The Nation’s Borders, Now Guarded by the Net 

  The Nation’s Borders, Now Guarded by the Net 

Posted by CN Staff on May 14, 2007 at 08:21:46 PT
By Adam Liptak 
Source: New York Times 

USA -- Andrew Feldmar, a Vancouver psychotherapist, was on his way to pick up a friend at the Seattle airport last summer when he ran into a little trouble at the border. A guard typed Mr. Feldmar’s name into an Internet search engine, which revealed that he had written about using LSD in the 1960s in an interdisciplinary journal. Mr. Feldmar was turned back and is no longer welcome in the United States, where he has been active professionally and where both of his children live.
Mr. Feldmar, 66, has a distinguished résumé, no criminal record and a candid manner. Though he has not used illegal drugs since 1974, he says he has no regrets.“It was an absolutely fascinating and life-altering experience for me,” he said last week of his experimentation with LSD and other psychedelic drugs. “The insights it provided have lasted for a lifetime. It allowed me to feel what it would be like to live without habits.”Mr. Feldmar said he had been in the United States more than 100 times and always without incident since he last took an illegal drug. But that changed in August, thanks to the happenstance of an Internet search, conducted for unexplained reasons, at the Peace Arch border station in Blaine, Wash. The search turned up an article in a 2001 issue of the journal Janus Head devoted to the legacy of R. D. Laing, with whom Mr. Feldmar had studied in London about 30 years before. “I traveled to many regions many times with the help of many different substances,” Mr. Feldmar wrote of his experiences with Dr. Laing and other psychiatrists and therapists. “I took peyote, psilocybin mushrooms, cannabis” and other drugs, he added, “but I kept coming back to LSD.”He was asked by a border guard whether he was the author of the article and whether it was true. Yes, he replied. And yes.Mr. Feldmar was held for four hours, fingerprinted and, after signing a statement conceding the long-ago drug use, sent home. Mike Milne, a spokesman for the Customs and Border Protection agency in Seattle, said he could not discuss individual cases for reasons of privacy. But the law is clear, Mr. Milne said. People who have used drugs are not welcome here.“If you are or have been a drug user,” he said, “that’s one of the many things that can make you inadmissible to the United States.”He added that the government was constantly on the hunt for new sources of information. “Any new technology that we have available to us, we use to do searches on,” Mr. Milne said.Mr. Feldmar has been told by the American consul general in Vancouver that he may now enter the United States only if he obtains a formal waiver.“Both our countries have very similar regulations regarding issuance of visas for citizens who have violated the law,” the consul, Lewis A. Lukens, wrote to Mr. Feldmar in September. “The issue here is not the writing of an article, but the taking of controlled substances. I hear from American citizens all the time with decades-old D.U.I. convictions who are barred from entry into Canada and who must apply for waivers. Same thing here.”The waiver process would require a lawyer, several thousand dollars and dishonesty, Mr. Feldmar said. He would have to say he has been rehabilitated. “Rehabilitated from what?” Mr. Feldmar asked. “It’s degrading, literally degrading.” Ethan Nadelmann, the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, which works to ease drug penalties, said Mr. Feldmar’s case proves how arbitrary American drug policy can be. “Roughly a majority of the population of the United States between the ages of 18 and 58 has violated a drug law at least once,” Mr. Nadelmann said, and there is no reason to think that Canadians and other foreigners of a certain age have experimented much less. It has been a long, strange trip from the Summer of Love to the Age of Terror, from excluding people based on actual criminal convictions to turning them away based on a border guard’s Internet search. The first approach is rooted in due process and enhances the nation’s security. The second is profoundly arbitrary and effectively punishes not past drug use but honest discourse about it.“I should warn people that the electronic footprint you leave on the Net will be used against you,” Mr. Feldmar said. “It cannot be erased.”Source: New York Times (NY)Author: Adam LiptakPublished: May 14, 2007Copyright: 2007 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite: Policy Alliance Justice Archives

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Comment #37 posted by FoM on May 17, 2007 at 12:09:54 PT
I understand why flying is important to you and others. When families are separated by miles it's the only way to visit them. 
