Drug War

Why Singers Carrying Hash Should Not Take I-10 Through Texas

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Last week's arrest of singer-songwriter Fiona Apple on drug charges in Sierra Blanca, Texas, raised a couple of legal questions that are worth mentioning:

If the Supreme Court says roadblocks aimed at finding illegal drugs are unconstitutional, how could Apple have been nabbed at a checkpoint after a police dog "alerted" to her tour bus? The Sierra Blanca checkpoint, run by the U.S. Border Patrol, is ostensibly aimed at catching illegal immigrants. The Court has said such checkpoints "near the border" are consistent with the Fourth Amendment. The Court also has said that using a dog to sniff out drugs, whether at an airport or during a traffic stop, does not constitute a search. So once Apple's bus was legally stopped at the checkpoint, no evidence was required to walk the dog around it. A spokesman for the Hudspeth County Sheriff's Office, which took custody of Apple after her arrest, claimed the dog smelled eight grams of cannabis from outside the vehicle even though it was in "a sealed glass container inside of a backpack way in the back of the bus." He added, "That's a pretty sensitive dog." Suspiciously sensitive, you might say. Since there's a pretty good chance of finding drugs on a musical performer's tour bus, you might wonder whether the dog really smelled the cannabis or merely responded to its handler's expectations (assuming it responded at all). Since the alert was treated as probable cause for a search of the bus, there is a lot riding on this dog's olfactory acuity and his handler's claims about its response to the bus.

Ten years for eight grams? Seriously? In Texas possessing eight grams of cannabis buds would be a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine. But in Apple's case, four of the grams were hashish, making her guilty of at least a third-degree felony, which carries a penalty of two to 10 years in prison, plus a $10,000 fine. If the amount was exactly four grams or more, that would make possessing it a second-degree felony and double the maximum prison sentence. As I noted in a 2010 post about a guy who faced a possible life sentence for hash, the Lone Star State's treatment of cannabis resin is unusually harsh: Possession of any amount is a felony, and the penalties for possession and distribution imply that cannabis resin is 20 to 80 times as bad as cannabis buds, even though its THC content is 20 times higher at most. That's comparing crappy marijuana to high-quality hash. If you compare high-quality marijuana to crappy hash, the difference in THC content can be small to nonexistent. 

Apple is the latest celebrity to be busted for cannabis possession in Sierra Blanca while traveling through West Texas on Interstate 10. Other victims include Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg. Pot-preferring performers might want to consider a different route, especially if they're carrying hash.

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  1. Any chance someone could plant something on Alanis Morissette that could get her 25 to life?

    1. …for that matter, Celine Dion or Paula Cole?

      1. K.T. Tunstall?

        1. Foster the People – pretty sure they’ve got a BALE of weed in their tour bus.

          A BALE.

          1. …and some assault weapons and a pet dog.

            1. If anyone can plant some dead boy hookers on Grouplove’s bus, I’d be much obliged.

        2. Melissa Etheridge?

    2. Any chance someone could plant something on Alanis Morissette

      Talent?

    3. Let’s cut to the chase… any chance someone could plant something on the goddamn sheriff in Serra Blanca, TX that would fuck his life up for good?

      1. A conscience?

      2. How would that do anything?

        He is a LEO, so that means he is above the law, right?

  2. Why take the risk of even playing Texas anymore?

    OT: New fun in police corruption:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/…..7126.story

  3. Fiona Apple should be detained. Preferably in my basement.

    1. She’s not that hot IRL. All bones.

      1. Hugh stalked her, so he knows.

        1. When all she does is sit on her lawn and not write music for six years, it kinda loses it’s thrill.

          That’s why I went back to stalking Mayim Bialik.

          1. Thanks for activating my gag reflex, Hugh. My sister used to watch her show religiously and I had to share TV time with her.

            “The only thing bull semen has ever done for me is activate my gag reflex.”

          2. Can she use her chin as a can opener?

          3. Read about her dippie progressive-Jewish-veganism and you’ll Bobbit yourself.

            Do not ask me about how I know about this.

