A woman from Lufkin, Texas was tossed in the slammer by police after calling them to complain about bad quality weed she bought from a local drug dealer. Police Sargent David Casper spoke to the media on Monday, stating that an officer was sent to the residence of Evelyn Hamilton to hear her complaint about a dealer that refused to give the 37-year-old woman a refund after selling her marijuana that did not meet her quality standards.
During the discussion with the officer in her home, Hamilton produced a sample of the marijuana from her bra after being asked by police if she still had the drug in her possession. The officer then placed Hamilton under arrested and charged her with possession of drug paraphernalia. Hamilton said that she spent $40 on a bag of seeds and residue, so feeling taken advantage of, she decided to call the police. Her bail is currently set at $500.
This type of story, as silly as it may seem on the surface, is a great example of why marijuana should be legalized in Texas, as well as around the country. The crime that Hamilton is being charged with is non-violent in nature. What she has done does not hurt anyone, violate their rights, nor deprive them of their property. So what exactly makes smoking or possessing marijuana worthy of imprisonment? Does Hamilton not have the right to her own body? Does she not have the right to put into her body whatever substance she chooses, regardless of whether consumption of the product is a wise decision? Who or what gives the government the right to throw a woman from Texas in prison for complaining about purchasing bad weed?
There is one particularly disturbing element to the story, which is how police seem to have conducted themselves during this investigation. It seems that the officers involved knew that Hamilton was an easy target for a bust, given the fact that she called them to report a drug dealer refusing to refund her purchase. The officer on the scene proceeds to ask her if she still has possession of the substance, knowing she probably would, and then, taking advantage of her intelligence, places her under arrest after producing the drug. While it is obvious that Hamilton made a horrible decision in judgment, is this type of treatment at the hands of the government justified?
More than likely, these officers are good men, but they are also products of an ever expanding, power hungry government. The war on drugs has been shoved down the throats of law enforcement officers, who believe that they are doing the right thing, unaware that what the activities they are participating in are actually a violation of a person’s natural rights. The cell that is now holding Hamilton, a non-violent offender, should be holding a murderer or a rapist. As for the bad quality of the weed this Texas woman bought, which ended up getting her tossed in the slammer, is an issue that could be resolved with free market competition. With a free market system, everybody wins. Violent offenders go to jail, and drug users can get refunds for low quality narcotics, while avoiding a new wardrobe consisting of only orange jumpsuits.
Opinion by Michael Cantrell