--

The Crystal Meth Epidemic

Media exaggeration of a fringe problem in the area of substance abuse, or a raging problem that is going to lead to the collapse of civilization?
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 18th, 2005
Discuss!
Permalink muppet 
August 18th, 2005
Haw. Nobody cared until middle surburban housewives succumbed to it. The kids, the trailer people---all forgotten until now.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 18th, 2005
And because our society has been so devastated by marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy...

Luckily we're completely unaffected by tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 18th, 2005
In terms of social impact, meth is to the rural US as crack was to the urban US ... in terms of where it hits (unemployment-high, depressed areas), how it impacts families (child-welfare services are getting -swamped- by neglected/endangered children), and how the media reports on it.
Permalink Snark 
August 18th, 2005
Yeah, the rural counties in North Carolina are really being hit hard by Meth addiction. It's cheap, easy to make, and gets you high. Usually it's people who were laid off from their textile jobs, and/or never held a job, who are doing it.
Permalink example 
August 18th, 2005
So basically it's another alcohol subsitute with a much more evil face? Regarding social services being swamped, aren't they always swamped? I'm also always suspicious that groups don't try to leverage the fear of the day to forward their own agenda (as righteous as it might be).
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 18th, 2005
Depends what area you are in. Working with many police departments I can tell you it is a Big Deal in many areas. It seems to be the worst in rural areas that surround metros. Why that is, I dunno.
Permalink I am Jack's infinite id 
August 18th, 2005
meth = speed, right? don't they feed this shit to airforce pilots?

i believe that there's probably some media exaggeration goin' on... i doubt its anything like that portrayed in CSI:Miami...

still, from what i've read/heard, this is a bad bad drug...
Permalink Kenny 
August 18th, 2005
Dennis sez : "So basically it's another alcohol subsitute with a much more evil face?"

Like I said, it's basically crack, except retooled for the rural areas. The major difference between meth and crack is that meth can be made with entirely legal ingredients, while crack cannot. But again -- if you viewed crack as "another alcohol subsitute with a much more evil face" then, yes, so is meth. The alcohol analogy is kind of apt, since meth has taken over from alcohol as the "brew it up in a backwoods shack" production of choice.
Permalink Snark 
August 18th, 2005
I don't think the media is staging three or four lab busts per week in some places.

I also don't think the media was responsible for the four or five people I've known that screwed themselves up pretty bad with that stuff.
Permalink I am Jack's infinite id 
August 18th, 2005
"I don't think the media is staging three or four lab busts per week in some places."

Right, but are these just supplanting other drugs? People have been growing and brewing up batches up drugs for time eternal, and it's from one fad drug to the next, each declared to be the greatest threat to mankind. LSD, shrooms, marijuana, cocaine (how did we make it out of the 80s?), and then crack. There have and will always be substance abuse, but just because the abusers moved from X to Y doesn't mean that Y is taking hold of civilization.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 18th, 2005
Kenny sez : "...don't they feed this shit to airforce pilots?"

The Air Force does currently use Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine) as a performance enhancer. However, while dextroamphetamine and methamphetamine are in the same chemical class (phenethylamines, IIRC), methamphetamine actually has a slightly different neurochemical mechanism than dextroamphetamine (as I understand it, the former is thought to work through the entire class of monoamine transporters, while the latter promotes the release solely of norepinephrine -- correct me if I'm wrong). Methamphetamine tends to be far more negative, psychologically speaking -- paranoia and psychosis tends to occur at lower levels, which is why dextroamphetamine is currently indicated for (IIRC, again) almost all the uses that methamphetamine was previously used for. F'rinstance -- back in WWII, methamphetamine was the stimulant of choice. Now, dextroamphetamine is used because it has a lot less psychological "fallout" (and somewhat less tendency for addiction).
Permalink Snark 
August 18th, 2005
Of course back in the 50's it was closer to plain old Amphetamine Sulphate with Bennies to come back down, the Airline Pilot,Truck Driver,DJ,Cafe Junkie Cocktail.

I can ascribe one of the lost days of my life to some concoction of uppers and downers and another to just speed on its own.

I have the old man's equivalent monkey now, Caffiene and Alchohol, but in moderation of course.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 18th, 2005
One more reason it's scary:

The actual production process ('meth lab') uses all sorts of nasty toxic chemicals and leaves behind a nasty and dangerous waste site. Or so they say.

