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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Funny crimes of our times...

Boston Police said they made an unusual find after a drug raid Friday on a Roxbury apartment: counterfeit money.

Robert White, 50, was charged with possession of counterfeit money after police allegedly found 14 bogus $20 bills. He also faces a charge of knowingly being present where heroin is kept.

The money was funny: Boston man charged with possessing counterfeit money, The Boston Globe, Saturday, March 14, 2009

14 $20 bills is a grand total of $280. I don't know how well the counterfeiters knew their trade but it is entirely conceivable that they were at least good enough to make the bills look genuine to an untrained eye. And if Mr White was into counterfeiting himself I would guess the amount he would produce would likely exceed $280. So quite likely he is just being charged with not being a currency expert.

As for "knowingly being present where heroin is kept"... Doesn't that have somewhat of a ludicrous ring to it? I used to live in dormitories on campus, I knew there were drugs there... What was I supposed to do - sleep out in the cold?

And what if all that bad stuff was not off-limits?

In 2001, Portugal became the only EU-member state to decriminalize drugs, a distinction which continues through to the present. Last year, working with the Cato Institute, I went to that country in order to research the effects of the decriminalization law (which applies to all substances, including cocaine and heroin) and to interview both Portuguese and EU drug policy officials and analysts (the central EU drug policy monitoring agency is, by coincidence, based in Lisbon). Evaluating the policy strictly from an empirical perspective, decriminalization has been an unquestionable success, leading to improvements in virtually every relevant category and enabling Portugal to manage drug-related problems (and drug usage rates) far better than most Western nations that continue to treat adult drug consumption as a criminal offense.

Glenn Greenwald, The success of drug decriminalization in Portugal, Saturday, March 14, 2009

By the way, here in the US no drug laws existed prior to 1913 if memory serves. And best I know it's not like everyone here just became a junkie. A nation of junkies would hardly have been as powerful as successful as the US at the time.

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