By on May 7, 2009

Illinois State Police troopers seized a high-performance muscle car and set it aside for the personal use of an influential police official. The Associated Press reported that a suspected drunk driver in a 2006 Dodge Charger SRT-8 was pulled over in January 2007. The troopers used a state seizure law to confiscate the vehicle. Once the paperwork was complete, the 425-horsepower vehicle—as-new base price of $38K—was handed over for the personal use of Ron Cooley, 56, the Executive Director of the Illinois State Police Merit Board. Taxpayers also pick up the fuel tab for gas-guzzling 6.1-liter V-8 as he drives to and from work each day and on various business trips.

A good relationship with the merit board is essential for any state trooper looking to move up into a position of responsibility.

“The mission of the Illinois State Police Merit Board is to remove political influence and provide a fair and equitable merit process for the selection of Illinois State trooper candidates and the promotion and discipline of Illinois State Police officers,” the board website explains.

According to the AP, the Charger is just one of two dozen desirable cars—including an Audi and a Cadillac Escalade—grabbed and kept by state troopers. State police officials decline to identify the beneficiaries of the confiscated car policy claiming it could endanger officers if they made public the type of car they drove at taxpayer expense.

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57 Comments on “IL State Police Keep Seized Hot Cars for Personal Use...”


  • avatar
    bluecon

    Ain’t big government wonderful!

  • avatar
    Robstar

    Does this surprise anyone? This was in the paper a few days ago. Lets just say I am not surprised in the “Land Of Corruption”.

    On top of this, the state wants to raise state income tax from 3.0-4.5% and is pondering adding sales tax as well.

    Our combined sales tax in Chicago is already 10.25%. If the state raises that, I guess we get to take an even further lead in having the highest sales tax in the country.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    That’s been the case in drug busts for a long time.
    My buddy’s kid got nailed with grass (more than a dime bag), and wound up forfeiting a nearly new pickup with 4.8 yrs of payments still to make on it.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    Hey I have an idea…why not SELL THESE SEIZED VEHICLES in order to reduce the state deficit.

    Oh wait, that makes sense….never mind!

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    How can this even be technically and legally possible? I don’t get this….

    “State police officials decline to identify the beneficiaries of the confiscated car policy claiming it could endanger officers if they made public the type of car they drove at taxpayer expense.”

    Yes, of course. Tar and feathers is supposed to hurt, isn’t it?

  • avatar
    geeber

    Robstar: Hey I have an idea…why not SELL THESE SEIZED VEHICLES in order to reduce the state deficit.

    Oh wait, that makes sense….never mind!

    Because then the state troopers don’t get to drive them.

  • avatar

    This is, by definition, corruption and a conflict of interest. That it is allowed to happen anywhere in the USA is an embarrassment. This is the sort of thing that belongs in a Banana Republic. Mr. Cooley should be prosecuted, or at the very least lose his job.

    The taxpayers of Illinois should throw the bums out. Starting at the top and going all the way down to their personal shoppersState Troopers.

    –chuck

  • avatar
    Louche

    “This is the sort of thing that belongs in a Banana Republic…”

    Illinois?

  • avatar
    jaje

    Illinois is known for its high level of corruption at all levels of their government. From top to bottom, and IIRC 5 out of the last 6 governors were indicted or in jail.

  • avatar
    bluecon

    The USA is fast becoming a banana republic.

  • avatar
    orc4hire

    Illinois? You’re kidding, right? This happens all over the country. Cops were given permission, and motive, to loot during the War on Drugs.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    This is unreal, and very sad to see in the U.S.A. But then again, there is a lot to be ashamed of going on in this nation these days. Police used to be there as servants of the community, “to protect and serve” as many cop cars still say. Often times now they only seem to be there to generate revenue and do the biddings of the corrupt government they work for. It’s a shame that our public servants aren’t.

  • avatar
    menno

    Fast becoming a banana republic? It IS now a banana republic.

    C’mon!

    You’ve got a 16 year old boy forcibly taken from his widowed mom, who has a water tight alibi against accusations of “terrorism” via computer (because his IP was hacked/stolen) – and he’s kept for weeks now months, in Indiana, several states from home.

    You’ve got Texas cops doing highway robbery of folks using these idiotic federal “laws”

    You’ve got dead people voting (as long as they vote Democratic) and all manner of Illinois corruption at all levels of the government now.

