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Stupid Pot Busts

| June 5, 2015

judge j david walsh sentencing pot

Circuit Judge J. David Walsh Wednesday during a pot sentencing. (© FlaglerLive)

For the past couple of years I’ve been collecting arrest reports on the sort of cases that waste cops’ time and taxpayers’ dollars, make a mockery of our judicial system, embarrass—or should embarrass—any reasonable lawyer, judge and state attorney dealing with them, and most of all, unjustly screw with people’s lives like few perversions of the legal system right now.

pierre tristam column flaglerlive.com flaglerlive I’m referring to stupid pot busts: people arrested for possessing less than 20 grams of marijuana, or what may amount to a couple of joints.

We get them with depressing regularity here. The depressing part isn’t the fact that people are smoking weed, an act demonstrably less harmful than a glass of wine, far less addictive than Xanax and less lethal than burnt toast. It’s the fact that our local police chiefs still haven’t told their troops to exercise their better judgment, and focus on actual crimes that harm the community, not police-state crusades left over from Richard Nixon’s dark ages. Miami-Dade just this week started considering reducing pot possession to a civil citation punishable by a $100 fine, nothing more. It’s nothing new. President Carter, the last president to propose more drug sense than czars, pitched the same idea to Congress in 1977. A year later the idea was dead as Carter got clobbered with idiotic criticism of White House staffers toking it up: another stupid pot bust.


I don’t write about those reports I’ve been gathering, because they’re not news. They’re a racket. They show our police forces and too often the media at their worst, especially when the two sides conspire to play up the latest idiotic busts with the same sort of camera-whoring fanfare that Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd exhibits every time he arrests a pervert. There’s a place for reporting on drug problems, but primarily as a public health matter, as with alcoholism and tobacco addiction—legal products that individually claim more lives and demolish more families than any illegal drug out there, from pot to heroin to crack. There ought to be no place for reporting on pot arrests, grow houses included, except to show the imbecility of it all. (And I may just devote a new series to these stupid pot busts.)

But I was in court Thursday monitoring a series of pre-trails, and this case was too much to let pass. Circuit Judge J. David Walsh had spent hours listening to cases involving wife-shooters, stranglers, child abusers, child rapists, the European Village shooter and a guy accused of conspiring to commit murder. And here comes poor Harry—I’m changing his name, because there’s no reason to drag him through more muck—a 34-year-old Palm Coast resident accused of what? Possession of less than 20 grams of weed. Plus that ultimate bogus charge, “possession of drug paraphernalia.”

Here’s a guy who hasn’t had so much as a traffic ticket in this town, ever, who has the misfortune of driving through Bunnell with a headlight out, giving a cop cause to pull him over.  The cop smelled pot. At first Harry said he didn’t smoke, but then the cop told him, disturbingly, that he had probable cause to search his car on mere suspicion. You’d think Harry was an ISIS suspect on the road to Damascus.

Before long Harry was owning up to his miserable little joint and getting slapped with two misdemeanor charges. Harry has two jobs, one of them at Palm Coast Data—where it’s probably difficult for anyone to work without a good stash of reefers for sanity—and here he was having to shell out a couple of weeks’ pay in court and attorney costs, and still plead no contest. He got 12 months’ probation and 25 hours of community service. If that weren’t loony enough, he has the right to buy out those hours at $10 an hour, or the cost of one fat joint for each hour. I felt like starting a collection to buy out his hours and get him enough weed to last him through the 2016 election.

And Harry still has to conduct a substance abuse evaluation and follow whatever recommended treatment that segment of the racket hands down, when the only thing stoned in this charade is the judicial system. All this as Harry was shuffled into the same docket with the child rapists and the stranglers, when he would have been more fairly classified, if at all, with the red-light-runners and litterers in county court.  But that’s just it: disproportion is essential to the racket, which defies sober justice.

I have great respect for Judge Walsh. I love to watch him work. He’d remind me of Solomon, if I’d lived that long. But I have to think he is inwardly laughing hysterically at these pot sentences he’s having to hand down, or crying just as hysterically the second he goes in chambers. Anything in between would suggest acceptance or resignation, or worse, endorsement of a system that reeks of cruel and unusual. The only thing more disheartening is that this state is flirting with legalizing medical marijuana only, as if that alone would treat the sickness.

