Home > marijuana > Life in prison for pot

Life in prison for pot

From nola.com:

Cornell Hood II got off with probation after three marijuana convictions in New Orleans.

He didn’t fare too well after moving to St. Tammany Parish, however. A single such conviction on the north shore landed the 35-year-old in prison for the rest of his life.

State Judge Raymond S. Childress punished Hood under Louisiana’s repeat-offender law in his courtroom in Covington on Thursday. A jury on Feb. 15 found the defendant guilty of attempting to possess and distribute marijuana at his Slidell home, court records show.

Less than two pounds were found at his house at the time of his arrest, along with $1,600.

That was a state court decision, but there it appears the feds are serious about cracking down on pot, too.

letter from United States attorneys to Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire promised to “vigorously [prosecute] individuals and organizations that participate in unlawful manufacturing and distribution activity involving marijuana, even if such activities are permitted under state law.”

  1. Anonymous
    May 8, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Your point is?

    Looks like its time to be moving to WA. They are blue BUT at least they are not tax evading, environmental pillagers like folks here and in Mendo.

  2. May 8, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    The point is, no one should spend LIFE in prison for any amount of pot. Pot is the only non murder offense in the USA that carries the death penalty. While current U.S. Federal law allows for the punishment of death for those who have extraordinary amounts of the drug (60,000 kilograms or 60,000 plants) or are part of a continuing criminal enterprise in smuggling contraband which nets over $20 million, the United States Supreme Court has held that no crimes other than murder and treason can constitutionally carry a death sentence (Coker v. Georgia and Kennedy v. Louisiana)

  3. Andrew Bird
    May 8, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Surely this sentence can be appealed. It seems just a tad excessive. Why burden the taxpayers of Louisiana with the cost of housing, guarding, feeding and providing medical care for this man for 30, 40, 50 years? People in Louisiana get testy about their taxes.

  4. Anonymous
    May 8, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    As much as people blame the law, you’ve gotta have a screw loose to do something that could land you in jail for the rest of your life. It’s a calculated risk. He rolled the dice and lost. Or, more accurately, he rolled the dice four times and lost four times. I’d nominate him for a Darwin Award, but he doesn’t qualify on a technicality.

  5. SNaFU
    May 8, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Some people are alive smiply because it is
    illegal to shoot them!

  6. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    May 8, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    10:23 pm,

    Or, better yet, maybe the big and bad, huff and puff, gubbamint blow ’em down regulators won’t make-up laws to intentionally imprison those who relish in the “age old” pleasures of a little ole herb, just like coffee, alcohol, sweets, etc…. This goes back to religion and beliefs once again, unfortunately.

    JL

  7. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    May 8, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    SNaFU says:
    May 8, 2011 at 10:58 pm
    Some people are alive smiply because it is
    illegal to shoot them!

    Response: There are no guarantees that laws will be enforced! Anyhow, that is why the Earth provides mankind with Tsunamis, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, etc…. Just think how many more stupid people would be alive without these natural population controls.

    JL

    JL

  8. May B
    May 9, 2011 at 4:02 am

    the taxpayers of Louisina are OK with spending (…insert dollar amount….) on this non violent offender? Oh, so many other significant, real, healing ways to spend that money.

  9. Anonymous
    May 9, 2011 at 7:22 am

    Its their money and their state.

    This guy knew the law and ignored it 4 times.

    Go to indonesia (or a lot of other countries) and do this and you’ll get life for your first offense. Darwin award nominee.

  10. John Lewis
    May 9, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Well he WAS Black, so what’s the big deal. I’m satisfied with the Judge’s decision.

  11. Mitch
    May 9, 2011 at 7:31 am

    People are amazing.

    Remember how upset Mericans got when Singapore wanted to spank a white boy?

  12. Frida Tipple
    May 9, 2011 at 7:32 am

    I’d like to address the issues here but I have to go downtown and wait for the liquor store to open.
    Booze is the American drug… pot is for commies.

  13. Anonymous
    May 9, 2011 at 7:48 am

    That’s the pesky thing about state’s rights. If the people don’t want their neighbors to ‘possess and distribute marijuana’ then they can make it illegal. They’d be within their rights to do the same for alcohol, just as they might for any other mind-altering drug. It’s easy for a bunch of marijuana smokers and/or growers and/or people who grew up / chose to live in a pro-marijuana community to look over the fence and give another state the stink face, but come on!

    Not everyone believes what you believe or values what you value. It’s not an imperative that, at least for healthy people, that they have access to marijuana. It’s a want, not a need.

