Morning Links

Friday, February 25th, 2011
  • It’s still legal, for now, to grow your own tobacco in Brooklyn. What’s sad is that New York has imposed the phalanx of restrictions that make an article like this contemplatable. (Yes, I’m pretty sure I just made that word up.)
  • Jury nullification advocate is indicted in federal court for jury tampering. I have a feeling we’re going to be hearing much, much more about this case in the coming years.
  • Huge wave of pain clinic raids in Florida. Note that the USA Today couldn’t find room in a very long article to quote even one critic of these crackdowns.
  • In Esquire, a long profile of exoneree Ray Towler.
  • Why liberals should support eminent domain reform. This is a pretty important credibility issue for the left. We aren’t talking about public use, here. If you can’t bring yourself to support laws barring the government from taking land from poor people to give it to rich developers, it’s pretty darned clear that your priority isn’t protecting or advocating for the poor, it’s preserving government power. Or just opposing property rights because you don’t like the people who support them.

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62 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Andrew Roth | 

    Re: #8:

    Would you apply that laissez-faire standard to Independence Hall or the Gettysburg Battlefield if they were privately owned? I certainly wouldn’t.

  2. #2 |  Duncan20903 | 

    “Anyone who does not think there are externalities to drug use, gambling or any other ‘vice’ is kidding”

    Why don’t you explain a few of them, and then explain why you think that your statement applies to everyone who enjoys catching a buzz. I’ll betcha every one of your “externalization” involves volunteers, is directly caused by prohibition, or is something that you have no claim to, like the canard of “lost productivity”. You do not have an entitlement to the productivity of others.

    We really need look no farther than Switzerland that has practically eliminated the “externalizations” of heroin use by supplying it free to their junkies. The Swiss voted by better than 2-1 that they approve of the program.

    There are externalizations galore when the highly addictive, mind bending drug in question is drinking alcohol. But about 85% of drinking alcohol users don’t produce any externalizations. According to gubmint statistics only about 9% of potheads do so. When one realizes that not everyone who smokes pot or uses drinking alcohol or heroin (Jerry Garcia, Mick Jagger) causes a burden on society, one needs to answer the question, “Why is it OK for people who have caused no problems or committ

    Isn’t personal responsibility of paramount importance to a healthy society? It is wrong to punish someone who doesn’t own a car or have a drivers license for driving while impaired. But that’s what is happening when the argument for keeping pot illegal is because somebody might go out and do so. I can tell you right now that no one in my crowd would think about driving while impaired.

    Yes, we do have the resources to hire taxi cabs to take us where we want to go, or to rent hotel rooms to sleep it off. That makes it easier, but the reason I don’t drive while impaired is because I’m fond of being alive and able to walk from here to there on my own two legs.

  3. #3 |  MPH | 

    Mr. Roth @ 47: I recall hearing another one about Pennsylvania, and I think, New Jersey. PA trooper parked across the street from a NJ liquor store a short distance from the state border watching for PA license plates in the parking lot, and radioing PA officers back in PA to have them pulled over. Of course, people from PA saw the car, and passed by the store. The store owner called NJ police to complain that the PA car was having an impact on his business, and the PA police officers were arrested and the car impounded.

    Hopefully, PA residents near the border know their rights, and refuse to allow searches of their cars (entering PA is not probable cause for a search).

  4. #4 |  MassHole | 

    #51

    I don’t think Aresen was stating that EVERY user of alcohol/drugs creates externalities. You are quite correct that most people can and do use mind altering substances safely and responsibly. However, there is no question that those who cannot handle it do create externalities. The drunk who beats his wife, the junkie who steals to feed his habit, the meth-head that neglects their kids, etc. What I think we can all agree on is that these externalities are not created by the substance. They are created by bad personal decisions.

    All the laws in the land cannot save people from themselves. Taking away the freedom of responsible people because others can’t keep it together is wrong. Ingesting substances never creates a victim, but assault, theft, and child abuse do. These things are already illegal, because they create victims. Thus, until a drug/alcohol user creates a victim, then they should be able to pursue their intoxication as they please, without the interference of the man.

  5. #5 |  supercat | 

    #35 | ALowe | //So how do you try a man for informing juries of their right to nullify without informing the jury of it’s right to nullify?//

    Simple. Accuse the man of being a liar who made up phony citations, refuse to allow the defense to present any evidence that his historical citations are accurate, and claim that the reason the defense can’t present any historical evidence to back his citations is that there isn’t any. I wouldn’t lay odds against the prosecutor getting away with doing precisely that.

  6. #6 |  So how’s that jury box workin’ out? « Restore The Constitution | 

    […] ..and what was that old saying about the jury box and the ballot box?  (h/t – Agitator): […]

  7. #7 |  Duncan20903 | 

    re #48, heroin does not require injection. Perhaps you’ve never heard of “chasing the dragon”? Google it.

