Thursday, February 16, 2012
Last year in three high schools in Florida, several undercover police officers posed as students. The undercover cops went to classes, became Facebook friends and flirted with the other students. One 18-year-old honor student named Justin fell in love with an attractive 25-year-old undercover cop after spending weeks sharing stories about their lives, texting and flirting with each other.
One day she asked Justin if he smoked pot. Even though he didn't smoke marijuana, the love-struck teen promised to help find some for her. Every couple of days she would text him asking if he had the marijuana. Finally, Justin was able to get it to her. She tried to give him $25 for the marijuana and he said he didn't want the money -- he got it for her as a present.
A short while later, the police did a big sweep and arrest 31 students -- including Justin. Almost all were charged with selling a small amount of marijuana to the undercover cops. Now Justin has a felony hanging over his head.
This story is not unique to Florida and it reminds me of an 18-year-old Mitchell Lawrence, a young man from Great Barrington, Mass., who served two years in jail for selling a joint to an undercover cop. The officer befriended Lawrence and his friends and would hang out with them. One day the cop asked if Lawrence had any weed. Lawrence gave the cop a joint. The cop handed him $20. Lawrence hesitated, but the cop insisted on giving him the money. "Selling" the joint, because they were hanging out less than a 1000 feet from a school, and thus was considered a "drug free school zone," carried a mandatory minimum two-year sentence.
The drug war is sick. How much money was wasted by our law enforcement to get these few bags of marijuana "off the streets"? How do these cops look themselves in the mirror? Seducing 18-year-olds to fall in love or pretending to be friends and then tricking them into procuring small amounts of marijuana so they can charge them with felonies is beyond slimy and diametrically opposed to the officers' charge to "serve and protect."
We often hear that we need to fight the drug war to protect the kids. As these despicable examples show, more often the drug war is ruining young people's lives and doing more harm than good.
By Tony Newman | Sourced from AlterNet
at Thursday, February 16, 2012
Thursday, February 9, 2012
A Colorado student faced misdemeanor charges on Wednesday for flinging glitter toward Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney in an increasingly frequent protest act some commentators say should be subject to prosecution.
The practice of "glitter bombing" has mainly been the domain of gay rights activists targeting Republican politicians and other public figures who oppose same-sex marriage.
But University of Colorado Boulder student Peter Smith, 20, told Reuters he threw glitter at Romney after the candidate's speech in Colorado on Tuesday to protest against his "general political philosophy," and not only his stance on gay marriage.
ACNN video of the incident shows Romney shaking hands with supporters in an auditorium when the glitter is thrown at him and Secret Service agentsusher him away.
Smith was escorted out by other agents and local authorities, Secret Service spokesman George Ogilvie said.
Denver authorities detained Smith for questioning on Tuesday night, and he was cited on misdemeanor charges of creating a disturbance, throwing a missile and an unlawful act on school property, Denver Police spokesman Sonny Jackson said.
Smith, who faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted, said he has no regrets about his protest.
Republican presidential contendersNewt Gingrich,Rick Santorum and Ron Paul have all been targeted with glitter, although authorities could not immediately say if anyone had previously been charged over the glitter-throwing.
When former Republican candidateTim Pawlenty was struck with glitter in June 2011, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a Republican, argued in an appearance on cable network Fox Business that "people ought to be arrested" for throwing glitter, which he called "an assault."
Huckabee added, "You've got to draw the line."
Ogilvie would not say if the Secret Service sees glitter bombing as a pressing problem. "We want to make sure everything is a safe and secure environment," he said.
But Smith said agents talked to him about his protest action. "They just mentioned this act was an issue that they've been trying to deal with more and more," he said.
at Thursday, February 09, 2012