Washington Passes Bill Nullifying Jeffery Sessions Asinine Asset Forfeiture Laws

OLYMPIA, Wash. (Jan. 29, 2018) –  Last week, a Washington state House committee passed a bill that would improve the state’s asset forfeiture laws and set the stage to close a loophole that allows state and local police to circumvent more strict state forfeiture laws by passing cases off to the feds.

Rep. Matt Shea (R-Spokane Valley) and Rep. Roger Goodman (D-Kirkland) introduced House Bill 2718 (HB2718) on Jan. 12. The legislation would take several steps to reform Washington’s asset forfeiture laws. While the state could still seize assets without a criminal conviction, HB2718 would increase protection for property owners and place the burden of proof squarely on prosecutors.

HB2718 would make several changes to current asset forfeiture law, explicitly providing that the burden of proof is on the seizing agency; allowing prevailing claimants to recover attorneys’ fees, expenses, and damages for loss of use of property; requiring that, when ordered to return property, the seizing agency return it in the same or substantially similar condition as when seized; and making all seizing agencies subject to detailed reporting requirements.

The House Justice Committee approved HB2718 by a 12-1 vote.

The reporting requirements include provisions relating to federal asset forfeiture. This would set the stage to close a loophole that allows state and local police to get around more strict state asset forfeiture laws in a vast majority of situations. This is particularly important in light of a new policy directive issued last July by Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the Department of Justice (DOJ).

FEDERAL LOOPHOLE

A federal program known as “Equitable Sharing” allows prosecutors to bypass more stringent state asset forfeiture laws by passing cases off to the federal government through a process known as adoption.The new DOJ directive reiterates full support for the equitable sharing program, directs federal law enforcement agencies to aggressively utilize it, and sets the stage to expand it in the future.

Law enforcement agencies often bypass more strict state forfeiture laws by claiming cases are federal in nature. Under these arrangements, state officials simply hand cases over to a federal agency, participate in the case, and then receive up to 80 percent of the proceeds. However, when states merely withdraw from participation, the federal directive loses its impact.

Until recently, California faced this situation.The state has some of the strongest state-level restrictions on civil asset forfeiture in the country, but state and local police were circumventing the state process by passing cases to the feds. According to a report by the Institute for Justice, Policing for Profit, California ranked as the worst offender of all states in the country between 2000 and 2013. In other words, California law enforcement was passing off a lot of cases to the feds and collecting the loot. The state closed the loophole in 2016.

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Including federal forfeitures in the reporting requirements will shed light on equitable sharing and potentially generate the awareness necessary to pressure policymakers into closing the loophole. This could be done by passing legislation prohibiting state and local police from passing cases off to the feds in most situations. We recommend the following language.

  1.  A law enforcement agency or prosecuting authority may not enter into an agreement to transfer or refer seized property to a federal agency directly, indirectly, by adoption, through an intergovernmental joint taskforce or by other means for the purposes of forfeiture litigation and instead must refer the seized property to appropriate local or state prosecuting authorities for forfeiture litigation under this chapter unless the seized property includes U.S. currency in excess of $100,000.
  1. This paragraph preempts laws by township, municipal, county and other governments in the state which regulate civil and criminal forfeiture.

As the Tenth Amendment Center previously reported the federal government inserted itself into the asset forfeiture debate in California. The feds clearly want the policy to continue.

Why?

We can only guess. But perhaps the feds recognize paying state and local police agencies directly in cash for handling their enforcement would reveal their weakness. After all, the federal government would find it nearly impossible to prosecute its unconstitutional “War on Drugs” without state and local assistance. Asset forfeiture “equitable sharing” provides a pipeline the feds use to incentivize state and local police to serve as de facto arms of the federal government by funneling billions of dollars into their budgets.

While HB2718 only makes modest reforms and does not directly address equitable sharing, we view it as a solid foundational step.