    If I chose to live in a community that outlawed potato chips, it would be unwise for me to possess and distribute potato chips knowing that if I kept getting caught (4 times!), I’d go to jail for life, thus guaranteeing I never again know the crunchy, salty, delight of our friend down under. I should have moved to a potato-chip friendly state, but instead I knew full well what I was doing — trying to make a quick buck doing something illegal. Greed got the best of me.

  14. Mitch
    May 9, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Anonymous 7:48 is an example of what I meant when I said people are amazing.

    OK, 7:48. There are dry parishes throughout the south. By your system of ethics, you’d have no problem with sending someone caught with three bottles of Scotch to prison for life? Because they were breaking the law?

    Perhaps you wouldn’t.

    I hope you’re never in charge of littering laws.

  15. SmokeMonster
    May 9, 2011 at 8:02 am

    They lock him up while the Cole M’s of the world run free.

  16. Anonymous
    May 9, 2011 at 8:02 am

    I think he means he would not possess potato chips. Sometimes you really should just follow the law, work to change it, or move.

  17. Mitch
    May 9, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Yes, 8:02, that would have been wiser. But in the words of Idiotman, “It is what it is.”

    Given that, do you think this sentence is appropriate?

    Do you think this sentence is sane?

    Do you think this sentence should be legal in the United States, given what science reports about the effects of marijuana?

  18. May 9, 2011 at 8:09 am

    What he said.

  19. May 9, 2011 at 9:46 am

    I assume these guys need to go to prison for life as well…..

    http://izismile.com/2009/03/24/daily_picdump_86_pics-86.html

  20. Sinclair Lewis
    May 9, 2011 at 9:56 am

    I don’t want to live in Singapore or Indonesia. I prefer the USA, warts and all.

  21. Plain Jane
    May 9, 2011 at 9:59 am

    I wonder if there is a correlation between harsh laws with stiff penalties and the states which “rent” out their prisoners or make them labor to provide for the prison.

  22. High Finance
    May 9, 2011 at 10:05 am

    He had TWO POUNDS of pot and a lot of cash.

    Drug Dealer, three previous convictions.

    Bye Bye. No tears shed for thee.

  23. Anonymous
    May 9, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Sorry Mitch, people are allowed to disagree with you. There are many differences in laws between our states. I think that’s pretty damn special. Do you really want to force your own morality on other states? That’s draconian. We live in communities, and ultimately states, and we choose the laws that govern us. I’m glad you’re not our overlord deciding how other states get to live.

  24. Anonymous
    May 9, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Two pounds…big deal. In Humboldt you’re allowed to possess three pounds for personal medicinal use.

    The article doesn’t indicate whether the three previous marijuana convictions were for “dealing” or just simple possession.

    The article also refers to the current charges as “attempting to” possess and distribute, which seems a little odd to me.

  25. Sickman
    May 9, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Life imprisonment for marijuana is ludacris! Our country needs money, legalize and tax! This ruling is a travesty of justice, and a mockery of…, what’s that? He was a black guy…….oh, well, the law’s the law.

  26. Anonymous
    May 9, 2011 at 10:22 am

    To answer your questions at 8:06, Mitch, no, I don’t think it is just or sane to sentence a person to life for marijuana possession, but the details about “distribution” are more offensive to me, and I will have to read more about the case. Was there violence? etc Weapons present? Was he a small-time pot guy? If so, this was way over the top.

  27. SmokeMonster
    May 9, 2011 at 10:28 am

    When did $1,600 become “a lot of cash” to someone of “high finance”?

  28. Anonymous
    May 9, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Do you think this sentence is sane?

    I view the question as a larger one — is it ever sane to illegalize any form of drug — be it caffeine or heroin. If the answer is yes, then I accept that some states will choose to illegalize marijuana. A state can accept that there is no medical harm from smoking marijuana, but still illegalize it on the grounds that it’s a temporarily mind-altering drug.

    Work to change your state’s law, or move to a community (a state) that is more in tune with your perspective on life. I specifically will only live on the east or west coast, to better avoid conservative enclaves. If marijuana is that important to someone, he should consider the choices he’s made. It’s why I blame the guy. He was arrested 4 times. He’s not ignorant of the law, and marijuana doesn’t appear to have been a necessity of life for him. He could have moved to a place where he wouldn’t have such harsh legal issues. I’m not losing sleep over some idiot who knew he was risking his freedom for some fun (or for some profit, if ‘distribution’ means selling).

  29. tra
    May 9, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Do you really want to force your own morality on other states?

    On issues like slavery, segregation, voting rights, civil rights, YES, those should be guaranteed at the federal level. Some rights are so fundamental that they should be applied universally in all the states — otherwise, there’s no point in those states being part of the same country.

