Every tax is a pay cut.  Every tax cut is a pay raise.
Citizens for Limited Taxation

Country can be free, or drug free
Robert Sharpe 03/05/2003
Marlborough Lt. Arthur Brodeur was quoted in a Feb. 17th article on civil asset forfeiture as stating "I'm very seizure-oriented."

The financial incentives created by forfeiture laws create a dangerous precedent.  Police can confiscate cars, cash and homes without even charging owners with a crime.

Vague allegations of drug trafficking don't justify turning what should be protectors of the peace into financial predators.  The drug war threatens the integrity of a country founded on the concept of limited government.

Police searches on public transit, drug-sniffing dogs in schools and random drug testing have led to a loss of civil liberties, while failing miserably at preventing drug use.  Based on findings that criminal records are inappropriate as health interventions, a majority of European Union countries have decriminalized marijuana.  Despite marijuana prohibition and perhaps because of forbidden fruit appeal, lifetime use of marijuana is higher in the U.S. than any European country.

The United States now has the highest incarceration rate in the world, in large part due to the war on some drugs.  At an average cost of $25,071 per inmate annually, maintaining the world's largest prison system can hardly be considered fiscally conservative. It's not possible to wage a moralistic war against consensual vices unless privacy is completely eliminated, along with the Constitution. America can either be a free country or a "drug-free" country, but not both. Here are the results of a  comparative study of European and U.S. rates of drug use.

ROBERT SHARPE M.P.A., Program Officer, Drug Policy Alliance, Washington D.C.

Send comments to: hjw2001@gmail.com