Tag Archive: War on Drugs


Iowa Forfeiture: A ‘System Of Legal Thievery’?

 

 

 

 

 

The plan: Hitch a ride with a family friend to California, visit relatives and check out community colleges there.

  Sanchez-Ratliff, then 20, did something that in hindsight wasn’t the best idea, but isn’t illegal. He took with him his entire life savings, including about $14,000 provided by his grandmother and an additional $5,000 he had saved from working.”

 

 

 

” The much-anticipated trip took an unexpected turn about eight hours in, as flashing lights appeared in the rear-view mirror. A Pottawattamie County sheriff’s deputy stopped the vehicle for traveling 5 miles per hour over the speed limit.

  An hour later, the deputy seized Sanchez-Ratliff’s cash. Despite a clean criminal record and a search that turned up no sign of drugs or other illegal activity, the deputy concluded the money must somehow be linked to a crime.

  Sanchez-Ratliff is hardly alone.”

 

 

The Register continues …

 

 

” A Des Moines Register investigation into the use of state and federal civil forfeiture laws in Iowa reveals that thousands of people have surrendered their cash or property since 2009. The system is stacked against property owners while raising millions of dollars annually for law enforcement agencies across the state, something critics contend encourages policing for profit over promoting public safety.

  The bulk of forfeitures reviewed by the Register resulted from traffic stops, often for minor violations and involving vehicles with out-of-state plates. But cash or property also was seized after police were called or sent to homes or businesses. In a few cases, police seized cash carried by johns caught up in prostitution stings.

  Among the Register’s findings:

• Law enforcement agencies in all but seven of Iowa’s 99 counties have used the state’s civil forfeiture law since 2009. They have seized cash or other property 5,265 times. At least 542 more cases have used federal forfeiture laws.

• Many of those property owners — including Sanchez-Ratliff — are sent on their way after surrendering their cash or other property. A sampling of about 600 forfeiture cases from the Iowa counties that seized the most property over the past six years revealed dozens of instances with no record of an arrest or criminal charges.

• Iowa police departments and other law enforcement agencies have seized nearly $43 million over the past six years — money divided among agencies involved in each forfeiture case. Under law, the money is supposed to be used to “enhance” their crime-fighting capabilities.

• Most of the money is used to buy equipment, train officers and fund multiagency task forces. But it also has been spent on tropical fish, scented candles, mulch and other items that appear to have little or no direct link to law enforcement activities.

  Local law enforcement agencies generally keep 90 percent of forfeited cash, split among the agencies that seized the property. The rest goes to the state, for use by the Iowa Attorney General’s office and the state’s public safety departments.”

 

 

    The Des Moines Register offers a serious investigation into the blatantly unconstitutional process of stripping law abiding citizens of their money and possessions without due process , otherwise known as “civil” asset forfeiture . Read the whole thing and remember this is not an issue limited to Iowa , your state is doing it too .

Civil asset forfeiture reform now . Every “war” results in a loss of freedoms but none so much as the “war on drugs” .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why Police Are Maiming, Killing With ‘Grenades’

 

 

 

 

” Following a drug tip, nearly 20 cops stormed a small apartment outside Atlanta in 2010. Invading officers found only a little weed, but managed to seriously injure resident Treneshia Dukes with a flashbang grenade—a police device that’s drawing increasing attention and controversy, Pro Publica reports. Cops often toss the flash-and-bang devices to disorient suspects during drug raids, but critics note that the grenades’ flash is more hot than lava.At least 50 Americans, including children and cops, have been killed, maimed, or injured by flashbangs that landed near them or went off too soon. Even Bill Nixon, an Arkansas man who used to make flashbangs for police (before an officer lost a hand demonstrating one to Boy Scouts) doesn’t get why cops use them regularly. “It boggles my mind,” he says.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Police in Little Rock, Ark., used them on 84% of raids from 2011 to 2013, although the raids usually just turned up minor drug paraphernalia. But a police rep defends flashbang use, saying that “what we see is a large service of warrants without gunfire.” Still, horror stories include a 19-month-old Georgia baby who suffered severe facial injuries during a drug raid when a flashbang landed in her crib, WOKV reports. A grand jury didn’t indict the officers involved but suggested two ideas that are going around: better police training (there are no national flashbang training standards) and fewer “no-knock” warrants that permit police raids. Meanwhile, Dukes—who suffered second-degree burns over her body—has filed a civil suit alleging excessive police force. “My skin is ugly, and I feel like I’m ugly,” she says. “When I talk about it, I just get angry.” “

