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Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2002 at 9:50 PM
While we focus on Bush and Iraq, etc., some bad legislation is sneaking past.
Sun, Oct. 20, 2002 Philadelphia (Pa.)Inquirer
ROLL CALL REPORT SYNDICATE
US House of Representatives
Federal Arrest Authority.
The House passed, 296-94, and sent to the Senate a bill (HR 2155) empowering Immigration and Naturalization Service agents to arrest drivers at border crossings under state alcohol and drug laws. It allows INS officers to administer blood, breath and urine tests without the driver's consent if they have reasonable grounds to suspect violations.
? If Canada relaxes pot laws, as is happening, what does this mean for Canadian visitors, or returning U.S. citizens, who have a LEGAL Canadian level of THC in their blood but not for whatever state they happen to cross into?
? This bill refers just to car drivers now, but, as happens all the time, such laws ARE extended to passengers. If so (what's to stop it?), this could mean bus, train or plane travelers.
? Federal Agents enforcing State laws? Is this precedented? Legal?
? If medical marijuana is legal in California, will INS agents support California's medical marijuana law instead of ignoring it as they have? That is...will they arbitrarily switch BACK to enforcing federal laws involving non-corporate drugs?
? How possibly can a border-crossing driver know he/she is at some legal level of THC? Will there be Warning Signs posted and facilities to pre-check one's self for "U.S. approvable" blood, breath and urine? Would U.S. INS officers accept printed documentation of this?
? This is classic use of "for safety"/"for our protection" excuses used to violate rights and pass illegitimate legislation. Note that protecting us from industrial toxins and carcinogens is not on the agenda.
? How possibly to challenge "reasonable grounds"? INS agents can say they detected "suspicious" behavior anytime. ANYONE with the wrong bumper stickers or hair or piercings or skin color can be detained to be subjected to needles, urine check humiliation and breath tests. (If ther's no victim, and if such high-tech science is needed to detect a "crime", is there a crime?)
? What penalties are there for INS agents who abuse this?
? Will Canada and Mexico reciprocate somehow?
? Call your Rep for a "free" (already paid for by taxes) copy of HR 2155.
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