Medical-Marijuana Law Doesn't Apply on Loop 101 From About McKellips to 90th Street; Pot Patient Says Car Seized by Tribal Cops

Categories: Medical Weed

srpmic logo 1.jpg

Under Arizona's Medical Marijuana Act, motorists with state-issued pot cards can legally transport a small amount of "medicine" in their vehicles -- but not on tribal lands.

And those Native American lands include a strip of the Loop 101 freeway that runs from south of McKellips Road to the Pima Road/90th Street exit.

A qualified patient told us he was recently stopped for "no reason" on the 101 by a cop working for the Salt River Maricopa-Pima Indian Community, and that his car was seized by the tribe after a few grams of pot was found.

Valarie Tom, a spokeswoman for the SRP-MIC, wouldn't comment on any specific bust. But she does confirm that medical-marijuana registration cards don't apply on that stretch of the 101, or anywhere else on tribal lands, for that matter.

In other words, if you're passing through Indian Country, leave the bud at home -- whether or not you're legal under state law.

One difference between, say, Cibecue and the Salt River tribe though, is that the home of Casino Arizona borders a major urban area and has a heavily used freeway running through it.

Tom says she consulted with Tribal President Diane Enos for our question about seized vehicles.

"People who transport drugs in any jurisdiction face the possibility that they will be arrested, prosecuted, and that the vehicles they use to transport drugs may be seized," reads a written statement from the tribe. (Full text below.)

Our intrepid source who accidentally tripped this minefield says he's had a heck of a time getting the car back, even though it belongs to his father. We're withholding his name by his request.

He says the officer who pulled him over informed him that his reverse lights were stuck on.

"They weren't," he says.

The officer claimed he could smell marijuana in the car, and the motorist confessed to having some pot. He showed the officer his medical-marijuana registration card -- to no avail.

As former Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke reminded the state back in May, the feds have exclusive control over drug crimes on reservations.

The Salt River police officer wrote him a repair order for the reverse lights -- then seized the car.

J.R. Packhorse, a law specialist who helps defend people in tribal court, tells New Times our source's story isn't unusual.

In another case on the Salt River res, though not on the freeway, "I had a man who lost a brand-new Denali for a roach and two seeds," Packhorse says. "I lost. They kept it."

Packhorse, a Ponca, says the tribe runs a fair court, in general, despite such incidents.

Our unnamed source says he learned this morning that the tribe will release the car to his dad based on an "innocent bystander" provision.

"They're making him fly out here to get the car," he says.

The state's 18,000 medical marijuana patients may want to consider the scenery on the State Route 51.

Below, the SRP-MIC's statement:


The Salt River Police Department, like all law enforcement agencies, takes appropriate actions with regard to drug offenses. People who transport drugs in any jurisdiction face the possibility that they will be arrested, prosecuted, and that the vehicles they use to transport drugs may be seized.

As the U.S. Attorney's office made clear in its May 2, 2011 letter to the Arizona Department of Health Services, Arizona law including the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, does not apply to Indian Country. The Community will therefore continue to enforce tribal and federal laws as they apply to drug offenses. While the Community has no desire to interfere with individuals' exercise of their rights under Arizona law, given that the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act has not been fully implemented, it does not appear that drivers within the Community, including those traveling on state or federal rights of way, have the legal authority to possess marijuana within the exterior boundaries of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

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143 comments
rjsolis1313
rjsolis1313

why is everyone making this about race. fact is if the reservations don't want it around that's their right however if they are pulling over people for the fact they think they are stoners that's profiling and is wrong. patients need to know the laws until the government realizes we are not hurting anyone. one thing id like to say to the native American people who feel we are evil or something for smoking pot is some people would say the same about peyote, I have no problem with their use of it as is their right, but others do.

