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Behind Bars in the Land of the Free

Drugs and the financial collapse of the United States

By: Nimo

Bear with me here its all connected. The drug war has cost one trillion tax dollars. Add to that the lost productivity of the millions of working tax payers destroyed, and unemployable, after being convicted. Many are no longer productive, they are now economic liabilities of the state for life. If economics is your priority, last year 700,000 Americans were prosecuted for marijuana crimes the vast majority for possession.Most of the people arrested for marijuana and many other drugs have jobs and pay taxes, they function well in society. After being convicted they can no longer find good jobs or contribute to the economy or society, in the ways they could have. What do think they will do to survive. The drug war is actually creating more of the very criminals Americans are so concerned about. Give an American a good job and some hope and you will have less crime and less organized crime, it really is not that hard to understand.

The drug war is a civil war with one faction imposing its will at gun point and great cost on the other. You do not have to approve of drug use, but the drug war is worse than the drugs. There are more drugs, stronger drugs, they are cheaper and anyone even kids can get them, that is the reality of the drug war. Regulation, honest education, and treatment is better. What have you got for your trillion dollars, For 10% of what it now cost just in tax dollars to wage the drug war, you could get a much better result. Then add the benefit of productive Americans instead of economic liabilities and I believe you will get more than your 10% investment back, in taxes and consumer spending.

If drugs were legal would you run out and do them. Most people would not, people who want to use drugs can get them very easily right now

Violence is escalating around the world, Mexico being a prime example. The drug war has made a health issue into a huge criminal problem. We have over 2 million Americans in prison now, that is 6 times the world median. We have 5% of the worlds population with 25% of the worlds prisoners.

No one has ever died from an overdosed of Marijuana. Alcohol diseases killed 150,000 last year, tobacco 450,000, while marijuana is actually used to treat countless diseases.

Open your eyes and your mind, help unite Americans. The drug war is an ongoing problem, has failed, and is destructive to Americans and America. Yes drugs are a problem, a health problem, help your brother instead of destroying him you may just need him.

Make no mistake this is about profits but not just for dealers and organized crime. The prison industrial complex, the pharmaceutical industry and law enforcement, depend on the drug war. they reap billions of tax dollars from it. Politicians can not throw enough of your money away on it, so much time has passed that the raw data is there for all to see. The numbers and results speak for them self. Let me say it again what have you got for your trillion dollars?……..any questions?

 

Why Does America Have a Drug War?

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Guns, Drugs Seized From Homeland Security Officer

Feature: "Dangerous" Drug Raids? Not So Much for Police -- Unless They Make Them So

Border agent sentenced to 14 years for bribery

Phila. officer charged with drug dealing

Corrections Officer Charged With Stealing Drugs

Sen. Webb: Prisons a 'national disgrace,' must be reformed

Retired Judge Says It Is Time To End War On Drugs

Albany Reaches Deal to Repeal ’70s Drug Laws

BBC Interview: Mexican president says US ‘complicit’ in drug trade

Police shoot, kill two dogs during raid

Shopkeepers say plainclothes cops barged in, looted stores & stole cash

Mexican drug lord makes Forbes' billionaire list

Startling Research on False Positive Drug Tests, Researchers Call for Moratorium on Field Drug Test Kit Testing

US ready to aid Mexico drug fight

Ex-cops apologize for deadly drug raid ahead of sentencing

DEA has 106 planes, so why did it charter private jet for chief?

Why secretly funded DEA surveillance planes aren't flying

A Sordid Police Trail, Paved in Gypsum

 

Medicinal Marijuana Eases Neuropathic Pain In HIV Patients

Marijuana Rated Effective For HIV/AIDS Symptoms

New biologically active compounds from cannabis

If Pure THC Pills are FDA-Approved, What's the Big Deal About Marijuana Potency?

