Why Using Civil Asset Forfeiture Funds For The Opioid Crisis Is A Terrible Idea

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Civil asset forfeiture is a practice that law enforcement engages in which involves them taking private property away from individuals and assuming that the property is guilty, then requiring the individual who had their property taken away to prove their innocence.

To some, it looks like an unconstitutional cash grab but to many others it's a commonplace police procedure that many in law enforcement are convinced is necessary in order to continue funding business as usual.

In 2018, law enforcement in one state alone, Pennsylvania, managed to confiscate roughly $15 million in property.

That is a great deal of money being generated from a majority of individuals who had never been charged or convicted of any wrongdoing in-relation to that theft. Most of them cannot afford the legal fight to try and prove their innocence and get their property back. Those who have managed to do so have arguably only been able to pursue that justice because most had pro bono legal services offered to them.

In a number of regions lawmakers have offered one weak attempt or another at trying to reform this practice. As media attention has continued to grow and people have become more aware of this injustice, it's left an increasing pressure on lawmakers to respond rather than look like they simply support unjustified and unconstitutional theft.

Unfortunately though, in many circumstances their reform hasn't amounted to much, with police insisting that they'd still continue in some jurisdictions with business as usual regardless of the changes that had been made on a legislative level to reform the practice.

What about using the funds that come from civil asset forfeiture to help fund the opioid crisis, some might think that this is a clever idea, because states cannot rely on the federal government to give them the money to fight this problem. In recent years, the government on various levels has been busy suing opioid manufacturers and others who have allegedly been involved in contributing to the mess. For one state, like Ohio, it's estimated that the opioid "epidemic" is costing more than $6 billion every single year.

But the answer to try and find funding to tackle a problem shouldn't rest in getting those funds from innocent individuals, taking their money from them through civil asset forfeiture and then directing it to another endeavor. If such a problem were to rely heavily on those funds coming from civil asset forfeiture then that would continue to put pressure on law enforcement to engage in the practice and secure that revenue.

Civil asset forfeiture is an unconstitutional practice that should be abolished entirely, as law enforcement have already more than demonstrated that this policy will only fuel an incredible amount of widespread corruption across the country.

Giving the funds that get collected from this corrupt practice over to dealing with the opioid crisis doesn't make the theft any less unjust.

Pics:
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Related Posts:

Kentucky Farmer Fights Back Against Civil Asset Forfeiture

What Has Civil Asset Forfeiture Been Funding?

Class Action Status Sought Over Civil Asset Forfeiture Abuse

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I think I read somewhere that in recent years the amount stolen through "asset forefeiture" is now greater than the amount stolen through "theft."

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brought to you by the people who have been tasked with keeping you safe 😂

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Civil asset forfeiture is an unconstitutional practice that should be abolished entirely, as law enforcement have already more than demonstrated that this policy will only fuel an incredible amount of widespread corruption across the country

I'll one up you here too. The police should be abolished. They are a net evil.

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that's an extreme freedom proposition that I don't think many are ready for

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It is undeniable that protecting me from robbers costs more than being robbed. Is it ever a good idea to let foxes guard chickens?

Funding the drug war with government theft that was enabled by the drug war? I don't see any potential for the corruption there at all.

I always thought the practice of civil asset forfeiture was some bullshit. It is just another means for the authority to extract wealth from the population through the force of law. The "Opioid Crisis" is just a buzzword that helps to get the public on board. It stirs up a lot of fear and sympathy in people but it is just a convenient pretext for increasing the use of an extremely abusive policy.

Great post @doitvoluntarily about the terrible state of things involving asset forefeitures. It is so sad that government departments are able to figure out ways to go around the natural rights and liberties of the people. Allowing asset forefeiture to be a method of acquiring funding for any purpose is a horrible idea.

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I note that the opioid crisis is entirely government stealing from people, just as is civil asset forfeiture. Government has no rights. It's an agreement between people that they intend to enforce their rights, and thus cannot have rights of it's own people don't have.

Do you have the right to make other people take actions? No? Then you can't delegate that right to someone else, nor a gang of someone's else. Do you have a right to take someone's money? No? Then neither does a gang. Gang's having the power to take money, or force people to inject stuff into their kids, or prevent them from eating what they want, has no justification.

Stealing the sovereignty of people and funding that by stealing their money is just two left turns. It's takes three left turns to make a right.