 

Thanks to Newser

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DC Police Department Budgets Its Asset Forfeiture Proceeds Years In Advance

 

 

 

 

” Asset forfeiture may be the greatest scam perpetuated on the American people by their government — and it’s all legal. For the most part, assets seized translate directly to monetary or physical gains for the agencies doing the seizing, an act often wholly separated from any American ideals of due process.

  The New York Times recently obtained recording of asset forfeiture conferences which showed prosecutors advising cops on how to best exploit these programs to obtain additional funds and goods for their respective law enforcement agencies. In short, it appears that many agencies use asset forfeiture to fill departmental shopping lists, rather than as the criminal syndicate-crippling action it was intended to be.

  The Washington Post has been digging into the oft-abused programs for the last six weeks. The latest article in this series comes to similar conclusions about how the programs are viewed by law enforcement agencies.

  D.C. police have made plans for millions of dollars in anticipated proceeds from future civil seizures of cash and property, even though federal guidelines say “agencies may not commit” to such spending in advance, documents show.

  The city’s proposed budget and financial plan for fiscal 2015 includes about $2.7 million for the District police department’s “special purpose fund” through 2018. The fund covers payments for informants and rewards. “

TechDirt has more on this grand scheme of legalized theft

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woman Spends Month In Jail For Possession Of SpaghettiOs

 

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 3.57.35 PM

 

” Ashley Gabrielle Huff is considering suing police and prosecutors after she spent a month in jail for possession of SpaghettiOs.

  Police arrested Huff after they pulled her over and found a spoon covered with a “suspicious residue.” She claimed that she was not guilty of using, selling, or making methamphetamines.

  Huff spent more than a month in jail while her attorney was attempting to make a plea bargain. They changed their tune after the crime lab report showed that the spoon was covered in SpaghettiOs sauce. Huff was released immediately after the discovery.”

 

Read more

 

 

 

Sen. Rand Paul Wants To Make It Harder For The Feds To Take Your Stuff

 

 

 

 

 

” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) today announced he has introduced the FAIR (Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration) Act to add a bit more due process to the system by which federal prosecutors seize citizens’ assets, often before ever proving they’ve broken the law. From his office’s announcement:

  The FAIR Act would change federal law and protect the rights of property owners by requiring that the government prove its case with clear and convincing evidence before forfeiting seized property. State law enforcement agencies will have to abide by state law when forfeiting seized property. Finally, the legislation would remove the profit incentive for forfeiture by redirecting forfeitures assets from the Attorney General’s Asset Forfeiture Fund to the Treasury’s General Fund.

” The federal government has made it far too easy for government agencies to take and profit from the property of those who have not been convicted of a crime. The FAIR Act will ensure that government agencies no longer profit from taking the property of U.S. citizens without due process, while maintaining the ability of courts to order the surrender of proceeds of crime,” Sen. Paul said. “

 

Reason has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Video Shows Fort Worth Police Raid That Left Man Dead

 

 

 

 

 

” The family of a man who died after being shocked with a Taser says police video shows the man did not resist.

  The raid by Fort Worth police in May 2013 was captured by helmet cameras worn by officers. Lawyers for the family of Jermaine Darden obtained the video and released it to News 8.

  Fort Worth officers came with a “no knock” warrant after undercover cocaine buys at the home last year. They wanted surprise in case anyone inside was armed.

  There were several people in the little house on Thannisch Avenue, including children. Jermaine Darden, 34, was kneeling on a couch, and may have been sleeping.

  According to police reports, during the raid Darden stood up with one officer on his back and tried to leave.

  You don’t see that on the video. You do hear a struggle as police order him to stop resisting. You then hear the pop of the Taser device. Police jolted him again 16 seconds later.