I know its a cliché and sounds maybe a bit childish however why cant we all just get along race shouldn't matter and the state of Arizona recognizes our rights

litkekeaton
litkekeaton

Was this person ever prosecuted? Did he serve any jail time or this?

jaywz2112
jaywz2112

wow.  okay s nnancy.  if your making the distinction between whites and Natives.  There is none, except the native were a unique situation, for when the reservation was created with lifetime funding and land with tax exemptions,  all men are created little more equal.   Granted this didn't work out for the Natives, without the motivation to work and disposition to alcohol, only a few lead productive lives.  Last I heard the salt river tribe sold out other natives when they allowed alcohol on the reservation.  America was less than 75 years old when they came up with a resolution no other had enacted.  Instead of forcing them off the land, there will be provisions for current and future generations.  Two things, there are classifications for minorities for identification, other wise we are ALL Americans if born within the boundaries.  Second taking a vehicle outside of the nation is stealing.  I've been trying to get back my vehicle for five years.  Nothing can be done, only wait for the council to grant me an appeal date.  The justice to the Salt River tribe I agree is unique,  it should not punish unfairly, when I have yet to see any law posted. you choate

jaywz2112
jaywz2112

Brother, I call you that because color has no bearing or advantage, actually the Natives are the exception, along with provisions to ensure their welfare as well as their future generations, they are exempt from the laws that are instilled to ensure equality.  You know what, you are a brother, the kind that takes advantage and exploits other siblings for a grudge that goes so far back genealogy software may at best may reveal a hundred   years.  Deal with it, you don't see African Americans or the Chinese using blame as a sport.  The reservations, the lifetime allowances for all their future generations and exemptions were there to help the Natives.  It didn't work out as expected, but as far as I know OUR ancestors at the time were the first to make such lifelong amends to the remainder of a population we were at war with.  So yeah, you are still my brother, just the bitter piece of sh**t that isn't created equal, only extra than equal, because of the provisions to benefit you.  Go talk to a European Jewish person, better yet again an African American,  get a perspective.  Your like the brother I acknowledge but question his motives when he gets the trust fund and doesn't have the obligations to fulfill as myself. But blames the Parents of the Great Great Grandparents for his lazy drunken sack of flesh.  While his friends just like him are productive able citizens.  Alcohol, yes it is a deterrent, but guess who is the only group that allows it on the reservation.  Go cry to a race that currently has a reason.  You trustafarian ignorant waste of space.  With that said, I still call you brother.

jaywz2112
jaywz2112

You and I are Americans however you want to make the division to justify your blame.  Im not even sure if you are Native, I apologize for any errors.  You don't see the African Americans given retribution. I may be wrong, but we are the only Nation to make provisions to a population we went to war with.  If not us we probably would not be having this conversation, for the term Native Americans wouldn't exist, rather a chapter in history books referring to the extinct original inhabitants.  The intent didn't benefit the Natives as intended, but I can't say I know of another Nation that has put forth provisions to an opposing race.  That is a reason to be proud of this Nation even with the negative footnote.

Dylan
Dylan

Fuck your tribe!  Your land is shitty and ghetto anyway!  You drunk indian rats belong segragated, in that shithole you call "Indian land"  Have fun with your little bit of land and stay  out of the rest of our land bitches!    First you dumbasses with the IQ's of 60 remove that badass drive in movie theatre and now this bullshit, you guys are scum, and should be deported to Mexico slums.

medical alarm
medical alarm

 
Have you
considered adding some relevant links to your article? I think it might
enhance viewers’ understanding.

nhatrang
nhatrang

If it wasn't for white europeans like Columbus and hundreds of other explorers you piece of crap redskins would still be living in tents and caves.Why you wouldn't even had horses,they were left by the Spanish,more white europeans.What other race explored the world and had advanced tech. at the time?? NO ONE...So when the red,black and yellow race complain of the white man a normal man has to laugh.You cave dwellers are real good for nothing pieces of shat......No?????

New York City Hotel
New York City Hotel

I'll bet they have some group law that says it's only their regulation if they can generate a living off it

   fukUracist
fukUracist

All this talk about Native American. Follow the laws. And your worried about freeway repairs. Your lucky our tribe let you build on our land. If you were smart enough to know Salt River ran thru buckeye until the white man took over. Hey look whad Columbus did to us. It was a holocaust here in the USA but no one acknowledges us and out struggles. We been holding it down before you white man came and took over our beautiful country

Albert
Albert

TESTIMONY 
OF 
PRESIDENT DIANE ENOS 
SALT RIVER PIMA MARICOPA INDIAN COMMUNITY 
BEFORE THE 
SENATE COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS 
LAW ENFORCEMENT CONCEPT PAPER 
MARCH 17, 2008

1. JURISDICTION • Restore criminal jurisdiction on a government-to-government basis Criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians should be restored to Indian  Tribal governments.

