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A Sock Put Him in It

Under federal law, if a state court convicts a non-citizen of a crime “relating to” federally controlled drugs, that non-citizen can be deported. That’s how Moones Mellouli’s sock got on the Supreme Court’s docket: he had stashed four Adderall pills in it, and when he got busted, he pleaded guilty to having drug paraphernalia — the sock. The federal government is trying to deport Mellouli, a university professor. “Because of the sock?” asked Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Kansas law says if you put drugs in something, it’s paraphernalia, and the lawyer for the federal government told the Court all paraphernalia convictions of aliens justify deportation. “He had four pills of Adderall,” pointed out Justice Elena Kagan. “If you go to half the colleges in America ... and just randomly pick somebody,” that person has Adderall, she said. (AC/NPR) ...The war on drugs is a war on people. And their socks.
Original Publication Date: 25 January 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 21.

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