  In the video, people in the house scream at officers that Darden can’t breathe. He was under six feet tall, but weighed well over 300 pounds. He had a history of asthma, and as it turned out, severe heart disease.”

 

 

Jermaine Darden was the seventh person to die from being tasered by Ft Worth cops .

WFAA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comey: FBI ‘Grappling’ With Hiring Policy Concerning Marijuana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Monday was a big day for the nation’s cyber police. The Justice Department charged five Chinese military officials with hacking, and brought charges against the creators of powerful hacking software.

  But FBI Director James B. Comey said Monday that if the FBI hopes to continue to keep pace with cyber criminals, the organization may have to loosen up its no-tolerance policy for hiring those who like to smoke marijuana.

  Congress has authorized the FBI to add 2,000 personnel to its rolls this year, and many of those new recruits will be assigned to tackle cyber crimes, a growing priority for the agency. And that’s a problem, Mr. Comey told the White Collar Crime Institute, an annual conference held at the New York City Bar Association in Manhattan. A lot of the nation’s top computer programmers and hacking gurus are also fond of marijuana.

I have to hire a great work force to compete with those cyber criminals and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview,” Mr. Comey said.

  Mr. Comey said that the agency was “grappling with the question right now” of how to amend the agency’s marijuana policies, which excludes from consideration anyone who has smoked marijuana in the previous three years, according to the FBI’s Web site. One conference goer asked Mr. Comey about a friend who had shied away from applying because of the policy. “He should go ahead and apply,” despite the marijuana use, Mr. Comey said.”

 

More on the FBI’s dilemma at WSJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Police The Police

 

 

 

 

 

 

      For those of you who doubt that the American legal system could produce such an horrendous affront to the ideas of justice , liberty and equal protection under the law read about these two convicts , Jeff Mizanskey and Stephen R Young and learn the truth .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What You Need To Know About Holder’s Drug Sentencing Proposal And The State Of America’s Prison Population

 

 

Prison Policy Initiative

 

 

 

” Holder’s endorsement today is not the first time that he has advocated for drug sentencing reforms. Last August, Holder announced that the Department of Justice would not pursue mandatory minimums for some non-violent drug offenders.  

  The United States, which makes up roughly 5 percent of the world’s population, houses about 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.

  The federal prison system currently has around 216,000 prisoners, a little more than 40 percent of whom are behind bars for drug offenders.

  The chart below (ed. above) , from the Prison Policy Initiative, breaks down just where American prisoners are locked up, and the various crimes with which they’re charged.. “

 

Visit Reason for more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Police Shoot, Kill 80-Year-Old Man In His Own Bed … Don’t Find the Drugs They Were Looking For

 

 

Published on Feb 13, 2014

” In the early morning hours of June 27, 2013, a team of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies pulled up to the home of Eugene Mallory, an 80-year-old retired engineer living in the rural outskirts of Los Angeles county with his wife Tonya Pate and stepson Adrian Lamos. 

  The deputies crashed through the front gate and began executing a search warrant for methamphetamine on the property. Detective Patrick Hobbs, a self-described narcotics expert who claimed he “smelled the strong odor of chemicals” downwind from the house after being tipped off to illegal activity from an anonymous informant, spearheaded the investigation.

  The deputies announced their presence, and Pate emerged from the trailer where she’d been sleeping to escape the sweltering summer heat of the California desert. Lamos and a couple of friends emerged from another trailer, and a handyman tinkering with a car on the property also gave himself up without resistance. But Mallory, who preferred to sleep in the house, was nowhere to be seen.

  Deputies approached the house, and what happened next is where things get murky. The deputies said they announced their presence upon entering and were met in the hallway by the 80-year-old man, wielding a gun and stumbling towards them. The deputies later changed the story when the massive bloodstains on Mallory’s mattress indicated to investigators that he’d most likely been in bed at the time of the shooting. Investigators also found that an audio recording of the incident revealed a discrepancy in the deputies’ original narrative: Before listening to the audio recording, [Sgt. John] Bones believed that he told Mallory to “Drop the gun” prior to the shooting. The recording revealed, however, that his commands to “Drop the gun” occurred immediately after the shooting.

