Seize This!

Seize This!
Posted by CN Staff on September 27, 2005 at 18:38:49 PT
By Steve Sebelius
Source: Las Vegas City Life
Nevada -- Both the Las Vegas Sun and the Review-Journal jumped all over Dave Olsen, city attorney of sleepy Boulder City, when he filed a lawsuit to seize the home of Cynthia Warren.Boulder City police, ably assisted by the SWAT team from nearby Henderson, stormed Warren's home in April to discover six marijuana plants and various and sundry marijuana-related paraphernalia inside. She was arrested, charged with several felonies, and ultimately pled no contest to possession of a controlled substance. But before she entered her plea, Olsen filed a lawsuit to seize her house, valued at around $400,000, contending it was part of the instrumentality of her crime.
"In the drug world, this thing is probably nothing. But in a town of 15,000 people where we have one or two children die every year because of controlled substances, it is a big deal to us," Olsen told the R-J. To the Sun, he added: "The best way to send a message to folks that drug distribution to young people won't be tolerated is to take away their house. This gets their attention. We're sending a message loud and clear that if you package and distribute drugs from your house, you lose your home. Hopefully, it will act as a deterrent."And you know what? I agree with him, wholeheartedly. We must seize the property of those who put children in danger, and we must do it now.So that's why we've got to immediately seize Dave Olsen's motorcycle.You see, in 2004, Olsen pled no contest to drunken driving, a crime that surely has taken more lives than marijuana ever will. Anti-DUI advocates are fond of saying that, with a drunken driver at the controls, a vehicle is a weapon, surely one more dangerous than Cynthia Warren's house.Call the Boulder City police, and get the Henderson SWAT team for backup. There could be a standoff.The problem with Olsen is not just that he's a hypocrite -- although he surely is -- it's that he's also not telling the truth.One or two children die in Boulder City every year because of controlled substances? That would mean, over the past decade, Boulder City has lost 10-20 kids to drugs. That's not even remotely true. Of the two kids Olsen cites who did die of drug overdoses, neither died from marijuana. In fact, in the most widely cited case of marijuana related deaths -- Jessica Williams -- a jury specifically found Williams was not under the influence of the drug when she fell asleep at the wheel, ran off the road and killed six teenagers doing community service work.Olsen rails against Warren for drug distribution to kids -- but she was not convicted of selling marijuana, much less selling it to kids. In that, he's punishing her for a crime of which she's not been convicted, a violation of the U.S. Constitution and his own oath of office.The system, such as it is, worked the way it was supposed to work: Police raided Warren's home, found drugs, and arrested her. Olsen asked for her to be charged with a variety of offenses, but a more -- ahem -- sober Clark County District Attorney's office elected to proceed only with a possession charge, which they disposed of with a plea bargain, a $500 fine and a 30-day suspended jail sentence.Not content, however, Olsen proceeds to try to seize Warren's home in an entirely separate civil proceeding where she must prove her innocence, another constitutional violation. If Boulder City is successful, it will reap part of the windfall from the sale of Warren's home. Perhaps the city could hire Olsen a police driver, just to keep him out of trouble?Outrage barely covers it: Regardless of what the law says, Olsen is engaging in an act of theft. Warren committed a crime, and was punished for committing a crime. Olsen's exacting a punishment for something Warren never did in the eyes of the law, making wild and untrue claims in the process. He should drop this case immediately, and if he doesn't, Boulder City fathers should find the courage to order him to stop.In the meantime, will somebody look at seizing that motorcycle? I think we'd all feel safer if they did.Steve Sebelius is editor of Citylife.Newshawk: MayanSource: Las Vegas City Life (NV)Author: Steve SebeliusPublished: September 23, 2005Copyright: 2005 Las Vegas City LifeContact: obrien lvpress.comWebsite: Articles: Asset Forfeiture Abuse Charge: Pot May Cost Homeowner Seek To Uphold Property Seizure Law 
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Comment #7 posted by unkat27 on September 28, 2005 at 13:39:07 PT
Olsen is a Vulture
I'm putting together a list of vultures and vampires involved in the drug war. Vampires suck our life blood, vultures pick our bones after taking our will-power away. Olsen is obviously a vulture. 
Mad Krow
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Comment #6 posted by OverwhelmSam on September 28, 2005 at 05:31:10 PT
Society Labors Under Misconception Of Law.
I only have one thing to say about over-zealous law enforcement and nasty abusive prosecutors, "Just because something is deemed Legal by our corrupt politicians, that doesn't mean it is a Moral or Ethical thing to do!" Use your discretion when dealing with the citizens of our country. Stop setting examples and sending messages. Deal with the crime of vice at hand fairly. Otherwise, you just come off as being a Hateful wasted soul.
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Comment #5 posted by ekim on September 27, 2005 at 20:03:56 PT
That's not even remotely true
, he's punishing her for a crime of which she's not been convicted, a violation of the U.S. Constitution and his own oath of office.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on September 27, 2005 at 20:00:24 PT
Information for Medical Marijuana Class
Medical Marijuana Class Offered at UCC 
September 27, 2005 WINCHESTER: Those interested in learning more about medical marijuana can take a five-week class at Umpqua Community College starting Oct. 4.The class, from 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, will teach topics such as the history of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, state and federal laws, patient-caregiver relationships and safety and security matters.Attendees will find out how to register for the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program. The class is recommended for patients who could benefit from medical marijuana and their families. Medical professionals are also encouraged to attend.The class will last until Nov. 1 and is being taught by Todd Dalotto, who's the co-founder of Compassion Center and founder of Cannabis Education & Consulting, both in Eugene. To register, call 957-4520. Cost is $48.Information: 440-4601.Copyright: 2005 newsreview.info
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Comment #3 posted by insaneavocado on September 27, 2005 at 19:50:47 PT:
a really creative way of putting it.
I like how this article talked about seizing his motorcycle; that was creative and also logical! I feel sorry for warren though; many people actually do lose their property (at least around here I've heard of it happening) for lesser marijuana crimes; but federal felonies for having it...? that's terrible...
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on September 27, 2005 at 18:57:22 PT
Hi Rainbow
That's a good beginning.
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Comment #1 posted by rainbow on September 27, 2005 at 18:42:29 PT
Judge Lay
FOM,Check this one out. It is greatAppeals court judge proposes state approach to deal with federal drug crimesA long-time federal appeals court judge is calling on the legal system to take a radical step against drug-related crime. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Donald Lay says locking up drug addicts and dealers for longer and longer sentences hasn't worked. But federal prosecutors say Lay's idea is just too extreme.
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