Saudis Behead Marijuana Smuggler

What a news article to wake up to on a Sunday: Saudi Arabia Beheads Marijuana Smuggler

A Saudi drug trafficker was beheaded Sunday, a Ministry of Interior statement said. Dhaher bin Thamer al-Shimry was convicted of smuggling marijuana into the kingdom...

The Saudis have beheaded 41 people so far this year, mostly for drug offenses. Last year the total was 49. It makes us nervous that Bush and Ashcroft keep asking for more death penalty-eligible offenses and that Orrin Hatch's "Victory Act" equates many drug offenses with terrorism, providing for correspondening penalties (under the rubric that they are "narco-terrorist" offenses.)

While the U.S. won't be advocating beheadings, re-read the article substituting "executed by lethal injection" for "beheaded" and it is not that far-fetched that it could happen here. Bob Barr used to call for the death penalty for drug traffickers.

Right now the death penalty for drug offenders is reserved for those that intentionally cause, command or counsel death in connection with their drug enterprises. How big a stretch is it for the government to increase its ambit further, bit by bit? First up might be meth manufacturers who deposit toxic byproducts from the lab by the roadside--then who knows?

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