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Comment #36 posted by Celaya on May 17, 2007 at 12:04:12 PT
I´m afraid I have to weigh in on behalf of those who fly. Because of the standard two weeks of vacation most people get per year, they would never have the time to travel to other countries if they could not fly. The need is even greater for folks like me who have family in other countries. Until we get two or three months of vacation per year (dream on!), flying is the only option.Better to figure out how to make flying less polluting. High speed props using alternative fuels - even solar power - may be the answer.
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Comment #35 posted by FoM on May 17, 2007 at 08:24:17 PT
I flew on a 767 when I had to go out to LA years ago and it didn't impress me. I have traveled with my husband in our semi all over the USA and I have very good memories of all the wonderful things we saw while on the road. People that fly around the country are missing so much wonder and beauty. America really is beautiful. 
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Comment #34 posted by museman on May 17, 2007 at 08:04:18 PT
Choosing not to fly, is not only a wise decision, but knowing that the pollution from those planes -and not just the contrails- is one of the major contributors to eco-breakdown, flying to me is tantamount to 'tempting God.'They are falling out of the sky at an alarming rate, and putting yourself in a hurtling tube of steel going hundreds of miles an hour, thousands of feet in the air is one hell of a whopping misplace of faith and trust if you ask me.Besides all that, they are a huge part of a system that sanctifies incredible waste and destruction for the sake of speed. I feel for those who have to fly from place to place to make a living, but to do it recreationally is like the most decadent thing to come to 'civilization' since porno.If you must be an international tourist, charter a boat. If you can afford to fly to Europe, you can afford to do that. "But oh! the 'inconvenience' and the loss of 'time'" the more affluent might say. Well I think the destruction of whole species and our protecting layers of atmosphere might just take priority over the richer-mans sense of urgency to 'get there.'So kudos to you FoM for making that statement.
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Comment #33 posted by FoM on May 17, 2007 at 06:21:44 PT
Thank you. I will never fly again since I have nowhere I would ever want to go that would require flying. I like keeping my feet on the ground. I feel sorry for people who must travel in this day and age. 
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Comment #32 posted by rchandar on May 16, 2007 at 23:32:59 PT:
It's a good post, but it's still an optional scan, and only operative for people who are leaving the Netherlands.Actually it doesn't matter much. It just means that they probably fired Secureop Nederland, the company that would grill every passenger leaving Amsterdam with very formal, pointed questions. Holland's a relaxed country, but they can be pretty formal sometimes. What with their reputation as a pot paradise, and Schiphol having hundreds of millions of passengers every year--going in some cases to places the US won't allow you to (Iran, Albania, Algeria, Kazakhstan, Cuba) and places with real severe penalties for any drugs (Indonesia, their former colony, Singapore, Malaysia, UAE, Saudi Arabia)--in many cases it's an acceptable measure. Most "drug tourists" going to Amsterdam aren't smugglers or "mules". For those people, there are ways around the scan system. You could mail the contraband to a friend's address; you could check your baggage and try to brave Customs on the other side. You could also bribe the police in your home country. But few hemp smugglers run thru Schiphol--the big runs are always through sophisticated international traffickers that study the routes and improvise their transit routes, changing from month to month.They got real, real upset about the "mules", who swallow drugs and later excrete them. Someone tried to ply a 2-year old baby with cocaine-filled condoms. The condom burst on the plane, and the child had a heart attack immediately and died. THAT drew a lot of attention.Someone did ask on another post whether the body scanners can detect grass. Yes, it can; and a small number of airports in the US use them. But the info's out now, so maybe that's good--we can spare some of the "little guys" by giving them the advance notice.