    You’ve got a so-called president of the US who’s “public birth certificates” have essentially been proven to have been faked (and who has spent a million dollar to avoid having to stump up with a real birth certificate).

    http://www.michnews.com/Guest_Commentary/ls5609_printer.shtml

    Yeah, we’re IN a banana republic.

    Question is; how do we get our country back?

    And what do the rest of us “do” with these usurpers of power when we DO get our country back?

    We could always do what the Romanians did with their ex-communist leaders…

    Little wonder “they” want to take away all of our guns. They’re afraid of us. As well they should be, if we the people truly want to do what our forefathers did, and stand up for our rights.

    I suspect it’ll never happen. People would have to drop their texting, porn, shopping plans, actually would have to learn what a Republic is and go out and actually risk life for liberty.

    I don’t think modern Americans have it in us any more to do any of this.

  • avatar
    ExtraO

    The USA has been a banana republic for a quarter century at least. And so we have yet more evidence of institutionalized corruption in Illinois (my home state). The only surprise is that anyone would be surprised. The people of Illinois -even if they could tell the difference between a bum & a political angel ( a purely mythical creature)- can’t do anything. Being a bum is an absolute requisite for playing the political game. No others need apply –and you can trust me on this– they don’t.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Gee…as “public” officials, should there not be a law out there somewhere regarding freedom of information to force the listing of these “assets?” If the Illinois State Police wants to hand out cars for their folks to drive, maybe they could aid in the automotive industry recovery and buy them all Sebrings! This is corruption and “good ol’ boy” back-slapping at it’s finest and only goes to serve the continued perception that this country is firmly in a free-fall decline. Make the list public and demand that either the cars be sold so that the profit goes back to the state, or make those chosen “officials” at least pay fair market and then be held responsible for ALL costs associated with ownership.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    The USA is fast becoming a banana republic.

    The USA has been, in many ways, a Banana Republic for some time. “Extraordinary Rendition”, for example, is exactly the kind of tool that any number of dictators have used.

    That said, this is local politics. Local politics has the lowest particpancy, the least scrutiny and a vertiable lack of constitutional control. Is anyone surprised that it’s rotten to the core?

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    Power corrupts…

  • avatar
    timbo58

    Robstar :
    May 7th, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Hey I have an idea…why not SELL THESE SEIZED VEHICLES in order to reduce the state deficit.

    I suppose due process is out of the question if you can reduce your budget?

  • avatar
    bluecon

    The voters vote for big government, big taxes, big spending. More of this is in the future.

    Wall Street and Congress are joined at the hip and robbing the people blind.

    Same as in Venezuela the voters vote for their own self interest not having a clue how the government plays the game.

    Like every other tinpot dictatorship the government plays off the rich as being evil to entice the votes of those that pay no income tax. So the money of the rich will move offshore. That is their only way to assert their rights. And the poor will become poorer like those that live in wonderful socialist Venezuela.

    Bigger Than Watergate?
    http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/casey/2009/0506.html

  • avatar
    fincar1

    Illinois State Police Merit Board. Heh. Those guys live to have all the troopers who want a nice job in administration suck up to them, I suppose. I wonder who they have to suck up to, to get such a job in the first place. Merit board my a$$.

    The police department in a nearby small town used laws re confiscation of vehicles involved in drug dealing to take a black Camaro from some shlub they nailed. They put a light bar on it, painted their logo on the doors, and made sure that it was parked in front of the courthouse and at county fairs etc., so that the ex-owner and his associates could be reminded that bad things can happen to drug dealers. Well, his associates anyway, who presumably weren’t in jail.

    I do not think there is any justification for laws that allow police seizure of private property because of the strong incentive for corruption it poses. But, the example I cited comes as close as anything I know of to be a good use of such laws.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    timbo58>

    My assumption would be selling them after due process has shown the person guilty of an offense that allows seizure.

    But I guess in Illinois that shouldn’t be assumed.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    Police in Illinois cause more crime than they prevent.

    That something this corrupt happened at the state level is scary since things at the local government level are much worse.

    Chicago is by far the worst.

