norml17 - Page 9
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not protect a person from being arrested. "Drug raids" are not pleasant
invitations to the courthouse. They are violent intrusions. Using the
supposed logic that people with illegal drugs are probably armed, police
typically knock and wait only the required three seconds (during wNch
vktually no person actually has time to answer the door), then destroy the
door and enter with guns drawn. People are terrified _md traumatized.
Children wind up in therapy for years to overcome nightmares. And innocent
people are killed -- as happened last summer in Snohemish County.
Further, even a less h_trusive arrest can have severe consequences.
Truth being the first victkri of any war, the "war on drugs" has produced a
generation of landlords convinced that tenants who use illegal drugs are not
worthy of thek shelter (though nobody ever reparted someone smoking a joint
and starting a fight, a common occurrence with the legal drug aicohol). Most
apartment rental agreements today provide for immediate eviction upon
discovery of possession of illegal drugs, including r_Sjuana. Thus, thanks to
the state's irrational laws, a person desperately -- even terminally -- ill may
find himself without shelter as a result of using a benign drug recommended
by his doctor.
Then there is yet another irony. The prosecutor won't prosecute
because you have a demonstrated need for the drag, but he won't return the
seized drug° h essence, then, the prosecutor says_ "we won't throw you in
prison, but we'll let you suffer."
This mishmash of law and policy is, in a word, irrational.
WHY STATE CONSTITUTIONAL ANALYSIS?
A. GENERAL DISCUSSION
The federal legal history set out above provides ample evidence of the
shortcomings inherent in any legal attack involving a fi_deral agency. Any
organization tends m expend a growing amount of effort and energy justifying
its own existence, and federal agencies are no exception. Since the Supreme
Court of the United States ab_ftished the so-called legislative veto as a tool to
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