The Tribe's President was asking the Senate Committee to reinstate the Tribes sovereign power to charge, and prosecute non-Indians.

Not from testimony:
In addition, there are US Supreme Court cases which also affect Indian country criminal jurisdiction. In Worcester v. Georgia (31 US 515), the Court held that state criminal law does not apply in Indian country. However, this was later modified by US v. McBratney (104 US 621) and Draper v. US (164 US 240) which held that state courts have exclusive jurisdiction over crimes committed by non-Indians against non-Indian victims in Indian country. In US v. Lara (541 US 193), the Court held that tribal courts have criminal jurisdiction over all members of federally recognized tribes, but in Oliphant v. Suquamish Tribe (435 US 191), the Court held that tribal courts do not have criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians.  

So we come to a problem... Does an agreement between a Tribe, and Arizona State lock them into a jurisdictional issue, or does the Federal law, and a Supreme Court Ruling not allow Tribes to have jurisdiction over non-Indians on Tribal land????

 The term, Indian country, for purposes of civil jurisdiction, is not defined under federal law. As a general principle, however, the definition of Indian country contained at 18 U.S.C. 1151- all lands within exterior boundary of reservation, all Indian allotments and rights of way through them, and all "dependent Indian communities"- for criminal jurisdiction is generally accepted for civil jurisdiction. See DeCoteau v. District Court, 420 U.S. 435 (1978).  117 S.Ct. 1404 (1997). In A-1 Contractors, a case arising on the Fort Berthold Indian reservation, the Court held that the tribal court had no subject matter jurisdiction over a personal injury action brought by one non-Indian against another on a state highway running through the reservation because the Tribe had granted an easement to the State and had not reserved the authority to regulate the highway. That decision has been carried further by the Ninth Circuit which ruled in Wilson v. Marchington, 127 F.3d 805 (9th Cir. 1997) that a tribal court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over a personal injury action filed by a tribal member against a non-Indian arising on a federal highway running through Indian country.  450 U.S. 544 (1981). In Montana, the Supreme Court determined that Indian tribes can regulate the activities of all persons that occur upon trust or allotted lands, but could only regulate the activities of non-Indians on fee land if the non-Indian has entered into a consensual relationship with the tribe or its members, or the activities of the non-Indian have a serious impact upon the political integrity of the Tribe or health and welfare of the Tribe. This appears to be a difficult standard to meet. 

And then we have  Public Law 280. Which is another is issue of jurisdictional rights being given, transferred, and so forth.

¶5 “We conduct de novo review of an order dismissing a
complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.”   Fairway
Constructors, Inc. v. Ahern, 193 Ariz. 122, 124, ¶ 6, 970 P.2d 954,
956 (App. 1998).  
¶6 The state has exclusive jurisdiction over crimes
committed by non-Indians  against non-Indians on an Indian
reservation.  State v. Flint, 157 Ariz. 227, 231, 756 P.2d 324, 328
(App. 1988).  State jurisdiction also includes victimless crimes by
non-Indians on a reservation.  See State v. Burrola, 137 Ariz. 181,
182-83, 669 P.2d 614, 615-16 (App. 1983);  see also Solem v.
Bartlett, 465 U.S. 463, 465 n.2 (1984).  The state’s jurisdiction
over these crimes is based on the fact that “such crimes do not
involve essential tribal relations or affect the rights of
Indians.”  Flint, 157 Ariz. at 231, 756 P.2d at 328.  

veteranwarrior
veteranwarrior

The strip of highway you all are talking about is called right of way, most all Arizona tribes have them.It gives the right for freeway to be built and access made for any person to drive through the reservation. The tribes granted this to the state (ARiZONA) without it most freeways ways wouldn't have been built. Contrary to populary believe we pay taxes.This also goes for water being funneled through the reservation why do you think it's called SRP?

