This cheerfully drawn comic from the Daily Signal does an excellent job highlighting the insanity of civil asset forfeiture. It begins with a quintessentially American premise: a young person setting out on his own, all wordly possessions in hand, to start a new life as an adult. Far be it from me to spoil the rest:
If such stories seem unbelievable (it is a cartoon after all), be sure and check out the recent all-too-real stories of Joseph Rivers and Charles Clarke, for whom this cartoon surely hits too close to home. Even they are only the tip of the iceberg.
New Mexico has taken the initiative to end this inherently abusive practice once and for all, and there are active reform efforts underway in California, Michigan, Montana, Oklahoma, Maryland, and others. But until every other state and the federal government join in, these incredible tales of legalized theft and policing for profit will continue.
FreedomWorks recently released a handy map accompanying their report on state forfeiture laws. How does your state stack up?