  4. Billie Joe Armstrong is probably glad he wasn’t in Texas over the weekend.

    1. …and our pal Kennedy makes an appearance!

    2. If my career had declined from wannabe-edgy punkish pop to shitty pop, I’d blame drugs, too. Green Day is on my list of bands that should’ve died in a bus wreck after their 1st or 2nd album.

      1. They should have died in a bus wreck for merely entering the word “dookie” into the pop culture lexicon.

      2. Worst.
        Band.
        Ever.

        1. Green Day? Seriously? Are you fucking daft? Did Billy Joe screw your dad and steal your mom?

          This isn’t any fanboi defense of GD, they’re OK, but there are much, much shittier bands around than them.

          1. Agreed. Plenty of shittiness to go around.

          2. They’re not OK. They suck. Balls. No redeeming qualities. None.

            1. They’re not OK. They suck. Balls. No redeeming qualities. None.

              I believe you have confused them with Foo Fighters.

              1. No way! I actually like them. They keep us safe from foo.

              2. Foo Fighters is a band that I really want to like. But I just can’t, no matter how hard I try. They are just bland.

                1. They are just bland.

                  I can handle them in small doses, which is more than I can say for Green Day.

                2. They are just bland.

                  I will say that they write excellent beer commercial jingles.

                  1. Erm…strike that strike and make it italics.

          3. I would say Creed, but I think they were intentionally trying to suck post-My Own Prison.

            1. I stand corrected. Creed is indeed worse than Green Day.

                1. Winner! Think about it, Nickelback sucked so bad that they were trying to imitate Creed.

              1. green day is pretty good, shitty politics aside. they rip off a lot of other bands, to put it mildly, but imo they are good. heck, their american idiot is doing well on broadway too

                creed SUCKS

            2. …Though, Creed really added to the post-9/11 traumatization of America with Weathered.

          4. No, my opinion of music is the correct one. And while there are worse acts than Green Day, they do indeed suck.

            1. Yeah, I’m personally not a fan of the Foo Fighters, but I understand they have some redeeming qualities.

              1. While Green Day is better than Foo Fighters, Creed, and Nickelback, what makes me hate them is that I loved, and still really like, Dookie (embarassing name aside). The drop-off from that to today’s Green Day is mighty, indeed.

        2. Not the worst IMHO but certainly one of the most over-rated.

      3. Green Day is on my list of bands that should’ve died in a bus wreck after their 1st or 2nd album.

        They almost died in Bloomington, IN in August 1990. But then I talked my friends out of not beating them to death. Fun story.

        1. And you are going to stop right there?!

          1. Here is the full story. It is a bit of a ramble, as I haven’t edited it yet. Scroll down the page a bit.

            http://www.musicalfamilytree.net/profile/EvanGould

            1. With photos:
              http://www.musicalfamilytree.n…..hoto:99765

              http://www.musicalfamilytree.n…..hoto:99250

      4. If my career had declined from wannabe-edgy punkish pop to shitty pop, I’d blame drugs, too

        A friend of mine was absolutely in love with these guys when they first hit the big time, and I could never understand it. They didn’t strike me as anything more than the standard, cookie-cutter FUCK YOU DAD poseurs that blossomed like herpes sores for a decade after Nevermind came out.

    3. The revelation comes less than 48 hours after Armstrong ranted and smashed his guitar at Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas.

      That used to be the normal, even expected and preferred, behavior for a rock star.

      1. Kurt Cobain and Billy Corgan sucked the indie-cred out of smashing instruments.

        1. Cobain would smash his gear in order to make the show end.

      2. I saw the video on TV last night. He whacked the guitar on the stage about 10 times without doing any damage. Turn it sideways, dude.

  5. The Court has said such checkpoints “near the border” are consistent with the Fourth Amendment. The Court also has said that using a dog to sniff out drugs, whether at an airport or during a traffic stop, does not constitute a search.