It won’t. As long as smoking pot under any circumstance is considered illegal, the malady is Florida law, and the sickos are its executioners.

Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here or follow him on Twitter @PierreTristam. A version of this piece aired on WNZF.

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70 Responses for “Stupid Pot Busts”

  1. DM says:

    Thank you.

  2. Willie Nelson for President 2016.

  3. Kendall says:

    Could not have said it better myself. Thank you for addressing this.

  4. Jovu says:

    This is probably the best piece I’ve read on the Internet in my entire life. Informative yet amusing due the cold facts about our local law enforcement spinning its tires with these marijuana cigarette busts. Let us focus on all of these break ins lately and leave the reefers be.

  5. James Roach says:

    Florida is so far behind the curve on this issue.

  6. Mark says:

    Change the law!

  7. Flagler’s whole judicial system is screwed up. The ones who do the worst crimes and have been in trouble more then once gets less punishment then first time offenders. I know that first hand because of my sister and some others. Florida system sucks all around.

  8. groot says:

    Well said, I agree. It is a stupid waste of time and money to prosecute less than 20 grams.

  9. ronald mcdonald says:

    Your my hero….just saying!

  10. John Gilmore says:

    A waste of time and taxpayer money!

  11. The Geode says:

    “Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men’s shadows and look at a white woman twice.” ~ Hearst newspapers nationwide, 1935 (Reefer Madness)

  12. michele says:

    This happened to my youngest son. The boys were on their way to the skatepark on a friday night. My oldest just got a chevy cavalier and had the air conditioner fixed, they had it so cold in the car that the windows were fogged. They turned onto royal palms pkwy. and noticed a car following them very closely, turned out to be a flagler county sheriff. The sheriff pulled them over saying that they were going 47 in a 35 mph zone, determining that by his speedometer in his crusier. The officer ask them is they had smoked pot in the car, they said no not in the car. He insisted they smoked pot in the car, seperated them talked to each one individually and searched the youngest finding less than 20 grams on him. He was placed in hand cuffs and put in the back of the officers crusier. As they waited for the officers supervisor to bring the report from the sheriff sub-station 7 different cops stopped by like it was the biggest pot bust ever. Well the arrest report stated that the oldest was speeding and arrested. He didnt get a speeding ticket and was not arrested, the youngest was placed in hand cuffs and not arrested, so the police report was wrong to start with, then when the youngest started all his court crap they couldnt even get his name right.

  13. Pierre if your collecting donations… I can spare a ten spot.

  14. Jim R says:

    If Harry plans to watch the news leading up to the 2016 election he will need more than a pound of weed, he will also need ear plugs and a gas mask.

  15. Nancy N says:

    Locking people up is big business…find someone who’ll make money from NOT locking people up and then maybe we can get somewhere on treating this issue with common sense.

  16. Yellowstone says:

    Stop for moment and think about all the jobs that have been created fighting those vicious, life altering, ruinous 20gm of pot. Nothing like the problems alcohol causes. Really??

    Look around. How much of that money has been laundered and spent on investment property, new cars, smart phones, airplanes, healthcare, mortgage payments, and big screen TV?

    Folks, the drug business, from top to the bottom User, is annually a billion dollar industry. Putting an end to it would be like standing on the railroad tracks and stopping a speeding train with your bare hands!

  17. Joel Baker says:

    So true, bringing light to a problem every where. Stop the insanity!

  18. I/M/O says:

    The problem with “Today’s Marijuana” is that it contains not a level of 3 TCH but a level of 30 TCH. (Amount of tetrahydrocannabinol) The marijuana of today is 100 times more powerful that the old marijuana.

    Today’s marijuana is not the marijuana your Grandparents smoked back in the 1960’s or your parents smoked in the 1980’s which was relatively harmless.

    Marijuana that concntains 30TCH is highly addictive abd causes psychosis.

    THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects. It acts much like the cannabinoid chemicals made naturally by the body, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

    Cannabinoid receptors are concentrated in certain areas of the brain associated with thinking, memory, pleasure, coordination and time perception. THC attaches to these receptors and activates them and affects a person’s memory, pleasure, movements, thinking, concentration, coordination, and sensory and time perception, according to NIDA.

