A patrol officer in Miami pulls over a middle aged couple on a minor traffic offense. He notices a large bag of pills readily observable in the cars interior. He inquires as to the nature of the pills. The driver informs the patrol officer that they are Laetrile, also known as Vitamin B-17. The officer inquires as to their use and why they have such a large quantity. The driver explains that they have just picked up a shipment from Germany and that Laetrile has been clinically proven to be very effective in treating cancer. They have such a large volume because they are taking them to their home at the Villages in Leesburg, FL. The Villages is one of the largest age-restricted active adult communities in Florida – as well as the world. What started as a small neighborhood in 1978 has blossomed into a sprawling community that will eventually be home to an estimated 56,268 households of residents aged 55 and better. Many of the residents of The Villages are cancer patients who do not have access to Laetrile, because it is banned by the USDA.
Laetrile, is a naturally occurring vitamin that has been shown to be very effective on cancer. It is banned in the U.S. because the drug companies cannot profit from the sale of it.
Vitamin B-17 used to be in our B Complex formulas before they banned it in the 1970’s. It harmed no one but because it was such a successful cancer treatment it was made illegal.
The patrol officer calls in the information to his commanding officer, however does not inform his commanding officer that Laetrile is banned in the United States. The letter of the law dictates that the couple must be arrested for possession of an illegal drug with intent to distribute.
Discuss the personal and professional dilemma facing this patrol officer.
Research appellate case pertaining to officer discretion
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