WHAT’S NEXT

HB2718 now moves to the House Appropriations Committee where it must pass by a majority vote before moving forward in the legislative process.

Tenth Amendment Center

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Source Article from https://politicalvelcraft.org/2018/01/30/washington-passes-bill-nullifying-jeffery-sessions-asinine-asset-forfeiture-laws/

CNN’s Clapper Suggests Putin ‘Handling’ Trump Like Intelligence ‘Asset’

So much for CNN’s declaration of “facts first.” The news outlet that pompously calls themselves “the most trusted name in news” threw that out the window on Monday when their national security analyst and Obama’s former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper suggested that President Trump was being treated like an intelligence asset by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

During Clapper’s appearance on CNN’s The Lead he was asked by Jim Sciutto, another Obama administration flack CNN had on the payroll, about if Trump’s description of Russia and China as rivals and his desire to find collaborative efforts were “a contradictory message.”

Clapper’s response was his wild conspiracy theory about the U.S. President. “Well, it is to me. I think this past weekend is illustrative of what a great case officer Vladimir Putin is. He knows how to handle an asset, and that’s what he’s doing with the President,” he told Sciutto.

You’re saying that Russia is handling President Trump as an asset,” Sciutto followed up, with the sound of excitement in his voice. “That seems to be — that’s the appearance to me,” Clapper answered before he droned on about the history of U.S.-Russian relations in terms of counter-terrorism operations.

 

 

Sciutto was still fixated on Clapper’s baseless smear and wanted him to talk more about it. “I just want to be clear here though; you’re saying that Russia is treating the president of the United States as an asset?

I’m saying this figuratively,” Clapper claimed, appearing to walk it back. But he immediately began to back up his original assertion by analyzing how Putin interacts with Trump:

I think you have to remember Putin’s background. He’s a KGB officer. That’s what they do. They recruit assets. And I think some of that experience and instincts of Putin has come into play here in his managing of a pretty important account for him, if I could use that term, with our president.

It’s worth noting that Clapper is an intelligence spook just as Putin was. When he was the DNI, he lied in testimony to Congress when he was asked about what he knew regarding the government’s domestic spying program, which collects information from everyone in the U.S. He told Congress he didn’t know anything about such a program. But when the program was later exposed via leaks, he claimed he simply forgot about the program’s existence.

This off-the-wall analysis by CNN came the day after their wannabe media pope, Brian Stelter began his Sunday show, Reliable Sources, by railing against Fox News for being pro-Trump ‘propagandists’ and suggested they’re state media. If they’re going to claim Fox News is saying outrageous things, then they can’t be pushing their own.

Transcript below:

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CNN
The Lead
December 18, 2017
4:27:39 PM Eastern

JIM SCIUTTO: You heard the President’s speech today, calls out Russia and China, describes them as rival powers – rival powers to the U.S., but also says he wants to build a great partnership with them and had all this friendly stuff to say about his phone calls with Vladimir Putin this week. Is that a contradictory message?

JAMES CLAPPER: Well, it is to me. I think this past weekend is illustrative of what a great case officer Vladimir Putin is. He knows how to handle an asset, and that’s what he’s doing with the President.

SCIUTTO: You’re saying that Russia is handling President Trump as an asset?

CLAPPER: That seems to be — that’s the appearance to me. So, you know, we’ve shared intelligence with the Russians for a long time. We’ve always done that. Although in my experience with them has been pretty much of a one-way street, where we provide them intelligence and we don’t get much back. And oddly enough, my first exposure to that was in the early ’90s when I served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and we were trying to engage the Russians on all places of North Korea. And didn’t get much back from them.

So, I think what we did is the right thing. Certainly when people’s lives are at risk that we do have a duty to warn. So the intelligence community, CIA did the right thing here and I thought in a rather theatric gesture of a phone call to thank President Trump for something that, kind of, goes on below the radar and is not all that visible.

SCIUTTO: I just want to be clear here though; you’re saying that Russia is treating the president of the United States as an asset?

