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Welcome to the DEA House of Horrors

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I’m travelling with my family in New York City this week, and had quite a bit of fun in Times Square. It really does have a carnival atmosphere. There’s a giant Jack in the Beanstalk, a Ferris Wheel in Toys R Us, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, and they even have a new House of Horrors called the DEA Museum.

Yes, apparently the DEA has done such great things for the country that their efforts need to be memorialized with exhibits and displays of their good works. I haven’t had a chance to stop in yet, but I’m lookiing forward to checking out the video of them breaking into invalid-care hospices in riot gear and dragging away recovering cancer and polio patients in handcuffs. I expect to really be wowed by the life-size dioramas of death squads funded by DEA money killing farmers and peasants in villages in Central America. I know my kids can hardly wait to see the gallery of houses, cars and other property seized by the DEA without due process because marijuana was found on the premises even if it was just dropped over a fence by a fleeing suspect. I assume admission is free, paid for by money seized from people who were violating the law and automatically subject to forfeit of all their cash because they were carrying more than $10,000 and therefore assumed to be carrying drug money. I even hear they have a dramatic Constitution shredding staged every half hour.

It ought to be the highlight of our trip to the Big Apple. I know nothing lifts my spirits more than pictures of handcuffed invalids and AIDS victims being shoved in the back of paddy wagons at gunpoint. It makes me so glad we have the DEA to protect us from ourselves, but I wonder when deeds which should be done and stay in darkness became something deserving of recognition in a museum.

Dave

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About Dave Nalle

Dave Nalle is Executive Director of the Texas Liberty Foundation, Chairman of the Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, South Central Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus and an advisory board member at the Coalition to Reduce Spending. He was Texas State Director for the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, an adviser to the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, Communications Director for the Travis County Republican Party and National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He has also consulted on many political campaigns, specializing in messaging. Before focusing on political activism, he owned or was a partner in several businesses in the publishing industry and taught college-level history for 20 years.
  • HW Saxton

    How can anyone say “War On Drugs” and
    keep a straight face. When I hear that
    f***ing Walthers talk about all the Weed
    related deaths in the US and then go and
    equate it with Heroin,Cocaine & Crystal
    Meth it’s all that I can do not to smash
    & destroy the TV.If he in and of himself
    isn’t scary enough there are people out
    there who believe that you can actually
    OD on herb like you can on Junk thanks
    to his mis-information. Unbelieveable.
    The DEA and the fact they actually have
    a museum that is.I had honestly thought
    this was a joke post at first. Scary.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    The post isn’t the joke, the DEA and the hubris they show by having a museum is the joke. The catch is that it’s not funny at all.

    Dave

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    Didn’t you know that John P. Walters is the reincarnation of Harry J. Anslinger — Reefer Madness and everything?

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    someone should bring one of the original copies of the Constitution and Declaration over for the museum

    just to watch the miserable pigfuckers burn them

    they were written on hemp paper after all

    all i can say is that Prohibition is stupid, you would have thought we had learned…

    obviously not

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    I never knew this museum even existed…

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    And aren’t you glad that it does now, RJ?

    Perhaps the BATF has one too – maybe it’s in Waco. I hear there’s some vacant property there.

    Dave

  • KC

    Great Post!

    One thing thru: “because they were carrying more than $10,000 and therefore assumed to be carrying drug money.”

    I thought (and I could be wrong) that they could take ANY amount thought to be suspicion. I got that from reading USA Today since they sometimes list seizures. I had thought (and again I could be wrong) that if you’re stopped for any reason, and even if you’re not found to be doing anything illegal a large amount of cash is deemed “suspicious behavior”.

    If it has be over 10K this is information I hadn’t heard before.

  • HW Saxton

    A lot of people(esp. foreigners)like to
    carry large amounts of cash on their
    person because of mistrust of the USA’s
    banking systems.That this $$$ could be
    confiscated under “suspicion” is really
    F’ed up! Welcome To Amerikkka!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I believe it has to be ofer $10K for them to just seize it with the amount being considered suspicious. If it’s associated with an actual drug transaction they can seize any amount.

    Of course recent laws may have changed all this and made it even more outrageous.

    Dave

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Did you go in the museum yet? I’m sure it’s not pictures of invalids in handcuffs, although I know they would have the necessary ‘clip art’ for that, but what was it really like inside?

  • KC

    There was a case in Tenn. around 1993 of Willie Jones a landscaper who had $9,000 taken by DEA agents. That’s why I thought it was any amount. He got the money back after going to court, but since you can’t sue for legal fees and can get only the original amount returned I’m guessing that was out of principle on his part, and not the money.

  • sammy

    How naive are you people? Why would someone carry around more than $10,000 hard cash? Legitimate business people utilize banks. Mistrust of US banks?!?! HA. Its obvious by the string of posts here that all of you are a bunch of ingrates. Lets get rid of the DEA and let all the lowlife drug pushers and big time traffickers run amok. Great world for our kids you morons. God forbid they have a museum to educate people…

  • Moe

    I know a few facks on this subject, so allow me a few lines. If any funds are seized they must first be proven via probable cause that the money is dirty money, i.e. drug proceeds. And then the case still must be proven to the court. How is this proven? When the owners are questioned, they give statements that cause the inspectors/agents to question whats real and what is a lie. Normal people do not carry large amounts of cash when they travel, but on occasion a few people have reason to carry these types of funds. In many cases (those you do not hear about) people are questioned and the money is returned. Only the drug dealers and other low lifes have a problem explaining why they have such a large amount of cash on them. As for the DEA museum, I have been there, it was great. It told the story of the drug problem not only in the U.S. but how those countries who supply the drugs got started. I think all kids and (pot heads) should stop by and take a look. Maybe then you will understand why the DEA is such a vital agency in the USA. I know a few DEA Agents, they are one of the last federal agencies who really think they are performing a service to the country. No Bull. And as for the dragging out sick people who use weed as a pain killer, thats not happening. They have alot of other more important things to do than that. Don’t believe the hype.