    THC is one of many compounds found in the resin secreted by glands of the marijuana plant. More of these glands are found around the reproductive organs of the plant than on any other area of the plant. Other compounds unique to marijuana, called cannabinoids, are present in this resin. One cannabinoid, CBD is nonpsychoactive, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, and actually blocks the high associated with THC.

    Effects on the body

    THC stimulates cells in the brain to release dopamine, creating euphoria, according to NIDA. It also interferes with how information is processed in the hippocampus, which is part of the brain responsible for forming new memories.

    THC can induce hallucinations, change thinking and cause delusions. On average, the effects last about two hours, and kick in 10 to 30 minutes after ingestion. Psychomotor impairment may continue after the perceived high has stopped, however.

    “In some cases, reported side effects of THC include elation, anxiety, tachycardia, short-term memory recall issues, sedation, relaxation, pain-relief and many more,” said A.J. Fabrizio, a marijuana chemistry expert at Terra Tech Corp, a California agricultural company focused on local farming and medical cannabis. However, he said, a study in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that other types of cannabinoids, as well as terpenes (compounds that produce flavor and fragrance in plants), can modulate and reduce negative effects.

    Long-term effects

    Marijuana also affects brain development. When marijuana users begin using as teenagers, the drug may reduce thinking, memory, and learning functions and affect how the brain builds connections between the areas necessary for these functions.

    Marijuana’s effects on these abilities may last a long time or even be permanent.

    For example, a study showed that people who started smoking marijuana heavily in their teens and had an ongoing cannabis use disorder lost an average of eight IQ points between ages 13 and 38. The lost mental abilities did not fully return in those who quit marijuana as adults.

    Physical effects

    Breathing problems. Marijuana smoke irritates the lungs, and frequent marijuana smokers can have the same breathing problems that tobacco smokers have. These problems include daily cough and phlegm, more frequent lung illness, and a higher risk of lung infections. Researchers still do not know whether marijuana smokers have a higher risk for lung cancer.
    Increased heart rate. Marijuana raises heart rate for up to 3 hours after smoking. This effect may increase the chance of heart attack. Older people and those with heart problems may be at higher risk
    Problems with child development during and after pregnancy. Marijuana use during pregnancy is linked to increased risk of both brain and behavioral problems in babies. If a pregnant woman uses marijuana, the drug may affect certain developing parts of the fetus’s brain. Resulting challenges for the child may include problems with attention, memory, and problem-solving.

    Mental effects

    Long-term marijuana use has been linked to mental illness in some users, such as:

    temporary hallucinations—sensations and images that seem real though they are not
    temporary paranoia—extreme and unreasonable distrust of others
    worsening symptoms in patients with schizophrenia (a severe mental disorder with symptoms such as hallucinations, paranoia, and disorganized thinking)

    Marijuana use has also been linked to other mental health problems, such as:

    depression
    anxiety
    suicidal thoughts among teens

    Is marijuana addictive?

    Contrary to common belief, marijuana can be addictive. Research suggests that about 1 in 11 users becomes addicted to marijuana (Anthony, 1994; Lopez-Quintero 2011).This number increases among those who start as teens (to about 17 percent, or 1 in 6) and among people who use marijuana daily (to 25-50 percent) (Hall, 2009a; Hall, 2009b).

    Risks … The effects of marijuana make it a popular drug. In fact, it is considered one of the most commonly used illicit drugs in the world. But these effects also concern mental health advocates. THC can trigger a relapse in schizophrenic symptoms, according to NIDA.

    Another possible risk of consuming THC comes in the form of impaired motor skills. Marijuana may impair driving or similar tasks for approximately three hours after consumption and it is the second-most common psychoactive substance found in drivers, after alcohol, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. People taking medical marijuana are instructed not to drive until it has been established that they can tolerate it and conduct motor tasks successfully.

    The use of marijuana may cause problems for younger people and long-term problems. “Some of the side effects of THC include a decrease in IQ, memory and cognition, especially in younger people,” said Dr. Damon Raskin, medical director at Cliffside Malibu Treatment Center.