    And yet people still take these people seriously.

    1. What choice do you have? They’re the last word on violence.

    2. the border search exception was established in 1789. by the first congress. so, if you are going ot blame somebody, you got some digging to do

      1. As I said below, she was not crossing the border, so it does not apply in this case.

      2. For some odd reason I would suspect that in 1789 a border search meant searching something THAT WAS ACTUALLY CROSSING THE FUCKING BORDER!

  6. “you might wonder whether the dog really smelled the marijuana or merely responded to its handler’s expectations”

    No, I wouldn’t.

  7. Man, I really wanted to visit my cousins in the DFW area. Guess I’ll need to do it BEFORE I retire. Cause once I retire, Ima be reeferin’ up all da time.

    Fuck Texas. And Fiona Apple. In different ways.

    1. Dallas is more than 200 miles from any US border. You’re totally safe, just don’t go to the airport.

  8. Here’s what I don’t understand:

    If you are facing one of these trials and want to contest the dog’s alert as a permissible factor in probable cause, why aren’t you allowed to subject the dog’s skill to random testing?

    If it’s not right 90% of the time are more, then the use of the dog alert during a search is obvious bullshit. If a radar detector or breathalyzer was wrong 10% of the time or more, you wouldn’t be allowed to use their results as evidence, right? So why is this different?

    1. That is a very good question.

    2. Defense Counsel: “Officer Rover, can you explain to the jury how you concluded drugs were in the vehicle?”

      Office Rover: [Stares at counsel, says nothing.]

      Defense Counsel: “Please answer the question.”

      Office Rover: [Stares at counsel, barks.]

      Defense Counsel: “Your honor, in light of Officer Rover’s unwillingness to be cross-examined, the defense moves for an immediate dismissal of the charges.”

      1. Officer Rover: [Squats and takes a dump on the witness stand]

    3. If a radar detector or breathalyzer was wrong 10% of the time or more, you wouldn’t be allowed to use their results as evidence, right?

      The last time I tried to contest a speeding ticket the judge, when addressing the court, informed us that state law says the radar is always right. Even if can be proven to be wrong, by law it is always right.

      1. if a radar detector was wrong 10% of the time, it most definitely COULD be used as PROBABLE CAUSE. and note that speeding tickets are civil, not criminal. there are much looser standards of evidence, and a much lower threshold of proof (mere preponderance).

        breathalyzers btw are incredibly accurate. imo, there is only one crime where a true innocent has 100% guaranteed protection against prosecution – DUI. because if you are below a .08, the breathalyzer will show it

        and if you don’t trust it, under WA state law, we are required to take you to a hospital so you can ALSO get a blood draw. nobody ever does that because they know damn well it’s just going to corroborate the breathalyzer.

        1. The US Constitution specifically says that in any civil case involving more than $20, the defendant is entitled to a jury trial.

          Any magistrates participating in traffic courts where jury trials are denied, or where “court costs” exceeding $20 are imposed on not guilty defendants, deserves to hang.

          In any event, it’s a joke to assert that traffic courts are civil courts. An absolute fucking joke. If a police officer sees me engaging in conduct that hasn’t created tortious harm for an identifiable plaintiff, and exercises the police power on me to stop me and cite me, and I pay a fine if I’m found guilty of what he says I did, that’s a criminal apprehension, prosecution and penalty. Period.

          1. you are referring to the 7th amendment. it does not apply to civil traffic infractions…

            http://legal-dictionary.thefre…..+Amendment

            quote:
            The Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to a jury trial in most civil suits that are heard in federal court. However, before the Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial attaches, a lawsuit must satisfy four threshold requirements. First, it must assert a claim that would have triggered the right to a jury trial under the English common law of 1791, when the Seventh Amendment was ratified. If a lawsuit asserts a claim that is sufficiently analogous to an eighteenth-century English common-law claim, a litigant may still invoke the Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial even though the claim was not expressly recognized in 1791 (Markman v. Westview Instruments, 517 U.S.370, 116 S. Ct. 1384, 134 L. Ed. 2d 577 [1996]). Claims brought under a federal statute that confer a right to trial by jury also implicate the Seventh Amendment (Chauffeurs, Teamsters and Helpers, Local No. 391 v. Terry, 494 U.S. 558, 110 S. Ct. 1339, 108 L. Ed. 2d 519 [1990]).

