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Friday, November 23, 2012

What the Pot Legalization Victories Mean for the Pro-Freedom Agenda | Bastiat Institute

"From a basic consistency standpoint, it’s bizarre that Republicans would advocate returning abortion to the states, which would be the effect of overturning Roe v. Wade, yet insist that the federal government wantonly overturn the will of the people in those states that allow either medical marijuana or the recreational use of a substance that is demonstrably less harmful than the alcoholic beverages one can buy in any grocery store. It’s not about weed, but about consistency. States’ rights means states’ rights, not states’ rights when we agree with the policies independent states embrace. The GOP’s rigidity only reinforces the cartoonish Democratic narrative that the party is beholden to religious moralists of the type who want to re-impose slavery and Prohibition. It also lets the Democrats get away with their stupidity on the drug war."
Some conservatives, including former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado, endorsed legalization. Serious liberals have bucked the Democratic Party’s equally insane prosecution of the drug war, thus planting the seeds of a left-right pro-freedom coalition outside the confines of the two outdated national parties.
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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database

Key

Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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