    When it comes to the right to be allowed to use medicine that can reduce suffering and improve quality of life, in my opinion that is also something that really should be guaranteed nation-wide.

    But I expect it’ll still be another decade or so before the right to use cannabis medicinally is recognized throughout the country. And it’ll be at least that long before people realize that there’s really no good reason to criminalize possession for “recreational” use either.

    In the meantime, it’s entirely appropriate to point out the folly of these sorts of draconian prison sentences, which cost the taxpayers dearly and divert resources from the prevention, detection, prosecution, and punishment of more serious crimes.

  30. Anonymous
    May 9, 2011 at 10:48 am

    On issues like slavery, segregation, voting rights, civil rights, YES

    Medical marijuana is one issue, but general marijuana use is, what, essentially a pleasure item. It’s not on the scale of slavery, segregation, voting rights or civil rights.

  31. Mitch
    May 9, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Anonymous 10:09,

    “There are many differences in laws between our states. I think that’s pretty damn special. Do you really want to force your own morality on other states? That’s draconian.”

    We also live under a Constitution under which cruel and unusual punishment is illegal by definition. Many state laws have been overturned thanks to that Constitution.

    Perhaps you think outlawing slavery was draconian. Or that overturning laws criminalizing marriage between blacks and whites was “imposing [our] own morality.”

    Is that what the Supreme Court din in Loving v Virginia? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_v._Virginia

    Before you get too excited about the slogan “states’ rights,” maybe you ought to learn a bit of history about what the phrase is used as code for.

  32. Mitch
    May 9, 2011 at 10:59 am

    tra,

    The question is not whether a state can outlaw a drug.

    The question is whether a state can seriously claim that a life sentence for dealing pot is not “cruel and unusual punishment.”

    Doesn’t punishment have to fit the potential harm from the crime? Is dealing in marijuana, a drug that has been referred to by many scientists as less harmful than alcohol, a crime that justifies a life sentence?

    I wonder what color “Cornell” is? I wonder how many white children of upper or middle-class parents have been given life sentences in his state solely for possession of two pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute?

    The judge should be disbarred.

  33. Mitch
    May 9, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Why look: in St. Tammany Parish armed robbery gets you only two years in prison. I don’t think the perp’s color had a thing to do with it — do you?

    http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2011/04/teenager_lands_minimum_sentenc.html

  34. Mitch
    May 9, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Sheriff: “If you walk the streets of St. Tammany parish with dreadlocks…” States’ Rights.

  35. tra
    May 9, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Medical marijuana is one issue, but general marijuana use is, what, essentially a pleasure item.

    Unfortunately, even medical use of cannabis is still “illegal” in many states (and for that matter under federal drug laws). It sounds like you may be willing to concede that this is wrong and should be changed, and I commend you for that. But until those laws are changed, medical users in no-medical-pot states will continue to be treated under the same draconian laws as are being applied (in my opinion, foolishly and unjustly) to recreational users and to the growers and dealers who supply both kinds of users.

    With respect to non-medical use of cannabis, there’s another argument: That the government should not have the power to imprison people for behavior that does not cause significant harm to others. In other words: Show me the victim. No victim, no crime.

  36. tra
    May 9, 2011 at 11:22 am

    The question is not whether a state can outlaw a drug.

    I agree that they can, outlaw a drug, but I think the question of whether any states should outlaw cannabis has a pretty easy answer: They shouldn’t.

    [Of course given that the state in question has outlawed cannabis, I of course agree with you that the most salient question relating to this case is over the draconian sentencing.]

  37. felix
    May 9, 2011 at 11:29 am

    What the Hell happened to the “Pursuit of happiness”?

    Medical was a foot in the door, is it gonna be stuck there forever?
    And what a bunch of blind racists!
    He didn’t just catch that sentence for being black – in all likelihood he’d been previously picked up and convicted because he was/is black (got priors?. And the circle, will be UN-BROKEN. And you know those ‘folks’ are not maybe so lucky as all you righteous M.F.s who say “He should have moved”. Ever heard of ‘HOME’ E.T.? It shouldn’t be illegal! Who said illegalize? Jeez- spelling like that should be illegal. And P.J. I’m sure there is a correlation between this stuff, prisons that rent their inmates out as labor AND keeping filled privatized beds as well.

  38. felix
    May 9, 2011 at 11:31 am

    And, that was meant to be (got priors?).

