PolySciFi Blog

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


A bad, bad law

Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) has reminded me why I term myself a "conservative libertarian" and not a Republican.

Sensebrenner introduced a bill (HR 1528) in the House (apparently on the 6th of April, but I just found out about it now) that would require you to snitch on your friends if you observe them using drugs and they're under 21. (h/t samizdata)

Here's the relative section (pdf, from pages 12-13): (If that link doesn't work, go here, and enter HR 1528)

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person who witnesses or learns of a violation of sections 416(b)(2),417,418,419,420,424,or 426 to fail to report the offense to law enforcement officials within 24 hours of witnessing or learning of the violation and thereafter provide full assistance in the investigation, apprehension,and prosecution of the person violating paragraph (a).

Any person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be sentenced to not less than two years or more than 10 years.If the person who witnesses or learns of the violation is the parent or guardian,or otherwise responsible for the care or supervision of the person under the age of 18 or the incompetent person,such person shall be sentenced to not less than three years or more than 20 years.’’
Now I don't do any drugs other than caffeine, alcohol, and sugar, but I'm really not willing to turn someone in to the Feds for something that's not going to affect me or anyone other than the person engaged in the activity. And I don't think I should be legally compelled to do so.

Government is not the solution to every problem, and definitely not the solution to this problem.

If you happen to feel like dropping Sensenbrenner a line, here' s some contact info.

Mostly off topic, but what kind of man puts out a press release in praise of his perfect attendence? Maybe along with some nastygrams for HR 1528, I'll send Jim a gold star for his perfect attendence.


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