It is astonishing that a potential law could even reach the stage of being voted on in the USA that says if you witness or ‘become aware’ that neighbours or friends have broken the law with narcotics (which presumes you are a competent judge of that), you will be compelled by law to denounce them to the police. Failure to do so means prosecution and the threat of a two year sentence yourself if convicted of simply minding your own business. Even if you disagree with the drug laws, you will be threatened with prison if you do not actively help enforce them against other people.
I have met Congressman Sensenbrenner and I am shocked that he could have come up with such a profoundly authoritarian and illiberal law like this. He explained his support for the ghastly Patriot Act was purely a temporary emergency measure, pointing to the sunset clause as proof of that. Well if this* is his idea of reasonable legislation then I fear that I see all his motivations in a dramatically different light.
Turning neighbour against neighbour like this was how communist states maintained power in the Eastern bloc and anyone putting their name to such a law should be seen for the enemy of civil society that they are, turning people who just wish to be left alone into coerced informers for the state. Truly disgraceful.
*= to see details, enter HR1528 in the search box, then check the enter bill number button, then press search