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    Maybe some people can defend the existence of a DEA museum, but no one can defend prohibition because it is indefensible.

    Our so-called “drug problem” is prohibition (a.k.a. the war on certain drugs) masquerading as a solution to itself by fueling and supporting a worldwide underground economy (the black market) worth over $500 billion dollars annually.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>How naive are you people? Why would someone carry around more than $10,000 hard cash? < < Well, in the cases I know about here in Texas the most common is to buy cattle or horses or impounded vehicles at auctions which only take cash. Also popular is carrying enough to pay all the illegal aliens on your construction site, but that's a bit of a gray area. >>nd as for the dragging out sick people who use weed as a pain killer, thats not happening. << Um, what fantasyland are you living in, Moe? Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Did you go in the museum yet? I’m sure it’s not pictures of invalids in handcuffs, although I know they would have the necessary ‘clip art’ for that, but what was it really like inside?<< Steve, if you were in NYC for 5 days with your daughter would you take her to the DEA museum? Dave

  • KC

    I can’t blame anyone for not see a problem with 10K being the amount you must be carrying to be seen as “suspect”. HOWEVER 10K IS NOT THE AMOUNT you must have on you to have it seized.

    Doing some research thru I think I understand the reasons for the confusion. (Sorry Dave that’s what I should have done before mentioning it)

    As part of the law passed in 1984 agencies public and private are required to REPORT cash transactions of over 10K.

    HOWEVER—under the same law local law enforcement can immediately confiscate any amount deemed by them to be suspious. Dave’s examples are good reasons people might carry cash, but also there are legal citizen of the U.S. who refuse to use banks and fear ATMs especially those who don’t make much money. They may have $600 in their pocket because it’s a l l they have to their name.

    Local Law enforcement then splits this “suspected” money with the DEA. This gives both agencies a darn good reason to develope a suspious nature.

    Example: 1993 Pittsburg Press reported that a grocery store in Detroit was raided by local drug enforcement. They found no drugs on the property, but still confiscated $4,384 from the cash register. Their reason was that the drug dogs had expressed “an interest” in that area of the store.

    In the cases of these smaller confiscations the mark, excuse me, I mean the person holding the cash will probably not go to court to get it back.
    It doesn’t result in a record of conviction for them, and by the time court fees are added they may owe more than they’d get back.

    Another possible point of confusion is the law itself which states:

    “Whoever, in any of the circumstances set forth in subsection (d), knowingly engages or attempts to engage in a monetary transaction in criminally derived property of a value greater than $10,000 and is derived from specified unlawful activity, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b)”

    http://www4.law.cornell.edu article:/usc_sec_18_00001957-

    The way to get around that is also in the same code:

    f,2: “the term criminally derived property means any property constituting, or derived from, proceeds obtained from a criminal offense” same link & article.

    IOW the “any” means—You’re innocent until proven guilty, but your money (any amount of money or property) is guilty until you prove (thru a costly process) you got it honestly.

    I doubt that info. is at the museum so, again confusion is understandable.

    sorry this long, but that one point is sort of important.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Steve, if you were in NYC for 5 days with your daughter would you take her to the DEA museum?

    maybe for the salt and pepper shakers in the gift shop.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Great stuff, KC. Sort of kicks my original comments up a notch.

    >>As part of the law passed in 1984 agencies public and private are required to REPORT cash transactions of over 10K. << According to my bank the cutoff for reporting has been lowered to $5K. Not sure when. Dave

  • HW Saxton

    I think that $10,000 is also the amount
    of money you can win gambling before you
    have to declare it and pay taxes on it.
    You can win $9,999 and you’re clean (and
    also lucky)but,if it’s $10,000 then you
    have to claim it.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Dunno about that, HW. I think any amount of gambling winnings has to be declared. There’s even a place for it on one of the forms as I recall.

    Dave

  • paedwin

    Dave,

    This is only part of the DEA thuggery story at taxpayers’ expense. Most DEA agents are dishonest, fabricate evidence against their victims, and lie under oath in court.

    I have sent a link to your blog to our list/serv of pain patients and doctors:

    Pain_Soc_Pol-PrnList.org mailing list
    Pain_Soc_Pol-PrnList.org@prnlist.org
    http://lists.prnlist.org/listinfo.cgi/pain_soc_pol-prnlist.org

    Homepage of PRN is a non-profit seeking to end law enforcement regulation of medical practice.
    http://www.painreliefnetwork.org/default.asp?id=50&mnu=50 – 9k – Cached – Similar pages

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    I thought it was 599 dollars was okay to win in a lottery or while gambling, but 600 dollars required filling out tax forms…

  • sammy

    This is all so classic. Both Moe and Nalle touch upon the basics very well. Pursuant to a drug arrest, the feds can seize up to $1,000 cash. Houses, cars, jewelry, etc can and should also be seized if the arrestee admits to purchasing those items with drug proceeds. Suspicious looking people at airports and train stations are often approached by law enforcement and agree to searches of their person and baggage. When money is found, many times people deny actually owning the money on their person (they are scared and know they won’t go to jail if they just say the money isn’t theirs). “If it ain’t yours then its mine,” money seized. Other times, they cannot account for it and most of the time we’re not talking about a measly $10K. Many times, drug dogs are brought on to sniff the currency and will usually positively alert for the presence of narcotics (probably residual). Probable cause enhanced, good luck trying to say you were going to buy cattle with that. More often than not, its DEA seizing money and sharing it with local law enforcement agencies.

