Giving police the tools they need for the War on Drugs

According to the Jacksonville Daily News, North Carolina State Rep. Tim Moore has filed a piece of proposed legislation making it a felony to have any compartment, space or box in a vehicle for the purpose of hiding illegal contraband.

The need for this new tool in the War on Drug Users isn’t immediately apparent, until you consider this:

Moore says he filed the bill at the request of the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office, whose officers lament that sometimes they pull over vehicles after drugs have been delivered. That is, the secret compartment is empty.

Folks… people with secret empty drug compartments have been getting away with this for years. 

If an officer pulls you over, searches your glove box, and knows that you had used it for storing drugs…should you get some sort of a free pass just because you sneakily emptied it out before he had the opportunity to rifle through your belongings?

Were you even aware that drug users caught without any contraband are routinely set free? Even when the police know what they are really up to?

Predictably, the usual suspects are up in arms about this. It’s mostly the typical mumbo jumbo about “How would the police know if there weren’t any evidence” and “Gee – I have a glove box in my car…Couldn’t this sort of thing apply to me, even if I actually weren’t a drug user/dealer?”

But I’d like to ask those opposed one simple question: If we can’t trust police officers to use a little discretion, and only arrest and punish the right folks, what would that say about our system of justice?

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