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Comment #31 posted by afterburner on May 16, 2007 at 22:46:39 PT
Eyes In The Sky 
CN ON: PUB LTE: Eyes In The Sky - Really Worth It?, Ottawa Sun, (13 May 2007)
Russell Barth
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Comment #30 posted by FoM on May 16, 2007 at 17:43:46 PT
Amsterdam Airport Starts Full-Body Scans
May 16, 2007 
 Visitors to the freewheeling Dutch city better be prepared to bare all.Amsterdam's Schiphol airport has become the first in the world to deploy a new "see-through" security system that allows screeners to view the shape of the traveler’s body beneath their clothes. The system is designed to detect weapons and explosives hidden under clothing. Numerous airports have tested the system, but this is the first permanent installation of the security devices. Schiphol officials are making the body scanners optional, allowing passengers to submit to the 3-scond scans in lieu of waiting in long security lines or being frisked by security personnel.Complete Article:
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Comment #29 posted by kaptinemo on May 16, 2007 at 17:01:45 PT:
So, Canada doesn't need money? 
As in tourism dollars? As in return business? The Canadian government is already applying every ounce of persuasion it can amongst US legislators to extend the US deadline for Canadian citizens to acquire the passports that the US will require of them next year. They wouldn't be bending over backwards with a half-twist to do this if they haven't already become worried about the present decline in US tourism to Canada. Future border hassles by amateur STASI wannabes are bound to cause the kind of irritation on both sides of the border that cannot help but negatively affect the livlihood of industries dependent upon unobstructed border tourism. Keep it up, and that tourism will be lessened even more. As someone who has been crossing the border for 31 years, entirely for pleasure, I might just decide the 8 hour plane trip to Europe is worth avoiding such nonsense.And I won't be alone...
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Comment #28 posted by Celaya on May 16, 2007 at 10:52:14 PT
It works both ways
Canadian border officials will not let you into the country if you have ANY kind of record of drug possession - including the most minor misdemeanor charge of marijuana. By this time, they may well be doing the same as U.S. border guards, Googling for any association.It seems to me it is just another part of the campaign to marginalize marijuana consumers in every conceivable way. The worst case of this persecution to me are the states that will charge you with driving under the influence if you test positive on a drug test. Several states have passed this law. That means EVERY cannabis consumer is subject to losing their driving priviledges at any time, since, as we all know, the ¨drug tests¨ do not measure intoxication, but detect trace metabolites that linger in the body up to a month.
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Comment #27 posted by John Tyler on May 16, 2007 at 08:54:14 PT
Snoop Dogg 
According to the new regs., will Snoop Dogg even be allowed to enter any other country? I think he has had a number of "run ins" with the law for various reason? I think he was arrested while driving home after being a guest on Jay Leno's show and was found to be in possession of some phohibited plant material. 
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Comment #26 posted by afterburner on May 15, 2007 at 18:00:14 PT
Border Guards, International and Local
Maybe, now, they won't *let* Marc Emery into the States. ;Meanwhile, back in the Great White North:City Agrees To Put Leash On Acts Like Snoop Dog, (Tue, 01 May 2007)
Lethbridge Herald (CN AB)
Lethbridge, Alberta - “Snoop Dogg may have to sit up and beg if he ever wants to perform in Lethbridge again. And the city will only throw him a bone if he promises to behave. The same goes for any rock, rap or hip hop group booked to perform at the Enmax Centre.” 
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Comment #25 posted by ekim on May 15, 2007 at 16:57:31 PT
some ones reading the Leap blog
Drugs Takes Prisoners Any Way It Can Get Them
Filed under: James Anthony, Jack Cole — April 30, 2007   11:34 am 
 The drug war has been and continues to be the cause of voter disenfranchisement, imprisonment of non-violent persons, unlawful searches, and unnecessary deaths of innocent civilians as well as police officers. This juggernaut has now added another travesty of justice to its already lengthy list of offenses: banishment.Andrew Feldmar, a well known Vancouver psychotherapist who spent a semester in the U.S. at the Johns Hopkins University's Ph.D. program in theoretical statistics and conducted Ph.D. work with Dr. Charles Osgood in psycholinguistics at the University of Illinois at Champagne Urbana in 1969, was denied entry into the United States permanently. His crime: Dr. Feldmar had published an article in the spring 2001 issue of the journal Janus Head , explaining his legal participation in scientific studies on LSD that took place in England nearly 40 years ago.