  39. Anonymous
    May 9, 2011 at 11:40 am

    It sounds like you may be willing to concede that this is wrong and should be changed,

    You’re almost implying you think you know my position on non-medical marijuana. I’m defending states rights, not a pro or con position on medical (or non-medical) marijuana. I see residents of one state getting angry about the laws that residents of another state have embraced. This isn’t a civil rights issue as much as Mitch would like to equate it with arresting people who have dreadlocks.

    The judge should be disbarred.

    I doubt anyone is going to disbar a judge for following his state’s laws.

  40. tra
    May 9, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I suspect that the video that Mitch posted at 11:11 is probably fairly representative of the mindset of many Tammany Parish residents, and for that matter it’s probably fairly typical of the views of many of those who make up the hard-core right-wing white/conservative/christian base in this country — though many of them would not be willing to state those kinds of views so openly.

    Fortuntately, people who are this bigoted comprise a shrinking demographic. But there’s no question that there are still these pockets of hard-core bigotry where even elected and appointed officials still feel free to rant and rave about how other people are “trash” and and so on. So things have been getting better over time, but we’re certainly not out of the woods yet.

  41. Mitch
    May 9, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    He was doing OK when he was sticking to the nice, non-racist word “trash,” tra. Nice, safe word. Doesn’t even contain an “n”.

    Where the sheriff slipped was in stating that walking around St. Tammany’s parish with a black-associated hairdo meant you were going to be a subject of police interest.

    That made it all much clearer.

  42. tra
    May 9, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    This isn’t a civil rights issue

    Maybe or maybe not, depending on whether racial prejudice and/ or other prejudicial factors played a role in the prosecution or the sentencing.

    At any rate, cannabis prohibition in general is certainly a civil liberties issue. The civil liberties question is: Should the Government (local, state or federal) have the power to imprison you for “crimes” that cause no substantial harm to anyone? In my opinion, No.

  43. Mitch
    May 9, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    11:40,

    If that judge issues life sentences for everything when the state allows it, no, he shouldn’t be disbarred.

    But if he gives cruel and unusual sentences on whim, and especially if there’s a racial pattern to his sentencing decisions, he should be disbarred.

    Judges are supposed to apply the law with discretion. Unless this guy had things on his record that were not mentioned in the news article, the judge did not do that.

    Even if you’re a raci, um, “states’ rights” judge in a backwa, um, “states’ rights” state, you don’t get to throw people in prison for life for nonviolent crimes anywhere that the United States Constitution still governs.

    Yes, we can debate as to whether St. Tammany Parish or, for that matter, much of Jesusland, still comes under Constitutional control.

  44. Anonymous
    May 9, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Louisiana has a repeat-offender law. The judge was following the law. You have little room to attack the judge. He’s more likely to lose his job if he embraces your take on this issue.

  45. May 9, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Elderly Man Who Grew Pot For Cancer-Stricken Wife Is Jailed

    By Steve Elliott in Growing, Medical
    Monday, May 9, 2011, at 12:01 pm

    A 69-year-old Ohio man who grew marijuana to help his cancer-stricken wife was sentenced to jail on Friday morning.

    Gary Burton was given 60 days behind bars for growing two cannabis plants in Chippewa Lake, Ohio, reports WOIO.

    He will also serve 30 days’ house arrest and will be forced to undergo drug testing for two years.

    Burton said he was growing the plants for medicinal purposes, to help ease his wife’s pain due to her breast cancer treatments.

    An anonymous tipster turned in Burton for growing marijuana, then the presence of the plants was confirmed by law enforcement agents in a helicopter.

    The prosecutor said Burton hurt his own claims of medicinal use by admitting he had smoked marijuana for 30 years, also pointing to where Burton had allegedly said, “What else am I supposed to do for entertainment?”

    http://www.woio.com/global/video/popup/pop_playerLaunch.asp?vt1=v&clipFormat=flv&clipId1=5825515&at1=News&h1=Pot Papa locked up for growing pot for wife suffering from cancer&flvUri=&partnerclipid=

  46. Mitch
    May 9, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Judge Raymond Childress sentences a rapist:

    August 8, 2008
    NEWS RELEASE

    MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SEX CRIMES
    —SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS IN PRISON—

    COVINGTON—-District Attorney Walter Reed announces the guilty pleas of Rickey Odom, 37 of Alabaster, Alabama, to forcible rape and attempted forcible rape. 22nd Judicial District Judge Raymond Childress accepted the guilty pleas on Friday August 8, 2008, and sentenced Odom to 15 years in prison on each charge. Odom was originally charged with aggravated rape and attempted aggravated rape. The female victim, now 19, agreed with the plea agreement and made a victim impact statement. Judge Childress ordered the sentences to run concurrently. Assistant District Attorney Ken Dohre was in charge of preparation and presentation of the states case.