CLAPPER: I’m saying this figuratively. I think, you have to remember Putin’s background. He’s a KGB officer. That’s what they do. They recruit assets. And I think some of that experience and instincts of Putin has come into play here in his managing of a pretty important account for him, if I could use that term, with our president.

(…)

Source Article from https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/nicholas-fondacaro/2017/12/18/cnns-clapper-suggests-putin-handling-trump-intelligence-asset

Alabama Police Use Asset Forfeiture to Ruin an Innocent Small Business Owner


A news report from Alabama offers two textbook cases of how sweeping powers of civil asset forfeiture allow police to seize people’s property with near impunity.

Under civil asset forfeiture laws, police can take property suspected of being connected to criminal activity, even if the owner is not charged with a crime. Law enforcement and prosecutors say the practice is a vital tool to disrupt drug trafficking and other organized crime by targeting ill-gotten gains. But in state after state, horror stories have emerged of regular people having their possessions expropriated and their lives turned upside down.

In the Alabama case, around 20 heavily armed officers raided Frank Ranelli’s computer repair shop in Ensley in 2010, on a tip that Ranelli was selling stolen goods. Police seized roughly 130 computers from the shop, most of them belonging to customers.

The Alabama news outlet Al.com reports what happened next:

Nothing ever came of the case. The single charge of receiving stolen goods was dismissed after Ranelli demonstrated that he had followed proper protocol in purchasing the sole laptop computer he was accused of receiving illegally.

Yet none of the property seized by police that summer morning more than seven years ago has been returned to him.

“Here I was, a man, owned this business, been coming to work every day like a good old guy for 23 years, and I show up at work that morning—I was in here doing my books from the day before—and the police just f***ed my life,” he said.

Ranelli has been fighting ever since to get his property back. But at least he got to keep his house. The same story documents the case of Cherie Marceaux, whose boyfriend was arrested in 2005 for selling marijuana to an undercover police officer. A subsequent search of their house turned up more pot. Marceaux pled guilty to possession and received probation, but police weren’t done with her:

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Source Article from http://filmingcops.com/alabama-police-use-asset-forfeiture-ruin-innocent-small-business-owner/

Is UK Reading Councillor Rachel Eden a British politician or an Israeli asset?

Gilad Atzmon writes:

It keeps getting better. Rachel Eden, the shameless “Labour” councillor who organised a protest against me without knowing who I am or what I stand for, is on the ultra-Zionist We Believe in Israel list of 216 General Election candidates who have pledged their support for Israel. 

Eden, who is councillor for Whitley ward in Reading, in the UK county of Berkshire, has also been colluding with a discredited Zionist rabbi who was sacked by his own congregation

In the video below, you can see that she doesn’t even recognise me, let alone understand my views.

Along with other Israeli stooges among UK parliamentary candidates, Rachel Eden vowed “to oppose the extremists who challenge Israel’s right to exist”.

Is it really extreme to demand that Israel become a state of its citizens as opposed to a state of the Jews? Our disgraceful “Labour” candidate, Eden, is pledging support for the existence of a state that is defined by race and racial privileges.

Eden further promised “to support the right of people in the United Kingdom to enjoy Israeli culture… without fear of discrimination, boycotts, harassment and/or intimidation”. Yet, Eden is the same wannabe MP who harassed, intimidated and threatened to boycott an arts festival that gave a platform to yours truly, a law-abiding citizen who happens to oppose Israel. I guess that moral integrity is a rare trait within friends of Israel circles.

Eden’s next pledge was “to celebrate the fact that Israel is a free society and parliamentary democracy that extends to all its citizens the right to practice their religion and have access to religious sites in Jerusalem”. 

Eden ought to inform us what she thinks about the status of millions of Palestinians who live in Israeli-controlled territories but lack all rights of citizenship as well as running water and electricity. 

