Thursday, June 17, 2004
Free Richard Connors

Here's another example of the price of prohibitions. Richard Connors, an attorney who formerly worked as a public defender, is facing a three-year jail sentence, a $60,000 fine and three years probation for importing certain plant-based products from the Caribbean.

What drug could warrant that kind of sentence? Oh it's worse than cocaine or opium folks -- he was caught attempting to smuggle 1,150 Cuban cigars across the Canadian border. He apparently had a thriving little business making surrepitious trips to Cuba for the contraband and was making a tidy profit selling $60 boxes of cigars for $400. If you've ever smoked one, you would understand why people are willing to pay that kind of markup.

Okay so he was violating the increasing meaningless US embargo on Cuba, but as Steve Sebekius points out:

In case anyone hasn't noticed, our Kennedy-era embargo on Cuba hasn't exactly brought dictator Fidel Castro to his knees. And the notion that American citizens can be punished simply for touring a nation that the government doesn't really like is ridiculous. It's fine for the State Department to issue travel advisories, warning Americans that they won't have U.S. government protection in hostile nations. But Foggy Bottom shouldn't be telling us where we can and can't go, as if they were our national collective parents.

Shouldn't our border patrols be concentrating on intercepting terrorists? I mean really, do you want to spend your tax dollars on keeping Connors in jail for having good taste in cigars?


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