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Comment #24 posted by potpal on May 15, 2007 at 12:47:09 PT
florida charade
and a search uncovered a plastic bag containing 1 gram of marijuana in the Faustino's right front pants to the gum and behind his car keys.Now his name will forever be associated with his bust in Florida. Something that still follows Jennifer Capriati around...and a state whose citizens would be most likely in need of the beneficial herb. A gram! and it makes the news...sicko world...looking forward to Moore's new movie coming to a theatre near you.Toke.  
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Comment #23 posted by rchandar on May 15, 2007 at 11:40:39 PT:
Well, it poses huge problems for anyone coming from a country that isn't rich. Imagine someone from Vietnam or Ethiopia trying to procure the written letter saying that Person X has been "fully rehabilitated." Imagine the Customs officers not honoring the letter after a really genuine attempt to go "clean." Multiply that imagination by about 200,000--roughly the # of Third World immigrants that apply for US visas.Then, maybe a loophole statement will have to be read to arrivals at Customs and signed. And remember how super-overcrowded the Arrivals are, and how few Customs usually staff the cubicles. Translation: Waiting (detention) room, maybe 5, 6 hours. Welcome to the USA. I light my lamp beside the golden door.
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Comment #22 posted by rchandar on May 15, 2007 at 11:11:55 PT:
A Thought
we do what we're told,
we do what we're told,
we do what we're told,
told to do.we do what we're told,
we do what we're told,
we do what we're told,
told to do.ONE GOAL
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Comment #21 posted by BGreen on May 15, 2007 at 09:52:38 PT
With half of Florida in F&(K!NG Flames
I think a gram of cannabis is the least of their worries.Maybe not.Maybe that's why they can't put out the fires in the first place.Let's put all of our manpower towards eliminating cannabis a gram at a time and who cares if our whole F&(K!NG state is on fire?I'm sure Jose Melendez is safe now that David Faustino has been stopped in his tracks, that is unless the wildfires that threaten thousands of homes are headed his way.Geez, the home state of Rush L. and Jeb Bush (and his F'd up family) has finally lost their collective minds.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on May 15, 2007 at 08:35:56 PT
Related Article
TV’s ‘Bud Bundy’ Arrested in Volusia
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Comment #19 posted by John Tyler on May 15, 2007 at 07:40:47 PT
This is some kind of totalitarian nightmare. Think of all of the well known people who have drug usage associated with their name in some manner, at some time in their lives, like the ones already mentioned, and guys like the great “non inhaler” himself, Bill Clinton, and others like Rush Limbaugh, Willie Nelson, Woody Harrelson, Art Garfunkle, Jeb Bush’s daughter, etc., etc. the list could go on and on. Are all of these people going to be denied their rights forever? Or is it like I imagine, only some people will be denied?    
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on May 15, 2007 at 07:19:00 PT
Thanks for the video. I remember seeing that many years ago. 
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Comment #17 posted by museman on May 14, 2007 at 23:56:03 PT
#10 &11
In order to leave the country, you must have a valid passport. Used to be you could cross both Canadian and Mexican borders without one. If you have been convicted of any felony, including 'marijuana' posession-or cultivation, then you cannot get a passport. That was before the monkey came.Now, what with the Idiot Act, and the ressurected SS Gestapo-"Vor der Vaderland!" 'Homeland Security' the borders have closed to free traffick. And as this article reveals, the 'discretionary powers' of the border cops has been enhanced and magnified by these (actually treasonous) acts against civil, and inalienable rights.So basicly anyone who is associated in any substantial way, like a guy who writes an article about LSD, or someone who makes inflamatory 'anti-patriotic' statements on a web forum for example, could quite possibly be refused a passport as well, therefore imprisoned by the walls of Amerika.
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Comment #16 posted by The GCW on May 14, 2007 at 20:04:51 PT
It seems like they are not guarding the border but rather discriminating at the border.-0-What could this lead to?