Supreme Court action upholds medical marijuana law

Poll: Majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana

Schwarzenegger seeks debate on marijuana legalization

Judge Says It’s "High Time" We Legalized Marijuana

Sen. Webb puts marijuana legalization 'on the table'

The War on a Plant

Appellate Court Ruling Tosses Conviction in State Park Marijuana Bust

Reps Paul, Frank introduce bill to legalize industrial hemp

I smoke pot, and I like it

Carlos Santana wishes Obama would legalize pot

Marijuana helps in battle against cancer: study

Watch: 5 Benefits To Legal Weed (& The 1 Big Thing Stopping It)

Drug Raids: Cops Shoot Michigan Student Over "A Few Tablespoonfuls" of Marijuana

Bill to Eliminate Federal Drug Mandatory Minimums

Police dispatcher fired for buying pot says she did right thing

Marijuana Treatment: What the Feds Won’t Tell You - PDF

GVSU student, shot in chest by police for smoking marijuana: Executing children for the War on Drugs

Life Sentence For Marijuana Farmer

WHEN COPS ARE THIEVES

A Marijuana Valentine To Jonathan Magbie: Patron Saint Of Unicorns

More banned technology

 

Marijuana Compound Grows New Brain Cells and Reduces Inflammation

We’ve Cut Cigarette Smoking By Half — And We Didn’t Have To Arrest 20 Million Americans To Do It

What makes a President retreat from sanity?

Massachusetts voters decriminalize marijuana

DEA  In Washington State: 5-Day Copter Patrols Net 20 Pot Plants

America’s 20-Millionth Marijuana Arrest – Coming To Your Home Or Person

A New Record for U.S. Marijuana Arrests

Marijuana Could Be a Gusher of Cash

Pot kills superbugs

Welcome to Prison Lifestyles of the not-so-Rich and not-so-Famous

Police Are Confiscating Cars for Minor Drug Crimes

Shooting victim may have followed police orders

Cop Dead - Informant Mistook Japanese Maple Trees For Marijuana

Md. mayor's dogs killed by SWAT after cops deliver pot

Bush drug warrior crashes pot press conference

Are Pot Users Criminals? The Tragic Case of Rachel Hoffman

64 Year Old Rancher is held in Big Isle pot operation

Raiding California

Pot smokers should be treated like child rapists

Cheech and Chong reunite as feud goes up in smoke

The Hidden Economy of Marijuana in California

Supreme Court Rules Marijuana Smell in Vehicle Not Enough to Arrest All Occupants

Smugglers try to use Dolly for cover, officials say

Dutch customs seize 19 tons of pot

No More Marijuana Arrests

Congress is considering the first marijuana decriminalization bill in 25 years.

The Failure of the Office of National Drug Control Policy

Will we decriminalize marijuana in Massachusetts?

Police Discover World's Most Expensive Marijuana

Dutch marijuana coffee shops brace for smoking ban

 

Lester Siler

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In July 2004, Lester Eugene Siler, 42, was brutalized by five rogue police officers in his Duff, Tennessee, home. Siler, who is illiterate, was beaten and held at gunpoint, had his head held underwater in a toilet, and was threatened with shooting and electrocution after refusing to sign a search consent form that he could not read. The officers also threatened to attach a battery charger to Siler's testicles and to burn him with a lighter. Siler is a convicted drug dealer serving 11 years of probation and had previously agreed to act as an informant for the county sheriff's office. The unofficial raid was prompted after neighbors suspected he might have resumed selling drugs. All five officers were fired when Siler's wife revealed she had captured 45 minutes of the torture on audiotape. In July 2005, the officers received sentences ranging from four to six years in prison for their involvement in the assault. With out that tape they would have got away with this.........In Hilo officer John Weber and others get away with unbelievable actions..........

