Re: CP Confiscation

Oliver T Massey CFS (
Fri, 10 Feb 1995 09:13:50 -0500

> I would definitely advise everyone to NOT collect live plants in the
> field. In the US at least, you are violating international law
> (CITES), IRS regulations (Tax Evasion of undeclared goods), and Customs
> Regulations (Smuggling). Several countries have occasionally
> intercepted illegal plant mailings and are pushing for maximum
> enforcement of CITES law. Anyone who has been to Malaysia, etc, is
> subject to scrutiny. Once you get a CITES inspector in your house,
> they have every authority to impound all plant material on the CITES
> list that does not have valid import certificates. (do you have CITES
> paperwork for you N.khasiana?) Inspectors are notoriously bad taxonomists,
> and are quite likely to impound anything possessing a pitcher.
> Collecting live Nepenthes from the field is particularly bad practice
> because such plants cannot be tissue cultured (due to fungal
> contamination). Such plants contribute little to further propagation of
> the species (except for pollen and seed production years down the line).
> Wild collected plants often do not adapt to cultivation and die. Seed
> grown under cultivated conditions is genetically selected towards
> cultivation conditions (assuming only a small percent of the seed
> actually germinates).
> Seed collection, with permits, is the only acceptible way to import
> endangered plant material.
> >From Tom (in Fl):
> > Personally I have no knowledge of this happening or even any situation
> > which would allow it to happen. Property laws are pretty strong here
> > in the US. I know of no situation which would allow the wholesale
> > confiscation of personal property.
> Cars, houses, boats, planes, and bank accounts are routinely taken away
> by the police if there is a suspicion (even unproven) of laundering drug
> money. If you are rich, and are found with marijuana, some juridictions
> will happily finance their police department by confiscation. In the
> US, having an in-vitro flask with 500 identifiable Hemp plants merits a
> mandatory federal death penalty.

I never knew this.

>Here in the Pacific Northwest, picking
> the wrong wild mushroom is counted as possession of a Schedule I drug,
> and is subject to prosecution as a Felony (imprisonment and property
> forfeiture). There is trend to make these penalties mandatory, so that
> judges have no leeway to use common sense.
> I readily admit that there are stupid laws (CITES, etc), but we should
> work to change them, rather than to break them.
> --
> Rick Walker

Yes, drug confiscation laws do preempt property laws here in the US. I
guess I thought we were talking about Cps. :) As far as collecting from
the field, you are not to my understanding violating CITES, IRS or
Customs - you may be if you then tried to smuggle them out of the
country for profit. But only if they are listed in CITES. (This is not
to say that field collection is ethical or good or whatever.)

As far as regulators storming down the door, I would guess it is
possible, but does anyone have any first hand knowledge of it happening
for a noncommercial enthusiast? I'm working from common sense not
experience, but it just doesnm't seem likely to me.

Tom in Florida