GWBUSH.COM is often asked, "Why Bush, and why bust his ass on drugs all this time?" Well, here's why:
"[Governor Bush] does not believe the manufacturer of a legal product should be held responsible for the criminal misuse of that product." --Bush spokesperson, June 19 1999
Here, here! Now imagine this: You own a store and some of your customers use some of your products illegally to produce drugs. Government agents show up and demand that you participate in a sweeping investigation that will violate the privacy of all your innocent customers.
You refuse and soon find yourself, your wife, and your brother, who co-own the store, all serving 10 year sentences. The government, using drug forfeiture laws, takes your homes, your cars and your life savings. You are not charged with using, producing or selling drugs. But the government can still take away a decade of your life and everything you've worked for, just to punish you for not helping them investigate your customers.
country would you have to be living in for this to be able to happen?
Actually, it's only possible in the USA. Here's the real case:
Gary Tucker, his brother, and his wife were the owners of a hydroponic garden store. (Hydroponics is a high-technology method for growing plants indoors without soil.) The DEA began surveillance of the store because some of their customers were growing cannabis with the merchandise they purchased there. The DEA asked to install surveillance cameras in the store and asked for the names and addresses of customers. The Tuckers refused, and the DEA began following customers home and raiding their houses. Some of the people who were caught, who were facing long prison sentences and forfeiture of their homes, cooperated with the government by testifying against the Tuckers. They said that the Tuckers had helped them grow their marijuana by giving them advice. The Tuckers say that these witnesses were intimidated into giving false testimonies. At least one defendant concurs, saying that even though he told the prosecutors that the Tuckers knew nothing about the marijuana he was growing, they still wanted to charge them with it.
The Tuckers were indicted for conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and were forced to forfeit their home, automobile, and savings. Gary Tucker says, "...we were found guilty of manufacturing over 1000 plants...even though we were found with no plants, no marijuana on our person, no controlled buys, and no taped conversations of `giving advice'."
The Tuckers' lawyer, Nancy Lord, has written: "The Tuckers and their customers were easy targets for DEA agents. Nobody fought back. There was not a single episode of violence in the whole investigation. All vehicles were registered, and many of those investigated were homeowners. Unlike hard-drug users, these were hard workers who had accumulated assets -- ripe pickings for forfeiture."
And why Bush?
As a presidential candidate, Bush provides a great opportunity to raise the issue of the drug war. In his own statements he has effectively classified hard drug use as a "youthful indiscretion", that should be forgotten and forgiven. If the media let him get away with this, it's only because they have no idea that people like the Tuckers, and hundreds of thousands of others, are going to jail for decades--often not even for drug use, but just for peripheral involvement in a drug offense.
People all over this great land should ask Bush, wherever he goes, whether he supports these kinds of sentences for people like the Tuckers, and hundreds of thousands of others. If he says "Yes", then why doesn't he go serve his time? If he says "No", then will he pardon them when he gets into office, and will he fight to change our drug laws?
He's in quite a bind. But it's up to the American people to raise this issue in this campaign. First, to get Bush to disclose his past drug use. Then, to ask these questions of ALL candidates with a drug history.