 

Don Nord

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On October 14, 2003, 57-year-old Don Nord was arrested when a DEA task force raided his Hayden, Colorado, home and seized three marijuana plants, some loose marijuana, pipes, and growing equipment. Nord is a disabled, wheelchair-bound, state-registered medical marijuana patient. He has battled kidney cancer, diabetes, lung disease, a neck injury, and other conditions, and grew his own marijuana out of medical and financial necessity. Though Colorado allows seriously ill people to use marijuana with a doctor's approval, DEA agents follow federal law, which forbids the use of marijuana for any purpose. The task force that raided Nord's house was composed of a DEA agent and eight county law enforcement officers deputized by the DEA to enforce federal law. A county judge dismissed the charges against Nord in November 2003, and ordered the task force agents to return his marijuana and equipment. The officers returned his growing equipment the following month, but refused to return his marijuana or pipes. In January 2004, the officers were held in contempt of court, but the U.S. attorney for Colorado then transferred the case to a U.S. district court. In July 2005, the court found that the agents are immune from state prosecution and therefore are not required to return the marijuana and pipes that they confiscated from Nord. They busted a real bad guy.............to bad they can't catch Bin laden.......hey he shoots back........

 

Clayton Helriggle

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On September 27, 2002, 23-year-old Clayton Helriggle of West Alexandria, Ohio, was shot and killed by police conducting a no-knock raid of his home in search of marijuana. A convicted felon had informed Preble County prosecutors that Helriggle, who worked in his family's garage door business, was dealing marijuana from his rural farmhouse, which also housed four other roommates. Based on this tip, the nearly 30-member SWAT-style team, clad in body armor and riot shields, raided Helriggle's house on a Friday evening, using a battering ram to open the front door and detonating stun grenades to disorient the occupants of the house. Helriggle had been napping in his bedroom; when he heard noises from the raid, he grabbed a gun he kept in his room and went downstairs to investigate. An officer shot Helriggle in the chest. He died within minutes, slumped in roommate Ian Albert's arms. Police eventually seized a small amount of marijuana, a bong, and rolling papers from the house. News reports also cited the seizure of "packaging items used in the distribution of marijuana" (plastic sandwich baggies found in most kitchens) and "pills" (a roommate's prescription pain medication for a knee injury). The Helriggle family later filed a civil suit against Preble County and 20 named individuals involved with the raid, for wrongful death and violation of Clayton Helriggle’s civil rights. Later, one of his roommates admitted to selling approximately one ounce of marijuana from the house each week, which led the police informant to tip off police about the farmhouse. Under Ohio law, possession of less than 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) of marijuana is considered a civil citation and brings only a $100 fine and no jail time or criminal record. Possession of between 100 and 200 grams of marijuana (3.5 to 7 ounces) is considered a misdemeanor but brings only a variable fine (around $250) and no jail time. Death penalty no trial.......hey it was a crime.......well a civil violation........the pot head had it coming.........

 

Kathryn Johnston

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Members of a Georgia narcotics investigation team shot and killed 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston during a drug raid in her Atlanta home November 21, 2006. A search warrant stating crack cocaine was being sold in her apartment allowed the officers to cut through the burglar bars protecting Johnston's home and burst through her door without identifying themselves. Johnston, who lived alone, apparently mistook the plainclothes officers for intruders and, according to the prosecutor trying the officers, fired one shot through the door and hit nothing. The police responded, firing 39 shots, killing Johnston and apparently wounding three of their own. Investigators did not find any crack cocaine or any evidence that drugs were being sold in the apartment. In an apparent attempt to fabricate a cover story, one of the officers, J.R. Smith, planted three bags of marijuana in the home, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Yonette Sam-Buchanan. Those involved in the raid gave contradictory accounts of the events leading up to Johnston's death. The officers claimed the raid was executed after they received a tip from an unnamed informant who said he had purchased crack cocaine from a man in Johnston's apartment. They also said the informant had reported the apartment was equipped with a video surveillance system ' justifying the "no-knock" warrant. However, after the shooting, the informant told a local news station that he had never even been to Johnston's home, and that police asked him to fabricate the story after the shooting. Also, investigators found no surveillance equipment in the apartment. On April 26, 2007, two of the officers, Smith and Gregg Junnier, pleaded guilty to several charges, including manslaughter, and expect more than 10 years in prison. Another officer who was involved in the raid but did not fire any shots, Arthur Tesler, pleaded guilty on Oct. 30, 2008, to federal charges of conspiring to violate Johnston's civil rights. His sentencing is scheduled for February 2009, but as part of his plea agreement federal prosecutors will recommend he receive 10 years and one month in prison. Killed a 92 year old women...........Where did the cops get the drugs to plant?......just happen to carry them around for raids......

