For cannabis-related knowledge, or hundreds of other sinsowning a devils tool (dinner fork), reading a sorcerers book or speaking in tongues (foreign language), having a different faith, having a witchs habit (taking a bath or falling into a river), etc.from 10% to as many as 50% of the people in Western Europe were tortured or put to death without trial during the medieval Roman Catholic Churchs 500-year Inquisition (12th to 17th Centuries).
While most suffered, some profited handsomely. The Pope could declare anything heresy, and use it as an excuse to legally rob, torture, and kill his enemies or anyone else accused. For more than 300 years, inquisitors divided up the property forfeited to them by suspected witches and heretics. Whoever denounced you got 1/3 of your property, 1/3 went to the government, and 1/3 went to the Papal hierarchy.
Beware the scribes which devour widows houses. Jesus, quoted: Luke 20:46
This perverted prosecution-for-profit model, used almost exactly the same way today by state and federal drug warriors, and just as self-righteously, was given to us at the insistence of president Ronald Reagan in 1984 and was written for Congress by then Congressman Dan Lungren, former California Attorney General. In actuality, once the government seizes a property, more than 90% are never returned by the courts. Everyone from informant, to the police and the prosecutor now share in the bounty of forfeited goods.
In fact, while British common law is the basis for our modern legal system, forfeiture law relies on the medieval concept of the cursed objectdeodand (from the Latin deo, god, and dand, give; meaning that any object causing human death was forfeited to the crown)is the basis for American laws of seizure and confiscation of property rather than against persons.
Why? Simple. People have guaranteed legal rights; property does not!
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