Hippo Manchester
August 4, 2005


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Hey, you have no freedom!

Busted! lawyer/author shows how you are a casualty of the drug war

By Robert Greene

Busted!: Drug War Survival Skills, by M. Chris Fabricant, Harper Collins 2005, 365 pages

Busted!: Drug War Survival Skills is one criminal defense attorney’s effort to point out the power of the “War on Drugs,” the PATRIOT Act and any other government measure designed to weaken the Constitution and, in particular, your Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. His conclusion? We’re screwed.

You have no privacy. If a cop thinks you look funny, smell funny or act funny, he or she can pull you over, stop you on the street and bang on your door to demand answers. If your roommate keeps a sock full of dope in his bureau, it’s yours by association. If you own a copy of Busted!, even if it came free and unasked for in the mail, you are demonstrating a familiarity with the drug culture. You can buy a pipe legally at Good Times but then the cops can turn around and charge you for owning the damn thing.

The moral of the story, Fabricant says, is watch your ass. Drugs are illegal, he says, and being caught with them will open you up to a world of hurt. But if you gotta have them, he continues, be smart about it.

Busted! is full of tips, possibly the most important of which is, if the police know you have drugs don’t do something stupid like getting belligerent or trying to eat the evidence.

Fabricant is a solid, informative and funny writer. The humorous tone of the book is enhanced by the R. Crumb illustrations and a cover testimonial by Tommy Chong. But underneath the humor is the dark news and proof that our personal liberties and freedoms are being quickly eroded in the interest of getting drugs off the street or fighting terrorism.

Sure, the drug users don’t have any constitutional protection, but neither do you.