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Unclear On The Concept

From local media reports: Woman Reports Stolen Cannabis To Police

A middle-aged New Zealand woman rang police to report a theft of cannabis plants she had been growing at her North Island home, local media reported.

[snip]

Senior Sergeant Mal Lochrie told local media Friday that the officer found it hard to stop smiling as the women gave details of the theft over the phone.

A community constable who visited her to take details of the theft had also warned her that her horticultural pursuits could have legal consequences, Lochrie said.

I actually had the desk officer refer a person who was complaining about not receiving real cocaine in a drug deal to my office, which is a “cop joke.” I listened to his complaint and type up a report and informed him that if he signed it, based on his testimony, I would be arresting him for a felony under the wording of the penal law of the state of New York.

What is wrong with people?

8 comments

1 Michael { 03.10.07 at 5:49 pm }

What is wrong with people?

We’ve stopped teaching them how to think clearly, for one. And probably also has something to do with the ingrained notion–fostered, I might add, by the police and other authorities–that when someone steals something from you or otherwise causes you harm, you call the cops.

2 BadTux { 03.10.07 at 7:17 pm }

Well there is also the problem that, as far as the consensual buying and selling of desirable goods go, people don’t at a gut level consider it to be something illegal except when they don’t get what they paid for or what they have gets stolen. If someone kills someone else, yeah, that hits at the gut level, “some illegal shit just happened.” If someone has a harmless weed stolen off the patio deck, on the other hand, despite all the propaganda to the contrary coming from our respective governments it’s hard to see any crime other than the theft.

In short, it’s human nature at work, but not necessarily stupidity other than in that we’ve crimininalized consensual commercial transactions and that’s stupid. If someone just operates automatically according to ethical considerations rather than considering law, the notion of getting arrested because someone stole a weed off your deck just doesn’t pop to the top of one’s head. BTW, same applies to prostitution and other such “victimless crimes”, where you have two parties who make a commercial transaction, both go away from the commercial transaction satisfied, the only “crime” is in the head of some third party who ought to just mind their own f’ing business…

– Badtux the Libertarian Penguin

3 Bryan { 03.10.07 at 7:26 pm }

It would seem to be tied to a concept of privilege, that their class exempts them from the laws that apply to everyone else. The drug laws in New York are definitely harsh, with a very low threshold.

In ten years I had to twice lock people in a holding cell and order everyone away from them until their lawyer arrived because I really didn’t want them, I wanted the people they knew, but if they kept talking I wouldn’t have an opportunity to deal. It was a facet of the local legal system where I worked, but the prosecutors had a tendency not to make deals if they thought they would get an instant court win. From my stand point, I wanted the dealers, not users. I didn’t have the money or manpower to go to trial with users, who were generally incredibly stupid to get caught.

4 Moi ;) { 03.10.07 at 9:52 pm }

They’re all partaking of their stash before they call. That’s what’s wrong with ’em. ;D

5 Bryan { 03.10.07 at 10:05 pm }

Badtux, I’m not going to champion victimless crimes, I didn’t have the budget or manpower to deal with the crimes with victims, and really resented having my budget raided around election-time for drug or prostitution sweeps, especially when they were “task force” operations, which meant the money went to other jurisdictions. I had a chief who was entirely too political, which guaranteed his job, but made mine hell.

The Rockefeller drugs laws were a disaster. They didn’t have any noticeable effect on the pattern of drug use, but they filled up the jails and prisons with a lot of users who eventually caused the early release of some very bad people when prisons became overcrowded. The users came back to society with graduate degrees in burglary and robbery. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid – but you can’t explain that to politicians who want to get “tough on crime” as long as it doesn’t involve increasing taxes.

Drug cases against users are easy to prove: individual+drug=conviction. The prosecutors used them to pad their resumés, especially when reaching the level of a felony was so easy. Felony convictions mean promotions and a shot at higher office. In a more urban setting almost all of the felony convictions in my jurisdiction would have been plead out as misdemeanors with fines and probation, not prison time.

Welcome to the New York Criminal Justice System – except there’s no justice, and only a fool would call it a system.

6 Bryan { 03.10.07 at 10:05 pm }

That could be it, Moi.

7 ellroon { 03.13.07 at 8:36 pm }

You mean like this woman, Bryan?
http://www.cbc.ca/cp/Oddities/070313/K031302AU.html

8 Bryan { 03.13.07 at 8:58 pm }

Unfortunately, she already has at least one child, so the terminally stupid gene has been inherited. Having the same arresting officer is not a family tradition anyone should strive for.