 
Jimmy Montgomery

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Confined to a wheelchair for more than two years because of an injury, paraplegic Jimmy Montgomery used marijuana to stimulate his appetite and to control the muscle spasms typical of spinal cord injuries. Montgomery was arrested for possession with intent to distribute two ounces of marijuana — his personal medical supply, which had been found in the back of his wheelchair. Police then attempted to seize his home; because it belonged to his 62-year-old mother, Thelma Farris, she was also charged in connection with his marijuana offense. In court, the only evidence of any intent to distribute was the testimony of a sheriff's deputy who claimed he had never seen anyone with two ounces who was not a major dealer. The deputy was later convicted on three counts of embezzlement of seized drug property and money. Additional damning testimony came from an acquaintance whose own sentence for a cocaine conviction was reduced in exchange for the statement against Montgomery. Montgomery's mother testified that doctors recommended marijuana to her son to relieve his severe muscle spasms. "When Jimmy smoked marijuana, he didn't have to stay belted to his chair," she reported. Montgomery was eventually found guilty and given a life sentence, which was later reduced to 10 years. After a year in prison, Montgomery nearly died twice after receiving inadequate medical treatment. He was later released on an appeals bond in 1993. In April 1995, Montgomery was re-imprisoned. Rather than allow him to use medical marijuana, the government provided muscle relaxants, opiates, and tranquilizers. He was frequently placed in solitary confinement and handcuffed to a prison bed without adequate medical treatment for the antibiotic-resistant infections in his lower body. Friends watched his condition deteriorate as a prosecutor blocked his release. After considerable public pressure, Montgomery was released on medical parole on July 27, 1995. He later lost a leg from an ulcerated bed sore he developed in prison. Are you starting to get the picture.........

 

Esequiel Hernandez

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On May 20, 1997, 18-year-old Esequiel Hernandez came home from school and hiked onto his family's isolated property on the Texas-Mexico border to graze his herd of 45 goats. Hernandez, a high-school student with no criminal record, dreamt of becoming a U.S. Marine or park ranger. Like most of the other residents of tiny Redford, Texas, Hernandez frequently carried a gun, occasionally firing it into the air to scare off animals that bothered his goats. Unbeknownst to Hernandez or the 90 other residents of his town, U.S. Marines were stationed along the town's border to patrol for drug smugglers from Mexico. As he followed his flock of goats into the desert that day, Hernandez saw something move in the distance. Thinking it was wild dogs or a snake, he fired two shots into the air with his World War I-era shotgun. As he prepared to shoot again, the Marines — who, in camouflage, were likely the source of movement — shot Hernandez in the back. They waited more than 20 minutes to call for medical assistance, and Hernandez bled to death within sight of the house he grew up in. Hernandez was the first U.S. civilian to be killed by U.S. armed forces since the 1970 political protests at Kent State University in Ohio. The practice of sending troops to patrol U.S. property for drug smugglers escalated in the '80s when President Reagan loosened the Posse Comitatus Act, which had prevented the practice. The U.S. government later settled with the Hernandez family for $1.9 million, and in 1999, the Pentagon announced that U.S. armed forces would no longer routinely patrol the U.S.-Mexicoborder for drugs. 18 years old........if this was your son what would you do?

 

Rhiannon Kephart

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In January 2005, 18-year-old Rhiannon Kephart received second- and third-degree burns to her chest and stomach when police set off a stun grenade during a drug raid. The explosion also started a small fire.  Kephart, who was in bed or just waking up at the time of the raid, was a visitor in the apartment that was raided and was not a target of the investigation. The intended target of the raid — the apartment's occupant, 24-year-old Michael Johnson — had allegedly imported large quantities of marijuana into the U.S. from Canada. Niagara Falls Police Superintendent John Chella called the incident "very unfortunate." It was unfortunate. right?

