Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Police State

Refusing to turn in or spy on your friends and family for personal lifestyle choies could soon land you in jail in the US. The roundup gains momentum. Drug Policy Alliance introduces Comrade Sensenbrenner:

If you "witness" certain drug offenses taking place or "learn" that they took place you would have to report the offense to law enforcement within 24 hours and provide "full assistance" in the investigation, apprehension, and prosecution of the people involved. Failure to do so would be a crime punishable by a mandatory two year prison sentence.

Here are some examples of offenses you would have to report to the police within 24 hours:

* You see someone you know pass a joint to a 20-year old college student.
* Your cousin mentions that he bought Ecstasy for some of his college friends.
* You find out that your brother, who has kids, recently bought a small amount of marijuana to share with his wife.
* Your substance-abusing daughter recently begged her boyfriend to find her some drugs even though they're both in drug treatment.

In each of these cases you face jail time if you don't call the police within 24 hours. It doesn't matter if the offender is your friend or relative. It also doesn't matter if you need 48 hours to think about it. You have to report the person to the government within 24 hours or go to jail. You also have to assist the government in every way, including wearing a wire if needed. Refusing to cooperate would cost you at least two years in prison (possibly up to ten). In addition to turning family member against family member, the legislation could also put many Americans into dangerous situations by forcing them to go undercover to gain evidence against strangers.
HT: Ian

TalkLeft has more details, including this additional provision, courtesy of Marijuana Policy Project:
. . . the bill would also create a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence for a first-time conviction of distributing a small amount of marijuana to a person under 18 years of age ... and a 10-year sentence for a second offense of distributing marijuana to a person under 21. By comparison, the average time served by convicted rapists in this country is about seven years.

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