            1. Second, a lawsuit must be brought in federal court before a litigant may invoke the Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial. This right is one of the few liberties enumerated in the Bill of Rights that has not been made applicable to the states through the doctrine of selective incorporation (Minneapolis St. Louis Railroad v. Bombolis, 241 U.S. 211, 36 S. Ct. 595, 60 L. Ed. 961 [1916]). The Seventh Amendment does not apply in state court even when a litigant is enforcing a right created by federal law. However, most state constitutions similarly afford the right to trial by jury in civil cases.

              Third, a lawsuit must assert a claim for more than $20. Because nearly all lawsuits are filed to recover much larger sums, this provision of the Seventh Amendment is virtually always met.

              Fourth, a lawsuit must assert a claim that is essentially legal in nature before the Seventh Amendment applies. There is no right to a jury trial in civil actions involving claims that are essentially equitable in nature (Tull v. United States, 481 U.S. 412, 107 S. Ct. 1831, 95 L. Ed. 2d 365 [1987]). Lawsuits that seek injunctions, Specific Performance, and other types of nonmonetary remedies are traditionally treated as equitable claims. Lawsuits that seek money damages, conversely, are traditionally treated as legal claims. However, these traditional categories of law and Equity are not always neatly separated.

              1. clearly, the 7th amendment thus, does not require that in ANY civil case involving more than $20 there is a right to a jury trial.

                and that’s a damn good thing, considering i sued somebody a couple of years back and won! they didn’t get a jury 🙂

                1. clearly, the 7th amendment thus, does not require that in ANY civil case involving more than $20 there is a right to a jury trial.

                  I know. You can’t just read the words of the supreme law of the land and expect that it means what the words say. That would be silly.

      2. Makes you wonder why they don’t just pass a law saying that the defendant is always guilty.

    4. fluffy, you are conflating two issues:

      1) what can be used as EVIDENCE in court (see: frye standard etc.)

      and

      2) what can be used to help establish PROBABLE CAUSE

      dog alerts are used to establish probable cause. the required indicia of reliability is thus MUCH lower than you would think. see: PROBABLE CAUSE.

      this is a common misconception. tons of stuff that helps establish PC (or RS) in the field isn’t even admissible AS evidence (no matter what the reliability).

      probable cause is based on a totality of the circs of course. the question is – does a dog alert, whether taken by itself OR in conjunction with other facts and circumstances (in most cases i have seen with a dog alert, the alert is not the sole circumstance used to help establish PC), establish PROBABLE CAUSE

      to give one example, WA state has very very strict rules of evidence. it’s relatively easy to get horizontal gaze nystagmus admitted as a factor to be considered in a probable cause determination. easy peazy lemon squeezy.

      to get it to be considered as evidence OF IMPAIRMENT (a piece of evidence, not a dispositive conclusive element) vs. mere probable cause is… more difficult. the last time i testified to it and it got in as evidence, it took 45 minutes of voir dire. that’s astounding.

      again, though, what is usable as probable cause, is not the same thing as what is admissible as evidence in the case in chief

      1. If a police officer claimed that his probable cause for a search was that he read my lips as I said, “I’ve got a whole lot of drugs in here” while he was standing a mile away, I’d be entitled to test if his eyesight was, in fact, that good.

        Basically you’re saying that we should take the dog alerts as valid just because you say they are.

