Pubdate: Sun, 11 Jul 2010
Source: Winona Daily News (MN)
Copyright: 2010 Robert Sharpe
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding Ronald Fraser's July 4 guest column: The financial
incentives created by civil asset forfeiture laws create a dangerous

Police can confiscate cars, cash and homes without bothering to charge
owners with a crime.

Vague allegations of drug trafficking don't justify turning 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.

Despite marijuana prohibition and perhaps because of forbidden fruit
appeal, lifetime use of marijuana is higher in the U.S. than any
European country, a majority of which have decriminalized marijuana.

The U.S. now has the highest incarceration rate in the world, in large
part due to the war on some drugs.

This is big government at its worst.

It's not possible to wage a moralistic war against consensual vices
unless privacy is completely eliminated, along with the

America can be a free country or a "drug-free" country, but not

The results of a comparative study of European and U.S. rates of drug
use can be found at
United Nations stats can be found at

Robert Sharpe / Arlington, Va.

Sharpe is a policy analyst for Common Sense for Drug Policy.
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