Possible Good News on Reform of Civil Forfeiture?

Forfeiture has expanded dramatically as a weapon in the War on Drugs (similarly to the Prohibition era). One crucial development has been that law enforcement agencies can often keep the proceeds from auctioning seized property, which creates an incentive to seize more property and complicate the retrieval processes. This seems likely to distort balanced enforcement of laws and is inconsistent with the presumption of innocence.

https://www.cato.org/blog/possible-good-news-reform-civil-forfeiture

Government Data Refute the Notion That Overprescribing Caused the ‘Opioid Crisis’

Yet millions of pain patients have been force-tapered to ineffective dose levels, and thousands of them are dying of medical collapse or suicide, while the DEA continues to persecute their doctors for trying to help them. It is time to evict the DEA from doctors’ examination rooms.

https://reason.com/2024/04/15/government-data-refute-the-notion-that-overprescribing-caused-the-opioid-crisis/

Study Estimates Roadside Drug Tests Result in 30,000 Wrongful Arrests Every Year

…as many as 30,000 innocent people a year may be wrongly arrested for drug possession based on their results, making these tests “one of the largest, if not the largest, known contributing factor to wrongful arrests and convictions in the United States.”

212 people pleaded guilty between January 2004 and June 2015 to drug possession based on Houston Police Department field tests that were later invalidated by crime labs.

https://reason.com/2024/01/09/study-estimates-roadside-drug-tests-result-in-30000-wrongful-arrests-every-year/

Adam Smith Discovers the Laffer Curve

High taxes, sometimes by diminishing the consumption of the taxed commodities, and sometimes by encouraging smuggling, frequently afford a smaller revenue to government than what might be drawn from more moderate taxes.

Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

Ohio: Ask Your Lawmakers to Respect Voters’ Legalization Law

After you type in your contact info, a draft letter will appear for you to review, edit, and submit.

https://www.mpp.org/takeaction/actions/ohio-ask-your-lawmakers-to-respect-voters-legalization-law/

Would certifying Issue 2 destroy Ohio values?

Would certifying Issue 2 destroy Ohio values?  No, it would not.  In fact, one could conclude that with the passage of issue 2, Ohio would return to core American values of personal freedom and responsibility.

Building on the values of our nation’s founders shouldn’t scare the citizens and families of Ohio.  After all, the values taught within your family are up to you, and not through authoritarianism of your government.  The stigma of marijuana consumptions has changed immensely over the last few decades, and the choice to consume is completely personal.  The harms of marijuana prohibition have had an enormous impact on our society and destroyed families through mass incarceration of Americans, for many times, victimless crimes.

The war on drugs has been incredibly harmful to our community.  Although I suspect it’s called the “war on drugs” to convey the image of a evil drug dealer in a crime movie make no mistake, like any war, it has impacted, and continues to impact co-workers, neighbors, and family members.  It doesn’t sound so fun to support if it’s called “the war on your uncle and cousins.”

In the year 2022 there were 208,192 people arrested for marijuana possession according to the FBI’s crime data explorer.  The real numbers may be even higher, as not all agencies throughout the country report data to the FBI.

Many of us personally know how some of the existing marijuana possession laws can cause a life to spiral and ruin family structures.  Once someone’s record is stained by drug charges, the path to gaining employment and decent housing can become nearly impossible, thus thrusting many into the black market and shadows of our society and economy beginning a horribly viscous cycle.

While I believe that there are many other factors of the drug war, and criminal justice reforms need addressed,  I hope that those who are tasked with serving and protecting their neighbors can focus on harmful and violent crimes in our communities.   I understand that issue 2 is an important step in the right direction, making a simple step forward within the constraints of a ballot initiative.

I encourage everyone to vote yes on Issue 2 on Tuesday November 7th.  Let’s make a move against the recent onslaught against our rights and take a step towards returning to American values.  Let’s take one step towards the American ideals of personal privacy, liberty, and freedom.  Vote yes!

Sincerely,

Joshua A Umbaugh

Chair

Libertarian Party of Montgomery County Ohio

https://cde.ucr.cjis.gov/LATEST/webapp/#/pages/explorer/crime/arrest

Did Drug Decriminalization Cause a ‘Catastrophe’ in Oregon?

Many of the problems the state is experiencing are caused by the continuing impact of prohibition.

It is important to keep in mind that Oregon’s Measure 110 did nothing to address the supply of illegal drugs, which remain just as iffy and potentially deadly as they were before the initiative was approved. Decriminalization was limited to drug users, and it was based on the premise that people should not be arrested merely for consuming forbidden intoxicants. This distinction between drug users and drug suppliers is similar to the policy enacted during Prohibition, when bootleggers were treated as criminals but drinkers were not.

https://reason.com/2023/08/03/did-drug-decriminalization-cause-a-catastrophe-in-oregon/

The Drug Exception to the Second Amendment

Conservatives have been slow to recognize the threat that drug prohibition poses to gun rights and other civil liberties.

What does that position say about the NRA’s understanding of the Second Amendment? If trivial offenses such as pot smoking are enough to strip someone of the constitutional right to armed self-defense, that right is subject to legislators’ whims, a proposition that the NRA passionately rejects in other contexts.

https://reason.com/2023/03/12/the-drug-exception-to-the-second-amendment/

Montgomery County coroner issues warning about Narcan-resistant drug

The Iron Law of Prohibition strikes again. Opiates are being cut with Xylazine, a non-opiod veterinary tranquilizer which doesn’t respond to Narcan, whose side effects make fentanyl pale in comparison – one being widespread skin ulceration.

The Iron Law of Prohibition: The harder the enforcement, the harder the drug.

Xylazine is being used as a cutting agent for the same reason fentanyl is: the War on Drugs incentivizes a need to avoid detection, leading to drugs with less weight and volume that are easier to hide, store, and transport.

End the War on Drugs to save lives.

https://www.wyso.org/local-and-statewide-news/2023-03-01/montgomery-county-coroner-issues-warning-about-narcan-resistant-drug