Authorities in Oklahoma are fighting new legislation designed to address abuses of civil asset forfeiture. And for good reason – the authorities enjoy the money and property they steal from innocent people and are angry that someone is threatening to yank their snouts out of the trough.
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Ted Balaker says: "It's the drug war's little cousin: Laws create a black market in cigarettes, so smugglers step in to make money. What they're doing isn't inherently dangerous, but the black market makes it more violent than it otherwise would be. That gives ATF a public safety justification to arrest smugglers and add them to the ranks of incarceration nation. And the agency says the problem is the penalties for cigarette smuggling aren't tough enough! When both sides smuggle cigarettes and make money doing it, it gets harder to tell the 'good' guys from the 'bad' guys." Read the rest