I have no clue of this is one of those situations where it gets worse as they crack down on the ingredients (e.g. sudafed is no longer pseudoephedrine) or not.

Also, amphetamines are an 'epedimic' elsewhere, like Thailand, where it's supposedly spread from truck drivers to school children. I don't think it's crystal meth however.
Permalink mb 
August 18th, 2005
ah, caffeine and alchohol... or rather, lots of alchohol and food, followed by caffeine and a sweet dessert...

i need nothing more than theeee...
Permalink Kenny 
August 18th, 2005
speed has always been a huge vice in japan, but luckily rophynol can be bought over the counter there, so you can date-rape-drug yourself to sleep at night...

meth is chemically different somehow in that it causes physical damage to your brain after about a week of use. once you get to that point there is no known recovery, and you are in a state of permanent panic attack.
Permalink  
August 18th, 2005
http://slate.msn.com/id/2123838/

This article does a great job of saying that meth is merely becoming bigger in the media and isn't really an epidemic. Deaths from it are orders of magnitude less than your standard heroin and coke. High school students used more amphetimines around 1970 than they do today.

It really looks like meth is the same as other drugs - the situation is made much worse by the goverment being involved. When people did meth in the 70's, they got it through doctors. It was pure, it was ingested, it was pretty much safe. Now people make their own crystal, smoke it, and "Meth-mouth" enters the vernacular.
Permalink Andy 
August 18th, 2005
"(how did we make it out of the 80s?)"

How many DIDN'T make it out of the 80s?
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 18th, 2005
++and you are in a state of permanent panic attack.

For which you get the wonderful prescription drug called Xanex. ^@#%%@!!!!

This enrages me. Personal stuff...

But yes I see what you are saying, Dennis. From personal observation I would say that yes, much of it is simply converting the religious rather than indoctrination of heathens. However, the impact on the converted is different and I think it makes for more converts.

Juxtaposed with something like pot it is horrid. A person who once had frequent munchies, a general lack of motivation, and almost an entirely psychological (if any) addiction now has ruined teeth, a general lack of control over their own emotions coupled with large mood swings and a neverending drive to "go" with no real direction, irreparable brain damage, and an addiction that rivals heroine.

Many people have experimental phases. This drug is not a stripper. You don't get a lap dance every now and again and forget about it. Two or three lap dances with this bad girl and you are generally doomed to really screw yourself and the people around you up royally.

A big problem with it is partly cultural. Our go-go-go society makes it attractive I think. People on meth binges go for days sometimes without sleeping. Talk about a neverending party.... With the younger crowd, and even with some adults I can see how hearing about Mindy Methhead's four day free-for-all of meth madness might sound fun, especially for those that lack better entertainment.
Permalink I am Jack's infinite id 
August 18th, 2005
mb sez : "The actual production process ... uses all sorts of nasty toxic chemicals and leaves behind a nasty and dangerous waste site ..."

This is entirely correct. The general estimate (which I find reasonable) is 5 pounds of hazardous material being produced for each pound of product. Additionally, the chemical byproducts include not only solid and liquid hazardous wastes but also toxic and explosive gases. There are many various "recipes" for production -- most of them are extremely dangerous even in professional hands, and in the hands of untrained producers who may also be users, they can literally be time bombs.
Permalink Snark 
August 18th, 2005
There's a trailer explosion on the news probably once a week in So. Cal.

Nasty stuff. I had a couple of guys on my track and football teams that were on it though... great stuff for a teammate to be on. Always husseling!!
Permalink Jared 
August 18th, 2005
(anonymous) says : "meth is chemically different somehow in that it causes physical damage to your brain after about a week of use. once you get to that point there is no known recovery, and you are in a state of permanent panic attack."

This is incorrect on its face. I assume that the poster is referring to amphetamine psychosis (I prefer the term "stimulant psychosis," since non-amphetamines can have this effect). This is a dopamine-related disorder (amphetamines and other substances such as cocaine operate by increasing the amount of dopamine in the mesolimbic pathway), which tends to sort itself out after a period of time (ie, after normal dopamine function has been restored), and can be treated with dopamine blockers. In the vast majority of cases, this is not a chronic condition -- once the individual is removed from the substance that is causing their brain to release high amounts of dopamine, the brain's dopamine levels re-regulate pretty well. However, in individuals with a history of psychosis or schizophrenia, suffering stimulant psychosis can tend to make the individual more susceptible to future psychotic or schizophrenic episodes.

