Austin Cops Bust Indoor X-Mas Tree Grow Op

Barry Cooper, former Texas police officer, has made it his mission to expose the heavy handed tactics that police are using these days to fight the war on drugs.  There are quite a few cops that have seen the light and now oppose the incendiary and ineffective war on drugs.

It was fantastic.  They rented a house and set up a couple of Christmas trees under high powered lights, similar to those used in a marijuana grow operation.  And then they waited.  Sure enough, 24 hours later, the cops came busting in the door – only to find benign Christmas trees and a lawyer waiting for their arrival.

One question.  Where’s the probable cause??????

I can pretty confidently say that pine trees and marijuana do not smell at all similar.  Obviously if a cop had *seen* the plants, he would have rightly come to the conclusion that they do not look similar either.  Interestingly enough, the Austin cops are refusing to release the search affidavit – which, in this case, is clearly full of lies and false statements.  Just to be clear, lying to get a judge to sign a search warrant is highly illegal and is very dangerous to a free society.

For those that know me, you know that I support the libertarian viewpoint on drug legalization.  I say legalize ’em all.  The argument is very simple and has three major points.

First, for over 30 years, the war on drugs has done very little to actually reduce the amount of drugs on the streets.  Instead, it has caused prices to rise, further increasing the alure for young kids and law-dodging entrepreneurs to make huge sums of money.  The underlying effect has been to actually increase supply.  It’s been proven over and over, especially during the times of prohibition, that when a “popular” thing is made illegal, it does not go away and it concentrates the activity into less-than-desirable underground movements.

The second is that legalization would do nothing to increase usage.  I ask every pro-drug-war proponent this question:  “If drugs were legalized tomorrow, would YOU go out and start dropping heroin and meth?”  The answer is by and large no, and that truth stands for me as well.  Those who will experiment will experiment, regardless of what the law says.  The difference is that legalization would bring things out in the open, where dangers could be warned against at the time of sale.

The fundamental argument is whether we are allowed to put whatever we want into our bodies, so long as it does not harm others.  The problem of addiction is a health matter, not a criminal one.  Causing harm to others is all ready against the law – so things like hurting another person or driving under the influence are illegal regardless of the status of drug legalization.

In conclusion, I give my props to Barry Cooper and his group KopBusters for performing this little stunt.  The trap they laid was awesome and will hopefully go a long way to expose the police, judges and other parties that were involved in this.

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