    Now regarding paedwin’s comments…I take it you speak from experience or personal knowledge about the approximately 4,000 DEA Agents of which “most” are dishonest, fabricate evidence against their victims, and lie under oath? You obviously watch too many movies and have no idea about the judicial process or a court proceeding. Lets also get it straight that defendants are not victims you idiot. Society, the populace, and children to name a few, are the victims to drug trafficking and violence brought on by drugs.

    Next time I’m in NYC, I’ll be sure to check out the DEA Museum…should be one in every major city.

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    Society, the populace and children (to name just a few) are the victims of prohibition and the violence brought on by the black market it created and continues to support.

    And with all of that free money floating around out there, corruption comes as no surprise.

    Some law enforcement officers who have experienced the injustices and futility of our so-called “drug war” firsthand share their stories over at LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

    There was nothing noble about the “Noble Experiment” when it was conducted between 1919 and 1933 and there is even less nobility in its modern incarnation.

    Sure, the sets, props, costumes and background score have all been updated, but that characters and plot are exactly the same.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>Many times, drug dogs are brought on to sniff the currency and will usually positively alert for the presence of narcotics (probably residual).< < Which works out great for the DEA since virtually every circulated bill in the US has drug residue on it. >> Probable cause enhanced, good luck trying to say you were going to buy cattle with that. < < Right, even if it's true you're automatically screwed. >>More often than not, its DEA seizing money and sharing it with local law enforcement agencies. << So it’s an incentive for them to lie and cheat. Great system. Reminds me of the fugitive slave law which paid judges $10 to find a runaway was a slave and only $5 if they found he was a free man. Bad laws don’t help our country, and they don’t help fight drugs. They just lead to corruption and abuse. Dave

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    Mr Nalle sez…
    *Bad laws don’t help our country, and they don’t help fight drugs. They just lead to corruption and abuse.*

    and i say…
    well said and dead nuts on, Mr Nalle

    quite telling that Mr Nalle, Margaret and your humble Narrator all perfectly agree on this Issue

    scary , ain’t it?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    “Which works out great for the DEA since virtually every circulated bill in the US has drug residue on it.”

    Which ought to tell us something about just how expansive the regulation-free, tax-free underground economy really is.

    gonzo, it might be scary, but it is hardly surprising as prohibition has never been an issue of partisanship, but rather of common sense — and no political persuasion has ever managed to corner the market in that particular commodity.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    There do seem to be certain political sub-groups which operate almost entirely without common sense, though, Margaret.

    Dave

  • sammy

    “So it’s an incentive for them to lie and cheat. Great system. Reminds me of the fugitive slave law which paid judges $10 to find a runaway was a slave and only $5 if they found he was a free man.

    Bad laws don’t help our country, and they don’t help fight drugs. They just lead to corruption and abuse.”

    First of all, its not a law to share that seized money. Its probably some policy or agreement. Regardless, that doesn’t create an incentive to lie and cheat. You are reaching there. Second of all, one does not fight drugs…cops fight drug pushers, traffickers, felons, and all around low lifes plaguing our society.

    Margaret, do you think ending the “prohibition” on drugs will solve the problems? Do you think all of these criminals will just close up shop and go find legitimate employment? Moreover, should we release all of them from jail b/c incarcerating them for drug offenses (who cares if the offenses were non-violent) was so wrong? Nevermind the guns they were carrying of the history of violence, rape, assault…its all “prohibition’s” fault I’m sure.

    What world do you live in? Oh wait, let me guess, you live in a world where police are corrupt and dishonest and drug criminals shouldn’t be in jail b/c “prohibition” doesn’t “win the drug war.”

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>What world do you live in? Oh wait, let me guess, you live in a world where police are corrupt and dishonest and drug criminals shouldn’t be in jail b/c “prohibition” doesn’t “win the drug war.”
    << That world you describe sounds pretty much like the real one. Which world do you live in? I have no problem with keeping dangerous drug dealers in jail. My issue is with jailing people for possesion who could be handled more economically and more effectively with treatment programs or just by being left alone to destroy their lives as they see fit. But if you prefer a police state with the highest rate of incarceration in the western world … well, in that case, please find some other country to destroy. Dave

  • sammy

    “That world you describe sounds pretty much like the real one. Which world do you live in?”

    I live in a world where the vast majority of law enforcement officers are putting their lives on the line every single day to keep our country safe for a bunch of ingrates like yourself. Are there a few corrupt cops? Of course. Is it enough to taint the whole profession? NO.

    “I have no problem with keeping dangerous drug dealers in jail. My issue is with jailing people for possesion who could be handled more economically and more effectively with treatment programs or just by being left alone to destroy their lives as they see fit.”

    You are lumping users and traffickers into the same category. And you are lumping simple possession and possession with intent to distribute into the same category. You don’t “treat” someone who gets arrested driving on the interstate with 100 lbs of marijuana for example. Are you gonna lump marijuana into the same category as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, ecstasy, ketamine, etc? Or are you just talking about letting potheads smoke their brains away? And what makes you think someone in possession of drugs isn’t a dangerous drug dealer?

    “But if you prefer a police state with the highest rate of incarceration in the western world … well, in that case, please find some other country to destroy.”