To say that this occurs "after about a week of use" is also false. Certain people are more susceptible to stimulant psychosis (some studies have shown that people with ADHD tend to fall in this group) but everything depends on dosage and the individual. Stimulant psychosis -- again, a -temporary- condition -- can be triggered by chronic use in small or moderate doses over a long period of time, as well as by a large single dose.

Doctor Snark, signing off.
Permalink Snark 
August 18th, 2005
In the midwest U.S., we routinely (off the top of my head, I can't think of how routine) hear about makeshift meth labs exploding in fields. There are numerous acres of land around, and I guess farmers can't keep tabs on it all. So they just drive out, set up a shack (or inhabit a pre-existing one), cook it up, and hope it doesn't explode.

A friend of mine's parents are farmers, and they just had a barn on a remote piece of their land burn up because somebody had built a meth lab in it, obviously unbeknownst to them.
Permalink Pseudo Masochist 
August 18th, 2005
>>Juxtaposed with something like pot it is horrid. A person who once had frequent munchies, a general lack of motivation, and almost an entirely psychological (if any) addiction now has ruined teeth, a general lack of control over their own emotions coupled with large mood swings and a neverending drive to "go" with no real direction, irreparable brain damage, and an addiction that rivals heroine.<<

My cousin was recently arrested on meth charges and the above description describes her condition very accurately. We just learned yesterday that she violated her parole by getting kicked out of the rehab center for not being able to exhibit enough self control to follow the rules there (committing numerous stupid infractions like disobeying supervisors' orders in smart-ass semantic argument kind of ways, i.e. "You told me not to lie on MY bed, so I used someone ELSE'S bed") and now she has to go back to jail for 2 years. She is a completely different person than she used to be. It's almost as if the drug has literally altered her personality. Very sad.
Permalink bionicroach 
August 18th, 2005
p.s. -- My cousin had a good job and lived in an upper-middle class suburb in a new house she just had built a couple of years ago before losing everything due to meth abuse. Definitly not the stereotypical trailer park user.
Permalink bionicroach 
August 18th, 2005
No, and many aren't. It's catching some people who formerly 'handled' other vices enough to maintain normal lives. I believe this is mostly because it is easier to get than coke or pot, and the high lasts longer.
Permalink I am Jack's infinite id 
August 18th, 2005
Meth abuse, like the abuse of all the other drugs, is a symptom of something else that is wrong. We, as a country, are doing nothing to stop that wrong thing. We are just blaming it on drugs. Like painting a sawhorse and blaming it for not winning the triple crown.
Permalink Peter 
August 18th, 2005
I disagree entirely.

You can not fix the problems people have that lead to drug use.

Plus, all drug use is not problematic nor symptomatic of other problems.

Now, you did specifically say "abuse"... In which case I still do not think you can expect to fix the problems that cause it. Largely because I believe that much of self-destructive behavior is hard-wired into the human brain.
Permalink I am Jack's infinite id 
August 18th, 2005
Crystal leaves behind toxic waste. It causes brain damage. It makes people paranoid and violent - far more likely to stock up on weapons and shoot police during a raid than pot users.

I support legalization of marijuana.

I support death penalty for all manufacturers and distributors of crystal.
Permalink Rich Rogers 
August 18th, 2005
"I support death penalty for all manufacturers and distributors of crystal."

If there is a demand, and if it is lucrative, the void will be filled with a supplier. At the most, increasing penalties on the supply side simply ensures that the supply is taken care of by the most dangerous, socially-disruptive elements possible. You might possibly increase the cost initially, but as the overseas chemical factories ramp up and start cost competing (ah...capitalism) the price drops again.

Either put the legal fear in users, or educate so that people are knowledgable enough not to partake (and not with bullshit manufactured claims, but real world facts so the audience actually believes). There are an endless array of stupid things people can do in a quest of self-destruction, yet most of us don't.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 18th, 2005
Like bionicroach, my cousin was arrested as well. He went from regular guy with job to guy in and out of prison on attempted murder, assault and robbery charges. This is this third time back into prison, but this time it's no slap on the wrist - he's looking at 30 to life. Crystal meth is behind it all. Taking it he's gotten paranoid and psychotic. He's also aged quite a bit.

