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USA Today on Asset Forfeiture

USA Today came out with an editorial opposing civil asset forfeiture. When police play bounty hunter: Our view

Civil asset forfeiture is government at its absolute worst — intimidating helpless citizens for its own benefit. It needs to go away.

Wow. Pretty strong statement. Excellent work.

USA Today also prints an opposing view. On this issue, it was from, no surprise, someone who represents a law enforcement association: Asset forfeiture deters criminals: Opposing view by John W. Thompson, interim executive director of the National Sheriffs’ Association.

Sheriffs and police chiefs across the country have developed asset forfeiture programs that promote fairness, protect property owners’ rights, meet legal requirements and successfully target criminal activities. Sheriffs and chiefs often stress seizing drugs over assets, as removing illegal drugs from American streets is the critical priority.

Yeah, right. You can say it, but that doesn’t actually, you know, make it… true.

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79 comments to USA Today on Asset Forfeiture

  • claygooding

    The problem with asset forfeiture is that poor people don’t have much the police want to confiscate which has them targeting people that may have the funds to fight them,and even if failing at that to help support advocacy groups working on ending the policy.

    The same rules of expenditure of funds from grants applies to seized funds,,it must be spent on more drug war,,although someone slipped a Margarita machine into the “approved” purchase list for one law enforcement agency.

    District Attorneys are supposed to “oversee” funds to make sure they are used in accordance with DEA/DOJ regs,,,that is why they are so vocal on keeping marijuana possession an arrest offense.

    Grassley in the Chair and the “seizure queen” as the AG does sound a lot like the Dark Ages are returning.

  • thelbert

    the police think they can scare most people sufficiently to deter criminals from crime. it just never seems to work, no matter how many innocent folks are thrown in jail or executed.

  • C.E.

    The opposing view is a textbook example of “truthiness.”

    • Nunavut Tripper

      Yes and a master spin doctor can make the cops view sound convincing to the uninitiated.

      LEO sales and marketing department.

  • Servetus

    What took them so long?

    Asset forfeiture has been with us for centuries, on and off at least, and only now do the properly recognized entertainers, talking heads and news media focus on Americans being robbed in broad daylight by the cops? The banks were lightweights in the crime business. The media focused on them right away. But not the government.

    The NSA overreach, a militarized police force in the midst of a marijuana revolution, the Ferguson police shootings, all seem to have triangulated to make asset forfeiture the government crime topic du jour.

    Banksters had nothing on the government in terms of efficiency, though. Banksters didn’t use guns. The police do. That makes it not just asset forfeiture or theft, but armed robbery. Someone will need to tack gun charges onto the government’s criminal indictment.

  • Public trust is compromised when an individual does not have to be found guilty of anything to be relieved of his belongings and money.

    That makes police just as dangerous to an individual as the robber down the street. And just as popular. With a highly conservative figure of 41% of Americans having tried marijuana, and medical patients being hunted by local prohibition radicals and profiteers for traffic offenses of the blood, the police are easily perceived as objects of fear and revulsion, not icons of public respect and trust.

    • Tony Aroma

      I’ve never really understood how they get around the 5th Amendment when they “seize” property without a conviction. It seems pretty clear to me, not really any room for interpretation, even by judges and lawyers.

      nor shall any person … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law

      • yeah… that’s a head twister for sure.

      • Windy

        DavGreg wrote on a WAPO article:

        Amendment XIV
        Section 1.
        All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; NOR SHALL ANY STATE DEPRIVE ANY PERSON OF LIFE, LIBERTY, OR PROPERTY, WITHOUT DUE PROCESS OF LAW; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

        One does not have to be a lawyer to understand the clear meaning of this provision of our Constitution. Only in the tortured interpretations of our courts can civil forfeiture as it exists in the US today be considered legal.

        • Tony Aroma

          I never realized that exact same wording appears in TWO amendments! That should make it doubly clear.

          Nice to know I’m not the only one confused by the court’s interpretations.

  • primus

    When things go wrong, it is very tempting to call the cops. When you do, things get worse, not better. Never, never, never call the cops. No matter what.

  • DdC

    I have never seen a situation so dismal
    that a policeman couldn’t make it worse.
    — Brendan Behan (1923-1964)

    I don’t know of anyone who can make a dollar go further than policemen and dry agents. By frugality, after a year in the service, they acquire automobiles and diamonds.
    — Rev. Marna S. Poulson,
    superintendent of the New Jersey Anti-Saloon League, in a May 1925 address to a prohibition rally in Atlantic City, as reported in the New York Times and the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings of 1926 on National Prohibition.