  When it was all over, Eugene Mallory died of six gunshot wounds from Sgt. John Bones’ MP-5 9mm submachine gun. When a coroner arrived, he found the loaded .22 caliber pistol the two deputies claimed Mallory had pointed at them on the bedside table.

  Mallory had not fired of a single shot. The raid turned up no evidence of methamphetamine on the property.

  To find out more about this case, including details about what the police did find, watch the above video, featuring Mallory’s widow Tonya Pate. Pate has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, an agency plagued by prison abuse scandals, questionable hiring practices, and allegations of racial profiling and harassment in recent years. 

  The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department declined multiple requests to comment on this story.

  Approximately 7:30. Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Camera by Tracy Oppenheimer and Zach Weissmueller. Additional voice acting by Paul Detrick, Alex Manning, and Oppenheimer.

  Visit http://reason.com/reasontv for downloadable versions, and subscribe to Reason TV’s Youtube channel for daily content like this.”

 OneTruth4Life

 

 

 

” By now you should know that the drug war was fabricated by the Elite and created a slave class that enriched corporations who construct and run prisons. Individual rights must be removed and accepted to advance to the next step.”

 

   

   Both of these trumped up “wars” serve two purposes , neither of which has to do with public safety . Number one , they serve to enrich the corporate sector cronies of Congress , who in turn funnel vast sums into the campaign war chests of the very pols writing the laws that enrich the corporations and number two , they serve as a “reasonable” pretext for an ever-widening campaign to spread the influence of the State over our daily lives . 

   Watch the video below for some facts about the “war on drugs” and the prison industrial complex .

 

 

 

”  The war on drugs has been going on for more than three decades. Today, nearly 500,000 Americans are imprisoned on drug charges. In 1980 the number was 50,000. Last year $40 billion in taxpayer dollars were spent in fighting the war on drugs.

  As a result of the incarceration obsession, the United States operates the largest prison system on the planet, and the U.S. nonviolent prisoner population is larger than the combined populations of Wyoming and Alaska. Try to imagine the Drug Enforcement Administration erecting razor wire barricades around two states to control crime and you’ll get the picture.

  According to the U.S. Dept of Justice, the number of offenders under age 18 imprisoned for drug offenses increased twelvefold from 1985 to 1997. The group most affected by this propensity for incarceration is African-Americans. From 1985 to 1997, the percentage of African-American young people put in prison increased from 53 to 62 percent.

  Today, 89 percent of police departments have paramilitary units, and 46 percent have been trained by active duty armed forces. The most common use of paramilitary units is serving drug-related search warrants, which usually involve no-knock entries into private homes.”

 

 

    On the “war on terror” side of the equation , President Eisenhower foresaw the rise of corporate welfare and cronyism when in his farewell speech he coined the phrase “military industrial complex” . He may not have anticipated the rise of Statism that would accompany the ascendence of the Corporate/Congressional alliance but his warning was clear .

 

 

   When you combine the two with the State’s never-ending quest for more power the police state is the inevitable result , and here we are .

 

 

    And so with the aid of a media establishment that now amounts to little more than a Statist mouthpiece and a State monopoly on the education system the people have been conditioned to accept the lie that the State is the only thing standing between  their continued well-being and a world run amok by terrorists and criminal and they unfortunately lack the inquisitiveness to ask the obvious questions , like “Why?” .

   The notion of asking questions has been bred out of the American breed and the serfs are only too happy to buy some more s**t on credit , sit back and watch TV and take Leviathan’s word that this is all being done for “their own good” … to preserve the security of the State and it’s people while two centuries ago , back when critical thought was the norm , Benjamin Franklin warned :

” Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Illustration by Andy Singer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charges To Be Dropped In Clark County Jail Case; Lawsuit Moving Forward

 

 

 

 

” Charges against a Jeffersonville woman who spent five months in jail for a 48-hour sentence are expected to dropped while she moves ahead with filing a civil lawsuit against Clark County for her lengthy incarceration.

  Destiny Hoffman, 34, was released from the Michael L. Becher Adult Correctional Complex on Thursday, a day after Clark County Deputy Prosecutor Michaelia Gilbert discovered her status as an inmate while reviewing old case files.