    What you call destruction, I call safety. But in reality, our country is already destroyed buddy. We have open borders in case you didn’t notice. Along with the people escaping oppression that come to our country (few) we take in every low life and terrorist (excuse me, I’m sure you think all those middle-easterners are really just tourists visiting USA) that has enough means to get here. But I digress, the reason we have the highest rate of incarceration is b/c our penalties aren’t stiff enough and most people in jail are repeat offenders. First time offenders are slapped on the wrist and end up right back in the slammer b/c the first punishment was never harsh enough to deter them from continuing their criminal behavior.

    Have you ever visited a jail? Been in the ghetto? Walked through a street where rampant drug dealing is taking place? Ever been mugged?

  • Name Withheld

    As a DEA agent, all I can say, is with the exception of a few of you, you all appear to be very ignorant about DEA policies, DEA operations, Federal drug and forfeiture laws and law enforcement in general. Do everybody a favor and educate yourselves appropriately before you start spouting inane and blatantly false and misleading information about the DEA and law enforcement. I take it very personally that one of you would accuse me, whom you don’t even know, of lying under oath in court. All of my testimony has always been truthful, and the people that are sitting in jail because of my work are there because they are dangerous felons with a disrespect for law, order and society, not because I lied on the stand. Also, the last I checked, I am so busy arresting major traffickers who torture and kill people for fun that I really don’t have the time to concern myself with people taking OxyContin for intractable cancer pain, which just to help with your education, is still legal. Geez people, get a life.

  • HW Saxton

    Sammy,The so called war on drugs is a
    lost cause. It’s a trip down a rabbit
    hole.Throwing money into the wind even.
    How long has it been going on? And just
    what has it accomplished in this time?
    NOTHING AT ALL,nothing at all.Drugs are
    much more plentiful than ever.The purity
    levels are up,cost is down and street
    availability is at an all time high. So
    ya really think the war is working huh?

    Despite what you think,legalization will
    take the profitability out of sales and
    dealers will have to turn elsewhere for
    something to make money at,like maybe to
    the construction of museums for crooked
    government thugs like the D.E.A.

    Then they can overcharge the government
    on supplies, pad the books with phantom
    employees,use illegal labor,pay off the
    building & code inspectors, OSHA and all
    the rest. You know, make money the good
    honest & old fashioned Amerikkkan way.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Sammy:

    >>I live in a world where the vast majority of law enforcement officers are putting their lives on the line every single day to keep our country safe for a bunch of ingrates like yourself. Are there a few corrupt cops? Of course. Is it enough to taint the whole profession? NO. < < I'm not talking about corrupt cops. The vast majority of law enforcement officers do a great job and should be applauded. What I'm concerned about is institutional corruption, where police departments become dependant on drug seizure money to survive in the same way some depend on speeding ticket money to survive. When tiny border towns in Texas have huge new state of the art police stations and twice the cops they actually need, all because of drug seizure money, that is inherently corrupting. The interest of the police department as an institution is in keeping itself profitable by seizing more drugs. That's a bad environment to enforce law fairly in. >>You are lumping users and traffickers into the same category. < < No, that's what arbitrary laws which criminalize any amount of drugs and consider it possession just to have the drugs on your property, do. I want to differentiate users and traffickers. >>And you are lumping simple possession and possession with intent to distribute into the same category. < < No, again, that's what the current system of drug enforcement is doing. I want to separate the two groups. >>You don’t “treat” someone who gets arrested driving on the interstate with 100 lbs of marijuana for example. Are you gonna lump marijuana into the same category as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, ecstasy, ketamine, etc? Or are you just talking about letting potheads smoke their brains away? And what makes you think someone in possession of drugs isn’t a dangerous drug dealer? < < You really ought to read what peopel write before you respond to it. I'm suggesting treatment or leniency for users and legal punishment for traffickers, and I don't think home-growers of marijuana should necessarily be treated as traffickers. >>What you call destruction, I call safety.< < The danger of the drug business comes because of prohibition. Legalize drugs and the danger level drops enormously. >> But in reality, our country is already destroyed buddy. We have open borders in case you didn’t notice. Along with the people escaping oppression that come to our country (few) we take in every low life and terrorist (excuse me, I’m sure you think all those middle-easterners are really just tourists visiting USA) that has enough means to get here. < < That's an entirely different issue, but I don't disagree with you. I'm more concerned about Salvadoran street gangs than middle easterners, but something does need to be done about the borders. >>But I digress, the reason we have the highest rate of incarceration is b/c our penalties aren’t stiff enough and most people in jail are repeat offenders. < < No, it's because we're jailing enormous numbers of casual drug users who should never have been jailed. >>Have you ever visited a jail? < < Yes. >>Been in the ghetto? < < Many, many times. >>Walked through a street where rampant drug dealing is taking place?< < Yep, in more different cities than I can count. >> Ever been mugged?<< Happily not. I have had my pocket picked, but that was when I was a teenager. I’m big and scary now, which may discourage muggers. However, all of these urban problems are the result of the high price of drugs, the illegal nature of the traffic, and the degradation and criminality forced on drug users. Take that away, get them treatment and a lot of the problems clear up. Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>As a DEA agent, all I can say, is with the exception of a few of you, you all appear to be very ignorant about DEA policies, DEA operations, Federal drug and forfeiture laws and law enforcement in general.< < Thanks for joining us, unkown DEA person. Sadly we can't all be fully informed on the day to day workings of the DEA. All we have to go on are the stories we read in the news about property being seized without due process, cripled polio sufferers being held at gunpoint and AIDS victims handcuffed and dragged off to jail. >>Do everybody a favor and educate yourselves appropriately before you start spouting inane and blatantly false and misleading information about the DEA and law enforcement.< < Perhaps you could reassure us that the DEA has never seized someone's house because of drugs left their by a relative without their knowledge. Perhaps you could explain to me how tiny terminally-ill Angel Raich was not dragged off in handcuffs for having a tiny amount of marijuana. Or tell me again that April Monson - cripled by polio - didn't wake up from her bed to find DEA agents with guns surrounding her. Or maybe you can enlighten me on the recent case of Pierre Warner and the seizure and destruction of his marijuana plants which will result in his likely insanity and hospitalization as happened the last time he was arrested. >>I take it very personally that one of you would accuse me, whom you don’t even know, of lying under oath in court.< < Not sure who said that bit. Wasn't me. I have no problem with individual DEA agents, just with agency policy. >> All of my testimony has always been truthful, and the people that are sitting in jail because of my work are there because they are dangerous felons with a disrespect for law, order and society, not because I lied on the stand. < < Dangerous felons like Angel Raich? People with terminal brain tumors and a few ounces of pot? Woo, they scare me. >>Also, the last I checked, I am so busy arresting major traffickers who torture and kill people for fun that I really don’t have the time to concern myself with people taking OxyContin for intractable cancer pain, which just to help with your education, is still legal. << Well, based on the many documented cases, you may not have the time for it, but others in the DEA do. Perhaps you’re not familiar enough with other departments within the organization. Dave