Another story, a guy I went to school with married his high school sweetheart. Both evangelical christians who do all sorts of charity work and stuff. She's also a professional artist that did great work. She started in with the crystal in order to keep up with all her church and missions obligations and before you knew it she was going pyscho, runing around naked, trying to kill her children, and stuff like that. Last she was seen working as a prostitute in a metro area in the next state over. She apparently doesn't even recognize her husband any more.
Permalink Ted 
August 18th, 2005
Jack's sez : "... I believe that much of self-destructive behavior is hard-wired into the human brain."

A bartender I knew once made a very profound remark on the nature of alcohol and other brain-cell-destroying activity. "Things that are bad for you feel good," he said, "because your brain wants you to kill it."
Permalink Snark 
August 18th, 2005
Dennis, your idea that we punish the users and let the dealers and manufacturers get off is psychotic.
Permalink Rich Rogers 
August 18th, 2005
Dennis sez : "... educate so that people are knowledgable enough not to partake (and not with bullshit manufactured claims, but real world facts so the audience actually believes)."

Bingo. Back when I was responding to (anonymous), I wasn't saying that methamphetamine isn't horribly addictive, has vicious long-term health consequences, and very often leads to degradation and death. Rather, I take issue with incorrect statements like "after one week of use, you suffer permanent incurable psychosis," which is not only incorrect but dangerous ("I made it through a week, and I feel -great-! All that talk about side effects must be totally bogus!").
Permalink Snark 
August 18th, 2005
"Dennis, your idea that we punish the users and let the dealers and manufacturers get off is psychotic. "

Right, because the War on Drugs has shown that going after the dealers and manufacturers is highly productive.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 18th, 2005
Jack, I think we *can* address and minimize the causes that lead people towards drug abuse. We *will not* address them because it would mean re-evaluating premises that too many influential and politically connected people profit from. Our society behaves very alcoholic: there are many many things that are *not* discussed. We spend more time making excuses (of the "daddy can't come to work because he has a belly ache" type of lie) than sitting down, analysing and working to solve our problems. It took 100+ years of medical research showing tobacco was harmful before the majority of the public "believed" it.

"I support death penalty for all manufacturers and distributors of crystal."
Some people will always make and sell something that other people want to buy, whether it is butter, oil or drugs. I think you've heard it described as "supply and demand." That is what the "free" market does. You cannot possibly win the war on drugs if people continue to want to buy/use them. It isn't possible. If you want to "win the war on drugs" then you'll need to address the addict/user population: cure them, prevent them from becoming addicts/users or kill them. When there are no more addicts/users, there will be no more drug manufacture and/or sales.

In the past, I've described the QA/QC models of control. Quality control works by checking what comes out of the system: passing or failing it. Quality assurance works by checking what goes into the system: fixing/adjusting the system, processes, methods or material to ensure that good product comes out. You cannot test quality in. Especially when it isn't there. Early programmers used the acronym GIGO to describe this. Garbage In = Garbage Out. This has been twisted by the neocons into "Garbage In = Gospel Out." In general, liberals tend to take a QA approach (such as better education) to things, where conservatives take a QC approach (more jails, tougher sentences).

"I don't think the media is staging three or four lab busts per week in some places."
I live in a real cheap part of town. I jokingly call it the slums, partly because it is. The apartment building next door (has about 100 units) is rather notorious for "renting to anyone" (apt mgr slang for renting to illegals and to people with bad/criminal records). In the past year and a half that I have lived there, there have been 2 meth lab raids in that building. Both times involved the Hazmat teams from Denver FD.
Permalink Peter 
August 18th, 2005
Dennis, you are mistaken. The war on drugs goes after the users. A friend at work just had her car confiscated because she had ONE JOINT in her purse when she was pulled over for doing a rolling stop. $20,000 car gone and no way to get it back.
Permalink Rich Rogers 
August 18th, 2005
Rich, siezures like that happens when the car is paid for. If it were leased, or she were making payments on it, they wouldn't take the car (leasing and finance companies have lawyers). Hollywood, FL was rather notorious for doing this with cars and boats.
Permalink Peter 
August 18th, 2005
Um, do you have some sources for that Rich, because it sounds like a manufactured claim (and I'm not talking about URLs to whacko right-wing anecdotes and claims). Firstly, why exactly did they search her purse for a rolling stop? Secondly, doesn't the property have to have some sort of correlation with proceeds of crime (e.g. selling drugs)?