        1. no, as usual you are reading a normative argument into my descriptive explanation

          that gets tiresome. stop it ! 🙂

          what i am saying is that there are very strict rules of evidence as to what can be entered as and considered as evidence in courts. they vary state to state. my state, WA, adheres to the toughest rules in the nation

          probable cause is a concept that allows all sorts of stuff that would not be admissible directly as evidence. a good example is hearsay. most hearsay is not admissible as evidence (although the war on Domestic violence has eroded that concept), but it is certainly usable to help establish PC

          i never said you should or shouldn’t take the dog alert as valid. stop putting word in my mouth

          you erroneously conflated a dog alert as EVIDENCE when i explained if it is used as PC, it may not even be admissible as evidence

          they are two completely different things. so stop doing what is common here, and annoying – mixing normative with descriptive. did i say anything aobut what *I* thought of dog alerts? no

          so spare me

          back to the issue. i am saying that dog alerts are usually used to help establish PC. that’s all . that is a compeltely different thing than using a dog alert as evidence that the person was in possession of drugs

          do you grok the distinction?

          1. That’s fine.

            But probable cause determinations are contested every day.

            If a police officer makes a fanciful claim of probable cause, I can contest it. Right?

            If he makes a claim that relies on his physical capabilities – like claiming extraordinary sight or hearing – I can test those. Right?

            If he claimed to have ESP, we’d test that. Right?

            So how is this different?

      2. No, because it’s allowing a policy hunch with zero evidence to become “probably cause” now. Since studies have clearly shown that sniffer dogs are responding to their owners and not actual smells in most cases.

    5. “If a radar detector or breathalyzer was wrong 10% of the time or more, you wouldn’t be allowed to use their results as evidence, right? So why is this different?”

      I can’t tell if you’re serious or if this is some low key satire.

      Its iffy if a particular radar gun is even calibrated (especially the equipment used by smaller jurisdictions) and often the officers deploying it are poorly trained and usually using it wrong.

      Breathalyzers are even worse – They don’t measure alcohol, just a component of alcohol that is present in many other biological compounds, and have huge margins of error in the measurements. The code used to translate the amount detected into a blood alcohol percentage is considered a trade secret and even in major metropolitan police departments these machines have been found to be uncalibrated – as in *all* the machines used were out of cal.

  9. I’d like to see an interesting experiment.

    Get a group of guys (people) together as a fake band. Get a tour bus, painted with psychedellic colors, some marijuana leaves. Call the band “Reefer Madness” or something. Then repeatedly drive through Sierra Blanca with absolutely no illegal drugs aboard whatsoever. See how many times the dogs “alert” to the bus. Film it all.

    1. Make sure there are bags of oregano on the bus, too. Lots of bags of oregano.

      1. Then they will arrest you for carrying “counterfeit controlled substances”.

        1. Not if its in bags labelled “oregano” (preferably, now that I think about it “Mexican oregano”).

          And you have all the other fixin’s for chili.

        2. In Illinois it is a “look alike substance” yeah, no kidding:

          Look-Alike Substances: Manufacture, Distribution, Advertisement or Possession

          720 ILCS 570/404 (from Ch. 56 1/2, par. 1404)

    2. Just because no drugs are on the bus doesn’t mean no drugs will be “found” on the bus.

      1. STOP RESISTING!

      2. It needs lots of hidden cameras recording to an off site drive from multiple angles.

  10. What she needs is a good defense…

    1. +2 albums with 50-word titles

  11. I think the lesson here for all musicians is to never visit Texas.

  12. Since the alert was treated as probable cause for a search of the bus, there is a lot riding on this dog’s olfactory acuity and his handler’s claims about its response to the bus.

    But Fearless Fosdick can provide voluminous case law references “proving” “reasonable suspicion” is not the same as a warrantless fishing expedition, because the case law he cites refers to searches where contraband was found.

    If the cops had boarded the bus, turned everything upside down and found nothing, there would be no applicable case law. Most people, myself (in the real, non-hypothetical, world) included, do not have the time or money to engage in a legal wild goose chase over a completely bullshit stop-and-interrogate.

    That deck, she is stacked.