    Odom was arrested in July 2003 by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office after the sexual abuse was reported by the victim’s mother. The victim was afraid to report the abuse that happened in late March and early April 2003 until the defendant had fled to Alabama. The U.S. Marshall’s Service caught Odom in Alabama and returned him to Louisiana.

    Whoever commits the crime of forcible rape shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than five nor more than forty years. At least two years of the sentence imposed shall be without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. Whoever commits the crime of attempted forcible rape shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not more that 20 years.

  47. Mitch
    May 9, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Judge Raymond Childress sentences a purse-snatcher:

    July 6, 2007

    NEWS RELEASE

    PURSE SNATCHER TARGETS ELDERLY

    GETS 12 YEARS

    COVINGTON—District Attorney Walter Reed reports that Curtis Fletcher, 43 of Slidell, pled guilty as charged to purse snatching Thursday, July 5, 2007. Twenty-Second Judicial District Judge Raymond Childress accepted the guilty plea and sentenced Fletcher to 12 years in prison. The victim was in court ready and prepared to testify. Assistant District Attorney Jack Hoffstadt was in charge of preparation and trial of the State’s case.

    Fletcher was arrested by Slidell Police in March 2007 after he snatched the purse from an elderly victim. The 80 year old female victim was on a shopping trip and was heading back to her vehicle in the parking lot when Fletcher came from behind and took her purse. The victim was knocked to the ground but quickly got up to yell for help. Several “Good Samaritans” helped police to identify and capture the defendant as he was trying to flee.

    “We pay particular attention to crime against our senior citizens,” D.A. Reed commented. “Our special unit for prosecution of offenders who prey on the elderly will continue to be aggressive with these type of cases,” Reed concluded.

    Whoever commits the crime of purse snatching shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not less than two years and for not more than twenty years.

  48. Mitch
    May 9, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Judge Raymond Childress sentences a (different) rapist:

    July 6, 2007

    NEWS RELEASE

    PEARL RIVER MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO RAPE

    COVINGTON— District Attorney Walter Reed reports that Anthony Odom, 43 of Pearl River, pled guilty to forcible rape Thursday July 5, 2007. Twenty-Second Judicial District Judge Raymond Childress accepted the guilty plea and sentenced Odom to 20 years in prison at hard labor. The state presented to the court a victim impact statement through testimony from the victim who had to return to Louisiana from Alabama prior to the sentencing. Assistant District Attorney Jack Hoffstadt was in charge of preparing and presenting the State’s case.

    Odom was arrested in May 2003 by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office after he confessed to rape charges stemming from a rape that occurred just outside Pearl River in December 2000. The rape came to light after the victim had surgery and doctors reported to the victim’s family that there were signs of possible sexual abuse.

    Whoever commits the crime of forcible rape shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than five nor more than forty years. At least two years of the sentence imposed shall be without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.

  49. Mitch
    May 9, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Judge Childress sentences on attempted aggravated kidnapping (a registered sex offender tries to lure minors into a car):

    NEWS RELEASE

    BOGALUSA MAN GETS LONG PRISON TERM

    FRANKLINTON—–District Attorney Walter Reed reports that August Varnado, 59 of Bogalusa, was sentenced Monday, June 11, 2007, to 20 years in prison. 22 nd Judicial District Court Judge Raymond Childress gave Varnado the prison time after he was found guilty as charged in March 2007 on three counts of attempted aggravated kidnapping. Career Criminal Assistant District Attorney Scott Gardner presented the states case.

    Varnado was arrested by Bogalusa Police and Louisiana Probation and Parole Officers in July 2005 after he tried to lure 3 minor victims into his car. The mother of two of the victims reported the incidents to police. Over the next 24 hours Bogalusa Police were able to identify the suspect from victim descriptions and vehicle information collected from witnesses. Two Probation Officers were notified that the suspect was on probation and they immediately came to Bogalusa to aid in the arrest. Varnado is a registered sex offender.

    Varnado has a prior conviction for obscenity in 2004 and the current convictions on 3 counts of attempted aggravated kidnapping qualified him for the D. A. career criminal program as a multiple offender. Judge Childress gave Varnado 10 years for count 1, 10 years for count 2, and 20 years for count three due to the habitual offender law. Judge Childress ordered all three sentences to run simultaneously.

  50. Mitch
    May 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Anonymous 12:16,

    If the law calls for a mandatory life sentence then you’re right, the judge is the wrong target. But I think the law only allows a life sentence.

    The jury convicted the guy of a lesser offense, apparently knowing only that the maximum sentence was 15 years. If I were on that jury, I’d be protesting to anyone who would listen.