    The difference between a policy and a crusade is that
    a policy is judged by its results, while a crusade
    is judged by how good it makes its crusaders feel.
    — Thomas Sowell

    Corruptisima republica plurimae leges.
    [The more corrupt a republic,
    the more laws.] — Tacitus, Annals III 27

    A politician normally prospers under democracy in proportion …
    as he excels in the invention of imaginary perils and
    imaginary defenses against them. — H. L. Mencken, 1918

    A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance
    when the need for illusion is deep. — Saul Bellow

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes.
    [Who will police the police?] — Latin proverb

    Written laws are like spiders’ webs; they hold the weak and delicate who might be caught in their meshes, but are torn in pieces by the rich and powerful.
    — Anacharsis (f.c. 600 BC), in Plutarch’s “Solon”

    • divadab

      Very nice selection. We need a Solon (or many Solons) in our Republic because we’ve been ruled by Draco for far too long.

  • Howard

    John W. Thompson says;

    “Sheriffs and police chiefs across the country have developed asset forfeiture programs that promote fairness, protect property owners’ rights, meet legal requirements and successfully target criminal activities.”

    Wrong. In the interest of fairness and reasonable doses of sanity;

    1). Stop accusing property of crimes. Houses, cars, land, money, etc. do not commit crimes. Stop making the owners of property prove their inanimate objects are innocent (jeez, how ridiculous it is to even point this out).

    2). Seize no property based on mere suspicion. Do not seize money found in an automobile just because its there. There are no laws restricting someone from having money on their person while operating a motor vehicle. Or do this: setup up money checkpoints. Take every dime and every object of worth from every car stopped at the checkpoint (or just take every car stopped, stranding the owners by the side of the road). See how long your activity is deemed “fair” by those you’re tasked to protect and serve.

    3). Just stop all of it. Current asset forfeiture activities have already turned law enforcers into criminals. Do not pretend this isn’t true.

  • n.t. greene

    …see I was under the impression that criminals took things from other people for personal profit.

    …wait

  • Federal Officials Issue New Guidance for Highway Seizures
    http://tinyurl.com/p6k38go

    “Officials with the White House’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program have issued new guidance for highway police in a bid to curb questionable civil asset forfeiture seizures of cash and property from drivers.”

    This fixes nothing. I am going to invoke Tony Aroma here:

    “I’ve never really understood how they get around the 5th Amendment when they “seize” property without a conviction. It seems pretty clear to me, not really any room for interpretation, even by judges and lawyers.

    “nor shall any person … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”

    I guess its nice to know that taking peoples property has standards. I have heard it said there is honor amongst thieves.

    • Tony Aroma

      Isn’t it comforting to know that the police have to be “reminded” to obey the law and respect citizens’ rights?

      And thanks for the invocation.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      It’s a civil action filed against the property. Property gots no civil rights.

      For more information see:

      United States of America v. Approximately 64,695 Pounds of Shark Fins (520 F.3d 976)
      United States of America v. Forty Barrels and Twenty Kegs of Coca-Cola, 241 U.S. 265 (1916)

      If you’re a masochist you can get a better understanding from reading the
      Civil Asset Forfeiture Manual

    • claygooding

      When they busted me and confiscated my grow eaquipment,,then dropped the charges I asked the county judge where the “due process” wa in the seizure of my property and she said her telling me I wouldn’t be getting them back was due process.

  • claygooding

    Now topping the news is that the police are justified to shoot unarmed persons even though they have non-lethal methods for dealing with a person they can just shoot you for looking scary.

    This may stir the pot even more than the government expects.

    When you buy your target embossed t-shirts do not buy the plain silk screened type,,get the glow in the dark ones.

  • Tony Aroma

    OT, but does anybody know how this would work?

    Colorado health officials recommend grants to 8 marijuana studies

    Would they seek approval from the DEA, NIDA, etc.? Would they hope to get their medicine from the only (federally) legal source? If so, that would pretty much end their research program before it got started.

    Assuming they are at least somewhat aware of the reality of doing medical mj research, it sounds like they want to bypass (ignore) the feds completely, which would be a real slap in the face to the DEA. And I’d also assume that any research not approved by the DEA would not be considered for future rescheduling petitions (not that they actually consider ANY relevant research).

    • Seriously, how can the Feds stay relevant in this field when the entire (drug war) nature of the government has been to show danger and toxicity to cannabis so as to justify its schedule 1 status?

      The federal system for the study of this plant is broken. How else will one find truth without bypassing the problem?

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        One of the my most favorite parts of the ongoing process of re-legalization is getting to watch the prohibitionists getting marginalized to irrelevancy.

        There are lots and lots and lots of people who think they’re friggin’ Kreskin and will bore you to tears spelling out a precise agenda of the future. But the fact of the matter is that we’re in uncharted territory and nobody knows exactly what the results will be from a government sponsoring legitimate scientific research. Just the idea is one very rare breed of animal. Very weird indeed.

