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March 4, 2011 5:29 AM   Subscribe

Blunt Assessment: The Need for Legal Weed in Philadelphia. To many inside the criminal justice and pro-legalization arenas, the racial disparity in Philadelphia's pot arrests is nothing short of an ongoing conspiracy. Offenders caught possessing 30 grams or less get to make a deal: Agree to pay a $200 fine and attend a three-hour treatment class and avoid going to trial and risking jail time.
posted by fixedgear (61 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
says a man donning long dreadlocks and a black leather jacket

Was it a wig, or a Rastafarian novelty hat?

If you're going to quote from this article, note they have an annoying javascript that appends the URL
posted by zamboni at 6:06 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Gaaaah. Doing the maths, (100/4700*800) white people made up 17.02% of the pot arrests in 2009. They make up 39.0% of the population as of 2010.

Yuck.
posted by jaduncan at 6:11 AM on March 4, 2011


Not being a smoking sort myself, I was curious how much marijuana 30 grams really was, and I found a helpful website that had collected a photo of an ounce (approximately 30 grams).
posted by TypographicalError at 6:13 AM on March 4, 2011


says a man donning long dreadlocks and a black leather jacket

zamboni, I figured it was just another fashion trend I'd missed out on.

What we need in this world is a secret cabal of vigilante copy editors.
posted by steambadger at 6:18 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, 30g is a lot of pot to get caught with and not face jail time. Which is a Good Thing.

If the law is being enforced in a biased way, that sucks, but it's a more liberal pot policy than lots of places have.

Anecdote: when I was in Philly this past Monday to wait in line for an hour to buy a tiny glass of Pliny the Younger, there was a guy standing in line behind me pretty openly smoking some pot as a traffic cop talked to people up ahead of us in line. White guy, black female city cop.
posted by paisley henosis at 6:18 AM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


An ounce is a lot - I've only seen an ounce once, myself. But it also doesn't fit very well into a pocket. I'd bet that the vast majority of those arrested for possession have two or three joints' worth on them.

This report, produced last year, is about the disparities in marijuana arrests in California. Black people in Orange County are arrested for possession at rates 255% higher than whites. For instance.
posted by rtha at 6:22 AM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Not being a drinking sort myself, I was curious how much alcohol 1.75l really was. It's about 58 shots, which is generally enough to get someone quite drunk 10 - 12 times.

Yeah, 1.75l is a lot of whiskey to get caught with and not face jail time, Which is a Good Thing.

I probably should close my sarcastic anti-prohibition tag?
posted by tomierna at 6:36 AM on March 4, 2011 [21 favorites]


Bluntly speaking, I don't think the racial imbalance problem is limited to pot smokers in Phillie.

U.S. incarceration rates by race, June 30, 2006:
Whites: 409 per 100,000 (.4%)
Latinos: 1,038 per 100,000 (1.0%)
Blacks: 2,468 per 100,000 (2.5%)

That being said, $200 for 30 grams works out to $6.67 a gram tax. Being that a gram is about $15 (in bulk quantity), that's a 44% tax rate. Of course, if you're busted with a gram, that's a 1300% tax rate.

Moral of the story? To maximise the economic utility of your blunt, always carry 29 grams of chiba.
posted by nickrussell at 6:44 AM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


(P.S. I don't buy that herb, I just know how to use google...)
posted by nickrussell at 6:45 AM on March 4, 2011


Moral of the story? To maximise the economic utility of your blunt, always carry 29 grams of chiba.

The cost of being caught has to be $200 plus confiscation. If you're only ever out in public in possession between your seller and home, then yeah, buy in quantities of 29g. If you habitually keep some on you to smoke, carry only just enough.
posted by explosion at 6:48 AM on March 4, 2011


Not being a drinking sort myself, I was curious how much alcohol 1.75l really was. It's about 58 shots, which is generally enough to get someone quite drunk 10 - 12 times.

It's enough to get someone quite dead should they drink it in one sitting. Death from alcohol poisoning is not an uncommon thing. Death from complications due to alcoholism is even more common.
posted by Dodecadermaldenticles at 6:51 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


To maximise the economic utility of your blunt, always be white when carrying chiba.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:54 AM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Here's what they should do: every month ya go down to see The Man and you drop 200 bucks to cover any potential bust for that month. You get a little badge. Any time The Man rolls up on ya, ya flash da badge and you're scot free for the month. Then, you take the 400 billion dollars of revenue a year this will generate and you move The Phillies to the moon where The Mets never have to play them again.
posted by spicynuts at 6:55 AM on March 4, 2011 [17 favorites]


tomierna: Yeah, 1.75l is a lot of whiskey to get caught with and not face jail time, Which is a Good Thing.

