Sunday, July 10, 2005

It's a war on - plastic bags?

If I read one more story like this I'm going to lose it. It's just too much. I mean, am I still in America?

Pennsylvania's highest court ruled that a clothing store owner who sold alleged drug paraphernalia could be charged under racketeering statutes. And we're not even talking pipes here. The alleged paraphernalia consisted of legally obtainable products.

During the search, detectives seized more than 250,000 clear plastic bags of different sizes and colors, thousands of silver and gold smoking screens, 156 vials of Inositol, 57 cakes of Mannitol that is also used as a cutting agent and two bottles of a substance that is ingested by drug users in an attempt to prevent a positive drug test result, according to court records.
The ruling arises from an appeal after the storeowner was convicted and was "sentenced in June 2001 to five years of probation, fines totaling $1,000 and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service."

The prosecutions glee is enough to make you gag.
Kevin R. Steele, the county district attorney's trials chief, said he welcomed the decision.

"This lets businesses, particularly mom-and-pop stores that are trying to make some extra dollars by selling drug paraphernalia, know that they are committing a major crime," Steele said. "Hopefully, this sends a message that these businesses just can't put their heads in the sand.

By further defining corrupt organizations, the Supreme Court has given prosecutors another weapon in our arsenal to combat drug trafficking," Steele said.
Is this some new specialty called Contortionist law? How far can you stretch prohibition to punish small businesses that try to stay afloat by selling a product legally available anywhere and turn them into drug kingpins? The DA is apparently able to turn logic into silly putty in order to twist it around this bust.
"Involvement in the drug trade has enormous consequences," Steele said.

"Mrs. Dellisanti played a significant part in drug-trafficking operations in Norristown, supplying drug dealers with the tools to increase their profits and to package their illegal products," Steele said.
Note: There were no actual drugs harmed, or found, in the making of this travesty of justice.


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