  Hoffman was a participant in the Clark County Drug Court Treatment Program, and her 154-day incarceration resulted from Clark County Circuit Court No. 2 Judge Jerry Jacobi, who oversees the drug court, issuing a two-day sanction and never notifying jail staff to release her from the facility.

“ All charges will be dismissed against Ms. Hoffman. She will have no further requirements to attend drug court or probation. Her cases are, basically, finished,” said Nathan Masingo, Hoffman’s public defender.

  Masingo said he expects Hoffman will file a civil complaint that could result in Clark County taxpayers paying for the blunder that kept her behind bars from Aug. 22 to Jan. 23.

“ She met with an attorney today,” Masingo said Monday. “She will be suing the [Clark] county civilly for violation of her constitutional rights.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cops Use Informant To Frame A Business Owner By Planting Crack In His Store

 

 

 

 

” The incentive to make busts will often lead to unscrupulous measures being taken by cops. Below, in the video, is a perfect example of how easy it is for cops to bust anyone they want. Good thing this guy had security cameras in his building, otherwise he’d be doing a five-year mandatory minimum sentence.”

 

   Bear in mind that the above perpetrator was a CI not a cop but the resulting illegal attempt at entrapment stems from the pressure brought to bear on the CI by the police . 
Read the rest at The Free Thought Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How The Drug War Disappeared The Jury Trial

 

 

” The criminal jury trial is a vital check against prosecutorial excesses, police misconduct, and arbitrary state power. But over the last three decades, criminal justice policy has transferred enormous amounts of power to prosecutors and away from juries and judges. Judges once had wide discretion in weighing the facts and circumstances of each case prior to sentencing. Mandatory sentencing laws give control of sentencing proceedings to prosecutors instead, leading one federal judge to describe the process of sentencing someone to years in prison as having “all the solemnity of a driver’s license renewal and [taking] a small fraction of the time.”

  Prior to 1980, the percentage of cases resolved by guilty pleas was anything but consistent. But since then the trend has risen sharply from seventy-seven percent to, according to a recent Supreme Court case opinion, “[n]inety-seven percent of federal convictions and ninety-four percent of state convictions are the result of guilty pleas.

  The prosecutor alone chooses whether to charge the accused, which charges to file, whether to drop charges, and whether or not a plea on lesser charges will be offered, outside of any judicial oversight. These unilateral discretionary decisions “often predetermine the outcome of a case since the sentencing judge has little, if any, discretion in determining the length, nature, and severity of the sentence.” This results in radically different sentencing outcomes between the sentence a defendant receives who loses at trial compared to one who pleads guilty.”

 

Read on

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nearly Half Of Black Males And 40 Percent Of White Males Have Been Arrested By The Age Of 23, Claims New Survey

 

” A third of Americans have been arrested by the time they are 23 according to a new study released in the Crime & Delinquency journal on Monday.

  Amongst males the figure dramatically increases to almost half of black males and nearly 40 percent of white males, which can have a negative impact on their ability to find work, go to school and participate fully in their communities.

  The study analyzed national survey data from 1997 to 2008 of teenagers and young adults and their arrest histories, which ranged from truancy and underage drinking to more serious and violent offenses. Minor traffic violations were excluded.

  This is the first report since the 1960s on how the risk of arrest varies across race and gender, said Robert Brame, a criminology professor at the University of South Carolina and lead author of the study.

 The study’s most striking finding is the variance amongst males of different races:

  • By age 18, 30 percent of black males, 26 percent of Hispanic males and 22 percent of white males have been arrested
  • By age 23, 49 percent of black males, 44 percent of Hispanic males and 38 percent of white males have been arrested “

 

 

    Land of the free ? Hardly . Welcome to Prison Nation , where everyone is guilty of some infraction of the law . We’ve gone from a nation of “the rule of law” to a nation where law rules . When everything is against the law , everyone is a lawbreaker .
Read more at the Daily Mail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother Of Three Negligently Shot In The Head During Botched Drug Raid

 

 

” The American Drug War claimed another casualty when a woman was shot in the head while sitting on a couch by an incompetent police officer, who fired his weapon through an exterior wall prior to raiding the home.

