The Massachusetts totalitarian lawmakers will take your car if you are caught with untaxed or flavored vaping products should a new law go through. Massachusetts is the worst offender of civil asset forfeiture in the country, and that is saying something.
It’s yet another case of the abuse of power. No one voted for this.
CAR FOR VAPING
Reason’s Jacob Sullum reported that the Massachusetts House just passed a law which would “ban flavored e-cigarettes, impose a 75% excise tax on ‘electronic nicotine delivery systems’ (including e-1liquids as well as devices), and authorize forfeiture of cars driven by vapers caught with ‘untaxed’ products.” The measure is now set for consideration by the state Senate.
We are not even sure there is a problem with vaping. It seems more of a manufactured crisis than a real one, but for now, let’s consider these civil forfeiture laws.
House bill H4183 has passed the state House and, if approved, it will permanently ban “flavored tobacco products,” including menthol cigarettes as well as vaping liquids that taste or smell like anything other than tobacco. It does not apply to hookah bars or marijuana vapes.
The bill says that “a person who knowingly purchases or possesses an electronic nicotine delivery system not manufactured, purchased or imported by a licensed electronic nicotine delivery system distributor or licensed electronic nicotine delivery system retailer shall…be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for the first offense and not more than $25,000 for a second or subsequent offense,” Sullum writes.
The bill also says a police officer who “discovers an untaxed electronic nicotine
delivery system in the possession of a person who is not a licensed or commissioner-authorized electronic nicotine delivery system distributor” may seize both the product and the “receptacle” in which it is found, “including, but not limited to, a motor vehicle, boat or airplane in which the electronic nicotine delivery systems are contained or transported.”
An airplane!!! They can take your airplane! That’s nuts.
The forfeited goods are then turned over to the IRS who launder it and send money back to the Commiewealth of Massachusetts.
GOVERNMENT GAVE ITSELF THE RIGHT TO STEAL
Civil Asset Forfeiture is the government’s right to steal. It was originally directed at the mob, but now all kinds of innocent persons are victimized by it.
Thanks to civil forfeiture laws, the ever-expanding IRS can seize the accounts of innocent people without their ever having committed a crime. The victims aren’t given notice and are subjected to expensive court proceedings to get the money or property back, if they get it back at all. Victims have to prove their innocence without ever having been found guilty.
Civil asset forfeiture is a proceeding by the government that can find property guilty of a crime.
If your son gets caught with drugs in your house, they can take your house. If a renter gets caught doing drug buys in your motel too often, they can take your motel. Those events have happened.
The war on drugs expands to vapers: The Massachusetts House of Representatives just passed a bill that bans flavored e-cigarettes, taxes the rest, and authorizes police to seize cars carrying untaxed vaping products. https://t.co/0DIvd9rvwz
— Jacob Sullum (@jacobsullum) November 14, 2019