  13. what’s interesting about border searches is that contrary to what some may think, this is not a new war on terra erosion of the 4th amendment.

    the border search exception dates from the FIRST CONGRESS

    Act of July 31, 1789, ch.5, Sec. Sec. 23, Sec. 24, 1 Stat. 43. See 19 U.S.C. Sec. Sec. 507, 1581, 1582

    yes, 1789.

    a long time ago. Recent case law establishes that pursuant to a ROUTINE border search, which requires no suspicion (a non-routine one requires reasonable suspicion at a minimum depending on invasiveness), agents may ALSO search a person’s computer, such as content’s of hard drive, etc. so, it’s not just hash. it’s anything people have on their computer. that is searchable without any indicia of suspicion whatsoever.

    I also have to say HASH? wtf? who still uses hash? i thought that shit went out with midnight express. i’ve never seen it on the street and i have seen some obscure shit. I realize in many parts of the world, it’s the GO TO cannabis variation.

    1. pursuant to a ROUTINE border search, which requires no suspicion

      Except she was not crossing the border.

      1. i am aware of that. again, speaking descriptively not normatively, the relevant code is:

        ? 287 (a) (3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 66 Stat. 233, 8 U.S.C. ? 1357(a)(3), which simply provides for warrantless searches of automobiles and other conveyances “within a reasonable distance from any external boundary of the United States,” as authorized by regulations to be promulgated by the Attorney General. The Attorney General’s regulation, 8 CFR ? 287.1, defines “reasonable distance” as “within 100 air miles from any external boundary of the United States.”

        1. Why do I suspect that in 1789 such language would have been called for the bullshit it is?

          1. sarcasmic, i personally think it’s horseshit too. i think the border “zone” is way too wide. i think maybe a mile (to allow for logistics of setting up equipment etc.) is “reasonable”. i think 100 miles is absurd.

        2. “within a reasonable distance from any external boundary of the United States,” as authorized by regulations to be promulgated by the Attorney General. The Attorney General’s regulation, 8 CFR ? 287.1, defines “reasonable distance” as “within 100 air miles from any external boundary of the United States.”

          Whoever wrote that should have been disbarred immediately, tarred y feathered, and run out of town. Border means border, not 100 miles from border, not 50 miles from border, not even one mile from border. It means crossing the border.

          1. That language encompasses the entire state of Maine.

            1. Well, that explains why the entire state of New Jersey is not subject to the Fourth Amendment.

            2. The entire inhabited USA at the time. So if the author’s didn’t put a “haha” at the end, this isn’t what they meant.

        3. Great. That looks like a pretty clear violation of the 4th amendment. Crossing the border is one thing. Being within 100 miles of the border puts many major cities in the zone for a searching free for all. Seems pretty blatantly unconstitutional to me.

          1. Seems pretty blatantly unconstitutional to me.

            That’s because you don’t have the magic glasses that allow you to see the exceptions limitations that aren’t visible to normal people.

            1. Squirrels ate my ampersand!

          2. My hometown of Tucson, AZ – a million people, all of who are well within 100 miles of the border.

        4. Yeah, yeah, when exactly did the authority to conduct a waarantless search *crossing* a border turn into a general ability to do so when you’re withing a huge distance from a border?

          That’s the thing everyone else has been pointing out that you’re ignoring – *CROSSING* a border is different from merely being in proximity of one.

          And just because its DA LAW doens’t mean its in accord with principles of freedom.

          I’m pretty certain that the Attorney General’s determination that 100 miles is a reasonable distance didn’t happen in 1789, or even 1889.

    2. Maybe I’m just naive, but for some stupid reason I associate border searches with ACTUALLY CROSSING THE FUCKING BORDER, NOT DRIVING ON THE HIGHWAY SOMEWHERE NEAR IT!

      FUCK!

      1. ACTUALLY CROSSING THE FUCKING BORDER, NOT DRIVING ON THE HIGHWAY SOMEWHERE NEAR WITHIN 100 MILES OF IT!

        FIFY

  14. I apologize on behalf of all the non-nannies of Texas. I’m so tired of this once-mighty state now being a laughing stock of the world in one way or another.