  At about 10:30 p.m. on December 11th, a group of cops calling themselves the U.S. 23 Task Force swarmed the residence and prepared to break in and capture people for possessing drugs.   One of the officers, Sgt. Brett McKnight, an 11-year-veteran of the Ross County Sheriff’s Office, negligently handled his weapon and fired a round through the exterior wall of the mobile home.

  The bullet traveled into the residence and struck a woman sitting on a couch.  Krystal Marie Barrows, 35, of Chillicothe, was “in critical condition” and flown by helicopter to Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, where she died the following day. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report: Thousands Of Nonviolent Americans Sentenced To Life In Prison Due To War On Drugs And Mandatory Minimums

 

 

” The ACLU released a new report this week examining the growing trend of judges sentencing nonviolent offenders to life in prison without parole. The ACLU found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that the War on Drugs, mandatory minimums, and “tough-on-crime” policies are to blame.

The report, A Living Death: A Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Offenders, profiles 110 of the 3,278 inmates currently serving their life sentences for nonviolent crimes. Most of the offenders were charged with crimes like possession of small amounts of drugs or petty theft.

For instance, one inmate, Timothy Jackson, stole a $159 jacket, which, combined with three other minor shoplifting charges, met the threshold for Louisiana’s Four-Strikes law. Jackson received a mandatory sentence of life without parole. Inmate Fate Vincent Winslow is serving his life sentence for selling $10 worth of marijuana to an undercover cop. Like Jackson, Winslow’s crime was his fourth offense in Louisiana. “

 

 

   Unfortunately our judicial system has become every bit as corrupted as our legislative and our executive branches of government and with a Statist gatekeeper media shilling for the Leviathan monster there seems to be no avenue available for the average citizen to seek justice .

   The “war on drugs” has had the most corrosive effect on our legal system on every level , from the beat cop to prison guards , judges and lawyers right on up to the federal law enforcement agencies . Between the RICO laws and asset forfeiture laws the “war on drugs” has become a free-for-all of confiscatory , unconstitutional , government-sponsored money laundering

    Is it any wonder that the US leads the WORLD in the incarceration rate of it’s citizens ? That is a record that the “land of the free” should rightly be ashamed of . The “war on drugs” is the major contributing factor in America’s achievement of that dubious honor and as long as petty criminals are sentenced to life in prison over the sale of a dime bag of weed we will remain on the top of the prison planet list . 

     This is not a legacy our Founding fathers would be proud of , nor for that matter , is much that finds it’s origination in those august halls of power in our nation’s capitol . We don’t pretend to have the answers . The current State Of The Union looks so exceedingly dismal to us when we look at the overall picture that the only solution that regularly springs to mind involves rope and lampposts and is liable to earn us a spot on the NSA’s public enemies list .

Note : We regret the fact that the tables we’ve provided are not the most current as we were unsuccessful in our attempts to find data from the past year or two . Regardless , one can be assured that nothing has changed in the prison industrial complex in the past few years other than the population .

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s The War On Drugs , Stupid

” Fully 24 percent of inmates in U.S. prisons are nonviolent drug offenders. The drug war has been adding to a growing U.S. prison population for the past 40 years. Today, the United States holds more human beings in prisons than any other country, both as a percentage of the population and in counting total numbers. Prof. Daniel D’Amico shows how the war on drugs has led to significant increases in the U.S. prison population and argues that perhaps this is an ineffective way to address drug use in America. The United States is spending billions of dollars and locking of hundreds of thousands of people. Might there be a better alternative?”

For more, visit LearnLiberty.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published on Oct 9, 2013

” “We felt like our family was totally violated by the sheriff’s department and the school district,” says Doug and Catherine Snodgrass of Temecula, California. Last December their 17-year-old autistic high school son was arrested after twice buying marijuana for an undercover Riverside county police officer. 

The undercover operation, titled “Operation Glass House,” spanned a few months and included undercover officers in three area high schools: Chaparral, Temecula Valley, and Rancho Vista Continuation. The officers posed as regular high school students and would ask other students for drugs. Twenty-two students were arrested – the majority of them are reported to be special needs students like the Snodgrass’ son. 

About 7 minutes.

