I suppose it’s only logical – in that twisted, perverse way unique to the state – that if the president can now detain citizens indefinitely without trial for suspected terrorist activities committed on U. S. soil, the government would be able to arrest them for merely talking about suspected drug activities abroad:
The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill yesterday that would make it a federal crime for U.S. residents to discuss or plan activities on foreign soil that, if carried out in the U.S., would violate the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) — even if the planned activities are legal in the countries where they’re carried out.
(At this point it should shock no one that the sponsor of this bill is Lamar Smith, the Republican senator from Texas who also backed the free-speech-crushing Stop Online Piracy Act.) So that means if you casually mention to someone that you can’t wait to go to Amsterdam to try some hash – which is completely legal there – you might find yourself detained by DEA agents even before you’ve left the country. It would also conceivably apply to any publications, including blogs, which discuss future drug activity, or even advice about drugs aimed at overseas audiences (such as growing marijuana).
So now the country’s lawmakers are reduced to enacting thought-crime legislation, in the state’s futile attempts to prevent anyone from ever getting high. The only thing that surprises me is that they haven’t named it Whitney’s Law. Because nothing drums up popular support for terrible, unlibertarian laws like naming them after dead people.
(Cross-posted from A Thousand Cuts.)