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Friday, March 30, 2007
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Your Roundup of Government Abuse and Nannyism

This could've been worse I suppose... they could've actually pulled the trigger:

The man leveled his gun at Nicole Thompson's face.

Moments later, he had the mother of four on the ground with the barrel to the back of her head. According to her and her husband, the man screamed, "If you move, I'll shoot you in the f-- head!"

It is an experience she can't get out of her mind. The gunman, it turned out, was a cop. And the whole thing - 12 armed officers storming the family's split-level Spring Lake Park house - was a big misunderstanding.

Now, a month later - flinching every time there's on rap on the door and awaking from nightmares - Thompson and her husband say they've yet to receive a proper explanation or a sincere apology from police. Reports made by officers involved say they did apologize, but the Thompsons don't recall it that way.
...
They uncuffed the Thompsons and Cordts, explained that a confidential informant had given them bad info, left a business card and, with a remark about "It's Miller time," they left.

Nothing like a nice cold one after scaring the living shit out of an innocent family.  But hey... at least their intentions are good.  After all, those pot smoking HIV patients are a dangerous bunch:

Sometimes there's a fine line between consent and coercion.

Jack Branson learned that lesson the hard way in October 2004 when officers from the North Metro Drug Task Force knocked on his door.

Would Branson give consent to these officers to conduct a warrantless search of his home in Thornton?

Well, of course he would consent - especially after, as Branson tells it, the dozen or so armed cops explained, in detail, the needless tragedies that would befall his home if they were forced to go through the trouble of returning with a warrant.

In they went.

The police, naturally, knew exactly what they were looking for and quickly seized about a dozen marijuana plants Branson was growing in the backyard.

Charged with felony cultivation and possession with intent to distribute, the 38-year-old Branson, who is in a 20-year fight with HIV, is now facing a maximum six years in prison.

Branson, who had no previous criminal record, claims that a physician named Dr. Cynthia Firnhaber verbally recommended medical marijuana to him in 2002 to help ease his pain.

"That or pick out a hospice which you'd like to die in," Branson alleges the doctor told him.

I suppose it's easier to go after the sick ones than the dangerous ones isn't... especially when they all look the same on the statistic sheets.  Via Reason.

But if you think you're safe just because you only drink alcohol... well... you better be glad you don't live in Pennsylvania.  They're trying to pass legislation that would require all cars sold in the state to have ignition interlock systems to prevent you from driving if you're blood alcohol level is above .025.  That would equal one drink... or possibly a slice of toast.

Want to read more about how the Nanny State is progressing?  Read this article on USA Today which sums up quite nicely how many laws we actually have.

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