    It’s particularly ironic that this car was siezed in a DUI since in Chicago cops that get arrested for DUI aren’t even fired from their cushy union jobs or deprived of their government provided cars. “Consequences for the officers varied, but none arrested last year have yet lost their jobs.”

    http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/04/chicago-police-dui.html

    Also this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi_I8I8EPxg

    Also this:

    http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=6345240

    The number one reason that cops are able to commit crimes without recourse is that they are protected by a powerful union, the Fraternal Order of Police, that defends and covers up their crimes.

    Next time some asshole from the Fraternal Order of Police calls asking for money hang up.

    The Fraternal Order of Police is like the UAW except that it defends scum bag cops that kill innocent people instead of scum bag line workers that throw bolts in fenders.

    Cops are just corrupt, lazy government workers, except they get guns, so the stakes are much higher.

    There are good cops, but they would do well to do something about the behavior of their peers instead of just claiming to be the exception.

    Monetary rewards need to be set up for cops that report/arrest bad cops.

  • avatar
    tedward

    I’d lose my temper if this happened to my car. Seriously, I’d probably get myself arrested for assault.

    I’d definitely attempt to destroy the car (as stupid as that would be).

  • avatar
    tedward

    I attempted to follow the AP link but got nowhere, but in The Newspaper post it says, “suspected drunk driver in a 2006 Dodge Charger SRT-8 was pulled over in January 2007.” How over the limit was he, and did he also engage in dangerous hoonery? Basically, if they had to scrape bits of small child off the grill I can understand the seizure (if not the keeping).

    Is this seizure law in any way similar to the cash seizures that have been taking place in many southern states? Now THAT is outright criminal behaviour. The end message is, if you carry large amounts of cash, under no circumstances should you cooperate with the police.

  • avatar
    frizzlefry

    This is why I use a V1 and a Laser Jammer…not a speed demon by any means but I would rather the police stay out of my buisness…

  • avatar
    AKM

    Menno: relax man, you’re about to burst…and linking to hardcore right-wing “news” will not help.

    Corruption exists on both sides of the aisle. It’s unfortunately, human nature. Now, if only those vehicles were, as some other commentators wish, sold for charities or to reduce the deficit, we’d be onto something. Or even as highway patrol.

  • avatar
    Happy_Endings

    I suppose due process is out of the question if you can reduce your budget?

    Having a cop drive it around for “personal use” isn’t exactly following due process either.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    one would think that confiscation of private property is a very socialist idea comrade

    to see that it happens in america pretty much tells you what kind of animal farm it’s become

    and an ‘alleged drunk driver’???

    alleged? no due process? in other countries DUI is a criminal offense and that is it?

    serve time? pay a fine? license suspension? ok

    but forfeiture of property?

  • avatar
    tedward

    I’d love to see the prior owner of the SRT-8 go on CNN about this. “Well, the lessons I learned are to a)not drink and drive, and b)if you do happen to drink and drive, run from the police if they try to pull you over.”

    Tickets for resisting arrest and reckless endangerment will cost you less than the seizure of a $40k car. Every time.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    TonyJZX:

    Liberals and the “evil” ACLU hate the siezure laws and fight against them, as do real libertarian organizations like CATO.

    However, the kind of mainstream conseratives that loved Bush are all for siezure laws because they are enforced by the police, who never do anything wrong, in the name of “law and order”.

    Siezure not at all just an issue in Illinois; it has become a major issue in the liberal hot bed of Texas:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-texas-profiling_wittmar10,0,6051682.story

    Most of the erosion of due process with regard to property siezure comes from the conservative war on drugs.

  • avatar
    menno

    AKM, in case it missed your notice, the big breaking (non-mainstream media of course) news of today is “bigger than Watergate” and it involves what happened on W’s watch (right at the end).

    http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/casey/2009/0506.html

    I’m no Repugnican, but I’m not a Demoncrat either.

    I say, “fire ‘em all”. Let’s start over. As in, we the people.

  • avatar
    menno

    Essentially, we’ve all become “subjects” instead of citizens, and essentially are fooling ourselves if we think we have any rights to our own property.

    Put it this way: go ahead and stop making property tax payments on your house for a year or two. See what happens. Doesn’t matter if you keep making HOUSE payments or own it outright. See what happens.

    OK, then. A six year old could answer this question, so think hard, everyone. Wouldn’t want to be shown up by a 1st GRADER, would we? Whose house is it, again? Yours or the states?

