Not long ago, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled unanimously that signals from a dog constitutes reasonable search. Traditionally that task has been the sole responsibility of judges of law by issuing a warrant. Our Constitution says that searches are only to be conducted upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation and defining the place to be searched and the person or things to be seized. http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/supreme-court-sides-with-drug-sniffing-dog/2013/02/19/1d9f7414-7aac-11e2-82e8-61a46c2cde3d_story.html
Dogs have an amazing ability to smell things that people cannot. They can detect odors hundreds of times better than us and use that keen sense to track animals or humans, detect contraband material, and have even been known to detect cancer with surprising accuracy. But they are not human and do not have the capacity for judgement that is required, not only by our Constitution but also demanded by their task. Peoples lives hang in the balance of the decision of a dog that is mostly focused on pleasing his master. They can’t swear an oath or testify to details about what they are thinking or smelling. Molecular scanners on the other hand, exceed the potential for detection than that of dogs. They are capable of detecting similar things as good as a dog but from 50 meters away and give a printable detail of what they detected. http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html http://washington.cbslocal.com/2012/07/11/new-homeland-security-laser-scanner-reads-people-at-molecular-level/
That brings us to the real moral dilemma. This type of technology will not go away. It will only get better and more portable. We may be able to slow the acceptance of this technology and surveillance, but we can’t uninvent it. Eventually it will be accepted as reasonable search without warrant and as evidence in court and will be as acceptable as fingerprints and DNA evidence. Its like the invention of gunpowder or nuclear weapons. You just can’t put the genie back in the bottle. These detectors can already tell what you ate for breakfast, whether your are armed or carrying drugs. The direction our government seems to be heading is for more surveillance and more control of our lives. If we are going to live with this close of surveillance and loss of privacy, do we really want a government that is so intrusive into how we live our lives? I would be a lot less concerned about this loss of privacy and protections from illegal searches if our government was actively trying to protect our rights, but they are not. Already our federal government has put all school children on a diet. It went so far that parents are being told what must be mandatory items in box lunches brought from home. Local governments have been banning all sorts of things from large sugary drinks and cloths lines and even home gardens. America is on the verge of financial collapse with millions of people out of work and they don’t even want us to be able to dry our cloths outdoors or plant a garden. If we don’t demand that our rights are honored, we may be in for some very dark times in the near future. We need to demand that our government protect our rights instead of taking them away
Marijuana prohibition is on the front lines of this assault on personal freedom. Is marijuana use so unacceptable that we as a society must use the power of the judicial system to either make users stop or remove them from society? Keep in mind this is not some form of tough love. Prohibition is a horrible and hateful thing to do to your fellow citizens. There is no kindness in using the judicial system to try to control unwanted behavior. It is designed solely to ruin people’s lives and cause suffering; physically, mentally and financially. If any of us resist this punishment, that resistance is met with force up to and including deadly force. And then there is the persecution associated with prohibition, being denied employment, legally separated and shunned by society and hated because of lies and misinformation sold to an unwitting public by our own government. Lives are destroyed for preferring a recreational drug that is safer than alcohol. There is no moral difference between alcohol use and that of marijuana, but we are demonized because of the propaganda campaign waged by our own government. There are dozens of common items we use or are exposed to every day that are more harmful or dangerous than marijuana use. Tobacco and alcohol are two good examples, but many over the counter medications such as Tylenol and aspirin kill more people than marijuana. So does salt and trans fats. Obesity kills more people than marijuana. More people die drinking water than from marijuana use and yet we demonize and punish this portion of society. A recent study citing government funded sources, determined that states that had legalized medical marijuana had a 9% reduction in traffic fatalities, but you won’t hear that from the federal government. Their agenda seems to be that of protecting favored businesses from competition or loss from legal hemp and marijuana, even if they have to stifle research and hide the truth. If you are an investor in these industries that profit from the war against marijuana, you may count this as a benefit of prohibition, but from a freedom stand point, we all loose.