And if Eden genuinely believes in “free societies”, why is she so upset by Reading International Festival providing the elementary freedom to speak?

Eden also promised “to support the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism”. She must believe that when it comes to racism, anti-Semites form a category of their own. I would actually expect a “Labour” candidate to equally oppose all forms of racism and bigotry.

British people who saw Rachel Eden and her Zombie league performing their collective book burning ritual, should ask themselves: Is Rachel Eden really British parliament material? Or is she more of a candidate for the Israeli Knesset?

Being in Time: If they want to burn it, you want to read it!

Being in Time: A Post-Political Manifesto
If they want to burn it, you want to read it!
Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com and  here 

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Source Article from http://www.redressonline.com/2017/10/is-uk-reading-councillor-rachel-eden-a-british-politician-or-an-israeli-asset/

Sessions Sees Civil-asset Forfeiture as “Key Tool” for Law Enforcement

During an address to the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Philadelphia on October 23, Attorney General Jeff Sessions (shown) said he has designated the brutal MS-13 gang as a priority for the Justice Department’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces. While conservatives will applaud that effort, a second proposal included in Sessions’ speech will infuriate constitutionalists.

Sessions observed that our state and local partners in law enforcement are our strongest allies, our greatest resources, and that they deserve his department’s support.

If he had ended there, there would have been few problems, but he went on to say:

That’s why, in July, we reinstituted our adoptive sharing program, ensuring that criminals will not be permitted to profit from their crimes. As President Trump knows well, civil asset forfeiture is a key tool that helps law enforcement defund organized crime, take back ill-gotten gains, and prevent new crimes from being committed, and it weakens the criminals and the cartels. In departments across this country, funds that were once used to take lives are now being used to save lives.

Sessions explained that the Justice Department is establishing a department to oversee civil-asset forfeiture in order to “maintain public confidence.” (This sounds more like a public-relations program to diffuse the inevitable objections to civil-asset forfeiture that are likely to arise from people across the political spectrum, from libertarians to constitutionalists to classical liberals.) Sessions stated, “I directed Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein to appoint a Director of Asset Forfeiture Accountability to oversee the Department’s asset forfeiture program and ensure no errors or overreach.”

The New American has published two articles this year that included sound arguments that civil-asset forfeiture is in violation of constitutional principles. “Is Tide Turning Against Civil Asset Forfeiture?”(June 2017) cited a highly-respected constitutionalist:

One person particularly aghast at the injustices associated with civil asset forfeiture is U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, who began questioning the legality of civil asset forfeiture in 1993, only two years after he had taken his place on the High Court, in the case of U.S. v. James Daniel Good Real Property. Five years after Good had completed a prison sentence for drug possession, federal marshals seized his home in Hawaii, without any notice or legal proceedings. Thomas opined that he was “disturbed by the breadth of new civil-forfeiture statues,” and he and other justices ruled in favor of Good.

The second article, posted in September, personally addressed the source of today’s discussion on CAF — Attorney General Sessions.


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Source Article from http://govtslaves.info/2017/10/sessions-sees-civil-asset-forfeiture-as-key-tool-for-law-enforcement/

Tech Firms Seek Washington’s Prized Asset: Top-Secret Clearances






Tech Firms Seek Washington’s Prized Asset: Top-Secret Clearances


October 23rd, 2017

Via: Bloomberg:

In doing so, companies such as Facebook Inc. are competing with defense contractors, financial firms and the U.S. government itself. Security clearances are a rare and valued commodity, whether at a bank trying to prevent hackers from stealing credit-card data and emptying accounts or at a manufacturer building parts for a stealth fighter or missile-defense radar system.

Bringing former government cyber warriors on board at companies can facilitate interactions with U.S. agencies like the NSA or CIA as well as help the firms understand how to build stronger systems on their own.