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    i think most countries and most people don’t have an issue with govt. seizure of property in large scale bust ups of organised crime… if you find a warehouse full of cars and millions of dollars in a mexico that are clearly the proceeds of crime that is fair enough

    but to target individuals like this for the benefit of particular police officals is offensive in the extreme

    one can imagine that they use DMV records to compile lists of people with desirable cars and then they go hunting with the ability to fabricate evidence if required

    i find this even more offensive that things like chinese/ex-soviet or even nazi police state-political processes… hey at least those guys are upfront about their leanings… bad guys are bad guys and you know you are dealing with leopards who’s spots are clear

    closet socialists in a western political system smacks of the worst kinds of hypocracy

  • avatar
    tedward

    menno

    I appreciate some of your points, BUT, the birth certificate and dead-voter arguments actually don’t hold up to scrutiny and frankly make them seem less credible.

    Dead voters have been used (not trying to deny that), but it’s far from being a Democrat phenomenon. From what I’ve read it’s been an actual issue in very local elections, usually in southern states. I would support very lengthy prison terms for crimes like this by the way, as well as for phone jamming and bad faith poll worker misconduct.

    The forced merger (if true) stinks to high heaven.

  • avatar
    ruckover

    menno,

    I know this might seem like a stupid question, but why would it be okay for a person to not pay taxes for a year or two? I might not be as smart as a six year old, but what point are you trying to make with this comment?

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    i think the point he’s trying to make is why you have to pay taxes on something you already own

  • avatar
    menno

    Tony gets it.

    Is it mine? Then why am I continually re-paying for it?

    If it’s not really mine and everything is “the governments”, then why do they lie to us and teach us in school that there is such a thing as “private property”?

    Put another way; is you is, or is you ain’t, pregnant? Can’t be any 1/2 way measures.

    Same thing with private property. Is it mine? Or not?

    Yes, tedwards, Repugnicans also have dead voting in certain locations, but it sure seems to be a demoncratic specialty. Not that I’m a repugnican…. so I’m not defending that bunch.

    As for taxes, well, how about we pay taxes as our founding fathers set-forth in the (you know, totally fricking ignored) United States Constitution?

    As in import tariffs (that’d be useful on many levels – including the ability to gradually increase taxes on imported energy which would encourage thrift AND encourage localized production…) and federal excise tax (a consumption tax).

    As for states, they also could “get by” with consumption taxes rather than taxes on static property. It’s not like most states don’t have sales taxes now, is it?

    The flip side of this coin is to reduce the size of government so that it is not so large as to have the ability to take away the liberty of the citizenry, but is big enough to protect the citizenry from criminal elements (including those IN government).

  • avatar

    The only way property should be seized is if it can be Proved that it was purchased with the proceeds of illegal substances sale.

    -Not just owned by some chowderhead individual who had a few drinks.

    I can’t imagine one court case where a similar conflict of interest wouldn’t be cause for a mistrial or some change.

    +++If any State or Local seizure occurs at all, the law should be that the seizure is federal and the money/sale proceeds goes to the federal gov., not the local/state guys.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    If it’s not really mine and everything is “the governments”, then why do they lie to us and teach us in school that there is such a thing as “private property”?

    Well, yes and no. You have a right, enshrined in law, to private property and liberty in general. Your rights to that property, though, do not cover the misuse of said property or liberty to the detriment of others.

    Otherwise, you could go around running people down and not expect your car to get seized, or other people could do the same to you. It’s a limited right, tempered by responsibility.

    The problem isn’t seizure or jail, it’s incentivized seizure or jail. If these cars were auctioned off and the proceeds dropped into (at best) publicly audited charities or (at worst) general revenue for the municipality, this wouldn’t be an issue. Same with jail time: throwing people in prison for violating the law is ok; stilting the law so that undesirables are thrown in prison, or aren’t given due process is a problem.

  • avatar
    ctoan

    menno et al

    So, what, you want to have to pay the Road Corporation to get to work and the Fire Corporation to make sure your workplace is still there, and you want to pay at the door to eat lunch in the park and bargain with the ambulance driver when you get hit by a car because the Police Corporation went out of business a long time ago? Property tax is the price you pay for the government to protect your property rights.