    But I’d never willingly live in a godforsaken place like St. Tammany parish.

  51. What Now
    May 9, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    It’s Louisiana for crissakes.
    Their last election for Governor was between a convicted felon and the head of the Ku Klux Klan.

    Like many other southern states, their unofficial motto is,
    “Thank Gawd-uh for Alabama,it makes us look almost human.”

    The only thing that could possibly cause white southerners more damage than their inbreeding and beligerent oratory is their cholesterol laden cuisine.

  52. Decline To State
    May 9, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Maybe Cornell has glaucoma.

  53. Eric Kirk
    May 9, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Well, the price of marijuana just went up in New Orleans.

  54. Mitch
    May 9, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I wonder if Judge Raymond Childress has asked for his share of the added profits.

  55. Plain Jane
    May 9, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    I wish a bunch of dread-heads would move into that parish and sue that town into bankruptcy for violation of civil rights. The video above would be exhibit #1. Bet the city’s defense counsel would make some profit at least.

  56. Anon
    May 9, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    May have to do with who arrested him. If a federal DEA arrests you for marijuana for sale and can document that you were indeed selling it, you are tried in federal court and that is not a slap on the hand. One person in Humboldt County got 10 years in prison for pot growing on first offense.

  57. May 9, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Hey! Where’s the wonderful Heraldo’s community concerns over the DA’s sweeping the murder of Robert Garth under the rug?

  58. What Now
    May 9, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Joe Blow obviously doesn’t even know Jack Shit.
    Robert Garth’s history of violence, threatening behavior and mental instability would make a good John carpenter novel.
    It eould be nigh on impossible to find a jusr pool that hadn’t had a run in with him or his crazy family.

  59. Anonymous
    May 9, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Jane melts again. No violation of federal civil rights to sentence someone for violating a state law which just happens to be CONSISTENT with federal law. Get a grip gal. If you don’t like La then don’t go there. If you don’t like states with multiple offender laws then don’t go there. There are states that have really different penalties for offenses. Then don’t go there and do what violates their laws. Shit this state has counties that even enforce the same law differently. Weed evidently makes people as irrational as all hell.

    Have fun with that.

  60. Plain Jane
    May 9, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Everything just flies right past your pointy head, 7:16. I was referring to the video in which the sheriff says people who come to their town with dreadlocks can expect a visit from the sheriff’s office. It had nothing to do with this guy or his pot case. That bunch of dumb hicks might learn just how expensive racism can be.

  61. Anonymous
    May 9, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Not liking dreads isn’t racism, but it is cultural bigotry, judging a book by its cover, etc. I don’t much like them but I know some nice people who have them. People who smoke pot and people who grow to sell and make a lot of money are in two different worlds, to me.

  62. Not A Native
    May 10, 2011 at 12:32 am

    Different worlds, anon 9:08? I don’t think so. Just who do you think the people who grow and make lots of money are getting their money from? The growers and smokers are most certainly in the same world. In fact, they must even be in the same location whenever they transact an exchange of cash for pot.

  63. Anonymous
    May 10, 2011 at 5:50 am

    I agree with N.A.N. partially, in that if no one would buy it the bad guys wouldn’t have a “job” but those who will grow to gain money are worse than any greedy corporate type (who usually stay within the law) often criticized here. They are willing to break the law, and often are violent. My friends who “smoke a little pot” are not those sorts. I think like many things, the “innocent” ones don’t see the connection between them and the bad guys.

  64. Plain Jane
    May 10, 2011 at 6:25 am

    If you think the redneck sheriff of St. Tamminy Parish’s threats to “visit” dread-heads if they come to his town refers to a friendly welcome wagon, I know where you can buy some prime swamp land.

  65. Mitch
    May 10, 2011 at 8:30 am

    9:08,

    Well, color me naive, but the Sheriff in the video didn’t seem like he was indicating his distress at white fashion trends.

    Attn:::sarcasm alert:::
    Of course, nobody today is racist. After all, America has a black President. As you say, it must have been cultural bigotry against those with that particular hairstyle. Thanks for the clarification.

  66. Anonymous
    May 10, 2011 at 8:59 am

    No, I was talking only about dreadlocks.

  67. Mitch
    May 10, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Ah. As Emily Littela said, “Never mind.”

  68. Anonymous
    May 10, 2011 at 9:14 am

    To bring us back to reality, dreads have nothing to do with marijuana law or state’s rights. Civil rights issues are a federal matter.

  69. Plain Jane
    May 10, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Civil rights are a federal matter which can cost states and communities a lot of money in federal court if they are sued for violations and lose.