        Ooops, I forgot about Dr. Donald Abrams’ dog and pony show at the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research. Based on that I feel that we can safely presume that the powers that be will just ignore the results. /snark/

        But enough jocularity, I could entertain the educated speculation that the DEA might get a little more scrutiny if they dismiss a State sponsored study rather than research scientists from Massachusetts or Arizona. Those scientists are not household names. But even 69.4% of the sycophants of prohibition have heard of Colorado.

        The CBD studies shouldn’t be much of a problem since CBD has been authorized by the DEA for human consumption for purposes of research.

        Q) Tell me Mr. Prohibitionist, how many prohibitionists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
        A) None. We don’t have enough scientific studies to know whether or not we should screw in the light bulb, or how we would go about doing it, or even know if it’s possible to screw one in! No, we can’t risk giving the scientists any light bulbs that are more than 25 watts to use for scientific studies. They might get into the wrong hands!

      • n.t. greene

        Ironically, their mistreatment of the devil weed is undermining their whole classification system in the long run.

        The next UN summit on drugs is coming up fast, and alternatives to the US model are emerging. Hell, they’re emerging in the US itself. If too many dominoes fall, the whole system is called into question.

        Eventually we must ask: what purpose is drug scheduling supposed to serve, and does a total prohibition ever serve a legitimate public interest?

    • DdC

      “In politics, nothing happens by accident.
      If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.”
      – Franklin D. Roosevelt

      As far as I’ve heard the 1999 I.O.M. report is still sitting in File #13 at the H.H.S. awaiting approval for the F.D.A. to officially test it.

      So this will proably go in the same File, along with the 20,000 other studies resulting in positive results. The opposite of what NIDA has spent billions searching.

      Possibly the most-studied substance on the planet
      http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/1900

      “Federal researchers implanted several types of cancer, including leukemia and lung cancers, in mice, then treated them with cannabinoids (unique, active components found in marijuana). THC and other cannabinoids shrank tumors and increased the mice’s lifespans.
      ~ Munson, AE et al. Antineoplastic Activity of Cannabinoids.
      Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Sept. 1975. p. 597-602.”

      Granny Storm Crow’s MMJ Reference List
      – pdf January 2013 http://tinyurl.com/k436at2

      “The results of the study are predictable, so no one should be surprised! Not one of the medical schools surveyed had a department of endocannabinoid science or an ECS director. None of them taught the endocannabinoid science as an organized course. Only 21 of the 157 schools surveyed had the ECS mentioned in any course. 21/157 = 13.3%
      In the United States of America, only 13% of the medical schools surveyed teach the endocannabinoid science to our future doctors.
      ~ Survey of the Endocannabinoid System in Medical Schools”

      Some may criticize this study’s accuracy, but the resulting numbers are so overwhelming that, even considering room for error, there is a clear failure of the medical establishment to overcome political repression of scientific knowledge.

      Safe Access (ASA) .pdf
      The political repression of the scientific study of cannabis.

      “The Catch 22 for cannabis is that, in effect, the government states, “There are no studies that prove cannabis safety, therefore, it should remain in a class of dangerous drugs that are prohibited from scientific study.” Because cannabis has not been studied, it is a Schedule I drug. Because it is a Schedule I drug, it cannot be studied.
      ~ David B. Allen M.D. 18 Jul, 2014”

      Top 10 Cannabis Studies the Government Wished it Had Never Funded
      http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/sreply/570/

      “In a 1994 study the government tried to suppress, federal researchers gave mice and rats massive doses of THC, looking for cancers or other signs of toxicity. The rodents given THC lived longer and had fewer cancers, “in a dose-dependent manner” (i.e. the more THC they got, the fewer tumors).
      ~ NTP Technical Report On The Toxicology And Carcinogenesis Studies Of 1-Trans- Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, CAS No. 1972-08-3, In F344/N Rats And B6C3F Mice, Gavage Studies.”
      ☛ See also, “Medical Marijuana: Unpublished Federal Study Found THC-Treated Rats Lived Longer, Had Less Cancer,”
      AIDS Treatment News no. 263, Jan. 17, 1997.

  • OT… but w/ a hat tip to Pete and y’all:

    my friend Sarah http://tinyurl.com/o2sllhl

  • Servetus

    Another type of police confiscation tactic that likens itself to civil asset forfeiture involves criminal fines for petty offenses, which would include any fine for drug possession:

    Wanton overpolicing had poisoned relations between the people and their government well before Darren Wilson shot dead Michael Brown. Less mediagenic than police militarization and far more insidious is law enforcement’s daily harassment of citizens for petty offenses. The local government in Ferguson has been treating its residents and neighbors less like free people with rights than like revenue milk-cows to be exploited to the max. Citations and fines for petty offenses are profligately inflicted on residents, particularly black residents. According to a blockbuster report issued by St. Louis’ ArchCity Defenders advocacy group, over 20% of city revenue comes from municipal courts (making them the city’s second largest source of revenue), which issued enough warrants last year to slap three warrants, $312 worth, on every household in the town.