    Likewise, violate the trust and your property rights can disappear. The “victim” in question here was endangering other people. Yes, seizing the car was probably extreme, and handing it out to a member of the police force is certainly corrupt, but he still wasn’t an innocent party.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    being guilty of a crime doesn’t mean confiscation of property is correct

    also property tax where i am is a state thing that goes into general revenue

    i think the link to federal funding of the armed forces or the state funding of police is tenuous at best to my property taxes

    my question is this – there’s income tax, sales tax, stamp duty, payroll tax, company tax etc. etc.

    to link a specific type of tax (ie. road tax) to a particular benefit (fixing roads) is naive at best

    no-one is advocating not paying taxes

    what people don’t like is arbitrary taxes on a slew of things to be put in a general slop bucket for the pigs in washington to feed on

  • avatar
    cjuinclass

    They can do this because when you register your car from new, you surrender the MSO Manufaturer’s Statement of Origin to the state in exchange for a Title. You thus give the state your car and then “rent” it from them for the annual renewal fees.

    However it is perfectly legal to retain the original MSO from the dealership when the car is new (usually only if you pay cash for the car with no loan). Keep the MSO in a safe place, and carry a certified copy with you aalong with your bills of sale from the dealership. You can use it on the streets, no plates, all legal, and they can never “seize it from you”. It’s 100% your property. If you get stopped for no plates, you hand the officer a COPY of you paperwork and driver on your way.

    check out the following web site for more info on this and other government hot topics
    http://www.pauljjhansen.com

  • avatar
    atomos319

    Menno,

    I was with you, until you invalidated your credibilty with your fervent, right-wing psycho-babble about BO’s birth certificate….

    oh, and voter fraud occurs with both parties, neither party has been empirically shown to be more corrupt than the other…

    Idiot.

  • avatar
    ruckover

    menno,

    just one point about reading the constitution. The document, one of the greatest pieces of writing ever created and undoubtedly the most important American contribution to the Enlightenment, deals with the federal government. Local and state taxes are not at issue in it, as far as I remember–with a few specific regulations against the imposition of duties on imported goods by the states . . . but then, I have not had a law class since 1981.

  • avatar

    State police officials decline to identify the beneficiaries of the confiscated car policy claiming it could endanger officers if they made public the type of car they drove at taxpayer expense.

    But, hey, let’s make sure all of Chrysler’s non-TARP bondholders are made public.

    Let me get this straight, the states uses a dubious law to confiscate personal property, reserves that property for the private use of public employees, and we citizens aren’t entitled to know who they are and what they drive?

    Frankly I don’t care if it endangers officers. They took a dangerous job, they should get over it. There aren’t two classes of people, civilians and government workers. And, no, I don’t think there should be special death penalties for killing a cop. A cop’s life isn’t worth any more than my kid’s.

  • avatar

    “Extraordinary Rendition”, for example, is exactly the kind of tool that any number of dictators have used.

    Do you have any idea of the gross violations of civil liberties (under the cover of law) by the Wilson and FDR administrations?

    Maybe after we’re done discussing sedition laws and internment of innocent US citizens we can go on to discuss how we turn bad guys over to slightly less bad guys.

  • avatar

    Most of the erosion of due process with regard to property siezure comes from the conservative war on drugs.

    There are way more prominent conservatives and libertarians willing to publicly call for the legalization of marijuana than liberal or progressive politicians.

    The history of drug policy in this country has more to do with the racism of progressive eugenicists than with political conservatives. It’s the conservatives who fear the power of the state. Liberals love statism.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    cjuinclass>

    Do you have case law to support this? I know here that w/o plates I’m sure my car would be seized (I live in Chicago).

  • avatar

    also property tax where i am is a state thing that goes into general revenue

    Property tax is theft. Why should the state have the right to a percentage of my assets? Furthermore, the state lays claim to your property and will seize it if you don’t come up with their vigorish.

  • avatar

    Well, yes and no. You have a right, enshrined in law, to private property and liberty in general.

    Property rights and liberty are not based on statutory law but rather natural law. The first draft of the Declaration of Independence had “life, liberty and property” as inalienable rights endowed by a Creator. Property rights are a given, that’s why the Fifth Amendment prevents the gov’t from taking your property. You can look in vain, though, for an explicit right to property in the constitution because the founders considered that a given.

