Illegal Searches and Arrests Common in NYC?
Much has been made recently – and for good reason – about the incredible amount of arrests that are made in New York City for simple marijuana possession. Beyond that, the vast majority of the arrests are of minority suspects.
While marijuana possession is only a “violation” in NYC, having marijuana in public view is a misdemeanor. And many cops have resorted to illegal searches to bring marijuana out into public view, where it becomes a crime.
And while politicians are rightly discussing a reduction in the penalty for marijuana possession in public view, should we not also be worried about these illegal searches? The two videos below bring this issue front and center.
Shouldn’t we be bothered by the image of a bunch of cops flooding into a random area and arresting minorities? Isn’t that in fact the height of tyranny, and evidence of how far we have fallen in this country?
Shouldn’t we be sickened that these things are commonplace? And marijuana is the tool by which this “public view” racism is carried out. Once marijuana is legalized, will it solve the problem of illegal searches? Or will another “substance” be substituted and utilized by law enforcement?
Mitt Romney, Drug Warrior
Mitt Romney’s disdain for marijuana in general is well-documented on Youtube, but it seems he takes time out of his busy schedule to do a little crime fighting as well.
According to reports Romney and his wife occasionally take walks along the beach near their home in La Jolla, California. But these aren’t ordinary walks , says The NY Times:
“A young man in town recalled that Mr. Romney confronted him as he smoked marijuana and drank on the beach last summer, demanding that he stop.
The issue appears to be a recurring nuisance for the Romneys. Mr. Quint, who lives on the waterfront near Mr. Romney, said that a police officer had asked him, on a weekend when the candidate was in town, to report any pot smoking on the beach. The officer explained to him that “your neighbors have complained,” Mr. Quint recalled. “He was pretty clear that it was the Romneys.”
It’s no surprise that Mitt Romney is arrogant and walks around with an incredible sense of self-worth, but he also seems completely oblivious to how much of the world works. What if this person who was smoking and drinking decided to tell Romney off? What if there was a physical altercation? Is Mitt Romney really willing to risk his life to scold a stranger who is not even on his property?
Imagine sitting on the beach, smoking a joint, and Mitt Romney comes up to you and lectures you on the ills of marijuana and drinking. This man is so controlling that he must control the behavior of not only those around him, but those anywhere near him.
If he becomes President he’ll have the opportunity to control the lives of millions of people, and make them conform to his narrow-view of the world. It’s shaping up to be a rather depressing Presidential election year.
New CDC Survey Shows More Teens Use Marijuana than Cigarettes
New statistics from the Center for Disease Control shows that while cigarette use among teens has remained steady, marijuana use is going up. While only 18% of teens admitted to smoking cigarettes in the latest survey, 23% said they used cannabis.
Howell Wechsler, the director of the CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health, said, "For the first time since CDC began collecting YRBS [National Youth Risk Behavior Survey] data in 1991, current marijuana use among U.S. high school students was more common than current cigarette use.
“YRBS results also show that from 2009 to 2011, there's been no significant progress in reducing cigarette use, while marijuana use among high school students is on the rise,” he said.
Many will hysterically call this awful news, but things need to be seen a little deeper. While only adults would use marijuana in a perfect world, that’s simply not the case. And when you are comparing thing teens could be experimenting with, which would you prefer, marijuana or cigarettes?
You can replace “cigarettes” with just about any other recreational substance and marijuana is safer. It’s impossible to overdose. In fact, many of the things teenagers do every day are more dangerous than marijuana, including driving, eating fast food and having sex.
Teens will always experiment with things, they have since the beginning of mankind. But is it really helpful to demonize marijuana when just about everything else they do is more dangerous? Why drive them away from marijuana to something that will be far worse for them?
The key, as it is with everything, is the truth. Be honest with your kids about what substances will do to them. But if you fill their heads with horror and doom about cannabis, something like cigarettes will seem less dangerous.
The truth will set you free.
Holder says no effort to shut down all medical marijuana
Attorneys in MI Say Their Clients are Being Selectively Prosecuted
Michigan attorneys Lawrence Phelan and Frank Stanley say their clients – who are facing federal prosecution – were targeted because they are state-registered medical marijuana patients. If there are over 130,000 registered patients in Michigan and all are breaking federal law, why are their clients being singled out for it?
“Said differently, there is nothing egregious about the facts of the case that makes it stand out from a routine marijuana grow operation. The defendants are not zealots, and are not advocates against the enforcement of federal law because of the MMMA (Michigan Medical Marijuana Act).
"Rather, they are ordinary people who happened to have MMMA cards,” Stanley and Phelan wrote in a joint filing.
The attorneys also say the fact that the federal government has filed motions attempting to preclude state medical marijuana laws from being used in federal cases shows that someone being a medical marijuana patient is a factor in their prosecution.
“It is clear that the MMMA is a factor in the government’s decision because the Motions in Limine are all focused at that legislation,” they wrote.
“It is also true that Michigan has not been bashful about prosecuting individuals who are involved with marijuana and who are not protected by the MMMA. If the defendants are in violation, and if they are not protected by the MMMA, they are certainly subject to state prosecution.”
But even Stanley and Phelan admit they have an uphill battle proving “selective prosecution” as the courts have placed a heavy burden of proof on them. They must prove that the feds singled out their clients and acted in “bad faith.”
There is no doubt that the federal government is fond of sending messages, whether it be to state governments or individuals who dare to assert their state rights. In any event, the battle between the states and feds continues.
Detroit Voters to Decide on Marijuana Decriminalization in August
On Friday the Michigan Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a February case that said Detroit election officials were wrong in keeping a marijuana decriminalization measure off the city ballot, meaning voters will have a chance to decide for themselves. The measure is due to be on the August 7th primary ballot.
The measure itself would decriminalize marijuana possession of an ounce or less by an adult, similar to measures in Seattle, WA and Denver, CO. But because Michigan state law really doesn’t allow for this in their cities, offenders could still be charged by local police under state law.
So what is the point? According to Coalition for a Safer Detroit’s website (http://www.saferdetroit.net/): “In that sense this proposal is ‘symbolic.’ However, the more important symbolism is the clear expression of the will and priorities of the voters -- sending a message to the Mayor, Council, Prosecutor, and the Detroit Police that we want our scarce law enforcement resources used to get tougher on real crime.”
Anyone who knows how utterly crime-ridden Detroit is also knows that the problem isn’t people with baggies of weed. The problem is violence, violence fueled by rival gangs fighting over drug turf. And the only reason they fight is for the massive profits that come from the drug trade, profits heavily inflated by prohibition.
Advocates see the upcoming vote as a long-fought victory. "A long trail of voter abuse by the City of Detroit has come to an end," said the Coalition's Tim Beck, in an e-mail to supporters. "We got everything right. Our petitions were flawless."
A police spokesman reacted to the news by saying the department could adapt to the measure’s passage and decriminalization "if it's handled in an appropriate way, and this is what the citizens of Detroit choose."
You have to imagine many cops in Detroit are tired of busting people for cannabis while their city crumbles around them.
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