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  1. Guttz
    Working at the Drug Policy Alliance for the last twelve years I have read and heard countless stories of people having their lives ruined because of our country's cruel war on drugs. Last weekend, the nationally syndicated show This American Life highlighted a story that is so insane, you don't know whether to laugh or puke.

    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
    Posted at February 15, 2012, 12:34 pm


  1. sassyspy
    I just do not understand how this is not entrapment, preying on human emotions like that.
    Regardless, it is underhanded and disgusting. Shame on you, Law Enforcement!
  2. makin
    Cops suck........
  4. Baba Blacksheep
    This sort of practice only cultivates distrust and animosity to law enforcement and it can serve no other purpose. Those law enforcment officers have only created crime in order to get drug arrest results. Hardly helpful to harm reduction is it?
  5. AltrdPercption
    I see no harm reduction in going to a school undercover, or duping the young kids into selling pot to someone they considered a hot classmate.

    I could understand if they went undercover to take down, say a large heroin ring or some drug that really is destructive. But splashing these kids with a felony over a simply bag of marijuana is insane to me.

    It just goes to show, never deal with someone you do not know. As they are clearly willing to do whatever it takes to get the horrid marijuana off the streets.
  6. slayer180
    Insanity is a good description of it. Disgusting waste of resources. Whoever the higher ups in charge of programs like this should be gone. Its just totally against the spirit of the laws.

    Extreme deception and trickery to generate what is really a weak harmless marijuana crime, its so wrong and against the spirit of the written laws.

    Felonies to pretty much innocent high schoolers, attempting to ruin their lives while real crime runs rampant. Its pathetic.

    Over and over have voted to legalize/decriminalize marijuana and will continue to do so. I hope everyone does, and someday things like this no longer exist. Our country really can't afford idiocy like this.
  7. rejectedbysociety
    It seems like an entrapment defense would be effective
  8. xiaobendan
    Aside from the cruel treachery of such behviour I'm left baffled that the police see this as a useful use of resources.

    I mean the amount of robberies and violent crimes that go unsolved everyday and cops are literally pissing away weeks of police time on ruining some poor kids life over a dime bag of dank. WHAT THE FUCK!

    It's lazy police work, that gives cops the stats they need at the end of the year to say they've had enough arrests. Bureaucracy at it's worst.

    It's makes good citizens loath the forces of law and order. Something that shouldn't be happening....
  9. mistman
    It comes down to that this is an easy and safe way for cops to make busts. It helps the detectives to further their careers without putting them in real danger such as infiltrating a gang or something. Most cops prefer to go after easy targets.
  10. OrangepeelNeil
    The American prison system need more inmates by the sound of it. There are so many people in jail over there that there are some who believe that the US government reinvented the slave trade by the amount per capita in jails. The whole 'war on drugs' is perhaps one of its largest recruiters.
  11. Wayne Brady
    It is REALLY starting to look that way. These privatized prisons and lobbying and all of this is the scariest thing that is happening here IMO. What an ingenious, evil way to make money and control people at the same time!

    I try my best to respect the police but it is getting hard. This goes beyond them having to enforce stupid legislation, which I do understand. This is them embracing and using stupid legislation to gain only for themselves while ruining people's lives.

    Making everyone out to be a criminal is only creating more criminals.
  12. VagabondWraith
    Even the police themselves say there are two ways of breaking a law, breaking the letter of the law (i.e. the enforceable part), and the spirit of the law (the intent for which the law was put on the books; the original goal meant to be achieved in it's passing). The same, exact thing can be said of enforcement of a law. No matter how asinine a law is, one can usually say at least that they "had a good heart" or "they meant well", blah blah blah in the passing of the original law, but that the law itself is bad.

    In this case, not only is the law bad, but the intent behind the enforcement of this very bad law is abominable. This goes beyond entrapment in it's sheer unethical nature and immorality; as the law is bad, the target audience is wrong, the convoluted depth of the emotional entrapment and outright abuse and permanent harm done is wrong (how can they *ever* trust someone again), and the permanent damage done to the the so called "criminal" (in this case, victim) with a permanent criminal record (probably felony, since *that* fucks you for life) is wrong... one can't even begin to tally up the abomination of such an underhanded, not to mention unconstitutional, perversion of law by those who are meant to serve as an example; and we are supposed to look up to them...?