 

The Naulls Family

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A church-going family man who used medical marijuana to ease chronic pain from injuries sustained in a 2001 car accident, Ronald Naulls already had two successful careers – one as an IT consultant and another in real estate – when he established the Healing Nations Collective in Corona in 2006 to save fellow patients the hours-long drive to Los Angeles for medicine. Healing Nations was widely considered a model medical marijuana collective. It followed state and local law. It maintained strict dress codes and professional standards for employees. It paid state taxes – amounting to several hundred thousand dollars a year – even when loose tax regulations allowed other dispensaries to slip through the cracks. Proceeds from the dispensary went to local and national cancer organizations. Nevertheless, at 5:50 a.m., July 17, 2007, DEA agents invaded the Naulls family's home and the collective. Naulls was arrested and now faces federal prosecution for distribution of medical marijuana. County child protective services also took Naulls' three daughters, ages 1, 3, and 5, and charged him and his wife with child endangerment, even though they weren't accused of breaking any state laws. The children were put in foster care for nearly a month before they were returned to their parents. Because the DEA seized all of their property, assets, and accounts, the Naulls family has no way to properly defend themselves against the state and federal charges they face. Those wishing to contribute to the family's legal defense fund can do so here.

 

Palm Beach County, Florida, school raid

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Fifteen high school students in Palm Beach County, Florida, were arrested in January 2005 for selling drugs on school property. Some of the teens had sold as little as $10 worth of marijuana to undercover police officers who had befriended them. Other students had sold MDMA (Ecstasy) and cocaine. In a drug investigation called "Operation Old Schoolhouse," which took place at five area high schools, five county police officers posed as high school students in order to make the arrests. Local prosecutors intend to charge the teens as adults, calling the students' actions "a crime that doesn't deserve juvenile prosecution." The county's school police chief and superintendent indicated that several other schools were also under investigation. Selling any quantity of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school is considered a felony in Florida, resulting in up to five years' imprisonment. Selling MDMA or cocaine can bring up to 15 years' imprisonment. Lock them kids up..........but Obama smoked it........should we lock him up?........

 

Suzanne Pfeil

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Suzanne Pfeil was asleep in her assisted living hospice, the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM), when more than 20 armed federal agents stormed into the facility and held an assault rifle to her head. Pfeil suffers from post-polio syndrome and is paraplegic. The police officers ordered her to stand, despite the fact that her leg braces and crutches were in plain view. Pfeil tried to explain that she couldn't stand, but the agents handcuffed her behind her back and left her on the bed for several hours. WAMM was well-known as a medical marijuana dispensary and hospice that strictly abided by California state laws regarding medical marijuana. Since the raid on WAMM, 33 patients have died. Cops are assholes.........imagine what they do to people that can walk..........

 

Cheryl Noel

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On the morning of January 21, 2005, Cheryl Noel was sleeping in her home in Dundalk, Maryland. Noel, 44, worked at a local water waste treatment facility and led a bible study group during her lunch breaks. At 5:00 a.m., county police officers with a drug warrant detonated a "flash-bang" device intended to stun and temporarily deafen the home's residents and swept through the house. Noel, woken by the noise of officers storming through her house, grabbed a handgun when she heard people approaching her bedroom door. One of the officers saw her in the doorway with a gun and fired three shots, killing her. Noel's husband was later charged with possession of marijuana and of drug paraphernalia, as well as two counts of possession of black powder, a substance used in sport shooting. Noel's 19-year-old son and his friend were each charged with possession of marijuana and of drug paraphernalia. What would you do if this was your wife or Mom?

 
 

Lester Siler

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In July 2004, Lester Eugene Siler, 42, was brutalized by five rogue police officers in his Duff, Tennessee, home. Siler, who is illiterate, was beaten and held at gunpoint, had his head held underwater in a toilet, and was threatened with shooting and electrocution after refusing to sign a search consent form that he could not read. The officers also threatened to attach a battery charger to Siler's testicles and to burn him with a lighter. Siler is a convicted drug dealer serving 11 years of probation and had previously agreed to act as an informant for the county sheriff's office. The unofficial raid was prompted after neighbors suspected he might have resumed selling drugs. All five officers were fired when Siler's wife revealed she had captured 45 minutes of the torture on audiotape. In July 2005, the officers received sentences ranging from four to six years in prison for their involvement in the assault. With out that tape they would have got away with this.........In Hilo officer John Weber and others get away with unbelievable actions..........

