US Marijuana Party

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Legal jurisdiction limited

By Evan Belanger
Cullman Times Online, AL
As the debate over illegal aliens continues, local law enforcement officials complained this week that, despite public perception, the law does not give them jurisdiction to deal with illegal aliens.

In an interview Monday, Sheriff Tyler Roden told The Times that deporting an illegal alien is "not a simple process."

He said, in most cases, the Sheriff's Office has no jurisdiction to do anything unless it's determined that some other law has been broken.

"Coming into the U.S. illegally is a violation of federal law, not a state law," he said. "Unless they break a state or local law, we have to let them go."

While hesitant to say large volumes of illegal aliens lead to higher crime rates, Roden did say "immigration problems contribute to drug flow" in Cullman County, particularly in marijuana and crystal meth.

Sheriff Roden says he cannot arrest illegal immigrants unless they have broken a State law, then implies that they are breaking State law by bringing in controlled substances. So which is it?

This kind of leap in logic is common.

Prohibitionists, for example, use fear-based tactics to justify the drug war. Many people feel that a person possessing marijuana in his own home should be arrested on the basis that he somehow poses a threat to them. He might decide to jump in the car and cause a traffic accident. Or he may decide to drive down to the playground and give his pot to your children. Of course someone possessing alcohol in his home might decide to do these same things. Someone possessing a rock in his yard might decide to pick it up and throw it at you.

While the idea of the pre-emptive strike is obviously absurd in many scenarios, a big dose of government propaganda and fear-mongering is usually enough to convince people to abandon their reason.


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