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    Margaret, do you think ending the “prohibition” on drugs will solve the problems?

    Yes, I do. Many of our so-called drug problems are actually prohibition problems. Sure, there are addicts and abusers, there will always be people who are immoderate, but the crime, the violence and the corruption are all by-products of drug prohibition, not the drugs themselves.

    Do you think all of these criminals will just close up shop and go find legitimate employment?

    They will have no choice because regulation and taxation will force them out of business. The end of prohibition means the end of the artificial price supports it provides for the black market.

    What world do you live in? Oh wait, let me guess, you live in a world where police are corrupt and dishonest and drug criminals shouldn’t be in jail b/c “prohibition” doesn’t “win the drug war.”

    I live in a world in which an underground business worth $100 billion annually in the US alone continues to thrive in spite of all efforts to interdict it.

    I live in a world in which the profiteers of that business see interdiction as one small line item in their loss columns, mere spillage.

    And I live in a world in which the “war” on drugs causes far more damage to society than the drugs it tries so unsuccessfully to eradicate.

    The laws of supply and demand are laws of nature, not man. Therefore, prohibition makes as much sense as legislation against earthquakes and tornadoes.

  • sammy

    “I’m not talking about corrupt cops. The vast majority of law enforcement officers do a great job and should be applauded. What I’m concerned about is institutional corruption, where police departments become dependant on drug seizure money to survive in the same way some depend on speeding ticket money to survive. When tiny border towns in Texas have huge new state of the art police stations and twice the cops they actually need, all because of drug seizure money, that is inherently corrupting. The interest of the police department as an institution is in keeping itself profitable by seizing more drugs. That’s a bad environment to enforce law fairly in.”

    There are never enough cops. What is that border Texas town you’re talking about? Sounds like a great place. Institutional corruption? Police Departments have budgets, they will survive regardless of how much money they seize. Seizure money is a bonus…couple of new patrol cars, some tech equipment, etc. There is no interest in Police Departments “keeping themselves profitable”…they aren’t businesses…where’d you come up with that? And seizing drugs doesn’t translate into more “profits.”

    “No, that’s what arbitrary laws which criminalize any amount of drugs and consider it possession just to have the drugs on your property, do. I want to differentiate users and traffickers.”

    Criminalize drugs? It is possession to have drugs on your property, and if its enough drugs it would be possession with intent to distribute. Two different charges, the charges are differentiated during a drug arrest and specified during a booking procedure. The two charges are separated.

    “You really ought to read what peopel write before you respond to it. I’m suggesting treatment or leniency for users and legal punishment for traffickers, and I don’t think home-growers of marijuana should necessarily be treated as traffickers.”

    I read what people here write and it is clearly obvious that none of you have any first hand experience or personal knowledge of what you are talking about (with the exception of the DEA Agent of course).

    “No, it’s because we’re jailing enormous numbers of casual drug users who should never have been jailed.”

    I seriously doubt the DEA is wasting their time with pathetic casual drug users. I can see local cops arresting the typical loser walking down the street smoking a joint but cops don’t go serving search warrants to arrest someone for a joint. And you can’t seize property just because drugs were found there. Unless of course the amount of drugs was significant, the owner of the property was in possession of the drugs and admitted or it was proven that the property was purchased with drug proceeds. Which case we’re talking about a significant trafficker and not a “casual user.”

    “However, all of these urban problems are the result of the high price of drugs, the illegal nature of the traffic, and the degradation and criminality forced on drug users. Take that away, get them treatment and a lot of the problems clear up.”

    Nice theory. How is Peter Pan doing? Do you spend much time with him in Fantasy Land? Criminality is not forced on people. Committing a crime is a choice. User amounts of drugs cost peanuts. The high price of drugs you refer to can’t be that dime bag of weed or 8 ball of coke…the price jumps up when you start talking pound/kilo quantities…distributable amounts. What makes you think these vast amounts of people crowding our jails for having a joint in their pocket want treatment anyways?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I must say it’s interesting to encounter someone like Sammy who actually supports the War on Drugs. Virtually no one I run into seems to be in that camp, so it’s an interesting different opinion to encounter.

