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Advice book taps new audience: drug users

‘Busted!’ offers words of ... wisdom? ... to keep from getting caught
/ Source: Reuters

A New York defense attorney has some advice for drug users who want to avoid arrest: stay at home and don’t use illegal narcotics around children.

Author M. Chris Fabricant said his book “Busted! Drug War Survival Skills” is not designed to promote drug use. “Drugs don’t need their own PR,” he said.

Instead, Fabricant said he wants to help people better understand and protect their constitutional rights, which he said have been eroded by court rulings over the last 30 years.

The book, released this week by publisher HarperCollins, draws from Fabricant’s experiences representing clients charged with drug offenses and coaching friends who have been arrested.

He makes three main recommendations.

“Don’t sell (drugs), don’t do it with the kid and stay home,” Fabricant said in an interview Thursday.

When drugs are used when children are present, he said, a prosecutor will emphasize the irresponsibility of raising children in potentially harmful conditions.

He also said police and prosecutors are increasingly targeting drug users as well as dealers.

“Busted!” offers tips on what to do if arrested. For example, roll down the car window well before the police officer arrives to air out the vehicle, and be courteous during a traffic stop.

With illustrations by counterculture graphic artist R. Crumb, the book takes a lighthearted journey through several serious situations, such as being arrested and appearing in court.

Fabricant, who supports the legalization of marijuana, called the war on drugs “a failure and unfair.” He said defendants have increasingly fewer rights because the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches without probable cause, has been weakened considerably.

“You have no Fourth Amendment rights when you leave the house,” he said, arguing that the U.S. Supreme Court in the last 30 years has essentially eliminated any rights to privacy while in a car. He cited random searches of bags on the New York subway as another example.

Not everyone agrees with Fabricant’s point of view.

“If read by teens it would give them a sense they can continue to do this (take drugs) and say, ‘I don’t have to lead a drug-free life, I can lead a jail-free life,”’ said Paul Costiglio, spokesman for the Partnership For a Drug-Free America. “That’s counterproductive to our efforts.”