I probably should close my sarcastic anti-prohibition tag?


Is this directed at me? Because if it is, you're tilting at the wrong windmill.
posted by paisley henosis at 6:58 AM on March 4, 2011


tomierna: Yeah, 1.75l is a lot of whiskey to get caught with and not face jail time, Which is a Good Thing.

In Florida does possessing 1.75ml get you up to 5 years and up to $5,000 fine?

If not your shitty analogy is comparing legal apples to illegal oranges.
posted by paisley henosis at 7:03 AM on March 4, 2011


Moral of the story? To maximise the economic utility of your blunt, always carry 29 grams of chiba.

Or get delivery. Or don't get a buzz. I agree that prohibition is mistaken public policy and that weed is fun. I don't see why people feel the need to run that legal risk. "I shouldn't have to not smoke!" is true, but not a great justification.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:06 AM on March 4, 2011


Making nature illegal just makes so much sense... if you're a talking monkey.
posted by dbiedny at 7:08 AM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


well, I suppose we could use the following formulation:

price + (% chance of being caught * fine)

Thus, for 28 grams @ $15/gram = $420 base cost.

Then if you factor in your chances of being arrested based on overall prison numbers (white = .4%, black = 2.5%), you get that the estimated fine premium for a white man to carry an ounce is $.80 and for a black man is $5. Thus, we can say that the discount for being white is $4.20 per ounce.

The bias of the police and prison systems obviously make the only fair way to tax the endo to do so at the point of sale, where racial bias can be de facto excluded. Hence, front-door tax not back-door tax.
posted by nickrussell at 7:10 AM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Thus, we can say that the discount for being white is $4.20 per ounce.

heh
posted by catwash at 7:14 AM on March 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


I always wonder how much these race disparities can be attributed to other socioeconomic factors. Generally speaking, people are poor because their parents are poor and they stay poor for a whole host of reasons (their parents don't teach them to handle money well because they can't themselves, the schools suck, opportunities for poor neighborhoods are bad, etc).

I would argue that many of these people are not poor because they're black but because their recent ancestors were the victims of slavery and racism and started a cycle of poverty.

It always makes me wonder if there is a correlation between arrests and race because their is a correlation between poverty and race or the cops are just racist.

The article hints at this too. The say that white kids live in the areas where cops just don't go. My hunch is that there is still some racism or at least stereotyping going on here but that disparity is probably less about race and more about class.
posted by VTX at 7:14 AM on March 4, 2011


an oz is not tons for one person to possess... one person might buy an oz every month for their personal supply. But if you're out in public with that size bag, you either just picked up or you are on your way to deliver it.

Also, no need to err on the side of caution and only get 29 grams... most folks would be buying an even 28, which is an Oz. a 30g Oz is from a very generous, or stoned pot dealer. (or it's such crap product that it makes no difference to him that it's a bit over.)

re: pot in public. It's surprisingly common in Canada, especially in the right neighbourhoods. Heck, every April 20th the cities stoner kids go have a smoke-in on the lawn of the provincial legislative building.
posted by utsutsu at 7:21 AM on March 4, 2011


I support the Spanish approach : You may grow for personal use, but trafficking is criminal. Usage & possession are actually still punishable by confiscation in public places. If you suck with plants, there are even cannabis association who'll manage em' for you on their own farm.

We're already seeing the beginnings of the Budweiser of Pot emerge in California. A "grow it yourself" approach cleanly avoids this "big pot" scenario. Association growing should suffice for medical users too.

In fact, you could eventually decriminalize marijuana completely once you feel the numerous cannabis associations with their growing experience are established enough to obstruct the "big pot" scenario, especially if sin taxes apply only to commercial pot.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:32 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Then, you take the 400 billion dollars of revenue a year this will generate and you move The Phillies to the moon where The Mets never have to play them again.