    Speed traps, inadequate metered parking, excessive traffic fines, all are designed to pick people’s pockets. Social problems that emerge from policing through theft, like those in Ferguson, cost society far more than is gained monetarily by America’s corrupt bureaucrats and courts.

    • claygooding

      From what I read in the transcript the prosecutor was defending the cop to the grand jury so there wouldn’t be a trial.
      Nobody was trying to gain an indictment,,where was the equal protection under the law for Michael,,where was a prosecutor trying to punish the killer,,nobody talked for Michael.
      It was an unspoken acceptance by the grand jury that Michael was a big black kid that was scary looking therefore the cop had the right to ignore his mace and pull his gun instead…sickening.

      • primus

        The grand jury non-indictment was a foregone conclusion. There is no justice in the US.

      • Servetus

        Getting rid of grand juries has been an idea tossed around by the legal profession for decades. The grand jury is a common way for prosecutors to bypass evidentiary hearings, so prosecutors like it and keep it. An evidentiary hearing would have produced a different result in the Ferguson case.

        In Ferguson, however, something other than what most people think of as a grand jury was used, since what was done isn’t supposed to happen in a grand jury proceeding, such as questioning the person being indicted.

        • claygooding

          I was questioned by a grand jury once and they were trying to indict me,,,in a grand jury if they ask you a question and you take the fifth amendment they can lock you up until you answer it,,I grilled with an attorney all night before the hearing so I would know how to answer the questions correctly so I was worthless as a witness,,,such as “Did you know Mr Smith? I would answer was “it was the name the police told me”,,etc.

        • Servetus

          Here is Scalia on the topic of grand juries:

          Justice Antonin Scalia, in the 1992 Supreme Court case of United States v. Williams, explained what the role of a grand jury has been for hundreds of years.

          It is the grand jury’s function not ‘to enquire … upon what foundation [the charge may be] denied,’ or otherwise to try the suspect’s defenses, but only to examine ‘upon what foundation [the charge] is made’ by the prosecutor. Respublica v. Shaffer, 1 Dall. 236 (O. T. Phila. 1788); see also F. Wharton, Criminal Pleading and Practice § 360, pp. 248-249 (8th ed. 1880). As a consequence, neither in this country nor in England has the suspect under investigation by the grand jury ever been thought to have a right to testify or to have exculpatory evidence presented.

          Here is what happened instead:

          In contrast, McCulloch allowed Wilson to testify for hours before the grand jury and presented them with every scrap of exculpatory evidence available. In his press conference, McCulloch said that the grand jury did not indict because eyewitness testimony that established Wilson was acting in self-defense was contradicted by other exculpatory evidence. What McCulloch didn’t say is that he was under no obligation to present such evidence to the grand jury. The only reason one would present such evidence is to reduce the chances that the grand jury would indict Darren Wilson.

        • Windy

          A local attorney was on a local radio talk show, yesterday, apparently the grand jury is seldom used in WA State, there are two one in Seattle and one in Spokane but even those are not used very often. He said the cliche “any prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich” is not a cliche it is true, and that this prosecutor didn’t want an indictment and therefore didn’t get one. He questioned a whole lot of what was done in that grand jury proceeding. This attorney used to be a prosecutor, now he’s a defense attorney.

  • DdC

    Fair Trial?

    St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney Raising Funds for Darren Wilson!

    …But wait — There’s more!

    Alongside the two fundraisers set up by Ferguson police and county officials, miscellaneous white people, and the Ku Klux Klan to reward Officer Darren Wilson for ridding the streets of the unarmed “typical low-IQ Negro” Michael Brown, there have been numerous rallies in support of this pure, innocent police officer who went through the traumatic experience of taking a human life.

    In addition to the rallies, there were t-shirt sales. A t-shirt reading “I Support Darren Wilson” was made available through Teesping for those who want to proudly proclaim their white pride in a manner that doesn’t involve leaving so many racist comments on a fundraiser that the company hosting it had to take action.

    Anonymous Exposes Cop as Member of KKK
    Behind Letter Threatening to Kill Ferguson Protesters
    One wonders how many other police officers are current or past members of the KKK. How does a police officer/KKK member treat blacks after arresting them?

    More questions are surfacing about Officer Darren Wilson.

    Ferguson Police Dress Code.jpg

    Did Marijuana Kill Michael Brown?
    Jacob Sullum|Nov. 25, 2014
    Daily marijuana users have been known to register 12 nanograms or more when they get up in the morning, and they may even perform competently on driving tests at that level.

