Jan 072013
 January 7, 2013

police authorityTexas Troopers Violate Women During Routine Traffic Stop

Far too many people must be blind to the consequences of the War on Marijuana and the over-arching Drug War.  Or people are just too distracted with their lives as raising kids, caring for aging parents, trying to make this month’s rent or a plethora of possible issues are stopping people from speaking out more forcefully against a war being waged upon our own non-violent citizens.  I don’t see any other explanation.

While a war that locks marijuana users, growers and retailers in cages could have gone relatively unnoticed to many in years past, the cost of the war is now severely hindering every state in the union and more and more stories of the harmful consequences of this war are being exposed.  The SWAT raid of the Whitworth family, the Kathryn Johnston shooting, the misguided raid of a town’s mayor, 41 SWAT raids of a completely innocent couple and the killing of war veteran Jose Guerena are just a few examples of the harmful consequences of our nation’s Drug War.  Now, we have the violation (really amounting to sexual assault) of an aunt and niece travelling in Texas during what should have been a routine traffic stop.  Tony Newman of the Drug Policy Alliance has a rundown of 10 disastrous consequences of  the Drug War in The Huffington Post, however sexual assualt by law enforcement officers during traffic stops was not explicitly included.  Unfortunately, we can add full body cavity searches on the side of the road to the list of Drug War consequences.

Angel Dobbs and her niece Ashley Dobbs were cruising Texas Highway 161 on the way to a casino when they were pulled over by a Texas State Trooper for allegedly throwing cigarette butts out of their vehicle’s window.  Claiming, he smelled marijuana, Trooper David Farrell searched the vehicle, not finding any marijuana and not believing the women who denied smoking or possessing any marijuana.  Angel, the driver, even passed a sobriety test.  None of this satisfied Mr. Farrell, who called in a female trooper, Kelley Helleson, to conduct a cavity search.  Ms. Helleson then proceeds to conduct a cavity search of both the anus and vagina of both family members without even changing latex gloves.  The women are rightfully suing and the troopers are on paid suspensions pending a grand jury investigation.  The violation of these two women have even sparked a White House petition.

 

 

Regardless of how the legal battles proceed, we are only going to see more and more personal and constitutional violations due to the Drug War and usually due to marijuana laws as cannabis continues to be the most widely utilized illegal drug.  Is this the type of society that we want to live in, where ordinary people must undergo roadside cavity searches at the whims of law enforcement officers?  Where innocent people are killed because someone is suspected of growing a plant that can’t cause a lethal overdose?   If not, the only solution is ending cannabis prohibition and the mindset that we are at war with drugs, because good people are getting violated, harmed and killed in a war that cannot be won.

Article originally appeared on National Cannabis Coalition and republished with special permission

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About Anthony Johnson

Anthony Johnson is the executive director of the Oregon Cannabis Industry Association and director of New Approach Oregon, the PAC working to end cannabis prohibition for all adults in Oregon. In addition to helping organize the International Cannabis Business Conference & the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference, he also serves as a Board Member of the National Cannabis Coalition, working to legalize cannabis across the country and Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, an organization specifically working to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri.As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, in 2004. Following law school, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties.You can follow Anthony on Twitter and also friend him on Facebook by following the links below as he posts mostly about civil liberties and politics with dashes of sports, music, movies and whatnot.
  • Vixxis

    Horrible!

  • Wannabe cop killer

    Fucking disgusting. Both of those cops should be shot in the head

  • jamie stark

    This is completly insane I hope everybody that sees this sends the link to their elected officials and local news affiliates. Post it to your facebook ,your twitter and every other media app you can get it on. These are the things that need to be shoved in the publics face, the general public needs to see these things on a regular basis.

    The goverment uses the media every day to screw us because propaganda works, people believe what they see on tv,in the paper, or in magazines. These outrageous abuses by police and our goverment in general can not be allowed to go unnoticed by the public. It is our responsability to get these things seen. If we don’t do everything in our power to make people understand the attrocities the goverment is placing on people in there neighborhoods then it will continue to be swept under the rug and we will lose this battle.

    Just a few years ago I would have never believed that marijuana would be legal in my life time, but after the victories for marijuana over the last few years I can’t stop thinking that if we can just open the rest of the worlds eyes to th fact that we are not just stoned teenagers sitting in their parents basement playing video games and social degenrates we can actaully change the world. But that will take all of us using every media publication we have available to us. So take any oppurtunity you can tell anybody who will listen, make Our voices heard!

    P.S. Also please remember everything you write can be used on our behalf even the negatives so just think before you boisterous comments that can be used to make us appear less inteligent

  • http://www.facebook.com/bill.jones.94043 Bill Jones

    I have seen some things in 57 years and have been in law enforcement many years on the street and the prison system and have never seen such an unjustifyable abuse of power. HOW FUCKING DARE THEM! America is lost.

  • FED UP

    And the population thinks this is OK…I DON’T, what the hell is wrong with people?

  • johnny rotten

    USA USA USA cmon chant with me USA USA USA! the greatest country in the world, im gonna go buy me a M249 to shoot me some varmints! yee-haw!……..we really dont need these ppl making decisions about anything, with their lacklustre respect for human rights and international law, you would think america would be some backwards third world banana republic on par with countries like iran, saudi arabia and the democratic republic of congo. Unfortunately theyre not. Hopefully they’ll bankrupt themselves and be a sad footnote on how to not run a state in the history books.

  • Revo76

    Has everyone signed the petition????????? This shit is going to keep happening until we all make it stop.