If that isn't the case, then US citizens should be terribly shameful at the state of their government.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 18th, 2005
++Jack, I think we *can* address and minimize the causes that lead people towards drug abuse.

I suppose that depends on what you identify as the causes. Further, if you identify social environment, parenting, and those sorts of things then I personally do not want the government having a damned thing to do with it.

The best way to fix the 'drug problem' is to stop legislating morality, and start taxing it (or the lack thereof) instead.

As far as that woman and her car go I can only say this...

A man was speeding through Texas and got pulled over. The officer came to his window and cracked him in the head with the night stick and told him 'Boy, you're in Texas, when a trooper such as myself comes to your car you had better have your paperwork ready!' He wrote the man a ticket, gave it to him and walked around to the passenger side and knocked on the window. The passenger rolled it down. CRACK! He hit the passenger in the head too. 'What was that for?!? the passenger asked." The trooper replied, 'Just making your wish come true...". The man says, 'What are you talking about??'. The trooper says, 'Well, I know about a mile or so down the road, you would have turned to your buddy and told him you wished I'd have tried that shit with you.'
Permalink I am Jack's infinite id 
August 18th, 2005
The problem is that presidents like Clinton and Bush glorify drug use. Children learn that taking drugs is a potential advantage for one day leading the nation -- and you don't even have to inhale.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 18th, 2005
Drugs are indeed a life-and-death problem. Take tobacco, which my country's trade negotiators push into other countries that often didn't want them, along with talking camel ads which appeal to young demographics. Almost 5 million people died in 2000 from smoking, claims a study praised by the American Cancer Society.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/09/12/health/main572833.shtml

These deaths are burdens to families, medical systems, taxpayers...

But instead of liberally blowing all that money on adult daycare (jails), I think education and family programs can save a lot of money.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 18th, 2005
++If that isn't the case, then US citizens should be terribly shameful at the state of their government.

They shouldn't anyway??

In reality though, I do not believe the seizure laws require prooving a connection between the seized property and proceeds from illegal activity. It only requires that illegal activity take place within said property. So you can have your house taken if a bunch of you are sitting around smoking pot, even if none of you sell it, and no sales take place on your property. Hopefully I'm mistaken, but I doubt it since a long time ago in a kingdom far far away I know of a young man who was told by a police officer that the roach in his floorboard could cost him his car. Of course, it may have just been a bunch of bullshit machismo and empty threats, but who knows?
Permalink I am Jack's infinite id 
August 18th, 2005
-- It only requires that illegal activity take place within said property.--

Also, don't forget you will only get singled out for this activity in the first place if you are not white. I've never seen any white college student have their dorm room or Jetta taken away, but I've seen plenty of brothers get their whips pinched by the pigs...
Permalink  
August 18th, 2005
>I personally do not want the government having a damned thing to do with it.
That is a perfect example of failing/refusing to address root causes and failing/refusing to examine your premises. Thank you.

Here is a link to one particular seizure case:
http://www.newtimesbpb.com/issues/2004-12-16/news/news2.html
That newspaper's online archives don't go far enough back to show Hollywood's seizing boats for speeding because they are owned free and clear (if the title was held by a finance company, you got a speeding ticket in the mail, if it was owned free & clear, it was towed away). They also don't show several articles about Volusia sheriffs seizing cash from hispanics and blacks (uh, that looks like drug money to me, hand it over). The forfeiture laws are painted as some magic silver bullet for the "war on crime/drugs/war_of_the_week" while being a way for corrupt officials to steal people's property.

http://www.thememoryhole.org/doj/forfeiture_docs.htm
Permalink Peter 
August 18th, 2005
++That is a perfect example of failing/refusing to address root causes and failing/refusing to examine your premises. Thank you.

Some might call it a perfect example of sanity.

Especially considering what you follow it with.

You want THAT government having more of a hand in social interaction amongst families?

I don't think it is failing to do anything. I can clearly review the facts and conclude that hell no, I do not want this same government involving itself any more than it has to in my daily life.
Permalink I am Jack's infinite id 
August 18th, 2005
But I would further debate that the cause itself is not fixable by anyone or anything short of re-encoding the human genome against self-destruction.

It's like the bartender's quote from above... People are wired for self-destructive behavior. Through observance and reflection I know this to be true.