    1. this is hardly limited to texas. federal agents have been doing this shit in WA state too. residents of port angeles etc. deal with border searches all the time.

      also, how could anybody blame TEXAS when the fiona apple search (like other border searches) was conducted by federal agents. it happened to occur in texas, but it was a federal action, not a state action.

      that’s understandable considering the border searches must be made by statutorily authorized federal agents. iow, state and local cops have no power to use the border search exception unless they have been sworn in in some capacity to a federal task force etc. that usually occurs when they are assisting federal agents, but this operation was a FEDERAL OPERAtION

      texas has nothing to be ashamed of, any more than WA state (my state) does when federal agents conduct warrantless/probable cause /reasonable suspicion not needed border searches

    2. Like many places, Texas is a mixed bag (no pun intended) on liberty.

      1. this has nothing to do with the sovereign state of texas. this assmunchery was conducted by FEDERAL agents who happened ot be within texas.

        texas has no culpability for this shit. it’s a fed action, simple as that

        1. texas has no culpability for this shit. it’s a fed action, simple as that

          Who owned the dog? If this was a checkpoint for illegals, why did they even need the dog present?

          1. ask the border patrol. the border patrol has drug dogs. duh. and they use them at border checks. all the frigging time

            again, this was a federal action. i am ASSUMING it was a dog owned by and used by the feds. the article doesn’t make that clear.

            checkpoints are not just “for illegals”. that’s where you fail in your logic. checkpoints are for all sorts of stuff – illegals, drug smuggling, etc. when you cross the border into the US, you are aware they aren’t JUST looking for illegals, nu? they are lookign for drugs and other contraband.

          2. If this was a checkpoint for illegals, why did they even need the dog present?

            Good point. Do they think immigrants sneaking over the border are more likely to have weed on them?

            1. No, but CBP’s remit covers *all* contraband, not just illegal aliens.

        2. If it was solely the feds, then why was the sheriff of Sierra Blanca county mentioned? Why was Miss Apple charge under Texas law instead of federal law?

    3. Dude, Massachusetts has you beat in that regard. Cradle of the Revolution, complete with regular tarring-and-feathering of agents of the Crown, flipping off George III and using the Redcoats for target practice. Now, it may as well be a part of England again.

  15. Apple is the latest celebrity to be busted for cannabis possession in Sierra Blanca while traveling through West Texas on Interstate 10. Other victims include Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg. Pot-preferring performers might want to consider a different route, especially if they’re carrying hash.

    There oughtta be an app for that.

    1. There oughtta be an app for that.

      Not like the assholes at Apple would let that through. I am still waiting on my dronestrike app!!

  16. speaking descriptively not normatively, the relevant code is:

    Orders were issued.

    Procedures were followed.

    Searches were initiated.

    Lives were ruined.

    Citations were issued.

    1. Mistakes were made.

    2. some of us live under a rule of law. others would prefer an arbitrary fiefdom where whatever the king says is good, goes.

      i prefer rule of law, and fortunately, i live in a nation that is founded with that concept as bedrock

      it’s the reason that criminal defendants have the right to an attorney, eevn if guilty as fuck. it’s the reason that cops have to read miranda warnings prior to custodial interrogation, it’s the reason why double jeopardy is illegal, it’s the reason why the courts presume us innocent until proven guilty.

      rule of law is what makes us better. lots of libs and conservatives don’t like rule of law – rule of law means guilty people get off on technicalities. rule of law means that cops can’t search somebody’s house without probable cause (and in most cases, a search warrant).

      rule of law matters to those of us that favor a civil society vs. a rule of man, where whatever those in charge WANT is the law.

      i stand with alan dershowitz, prof. volokh, and all sorts of defense, prosecuting attorneys, judges, and legal scholars in praising the rule of law.

      1. Cool straw man bro.

      2. Though most of us (and I am pretty sure you would join in this view) would prefer a rule of law that actually, you know, abides by all of the laws (e.g. the Constitution) and not just the ones that are convenient at the time.