“They have the tradecraft,� said Ronald Sanders, a former associate director of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and now director of the school of public affairs at the University of South Florida. “And the trade craft is some of the best in the world.�















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Leaked ICE Guide Offers Unprecedented View of Agency’s Asset Forfeiture Tactics






Leaked ICE Guide Offers Unprecedented View of Agency’s Asset Forfeiture Tactics


October 17th, 2017

Via: The Intercept:

AN INTERNAL HANDBOOK obtained by The Intercept provides a rare view into the extensive asset seizure operations of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations, an office that trains its agents to meticulously appraise the value of property before taking it.

HSI’s 71-page “Asset Forfeiture Handbook,� dated June 30, 2010, underscores the role seizures play in “helping to fund future law enforcement actions� and covering costs “that HSI would otherwise be unable to fund.� It thus offers an unprecedented window into ICE’s wide-ranging asset forfeiture operations and the premium the agency places on seizing valuable property. Forfeiture proceeds can bolster ICE’s partnerships with local police departments, which are now the subject of heightened debate given the Trump administration’s hard-line immigration agenda.

ICE confirmed to The Intercept that the handbook reflects the agency’s most up-to-date guidance on asset forfeiture. Agents under its instruction are asked to weigh the competing priorities of law enforcement versus financial profit and to “not waste instigative time and resources� on assets it calls “liabilities� — which include properties that are not profitable enough for the federal government to justify seizing. “As a general rule, if total liabilities and costs incurred in seizing a real property or business exceed the value of the property, the property should not be seized,� the document states.

The handbook also instructs ICE agents on the various ways laws can be used to justify the seizure of a property, and devotes a significant portion of its pages to the seizure of real estate. The manual instructs agents seeking to seize a property to work with confidential informants, scour tax records, and even obtain an interception warrant to determine whether “a telephone located on the property was used to plan or discuss criminal activity� in order to justify seizing the property.

The handbook acknowledges that civil forfeiture can be used to take property from a person even when there’s not enough evidence for a criminal indictment.















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Session’s Perverse Asset Forfeiture Without Constitution’s 5th. Amendment “Due Process”: Deep State Framework For Totalitarian Police State

Fed collusion with State Highway Patrol & City Police ~ The Forfeiture Scheme Without The 5th. Amendment “Due Process”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions should reconsider his plan to expand the use of civil asset forfeiture in the service of the so-called war on drugs. If he fails to do so, Congress should reconsider it for him — indeed, Congress ought to act on asset-forfeiture reform irrespective of the attorney general’s views on the matter. Asset forfeiture is a constitutionally questionable practice whereby property — often cash — is taken from citizens by police agencies who suspect, or at least say they suspect, that the property may have been come by illegally, often through the drug trade.

Cash seized through asset forfeiture can be used by police departments, as can cash generated through the sales of seized property such as vehicles. The fact that police personnel can materially benefit from forfeiture proceedings creates a conflict of interest that would render forfeiture problematic even if it were used with discretion in accordance with the highest degree of procedural protections for the rights of the accused. It isn’t.

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There is such a thing as criminal forfeiture, but what is at issue is mainly civil forfeiture, meaning property seizures that are conducted under civil law rather than the criminal-justice process, which has more robust protections and higher standards of evidence.

This produces perverse outcomes in which American citizens are punished by their government for crimes with which they have not even been charged, much less convicted. In the past decade, the Drug Enforcement Administration alone has seized some $3 billion in cash from people who have not been charged with any crime.

U.S. Military Co-Opted By Deep State To Protect Their Poppies In Afghanistan
  1. Deep State Drug Protecting Military Gone To Hell.

This is almost certainly unconstitutional, something that conservatives ought to understand instinctively. Like the Democrats’ crackpot plan to revoke the Second Amendment rights of U.S. citizens who have been neither charged with nor convicted of a crime simply for having been fingered as suspicious persons by some anonymous operative in Washington, seizing an American’s property because a police officer merely suspects that he might be a drug dealer or another species of miscreant does gross violence to the basic principle of due process.