    In addition “Smoking marijuana results in many of the same risks associated with smoking tobacco, including coughing, increased susceptibility to lung infections, COPD airway obstruction, and probably an increased risk of developing lung cancer. Other methods of taking marijuana are not associated with respiratory damage. Even low doses of marijuana impair concentration and coordination.”

    How Does Marijuana Affect a User’s Life?

    Compared to nonusers, heavy marijuana users more often report the following:

    lower life satisfaction
    poorer mental health
    poorer physical health
    more relationship problems

    Users also report less academic and career success. For example, marijuana use is linked to a higher likelihood of dropping out of school (McCaffrey, 2010). It is also linked to more job absences, accidents, and injuries (Zwerling, 1990).

    How can people get treatment for marijuana addiction?

    Long-term marijuana users trying to quit report withdrawal symptoms that make quitting difficult. These include:

    grouchiness
    sleeplessness
    decreased appetite
    anxiety
    cravings

    Behavioral support has been effective in treating marijuana addiction. Examples include therapy and motivational incentives (providing rewards to patients who remain substance free). No medications are currently available to treat marijuana addiction. However, continuing research may lead to new medications that help ease withdrawal symptoms, block the effects of marijuana, and prevent relapse.

    So what society must controlas to the use of medical marijuana and recreational marijuana is the amount of TCH in today’s marijuana. To legalize marijuana containing 30 TCH or more is simply the wrong approach and until state legislatures pass laws regulating the amount of TCH in the marijuana sold VOTERS MUST REJECT ANY ATTEMPT TO LEGALIZIE 30 TCH+ MARIJUANA .

    • a tiny manatee says:

      You should switch from smoking crack to smoking cannabis, most of the information in your post is incorrect.

    • Are you serious? says:

      Quite a dissertation… perhaps proofread and spell check before you POST? It’s THC not TCH. THC has never been proved to be physically addictive as Nicotine, for example. Maybe check your facts as well…

      It is this type of hysteria that perpetuates these wasteful cases… sigh…

    • Bill says:

      Dear Professor I/M/O

      Lighten up Francis !!!

    • flageresident says:

      lol…..30% THC? Where do people find this stuff?

    • Nalla C says:

      Please provide a source for your information. I say that’s simply more reefer madness that’s been debunked, but when you post the source, we’ll all know for sure. Thanks!

    • John Russell says:

      Wow, sounds like excessive sugar and caffeine, yet they are legal.

  19. theevoice says:

    i dont smoke pot..i dont like smelling the stench..i dont want a contact high..its illegal..ALL GOOD REASONS FOR THE ARRESTs….PERIOD..

    • Nalla C says:

      You can’t get a “contact high”. Even if you could, NO ONE SHOULD BE ARRESTED FOR IT. You don’t arrest cigarette smokers, and their stench is DISGUSTING. PERIOD.

  20. Jeff Baumann says:

    I 100% agree with this article btw. Harry watched felonly demestic cases get less then him. Harry has two jobs supporting three kids. He’s doesn’t drink. He pays his taxes. Is pleasant and kind to everyone who deserves it.
    It’s a revenue for them. The cops, lawyers, and Judges hang out in the same places together. This in the end is going to end up costing Harry over 2,000.00 dollars. Smh. Poor Harry indeed.

  21. rst says:

    My thoughts exactly. After over 33 years in law enforcement, never, not once have I ever seen a traffic crash case SOLELY by marijuana, nor have I ever witnessed nor heard of an overdose. We certainly need to examine our laws and the reasons for their inception, i.e., the temperance movement (ultra-right wingers) caused prohibition of alcohol. Just as alcohol prohibition caused the market for alcohol to move illicit, the prohibition of marijuana caused the same movement except most of the extreme violence is south of the border. Please, let us be realistic, the legalization of marijuana will cause at least three things: it will lower the taxpayer’s bill for jails, enforcement, courts, ect., and it will provide tax revenue for education, rehabilitation, and oversight, while it creates thousands of jobs from seed to sale resulting in crime rate reduction and overall drug use (ever so slightly)(see research data available internet wide).

  22. Footballen says:

    Wait so you basically admit that both your youngest child and his older brother routinely utilize an illegal substance? Your children, while driving a one ton bullet filled with other peoples children and on the same streets my children travel? And your angry because some grammatical errors were made by the officer who had the diligence to recognize irresponsibility when he or she saw it? Makes absolutely perfect sense! Lets just get rid of the police and the governing body, I mean why not let the great parenting skills just govern the world?

