norml17 - Page 9

Page 9 Previous , Next , Original Image
Return to Index

 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.
 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

Previous , Next , Return to Index