The anguish of Mets fans is the greatest drug of all.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:35 AM on March 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


their parents don't teach them to handle money well because they can't themselves

I've known a lot of poor people in my life and every single one of them knew how to handle money very well, in part because one mistake could be catastrophic but also because almost all of them worked their asses off so their kids could live better.

The say that white kids live in the areas where cops just don't go.

Where I went to grad school, professors would smoke out in their offices. The only time I saw cops were when they were arresting student protesters or harassing black students. Where I lived, in the barrio, cops were everywhere. It was rare for a young man of color to be able to walk more than a handful of blocks without being stopped by cops.
posted by williampratt at 7:41 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


An honest cost-benefit analysis always tells you that marijuana prohibition is an absolutely idiotic, wrong-headed policy and incurs far greater costs than benefits. It's stunning how long it's taken to even start to chip at the edges of this stupid, moronic approach.
posted by norm at 7:43 AM on March 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


An ounce is not a lot.
I generally go through that in a month.
I do remember back in the day prior to medical marijuana in Michigan buying it by the quarter pound to save money by buying in bulk... now that's a lot at once.
posted by handbanana at 7:51 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


when I was in Philly this past Monday to wait in line for an hour to buy a tiny glass of Pliny the Younger

no offense, but that sounds like the worst party ever.

Not being a drinking sort myself, I was curious how much alcohol 1.75l really was. It's about 58 shots, which is generally enough to get someone quite drunk 10 - 12 times.

More importantly, it's easily enough to kill a person. But we've all had this conversation a million times.

The Philly program is a really bad idea. I've wondered if the same thing will happen in CA, especially with the downgrading of possession to infraction, i.e. police use marijuana possession as a revenue generator.

But it's probably a small step toward a saner policy in the future, I guess. I.e. it's better than imprisoning them for a joint, of course.

Black kids are getting arrested because they “[smoke weed] on the street. White kids do it in private.

Is this really true or just perception? Does Philly not have places like Dolores Park or Hippie Hill, i.e. public places where hipsters/hippies smoke weed?
posted by mrgrimm at 8:00 AM on March 4, 2011


"I shouldn't have to not smoke!" is true, but not a great justification.

"I shouldn't have to not smoke" means that you don't need justification -- there's nothing to justify.

I take it your point is that people have pragmatic reasons not to smoke. But people are most stubborn about the smallest things sometime. It's easy for me to not murder people or not rob a gas station. But what if chewing on your fingernails were illegal, or sleeping in late, or reading Metafilter? For a lot of people, how they spend their free time is the only freedom they have in life, and so if they like to spend their evenings getting high and watching spongebob they can get extremely stubborn about their right to do so.
posted by creasy boy at 8:12 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


And let me elaborate on my point: what is the continued basis for prohibition? Every basis for its prohibition (gateway drug, violence incitement, sexual derangement, to name a few) has been systematically demolished by scientific research. Its actual harms are far less than drugs that have some similarities but are legal (tobacco, alcohol). We're left with racism and irrational prejudice, and that's pretty infuriating.
posted by norm at 8:17 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is a great article - local journalism at its best. I was particularly impressed by the economic analysis of the incentives structure in which the police operate: how cops' rational behaviour leads to system-wide irrationality.
posted by Philosopher's Beard at 8:22 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Norm, don't forget the big business aspect. Anheiser-Busch has a lot at stake here, it's hard to imagine they don't have a lobbyist working against legalization.
posted by Crash at 8:25 AM on March 4, 2011


paisley henosis:

I'm not sure what your stance is above, but my shitty analogy is only shitty if you think that prohibition of drugs is a good thing.

In Florida, the possession charges for marijuana are, as you linked, harsh. They likely are enforced more often for minorities, as in Philly.

I am anti-prohibition of recreational drugs - alcohol and cigarettes being among them. Once drugs become legal, the black market evaporates, the quality increases (and hence the dangers of "bathtub" variants are minimized) and the stigma of being an addict is less about being a felon and more about needing rehabilitation if your usage is harming your life.
posted by tomierna at 8:28 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anheiser-Busch has a lot at stake here, it's hard to imagine they don't have a lobbyist working against legalization.

I've always sort of assumed that Big Tobacco was going to be the lobbying force that would finally get legalization pushed through. They already have the infrastructure to promote and distribute, and it would be a smooth segue from their present product which has come increasingly under hostile fire.