  23. Footballen says:

    Ignorance AND being stoned out of your mind are bliss!

  24. Rocky Mountain High says:

    Its ALL about making “the system” money. Fines, Jail time, Probation, Court Fees, Lawyers Fees..on and on and on. The Prison system is owned and ran like a professional business. Each new inmate makes the company $365.00 a day. The more they lock up, the more they “pocket” . Its a RACKET worse then city , state, and federal government politicians.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Pierre has become a pothead….

  26. Field of Dreams says:

    So glad to see nobody is feeding the two trolls in this comment section. And thank you, Pierre–you are so right. Please do a series of these ridiculous wastes of taxpayer dollars, so people see daily (or at least weekly) how nonsensical it is. Marijuana is A PLANT. It is NOT A DRUG.

    • Anonymous says:

      Poppy is also a plant and we all know what comes from poppies.

      • FLnative says:

        You will thank God for poppies if you ever have severe pain or surgery. Anybody can abuse a substance. Alcohol comes from plants as well so does tobacco, they’re both legal. Your argument is invalid.

      • Nalla C says:

        The opium poppy cannot simply be picked and injected into one’s veins. It must be processed and refined, and other chemicals added, before it becomes the DRUG known as heroin

        That’s not true of marijuana–you pick it, you dry it out and you smoke it. Period. It is not a drug, it’s a plant.

      • Leosrcats says:

        yep them there bagels, i do declare

    • Katie Seamore says:

      Poppies are also plants.

    • a tiny manatee says:

      I’m a huge legalization supporter, but the IT’S A PLANT argument really needs to be retired because it doesn’t add anything to the debate. Deadtly nightshade is a plant, poppies are plants, etc. The argument you should be focusing on is that it’s completely safe, any addictive characteristics are mild if even present, it has numerous legitimate medical benefits, it enhances creativity (Carl Sagan smoked weed, look it up), and the reason why it isn’t legal sits fully on the shoulders of early 20th century racism.

      • Footballen says:

        I can get behind this. I do not have a problem with Marijuana. I have a problem with parents who think its ok to let children get high and drive cars on the same streets my children drive. And INSTEAD OF HOLDING THEIR OWN BAD KIDS RESPONSIBLE THEY TRY TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO BLAME THE COPS FOR EVERYTHING!!!!!!! The entire reason we have laws at all is because some peoples morals tend to stray far beyond everyone else’s idea of good morals. Horrible parenting has been the root of those terrible morals from the beginning. Bad parenting should be a major crime and this would come to an end quickly.

      • Nalla C says:

        Sure it does. Deadly nightshade is a known deadly poison to humans. No one who knows this already would knowingly consume it unless they were suicidal. Deadly nightshade would not be used for recreational consumption. It has no recreational function.

        The poppy argument is long debunked, it’s not something that Americans use in its raw plant form as a “recreational pursuit”. And it must be prepared to be “heroin” by adding chemical compounds to it. .

        • a tiny manatee says:

          Poppy seeds can be brewed to make tea, which, while not as strong as heroin is addictive as any opiate. The latex from poppies makes opium, without any additional compounds. “ITS A PLANT” as s defense of cannabis is an asinine statement. Like I said earlier, people that want legalization need to focus on the realities, saying ITS A PLANT places you solidly into the grateful dead derp category.

          • Nalla C. says:

            So you’re saying it’s not a plant?

            Think this through. The fact that you’re ‘brewing tea’ means you’re processing the plant. You process it by boiling it.

            There is nothing the least bit “asinine” about the “it’s a plant” argument. You simply don’t like it. The fact of the matter–and it’s a FACT, and it is REALITY–marijuana is a plant.

            • a tiny manatee says:

              And what do you think happens when you cook cannabis for an edible or smoke it? You are decarboxylating the cannabinoids and putting them into a form that your body can use. “IT’S A PLANT” is a meaningless point that has no information in it to persuade someone that might be on the fence about legalization; in fact, it might actually turn them off about any valid point you do have to make because it’s akin to saying “wow man let’s legalize it being high is fun, you aren’t against FUN THINGS are you?” Regardless of the fact that it’s a plant and being high might be enjoyable, it does nothing for the argument. If you’re going to persuade someone you need to reach just a touch beyond black lights and a yellow submarine soundtrack.

