asset forfeiture
Ending Marijuana Prohibition

DOJ Suspends Asset Forfeiture Equitable Sharing Payment Program

asset forfeiture
(image via StopTheDrugWar.Org)

Asset forfeiture is not a topic that enough people know about, even though it is one of the main tools in the war on drugs. Law enforcement can basically take stuff now, and ask questions later. Or in some cases, not even really ask any questions at all. For a very long time now, law enforcement can say that cash, cars, and other assets were used in illegal activity, and take those things, even if charges are never filed against the person they took them from. I’ve heard of it happening too many times to count. One of my friends was driving from Illinois to Oregon and had $18,000 taken from him, even though he wasn’t doing anything illegal and was never charged with anything.

Asset forfeiture is a very large funding source for many law enforcement agencies, some of which abuse the funding. There are going to be some changes for the foreseeable future however. Per the Institute for Justice:

On Monday, following the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program announced that it would defer all equitable sharing payments for forfeitures, both civil and criminal, to state, local, and tribal partners for the foreseeable future. Following the DOJ’s announcement, the International Association of Chiefs of Police issued a statement, saying that the decision was “detrimental to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.”

Following these announcements, Lee McGrath, Legislative Counsel at the Institute for Justice, issued the following statement:

“Law enforcement revealed that its true interest in forfeiture is policing for profit—not public safety,” said Lee McGrath, Legislative Counsel for the Institute for Justice, in response to releases from the Department of Justice and International Association of Chiefs of Police.  ”The recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act does not stop police and prosecutors from chasing criminals. They’re frustrated because Congress put on hold their chasing cash.”

“State legislators from Florida to Ohio to California should take notice of law enforcement’s reaction to the DOJ’s announcement” McGrath added.  ”Many police, sheriffs and prosecutors want to circumvent state laws because outsourcing forfeiture litigation to the federal government is lucrative.  State lawmakers should enact an anti-circumvention provision that respects federalism and refocuses law enforcement’s attention on stopping crime by allowing only seizures greater than $50,000 to be forfeited under federal law.”

  • Jon Alan

    This asset forfeiture idea was supposed to be used for very high level drug dealers. Now a huge number of police departments are blatantly and corruptly using asset forfeiture of non-violent marijuana discoveries when the taxes from legal medical marijuana is almost universally providing local and state law enforcement with funding. Our police in many states are above the law and insensitive and violently opposed to anything that prevents their corrupt and illegitimate actions in asset forfeiture and their grip on power.
    This legislation must be enforced or the criminal element in our police forces will continue their corruption, and staining of the good cops I know and respect.

    • “supposed to be used for very high level drug dealers.” my ASS!!!
      They’ve been robbing folks like this from its inception! that is only a bullshit excuse to get this lie rolling in the first place and you are perpetuating that idea. Any sort of ‘asset forfeiture’ without Due Process of law is Treason and tyranny! They could bust high level drug dealers without ‘asset forfeiture’ they just wouldn’t get to keep all the money/assets and THAT is what they want.
      The Feds and State level police are both involved in illegally smuggling and selling drugs too and have been for generations!
      “the good cops” you know? There are no good police that STAY police in this evil system and any who stay are a part of it. We The People are the police, may arrest for felonies, and we do not need these corporate goons called ‘police’ lording over us. We need law and order and ‘police’ in some way but asset forfeiture is only one of many radical changes that must occur to create a truly benevolent policing system.

      • Jon Alan

        I couldn’t agree more dude.

  • exbioman

    Sieg Heil! Assume the position or die! All your possessions are MINE!
    Drop a dime on Prohibitionists!

    On another light, I hope you had a Happy Holiday and hope you have a great New Year!

  • Closet Warrior

    Fuck the police w/their draconian ways and licensed to kill attitudes. Ever wonder how a divorced cop can afford alimony, child support and a partial if not whole house payment while living w/a new wife and new house? Personally happened near my hometown. Two words: ASSET FORFEITURE!!! Like exbioman says, happy holidays! Chilllin w/some Juicy Fruit and Bubba K, good mix. Ho ho ho

    • David Murray

      Another way they make that much is through extra detail work and triple time holiday pay. A slightly motivated cop can make 100k a year with not much trouble. I have known several who did or are doing just that. The confiscated, or stolen money if you will, is usually put towards extra weapons swat gear etc.

      • Closet Warrior

        Usually??? Not all cops are corrupt but they work in a corrupt system that promote “Finder’s /Keeper’s tactics!!! We need good cops, therefore, we must reform the prohibitionists, ie Most Republicans and cops w/their Reefer Madness!!! Perfect excuse to seize someone’s life’s work to pay for tactical gear, Brilliant!!!! You must be a Republican or a cop, probably both! Sorry bout your luck. Lol

        • David Murray

          Perhaps you should calm the f down a bit. I’m pro cannabis all the way. I said I KNOW cops, Not I am a cop.