So, with that in mind, I'd kind of love to see Big Tobacco and Big Booze go head to head.
posted by quin at 8:39 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


That being said, $200 for 30 grams works out to $6.67 a gram tax. Being that a gram is about $15 (in bulk quantity), that's a 44% tax rate

Thus, for 28 grams @ $15/gram = $420 base cost.

woah, $15?!?! Canada's alright sometimes, man. Here it's unlikely anyone would pay much over $200 for 28 unless the guy doesn't know you or something. I guess that's the price of the higher stakes and increased risk to dealers?

Also, 3 hour "treatment class"? Sounds like it's a serious problem!
posted by Hoopo at 8:50 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I would love to know what they learn in that treatment class. It would make more sense to take their $200 and then sentence them to pottery class or origami lessons.
posted by creasy boy at 9:01 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can't wait for the "It's Always Sunny" episode about this!
posted by horsemuth at 9:01 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]



Is this really true or just perception? Does Philly not have places like Dolores Park or Hippie Hill, i.e. public places where hipsters/hippies smoke weed?


The drum circle in Fairmount Park used to be an open air drug market for all kinds of hippy types and others. It was massive for a while, with hundreds of people surrounding like 10 drummers. Mostly got stamped out because of noise complaints, never saw any cops there harassing people for smoking.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:10 AM on March 4, 2011


Yea peoples math is off.
An ounce is going to run you $200-300 depending on quality/relationship with the dealer.
No one is buying bulk at $15/gram, that's the price people charge per gram when selling, more likely $20/gram. This has always confused me when if you don't live in a medical state the charges for a gram or a quarter wouls be the same in the states eyes so why would you not purchase a decent amount at a reasonable price.
posted by handbanana at 9:15 AM on March 4, 2011


Yeah, I would love to know what they learn in that treatment class.

They probably learn 'follow the money.' How do you get a contract to supply treatment services? "We can guarantee you a steady stream of clients." The cops love it because their numbers look great on a chart which leads to more funding.
posted by fixedgear at 9:24 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


This BS about funding being determined by arrests is just dumb. It rests on the idea that officers are infallible and will always do their jobs to the letter and can't be swayed by economics.

If you give the money from speeding tickets directly to the people that write them guess what, they write more speeding tickets! Does writing speeding tickets make the roads more safe? Nope but they don't care because now they can afford to pay more overtime!

The same thing is happening here. I'd bet that the violations that generate the revenue for the police most efficiently are the ones that get enforced the most.

Funding should really be tied to something that represents the greater crime/public safety picture as a whole and should be something that isn't closely tied to arrests and should not change much short-term. That way, law enforcement agencies that need more funding get more funding and will use it to really do their jobs without having to worry that if they don't make more arrests, they won't have a job next year.
posted by VTX at 9:40 AM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


The law, in all its greatness uses Wickard VS Filburn to allow Federal Government control over MJ.

Filburn argued that since the excess wheat he produced was intended solely for home consumption it could not be regulated through the interstate Commerce Clause. The Supreme Court rejected this argument, reasoning that if Filburn had not used home-grown wheat he would have had to buy wheat on the open market. This effect on interstate commerce, the Court reasoned, may not be substantial from the actions of Filburn alone but through the cumulative actions of thousands of other farmers just like Filburn its effect would certainly become substantial. Therefore Congress could regulate wholly intrastate, non-commercial activity if such activity, viewed in the aggregate, would have a substantial effect on interstate commerce, even if the individual effects are trivial.

So if you are growing back yard Veggies (or MJ) your choice effects Interstate Commerce and the Feds have the right to regulate.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:57 AM on March 4, 2011


Yeah, I think an ounce is a perfectly reasonable max amount, especially for someone who needs marijuana to treat a condition like pain or anxiety. I don't know if there should be a certain restriction on the rate they buy it (maybe 1oz a month? Meaning people can consume up to a gram a day, which is pretty generous unless you're a heavy smoker who has built up a tolerance, and probably well, well past the point of causing physical relief).

I agree that until it's legalized, people should have restrictions on how much they can buy and own at any one time. It delegitimizes the movement if it's easy for people to buy a lot from the MMJ dispensary and then resell it for a profit on the street. Although I hear that it's typically more expensive than most types of street weed, because of the better-run grow-rooms, the higher quality strains (different strains have different effects, which patients prefer to choose when medicating specific issues), and probably the fact that dispensaries don't have much legitimate competition to motivate them price it lower.