    Oxycodone doesn’t require injection, but there is a not insignificant number of users who prefer that delivery method.

    Why is it that people who aren’t aware of the basic facts of a subject feel compelled to post their opinions and subject themselves to being laughing stock by people who know better?

    Cannabis does not require smoking.
    Heroin does not require injecting.
    Powder cocaine doesn’t require intranasal delivery.
    etc, etc, etc.

  8. #8 |  Duncan20903 | 

    re: the drunk who beats his wife more than once is beating a voluntary victim.

    The junkie that steals to support his habit is an externalization of the idiotic prohibition laws. Drunks are just as much degenerate addicts as heroin users, but drunks can use a cardboard “will work for money or food” sign to supply their drug of addiction. Fortified wine costs about $3 a day to keep an extreme alcoholic happy.

    The meth head who neglects his children is no different that the alcoholic or the gambling “addict” that does so. This may be a singular exception to the rule that the so called “externalizations” are caused by drugs, but regardless, the same people may have neglected their children in a drug free world. I hear more often about grandma getting stuck with the grand children because of drug abuse than I hear about children getting neglected because of it. That says to me that the meth head know they can’t take care of the kids but arranges for it to be taken care of. Take 10% of the money squandered on the war on (some) drugs and put it into social services. Prosecute child neglect as a serious felony. The last count I saw was that there were 500,000 people who had used meth in the last 30 days. It is highly unlikely that there are 250,000 couple strung out on meth neglecting their children. Heck, I’ll bet dollars to dirt there aren’t even 10,000. Yes, I am asserting that both parents must be involved. Absent dad that doesn’t use meth is much more culpable for mom the meth head neglecting their children than mom herself.But even if we assume that one out of five is doing this, it leaves 4 out of 5 that aren’t, and that makes it wrong to arrest them on that basis. I’m 50, I’ve had a vasectomy and I’ve never had or wanted children, how in the hell could it be the right thing to do to lock me up for child neglect/abuse because others in my shoes do that?
    ————————————-
    “Would you apply that laissez-faire standard to Independence Hall or the Gettysburg Battlefield if they were privately owned? I certainly wouldn’t.”

    Do you really find it enjoyable beating the stuffing out of straw men?

    Historical buildings should be treasured memories. Take a picture before the bulldozer flattens them.

  9. #9 |  MilkeL | 

    Duncan,

    I was going to mention that diacetylmorphine or diamorphine better known as “heroin” was no different than the other opiates. Fact is, they all are about six times less potent when taken orally, but for a pain patient, like me, would be the cheapest med available for treatment if the government would take it off of the class one list and use it for what it should be! I fell and broke my back, last fall, developing cauda equina syndrome.

    I know how my pain should be treated. I used to be one of those guys that tried to be a pain doc and narc cop at the same time. It did not work out!

    But, I should have realized the DEA and politicians knew better how to treat pain than a surgeon!

  10. #10 |  albatross | 

    The pain clinic issue is mostly independent of the drug law issue, in much the same way the use of SWAT teams on drug raids is mostly independent of the issue of whether drugs should be illegal.

    Even if we keep the same set of drugs illegal as are today, we have to decide how to enforce those laws. That choice involves tradeoffs. One tradeoff is, how do we deal with chronic pain patients. Many chronic pain patients are probably, in practice, addicted to their painkillers. Some are simply faking the pain to get the painkillers. Some are selling the painkillers to make some extra money.

    And yet, neither police nor doctors nor courts can really distinguish all the different cases reliably. So at some point, we make a tradeoff–do we want it to be harder to get narcotics via claiming chronic pain, at the cost of having people who are in real, horrible pain going untreated? Or do we want fewer people in horrible untreated pain, at the cost of more people getting narcotics by acting like they’re in more pain than they’re really in.

    We don’t have the option of only stopping the fakers, because there’s no doctor in the world who can tell absolutely for sure whether a person is faking or not, and it’s sure as hell not possible for a policeman or judge to tell. All we can do is decide where we want to set the slider bar, between “more narcotics available” and “more people in unending, unbearable pain.”

  11. #11 |  Rob in CT | 

    “This is a pretty important credibility issue for the left. We aren’t talking about public use, here. If you can’t bring yourself to support laws barring the government from taking land from poor people to give it to rich developers, it’s pretty darned clear that your priority isn’t protecting or advocating for the poor, it’s preserving government power. Or just opposing property rights because you don’t like the people who support them.”

    Agreed. And yet, I can’t think of a single liberal/lefty friend or acquaintance who has been pro-ED. Perhaps that’s because the topic hasn’t come up in conversation. Or perhaps this represents a divide between rank ‘n file and leadership (the people who get elected and then get to use the power… mmm, delicious POWER).

  12. #12 |  FSK | 

    Julian Heicklen is getting a bench trial and not a jury trial. He’s only charged with a misdemeanor.

    That eliminates the irony of showing “jury nullification” pamphlets to a jury.