Dream of: 24 March 1986 "Insufficient Probable Cause"

I had been appointed by judge Schwille to accompany two narcotics agents when they went to arrest someone. The agents (probably in their late 20s) had longish hair and mustaches. They had been using a helicopter to observe a suspect (probably in his late 20s) who likewise had longish brown hair and a mustache.

The agents had just landed their helicopter when I joined them. On two previous occasions the agents had watched the fellow leave his house and both times after leaving his house he had lit a cigarette. The agents had deduced that the cigarette was actually a marijuana joint. On this occasion the fellow again left his house, again lit a cigarette and the agents concluded they now had enough reason to arrest him.

They knew the fellow was now in a restaurant. The three of us walked into the restaurant together obviously looking for someone. We walked past several occupied tables and came to the table where the suspect was sitting. He reminded me of Davis (a Fort Worth attorney with whom I had attended law school) and for a moment I even thought he was Davis.

The agents ordered him to stand up, searched him, and found a small package of marijuana in his pants pocket. I then explained to the fellow that I had been appointed by the court to accompany the narcotics agents to make sure everything had been done properly. I told the fellow that the agents certainly hadn't had any probable cause to arrest him and that we would need to file a motion to suppress the evidence. In my opinion the mere fact that a person had been seen lighting a cigarette didn't constitute sufficient probable cause to warrant arresting the person.

The four of us left the restaurant, boarded a car of the narcotics agents and drove away. I was becoming rather upset with the entire situation; wanting to disparage the narcotics agents, I said, "I don't see how you guys can stand your work. Drugs, marijuana and cocaine are one of the two or three worst problems in the United States."

I continued to explain that clearly the drugs weren't good for people. However, the way to combat drugs wasn't to make their possession a criminal offense and put people in jail merely because they possessed the drugs. I was adamant and also quite agitated because I deeply felt the United States was acting wrongly when it imprisoned people for possession of drugs.

I remembered when alcohol had been illegal in the United States and the ramifications of alcohol's being sold illegally. The same thing was now happening with drugs. Drugs needed to be legalized and people with problems with drugs needed to be helped.

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