Also the Arizona State Consitution gives the right for tribal police to moniter the freeways and make stops of non-indians, however the tribal officers have to be state certified. If you closed the casino, tribe would still be here and tribes has MOUs packs and treaties with state and federal gov't this is to keep our sovereigh rights and jurisdiction without them we would be possibly PL-280 tribe like the tribes in California.

Also indians on indian land face more reprisal then non-indian on indian land. Also if you look up in federal law statutes all information in laws you won't see native american only indian or non-indian and even tribal laws and regulations. look it up in CFR i won't tell you which CFR you look it up.

S1DNNANCY
S1DNNANCY

Y'ALL SOUND LIKE A BUNCH OF BITCHES ARGUING ABOUT A LITTLE ASS STRIP OF FREEWAY. IF YOU DON'T LIKE HOW TRIBES RUN THEIR LAND THEN GO BACK TO WHERE THE FUCK YOU CAME FROM ALL YOU WHITE IMMIGRANTS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Norman Gooding
Norman Gooding

The sooner every state legalizes marijuana the sooner these horror stories end.

One state at a time just as with alcohol prohibition until the federal government removes the prohibition of hemp.

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x1134x
x1134x

How difficult is it to prove that the primary violation cited "reverse lights stuck on" is total bullcrap?  That gets ALL the evidence thrown out.  I could make billions designing a surveillance system that can prove in court that the cop was lying about the taillights.  They OBVIOUSLY profile "stoner" looking people on that highway patch because they know one iota of THC means they get a free car for their department.  Problem is they need an ACTUAL violation to be able to legally stop a driver.  Prove they lie about that violation,  you could have MURDER evidence in the car, its all inadmissible in court.  Plus then you expose their corruption. {:-)

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My45tysondog
My45tysondog

The issue here is can tribal law supersede state law? On tribal land the answer is yes! However I don't like the fact that "any law enforcement agency" can seize property  over small amounts of marijuana. The new law is still being challenged in court, I believe that all law enforcement officers will still try to seize property until  l there is some clarification. This story states that tribal police will turn the car over to the legal owner

MelissaP
MelissaP

Hey Indian Community. It's time to end your squalor and stop abusing and neglecting your animals just cause you're too drunk. Go to school, get a job! Maybe then your stipend could go to better use like actually creating communities instead of ugly bad areas where no one wants to go. Have some pride!

MelissaP
MelissaP

Great idea, posters below. I have a big birthday weekend coming up with a crowd of folks and we were looking for a great weekend somewhere. Guess we'll cross the Scottsdale Casino off our list, and maybe go to the real Casinos in Vegas.

MelissaP
MelissaP

The Indian community that did this just wants the car and the weed. Can you spell 're-sale value'? Shame on them taking MEDICINE away from SICK people so they can screw their relatives. NICE.

Rmwh91
Rmwh91

Aw, are all you non natives crying now? Pathetic bunch of schmuks!

GmanASUpeeper
GmanASUpeeper

Just take these cases to court...No matter if State or Federal...and allow the jury to nulify... Once this happens 3-4 times...MM patients will get the respect they deserve.

As long as the patient has a viable need for the med...no jury will convict.  Do not drive under the influence or that option is not going to work.

Expert Shot
Expert Shot

The pima and Maricopa people have long clawed they were never conquered. This action by the warriors of those tribes shows they have surrendered their commitment to their past and have essentially abdicated independence. That's worse than being conquered. Using plants for medicine has long been a proud tradition. Hopefully the elders have taken steps to preserve the traditions and protect them from the ones who no longer value the traditions. It would be a horrible loss of information if they gave up on keeping those traditions as well.
le

Coz
Coz

Bullshit, stealing someone's car because they are driving down a state owned highway legally processing marijuana under state law with a medical marijuana card is nothing more than theft under the color of authority anyway you cut it.

Fair Court, right, what a joke...Fuck the Indians.

