The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

These stops are wrong

I am, as far as I know, the only person on Earth under a court order to avoid public advocacy in opposition to a certain public policy. (One assumes I could take a public position in favor of that public policy.) This precludes me from publishing some facts. All facts on the issue advocate change.

Recently I’ve made some posts here about unconscionable behavior on the part of a highway patrolman. I don’t care what the end result of the harassment I described was; the harassment was wrong.

This goes on daily in South Dakota. Tourists with west coast license plates are stopped, terrified, their belongings often strewn on the roadside, and most are let go with some bogus “warning.”

Cops are stopping people to ferret out a certain violation for no justifiable reason. When they find the violation, they make up a reason for having stopped the violators. When they don’t, the folks they stopped get out of South Dakota as fast as they can, and try to avoid coming back here. Those folks are in the majority. The stops I have described were bogus.

Pat Powers just suggested that I have violated the terms of my probation. I hope this clears things up for him.


Michael Sanborn said...

Don't worry, Bob. One of Pat's posters suggests nobody reads you here.

The post is quite clear that you are not advocating for the issue for which you're not allowed to advocate, but rather simply bringing to our readers' attention a problem with law enforcement.

Neal said...

I posted the following comment (below) over at SDWC, but it was, as with most posts on this topic, deleted. For no good reason, of course.

This is in response to PP's tattle-tale post over there. I will post it here for posterity.

Medically, it is simply irrefutable that marijuana has palliative, therapeutic qualities. Even the American Medical Association agrees, as reflected in a recent policy shift:

If you deny the medical value of marijuana, you are simply not living in the fact-based world.

Politically, we seem to be nearing a tipping point. Sure, marijuana isn't a compltely benign substance -- but neither is alcohol, tobacco, red meat, sugar, or caffeine. And if we take an honest look at the relative social or individual harm of these substances, marijuana is close to the bottom -- and absolutely lower than alcohol.

People are finally starting to learn this, thanks in large part to the successful implementation of medical marijuana programs in the 14 states that have approved it. States and municipalities are bringing in millions of dollars in tax revenue from sales at clinics and dispensaries; city blocks are being revitalized by legitimate medical marijuana businesses; all hell is not breaking loose with rampaging druggies. People are starting to get it.

Where is the harm?

Just consider a few of the people who have been identified as marijuana users in the past year: 1) Santonio Holmes, Super Bowl MVP, 2) Michael Phelps, 14-time Olympic gold medalist, and 3) Tim Lincecum, Cy Young award winner and probably the best pitcher in MLB.

Obviously recretional marijuana use is not holding these guys back. Nor is it holding back millions of other people, of all colors, creeds, and professional backgrounds. There's no good reason that these people should be treated as criminals. They are not harming anyone. They are only barely harming themselves.

Bob Ellis said...

Yes, it is unconscionable for a law enforcement official to investigate erratic driving or other suspicious behavior.

How dare those entrusted with enforcing the law actually attempt to do their jobs!

They should be more tolerant of lawbreakers like yourself.

PP said...

Neal (or anon as he was at the SDWC) found his post moderated because my anti-spam software will tag certain language in comments and URL's as a result of past spamming behavior.

I will look at it and evaluate the merit in context to the post when I get a moment.

Bill Fleming said...

It is unconstitutional for police officers to harass innocent citizens, Bob Ellis. See Amendment 4.

Bill Fleming said...

This is also illegal, Ellis:

ENTRAPMENT - A person is 'entrapped' when he is induced or persuaded by law enforcement officers or their agents to commit a crime that he had no previous intent to commit; and the law as a matter of policy forbids conviction in such a case.

That includes driving in such a way as to make other people drive erratically so you can pull them over.

Ken G said...

Annually my wife and I drive from Billings to Wisconsin to see her family. We always stay a night and gamble in Dead Wood. We'll be going through North Dakota from here on out, I'll miss the black hills, but I won't spend anymore money in South Dakota when they think that kind of law enforcement is acceptable.

Bob Newland said...

Welcome to the Forum, Ken, and thanks for the comment.