            • Jack says:

              Alcohol exists. Marijuana exists. Tobacco exists. It would be better if they did not. But, they do. So, make Marijuana legal. Develop severe punishments for DUI. Nobody under 18. Marijuana generally produces calm and peace. Alcohol generally produces obnoxious behavior and anger. Tobacco generally produces bad breath and smelly clothes.

  27. FLnative says:

    Pierre, for once we agree on something lol. I totally agree that alcohol and even cigarettes are way more destructive than marijuana. Plus these arrest are more victim-less crimes that waste our taxpayer dollars with these arrests, incarcerations, and court time. I am not a smoker myself however if they legalized it and I didn’t have to worry about job repercussions even my doctor said it would be better for me than some of the meds I am on to treat my PTSD/severe panic disorder that I have dealt with for a long time. My doctor says that the meds prescribed will eventually cause dementia and other bad things. I’m still somewhat young and do not have the memory that I once had. I am feeling the effects already. Hooray for this article I hope that the people make the right choice this next election presidential and for legalized Marijuana, at least medical if not total. My two cents.

  28. R U Kiddingme says:

    Absolutely the best piece that I’ve read in quite some time! Talk about “hitting the nail on the head”….. Thank you Pierre Tristam, you make sense! I hope everyone reads this!

  29. JimBob says:

    Well, at least weed has reduced the number of folks calling Pierre a jihadist, communist islamophile threat to all that is good in America.

    • Bobby Jo says:

      That’s their plan to take over America. Get everybody STONED so their easier to capture and torture. Then they make you convert to Islam or crucify you upside down.

      • a tiny manatee says:

        You know, if you rearrange the words in obamacare you get CAEOMA BRA so clearly this and cannabis legalization are a islamic communist jew plot to turn america gay.

  30. snapperhead says:

    I smoke 2 joints before I smoke 2 joints and then I smoke 2 more…..it’s in the bible….Zig Zag 4:20

  31. Anonymity says:

    Lol @ pierre a pothead…

    great article and couldn’t have been more accurate. This is the problem our society is dealing with and it is real. Between having to pay court fines, jail fines, “investigation” fines, “drug abuse treatment” fines, and probation fines, just for a little marijuana is way out of control. I am a victim of this conspiracy scheme by the government myself, and i can tell you one joint will equal you over $5,000 easily, not to mention if you actually hire a lawyer. Plus time missed from work to attend meetings visits etc. it’s absurd. One thing if it was meth, crack, heroin, rx pills being abused, but simple marijuana should be recreational no buts about it.

    I am a pot enthusiast and all for it. I have seen it with my own eyes help cancer patients eat when they were ready to die, just from taking a few small tokes. They called it a miracle drug that allowed them to eat again like a horse.

    Pierre i am sure you smoke pot as do the majority of successful creative individuals in this world. It opens your mind, and stomach, and has nothing but beneficial factors that come with it that are being neglected to everyone who needs it, and hell, even those who want it. It inspires people’s creativity. I am strongly for recreational. It is not a drug, and will make you withdrawal, nor will it make you go out and hit your wife, husband, kids. It calms the individual. Not provoke violence. It would create a large decrease in domestic disturbance issues everywhere.

    Free the weed

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      Anonymity, just to be clear, I don’t smoke pot nor have I ever: I am reserving that pleasure for when my first grandchild is born, and that appears not to be too soon. Either then, or should an unwelcome illness dictate tokes over MDs’ quackery. One doesn’t have to be a pothead to speak for pot anymore than one has to be an executive with Human Rights Watch to stand on the side of basic rights.