  1. Senate Reports NARCO Bank HSBC Helped Deep State Drug Cartels Launder Money

No doubt many of the men and women on the terrorism watch list are genuine bad guys, and no doubt many of those who have lost their property to asset forfeiture are peddling dope. But we are a nation of laws, which means a nation of procedural justice.

5th. amendment

If the DEA or the LAPD wants to punish a drug trafficker, then let them build a case, file charges, and see the affair through to a conviction. We have no objection to seizing the property of those convicted of drug smuggling — or of crimes related to terrorism, or many other kinds of offenses. We object, as all Americans should object, to handing out these punishments in the absence of a criminal conviction.

County Sheriff Can Nullify Any Federal or State Rule/Law ipso facto if Unconstitutional
  1. The Sheriff Has More Power In His County Than The President Of The United States: U.S. Constitution U.S. Supreme Court ~ Quashes Deep State’s Claim To “Supremacy Clause”

The specific issue here mainly touches on Sessions’s plan to revoke certain Obama-era restrictions on asset forfeiture. In response to the general unjustness of asset forfeiture and specific cases of abuse associated with it, many states have limited the use of the process, and 13 of them require an actual criminal conviction before seizing assets.

But the federal government offered police agencies operating under more restrictive state rules an out in the form of cooperative seizures — “equitable sharing,” they call it — under which federal authorities accepted seized assets in a cooperative capacity and then shared them with local agencies.

Which is to say, the federal government set up a program of official money-laundering in order to make an end run around state laws. Cute, that. The Obama-era reforms cut back on that, and Sessions means to return to the status quo ante as part of an aggressive new campaign to expand the use of forfeiture against drug traffickers.

Which is to say, conservatives should object to this on due-process grounds and on Tenth Amendment grounds — if the states wish to restrict the use of asset forfeiture, then Washington has no business interfering.

Conservatives, and all Americans, also should object to the abuses of forfeiture that have been well documented for years. See, for example, the “Policing for Profit” report from our friends at the Institute for Justice.

  1. Florida Sheriff Tells Americans To Arm Up This Is War: 86% Of U.S. City Police Stand With The Second Amendment.
  2. Attempting To Merge State And Corporate Power Out Of Chaos: Comes Dead Conspirators!

We admire a great deal about Jeff Sessions, but his determination to prove an atavistic drug warrior is lamentable.

But the case against asset forfeiture need not be restricted to those who take a libertarian view of drug decriminalization. The question here is not the legal status of marijuana but the legal status of due-process protections, as well as the ability of the states to decide for themselves how their law-enforcement agencies will conduct their business.

We hope that the attorney general sees the light on this issue. But even if that is unlikely, we know Jeff Sessions to be a man with a deep commitment to the law, which is why Congress ought to act on its own to legislatively restrict the use of civil forfeiture at the federal level and to prohibit “equitable sharing” shenanigans outright.

No American should be deprived of liberty or property without due process, and the process due in these cases — which are predicated on underlying criminal activity — is a criminal trial rather than a civil action.

National Review

Donald Trump’s Confusion On Drug Forfeiture vs Civilian Forfeiture and impounding vs forfeiture.

Related Articles:

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  4. Sanctions Isolate U.S. Itself: Russia Gives Solemn Warning To Deep State
  5. Deep State Attempts To Derail Justice For Using Drones Against Civilians
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Source Article from https://politicalvelcraft.org/2017/08/01/sessions-perverse-asset-forfeiture-without-constitutions-5th-amendment-due-process-deep-state-framework-for-totalitarian-police-state/

Jeff Sessions Announces Plan for Cops to Steal More Property by Increasing Civil Asset Forfeiture

sessionssessions

The U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has just promised to increase the federal government’s civil asset forfeiture programs. In an address at the National District Attorney’s Association conference in Minneapolis, MN this week, Sessions laid out his prosecutorial plans for the nation.