    Scientist: Trayvon Martin’s Marijuana Use
    Had Nothing to Do with the Night He Died

    Mr. Martin could not have been intoxicated with marijuana at the time of the shooting; the amount of THC found in his system was too low for it to have had any meaningful effect on him. In fact, his THC levels were significantly lower than the sober, baseline levels of about 14 nanograms per milliliter of many of my patients, who are daily users.

    Muhammad Ali Speech on Vietnam

  • cy klebs

    I believe Robert Leone is still locked up. http://www.policestateusa.com/2014/robert-leone/
    Hope to be wrong. This man deserves justice!

    • jean valjean

      It just goes on getting worse. Happy thanksgiving!

    • DdC

      That’s brutal. PA Troopers are big. Used to be 6′ min height. What kind of do no harm are these medical sheep practicing in the E.R. and Prison? Disgusting how crooked and psychotic the system has become. Not that I’ve ever seen actual justice. Especially for lower income citizens. Is this their response to racism and inequality? No discrimination in who they terrorize, torture or murder. Domestic violence for cops is double nat avg. Are they checked for steroids? Popping go go pills like the Military they dress up like. Confiscated crack? Seems like some just take their jobs way way too fucking seriously. If it causes that much Hate it can’t be healthy. Protect and Serve the Profits. The Prisons. Protected by the Union Label.

      Quis custodiet ipsos custodes.
      [Who will police the police?] — Latin proverb

      Suicide by Cops
      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B3cTb0ICQAA7CgZ.jpg

      Judges Caging Kids for Cash 2.17.09
      http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/1518
      PA Judges Get Kickbacks for Placing Youths in Privately Owned Jails
      An unprecedented case of judicial corruption is unfolding in Pennsylvania

      The US Gulag Prison System
      At the same time, the United States blasts China for the use of prison slave labor, engaging in the same practice itself. Prison labor is a pot of gold. No strikes, union organizing, health benefits, unemployment insurance or workers’ compensation to pay.

      History of Mandatory Minimums
      http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/sreply/526
      Slavery: Another Fine Product Still Made in the USA!
      http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/sreply/519

      Video Captures EXACTLY How Cops Treat Black People
      https://www.facebook.com/NJWEEDMAN/posts/893109494056590

      “There is a point at which the law becomes immoral and unethical. That point is reached when it becomes a cloak for the cowardice that dares not stand up against blatant violations of justice. A state that suppresses all freedom of speech, and which by imposing the most terrible punishments, treats each and every attempt at criticism, however morally justified, and every suggestion for improvement as plotting to high treason, is a state that breaks an unwritten law.”
      – Kurt Huber,
      The head of “White Rose”,
      killed by the Nazis in 1943.

    • mr Ikasheeni

      They didn’t even file an accident report! I guess he’s still in stir.

  • darkcycle

    Happy Thanksgiving, couchmates.
    Amidst all of the chaos, we really do have a lot to be thankful for.
    Especially Allan. He got legal weed and fast internet. 😉
    Seriously, a wonderful holiday, this thankful one (you know, the day before the National festival of acquisition and gluttony?)
    If you are traveling, travel safely . Me? I won’t be going any farther than the kitchen today.
    Enjoy your families.

  • couch potato w/gravy

    happy thanksgiving to my brothers and sisters on the divan. thanks to the kindness of my neighbors i am promised a good stuffing. hope you all enjoy your turkey.

  • darkcycle

    OMG….I almost forgot…it’s not too late, is it?
    Here it is, your annual WKRP Turkey Drop.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeCGURWzjwE

  • Happy Thanksgiving! I am donating my wishbone to the couch to try to alleviate the arguments over who gets the wishbone.

    a bit OT:

    Silk Road, Online Freedom, and Why the Prosecution of Ross Ulbricht Should Worry Us All http://youtu.be/u637tAVBdro

    Is this an example of Parallel Construction in the works?
    Is privacy now a criminal act?

  • DdC

    Our Thanksgiving Tradition
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjKF7aQthcQ

    Happy Danksgiving all…

  • Remember Sue Sisley?

    Fired UA marijuana researcher secures Colorado grant
    http://tinyurl.com/msfatge

    “Sisley said that Colorado’s decision to fund her marijuana study allows her to pursue the study even without an Arizona university lab.”

    “That’s the beauty of this grant,” Sisley said in an e-mail. “The Colorado health department believed in the quality of this research regardless of whether I was aligned with an Arizona university or not.”

    • claygooding

      The actions by the DEA/DOJ towards these studies will let us know if they intend to continue trying to ban marijuana,,they cannot afford to allow the research to continue without control and the final word on all research,,as they have using U of M ditchweed and those showed that even smoked ditchweed can relieve neuropathic pain but since they controlled the research they simply reported having issues with the research,,,since they ran the show who was going to take them to court over it?
      But if they claim exception to a study run by CO the state will take them to court if the research shows proof positive that marijuana helps PTSD victims. Which it will and they know it.