    If there is a right to privacy in the constitution (the supposed legal basis of Roe v. Wade), property is an even more bedrock right.

  • avatar
    AnalogKid

    There are way more prominent conservatives and libertarians willing to publicly call for the legalization of marijuana than liberal or progressive politicians.

    I call bull**** on this.

    Reagan started the “War on Drugs,” and Bush resisted every attempt at decriminalization. Not only that, Bush made a special point of busting people that were providing marijuana to cancer patients. Obama has since reversed that.

    Now that the Mexican border is a war zone, some libertarians are calling for decriminalization but that’s not a Republican position, and I dare you to name a “prominent” Republican elected official that has publicly supported legalization.

  • avatar
    ctoan

    Ronnie Schreiber

    “Natural Law” is pretty much an excuse to make shit up, but in most of the codifications of such it boils down to “for greater good”, and in such a case as this would hold that abusing one’s property rights to endanger the lives of others (i.e. driving drunk) is immoral and could possibly be grounds for forfeiture of one’s property rights.

    Fortunately, given it’s nebulousness, natural law is only indirectly used in US law, in the court decisions that make up case law, and is subservient to the constitution. Looking at the original AP article, due process as it’s generally defined seems to have been served, so it’s fair game as far as constitutionality is concerned. “Due process” is, of course, kind of nebulous itself, so you could go ahead and appeal to the courts if you think you’re being screwed unfairly.

    You are, of course, subject to the laws of the country in which you are residing, which tends to supersede romantic notions of what is or isn’t “right”. Lets also not forget that the government is protecting your property rights in various ways, and that you probably bought that property using currency supported by the government, unless you’ve found a car dealer that takes gold and gemstones as payment. If you think it’s that much of a problem you could always take the revolutionary route, but keep in mind that nobody respects property rights less than Somalia.

  • avatar
    50merc

    I’d say a big part of the problem is that Illinois’ seizure practice creates a personal incentive in law enforcement. There are other problems too, relating to the variation of punishment/benefit with respect to a particular offense. Losing a snazzy Porsche is a greater punishment than having a ’90 Escort taken away. The Porsche also is a greater incentive for abusive policing. Seizure also hurts innocent third parties who may own the car, share use of it, or financed the vehicle.

    atomos319, regarding the birth certificate “psycho-babble”: I’m always wary of conspiracy theories, but there are things about this controversy that leave me very puzzled. My understanding is that the “certificate of live birth” made public was generated from data in a computer database by the State of Hawaii (i.e., it is not a photocopy or a print from microfilm) and state officials attested the document is official. Even so, isn’t there an “original” certificate form filled in within a day of his birth, and signed by the attending physician? (In the early 60′s hospitals and departments of vital statistics hadn’t gone “paperless.”) And if so, does that original certificate still exist? If so, is it identical with the computer-generated document in each and every detail (e.g., no data added, none lost)? And if so, why hasn’t that original form been produced, and why has the president gone to great lengths to keep it hidden from view?

    I’ve never seen these questions addressed in media accounts. If they have been resolved, I’d much appreciate it if someone would provide a link.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Bureaucrats and bureaucracies are a far greater threat to your freedoms than ALL foreign threats combined.

    Of this I am convinced.

    And voting at any level will not alter what has happened, is occurring now and what will be altered in the future… all to the detriment of the average American of the immensely large commoner class.

  • avatar

    Reagan started the “War on Drugs,”

    In general drug hysteria has been about the same on both sides of the aisle. Still, ideologically most libertarians don’t like drug laws and plenty of conservatives also have a laissez faire attitude about pot. The old saying is that a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged and a libertarian is a conservative who’s been arrested. If you polled the writers at the National Review, you’d find some voices for decriminilization.

    I’m old enough to remember when LSD was made illegal by Pat Brown, the Democrat who was Calif governor before Reagan. Marijuana became illegal in the 1930s, when FDR was in the White House.

    In any case, the property seizure laws regarding drugs, DUI and alleged criminal behavior are at least problematic and almost certainly abused by every government agency with that power. Usually it’s your local police department or state police that’s depriving you of your property and liberty and not the federal government, but with the increase in the size of the federal gov’t with the “stimulus” package and huge budget increases, I don’t expect to have less intrusion in our lives.


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