I'm not convinced it is an entirely bad thing anyway. We're wired that way for a reason, although I'm not sure I can articulate exactly why that is.
Permalink I am Jack's infinite id 
August 18th, 2005
Jack, I don't think people are wired for self-destruction. If people were wired for self-destruction, you'd see that behavior in other animals. I think that self-destructive behavior happens when there are conflicting desires/external forces that the person won't/can't address.

If you are finding bits of shoe in the sausages coming out of your assembly line, you shouldn't be devoting effort to checking the sausages for shoebits, you should be devoting effort to finding out how those shoes are getting into the machinery. And stopping it.

>You want THAT government having more of a hand in social interaction amongst families?
Translation: you think any cure is worse than the disease; even looking for the cure is worse than the disease. I call that fatalism and surrender.

>although I'm not sure I can articulate exactly why that is.
Its those monsters from the id. They killed off the Krell, now they're coming for...argh.....thump
Permalink Peter 
August 18th, 2005
Peter,

Why are governments the only entities in the world that can solve problems?
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 18th, 2005
Well for sources it's someone I personally know, a reliable woman who happens to smoke pot. Her drivers license is in her wallet. Her wallet is in her purse. When she got her drivers license, the cop saw the joint. That gave him probable cause to search her entire car and person, though all he found was the joint.

Peter, that's interesting about the car being paid for.
Permalink Rich Rogers 
August 18th, 2005
Jim, it isn't necessarily governments, it is people working together. The refusal to talk about it is like turning off the carbon monoxide detector because it keeps waking you up. Keep doing that and you won't be waking up.
Permalink Peter 
August 18th, 2005
So maybe some of us feel that these problems are better addressed by donating to charities and religious groups that address these problems than paying more taxes for the government to pretend to care about the problem.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 18th, 2005
++If people were wired for self-destruction, you'd see that behavior in other animals.

Thanks. I've really put a lot of thought into people and self-destructive behavior. I haven't really looked for it in other animals. It's really going to surprise me if I can't find ample examples of it though.
Permalink I am Jack's infinite id 
August 18th, 2005
Cannabilism is far more likely than self destruction when a population is put under stress and pressure. Self destruction requires a concept of self for most animals whilst they might have some consciousness being hungry outweighs just about everything else.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 18th, 2005
++If people were wired for self-destruction, you'd see that behavior in other animals.

umm... what? why would that need be the case? people seem to be wired for language, and so far as I can tell my pet turtle and dog have no idea what I'm talking about when I want to discuss wittgenstein or current events.
Permalink  
August 18th, 2005
LOL
Permalink Jack of all 
August 18th, 2005
Anon: have you considered the possibility that they simply find you dull? :)
Permalink Tail of the "g" 
August 19th, 2005
> Rich, siezures like that happens when the car is paid for. If it were leased, or she were making payments on it, they wouldn't take the car (leasing and finance companies have lawyers). Hollywood, FL was rather notorious for doing this with cars and boats.

Not true. The government can seize property without respect to liens and such. They may have to pay a portion of the proceeds of any sale to the lienholders though.

Lookup "asset forfiture" sometime. The Feds can effectively "arrest" your property without due process, and the burden is on you to recover it.

I remember one case in the media was this illiterate guy who ran a nursery in Alabama. He didn't trust banks and did all business in cash. He would fly somewhere every year with like $20,000 in cash to purchase his trees from a tree farm somewhere in Pennsylvania or something.

Anyway, an airline screener finds the $20,000 and calls in the G-Men. They seize the cash, under the assumption that if you are carrying $20,000 on a plane, you are obviously a drug dealer.

This was in '92 or so. Today he'd be a terrorist.
Permalink Duff 
August 19th, 2005
I remember that case very well. It came down to that because he 'fit the description' of a drug dealer, it was legal to assume he was a drug dealer and therefore they could seize his money. It was actually $9995 since there is a $10k limit over which you are not permitted to cross state lines without a permit (land of the free? not even). In the challenge, they showed that because he was a black man and the only black men who have any money are drug dealers, he did fit the description and the seizure was legit. Last time I read about the case, he had not gotten his money back, something the judges reviewing the case were OK with.
Permalink Rich Rogers 
August 19th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

Other topics: August, 2005 Other topics: August, 2005 Recent topics Recent topics