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Federal Bill Could Save the Lives of Marijuana Users

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Federal Bill Could Save the Lives of Marijuana Users

When President Richard Nixon unleashed the dogs of the weed wars back in 1970s, plagues of generic, anti-drug thugs made it their mission to track down the average marijuana user and inflict a violent wrath against their well-being. Forty years later, the federal practice that stimulates this supposed drug war has reached a despicable new low, as it has now become common practice for Uncle Sam to feed blood-stained incentives to local law enforcement agencies to reward them for busting petty pot offenders.

The system, of course, is damned to hell, with its metamorphosis of the decades causing a militant ransacking of civil rights that has only served to incarcerate hundreds of thousands of potheads while putting the heads of others on the proverbial stick. These soldiers against stoners, also know as SWAT teams, have become a stinking new legion of domestic terrorists.

Earlier this year, the American Civil Liberties Union released a report indicating that 62 percent of all SWAT team deployments were for the sole purpose of kicking down the doors of suspected drug offenders. This means that local police departments are opening a can of whip ass in small communities, with dangerous military-grade weapons in tow, just to bring down the heat on the average citizen because an anonymous snitch may have seen them at one time or another in possession of the flower of feel-good – marijuana.

Indeed, the days of the friendly officer are long gone. They have since been swallowed up by the paramiliterization of the American police force, compliments of the kings of Congress, who not so long ago approved the Pentagon’s 1033 program. It has continued to supply local police squads with the kind of high-powered weaponry that, until 20 years ago, had previously only been used by the United States military. One of the most frightening aspects of this program is it was actually developed as a resource to help state and local police agencies combat the War on Drugs, which has essentially transformed into a wild-eyed, lynch mob armed and ready to kill over a joint.

Over the summer, Florida drug enforcement agents received word that 29-year-old Jason Westcott was selling marijuana out of his Tampa home. That was all it took for police to obtain a no-knock search warrant and soon they were kicking down his front door, firing arsenal of semi-automatic assault weapons with their itchy trigger fingers.

Several months prior to the raid, Westcott contacted the Tampa Police Department to report a person who had been making death threats against him.  According to reports, the lead investigator in the case told Westcott, “If anyone breaks into this house, grab your gun and shoot to kill.”

On that evening in late May when a Florida SWAT team came crashing into Westcott’s home in hopes of arresting him for dealing marijuana,  agents found a frightened man who thought he was about to be killed by the same ornery bastard who had threatened him earlier in the year. Armed with a pistol from the nightstand, Westcott made a run from the bedroom towards the bathroom where he kept surveillance monitors in hopes of determining who was terrorizing his home. Yet, he never made it – two SWAT members shot him several times before he ever had a chance to make into the hallway. Westcott died in a nearby hospital a short time later. A search of the residence only uncovered 0.2 grams of marijuana – not even enough for a decent sized joint.

To make the situation worse, Tampa Police chief Jane Castor said her department was justified in the killing of Westcott because they felt threatened and acted in accordance with their training.

“You can take the entire marijuana issue out of the picture,” said Castor. “If there’s an indication that there is armed trafficking going on – someone selling narcotics while they are armed or have the ability to use a firearm – then the tactical response team will do the initial entry.”

SWAT team bungles were the focus of a recent congressional hearing in Washington, D.C., where bi-partisan lawmakers announced the filing of a bill aimed at putting an end to the use of SWAT teams against citizens suspected of drug-related offenses. The Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act of 2014 would no longer allow the Department of Defense to issue military-grade vehicles and weapons to local and state police departments.

“Militarizing America’s main streets won’t make us any safer, just more fearful and more reticent,” said Democratic Congressman Hank Johnson, who introduced the bill along with Republican Raul Labrador. “Before another small town’s police force gets a $750,000 gift from the Defense Department that it can’t maintain or manage, it behooves us to press pause on Pentagon’s 1033 program and revisit the merits of a militarized America.”

Under the proposal, local and state police agencies would no longer be allowed the use of weapons .50 caliber and over, armored and mine-resistant tactical vehicles, armed drones, combat aircraft, explosives, silencers, and long range acoustic devices in an effort to take down non-violent marijuana users or any other potential low-level drug offender.

Weeks prior to the hearing, the National Tactical Officers Association, a lobby group serving on behalf of militarized police forces all across the country, got wind of the anti-SWAT bill and emailed members of the legislature pleading that they not to use the recent onslaught of bad press as a reason to strip them of their firepower.

“The police have to be one step ahead of the criminal element, have to be prepared for the worst-case scenario,” NTOA Executive Director Mark Lomax told The Daily Beast. “You don’t want a community to be taken over by one or many criminals. We’re definitely for equipping our law enforcement officials out there properly, with proper training and proper policies.”

More sensible law enforcement officials believe the time has come to castrate the Pentagon’s 1033 program before more citizens are injured or killed in the name of the war against marijuana.

“Very occasionally and with proper oversight and training, the use of some military equipment is appropriate – school shootings, terrorist situations and the like,” said Major Neill Franklin with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. “But when it’s routinely used against nonviolent drug offenders, it only serves to further strain police-community relations so vital to preventing and solving violent crime. This bill will correct some of the worst excesses of a potentially useful program hijacked by the war on drugs.”

Have you or anyone you know ever been raided by the police? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. kelan

    February 10, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    Me and a friend were walking to a restaurant for dinner restaurant was close to our neighborhood next to the restaurant was a gas station when we were going by the gas station almost to the restaurant blacked out suvs come from the gas station powerslide come to a stop just feet from us swat and dea jump out on us with fully automatic 9mm mp5s they searched us but come up empty handed then they just left they said there was a increase in drug usage in the area so i kept my eyes open when i would go on long walks then i would see a white ford f150 that i could tell was a undercover agent i would walk a pattern everytime i would see the agent in the f150 creepin down the street now the predator is the prey cause i would follow the f150 for great distances on foot never was detected once just to see what they was up to wanted to see if i could catch a glimpse of them doing a raid on somebody

  2. brian george

    October 12, 2014 at 4:39 am

    in January of 2010, I had to quit working due to health reasons. I was taking the drugs the doctor prescribed, having all kinds of side effects. Aural halucinations convinced me to attempt suicide. After a stay in the hospital, and the psyche center, I was sent home. $800.00 a month in prescriptions, (including $150.00 for the 10 minute doctor visit to get the script). And I got social security disability for the ptsd I was diagnosed with. Which means I lost the only access to medical care that I had. Growing my own medicine was the only choice I had open to me. I didn’t want to buy Mexican crap from a drug dealer and risking arrest. So a few lights, and I didn’t have to deal with anyone. No visiters, no sales, just a suspicion because suddenly I was starting to improve. Just a few months after my suicide attempt, the task force stormed my house. Full military gear, led by the rookie cop that had responded to my suicide attempt. Ryan Reed. His parents owned the jewelry store in Sedalia where I had spent all that money on diamonds for the parasite I was married to. What this jackass didn’t know, was that I had been given a tutorial on the law regarding “probable cause” in judges chamber just months before. I also had a couple thousand books that had been going to the recycling center when they closed the library at the catholic school where I was working as a volunteer janitor, to pay off tuition for the kids I put through school there. They weren’t even my kids. On the couch was the person that had stabbed me with the sword several yrs before. He had served 120 days shock, and 4 yrs probation for attempted murder. He was a family member, and blood runs thicker than water. So lying to a judge to get a search warrant wouldn’t matter. There was a probationer present. Wrong. We spent 24 hrs in jail, and were released. I still ended up loseing my home. My ptsd is 10 times worse than it was,and I no longer live in Missouri. I hired a lawyer, out of my disability check. They wouldn’t even talk to him. And I am now able to use legal medical marijuana to treat my symptoms. It doesn’t cost $800.00 a month. It doesn’t make me want to kill something. And I can’t overdose on it no matter how hard I try. Last time I saw officer ryan reed, I was leaving town, here he comes, in a police cruiser, doing a “power slide ” onto broadway in Sedalia. Just like some teenaged kid in daddys car. What a punk. Imagine 120 days, and probation for attempted murder. And 15 yrs in the pen for growing my medicine. I can say that the prosecutor was smart to drop the charges. Put me back on Cymbalta, no telling what i’ll do.

  3. LMC

    October 4, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Like 19 years ago I was living out in the Sonoran desert on a 5 acre compound with my ex bf and our infant son. We lived amongst the wild animals and even wilder neighbors.
    We also had several very large and aggressive looking dogs that protected the property. That night after dinner and the baby was in bed we heard gunshots. I was scared that our neighbor to the south had shot our dogs because he regularly would get drunk and cause disturbances like running around naked and fighting.
    So I called out the door for the dogs to come back inside and was relieved they were ok. After that we went back to bed.
    Now, our neighbor to the north was a retired Texas ranger who had accused my bf of drug dealing, running a chop shop and theft. Because of this neighbors past in law enforcement he was able to instigate a huge investigation. You could say that federal agencies were interested in finding an excuse to come on inside.
    So anyways, that night when we heard gunshots and called the dogs in and went back to bed, about 25 minutes later the SWAT team busted down our front door with weapons drawn and forced us out of our bed naked.
    After it was determined we were not armed and didn’t have any weapons they let us put on our clothes on.
    They searched our entire house and found a really nice stash of primo weed BUT they only made us flush it down the toilet. They said that they initially went to our neighbor to the south and he insisted it came from us.
    The cops didn’t not even search his property.
    What they did was search records based on fingers pointing at us and found a bunch of bogus accusations and suspicions. If they had done thorough police work at the first location they would have found the smoking guns and God only knows what else. But because of our other neighbors good old boy, right winged bigotry and stories they stormed our house and scared us half to death and made us lose our stash.
    I guess we were lucky but still that was a complete and total invasion of privacy and had we owned weapons it could have ended differently.

  4. sonja

    October 4, 2014 at 7:11 am

    I have never been personally raided. But I was driving around town looking for a rental house. Wasn’t in a great area but a four bed three bath for 1000. Wasn’t bad so despite neighborhoods my husband and I went looking we pulled in front of one house saw outside and left as we were driving up to second house I was like oh hell no so I pulled away. As I reach the stop sign a non marked white SUV with jump crew in it pulled me over. I was following all rules and regulations. When he pulled me over he said I stopped in front of a known drug house. Bare in mind this home is vacant and there is a sign that says for rent outside. He searched me and found less then 9 grams on me arrested me for this then I get police report which states. I was pulled over for no seat belt! That they smelt weed on me and that’s how they found it! So as for legalizing I am all for it. As for the cops they can suck it. Do your job! Stop lying to get away with what ever you want! I hope one day this is legal everywhere so I can walk up to a cop lite a fatty and say what a up 5o wanna hit.

  5. Harry

    October 3, 2014 at 6:44 am

    Just keep practicing our second amendment rights, this right as an auxiliary right, supporting the natural rights of self-defense, resistance to oppression, and the civic duty to act in concert in defense of the state. Remember what our fellow Americans died for, for our rights to prevent the government from doing these things

  6. Christopher Patton

    October 3, 2014 at 2:25 am

    I am now a felon, because I was on probation for possession of paraphernalia. Which is a misdemeanor and I was visiting my dad an they were smoking a fatty when the police just decided to walk in the house. But how did me still pissing in their cup once or twice a month,go from a misdemeanor paraphernalia charge to 2 felonies. 1 paraphernalia and 1 possession.

  7. bradley biernat

    October 3, 2014 at 2:14 am

    Me they came in ski masks with machine guns and tore my house apart 20 cops or more . My other friend was eati ng dinner same thing was done to him and his family they held one of those guns to the head if his 12 year old son . Now i ask u who are the criminals

    • bradley biernat

      October 3, 2014 at 2:15 am

      In Va. Beach Va.

  8. douglas berlin

    October 2, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    I’m in favor of putting it to the voters to decide whether or not it should be legal for personal use. I do not have any faith in the Federal Government.

  9. douglas berlin

    October 2, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    I’m in favor of putting it to the voters to decide. I don’t trust Congress !!

  10. Rickie N.

    October 2, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    A few years ago I was writing a research paper on the Legalization of Marijuana and went to the local police station to do an interview. Toward the end of the interview, the interviewee became irritated and attempted to turn the interview around. I quickly ended the interview and left the police department. 3 months later I find out I’m under investigation as a potential King Pin because of my alleged interest in marijuana. After their investigation botched I was pulled over and searched, bullied by the cops friends, and eventually received a death treat from personnel associated with the P.D.. Needless to say I’m 1500 miles away from that retched place-but when there is no crime, it will be created to fill quotas and big brother’s wallet.

  11. john

    October 2, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    I think that the country should legalize it. And that should be all that is legalized.

  12. matthew

    October 2, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    I also think we should be able to vote on this subject. Its bullshit alcohol is far more dangerous and its legal…all these people hating on a fucking plant what are you gonna do go to heavem and tell god sorry even though you created it just cause I dont like it I want it illegal? I mean come on. Its a natural way to relax, cope from sadness, amd obviously with all the discuss about it theirs plenty of positive things it offers…the only negative I see is smoking is bad period. I recently have beem informed od a possible hair test coming up in my job so I have to quit because I’m 19 with a little boy and I CAN’T lose my job but now just losing my shit I dont have a appetite or anything. Keep in mimd I smoke to relieve me of my ten hour day 40-60 hour work week. Kiss my ass to anyone who hates on it. I have my own house and I take care of and put out a lot of money for my kid…I should be able to relax..and it really sucks cause I hate to drink. Ill do anything to actually give the lovely plant a chance for recreational use. Even with restrictions and taxes…but I really believe it should be given a chance, the problem is so many people being stubborn and don’t wanna try or had a bad experience…well guess what go to sleep, alcohol kills people everyday fuck heads.

    • Carlotta

      October 4, 2014 at 3:43 am

      Big pharma going to lose alotta money if its legalized. Its been legal in my world for 40 years. I could care less bout this worthless government. Crooked bastards!!

  13. Ray Westcott

    October 2, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    40% of the swat cops sell the drugs the take on their raids rnd 60% of them are violent alcoholics who abuse their spouses.we are all humans and wind up having the same bad habits so,what makes them think they have the right to police us over a flippin plant?

  14. Jikimbakearney

    October 2, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    I think everyone should be given and chance to vote

  15. kareem scriven

    October 2, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    I think we should push for public vote on legalization of marijuana by the popular vote every citizen in the United States of America we need to start a petition that everyone can say and get on the Next National ballot

    • jeff

      October 2, 2014 at 11:39 pm

      I agree we the people just like the constitution States should all have a chance to vote on legalization in the next presidential election

    • Calvin Mulholland

      October 3, 2014 at 4:49 am

      legalization of cannabis <—–this is what we need

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