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California Legislation Would Stop Cops From Policing For Profit


marijuana and CashThe hearing for Assembly Bill 639 to reform asset forfeiture in California
has fortunately been rescheduled to Tuesday, July 5th. This bill, while not perfect, is an attempt to prevent California law enforcement authorities from using federal authority to perform asset forfeitures. Cutting off this loophole is important; the federal Equitable Sharing program allows state and local law enforcement to ignore state law about the process and disposition of forfeitures. Most dangerously, Equitable Sharing allows state and local law enforcement to directly retain forfeiture proceeds (in other words, policing for profit).

This bill should be particularly important for Drug War reformers; much of Drug War enforcement is paid for by federal forfeiture dollars that get spent by state and local police on military equipment, drug task salaries and bonuses, and the organization infrastructure that allows the existence of the Drug War. California state and local law enforcement now receive upwards of $70 million a year through Equitable Sharing forfeiture dollars alone.

I am working with Christina Walsh of the Institute for Justice to solicit
testimony from forfeiture victims to submit to the California Senate Public
Safety Committee on Tuesday, July 5th. Please contact me if you are
interested in submitting testimony (we can help you draft such testimony).

You can reach me at Eapen@ForfeitureReform.com.

Many thanks

Eapen Thampy
Executive Director, Americans for Forfeiture Reform
3630 Holmes St., Kansas City, MO, 64109
Phone: 573-673-5351
Email: Eapen@ForfeitureReform.com or Eapen.Thampy@gmail.com
Web: http://www.forfeiturereform.com and


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Johnny Green


  1. Civil (though it’s anything but) asset forfeiture has been one of the main weapons against Pain Management doctors in the DEA’s war against those doctors and their patients. It takes away their ability to hire a decent defense before they’re convicted, and because a)older doctors have had time to accrue assets, and b)those assets add up to a tidy sum for the Drug Warriors, those doctors who are older, have their own clinics and practice alone or with only one other person, usually a spouse, they’re very vulnerable. A trial first in the local media to taint the jury pool, denial of exculpatory evidence by the Right-Wing appointed judge, and manufactured and/or blackmailed evidence all taken together for a massive number of charges that could add up to more than one lifetime make it all but certain the doctor will plea bargain. The patients are all poor, having been unable to work for years or even decades. They have nothing at all to fight or defend themselves with, while the DOJ can – and apparently will – attack forever. The goal to “WIN, NO MATTER THE COST!” As Siobhan Reynolds wrote, to be accused is to be destroyed, guilty or not.” Guilt or its lack doesn’t matter at all to these agencies. Nor do life and the wasting of it, needless suffering or anything but WINNING!

    It’s a set piece every time (the DOJ brags about an insanely high conviction rate – on the order of 97% – without thinking about it and realizing that it means the MUST be cheating). Taking back control of Civil Forfeiture will be a desperately needed first step in taking back our law! As it stands right now, “the Law” – judges, prosecutors, local cops and judges, all ignore or warp the Law to their own preferences and do whatever it takes to win with no thought at ALL as to whether the victim – the defendant, that is – might be innocent. It’s irrelevant to them, and it undermines the law in all other cases. Since George H. Bush, our first openly corrupt corporate, war-criminal president, began to replace the government with crony appointees whose sole loyalty was the Oligarchs and the corporations they own, it has gone downhill on an ever steeper incline. It is self-reinforcing, and the massive militarization and removal of almost all accountability even for public, open murder and subsequent perjury to cover themselves, Americans have increasingly seen the “flowering” of another Nazi-clone, fascist Imperial attempt on the government of the world. We MUST begin to stop it,to reverse this awful, frightening and angering change into monstrous evil somewhere, and this is good place to begin. IF – only if we can somehow stop the judge or whatever in this case from disallowing evidence, misinforming a jury, allowing the prosecutor to falsify evidence without challenge while challenging the other on everything. And more than anything such judges have simply ignored the law as though it didn’t exist.

    I’ll take ANY win, but this one could save a great many innocent lives: the victims of wrong-address SWAT raids for half a joint, and the nearly 800 doctors imprisoned for doing their jobs. And of course, the 116 MILLION suffering and dying Chronic Pain Patients in America who are desperately hoping for treatment for them before it’s too late.


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