  70. Anonymous
    May 10, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Dreads do have something to do with the marijuana culture. They also are within everyone’s civil rights to have, which is why I am thankful to live here. That said, I think they are gross, sometimes smell, and I stereotype people who choose them. There are some who pull them off and keep them clean, obviously!

  71. Teacher
    May 10, 2011 at 9:40 am

    PJ, for someone who doesn’t want dreadheads to be stereotyped, you throw out your fair share of “dumb hick” and “redneck” comments. Those names are derogatory stereotypes and since we are the enlightened ones disparaged bigotry, shouldn’t we avoid stereotyping in all its forms and towards all people.

  72. Plain Jane
    May 10, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Are you claiming you don’t think the sheriff of St. Tamminy’s parish is a dumb hick red neck, Teacher? Maybe you didn’t watch the same video I watched.

  73. Teacher
    May 10, 2011 at 10:03 am

    I think you could get your point across by calling him an idiot and leaving the slurs “hick” and “redneck” out of the comment. If a muslim person said something offensive, would you find it appropriate if someone called them a “stupid camel-jockey” or a “dumb towel-head.” My point is derogatory slurs are wrong no matter who you are offending. I thought you were the type of person who would be adamently opposed to using that type of language to describe a group of people.

  74. Plain Jane
    May 10, 2011 at 10:09 am

    I don’t call everyone in the south dumb hick rednecks, Teacher, just the dumb hick rednecks. Now find someone else to hump, my ankles are sore.

  75. Anonymous
    May 10, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Jane always has something to say, and I enjoy her comments for the most part. I also notice that she has some double standards, shown here. I agree with her- that guy is a dumb, redneck hick. If I said someone was a “classic left winger with a passion for living off the government and equalizing all assets regardless of how hard a person works”, now she would take exception to that.

  76. Plain Jane
    May 10, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Only because it wouldn’t be true, 10:16. If you said someone was a classic left winger who believes a more egalitarian economic system is best for everyone, you would get no argument from me. I didn’t say the redneck hick was classic anything and I didn’t use straw man fallacies to add to the insult or insult anyone but the sheriff who clearly demonstrated he is a dumb hick red neck.

  77. Teacher
    May 10, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Really PJ? You don’t see 10:16 point or my point at all? You’re not truly not aware of any double standard that continually dole out here in the blogosphere? I guess you must just be “right” about everything. That would explain it.

  78. tra
    May 10, 2011 at 10:56 am

    That sheriff is a bigot.

  79. Plain Jane
    May 10, 2011 at 10:59 am

    If I didn’t think I was right about something, I wouldn’t say it in the first place, Teacher. Do you?

  80. Teacher
    May 10, 2011 at 11:08 am

    No PJ I wouldn’t. I also try to be open to the fact that what I think is simply my perception of things and not necessarily the truth or the correct way to see life. Seems to me that you never once have said to someone else, “wow, I’ve never looked at it like that. You have a good point.”
    I think if you were capable of being fair and not completely focused on yourself, you’d say, “you know what, making fun of someone for being a redneck probably doesn’t jive with the what I try to say I’m about on this blog.” Instead, you go into defensive and once again assert that you are right. I’ll continue to read this blog in the anticipation of the day you are no %100 correct. Until that point, part of me believes that you are the second coming of Jesus and that too is exciting.

  81. Plain Jane
    May 10, 2011 at 11:35 am

    You obviously haven’t read everything I’ve posted then, Teacher, and given your incomplete information, you might want to reconsider your judgments of others. I’m not going to waste any more of my time reading or responding to you.

  82. Anonymous
    May 10, 2011 at 11:40 am

    PJ, you are right about one thing, making statements like “redneck” hick are entirely up to opinion, and my left winger example shows that. Calling names is only inappropriate to you when you think it is the “incorrect” label, your opinion. My point exactly and why I called you on the double standard.

  83. Teacher
    May 10, 2011 at 11:44 am

    PJ, your time obviously is not that valuable. Every time that I have ever been on the Herald, you are on the website saying the same things over and over. Anyone who blogs as much as you should not use the “not going to waste my time on you” card. Here’s an idea, why don’t you waste your time listening to yourself spit the same tired rhetoric day after day.

  84. Anonymous
    May 10, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Another thing, Jane, you always say we should have read everything you wrote or the entire thread and every link anyone posted (at least the ones you believe to be correct). Sometimes a person is just making a comment about the last 10 comments. Not all of us have time to read the entire thread, and sometimes we actually just comment on our opinion of the original topic.

  85. tra
    May 10, 2011 at 11:58 am

    From my point of view the relevant point is that this sheriff has articulated a disgusting, bigoted point of view.