  • Servetus

    A federal court case on marijuana will soon challenge the classification of marijuana as Schedule I:

    On Jan. 14, 2015, one of the most important criminal cases regarding the status of marijuana as a Schedule I substance will be heard at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. The case is significant because, if it is dismissed, it would challenge federal law that says marijuana has no medicinal value, providing a first step toward potentially declaring the government’s war on marijuana unconstitutional[…]

    In the case United States v. Bryan R. Schweder, et al.,[…] The defense has called into question the Drug Enforcement Administration’s classification of marijuana as a Schedule I substance, which means that it is considered a dangerous drug with a high potential for abuse and it has no medical use. Other drugs in this category include heroin, LSD, ecstasy, methaqualone, and peyote[…] arguing that even if marijuana has been classified as a Schedule I substance, there is no rational basis for that classification. They also argue that marijuana does have medicinal value, as evidenced by numerous medical professionals and recent laws in states which have legalized marijuana[…]

    This case might be the first time that this defense has been allowed to proceed since the drug classifications laws were created in the 1970s.

    • claygooding

      I don’t know if it is for political reasons or not but the ruling will not be published until after New Years for some reason,,from the evidence given in the hearing anything but a decision to dismiss will have to be politically motivated and would have nothing to do with “justice”.

      I wish they had went after “accepted medical” use by using the fact that over 80% of Americans approve marijuana use under a doctors care,,,that is an accepted medical use.

    • DdC

      Its a crooked system designed to perpetuate profits on prohibition. I don’t see how this will be any different than previous proofs of medicinal value. As long as the HHS refuses to have it tested, it remains as it is. The difference is legalizers trying to use logic and truth against lies and big bucks in profits at stake if truth prevails.

      MARIJUANA AND MEDICINE
      http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=6376
      Assessing the Science Base
      Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr., and
      John A. Benson, Jr., Editors
      Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Health
      INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE
      NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.

      Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base Released: April 7, 2003
      http://iom.edu/Reports/2003/Marijuana-and-Medicine-Assessing-the-Science-Base.aspx

      California Case Could Be A Pivotal Moment In Ending The War On Marijuana – http://www.mintpressnews.com/california-case-pivotal-moment-ending-war-marijuana/199225/ *blogplay.com*

      Gonzales v. Raich (previously Ashcroft v. Raich), 545 U.S. 1 (2005), was a decision by the United States Supreme Court ruling that under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, the United States Congress may criminalize the production and use of home-grown cannabis even where states approve its use for …
      Gonzales v. Raich – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonzales_v._Raich

  • Servetus

    The venerable Wall Street Journal is reporting that U.S. Marshalls in disguise have joined with Mexican Marines to take part in raids against cartel members:

    …an escalation of American involvement in battling drug cartels that carries significant risk to U.S. personnel[…]

    The Mexican embassy in Washington denied that Mexico’s government gave U.S. agencies permission to go on armed raids. “Members of foreign law enforcement agencies or foreign military, including those from the U.S., are not authorized to carry weapons within the Mexican territory, and none of them are authorized either to participate in any raids or other armed law enforcement operations,’’ said a spokesman, Ariel Moutsatsos-Morales.

    U.S. personnel claim they have permission from “high levels of the Mexican government” to participate. If the government of Mexico did give their permission, it’s interesting they’re allowing U.S. Marshals to get involved, but not the DEA. Perhaps Mexico doesn’t have any faith in the DEA. No surprise there. No one else has any faith in the prohibitionists, either.

    • thelbert

      i have faith that the prohibs won’t be able to pull their heads out of their asses long enough to smell the coffee, let alone see the truth about cannabis or any other “drug”.

    • claygooding

      Meanwhile the Mexican legislature has moved closer to the legalization of marijuana use and production because they will not want to lose the entire market because they hesitated,,,about the time any two countries setup a market for marijuana between them,,,that will be go fishing or cut bait day.