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Comment #15 posted by potpal on May 14, 2007 at 19:16:12 PT
caught in the net
Some levity... Got vape.
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Comment #14 posted by mayan on May 14, 2007 at 18:25:33 PT
One can be a former coke-head and current treasonous terrorist and still be president. If America keeps going this direction they will need to put up border walls to keep us all in.THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...Rosie Sounds Off On WTC Demolition & Destruction Of Crime Scene:'re speaking about 9/11 -- every month: 11th Day of Action Forum/Pics: Silverstein Warned Not To Come To Work On 9/11: Footage Re-Ignites BBC Building 7 Controversy: Buster: RAY GRIFFIN at PSU Mon May 21st “DEBUNKING 9/11 DEBUNKING”: Mysteries (Full Length, High Quality): 9/11 promo:
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Comment #13 posted by Sam Adams on May 14, 2007 at 16:05:27 PT
Erasing the footprint
Why would you want to erase it? It just did you a favor, you don't want to come here anymore. Our coke-addicted pill popping president says you can't come in!  Imagine this guy was your father or something. I'd leave the US immediately. There's a day coming for each of us when we'll realize we have to leave.  
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Comment #12 posted by MikeEEEEE on May 14, 2007 at 15:35:50 PT
Why they hate us....
Officals on the front-line represent how America treats individuals, and that is seen by the world. 
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on May 14, 2007 at 14:33:59 PT
I wonder that too. I would think it would be tried both ways. I've never left the country so I really don't know anything about how it would work. 
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Comment #10 posted by BGreen on May 14, 2007 at 14:28:05 PT
The big question
In addition to what FoM posted, will they use this information to prevent us from leaving the country?The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on May 14, 2007 at 14:16:26 PT
A Question
I wonder if Senator Obama would be allowed back in the U.S. if he went to another country. Will Paul McCartney be banned too? 
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Comment #8 posted by laduncon on May 14, 2007 at 13:45:04 PT
comment meant as sarcasm/tongue in cheek...
So who's gonna tell Barrack Obama that he's no longer qualified to hold public office, let alone be President, given that he's admitted past drug use (cocaine, cannabis). He should resign his Senate post immediately and check into drug-rehab. I mean, as far as I'm concerned the man shouldn't even be allowed to walk freely given that he has yet to be "rehabilitated." Heck, perhaps we can even revoke his citizenship, or at least track him with an ankle-GPS. (I'm pretty sure I just shuddered at the realization that the previous comments would actually strike some people as rational, practical, and downright the correct course of action to take.)As for signing an official statement admitting past drug use, I understand the ethical dilemna or whatnot, but perhaps citing ones 5th amendment right to avoid self-incrimination would have been a wiser course of action (certainly worth a try). Just a thought...
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Comment #7 posted by rchandar on May 14, 2007 at 12:06:29 PT:
Re: Mr. Feldmar
Unbelievable. Man, shame on them, that's all. This is about as close to Spanish Inquisition as I've seen so far.Hmmm... so, let me see...
Okay, foreigners aren't protected by the 1st Amendment. Got that part, even though it's pretty ridiculous and Inquisition-styled.American citizens--or resident aliens who've lived here a long time--can be harassed for stuff they wrote just because drugs are illegal. So a student writes a paper about taking ecstasy in a nightclub, and it's a real good piece. The professor encourages him/her to publish it, and someone does. So he/she's liable for explaining their experiences?Nothing in this washes. Nothing. This isn't even law enforcement, it isn't drug interdiction. WHERE did they get to the point that they could screen people's written work to determine whether they are allowed into the country? I think they've gone too far--hell, common sense tells us they've gone too far.PS if you're bristling for a good written piece, I encourage you to read mine. Go to, or The journal is Storytelling, Self, and Society. No, it's not a personal narrative; the piece is on cannabis literature in Morocco and I think you all will enjoy it, maybe buy the author's works because they're good reading.