    >>There are never enough cops. What is that border Texas town you’re talking about? < < Actually, there are several both on the border and farther away but on major drug transport corridors. >>Sounds like a great place. Institutional corruption? Police Departments have budgets, they will survive regardless of how much money they seize. Seizure money is a bonus…couple of new patrol cars, some tech equipment, etc. There is no interest in Police Departments “keeping themselves profitable”…they aren’t businesses…where’d you come up with that? And seizing drugs doesn’t translate into more “profits.” < < You aren't really this naive, are you? A police chief who can beef up his department with more men and equipment will get a higher salary and be taken more seriously, get respect from his peers and profit in almost every conceivable way. Police NEED crime to justify new gadgets, more employees and better facilities. The War on Drugs facilitates the unnecessary growth of police departments and their hunger for more power and influence. It's like a disease. >>Criminalize drugs? It is possession to have drugs on your property,< < Yes it is, even if someone throws them over your fence or leaves them in your house without your knowledge - you're still considered to be in possession. >> and if its enough drugs it would be possession with intent to distribute.< < Regardless of whether that's your actual intention or not, and regardless of whether the distribution is for profit or just to help out sick people. >> Two different charges, the charges are differentiated during a drug arrest and specified during a booking procedure. The two charges are separated. < < And both can be based on very questionable and subjective criteria. >>I read what people here write and it is clearly obvious that none of you have any first hand experience or personal knowledge of what you are talking about (with the exception of the DEA Agent of course). < < And it's abundantly clear that you're coming from a perspective of absolute ignorance about how these draconian drug laws are actually being used to destroy peoples lives. >>I seriously doubt the DEA is wasting their time with pathetic casual drug users.< < They're going after medical marijuana users, that's essentially the same thing - even worse, really. >> I can see local cops arresting the typical loser walking down the street smoking a joint but cops don’t go serving search warrants to arrest someone for a joint. And you can’t seize property just because drugs were found there. Unless of course the amount of drugs was significant, the owner of the property was in possession of the drugs and admitted or it was proven that the property was purchased with drug proceeds. Which case we’re talking about a significant trafficker and not a “casual user.” < < All of this is untrue under current forfeiture law. What you describe is how things were in the 1980s, but with the growth of the War on Drugs the actual practices of the DEA have become much more flexible in their interpretation of what possession and trafficking mean. >>Nice theory. How is Peter Pan doing? Do you spend much time with him in Fantasy Land? < < I wouldn't know. I live in the real world where drug crime has filled our jails to overflow capacity. >>Criminality is not forced on people.< < Making actions which harm no one but the participant into crimes forces people to become crminals. >> Committing a crime is a choice. User amounts of drugs cost peanuts. < < Assuming you only buy drugs as you use them and don't stock up or want to be safe from dealing with pushers or repeatedly exposed to possible arrest. And your definition of peanuts and mine may be somewhat different. From what I've read an ounce of marijuana costs a minimum of $100 and usually more, depending on the quality. That's not peanuts for most people. >>What makes you think these vast amounts of people crowding our jails for having a joint in their pocket want treatment anyways? << If they don’t want treatment, then let them use the drugs in peace. Just keep them out of the jails. Here in Texas they are releasing child molestors and murderers early because of overcrowding which is caused by the huge number of non-violent drug offenders who are incarderated. Something has to be done and legalization/decriminalization is the obvious answer. Dave

  • sammy

    HW Saxton wrote:

    “Sammy,The so called war on drugs is a
    lost cause. It’s a trip down a rabbit
    hole.Throwing money into the wind even.
    How long has it been going on? And just
    what has it accomplished in this time?
    NOTHING AT ALL,nothing at all.Drugs are
    much more plentiful than ever.The purity
    levels are up,cost is down and street
    availability is at an all time high. So
    ya really think the war is working huh?”

    It should never have been called a war much less a war on drugs. That was just a catch phrase by politicians. This “war” will never end and that is why it is popular to call it a failure or loss. I think it is a good cause. Drugs are more plentiful b/c more are being produced. Unstable governments in South America controlled by drug traffickers and meth labs popping up all over the United States (I can see Margaret now, “legalize meth and we can regulate it!!!” HAHAHAHAHA) factor into that wouldn’t you say? Drugs are also more plentiful b/c NAFTA weakened our borders and it is easier to get the large quantities across. Despite what you all think, its not just the casual user going to jail for drug possession. Most serious felons have drug arrests on their rap sheets, is it a waste for the DEA “thugs” to put those people in jail? And don’t give me the whole criminalization of drugs is why Johnny Gangbanger is a bad guy.

    “Despite what you think,legalization will
    take the profitability out of sales and
    dealers will have to turn elsewhere for
    something to make money at,like maybe to
    the construction of museums for crooked
    government thugs like the D.E.A.”

    That seems to be an economic debate or theory, one in which I do not have the background to discuss with much knowledge. However it is simply a theory and comparing the legalization of drugs to alcohol does not fly in this day and age. But for starters, who is going to produce the drugs in your legalization world? Will we have coca and opium fields here in the US? How about meth labs? Maybe Viagra can open a meth wing and dole out blue pills with crystal shards. Who will distribute your legalized cocaine and heroin? A pharmacist? Or should it just be sold next to the Bud Light?

  • sammy

    “I must say it’s interesting to encounter someone like Sammy who actually supports the War on Drugs. Virtually no one I run into seems to be in that camp, so it’s an interesting different opinion to encounter.”

    I support the DEA and law enforcement doing their jobs. Drugs should be illegal. You want to talk strictly about marijuana, that is something else. However, nobody here has differentiated between the drugs.