        1. And maybe a system where the law is applied equally, no matter who your employer or dad happens to be.
          That would be cool.

          1. most of us realize the law is imperfect. most of us realize that, for example if OJ was just ‘some guy’ he’d be either sitting in prison right now, or had been executed.

            money can buy better justice. what do you propose as a good capitalist? should the better lawyers NOT be allowed to charge more?

            etc.

            the fact is our system sucks, but it sucks less than all the other systems out there. if you are aware of one that works better, i’m all ears.

            rule of law is predicated on some fundamental notions – amongs those is that process trumps results. when a bad guy gets off on a technicality, for example, that’s a bad result. but the rule of law says we can;t change the rules just to convict a bad bad man.

            as somebody who deals with the CJ system so frequently, i , like most defense attorneys, prosecutors and cops, know it is deeply flawed. however, i am not aware of any system that is better

            1. Funny thing is that the people who could “fix” the “flaws” are the ones who benefit from them, so there is no incentive to do anything.

              Why bother to “fix” the fact that knowing the right people can determine whether or not you are charged with a crime when you know (or are) the right people?

              Happened to me once. Wrecked a car under questionable circumstances. Nothing happened because the officer at the scene was instructed to “go easy on him” because my address was mistaken for the address of a connected person.

              That’s not Rule of Law. That’s arbitrary application of the law depending upon who you are or know.

              More commonly known as Rule of Man.

            2. “for example if OJ was just ‘some guy’ he’d be either sitting in prison right now,”
              I know you meant for killing his wife. I am pretty sure he is a guest of the State of Nevada today.

        2. an arbitrary fiefdom where whatever the king says is good, goes.

          So I suppose as long as you substitute ‘five partisan justices’ for ‘king’ in that sentence it’s all good?

  17. I am still waiting on my dronestrike app!!

    Is that a

    “Whom would you dronestrike?” app, or a

    “Seize control of a drone and use it to smite your enemies!” app?

    Because I might go buy an iPhone, if it’s the second one.

    1. It is actually an app that alerts you when the US lauches a drone attack. You can find info here.

      1. In real time? So Ahmed can dive in his hole? Or John U.S. Citizen, for that matter?

  18. She messed with Texas.

  19. some of us live under a rule of law. others would prefer an arbitrary fiefdom where whatever the king says is good, goes.

    HEY LOOK OVER THERE!

  20. The first time I worked in Texas was 1983 doing storm damage repair for local phone companies after hurricane Alicia ripped up Houston and other towns. We had Sundays off so I took the time to explore the highways and byways.
    I was out on some Farm to Market trail in my 79 Datsun truck with Illinois plates. In ’83 I would have been 35 and pretty straight looking I would say.
    In the middle of nowhere I picked up a hitchhiker who was likely 10 years younger than me and kinda hippie looking.
    I took him down the road a ways and as he got out of the truck he reached in his pocket and pulled out a small bag of weed and as he flipped to me he said “Welcome to Texas!”
    Don’t know how he knew I would appreciate it as it never came up in our conversation.
    Texas…Whatta’ Country!
    ——
    I am retired. Although working in the telephone industry 35 years never stopped me from “reeferin’ “.
    I spend time driving from the midwest to visit family in Southern California and I take different roads when I can.
    Apparently Ms. Apple’s entourage did not consult the ihoz.com webpage about Interstate 10 like I did while planning a west coast drive.
    “While the Inspection Checkpoint west of Las Cruces is closed sometimes, the one going eastbound near Van Horn, TX never has been when I drove past. This is a mean one; I was stopped there for the better part of a half hour once by a bored Border Patrol agent. BE WARNED!”

    http://www.ihoz.com/I10.html

  21. I took him down the road a ways and as he got out of the truck he reached in his pocket and pulled out a small bag of weed and as he flipped to me he said “Welcome to Texas!”

    Why that was right friendly of ‘im!

    1. Yeah buddy!

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