Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The War On Drugs Is A Greater Threat To Your Rights Than The Patriot Act

The loss of rights to the average American is far greater when the War on Drugs is involved. This is by far a more serious problem than anyone can imagine. It pervades all of our lives in insidious ways and cost the taxpayers Billions of dollars to enforce, prosecute and incarcerate Drug offenders using the current Federal and State laws. Now the Feds want to circumvent your 4th Amendment rights as well. Read on. To see the entire article, Click on the title.

Drug War Shrinking Bill of Rights
Thursday, January 27, 2005
By Radley Balko
Fox News
This week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that if you're pulled over by the police for speeding or, say, not wearing your seatbelt, they may bring out drug-sniffing dogs to investigate your car without violating the Fourth Amendment.
On the
Volokh Conspiracy blog, Orin Kerr observes that Justice John Paul Stevens (search), writing for the majority, indicated that the Fourth Amendment protects not against violations of privacy or invasiveness, but against violation of property rights. Since one can't have property rights for illicit drugs, a search can't violate the Fourth Amendment.
It's a troubling precedent. It's hard to see how any police search would violate any rights under Justice Stevens' ruling, so long as the search turned up something illegal. That sort of undermines what the Fourth Amendment (
search) is all about.
That case is just the latest in a number of court rulings and pieces of legislation that have been chipping away at the criminal justice rights of substance-abuse suspects. Ours is quickly becoming a two-tiered criminal justice system, one in which there are one set of criminal protections for drug and alcohol defendants, and a broader set of protections for everyone else.
Last month in Virginia, pain physician Dr. William Hurwitz (
search) was convicted on dozens of counts of drug distribution. Prosecutors and the foreman of the jury that convicted him conceded that Hurwitz didn't knowingly participate in a drug trade, but because the pain medication he prescribed made it to the black market, he was nevertheless found guilty. He faces life in prison. Proving intent — as is required to secure a conviction in nearly every other crime — apparently wasn't necessary.


: JustaDog said...

1] How is the war on drugs a threat to my rights?

2] "if you're pulled over by the police for speeding or, say, not wearing your seatbelt, they may bring out drug-sniffing dogs to investigate your car without violating the Fourth Amendment" -- So what? Why would that bother me?

3] "pain medication he prescribed made it to the black market" - I think you left allot out of this story. If that is all there was too the story every doctor would be locked up.

I smell conspiracy fears here!

bahiabob said...

The above commenter needs to read the Constitution and realize that the Drug War violates the 1st, 4th, 5th and other ammendments as enumerated in the Bill of Rights.
To search anyone illegally for whatever reason is unconstitutional and will lead to other, more damaging governmental incursions on your life. We have sound precident to believe this to be true. I suggest that the commenter read the article in it's entirety before responding next time. The title of the commenter's blog apparently applies to the commenter but this person is oblivious to that fact.

bahiabob said...

Also, this commenter is a Canadian so I must show compassion. In the U.S. we value our Constitutional rights much more that most Canadians so the comment of this nature from a Canadian that is clueless on what it really means to be a U.S. Citizen is to be expected.

Tin Foil Hat said...

I totally agree with you about the war on drugs. A great lecture on this topic by Alexander Shulgin (former DEA chemist and pyschadelic drug promoter) is online here. Written in 1991, it has an eerie resonance with the Patriot Act--which IS ABSOLUTELY DANGEROUS.