Pubdate: Fri, 04 Jun 2010
Source: Langley Advance (CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Author: Russell Barth


Dear Editor,

Prohibition's racist roots [Prohibition has racist roots, May 14 
Letters,] is a main part of the reason it 
still exists: drug prohibition gives the police all the "legal" right 
they need to stop, search, and generally harass the young, the poor, 
people of colour, and people with non-regulation hair-cuts.

What most people don't realize is that the practice police have of 
simply stopping people, asking them questions, searching them, and 
generally harassing them is completely illegal.

Unless you are suspected of a specific offense, police are not even 
allowed to ask you what your name is.

If you get stopped by police, say nothing. You don't even have to 
state your name when asked. Just get the officer to read this:

"Officer, if I am being arrested or detained, please tell me so. If I 
am free to go, please tell me so. If I am not free to go, please tell 
me why. I wish to exercise all of my legal rights, including my right 
to silence and my right to speak to a lawyer before I say anything to 
you. I do not consent to be searched. Please do not ask me questions, 
because I will not willingly talk to you until I speak to a lawyer. 
Thank you for respecting my rights.

Canadians' rights are as follows:

. Silence;

. I can say "no" if the police ask permission to search me or my 
things, and saying no does not mean I have something to hide;

. I can leave unless I am being detained or arrested;

. If I am being detained or arrested, I have a right to know why, and 
a right to speak to a lawyer without delay, even if I can't afford to pay;

. I can only be strip searched by an officer of the same gender, and 
only in private;

. I have the right to know the officer's name and badge number; and

. I can report an officer who abuses me, swears at me, or violates my rights.

Everyone in Canada should print this out and carry it on their person 
at all times.

Russell Barth,

Federally Licensed Medical Marijuana User
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom