Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Police shoot unarmed pregnant woman during drug raid.

On September 24th, an unarmed woman nine months pregnant was shot during a drug raid in Spokane, Washington. While the officers were executing the search, during which they found no weapons, she apparently became ‘non-compliant’ and tried to flee out of a second story bedroom window.

A press release by the police said the officers tried to restrain her, but ‘a shot went off’. The woman then fell out of the window. Carmen Nelson, a neighbor, said neither she nor her stepson heard the police giving commands before the shooting. "I heard one gunshot, a woman screamed and a man hollered out afterward," Nelson said. "I'm upset a pregnant woman was shot. I believe she didn't deserve it." The woman went into labor the night before, and was expecting a baby boy.

The mother of the victim said there were no drugs in the house. The police said they found marijuana, crack cocaine, and controlled prescription drugs. This is the third officer-involved shooting since August 25, 2010 in Spokane.

Let’s break this down- The police couldn’t control a nine month pregnant woman experiencing labor pains without shooting her? And could those ‘prescription drugs’ possibly be medications? Even if she had been inadvisedly using cocaine while pregnant, and the evidence wasn’t planted like this, studies have shown there to be no birth defects directly linked to the consumption of cocaine during pregnancy.

President Regan was eerily accurate in comparing the war on drugs to the WWI Battle of Verdun- Hundreds of thousands died in abject misery and thousands more were maimed, shot, and forced to live out their lives in pain. Verdun became a rallying cry for more men, more guns, more blood, even though it was strategically useless and nothing came of it except for suffering and death.

If you want this to continue, do nothing. If not, register to vote.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The people who are elected to make the laws that bind you

Rep. Lamar Smith from Texas on Fox News recently criticized the Obama administration's approach to marijuana and wants stricter drug law enforcement. Rep. Smith recently introduced H.R 5231, a bill would criminalize Americans working in Switzerland trying to save lives with heroin assisted treatment, for example.

“Rep. Lamar Smith (Texas), the top Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee who would likely become chairman of the committee under a GOP majority, accused the administration of being too lax in its enforcement of drug laws.

"The administration is clearly sending the message that they don't think it's bad to use marijuana," Smith said on Fox News. "So they're encouraging the use of marijuana. And that simply is not a good thing to do."
Smith blamed the administration's decision to not enforce federal laws against marijuana dispensaries in states that have legalized the drug for medicinal purposes. Smith blamed the administration's approach on drug laws for recent statistics showing an increased use of marijuana.
"We ought to be enforcing our drug laws, not backing away from them," said Smith, who also lamented a recent revision of criminal sentencing guidelines that reduced sentencing guidelines for crack-cocaine traffickers.”

Possibly Rep. Smith is referring to the 1,663,582 total arrests for drug abuse violations in the US in 2009, with someone being arrested for a drug offense every 18 seconds as being too lax. Maybe he’s referring to these ‘non-enforcements’, this ‘non-enforcement’, or possibly this ‘non-enforcement of federal drug laws as being too lax. After all, President Obama promised those raids would end while he was campaigning, and he gave respectful and thoughtful consideration to a question about the legalization of marijuana.

You know what? I did something about it. I took a total of 1 minute and 23 seconds out of my day to call Speaker Pelosi’s office urging her to cancel the vote on H.R 5231, a bill sponsored by Rep. Smith. I registered to vote when I received my driver’s license, which took all the effort of answering a few questions.

We can either stand by idly and watch our friends, neighbors, brothers and sisters be thrown into the back of a police cruiser after having their door smashed down in the middle of the night or we can take a stand and vote. Why should those who seek to criminalize non-violent, consensual behavior be allowed to impose their morals on us then utilize our money to do so in the most violent manner possible?

Register to vote, make a difference in your community.