  32. Shelia says:

    The amount of money and resources wasted on POT is crazy. I live in the R section. A few weeks ago I was standing outside around 6:15 am. Walking the dog and water the grass. Just feeling blessed to live in such a wonderful please, when all of a sudden, here comes 8 (EIGHT) sheriff vehicles. 3 K-9 units. I was stunned to stay the least. They turned at my corner and went to the next corner. They lined up in front of 3 house, got out the dogs (3 of them), the Loud Speaker and I could hear them yelling for the owner of the home to “come out with your hands up”. NOW I know who they came after. He sells weed, lives with his mom. Not a running, not violent. Most potheads are not violent. They know this kid. But they instead used this MILATARY ENFORCEMENT IN OUR VERY QUITE NEIGHBORHOOD. Let’s see 8-10 men – $200-$300 hundred in salary, 3 dogs, 8 cars @ 4 hours!!! So let’s say they wasted around $2000 dollars. The alternative would have been to knock on his door and have him come talk to you. Not scary the neighborhood to deal. It wrong. How about if we use this force on the DOCTORS that are killing our kids on prescription drugs????

  33. common sense says:

    Truth is, as long as it is illegal it will be enforced. Like it or not (mostly not) that is where we are. I’m fine with decriminalizing marijuana but don’t bust the cops balls for enforcing the law. So you like to get high? You make the choice to break the law, so you make the choice to risk getting caught. Own it.
    Lets not to forget to mention where a large portion of this marijuana comes from and who it funds.

    • flageresident says:

      legal pot is costing the cartels millions of dollars and putting americans to work.

      its a win/win

  34. Sherlock says:

    ” Lets not to forget to mention where a large portion of this marijuana comes from and who it funds.”………….Our government ?

    • Nalla C says:

      Exactly. The writer should look up “Iran/Contra” and do a little reading. The contents of the crashed plane piloted by Eugene Hausenfuss (sp?) wasn’t carrying arms, IIRC, it was carrying pot and cocaine. We weren’t just “trading arms for hostages”, we were running pot and coke up through Central America.

      That kind of thing has been going on for decades in America. To our government, pot is a way to keep the prisons full and it’s a form of lucre to be traded internationally for “favors” to our out-of-control Pentagon.

  35. Anonymity says:

    Pierre you are exactly right and I apologize that it came out that way… I meant for it to have a pun, but must of left that part out. I do agree with your appreciation and awareness of marijuana and are glad there is someone out here who is the voice of thc. Regardless, your actions are monumental and i strongly feel this kind of topic should be a weekly post. ( plus it receives alot of attention). The more the better. Let’s get it legalized so harry and others don’t have to feel so shamefully guilty for no reason, and generate the legal tax revenue that our state could benefit from before our citizens are all behind bars…

  36. carol says:

    Spot on, what a waste of resources. How pathetic the system is and the FCSO. Harassing people for a joint.
    Yes, the law needs to be changed!!

  37. anonymous says:

    What I see is that this police thing is getting outrageous Most of these officers are decorated or rejects from the military and treat the people they say they defended, like an enemy every shift they suit up like they are going to battle only to pull blondes with big boobs or kids that the can Bully.Police brutality and insensitivity is rampant.Thank God they didn’t kick harry’s ass over this matter

  38. anonymous says says:

    As noted in the article, Miami / Dade is in the process of decriminalizing possession of small amounts of cannabis. It is written and supported by the Police and Sheriffs Dept’s. They are tired of the waste of manpower, the hours lost to processing and the return court appearances of the officers, also to mention the cost of housing these individuals. Then the person walks out to a for-profit program. There is no re-numeration back to the municipality when that happens other than court costs. A fine will return monies directly to the municipality’s.
    This will, in no doubt save Miami / Dade or any municipality for that matter a great deal of tax dollars and valued prison space resulting in an incoming cash flow from the civil tickets. Philadelphia has done so and has saved over 1 million so far in approx. 6 months. Numerous other cities throughout the country have done the same. All are saving dollars and not wasting manpower or crowding the courts with nonsensical arrests. This is not an over all answer to a problem, but just a common sense approach to a dollar and cents issue that has plagued our society for 70 years of prohibition. The laws in this state and this country can be called somewhat Sycophantic. As laws are changing daily and as you step over a crack in the road. Criminal on one side, o k with us, no problem, enjoy on the other.
    Now if a person does not pay the civil fine, then it’s moved on to a criminal offense Some have made it an escalating civil offense (like a moving traffic violation). $100 first time, $200.00 the next and than additional action if they go beyond that. We are building additional jail beds her in Flagler, most likely to be filled with minor possession arrests.
    Please make this a weekly article. As for Harry, were can I send a donation for his plight.

