Massachusetts Governor Proposes Legislation To Combat Opioid Crisis That Violates 4th & 5th Amendments
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. – Fourth Amendment, Constitution of the united States of America.
What would you say if the government, federal or state, held you against your will because of an issue you have with overeating? It sounds ridiculous for the government to hold you against your will just for eating, doesn’t it? What about the federal or state government holding you against your will because of a nicotine or alcohol issue? The Fourth Amendment guarantees each individual the God-given right to security in our persons against unreasonable search and seizure. Moreover, a warrant is required, affirmed by oath, that describes specifically what is to be searched and what is to be seized.
So, it would be a violation of the Fourth Amendment for the government to seize you because you had a health problem, correct? Well, if you live in the State of Massachusetts or are even passing through, the governor wants to propose a law that would allow the State to “hold drug addicts against their will for potential treatment.”
The Daily Caller reports:
The Massachusetts governor called on state lawmakers to approve a bill that would allow drug addicts to be held against their will for potential treatment.
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker proposed a law aimed at trying to fix the state’s growing opioid addiction problem, reports NECN. One part of the bill allows doctors and law enforcement officers to place drug addicts in a treatment center for a three day period, regardless if the person gave their express permission or not.
“The bill also permits medical professionals or police officers to authorize the transport of a patient to a substance use treatment facility for emergency assessment and treatment when the patient presents a risk of serious harm due to addiction and the patient will not agree to voluntary treatment,” the bill reads. “A treatment facility receiving a patient transported under this provision would then be required to attempt to engage the patient in voluntary treatment for a period of up to 72 hours.”
Massachusetts has struggled with an opioid crisis since 2000, seeing about 13,000 deaths related to the crisis. Other parts of the bill call for setting standards for the credentials recovery coaches might need in helping people overcome their addictions, as well as allowing people to use naloxone, a drug that reverses drug overdoses. [some may know this drug as Narcan]
Some people have taken issue with the involuntary hold, saying it poses due process concerns.
Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican of all things, wants to enact a law to allow a doctor or law enforcement officer to hold individuals they have “labeled” as drug addicts by force for “three days of treatment.” NECN states the governor is urging lawmakers to take additional steps to fight the “opioid addiction scourge.” So, the opioid crisis has now morphed to an opioid scourge. Clever how the “news” can warp a health care issue into some scathing mass plague destined to overtake us all if not abated (scourge).
Even reporter Amber Randall at The Daily Caller personified the State of Massachusetts when stating “the state’s growing opioid addiction problem” and “Massachusetts has struggled with an opioid crisis.” It is individuals who have health problems not States. But, we all are guilty at times of personifying an object when penning articles when an individual quoted uses personification or someone speaks in broad terms regarding health care issues.
Personification of the “state” as a living entity with “rights” is typical in communist/socialist governments/regimes. The individual has no God-given individual unalienable rights since the “state” becomes the giver of rights. The best illustration of this type of mindset involves Hillary Clinton, speaking with George Stephanopoulos, claims, “I think that for most of our history, there was a nuanced reading of the Second Amendment until the decision by the late Justice Scalia. And there was no argument until then that localities, and states, and the federal government had a right – as we do with every amendment – to impose reasonable regulations.” According to Hitlery, the federal government has a “right” to regulate “reasonably” God-given individual unalienable rights recognized and protected by the Bill of Rights.
What Gov. Baker proposes should be a big bold red flag with flashing lights and audio alerts saying “Danger. Warning.” While Governor Baker believes he is being altruistic in nature to help those addicted to drugs, particularly opioids, this piece of legislation has the potential to go horribly wrong and be abused and misused by the medical professionals and law enforcement officers.
This proposed legislation is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment – unreasonable seizure without a warrant. It is treating individuals as criminals who are using opioids and identifying them as such (illegal seizure without due process) through coercion of medical professionals and law enforcement officers for the purpose of “forced” medical treatment. Because the government is now involved in everyone’s health care, thanks to Hussein Soetoro and his band of merry Democrats, Governor Baker believes the State now has the “right” to “force” these individuals to receive care for their problem, which Republicans now support in the federal proposal of “repeal and replace” health care insurance plan.
Notice also there is no indication of the individual being allowed due process – violations of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the Constitution for the united States of America. No outlet is reporting how this affects the numerous individuals who receive opioids as treatment for pain management or how police are to distinguish the difference. Moreover, there is no mention of who is responsible for the treatment costs.
“For over 40 years, America has been trying to arrest and coerce its way to decreased substance abuse,” said Matt Segal, the legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union in Massachusetts. “If Massachusetts is serious about ending the opioid crisis, we need to invest in treatment on demand and social services that do not take place in correctional settings, as opposed to coercion and imprisonment.”
Massachusetts has to have a problem filling its county jails and privatized State prisons with criminals; therefore, the State needs to invent criminal activity out of an individual’s health problem – addiction to illegal opioids such as heroin, disguised as a government treatment program. Individuals who take opioid pain medications for their pain condition as the doctor prescribes have only a 3% chance of becoming addicted. Additionally, the governor’s proposal does not indicate a differentiation between addiction, dependence and tolerance, which is apples, oranges, and grapefruits.
Reports about law enforcement officers overstepping their bounds to illegally search vehicles during a traffic stop abound as law enforcement officers “claim” to smell marijuana or alcohol when the window of the vehicle is rolled down. The attention this overzealous action taken by law enforcement causes many individuals to research the various state laws to provide guidance on how to exercise your rights if involved in a traffic stop. There are many videos on YouTube addressing this situation; however, a lawyer has a series of videos on his YouTube channel to advise individuals on exercising those rights. Cooperate with law enforcement officers when stopped, but, exercise your rights up front.
The question that remains unanswered is “how will law enforcement officers know someone is an ‘addict’?” In this day and age, forced blood draws are now the norm for individuals suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol, particularly when refusing a field breathalyzer or sobriety test. It is feasible to assume law enforcement in Massachusetts could employ this technique with the suspicion of opioid use during a traffic stop or DUI checkpoint (which is stretching the freedom of movement) should Gov. Baker’s proposal clear the legislature.
The proverbial “war on drugs” has gone nowhere in the forty years of fighting against this problem. How could it when the US military protects the Afghan poppy fields and rumors about the CIA importing it into the US abound while private mercenaries profit from the counternarcotics contracts. Moreover, with the government targeting opioids as a “national crisis,” one can bet the distinction between addiction, dependence and tolerance will be blurred causing individuals needing prescription narcotic pain medications for pain, unrelieved by other non-narcotic agents, to suffer indignation at the hands of government goons. Hopefully, the proposal by Massachusetts Governor Baker goes nowhere or it could be the template other States use for the profitable, government-sponsored, criminalization of individuals engaged in lawful activities in the faux “war on drugs,” since our republic has supported the opium expansion in Afghanistan. The mantra “never let a crisis go to waste” will be the central theme to further control the population under the guise of an “opioid crisis.” Either way this goes, Massachusetts residents and visitors are looking at a recipe for disaster in the making.
Article posted with permission from Freedom Outpost. Article by Suzanne Hamner.