enforcement Agency officers, who presumed Jones was a drug courier (partially because he was black, and paid cash for his ticket). DEA officers at the Nashville airport approached Jones, checked his identification, and asked permission to search him. Although Jones refused to grant permission, the officers searched him anyway and found $9,000 in cash. The DEA agents then announced that they were "detaining" the money. Jones observed: "They said I was going to buy drugs with it, that their dog sniffed it and said it had drugs on it." Jones never saw the dog. The officers didn't arrest Jones, but they kept the money. When Jones asked the officers for a receipt for his money, they handed him a receipt for an "undetermined amount of U.S. currency." Jones objected and asked the officers to count the money out, but the officers refused, claiming that such an action would violate DEA policy.(8)
Judge Wiseman concluded that the DEA officials' testimony on the seizure was "misleading," "unconvincing," and "inconsistent" and ordered the money returned - after a two-year legal battle. Jones observed: "I didn't know it was against the law for a 42-year-old black man to have money in his pocket."(9)
In Nueces County, Texas, Sheriff James Hickey used assets from a federal drug forfeiture fund to grant himself a retroactive $48,000 salary increase just before retirement ($400 a month for the previous ten years). The sheriff was indicted for embezzlement by a federal grand jury in August 1993.(10)
From 1985 to 1991, the number of federal seizures of property under asset forfeiture laws increased by 1500 percent-reaching a total of $644 million.(11)
State and local governments have also seized hundreds of millions of dollars of property in recent years. In California alone, more than $180 million worth of property has been forfeited since 1989 under a state forfeiture law.(12)
In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, police seized the $250,000 home of a dead man from his heirs who had cared for him while he was dying of cancer. A "confidential informant told police that [two years earlier] the owner ... took a $10,000 payment from drug dealers who used a dock at the house along a canal to unload cocaine. The informant can't recall the exact date, the boat's name or the dealers' names, and the government candidly says in its court brief it 'does not possess the facts necessary to be any more specific,' "(13)
A married couple in Ottsville, Pennsylvania, had their $250,000 home confiscated after police found marijuana plants inside the house; the couple and their three children were effectively evicted from their own home. District Attorney Gary Gambardella, who filed the motion to confiscate the home, observed: "People say that selling drugs is a victimless crime, but the children are the real losers here."(14)
Law enforcement officials are also seizing apartment buildings to punish the landlords for not eradicating drug dealing in the apartments. (If the same standard were applied to inner-city public housing projects, almost every public housing project in the country could be seized from the government; in 1993 Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke blamed maintenance problems at one public housing project on drug dealers who refused to let city workers enter the buildings.)(15)
The owner of a 36-unit apartment building in Milwaukee sought to placate the police by evicting ten tenants suspected of drug use, giving a master key to local beat cops, forwarding tips to the police, and hiring two security firms to patrol the building. The city still seized the building because, as Milwaukee city attorney David Stanosz declared, "Once a property develops a reputation as a place to buy drugs, the only way to fix that is to leave it totally vacant for a number of months. This landlord doesn't want to do that. The owner had encouraged the police to send undercover agents into the building - but the police claimed they were too short of officers.(16)
Legalizing drugs would be a great idea if but for the liberal entitlement mentality of the general populations governemnt coddling of society's failures through one government boondogle safety net after another. Given all the problems that alchohol causes in society, tradgedies that families have gone through and lives irrevocably wrecked because of it, and the billions of dollars in cost, the answer is to legalize everything? The government creates the very monsters I need to protect myself from, and then deprives me of the means to do so.
Idealism is great, except when its pie-in-the-sky utopian, then its just that: pie-in-the-sky. Anybody who thinks society would be better of with legalized drugs has been smoking too much of it already, or hasn't seen the evils of crack and meth addiction. What's next: legal prostitution? Why stop there? 1. Department of Justice, U.S.; Annual Report of the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program 1991 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1992), p. 7.
3. Blumenson, Eric and Nilsen, Nilsen; POLICING FOR PROFIT: THE DRUG WAR'S HIDDEN ECONOMIC AGENDA (Copyright 1997 by University of Chicago Law Review, all rights reserved) [http://www.fear.org/chicago.html], 1/14/97 revision; Part I para 5.
6. Bovard, James; Seizure Fever: The War on Property Rights (Reprinted with permission from The Freeman, a publication of The Foundation for Economic Education, Inc., January 1996, Vol. 46, No. 1.) [http://www.libertyhaven.com/personalfreedomissues/freespeechorcivilliberties/seizurefever.html], para 24.
Funny how her War on Drugs article morphed into a war on marijuana article pretty quickly.
Would be great if all the recreational drug dealers and illegal drug peddlers would drop dead to leave the normal people on earth to better futures.
Think of how many lives have been ruined by recreational drugs?
Recreational drug use is a culture of the gutter and should die out for the good of us all IMO.
another druggie troller
No to legalization of any kind no matter how many left wingers want it. Longitudinal research on marijuana use among young people below college age indicates those who used:
have lower achievement than the non-users,
more acceptance of deviant behavior,
more delinquent behavior and aggression,
poorer relationships with parents,
and more associations with delinquent and drug-using friends.
As for its usefullness as an anelgesic, if science can prove that THC does relieve pain in a way that is superior to other pain meds then I would agree to having available in prescripion pill form.
Mostly people control, as far as the natural drugs go, but heavily processed drugs are very debilitating; but then so is suicide........
So what drugs were the editor and proofreaders taking?
Hint for The Providence Journal: *Heroin* is a drug. *Heroine* is a woman possessing heroic qualities, like Sigourney Weaver's character in "Alien"...
Placemarker for when I have time to sit back and enjoy the show. BTW, I highly doubt that the good Lord would call marijuana a "demon drug". I think he'd prefer it be categorized as just another one of His medicinal herbs.