  39. Bob Fortier says:

    The hypocrisy here is blatant…If our government really wanted to save us from ourselves and were truly concerned about our health and welfare, they would illegalize cigarettes and alcohol tomorrow. Especially cigarettes. Just obvious proof that they do not care about our well being and merely cannot let go of flawed thinking that ruins good people’s lives. If you told me back in the 60’s that pot would still be illegal today I would have laughed in your face. I am now sixty years old, a professional with no criminal record, and a model citizen…how the hell did I pull that off as a pothead???lol. Thanks for the article.

  40. Guess Who says:

    To; Pierre Tristam

    “There ought to be no place for reporting on pot arrests, grow houses included, except to show the “IMBECILITY OF IT ALL”. (And I may just devote a new series to these stupid pot busts.)”

    Please do so. It’s better reading then the “Red Light Camera fiasco”.
    You can turn it into a weekly “Sitcom”. Our Judicial system at Work and Play.
    Unless the powers that be (FlaglerLive) say no way. So much for true to life Journalism, if it exists at all
    Is there anyway to make a donation to “Harry’s” situation. Seriously I would like to help the man.

  41. Please can we some more , Sir says:

    Pierre ,,, Please , lets hear more / read more regarding these nonsensical court proceedings.
    “Stupid Pot Bust’s” is the beginning of a great idea, but there is more. This can become a career in journalism.
    Maybe we can see how many people have been charged with Florida’s co-habitation law, as a start..
    (90 days, + $500.00 fine)
    Note , if a person is arrested for a domestic incident, are they also charged under the co-habitation law. (no)
    But if they find the person is in possession of a half of joint of cannabis, it becomes a second offense.
    When was the last time someone was also charged under Florida’s co-habitation law also. Even after when an injury was incurred. But, big but , If they had a small amount of cannabis they get charged with both. I find this selective enforcement.
    Legalize Term == De minimus non curat lex. Which applies in these scenarios. Or like Bowling on Sunday.
    Please lets read more. I can even help (sit in the court room for you) if you like.
    That other poster was right ,, It’s Like a Sitcom in the making.

  42. Brian says:

    Listen to me people!

    Brownies, brownies, brownies.

    Pot brownies DO NOT SMELL like pot smoke and you get a better buzz. You can carry them with you in your car….in your purse. They are a snack as far as anyone knows.

    Brownies I say!

  43. Devrie says:

    I recently visited Colorado, and there were pot shops all over the place! I observed a few things. Firstly, I didn’t see anyone smoking pot anywhere. They also have regular cigarette smoking laws which apply to any smoking at all, so I suppose that’s why you don’t see people smoking pot. I also learned from a local that two head shops in a really small town earned enough revenue to build two schools? Crazy!

    Also, I learned that even though pot shops were all over the place, I didn’t suddenly develop the urge to buy pot. Crazy, right?

    I think Colorado made pot smoking a highly private endeavor, so you aren’t likely to be exposed to it. Also, there was one place which had what looked like some type of guard or something standing out in front of it. I guess they’re on top of their stuff there?

    I think there are obviously potential health considerations for smoking pot, but as far as I understand it, I don’t think we should be prohibited from injesting stuff that’s not healthy for us, or wouldn’t cola and donuts be illegal? If our county can test us for nicotine if we want to apply for a job (nicotine is legal in all states so far), then I don’t think we need to wory about employers being forced to hire people who migh be using pot. They should still be allowed to test for it.

    I would also like to see how legalization has impacted the other drug usage in Colorado. I’m curious to know if legalizing it minimizes people’s exposure to other more harmful controlled substances. For that reason, I kind of think that legal pot shops could be a societal benefit if it means that someone looking for a buzz or a high isn’t exposed to other things due to having to secure the “product” through less-than honorable sources.

    With reasonable restrictions, legalizing marijuana could prove advantagegeous to the rest of us who have zero interest in the stuff. I saw a lot of decent people with little chance to get out of crappy situations due to their early involvement with pot. I think it costs us more in incarceration, cyclical poverty, in-tact family situations, and escalated crime situations when we keep it illegal.

  44. Steven Noad says:

    Thank you for putting this issue in an intelligent perspective. Please keep up the good work.

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