Texas rep compares NSA tactics to getting a warrant for stolen potato chips to catch potheads
A representative from Texas recently compared the tactics of the National Security Agency program to busting cannabis consumers by tracking down stolen potato chips.
Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Republican out of Tyler, was on the House floor railing against the NSA program which collects bulk phone records when he recalled an incident during his time serving as an assistant district attorney.
According to Gohmert, a deputy was intent on busting a group of pot smokers and told him “I know they’re smoking dope out there, I just know it. I’ve set out there and surveilled their house, and I haven’t seen them with dope but I know they’ve got it.”
There must have been very little crime at all in this town if this deputy’s primary focus was to bust some people who he couldn’t even prove were breaking the law, and at best weren’t harming anyone.
The deputy then came to Gohmert one day and requested a warrant because someone had stolen potato chips from a convenience store.
The deputy stated “Well, the place I’ve been surveilling and watching, I found out absolutely for sure, they’re having a party Friday night and they’re going to have potato chips there. So, all I need is a warrant to go look for potato chips and while I’m there, I’ll find the dope.”
Genius! We’ll get a warrant under false pretenses and then violate their civil liberties so that they can be busted for a plant which is safer to consume than alcohol. That’s how we do it in America!
So how did Gohmert respond to this? He asked the deputy “is there anything identifiable on the potato chips packages that would allow us to determine that these were potato chips stolen from the convenience store?”
The statement underscores the deep erosion of civil rights due to the NSA’s methods.
What would become of the deputy? Did he ever bust those dope smokers? Well Gohmert didn’t say, but here’s hoping the deputy is no longer with law enforcement, for the sake of all Texans.
He did state that he understood it was important to balance civil liberties with national security, adding “but that’s no reason for us to voluntarily to give up all our liberty, give up privacy. When you give up the liberty, you’ve given it up.”
Well said Mr. Gohmert. So where do you stand on civil liberties for cannabis consumers?
For starters he voted against the recent hemp amendment, which narrowly passed with only 10 Texas representatives voting in favor of the amendment while 26 voted against.
In 2011 he was named the “Outstanding Member of the House” by the National Narcotics Officers’ Associations Coalition (NNOAC) for his strong record of support for drug law enforcement programs and issues.
During a recent speech he stated “I was quite concerned about our United States military in the 4 years I was in the Army after Vietnam. There were times I would see what some of our troops were doing–couldn’t read, couldn’t write effectively, smoking lots of dope–and I would think, if the Russkies ever attack, we’re in big trouble.”
It also doesn’t help that while he protests the NSA’s tactics, he did vote to reauthorize the Patriot Act. Very conflicting Mr. Gohmert.
While Mr. Gohmert doesn’t have a lot to say about marijuana, he has taken a hard stance against all drugs and is a decorated drug warrior. He has been given a rating of -10 by NORML indicating a very hard stance against cannabis. With what we do know, it’s easy to understand that it’s time someone else took his seat.
Indeed representative Gohmert, liberty for thee but not for me?
By: Stephen Carter
Contact Stephen via email at TXCann@gmail.com