>>Packhorse, a Ponca, says the tribe runs a fair court, in general, despite such incidents.

Wanumba
Wanumba

Should have told the Native American "cop" that the herb was for holy shamanistic use.

Oh, wait, only the Native Americans get away with that crap.

What a load.  All the taxpayers built the 101, its ours, not theirs.

nhatrang
nhatrang

We took over because you guys were so backwards and primative.....next time use that little pea brain you have...You do have a brain????

Guest23
Guest23

Albert is being much nicer than i can be in regards to fukuracist, which by his seperatist words and demeanor is as much a moron as the that which he hates... And probably racist though rooted in resentments that are so ancient that to still be harping on them today is a sign of mental illness.

If you were smart, which obviously that ship sailed by you long ago, you would realize that if the american govt wanted anything you had they would surely find some manner in which to take it... Hell they have done over and ovedr again. The situation isnt much different for anyone else with very few exceptions.

Albert
Albert

I know it's not right and I don't agree with what the government can do. But congress can give the authority to the Department of the Interior to TAKE any land in the United States, and even on Tribal land... that's land held in trust,  or even land that is actually owned land. And the Supreme Court has affirmed this. Even that the Secretary of Transportation can take ALL land when it comes to building roads and highways. It goes back to past rulings on right a way, eminent domain, and congress's power in the Articles of the Constitution... that gives them full authority to build roads/highways.  
 The issue here is Does the Tribe have the jurisdiction under the law, to take people's private property on a State or Federal highway that cuts through the Tribe's Land? I've already posted info that the state has asserted the exclusive jurisdiction on matters on Arizona Reservations, and the latest Supreme Court ruling... stating that Tribes didn't have CRIMINAL  jurisdiction over non-Indians on tribal land.

Guest23
Guest23

Heh, this moron apparently has the IQ of the infamous mentally damaged couple sid and nancy. If i dont like how something is done, i will speak up about it to publicize the issue and urge my legislators to make changes in law to correct the situation.

If someone is born here than they are not immigrants but rather americans citizens of immigrants... But such fine details apparently elude you double digit IQ.

Albert
Albert

Depending on the year of the vehicle... to days vehicles computers tell A LOT of information. As far as how fast, where you are, breaking distance, engine diagnostics, tire pressure, and even vehicle error codes that may or may not trip the check engine light. 

 I would have asked if the officer had a dash cam to prove the light issue??? And then let them know that the ADOT feed for the freeway cameras would be checked as well...   Lets be honest now!!!  If it was a BS stop.. they have drop this. There are cameras all over this country.And like I"ve posted all over here... it depends if the tribe has given ANY authority to the state on the highway, that could invalidate the tribal courts jurisdiction. Easements on a tribal land in relation to state, and federal roads and highways.No offence to Packhorse, but he might not have all the information relating to what the feds allow, and don't allow as far as jurisdiction on state or federal property within tribal lands. The tribes authority may not be absolute on the HIGHWAYS going through their land.

Albert
Albert

Not necessarily... It comes down to easements, agreements, treaties. And usually if they have given the government authority to "regulate" the highway, it could overrule  the tribes full jurisdiction.

Coz
Coz

....and would the tribal police turn the car back over to you if you were the driver and the legal owner...I bet not..

Guest23
Guest23

You are a moron. Justice doesnt care if someone is native or not.

Guest23
Guest23

Most people have no clue how expensive it is to go to hire an attorney and go to court. Justice is out of reach for mostg working americans due to the high cost of hiring lawyers, discovery, depositions, etc. One reason that corporations love arbitration, it costs them less and if the company that was hired to arbitrate doesnt find the majority of cases in the corporations then they are fired and a arbitration company that will will be hired.

Seedy Ward
Seedy Ward

Nice thought, but asset forfeiture is litigated as a civil matter. You don't get a jury: just a thieving judge.

Marcy
Marcy

The 101 was built on land leased from the tribe, the tribe retained ownership of the land.

There was a choice when the 101 was built along that stretch, it could have been built off the reservation but that would have meant tearing down 100's of Scottsdale homes and the remaining homeowners were upset with a freeway next to their house.

