Economics The Very Model of a Modern Inquisition

For cannabis-related knowledge, or hundreds of other "sins"Owning a devil's tool (dinner fork), reading a sorcerer's book or speaking in tongues (foreign language), having a different faith, having a witch's habit (taking a bath or falling into a river), etc.From 10% to as many as 50% of the people in Western Europe were tortured or put to death without trial during the medieval Roman Catholic Church's 500-year Inquisition (12th to 17th Centuries).

While most suffered, some profited handsomely. The Pope could declare anything "heresy," and use it as an excuse to legally rob, torture, and kill his enemies or anyone else accused. For more than 300 years, inquisitors divided up the property forfeited to them by suspected witches and heretics. Whoever denounced you got 1/3 of your property, 1/3 went to the government, and 1/3 went to the Papal hierarchy.

"Beware the scribes which devour widow's houses." Jesus, quoted: Luke 20:46

This perverted prosecution-for-profit model, used almost exactly the same way today by state and federal drug warriors, and just as self-righteously, was given to us at the insistence of president Ronald Reagan in 1984 and was written for Congress by then Congressman Dan Lungren, former California Attorney General. In actuality, once the government seizes a property, more than 90% are never returned by the courts. Everyone from informant, to the police and the prosecutor now share in the bounty of forfeited goods.

In fact, while British common law is the basis for our modern legal system, forfeiture law relies on the medieval concept of the cursed object"deodand" (from the Latin "deo", god, and "dand", give; meaning that any object causing human death was forfeited to the crown)Is the basis for American laws of seizure and confiscation of property rather than against persons.

Why? Simple. People have guaranteed legal rights; property does not! Thomas Jefferson wrote and acted on behalf of hemp many times, smuggling rare seeds into America, redesigning the hemp brake, keeping his farm and garden journals in which, on March 16, 1791, he wrote: "The culture [of tobacco] is pernicious. This plant greatly exhausts the soil. Of course, it requires much manure, therefore other productions are deprived of manure, yielding no nourishment for cattle, there is no return for the manure expended.U "It is impolitic. The fact well established in the system of agriculture is that the best hemp and the best tobacco grow on the same kind of soil. The former article is of first necessity to the commerce and marine, in other words to the wealth and protection of the country. The latter, never useful and sometimes pernicious, derives its estimation from caprice, and its value from the taxes to which it was formerly exposed. The preference to be given will result from a comparison of them: Hemp employs in its rudest state more labor than tobacco, but being a material for manufactures of various sorts, becomes afterwards the means of support to numbers of people, hence it is to be preferred in a populous country. "America imports hemp and will continue to do so, and also sundry articles made of hemp, such as cordage, sail cloth, drilling linen and stockings"

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