    “You aren’t really this naive, are you? A police chief who can beef up his department with more men and equipment will get a higher salary and be taken more seriously, get respect from his peers and profit in almost every conceivable way. Police NEED crime to justify new gadgets, more employees and better facilities. The War on Drugs facilitates the unnecessary growth of police departments and their hunger for more power and influence. It’s like a disease.”

    You should write for Hollywood. The Police Department throwing weed onto unsuspecting peoples back yards and then going and arresting them to pad their stats and get the Chief a huge bonus. But then this “disease” spreads all throughout the US and all police departments follow suit. The jails are overcrowded with June and Ward Cleavers for being in possession of grass…the only solution is to release all of the death row inmates on all the maximum security prisons to make room. I think Bruckheimer would be perfect to produce…

    “Yes it is, even if someone throws them over your fence or leaves them in your house without your knowledge – you’re still considered to be in possession.”

    Happens all the time. I can see it now, DEA thug chasing Scarface down an alley…Scarface throws a kilo of coke into the Cunningham’s backyard. DEA thug stops chase to arrest the Cunninghams for having the kilo of coke…Scarface lives to fight another day.

    “And it’s abundantly clear that you’re coming from a perspective of absolute ignorance about how these draconian drug laws are actually being used to destroy peoples lives.”

    The laws aren’t being used to destroy peoples lives. Well maybe they are…how do the DEA thugs sleep at night when thinking about that poor gangbanger who got his life ruined for slangin rock in da hood…

    “They’re going after medical marijuana users, that’s essentially the same thing – even worse, really.”

    Yeah medical marijuana users, thats all they do…how many Colombian traffickers, members of the FARC, have been indicted or extradited to the US in the past few years? But, medical marijuana, yeah…I’m sure Woody Harrelson needs pot on a daily basis to survive. Regardless, regarding medical marijuana, its simply a power struggle (fed law vs state law) more than anything. Most DEA Agents could care less about the sickly person who alleges to need marijuana to live. However, going after the people growing that marijuana is a different story.

    “All of this is untrue under current forfeiture law. What you describe is how things were in the 1980s, but with the growth of the War on Drugs the actual practices of the DEA have become much more flexible in their interpretation of what possession and trafficking mean.”

    It is not untrue under current forfeiture law. You can’t seize property as easily as you claim. Committing a crime is a choice. Twist words all you want.

    “Here in Texas they are releasing child molestors and murderers early because of overcrowding which is caused by the huge number of non-violent drug offenders who are incarderated. Something has to be done and legalization/decriminalization is the obvious answer.”

    Shame on Texas then. Build more jails. Lots of desert over there I hear. Jobs created too…more Sheriff Deputies…more license plates made…
    Anyways, jails aren’t filled with Mr. Jones from Suburbia who got arrested for the bag o weed in his dresser…thats just an argument used by all those people that want to smoke pot and listen to the Grateful Dead for the rest of their lives.

  • HW Saxton

    Sammy,
    Drug use per se,is NOT a CRIME.It is an
    admittedly very bad moral choice,that so
    many people choose to indulge in that
    you are never EVER going to be able to
    stop it. Those that want and need help
    (and there are many)should be able to
    get it. To those who want to do it and
    won’t stop,legal drugs are an option and
    that should be soon considered instead
    of just sending them to prison. Prisons
    are overcrowded as it is, the judiciary
    is overwhelmed and jailing users and
    addicts solves NOTHING at all.If legal,
    then dealers and smugglers are out of
    business largely.But then so is the DEA
    and creeps like Walters. And the prison
    industry (largely privatized these days
    and doing HUGE business) takes a major
    hit financially as well. As the prisons
    are full of drug cases(mostly minor ones
    at that),then where is the profit in the
    ending of the drug war? It is much more
    profitable for the Govt. to fight a war
    they cannot win(and knows it)than it is
    to deal sensibly with the problem,that
    is the legalization(where it is logical)
    and spending more money on hospitals &
    health care(both Mental & Physical)for
    addicts,educational availability (I do
    personally think that many of the young
    dealers,users and the like if given the
    chance to educate themselves would take
    this route over dealing any day)and so
    on.But the bottom line is that it is not
    profitable to try and stop the war on
    drugs. Put the money from the so called
    “WAR” on drugs into education and make
    it available for those who want and need
    it and who are without the resources to
    make it available to them.

    In countries like Holland and in the UK
    that provide drug addicts with a source
    for drugs (Methadone clinics and State
    supplied legal Heroin)in many cases they
    have proved that you can cut back on the
    crime caused by street level users quite
    significantly. You can’t police morals.
    Which is what our failed war on drugs is
    attempting to do.If drugs are legal AND
    taxed AND controlled by the Govt. where
    is the steet dealer going to be able to
    profit? He’s not. I have all the respect
    in the world for law enforcement people
    and I think that they could be better
    utilized fighting real crime as opposed
    to the so called drug war.Many of them
    do to from many articles I’ve read on
    the subject.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Throw ’em in the slammer Sammy said:

