Vol. 3, Issue #15 August 29th - Sept. 11th, 2008

POTULAR CULTURE: Protecting Yourself from the Law Enforcement Industrial Complex
By: Chad Moody

We all know that the government is lying to us about weed. Marijuana is the best herbal remedy on Earth for a host of medical maladies. So why does the government persist in the laughable lie that marijuana is somehow deserving of prohibition? The answer is as simple as it is succinct – MONEY. As things are, law enforcement makes literally billions of dollars each year through good old fashioned extortion. In 1960, President Eisenhower identified the Military Industrial Complex, i.e., the budding incestuous relationship between American foreign policy and the industrial interests of manufacturers of the weaponry of modern war.

Today, another such complex has emerged. The Law Enforcement Industrial Complex is even more insidious than its military counterpart. In this so-called “land of the free” we incarcerate as six times the world average. Neither China, nor Russia, nor North Korea has as large a portion of their population in chains as we do in America. On any given day, over two million Americans are in chains. Yet the drug war continues without any substantial signs of success. Why? MONEY.

Since the early 1990’s marijuana arrests have seen a steady climb. In the early 90’s approximately 300,000 people were being arrested annually on marijuana charges. That number is now over 800,000. That’s 95 people per hour being busted for weed. So how do you avoid becoming a victim? There is no way to be 100% safe. The courts long ago ceased to safeguard civil liberties. Police routinely perform illegal searches and illegal seizures. Those searches and seizures are routinely ratified by the courts. After all, if a case is dismissed, the system loses MONEY. That money goes to law enforcement in the form of fines, fees, and assessments that you have to pay if you get caught doing something illegal.

Drug forfeitures are also big MONEY. The law permits law enforcement to seize money, cars, boats, houses and practically anything of value if it is found in proximity to a controlled “dangerous” substance. If you cannot prove how the seized asset was come by legally, the government gets to keep it. The fact that the agency seizing your property gets to keep all or part of it doesn’t taint the truthfulness of officers. We know this because they are trusted public servants.

Every other week this column will examine the ways in which you can be safer and enhance your chances of never needing to hire a lawyer. This week’s tip is as simple as it is safe, to wit: Never open your door to anyone that you don’t know!!

One of Law Enforcement’s favorite techniques is what has come to be known as the “knock and talk.” Like any itinerant salesman, police can knock on your front door and ask you questions. Often, when police lack information adequate to get a warrant they will employ this method. But if you thought the salesman was pushy, you don’t know pushy. If police really want in, a foot goes in the door the second that you open it. They push their way inside and attempt to intimidate you into allowing a search. Sometimes, they see things in “plain view” the second the door opens. Sometimes they do a protective sweep of your house for “officer safety”.

Regardless of whether or not you have consented to the search, the police report will say that you did. Who does the judge choose to believe when faced with deciding whether the virtuous upstanding civil servant or the “druggie” is telling the truth about how the search occurred? You guessed it. In a swearing match with the cops, you will always lose. However, had you never opened the door, you wouldn’t be staring down the barrel of a felony charge.

Police have become tremendously aggressive. Nevertheless, I have yet to see a police officer who is willing to break a doorjamb without a warrant. Most people are afraid to not open their doors to police. Their fear is precisely displaced. Police will bang on your door until it rattles the house. Do not succumb to the temptation to open the door. If police have a warrant they are going to come in. At that point, a broken doorjamb is the least of you worries. Do not believe them when they say they have a warrant. Insist upon seeing it BEFORE opening the door.

Once police find contraband the whole criminal justice system operates meat-grinder style on your life. Don’t open the door. Too many people in prison already wish they hadn’t.

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