Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Another victim of prohibition

Jerry Stratton, May 13, 2008

The problem with the “99% of cops are good” line is that the 1% go out of their way to make up the average. From Radley Balko, more collateral damage in the war on drugs:

Earlier this year, police in Tallahassee, Florida raided the home of college student Rachel Hoffman, who friends say was a bit of a hippie-ish free spirit, and concede that she shared and sold small amounts of marijuana and MDMA within her social circle. Hoffman was at the time undergoing state-forced drug treatment after police found 20+ grams of marijuana in her car during a traffic stop. The raid turned up another five ounces of marijuana, plus six ecstasy pills and assorted pot-related paraphernalia.

From this, Tallahassee police apparently threatened Hoffman with prison time, then agreed to let her off easy if she’d become a police informant, and set up a deal with her supplier. They never informed Hoffman’s attorney or the state prosecutor of the arrangement. They wired Hoffman, and asked her to arrange to purchase 1,500 ecstasy pills, cocaine, and a gun—a deal that would have run well over ten thousand dollars. Hoffman’s friends and family have told me that all three purchases would also have been drastically out of character for her. Which means the dealers she was buying from were almost surely on to her.

Tallahassee police found Hoffman’s body last week.

The reason the police put a gun in the list of things to buy is that it increases the sentence after trial. A 23-year-old “hippie chick” probably wouldn’t realize that adding a firearm to a drug purchase when you don’t need to marks you as a police informant. The police who set up the buy had to know. I can understand the feelings of the commenter who said:

I would much rather live in a world populated by non-violent hippie chicks, elderly black ladies, and doting fathers than gun toting cowards… any day.

  1. <- Proposition 98 or 99?
  2. Big Lizard Stomp ->