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DrugWarRant.com, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
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April 2005
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Check out Radley Balko

“bullet” First of all, just a reminder that The Agitator is always a good read and should be on your regular list. Radley’s recent “There ought to be a law” series has been outstanding.
“bullet” Radley has a piece at Cato, Bush Should Feel Doctors’ Pain

Unfortunately, despite frequent robberies and burglaries of pharmacies, doctors’ offices, and warehouses where prescription medications are stored and sold, the DEA has focused a troubling amount of time and resources on the prescriptions issued by practicing physicians. It’s easy to see why. Doctors keep records. They pay taxes. They take notes. They’re an easier target than common drug dealers. Doctors also often aren’t aware of asset forfeiture laws. A physician’s considerable assets can be divided up among the various law enforcement agencies investigating him before he’s ever brought to trial.

Over the last several years, hundreds of physicians have been put on trial for charges ranging from health insurance fraud to drug distribution, even to manslaughter and murder for over-prescribing prescription narcotics. Many times, investigators seize a doctor’s house, office, and bank account, leaving him no resources with which to defend himself. A few doctors have been convicted. Many have been acquitted. Others were left with no choice but to settle.

This is a continuing travesty that deserves a lot of attention.
“bullet” Finally, Radley reports on yet another death of the fourth amendment. Remember the case where the Supreme Court ruled that a suspicionless search of your car was allowed on the word of a dog? Well, I mentioned at the time about the case of David Smith, whose conviction was based on a dog sniff outside his garage.

David Gregory Smith challenged his Texas conviction for drug possession based on evidence obtained after a police dog sniffed outside his garage and alerted authorities to possible drugs inside. After the dog’s alert, police obtained a search warrant and found methamphetamine in his bedroom, far from the garage.

On Friday, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case.
I’m surprised and pissed off, but not quite as pessimistic as Radley about the ramifications. While it does let the lower court ruling stand, as SCOTUS Blog reports, there actually are conflicting lower court cases, with the Nebraska Supreme Court ruling the other way in State v. Ortiz. So while the Supreme Court refused to hear the case now, they could hear a future case that involves this to resolve the differences.

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