Come 'n' Get Me, Coppers!

I read without commenting on Glenn Reynold's recent article on the expansion of felony statutes:

[I]f you haven't been convicted of some felony or other, it's probably because no prosecutor has tried to put you away, not because you haven't committed one, whether you realized it at the time or not.

Is that hyperbolic overstatement? I didn't think about that too much until yesterday when I noticed an article that pointed out my recent criminal behavior.

Here's my confession: last month the Salad family went down to Orlando for a few days respite from cold and snow. For compactness and convenience, I combined my daily pills (three prescription and three non-prescription) into a single bottle, instead of packing six.

And that may be OK in New Hampshire, and it may be OK in Florida, but we happened to leave from the Portland (Maine) Jetport. And when I crossed into Maine from New Hampshire, that single bottle made me a Maine criminal.

In Maine, a prescription drug must be kept in its original pharmacy container until the time it's consumed. Putting it anywhere else—perhaps in a shirt pocket, or a separate container…—is a crime that can bring jail time.

Great. The law in question is here. I can't tell whether it's a felony or not, even so it certainly brings Glenn's point home to me: expansion of the law into everyday innocuous behavior is just another serious symptom of abuse of the law by the state.


Last Modified 2012-10-26 5:16 PM EST