    • Servetus

      ADDENDUM:

      Mexican President Peña Nieto is a stinker, and a U.S. puppet who wants to do a Ronald Reagan economic trip on Mexico against the wishes of Mexican citizens. He’s being given all kinds of discretion by the U.S. to violate Mexican citizens human rights as he wishes:

      Since Peña Nieto took power, the U.S. government has not issued a single condemnation of corruption or human rights violations in Mexico. This in a context in which leading international organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Article 19 and dozens of local NGOs have documented a scandalous increase in the repression of protest and violence against the press during the present administration[…]

      But the U.S. government has not just stood by the sidelines. It has also ramped up its direct involvement with the drug war in Mexico. Congress has appropriated billions of dollars to fund the Mexican government security apparatuses in recent years. Mexican and U.S. authorities have set up elite fusion centers throughout the country for sharing intelligence information. And The Wall Street Journal just revealed that U.S. agents dress up in the uniforms of Mexican military personnel to participate directly in special missions, such as the recent arrest of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the powerful leader of the Sinaloa cartel[…]

      And this Sunday, Mexico’s powerful Secretary of the Marines, Gen. Vidal Francisco Soberón, gave an unprecedented display of political activism when he publicly stated that the armed forces are not only committed to combating organized crime and narcotrafficking but are also ready to intervene in support of Peña Nieto’s neoliberal political project to “move Mexico.” WikiLeaks cables and independent reports have revealed that the U.S. government is particularly close to and prefers to work with the Mexican marines over other Mexican law enforcement institutions.

      Big Petroleum appears to be behind much of President Nieto’s repressive tactics. Stirring up the narcotrafficking situation may be something designed to distract people from some ruthless economic efforts to privatize Mexico’s oil reserves and convert Mexico to a Walmart economy.

      • claygooding

        I remember a report that one of the cartels had “tapped” into an oil pipeline and was selling their own oil back to them,,that is almost as good as the drilling company that drilled into the Texaco Salt Water caverns(storage facility) under Houston and sold oil back to them for 15 years.

  • thelbert

    i don’t know how much money the state of calif. has spent on cannabis research, but i do know UCSD is where cannabis as medicine is being researhed for the state: http://tinyurl.com/o85fxsm here is the official site: http://www.cmcr.ucsd.edu/

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      The CMCR was commissioned and funded in 1999 when Gray Davis was the Governor of California. I can’t find it now but I specifically recall reading that Gov. Davis said that the CMCR would prove once and for all that cannabis isn’t medicine. I think it’s going to take a monumental event to get the politicians to realize that scientists that qualify to be on a so called “blue ribbon” panel of experts do not deliver results to order like RAND or The Professor. Perhaps it was just wishful thinking on the part of Gov. Davis because the authorizing legislation was introduced to the California Legislature by John Vasconcellos so it’s hard for me to be jaded and cynical about that law . I suppose that it’s possible that Mr. Vasconcellos wasn’t 420 friendly in 1999 as that was before I started following the issue closely.

      Would someone please ‘splain to me why the heck anyone would name their child “Gray”?!?

      PS within the last week I called the CMCR Dr. Donald Abrams dog and pony show in error. While he’s certainly been actively involved it appears that he isn’t in charge.

    • claygooding

      I post links to several CMCR completed studies,,the one we will never see is the driving while high research,,been waiting a long time for that report to be typed up.

      http://www.cmcr.ucsd.edu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=153:impact-of-repeated-cannabis-treatments-on-driving-abilities&catid=41:research-studies&Itemid=135

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        Researcher: “It was absolutely mind boggling. He got the simulator up to level 32 on the first try! For cryin’ out loud we didn’t even know there was more than one level, much less 128! Now we can’t get him out of the damn thing and it’s going viral on the Internet! Any suggestions? …and don’t say Cheetos!”

  • thelbert

    here is a link about medical herb: http://tinyurl.com/qdgus5g

  • EuropePlaysCatchUp

    Vienna, Nov 29th – The Austrian Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) has, just this morning, at their party conference, voted in favor of the decriminalization of cannabis.

    Austria is ruled by a grand coalition between the two largest parties, the SPÖ (52 seats) and ÖVP (47 seats), with the SPÖ’s Werner Faymann as Chancellor.

    SPOe-Delegierte-stimmen-ueber-Antraege

  • How to Fight Civil Forfeiture
    http://tinyurl.com/pksdcnd

    Attorney Scott Bullock heads up the Institute for Justice (IJ) initiative against civil forfeiture. In September, he told reason about IJ’s plans to push back against the overuse of laws that allow unfair confiscation of property by law enforcement.

    “It is very difficult to change civil forfeiture laws legislatively due to the power of law enforcement lobbies.”

    Why are law enforcement lobbies even allowed? It does not seem right.

  • I’ve come to realize a decade and a half on dial-up has left me in purgatory far too long. My goodness, the things that are out there/here… like this:

    http://tinyurl.com/nbz56ta

    That’s too much fun…

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Alright, enough tomfoolery. Which one of you people abducted and either brainwashed or cloned The Professor?” Give yourself a well deserved pat on the back.

    /snip/ “The five-nanogram rule doesn’t make sense,” says Mark Kleiman, a University of California at Los Angeles drug policy expert who was hired to advise Washington’s cannabis regulators. “It doesn’t correspond to impairment, and for regular users, they’re always going to be over the limit. It would be absurd to say you can smoke pot but then you can never drive.”