    Not all people who might be described as “rednecks” or “hicks” (some of who may wear those labels proudly, and some of whom may resent and reject those lables) actually share that bigoted point of view. And meanwhile that bigoted point of view is shared by plenty of other Americans who don’t fit anyone’s stereotype of “redneck” or “hick.”

  86. Plain Jane
    May 10, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    People who spend their day critiquing the posts of others and whining that people who don’t change their minds about their opinion based on what the whiner believes, are a waste of time. Contrary to what some think, I am a very busy person and grab a minute here and there to post my opinions. If you don’t like them, don’t read them; but stop assuming that because you can’t change an opinion to yours means the other person is wrong and you are right. Using anonymous means that each of your posts has to be evaluated in isolation, so remarking on the totality of a pseudonymous posters comments is hardly fair when your record can’t be compared. You know?

  87. tra
    May 10, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    And, going back to the subject of the original post, I would hope that all of us can agree that it’s ludicrous that someone can be sentenced to life in prison for a couple of pounds of pot, while at the same time murders, rapists, child molesters, arsonists, kidnappers, and other violent criminals are given lesser sentences.

  88. Mitch
    May 10, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Hey, tra, all that’s been established is that the Sheriff doesn’t like “trash,” and thinks “dreadlocks” and/or “chee-chee” (?) hair is cause for police investigation.

    :::Sarcasm alert:::
    I don’t know how anyone could jump to the conclusion that he’s got race issues.

    On another issue, though, I agree that Anonymous has a point. “Redneck” and “hick” are not particularly nice terms to use. Neither is “Jesusland,” my dismissive comment for those parts of the south where as long as you call yourself a preacher, it doesn’t matter what else you do.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Sheriff thinks he’s just a “realist,” not a racist. I bet he’d happily say he’d get along just fine with a black man wearing a “normal” haircut and a suit.

  89. Plain Jane
    May 10, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    I didn’t mean to be nice about the redneck, hick sheriff, Mitch. Why would I?

  90. Mitch
    May 10, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Because everyone prefers to be treated with dignity and respect.

    Avoiding insulting assumptions is never a bad idea; it can even avoid the potential embarrassment of being proven wrong in one’s assumptions about someone. (I speak as one who commits this particular sin with depressing regularity.)

    The Sheriff certainly acted as if he judged people by their hair-style. That’s enough.

  91. Plain Jane
    May 10, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    The last thing a racist will get from me is respect. To each his own.

  92. Teacher
    May 10, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Mitch, I agree with you. I think we all, with the exception of the second coming of Jesus Christ, judge people and put them into boxes based off of their appearances and other easily distinguishable features. Living in Humboldt, we are surrounded by dreads and thus don’t view them in a negative light. I wanted to point out that we are quick to label the people in the hills (Willow Creek, Bridgeville, Miranda, etc) redneck and hicks if they do not fit in the dread category. There are a lot of old timers up in the hills who see things differently and live differently. They’re not all dumb redneck hicks. Using that kind of labeling, even when about a seemingly bigoted sheriff, promotes long-standing negative stereotypes. We should focus on the sheriff for being an asshole on its own merit and not try to connect that the conservative/redneck/hick line that is a stereotype and demeaning in the same way it is to label someone else on the opposite end of the spectrum.

  93. Teacher
    May 10, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    I don’t have the ability to play the video. What did the sheriff say that was racist?

  94. Mitch
    May 10, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    The clip was from shortly after Katrina. He spent a lot of time talking about how he didn’t want all the “trash from New Orleans” setting up in his parish. Then he said if you’re going to walk around the streets of his parish with dreadlocks or a chee-chee (don’t ask me) hairdo, you’re sure going to get a visit from one of his officers.

  95. Teacher
    May 10, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Sounds like a swell guy.

  96. Anonymous
    May 11, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Out of the potpatch, endlessly rocking…

  97. Anonymous
    May 11, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Out of the potpatch, endlessly blogging…

  98. Mitch
    May 12, 2011 at 6:35 am

    Meanwhile, here’s what the other end of the sentencing game looks like. This one’s for Aryans:

    May 12, 2011 08:23 EDT

    MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) – A German court sentenced John Demjanjuk to five years in prison on Thursday for his role in the killing of 27,900 Jews at the Nazi death camp Sobibor.

  99. Plain Jane
    May 12, 2011 at 7:07 am

    That’s a little over an hour and 1/2 per victim, Mitch.

  100. Anonymous
    May 12, 2011 at 7:56 am

    It’s a shame the 4-time-offender didn’t get his priorities in order. He had to know what he was risking.

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