 
 

Lester Siler

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In July 2004, Lester Eugene Siler, 42, was brutalized by five rogue police officers in his Duff, Tennessee, home. Siler, who is illiterate, was beaten and held at gunpoint, had his head held underwater in a toilet, and was threatened with shooting and electrocution after refusing to sign a search consent form that he could not read. The officers also threatened to attach a battery charger to Siler's testicles and to burn him with a lighter. Siler is a convicted drug dealer serving 11 years of probation and had previously agreed to act as an informant for the county sheriff's office. The unofficial raid was prompted after neighbors suspected he might have resumed selling drugs. All five officers were fired when Siler's wife revealed she had captured 45 minutes of the torture on audiotape. In July 2005, the officers received sentences ranging from four to six years in prison for their involvement in the assault. With out that tape they would have got away with this.........In Hilo officer John Weber and others get away with unbelievable actions..........

 

Jonathan Magbie

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On September 24, 2004, 27-year-old Jonathan Magbie died while serving a 10-day sentence for marijuana possession in a Washington, D.C., jail. Magbie, a quadriplegic since a drunk driving accident at the age of 4, was a first-time offender. D.C. Superior Court Judge Judith E. Retchin defied a presentencing recommendation that Magbie be given a term of probation — a sentence that even the prosecutor found acceptable. Retchin imposed the sentence because she didn't like Magbie's attitude, and the car in which Magbie was riding when apprehended had a loaded gun and cocaine. Magbie had told Retchin that marijuana made him feel better and that he didn't think there was anything wrong with using it. A miscommunication between jail, hospital, and court officials gave Retchin the impression that the D.C. jail could handle Magbie's medical needs — primarily, a near-constant need for ventilation to help him breathe. In fact, the jail could not accommodate him, but by the time Magbie reached a hospital, he was dead. Ironically, D.C. voters passed a medical marijuana initiative in 1998 with 69% of the vote. The initiative has never taken effect because Congress blocks its implementation. Had the law been in effect, Magbie might have been able to present a medical defense in court, and might be alive today. Another death penalty possession.. a dead pot head... he deserved it!

 

Donald Scott

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On the morning of October 2, 1992, a group of 30 law enforcement officers served a marijuana search warrant to Donald Scott at his Malibu, California ranch. While serving the warrant to Scott and his wife, Frances Plante, deputies shot Scott three times, killing him instantly. No marijuana was found on the property. In September 1992, a confidential informant told Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Gary Spencer that between 3,000 and 4,000 marijuana plants were being grown on Scott's 200-acre ranch, which was nearly surrounded by state and federal parkland. However, subsequent visits by officials from park rangers, the fish and game service, and law enforcement agents conducting late-night ground surveillance revealed no marijuana on the property. Aerial surveillance by the California Air National Guard yielded inconclusive results. Finally, only after flying over the property several times, a DEA agent spotted what he thought may have been, at most, 50 marijuana plants. The DEA agent — who did not take pictures or use binoculars during his surveillance — was unwilling to let his observations form the basis of a search warrant without corroboration by another witness. Deputy Spencer told the DEA agent that another confidential informant corroborated his findings, and the agent signed an affidavit that was later used to obtain a search warrant. The confidential informant later denied having any such conversation with Spencer. In addition, the request for a search warrant made no mention of the officials who saw no marijuana when visiting the property. On October 2, a group of 30 officers — including members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Los Angeles Police Department canine unit, National Guard, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration — gathered at the edge of Scott's ranch and prepared to serve the search warrant. Two of the Sheriff's Department officers were members of the asset forfeiture unit, and researchers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratories in Pasadena were there as well, possibly interested in the use of Scott's ranch in connection with missile testing over the Pacific Ocean. After pounding on the door and calling out, "Sheriff's department. We have a search warrant. Open the door," Spencer entered Scott's house. Once inside, officers seized Plante. At this point, the story has conflicting versions. Officers swear that Plante was taken outside before the fatal shooting, but Plante says she was in the room when Scott was killed. Regardless, at some point Scott faced Spencer and another deputy, holding a gun in front of him and pointed upward. The deputies told Scott several times to put his gun down; as he was lowering it, Spencer and the other deputy shot Scott a total of three times. It is unclear if Scott was lowering his weapon to aim at the deputies or if he was going to put it on the ground. After the fatal shooting, Ventura County District Attorney Michael Bradbury investigated the incident. (Scott's ranch was technically in Ventura County.) Bradbury found that Spencer should never have been granted a search warrant because there was no probable cause to search Scott's property. Controversially, Bradbury also found that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department may have been motivated to raid the multi-million-dollar property in order to seize it, as evidenced by the presence of asset forfeiture officers and federal defense researchers at the time of the raid. Ironically, Frances Plante told Bradbury that Scott was against all drugs and that she had never seen him use marijuana. In January 2000, Plante won a $5 million wrongful death lawsuit against the federal government and Los Angeles County. Another death penalty case but he didn't have the pot...he must have done something.