    But Kleiman argues that many of the people who complained about the DUID standard during the I-502 campaign were medical marijuana suppliers who were mainly interested in defending their financial interests. “Some of the people in the medical racket decided [the initiative] was a threat to their livelihood,” he says, “and they were correct. They picked the five-nanogram rule as the thing to campaign against. I think some people were sincerely persuaded that it was a stupid idea, which it was and is, but I don’t think that was the basis of the opposition, just the stake that the opposition grabbed.”
    /snip/
    http://reason.com/archives/2014/06/04/you-can-never-drive

    So what’s your plan for The Lapdog AKA Kev-Kev? Brainwashing requires that the target have a brain to be washed.

    • moocow

      Brain Surgeon claims Kevin Sabet is brain dead:

      ‘We have medical records for every minute Kevin Sabet has spent debating drug policy, and none of them show any indication of brain activity. In other words, as far as neuroscience can say, there is absolutely nothing happening inside his head.”

      Link

  • Windy

    We all knew DEA agents were criminals at heart, here’s proof we were correct:
    From PoliceMisconduct.net:

    Douglas Co, CO: US Drug Enforcement Agency agent arrested on charges of domestic violence and criminal mischief http://ow.ly/EVRpY

  • Servetus

    An article about a United Nations report (pdf here 15 pages) citing torture violations committed by the United States includes a few other jabs at U.S. domestic policies, including the use of discriminatory policing, presumably stop-and-frisks for marijuana and other drugs:

    In addition to criticizing other policies related to military engagement abroad, the committee slammed the U.S. for many of its domestic policies, including prolonged solitary confinement of those in prison; charges of “prolonged suffering” for those exposed to “botched” state executions; heavy-handed and discriminatory policing practices in the nation’s cities; the treatment of juveniles in the criminal justice system; and serious problems with its immigration enforcement policies.

    It’s a feeble jab in that the wording could have been more specific, but then the UN committee might risk offending the almighty UNODCP which appears to love torture, military engagements abroad, confinement, juvenile abuse in the criminal justice system, and stereotypes of illegal immigrants, as long as all of it is confined to the drug war.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    I don’t think that I would have ever guessed that the DC Council would be the first legislative body to codify a regulated retail supply chain for cannabis. Don’t forget that there wasn’t any commerce in I-71 which voters approved 69.5-30.5% on Election Day.

    D.C. Council Moves Ahead With Marijuana Legalization In The Nation’s Capital

    • it makes me think about Droop Dog’s “legalization isn’t in our vocabulary” statement… now it be knocking on ONDCP’s front door. 🙂

  • thelbert

    even if pot is legal the alcohol loving
    police state must be able to determine if there is any way to prosecute the law abiding: http://tinyurl.com/o7qvsg2

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Do you have any idea how long they’ve been playing the “we don’t have a pot breathalyzer” card and how effective that argument is in the mind of a sycophant? When I first heard that lame claim Jimmy Carter was the POTUS. Quite frankly I hope that they get this thing working and into every cop car in America pronto.

  • Windy

    Travis Couture posted on FB:

    My Civil Asset Seizure and Forfeiture Reform Bill is ready, I’ll be hitting the legislature hard with it this year. It is my big ticket item. No more arbitrarily robbing innocent people of their property and using the profits to do the same. No more policing for profit, and no more fueling a failed drug war in the most idiotic of ways.
    I believe this is a bill both reasonable people on the right and the left can get behind and seriously its days are numbered. It’s made with common sense in mind, protects constitutional rights, and modernizes the current law to match the 21st century. It will also bar the state from giving resources to the feds to seize legal WA marijuana.
    I’ve spent a large amount of time making sure no loopholes exist, and I believe it to be rock solid. I’ve reached out to a number of highly interested legislators on both sides of the aisle and I’m excited! Time to get it done!

  • EZ Dictionary is more than just the average English to English dictionary software or website; the program showcases a user friendly platform,
    wherein you can simply search for the definition of a term, word or phrase. Definitions aren’t the only things displayed when searching for a term.
    You will also see the synonyms, antonyms, plural forms, and how the word is used in a sentence, in relation to each given definition. This way,
    grammatical errors won’t be committed in using a new term for speech or writing, promoting proper flow and verbal cohesion. Furthermore,
    when surfing the Internet, you can readily view the definitions of unknown words or terms encountered by simply hovering your mouse to a particular word or phrase,
    and pressing CTRL on your keyboard. Be it a normal word, a technical term, a medical reference – pretty much any term that you find confusing
    – the software will instantly provide the answers. Researchers, medical students, journalists, businessmen, copywriters,
    book readers are just a few of many people who would thoroughly benefit from the free dictionary download.
    Surfing the Internet will be perpetually informative, promoting a lot of convenience for every curious or academic netizen.