The gathering of district attorneys from all across the nation to meet with America’s top law enforcement official was revealing, to say the least. Sessions addressed many legitimate and pressing issues facing the nation; opioid epidemic, increasing murder rate, and human trafficking. But Sessions’ comments on planned confiscation of possessions of private citizens has many taking notice.

Sessions said:

In addition, we hope to issue this week a new directive on asset forfeiture—especially for drug traffickers. With care and professionalism, we plan to develop policies to increase forfeitures. No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime. Adoptive forfeitures are appropriate as is sharing with our partners.

Sessions has long-since considered marijuana a drug and not a plant, and his comment specifying “drug traffickers” as his primary target, has many in the medical marijuana (MMJ) industry more than a bit nervous. The DEA still classifies cannabis as a Schedule I narcotic even though 29 U.S. states have defied the DEA’s definition as well as federal law and enacted MMJ laws allowing for cannabis to be used as medicine and in a few states, recreationally.

Now, it seems, Sessions wants to not only increase seizures of property by federal agents belonging to citizens of subordinate states but he may be able to legally transpose the broad definition of “criminal” to include dispensary owners, growers, and distributors alike in states where weed is already legal. After all, each actor involved is breaking federal law with every plant cultivated or sold.

In June, 62 people were arrested for trafficking marijuana in Colorado, a state where not only is marijuana offered through the state’s medical marijuana board, but is also available for recreational uses. Several of those arrested were licensed members of the state’s program.

One operation, known as “Toker Poker,” targeted unlicensed marijuana growers and distributors who allegedly sold weed across state lines into surrounding states. According to the Denver Post:

The indictment, filed June 9, resulted in the seizure of nearly 2,500 illegally cultivated marijuana plants and 4,000 pounds of marijuana.

But what started out as a targeted investigation of growers and distributors quickly morphed into in related businesses, including at least one supply store.

A dozen businesses operated by the ring, including a marijuana grow supply store and purported property management companies, are also named in the indictment.

Members did not get licensing needed to grow and sell legally in Colorado, and then they sold the marijuana in states where pot is illegal, including Texas, Kansas, Nebraska and Ohio, the indictment said.

With the Attorney General’s new directive to increase civil asset forfeiture operations at the federal level, some states are prepared to push back.

In Colorado, HB17-1313 recently became the newest law concerning civil asset forfeitures. Amid a torrent of protest by sheriffs all across the state, lawmakers wrote into law new legislation requiring all state-level law enforcement agencies to forego receipt of federally seized liquid assets unless the amount of money seized exceeded $50,000.

Presumably, the law was meant to prevent police from seizing assets from those who could least afford to have their belongings confiscated. As TFTP has often reported, law enforcement agencies all across the U.S. are actively engaging in taking things that belong to the citizens to fund their policing activities. In other words, LEAs could become compromised into seizing more assets to fund themselves.

Here’s how it works according to Reason:

The Justice Department plays a huge role in asset forfeiture through its Equitable Sharing Program, which allows state and local police to have their forfeiture cases “adopted” by the federal government. The feds take over the case, and the seized money is put into the equitable sharing pool. In return, the department gets up to 80 percent of those funds back. The equitable sharing program distributes hundreds of millions of dollars a year to police departments around the country.

Seizures of property and goods, including cash, happen so frequently that LEAs’ civil asset forfeiture programs are becoming highly controversial.

For example, in Cook County, Illinois, for the past several years, police have seized property and cash an average of 5,000 times per year. That’s a total of over 25,000 seizures in the past five ears alone.

Many, if not all of the people who lost their property were not yet proven guilty in a court of law, and just as many never went to court before the assets were taken. In other words, police are taking innocent people’s property at will, requiring defendants to expend additional resources (money) to recover their goods.

Many believe civil asset forfeitures programs and operations are a form of legal theft. Now, it seems, even Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions wants in on the game and is putting all his drug war chips on the table.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/74734-2/