 

Alberta Spruill

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On May 16, 2003, 57-year-old Alberta Spruill died of a heart attack shortly after police mistakenly raided her Harlem, New York, apartment for drugs. The office of the city medical examiner attributed her death to "the stress and the fear that she experienced" during the raid.  The warrant for the raid was issued on the basis of a tip from a confidential informant, who told police that a drug dealer lived on the 9th floor of Spruill's building but had stashed guns and drugs in an apartment on the 6th floor, where Spruill lived. Because the warrant was "no-knock," a group of 12 armed police officers used a battering ram to topple Spruill's door at 6:10 a.m., just as the longtime city employee was preparing to go to work. Officers detonated a stun grenade, intended to disorient anyone inside the apartment. The explosion shattered a glass-top table. A neighbor described the raid: "I heard the boom. Police shouted, 'Get down!' The lady was screaming. They invaded her apartment. In the hall, she was screaming, 'I can't breathe! I can't breathe!' She was coughing." Spruill was briefly handcuffed before police realized they had the wrong apartment. She refused medical attention, despite feeling chest pains, but an ambulance was summoned anyway. On the way to a hospital, Spruill went into cardiac arrest and was declared dead at 7:50 a.m., less than two hours after the raid. The office of New York City's medical examiner ruled Spruill's death a homicide because it was caused by another person, and that the "stress and the fear that she experienced" during the raid had caused her death. Spruill's death prompted civil rights activist Al Sharpton to call for an independent investigation of the botched police raid. The city eventually modified its regulations governing the use of confidential informants and no-knock warrants, though a temporary moratorium on the use of stun grenades was lifted within just days of Spruill's death. Subsequent city council hearings revealed dozens of similar incidents where completely innocent people were mistakenly raided by police. New York City eventually settled a lawsuit with Spruill's family for $1.6 million. Another death penalty case that had no drugs but she must have had it coming.

 

Gary Silva

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Gary Silva uses medical marijuana to alleviate pain from degenerative disk disease and nerve damage. Gary was asleep in his Sky Valley, California home, when the police came to the door. When Gary, who cultivated marijuana in his home on behalf of his patients' collective, went to undo the deadbolt, DEA agents kicked in the door. The force sent Gary sprawling to the floor, dislocating his shoulder and causing lacerations to his face. Gary had to go to the emergency room. The DEA agents also pointed a gun at Gary's wife and daughter, confiscated 80 plants, some dry medicine, and a few old guns. Who is the criminal?