Produced by Amanda Winkler. Camera by Sharif Matar and Winkler.
Visit http://reason.com/reasontv for downloadable versions. Subscribe to ReasonTV’s Youtube channel for daily content like this.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illegal Drugs Are Now Cheaper And Purer Globally Than At Any Time

Over The Last 20 Years

 

 

” The International Centre for Science in Drug Policy said its report suggested the war on drugs had failed.

The report, published in the British Medical Journal Open, looked at data from seven international government-funded drug surveillance systems.

Its researchers said it was time to consider drug use a public health issue rather than a criminal justice issue.

The seven drug surveillance systems the study looked at had at least 10 years of information on the price and purity of cannabis, cocaine and opiates, including heroin.

The report said street prices of drugs had fallen in real terms between 1990 and 2010, while their purity and potency had increased.

In Europe, for example, the average price of opiates and cocaine, adjusted for inflation and purity, decreased by 74% and 51% respectively between 1990 and 2010, the Vancouver-based centre said.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freedom Outpost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is It Time To Reconsider The Militarization Of Police?

 

 

” On Jan. 4 of last year, a local narcotics strike force conducted a raid on the Ogden, Utah, home of Matthew David Stewart at 8:40 p.m. The 12 officers were acting on a tip from Mr. Stewart’s former girlfriend, who said that he was growing marijuana in his basement. Mr. Stewart awoke, naked, to the sound of a battering ram taking down his door. Thinking that he was being invaded by criminals, as he later claimed, he grabbed his 9-millimeter Beretta pistol.

The police say that they knocked and identified themselves, though Mr. Stewart and his neighbors said they heard no such announcement. Mr. Stewart fired 31 rounds, the police more than 250. Six of the officers were wounded, and Officer Jared Francom was killed. Mr. Stewart himself was shot twice before he was arrested. He was charged with several crimes, including the murder of Officer Francom.

In my own research, I have collected over 50 examples in which innocent people were killed in raids to enforce warrants for crimes that are either nonviolent or consensual (that is, crimes such as drug use or gambling, in which all parties participate voluntarily). These victims were bystanders, or the police later found no evidence of the crime for which the victim was being investigated. They include Katherine Johnston, a 92-year-old woman killed by an Atlanta narcotics team acting on a bad tip from an informant in 2006; Alberto Sepulveda, an 11-year-old accidentally shot by a California SWAT officer during a 2000 drug raid; and Eurie Stamps, killed in a 2011 raid on his home in Framingham, Mass., when an officer says his gun mistakenly discharged. Mr. Stamps wasn’t a suspect in the investigation.”

 

 

READ THE WHOLE THING

 

 

 

 

Goodbye To The War On Drugs?

 

 

 

 

Nothing spectacular will come out of the meeting, but that doesn’t really matter: at long last Latin America and the United States are officially discussing what presidents and governments could only whisper about until recently. Washington, theoretically opposed to anything that resembles decriminalization, has softened its position in practice. 

The OAS report, which combines a detailed analysis of drug production and of what the illegal trade represents with an account of the state’s response, doesn’t call for anything explicit. It only implies that a change in the approach to drugs could bring about at least partially the results that have eluded the hemisphere thus far. 

What the billions of dollars poured into the drug war have achieved is more violence, corruption and institutional weakness, and therefore less democracy under the rule of law. As always happens when the law is divorced from reality, an empire has emerged outside of the legal framework built on powerful incentives and with so much power that it can never be defeated despite the victories the authorities believe they obtain from time to time.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Trippy Idea Or Fiscal Genius? Two Pols Idea To Smoke Away The Deficit

 

 

” What if the United States could shrink the federal deficit and get high at the same time? Two congressmen calling for the legalization of recreational marijuana say it’s not such a trippy idea.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) say marijuana legalization is a common sense fiscal policy that could save the government billions of dollars through a combination of tax revenues and savings from not pursuing costly enforcement and incarceration.

“We are trying to rationalize federal drug policy,” Blumenauer tells Top Line. “We’re spending too much money on enforcement for something most Americans think should be legal, and we’re losing revenue. And we’re going to create federal train wreck if we don’t fix it.”

They say the federal government is behind the curve of states like Washington and Colorado, where recreational marijuana is regulated and taxed.”