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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. The new law, sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) allows prosecutors to bring conspiracy charges against anyone who discusses, plans or advises someone else to engage in any activity that violates the CSA, the massive federal law that prohibits drugs like marijuana and strictly regulates prescription medication.
"Under this bill, if a young couple plans a wedding in Amsterdam, and as part of the wedding, they plan to buy the bridal party some marijuana, they would be subject to prosecution," said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates for reforming the country's drug laws. "The strange thing is that the purchase of and smoking the marijuana while you're there wouldn't be illegal. But this law would make planning the wedding from the U.S. a federal crime."
The law could also potentially affect academics and medical professionals. For example, a U.S. doctor who works with overseas doctors or government officials on needle exchange programs could be subject to criminal prosecution. A U.S. resident who advises someone in another country on how to grow marijuana or how to run a medical marijuana dispensary would also be in violation of the new law, even if medical marijuana is legal in the country where the recipient of the advice resides. If interpreted broadly enough, a prosecutor could possibly even charge doctors, academics and policymakers from contributing their expertise to additional experiments like the drug decriminalization project Portugal, which has successfully reduced drug crime, addiction and overdose deaths.
It becomes an issue of thought-crime because the criminal is being charged with a crime that is not a crime in the current location, yet the charge remains valid because his mind is still supposedly "under the jurisdiction" of where he is from, where the crime is illegal. Since murder would be illegal anywhere, your example would not be correct. Also, even if cold-blooded murder were legal in some backwards part of the world, it would remain an obvious crime to human-kind. Smoking marijuana does not even fit any semblance of what the word "crime" is supposed to mean.
Originally posted by spirit_horse
It isn't law yet. It is a bill sponsored by them. I highly doubt it will pass. Congress can't agree on much these days, but that would interfere more with the upper class that can afford to go globe trotting. It is a misguided effort to stop smuggling out of countries like Mexico into the US most likely. Heck, most of the Congress probably breaks US law out of the country.
I will be keeping an eye on it though. Another piece of the police state puzzle. Worse is the fact that the president can have you killed or locked up indefinately without benefit of due process for as long as he likes. They are putting down the groundwork for the nightmare they have planned and these protests are going to scare them into something stupid. I would not be surprized to see Obama declare a state of emergency over the protests and suspend congress, declare martial law, and give himself dictatorial powers under Bush.
edit on 8/10/11 by spirit_horse because: (no reason given)