 

Tyrone Brown

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Tyrone Brown served 17 years of a life sentence for testing positive for marijuana while on probation for a $2 stickup committed when he was 17. No one involved was ever able to explain the severe penalty. Brown's victim in the holdup said he rarely thought about the incident, but pointed out that he was unharmed, that Brown returned the wallet to him after removing the $2, and that police apprehended Brown and recovered the money that same evening. Neither Brown's attorney in the trial nor the court-appointed lawyer who handled his appeal said they could even remember the case. Keith Dean, the judge who sentenced Brown to life for the failed drug test, also said he didn't recall the case when first asked about it. Legal experts say the legal system in Texas, where the incident took place, affords judges wide latitude in sentencing and requires little accountability. Dean, who lost his bid for reelection in the 2006 midterms after nearly 20 years on the bench, came under national scrutiny after ABC's news magazine "20/20" aired a story contrasting Brown's sentence with that of another probation violator. Alex Wood, the son of a prominent Waco pastor, repeatedly failed the drug tests required by his probation for a murder conviction, testing positive for cocaine, among other substances. Not only did Dean decline to impose any prison sentence, he eventually allowed Wood "postcard probation," which requires only that Wood send a postcard each year giving his current address. As a result of the story and the public outcry that followed, Brown received a "conditional pardon" — meaning he would still be subject to supervision — from Gov. Rick Perry and was released from prison March 15, 2007. 17 years for smoking a joint....that might be extreme....should Obama get 17 years?.. he admitted he smoked it lots of times......

 

Goose Creek, South Carolina, School Raid

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On November 5, 2003, police raided Stratford High School in Goose Creek, South Carolina, in an effort to purge the school of drugs. The school principal ordered the raid after being tipped off by an informant that drugs were being sold openly by students on school grounds. School and police cameras captured officers bursting into the school hallway and waving their guns at 130 students, pointing guns at students' heads, handcuffing them, and making them lie on the floor or kneel with their faces to the wall while an officer with a drug-sniffing dog searched backpacks and other belongings. No drugs were found and no arrests were made. "I assumed that they were trying to protect us, that it was like Columbine, that somebody got in the school that was crazy or dangerous," one student told The New York Times. "But then a police officer pointed a gun at me. It was really scary." The American Civil Liberties Union later filed a lawsuit against the school, alleging Fourth Amendment search-and-seizure violations and concerns that the raid may have been racially motivated: 70% of the raided students were black, though less than 25% of the school's student population is black. They pointed guns at the innocent students..........if it was your kids what would you do?...........

 

Unnamed Florida college student

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On June 6, 2003, a 19-year-old Alachua County, Florida, college student was raped by his cellmate as he served the first of four weekend sentences for delivering marijuana, a felony offense. (The student's name has not been released.) He had been placed in a cell with a violent offender who had been in the county jail for 11 months awaiting trial on sexual battery charges.  The two men were sharing a cell because the jail was overcrowded. Typically, inmates are classified according to offense, criminal history, gender, and/or age, among other factors, when assigned to their cells. Because certain offenders need to be isolated for safety reasons, a jail's capacity is in reality much lower than the number of beds it houses. While the Alachua County jail could theoretically hold 920 inmates, in reality it could only accommodate an average of 782 inmates on any given day because of the need to separate certain offenders. On the day the college student was raped, the jail contained 918 inmates, far exceeding capacity. Such overcrowding had been typical in the jail since 1998. Though the two men would normally have been separated, they were grouped together because delivering marijuana and sexual battery are both considered felonies. According to Alachua County Sheriff's Sergeant Jim Troiano, "If there was space available, absolutely we would rather keep the weekenders in a pre-designated area. But because we don't have much space available we have to do with circumstances on hand." That will teach that pot head.

 

Carter Singleton

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65-year-old Carter Singleton began chemotherapy in 2003 to treat non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Shortly thereafter, his six-foot, 230-pound frame began to wither away. Unable to eat, he lost 80 pounds in five months and was so weak he could barely move. After a friend suggested that he try marijuana, Singleton found that it stimulated his appetite. Marijuana allowed him to gain weight, which gave him the strength he needed to beat the cancer. In 2003, he was arrested for cultivating medical marijuana in his home. "I was starving to death," he says. "I did what I had to do." Singleton was fortunate to have a sympathetic judge who did not subject him to jail. His cancer is now in remission. Take that chemo but do not smoke a joint it will kill you...........

 
 
 

 

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