Of course, if MMJ went legal, there's been predictions that the price would go way down, mostly due to decreased risk (making it easier to hire workers, get farmland, etc without having to hide everything). The study I linked has been met with some skepticism, as it's about bottom of the barrel cannabis (think 2 Buck Chuck or Everclear) and compares it to the current price for high-quality product, and the organization that made it is anti-legalization and seems to be arguing the only reason people aren't high all the time is cost. Which, to me, seems to gloss over the fact that for each ounce of marijuana, there's a ton of overhead, meaning criminals are making hundreds of dollars in profit. And if you really want to keep it somewhat expensive, just put a tax on it like they do with booze and cigarettes, so that now the vice pays for schools and stuff. It's economically inefficient under the status quo, and siphons dollars out of the legitimate, taxed economy, and this artificial prohibition has made a flower bud more expensive than gold by weight.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:13 AM on March 4, 2011


mccarty.tim: Yeah, I think an ounce is a perfectly reasonable max amount, especially for someone who needs marijuana to treat a condition like pain or anxiety. I don't know if there should be a certain restriction on the rate they buy it (maybe 1oz a month? Meaning people can consume up to a gram a day, which is pretty generous unless you're a heavy smoker who has built up a tolerance, and probably well, well past the point of causing physical relief).

Worth noting that while there is pot out there that you barely manipulate your lighter enough to smoke an entire gram in a single sitting (maybe over 24 hours, but I dunno..) there is also pot out there that sucks and is shitty and two people could burn a whole zone in a day if they wanted to.
posted by paisley henosis at 10:16 AM on March 4, 2011


Of course, it's a waste of time to argue the economics with a prohibitionist. They aren't for the war on drugs because they think it's sound fiscal policy. They're for it because they think it's amoral for people to alter their consciousness, or they're afraid of kids getting high and doing something dumb. It's pretty much the height of legislating morality. And I get the feeling a lot of their supporters don't get it through their head that they're effectively saying everyone who smokes marijuana should go to jail.

It's just tragic that a good proportion of that group think it's also rational to fight medical marijuana programs, if only because they're worried people will take advantage of the program to relax or enjoy themselves. Personally, I think that if even only one Californian is getting relief from the nausea from his chemo treatment in California and everyone else is abusing the system, the program is still worth it. We don't deny people Oxycontin because of people like Rush Limbaugh.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:24 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh, just to be clear, I meant "people in pain."
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:24 AM on March 4, 2011


Dave Chappelle and his white friend Chip were lost in the city and smoking a joint when....
posted by Huplescat at 10:32 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Mccarty.tim,
First of all, not all marijuana is created equal. Not all strains have the same genetic makeup or good growers.
Second, if I cook, I may use vastly more marijuana than smoking it.
I figure I consume a gram a day on workdays probably close to two grams on weekends (I don't smoke or consume prior to work).
You mention tolerance, and that does play a role on consumption but that also means one is acclaimed to the stoney effects that many consider undesirable.
Why single out marijuana? Doctors prescibe doses of opiates that would kill an average person (tolerance builds up and there is no ceilings for opiate doses).
What works for some people doesn't work for others particularly when it comes to managing pain. While an ounce may last me a month, perhaps someone with chemo may eat that it a week or smoke/vap that in two. Limits are artificial and prevents people from adequate relief.
posted by handbanana at 10:34 AM on March 4, 2011


Does writing speeding tickets make the roads more safe? Nope

You can't be serious. Are you seriously saying that reducing speed through MORE enforcement would not result in safer roads?
posted by spicynuts at 11:38 AM on March 4, 2011


You can't be serious. Are you seriously saying that reducing speed through MORE enforcement would not result in safer roads?

Similarly, we could line the streets with cop cars and ticket everyone for every infraction, no matter how minor. But is that the best use of $$ for maximizing total safety -- traffic and otherwise? Obviously not.
posted by coolguymichael at 11:50 AM on March 4, 2011


mccarty.tim:
Of course, it's a waste of time to argue the economics with a prohibitionist.


The second time in this thread that it seemed like someone was calling me a prohibitionist. This is either a weird coincidence or I am doing a terrible job communicating, because that couldn't be farther from the truth.