    Whoever is behind this horrible idea, and whoever approved it, needs to be stripped of their job, and rendered unable to hold any position of public trust in the future, as this methodology goes beyond a simple mistake and delves into outright unforgivable criminal damage and extremely cruel and unusual punishment in it's nature.
  13. coolhandluke
    i read somewhere that entrapment is a VERY hard defense to use, and hardly ever works. from what i read there was no entrapment, even though they used very disgusting and manipulative tactics to gain these warrants and even though after weeks of constant texting they still were still simply asking to receive marijuana. they did not threaten, they didn't entrap anyone, they relayed on some one some teenager thinking with his dick and not his brains.

    my guess is the charges are going to be minimal, the people who sold small amount of pot will get diversion agreements where this will not be on their record, and then after the public realized what a gross waste of resources this is, there is going to be a fair amount of house cleaning going on in the department. being charged with distributing that small amount of marijuana is less serious than drunk driving in most cases, is not going to be seen as a good use of tens of thousands of dollars worth of tax dollars by anyone, and who ever signed off on operation kindergarden cop (anyone?anyone?) is going to be pushing papers in alaska the rest of their career.

    from what i read in that article there was no real law broken, but the info was very minimal so im sure there is going to be a shit load of evidence in these cases, and most likely the american civil liberties union is going to be pretty interested.
  14. Terrapinzflyer
    To quote from my previous post in another thread here

    Now that said- Florida does actually have a pretty good legal defence for entrapment cases- If one can "prove" to the jury that the officer encouraged the crime- the burden f proof regarding entrappment reverts back to the prosecution.

    I've had no time to look into this particular case- and have no idea if the individual was convicted. And everything from entrapment to planting of evidence, while not common, happens at an alarming rate. But to play devils advocate- this "story" and its lack of info plays into what we want to believe- if things we reversed we would be demanding more facts and information before passing judgement...
  15. dyingtomorrow
    This is what ruined my brothers life, which in turn led to continuously multiplying scores of other lives ruined, and at least 3 deaths that I am aware of.

    He got down to college and was in his first semester as a freshman. A cop posing as a student befriended him and a group of freshman, and convinced them to get ecstasy for a big Halloween party that was coming up.

    After getting out of jail 3 years later as a Class X felon (instead of graduating college and pursuing his passion to be a veterinarian) his life deteriorated into crime and heroin addiction - which then spread to me and at least 5 other friends of his, who became hardcore heroin addicts and spread it to more people. Some of whom I know ODed and died, including his best friend and his fiancee who he loved more than anything.

    He just got sentenced and is going back to prison again because of heroin. He's 27 now, and won't be getting out until he is 32. He's spent about a 3rd of his life behind bars. If that cop hadn't posed as a student and convinced him to get some pills for the party, or if he had just gotten to take some ecstasy anyways on Halloween and not get arrested and continue his studies - he'd be a veterinarian right now, there would be probably scores of people who wouldn't be heroin addicts; and at least 3 brilliant and wonderful people would be alive, and undoubtedly many others who have died whose addiction traces back to his life being ruined by the cop.
  16. coolhandluke
    yea i agree, but its going to be hard, cost a lot of money, and probably not worth the effort to prove entrapment in a case so small.

    more facts will come out, and give us a better idea of the situation, but if all that was delivered was 25 dollars worth of weed (note the law is deliver of a controlled substance not sale) than like i said the easiest option would be a plea agreement and after a year of having to pee in a cup once a month this kid would have no criminal record.

    wha the bigger story i think is the huge amount of resources put into such a silly, small scale situation. i could walk up to a fairly high up detective on the force and ask if they would want me to wear a wire on someone who would middle man a 25 dollar bag of pot and i doubt they would waste their time. my guess is these cops thought they could find some people selling oxycontin or something harder, and then settled for a little weed? who can really say. ive been to two different high school in a town of 60 thousand, and there were lots of people moving some pretty serious weight, not just weed either, a 25 bag of pot is chump change to anyone over the age of 13.
  17. usually0
    This is really disturbing, it makes me sick to my stomach. The whole scenario is just kind of sick. That poor kid man, not even a dealer, doesn't even know connections really. It took like a week its seems to get the weed. Anyone who's in highschool can get weed, they can be getting jus regular people arresting for selling drugs even though they dont. I dont understand how this can happen, who would want to be that cop.
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