    >>I support the DEA and law enforcement doing their jobs. Drugs should be illegal. You want to talk strictly about marijuana, that is something else. However, nobody here has differentiated between the drugs. < < Let's see. Cigarettes and Alcohol are more dangerous than Marijuana and Alcohol is likely as bad as or worse than heroin. Shall we make them illegal? Let's really create a great world for organized crime. >>You should write for Hollywood. The Police Department throwing weed onto unsuspecting peoples back yards and then going and arresting them to pad their stats and get the Chief a huge bonus.< < This isn't actually what I said. But people HAVE been arrested for possession for drugs put on their property by others which they were unaware of. >>Happens all the time. I can see it now, DEA thug chasing Scarface down an alley…Scarface throws a kilo of coke into the Cunningham’s backyard. DEA thug stops chase to arrest the Cunninghams for having the kilo of coke…Scarface lives to fight another day. < < This is hardly the scenario I described. More likely it's a relative hiding drugs on the property of grandma and when she can't or won't ID the felon she takes the rap. >>The laws aren’t being used to destroy peoples lives. Well maybe they are…how do the DEA thugs sleep at night when thinking about that poor gangbanger who got his life ruined for slangin rock in da hood…< < It's not the gangbanger I'm worried about, it's the harmless drug users who are victims of their own addiction and the people who are using medical marijuana or using other relatively harmless drugs recreationally. They may not be ward and june cleaver, but they don't deserve to be locked up either. >>Yeah medical marijuana users, thats all they do…< < No, it's not ALL they do, but it's part of what they do. >>how many Colombian traffickers, members of the FARC, have been indicted or extradited to the US in the past few years? But, medical marijuana, yeah…I’m sure Woody Harrelson needs pot on a daily basis to survive.< < I'd need it if i was as irritating as he is and had to live with myself. >> Regardless, regarding medical marijuana, its simply a power struggle (fed law vs state law) more than anything. Most DEA Agents could care less about the sickly person who alleges to need marijuana to live. < < Yes, clearly they don't care, as they break down their doors and point guns at them. >>However, going after the people growing that marijuana is a different story.< < Yes, it's a waste of time and money and does no one any good. >>It is not untrue under current forfeiture law. You can’t seize property as easily as you claim. < < Then why is it being done so aggressively. It shouldn't be legal, but they get away with it. >>Shame on Texas then. Build more jails.< < You don't seem to get it. Throwing harmless people in jail doesn't solve problems, it just makes more - including vast, unnecessary expense for the taxpayers. >> Lots of desert over there I hear.< < Actually, there's no actual desert in Texas. >> Jobs created too…more Sheriff Deputies…more license plates made…< < You really are a simpleton, aren't you. More people in jail is NOT a good thing. >>Anyways, jails aren’t filled with Mr. Jones from Suburbia who got arrested for the bag o weed in his dresser…thats just an argument used by all those people that want to smoke pot and listen to the Grateful Dead for the rest of their lives. << Like hell they aren’t. Come down to Williamson County with a bag of weed sometime and see how much you like what happens to you. Dave

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    sammy, these drugs are plentiful because there is a demand for them and as long as there is a demand for something, there will be suppliers. It is as simple as that.

    Interdiction is relevant only as a business expense, its just part of the risk and risk, just like capital, profit and loss, is an essential part of doing any sort of business, legal or not.

    Methamphetamine, in its current “homemade” incarnation — like bathtub gin in the 1920s and crack cocaine in the 1980s — is a by-product of the drug war, a black market paradigm created to supply a particular generic demand efficiently at a price that certain market segments will bear.

    Business is business, regulated or not. And profits are profits, taxed or not.

    I wonder how prohibitionists feel about this underground economy which moves $100 billion per year in the US alone (the world market is worth about $500 billion and the US contains only 5% of the world’s population, how do you like that arithmetic?), unchecked by regulations, restrictions or taxes.

    I wonder if prohibitionists realize that the manufacturers, distributors, traffickers and dealers think of interdiction as nothing more than a low to moderate risk, a mere business expense.

    I wonder if prohibitionists realize that, even with its current $20 some-odd billion annual budget, our drug war arsenal and army are still seriously underfunded, outnumbered and out gunned by this large, de-centralized conglomerate.

    I wonder if prohibitionists realize that when these drug criminals are arrested that their replacements will have already set up shop and made a profit before the DEA and other law enforcement are finished patting themselves on the back and posing in front of their hauls for the media.

    Think about the logic, or lack thereof, of this policy you support. Take time to study that brief period in our nation’s history when we conducted that “Noble Experiment” (1919-1933) from which we should have learned the lessons of the unintended consequences of authoritarianism.

  • methuselah

    “…people that want to smoke pot and listen to the Grateful Dead for the rest of their lives.”

    Nothing wrong with that, is there? And I, personally, indulge neither.

    Would it be better if a person drank Bandol and listened to Dawn Upshaw for the rest of their lives?

  • Didymus

    To the anonymous DEA Agent. I came across this website while looking up info.I have been taking care of my sick mother(who is going blind from Glaucoma, and would never smoke pot to treat it even if it means she will go blind) In Florida for the past few months. I returned home a couple weeks ago and found about a dozen pot plants growing in my back yard(about 2 feet high) I immediately destroyed them with the lawn mower. What would have happened to me if you had found them? Would I have lost my home, been put in jail? What would happen to my kids(single parent)? Do you care?

  • pure silliness

    I love it. The question if Prohibition ended, do your really think we’d see an end to the violence?
    Of course, it’s already been proven by history when Alcohol Prohibition ended. No more bathtub gin or tommy gun massacres killing people or criminal elements wielding power (well maybe BATFE). If someone wants a fifth or a six pack they go to the store, the state gets the excise and sales tax and everyone is happy.

  • AJ

    Of course the drug dogs will alert on currency; 90% of US bills test positive for cocaine. Sounds like a convenient excuse to steal a Christmas bonus for your squad without earning it like the rest of the country. Defendants aren’t victims?? Neither are DEA agents cuz they smuggled cocaine into our home during the 80s, and they hide behind a badge instead of facing justice.