On an unrelated note, I lived in Michigan, Illinois and Indiana but I never knew that Ohio has pretty sane pot laws. Good job, Ohio.
posted by paisley henosis at 11:58 AM on March 4, 2011


When the normally conservative Seattle Times started publishing pro-legalization editorials recently, the drug czar tried to bully them into stopping.

They're for it because they think it's amoral for people to alter their consciousness

I suspect for many police departments, it's more about all the money they get to spend on toys that wouldn't have any other justification.
posted by nomisxid at 12:01 PM on March 4, 2011


When the normally conservative Seattle Times started publishing pro-legalization editorials recently, the drug czar tried to bully them into stopping.

I was pissed about this earlier, but I think it's actually a great result.

The people most against legalization are probably the people most likely to dislike Obama. When they see something like this happening, it will be easy to frame it as an out-of-control federal government meddling in personal or state affairs. It fits the current conservative talking points about the government taking away our freedoms. Also, there's a certain segment of conservatives who disagree with anything this administration does, regardless of what it is.

It's probably one of the best thing that could happen to the legalization movement, as long as the Seattle Times holds their ground.
posted by formless at 12:16 PM on March 4, 2011


Yeah, I think an ounce is a perfectly reasonable max amount, especially for someone who needs marijuana to treat a condition like pain or anxiety.

It's also used to stimulate the appetite, however, and I wonder if 1g is enough to stimulate the appetite of someone 3 times a day for 31 days just as an example. Of course, there's nothing to stop someone from refilling their order throughout the month, as a 28g limit typically applies to the amount you have on you at one time I guess.
posted by Hoopo at 1:13 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


paisley henosis: I didn't see your comment before I wrote the second thought I had. I was thinking think-tanks like Partnership for a Drug-Free America, or social conservatives.

I don't think you're a prohibitionist, and I wasn't directing that at anyone in this thread.

Sorry if I gave the wrong impression!
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:23 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been to a couple of those "3 hour education sessions," one was in a clinic in an industrial part of Cedar Rapids, another was at a hospital in Ames, IA, oh, dozen years or so back. The one in Ames was 3 1 hour sessions or something.

It's complete rubbish and the "counselors" are barely trained (at both locations). The one in Cedar Rapids was worse; they just handed out literature. Said drugs are bad. And illegal. Maybe some statistics. I was so completely bored out of my gourd I can't remember what else took place.

The one in Ames went a little further and asked us individually why we did whatever drugs we got arrested for and to think about what context we were using drugs. It was all pretty patronizing, though. I was new to Ames and was only there for the semester - I did managed to get a local hookup through the session, so it wasn't a complete waste.

iirc, I had to pay for those sessions in addition to the fine. Something under a hundred bucks but more than 50 or 60.
posted by porpoise at 3:33 PM on March 4, 2011


I've been to a couple of those "3 hour education sessions"

Have you ever been to one of those 3 hour educations sessions...on weed?

(sorry)
posted by Hoopo at 3:49 PM on March 4, 2011


mccarty.tim: I don't think you're a prohibitionist, and I wasn't directing that at anyone in this thread.

Cheers. I don't think tomierna was saying that, either, but I kept getting this weird vibe, which was probably all in my head.
posted by paisley henosis at 4:29 PM on March 4, 2011


Hoopo: Have you ever been to one of those 3 hour educations sessions...on weed?

Honestly I bet no one ever goes to one without being high. I mean, how could you?
posted by paisley henosis at 4:30 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


The say that white kids live in the areas where cops just don't go. My hunch is that there is still some racism or at least stereotyping going on here but that disparity is probably less about race and more about class.

It's not as if poor white kids don't also get high here in Philly.

And despite the impressions of several people quoted in the article, I can vouch that plenty of white people smoke pot on the street, not just behind closed doors. (I don't even smoke pot, but some of my friends do.) They're not even necessarily being more discreet, they just don't rate the auto-suspicion that young black men get.
posted by desuetude at 6:04 PM on March 4, 2011


Given the topic, I should point out that The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander is a very good book on the topic of disparate impact of various criminal laws, most especially drug prohibition laws.
posted by R343L at 10:04 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Getting sent to an education class or doing community service is basically hooking you up with more buyers and sellers. It's a good way to grow a market, believe it or not.
posted by Bubbles Devere at 4:12 PM on March 6, 2011


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