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Comment #6 posted by museman on May 14, 2007 at 10:30:52 PT
The New Bill Of Rights
#1. You have the right to remain silent. But if you choose to so do, we have the right to beat the crap out of you.#2. Everything you say, or ever have said will be used against you.#3. You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future -if you can afford one.#4. If you cannot afford an attorney, then you are obviously of inferior breeding, so you are guilty and have no need of one.#5. If you decide to answer questions now without an attorney present you will still have the right to stop answering at any time until you can afford to talk to an attorney. Otherwise we have the right ot beat the crap out of you.#6. Knowing and understanding your rights as I have explained them to you, are you willing to plead guilty?
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Comment #5 posted by museman on May 14, 2007 at 10:06:55 PT
Homeland SS
Fascism at it's finest. At least there aren't any concentration camps,... oh I forgot about all those CIA 'out of jusrisdiction' disappearance stations.Nixon would have loved this, and Reagan would have finished restoring the old Japanesse internment camps like he tried to do for the hippies. Papers please."What? You participated in Woodstock? Arrest that man!""It says here that you made anti-patriotic statements on a web are under arrest." -A possible future news story-"It was announced today in an almost unanimous vote in the house to disallow any new initiatives of the people, and a constitutional ammendment securing total power and authority to the Federal Government." When asked why, the president said, "We as the peoples elected government, see no reason to give the rabble...I mean 'the people' any more power than that which they have invested in us, their chosen superiors. It's a waste of the taxpayers money to continue to support and fund political initiatives which interfere with the smooth workings of the legislature -who by the very fact of their elective status represent the minds and hearts of the people."A protest in DC was halted as the armored SWAT teams rounded up the crowd into police vans and hauled them away. It is not known to which Homeleand Security Holding Facility they were taken."In related news, the last of the medical marijuana advocates who have been in hiding since Bush declared martial law, extending his presidency for an indefinite period, were shot as they tried to escape the police dragnet that spotted them hiding in the last few acres of Redwoods in Northern california today.One reporter caught a dialogue between a wounded survivor of the assault, and the officer in charge;"Please, can you give me somethjing for the pain?"The officer answered, "You shoulda thought of that before you smoked marijuana you f_ckin hippy.""And in other news, the price of gas went down today to a unprecedented low of $20 a gallon! Nows the time to fill up folks."(for those who don't know for sure...that was sarcasm, it hasn't really happened...yet)
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Comment #4 posted by HempWorld on May 14, 2007 at 09:55:32 PT
The above story sounds very familiar to me...
Starting after 2000 I got a lot of problems getting back into the US, where I reside. Even though I was only writing about industrial hemp?! This really made me angry and I have since taken measures to channel my anger into more activism. I have not traveled abroad for a while, partly because of the harassment I get from crossing back in. And I have no criminal record anywhere in the world. Go figure, I guess that since Bush is in power we've gotten a lot more 'freedom' !
Nobody can stop this!
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Comment #3 posted by Had Enough on May 14, 2007 at 09:48:36 PT
Big Brother!!!
“If you are or have been a drug user,” he said, “that’s one of the many things that can make you inadmissible to the United States.”But some can be certified as a Law Enforcement Officer, or be a politician and steal drugs.You can be Chairman of a committee for exploited children, and in the meantime send kinky emails to 16 yr old boys. (Mark Foley) He was allowed to resign with full benefits and attend a 30 day alcohol rehab; Hasert was able to hand over the ‘Speaker of the House’ gavel to Pelosi saying he knew nothing.But exercise your right of speech to point something out, and you are not wanted.I wonder if this spokesman for the Customs and Border Protection agency, feels the same way about Rush Limbaugh???
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Comment #2 posted by Truth on May 14, 2007 at 08:42:23 PT

Great policy
 "But the law is clear, Mr. Milne said. People who have used drugs are not welcome here."That will surely help America's population problem. I wonder where we will all go.
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Comment #1 posted by mai_bong_city on May 14, 2007 at 08:38:12 PT

this is just....
friggin' surreal. 
any other words at this point simply fail me.

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