          • Closet Warrior

            Sorry to offend, not my intention. Just sounded like you were defending these fascists. My apologies bro. Us trench fighters need to stick together, again, my bad.

          • David Murray

            Thanks,no problem. I would never defend the search and seizure Nazis

        • David Murray

          Oh, also not a republican. or democrat.

          • Closet Warrior

            If a double apology isn’t good enough perhaps we should stick w/this-we both smoke, we’re both Weed Bloggers, and we’re not cops or Republicans so our lives should potentially be fair to good so no arguing amongst the animals. Peace

          • David Murray

            Your doing fine, no double apology needed. Thanks.

          • Closet Warrior

            Thanks, been battling bad nerve issues due to low thc levels bro but soon to be remedied lol!!! A piece of Juicy Fruit n a piece a Bubba K and boom! You have your very own instant hybrid!!! All smiles, Happy happy happy!!! Happy holidays my Weed Blog brothers n sisters!!! PEACE

          • David Murray

            I have my choice of dakini kush, diesel, or roughneck. Cheers!

          • Closet Warrior

            I would send you an e-bud if we had the technology man lol. I just happen to have a couple plants flowering out well but I’m out and I needed to do a quality check anyways. Have a groovy day bro!!!

        • We The People ARE the police and may arrest for anything felonious. trials should be local and immidiate. corporate city jurisdiction employed police need to be re-evaluated and made to be the meter maids they are at most. Police have never done me one bit of good my entire life but continue to oppress of us all. Liberty comes from the ground up not the top down so when you create artificial entities like ‘police’ departments you program the public to accept the slave mentality of being policed when WE are the police! We may police the police and even arrest them for felonies. The answer to all the police problems in America is to gut most police departments, end the drug war bullshit lie, have community based police for general order and on call for emergency and real crime. The police cannot serve us or be our friends nor create and preserve liberty in America until We the People are at One with them and that requires a major shift in thinking about how police work and the limits of their power. The State should not have a monopoly on force and we do not need to be living in a nanny State and treated like stupid children by stupid pigs who don’t care about truth or liberty but are often the types this article is all about abusing power and becoming parasites to society.

  • jimheffner

    If we have to have police I’d prefer they followed the 9 Principles of Policing from 1829 associated with Sir Robert(where Bobby for cop comes from in the UK) Peel:

    1.To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.

    2.To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their
    functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence,
    actions and behaviour, and on their ability to secure and maintain
    public respect.

    3.To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and
    approval of the public means also the securing of the willing
    co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.

    4.To recognise always that the extent to which the co-operation of the
    public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the
    use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.

    5.To seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public
    opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to
    law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the
    justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready
    offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the
    public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready
    exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour, and by ready offering of
    individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.

    6.To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice
    and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to
    an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order,
    and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary
    on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.

    7.To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives
    reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and
    that the public are the police, the police being only members of the
    public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are
    incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and
    existence.

    8.To recognise always the need for strict adherence to
    police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp
    the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of
    authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.

    9.To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the
    absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police
    action in dealing with them.

    The spelling is English from 1829 and not my free form make it up if it sounds and looks good.

  • Sinclair

    The practice should be outlawed completely.

  • The Ohio legislature clowns recently entertained us by pretending to consider some legislation here in Ohio to get rid of their ‘Asset Forfeiture’ Organized Theft and Armed Robbery program but so far the Bill hasn’t gotten anywhere really. Big surprise!

    The article claims that “…Ohio law enforcement has taken in about $80 million in assets during the past decade
    through the federal Equitable Sharing Program.” DISGUSTING TYRANNY!!!! Theft of a persons possessions without Due Process of Law is TREASON and violent robbery!
    I bet statistics would show that the 80 million in the last decade they admit to stealing in Ohio blows out of the water the total amount of non-government perpetrated robberies in Ohio over the same decade! The State is the biggest thief,Pimp, Murderer, enslaver, and Drug Dealer of them all!!

    http://www.dispatchDOTcom/content/stories/local/2015/09/30/gop-legislators-seek-end-to-civil-asset-forfeiture-under-ohio-law.html

  • Nug miner

    Growers of medicinal plants should be protected by billion dollar omnibus farm bill.

    White collar criminal assists are frozen in similar manner? Hypocrites?

    Laws should protect Americans from predators. Not people in power from those who are willing to work hard whatever the job.

  • billy james

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