Pubdate: Sun, 12 Jun 2011 Source: Santa Maria Times (CA) Copyright: 2011 Lee Central Coast Newspapers Contact: http://www.santamariatimes.com/app/submit-letter/ Website: http://www.santamariatimes.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/396 Author: Randy Alcorn, Right on Target MOVING TOWARD ANOTHER POLICE STATE Since President Nixon declared war on drugs 37 years ago, there has been a steady slaughter of innocent citizens due to mistaken drug raids conducted by heavily armed gangs of police amped up on adrenaline. The latest is the case of a 26-year-old ex-Marine, Jose Guerena, who had served two tours of duty in Iraq. He was shot to death in his Tucson home last month during a drug raid by a police SWAT team. Guerena reacted to the home invasion as many would -- to protect his family, he reached for his gun. The police shot him multiple times as his wife and 2-year-old son hid in a closet. He was left to bleed to death, as police refused to call paramedics until an hour after the shooting. His gun was found to be set on safety. He had not fired a round. No illegal drugs were found in his house. As of this writing, Pima County law enforcement has have yet to provide an explanation for this legal homicide. And, now thanks to a recent Supreme Court ruling, police can conduct such home invasions without the need of a search warrant. Yes, now if the drug Gestapo smells or believes it smells marijuana emanating from your home, it can bust down your door and ransack your house looking for banned drugs. Don't resist. Not only might police pump you full of lead, but also many states have now made it a crime for citizens to resist police home invasions, even when the police have the wrong address. In a twisted irony, the same Supreme Court that supports the erosion of civil rights to conduct the war on drugs, now rules it unconstitutionally cruel to overcrowd prisons, even though the overcrowding is due to the war on drugs. So much real crime is a product of the prohibition on drugs. Limited law enforcement resources should be focused on protecting the public from real crime, rather than generating it by criminalizing victimless personal choices like drug use. The Global Commission on Drug Policy, led by an array of eminent world leaders, recently condemned the global war on drugs as a costly failure, and called upon the U.S. and other nations to end it. If all drugs were legal, what would happen? Would our nation incur more harm and expense than it does now by foolishly pursuing the failed policy of prohibition? Would millions of people rush out and become addicts? Those who want to use these drugs can get them easily enough already. Many more who need or want analgesics get the legal variety through their doctors. As a society, we might be better off having those who self-medicate with alcohol switch to THC. I've never seen a belligerent stoner, but I have seen plenty of belligerent drunks. Have more of us been hurt by people who sell drugs, or by people who wrecked our economy by selling bogus mortgages? Why aren't SWAT teams busting down the doors of Wall Street bankers and ransacking their homes to find evidence of wrongdoing? If the law, no matter how questionable, must be honored, why don't we honor our immigration laws with the same enthusiastic dedication that we enforce our drug laws? The war on drugs continues because of two reasons -- power and money. The drug warriors on both sides have a vested interest in keeping drugs illegal. As with any war, civilians are caught in the crossfire. But what is most depressing about the war on drugs, and now the war on terror, is that we are turning our police into thugs and becoming just another police state. America has always been the fortress of freedom and now it is effectively a police state. There is nowhere left to go to escape authoritarian oppression. - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.