Even as the war on drugs begins to lose steam throughout the country, instances of medieval style land grabs and other ruthless tactics persist throughout American law enforcement organizations. The financial and political motivations behind the drug war are perhaps no more obvious than in the cruel concept of "forfeiture," which is the act of seizing one's possessions and property as a consequence of some illegal act taking place on or in such property.
However opportunistically unfair such a law may seem, it apparently isn't enough for Philadelphia district attorney Seth Williams, who wants to take property and belongings away from vulnerable elderly family members of "drug dealers" who themselves have never been convicted or accused of a crime. This is precisely the crime being committed by Williams against Elizabeth Young of the Cobb's Creek section of Philadelphia. Her son, who is the "drug dealer" in question, was arrested for selling "small amounts of marijuana," a so called menace to the community, upon which local police seem to place a disproportionate emphasis. Her case is currently being appealed, but as it stands the Philadelphia district attorney's office has moved to take the 69 year old widow's home and automobile, rendering her homeless and without means of transportation.
Like other political monstrosities, the war on drugs has now reached the point of directly victimizing not only it's stated target population of drug consumers, but is now bleeding out into other areas of society so as to claim yet more resources and funding. For years, criminals within government have moralized their way into confiscating people's homes and valued possessions over their private possession of taboo substances, relying largely on media fueled propaganda to amplify public fear of the dangers of drug use. Another example of non-crimes turned into punishable offenses in the name of drugs, is the patently absurd concept of "frequenting a known drug area," which is literally the act of existing near areas the police have deemed drug areas. Laws such as these immediately turn thousands of innocent residents into potential violators of this Orwellian statute.
In an obscene admission of Young being "guilty until proven innocent," Williams admitted that she was punished for the crime of complicity without being charged with complicity. The D.A.'s office stated in an appeals brief:
"Although the claimant was not charged, she was not an innocent owner.." "The trial court found that she should have known about the illegal drug sales and tacitly consented to them."