Could the Supreme Court’s Forfeiture Ruling Help End the Drug Wars?

Points: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society

Did the Supreme Court unanimously de-escalate the drug wars last month? The optimist in me says “yes,” and the historian in me agrees.

In Timbs v. Indiana, the Court ruled that the state could not seize and forfeit the plaintiff’s Land Rover as a result of his drug conviction. While this decision alone will not end “policing for profit,” it will subject state asset-forfeiture laws to unprecedented scrutiny. Michigan and South Carolina legislators immediately introduced bills to reform asset forfeiture, for example, and district attorneys in Alabama scrambled to show how their forfeitures are already transparent and constitutional.

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