Don’t ban vaping!

It was like a breath of fresh air to read in The Des Moines Register that our Iowa Attorney General, Tom Miller, used logic in concluding that banning vaping by adults in Iowa would be a mistake.  (See link to Register article below.)   It does appear clear that almost all of recently rreported deaths and severe illnesses were the result of vaping black market products that contain THC, not nicotine.
While it may be true that no amount of vaped nicotine has been proven safe, we do know that vaping popular legal nicotine products has been going on for years without the type of health problems that have been reported recently.  We also know that nicotine vape products do not contain the tars and other substances in cigarettes that are known to cause cancer.
It’s reasonable to think that vaping nicotine is less harmful than smoking cigarettes, and that going from smoking cigarettes to vaping can be a good step towards quiting a nicotine habit altogether.  But, prohibition of vaping would only worsen the health problems, just like with opioids, where people who purchase their drugs on the street have no idea of the strength or purity of the products they are buying.

Civil Asset Forfeiture is wrong!

Thanks to The Des Moines Register for exposing the unconstitutional and abusive use of civil asset forfeiture laws against U.S. citizens by the Iowa State Patrol, county attorneys, and the Iowa Attorney General.  Civil asset forfeiture laws  allow law enforcement agencies to take people’s cash (and other property) without charging them with a crime!   Then, citizens must prove they are innocent in order to get their money back.

Most amazing is the fact that the three law enforcement agencies that are involved get to split the money!  Whatever they can keep becomes a slush fund they can use to expand their budgets without legislative approval.  The conflict of interest is clear.  As a result, rather than arresting people and charging them with a crimes, our law enforcement officials make getting cash and other assets an end unto itself.

This is another example of how the failed drug wars have gotten out of control.  Our police have become militarized trying to fight the drug wars.  People who have never been violent or used any force against anyone have been made into criminals.  Then, because of their “criminal record”, they can’t get jobs and are prohibited from participating in benefits of our society.

We need to put a complete halt to civil asset forfeiture and we need to stop making criminals out of people who do no harm to others.  Ask candidates if they will help put an end to this travesty of justice.

Link to Register article: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/crime-and-courts/2014/09/30/iowa-state-patrol-cash-seizure-illegal-gamblers-say/16511135/