The same situation is brewing with the South Mountain freeway, it may well be built on land leased from a tribe as well.

The problem is not tribal jurisdiction it is drug laws that permit law enforcement agencies to become modern day pirates.  Find a pot seed, steal the car.  Get rid of civil forfeiture laws.

Albert
Albert

Thanks guest23... I'm not a jerk to anyone here on the site. I've never attacked or even put anyone down for their views. So it makes me wonder why you think I'm come off as a moron and racist???? All I'm doing here is trying to state some facts, and that there is an issue with legal questions about Tribal jurisdiction  when relating to non-Indians on Tribal Land. Thats all, from US Court rulings, some AZ State positions on jurisdiction, and finally Supreme Court Decisions. 

And Fukuracist does have their opinion, and luckily New Times allows us to come here and talk, discuss, and disagree.... I guess the conversations are allowed to continue, because they are mostly civil. 

My45tysondog
My45tysondog

If I was pulled over & found to be in position of any illegal substance. Or using my car during a felony, yes the police would seize my car. That include all police agency's not just tribal police! 
 It seems most of the comets on this blog are ripping on the tribal police.This is not a white vs Indian issue as most of you are making it out to be.The real issue is  what might be o,k. on the west side of Pima may not be o.k. east of it.  
the misconception that having medical marijuana one step closer to legalization for all 

YouMadd
YouMadd

we gave up land to build a freeway, meaning that families that were allotted the land had to move, causing them trouble.... 
just so that "the 100's of Scottsdale homes" wouldnt be torn down....

we give up shit and compromise and
you still bitch....

all you ppl do is want want want ... take take take....
until theres nothing left.... what a sorry race and group of narcissist 
you are.... 

and when we say stuff back you say all kinda fucked up shit. 
geez-- make up ur dam mind....

Rick
Rick

The drug forfeiture laws are unfair.  If you commit any other crime and drive away in your car or even transport stolen property in your car the government cannot confiscate your car.  Hell, you can do a drive-by shooting and the government cannot take your car.  Why I can understand that the government is upset that the most harshest of laws have not stopped the presence or use of illicit drugs but that is no reason to make unfair laws that only apply to drug offenses.

Coz
Coz

Steal the car is exactly the right terminology.

Israel
Israel

My vehical has been seized I need help what can I do

Coz
Coz

Not true. None of the local PS's seize anyone's car if the driver is found with marijuana and has a medical marijuana medical card, period...Not even Border Patrol seizes the car at the check point on Interstate 8 outside of Yuma.

In fact, none of the PD's seize anyone's car even if they don't have a medical marijuana card if it's a small amount, they write a citation and send you on your way as long as your not DUI.

TheDarius
TheDarius

Shut your damn mouth, injun. Incredible. Still using the age-old ancestor guilt-trip. Your whole tribe is so incredibly indulged in the English culture nowadays, you wouldn't last 2 days living the way your ancestors did. Yet you act like you have been attacked by the White Man. Wake up. 

You love using all the White Man's technology when it benefits you, but are happy to retreat to your piss-awful land we let you use when it doesn't.

billyosha
billyosha

Know this is old post but I'm going threw this now and it's not even my vehicle

billyosha
billyosha

What ever happened with the case I'm in the same dilemma

linbegone
linbegone

 You want to bet. Had my vehicle stolen from me for a mere half gram in my pocket. Fuck them I'm fighting them full bore plus civil suits for every cop in involved because they're using federal statutes written by the IRS to seize vehicles.

Bob
Bob

Federal  forfeiture laws only apply when the item in question, such as the car, is being used in the act/commission of a felony.  A registered patient, if stopped by a DEA agent for example, would never have had his or her car seized for something so small as a few grams.

Albert
Albert

I don't understand how the SCOTUS is able to twist, bend, add, and weaken the words of the US Constitution. From muster to reasonable exemptions, and exceptions that aren't given in any part of the Constitution. No where does it give the SCOTUS this discretion. Again, the court does not get to make law. And any change must come by the form of a Constitutional Amendment.

Fifth  Amendment- 
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Fourteenth Amendment- Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

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