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November 9, 2003
Drug War Insanity

This one is all over the blogosphere today, and I hesitated to link to it, but it's just too outrageous to ignore:

Gun-toting police burst into a South Carolina high school, ordering students to lie down in hall ways as they searched for drugs. The commando-style raid has parents questioning the wisdom of police tactics. The raid occurred Wednesday at Stratford High School in Goose Creek, S.C. Surveillance video obtained by CBS Affiliate WCSC in Charleston shows the police waving their guns and searching lockers as students lie flat on their stomachs or sides.

Police officers burst in on a bunch of high-school kids, waving automatic weapons around and acting much like you'd expect from takeover-style bank robbers, and for what?

"We received reports from staff members and students that there was a lot of drug activity. Recently we busted a student for having over 300 plus prescription pills. The volume and the amount of marijuana coming into the school is unacceptable," said principal George McCrackin.

No reports of bandits, armed to the teeth? No students arming themselves up, Columbine style? So what the hell were the police and school administration thinking? Is this the kind of police state that we're willing to accept in order to enforce a failed prohibition? As Samizdata says:

I am sorry, but some square headed jerks in a blue shirts start waving guns around a bunch of children who are just going about their business at school, and it is reported that parents are "questioning the wisdom of police tactics"? Questioning the wisdom of police tactics? To quote that wit and sage Eddy Murphy, get the fuck outa here. I would be looking for some heads-on-spikes if a child of mine was subjected to that sort of treatment. How this incident has not resulted in angry mobs in the streets throwing rocks is beyond me. What does it take to really piss these people off?

People talk about abuses of authority under the Patriot Act, and I scoff, and it's because you don't need a Patriot Act in order to abuse power. These insane drug prohibitions that have caused nothing but enormous costs and erosion of civil liberties have done nothing to either stem demand or eliminate supply. But now, the government can confiscate and keep your property without a trial, and local police can terrorize your kids as long as some school principal smelled a doobie at one time.

A couple of my previous posts speak to this topic in different ways. First off, read this post, in which police conduct another overblown drug raid under more humorous conditions. This post was about a previous -- and slanted -- CBS news story attacking home schooling, in part claiming that home-schooled children are less safe than those who attend public schools. Interestingly enough, one of the states it mentions is North Carolina.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 9, 2003 9:09 PM

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