As the battle lines appear to become more thinly drawn in the War on Drugs, many have taken the fight beyond the scope of the narcotics themselves (e.g. medical uses, etc...) in hopes to solidify an end to prohibition. A major multi-part series in the Washington Post, for instance, puts the likes of civil asset forfeiture in the cross-hairs of prominent libertarians, leaving first-time readers with the certain notion that civil asset forfeiture and the War on Drugs are inextricably tied.
Before the cart attempts to drag this horse away too, however, it is important to remember that asset forfeiture laws call for much more than the seizure of ill-gotten gains obtained by drug kingpins. It encompasses the entire gamut of illicit proceeds that may benefit any criminal, warlord, organization, syndicate, or corporation. Forfeiture is not only a useful means by which a legitimate economy can be protected from various forms racketeering activity, such as extortion, money laundering, loan sharking, obstruction of justice and bribery. But it is also likely the most efficient method to swiftly remedy their effects on the victims associated with those crimes, leaving intact the very structure a free society needs to operate.
Query the legal system. Investigate the effects of all laws, including those involving the prohibition of drugs and their supposed kin. Question their usefulness and the impact they have on human society. Challenge their implementation and by all means demand perfection. But before we allow the excitement of few to ignite the impulse of many, consider and grant favor towards the all too-familiar law of unintended consequences. Always insist upon knowing the true intention behind any appeal to emotion. Put down the axe first, pick up the scalpel, and demand an honest accounting for any quick call to action.
After finally having watched the film "Gone Girl" over the weekend (dark, a bit lengthy, but thought-provoking), it rekindled my belief that the one story you hear the most, the one "everyone" is certain to be true, is likely the one deserving of the most scrutiny. Often, though, the train has already left the station.
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