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First take/swat


Take a look at the Washington Post article – this is just the latest of many this year – on how a local SWAT team terrorized a family, on “suspicion” that a marijuana grow might be happening there. Never mind that this was a well-established middle class family with children, both of whose adults were retired CIA employees. And that the sole reason for suspicion, all they had, was that the mother likes to the drink tea, and the father took one of the kids on a trip to a gardening store.

This is the kind of stuff that people worried about government really ought to be worried about, because it’s not fantasy – it really does happen all over the country. We have funded and supplied SWAT corps that, most of the time, have too little to do. So they find something to do: Terrorizing us.

Over at Facebook, I made the point that this is another example of why marijuana ought to be legalized, just because the “war” on it has become far more dangerous to all of us than the substance ever was to anyone. And the legal morass around criminalizing pot is the biggest single reason it should be legalized nationally. But these SWAT teams are another issue beyond that. They were created for a reason, and occasions happen – like the mass shootings, which themselves are getting too frequent – when it’s a good thing we have them available. But simply having them around, with pressure on (as it always will be) for regular demonstrated reports about how busy they are, means that these kinds of nightmares will go on and on, on whatever pretext. This militarization has to be reversed and scaled back.

Read this piece in the Post, put yourself in the place of this family, and try to come up with an argument for how this could be right . . . – rs

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