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Orlando police find crack cocaine on Gov. Bush's daughter
September 10, 2002 11:14 AM   Subscribe

Orlando police find crack cocaine on Gov. Bush's daughter Knowing that W struggled as an alcoholic and with cocaine, and seeing his daughters hit the headlines with their excesses, I wondered if there was a genetic pre-disposition toward addiction. Apparently, this theory is not new.
posted by stevis (30 comments total)

 
She's the Billy Carter for a new generation.
posted by BentPenguin at 11:17 AM on September 10, 2002


I feel awful for her. I suspect every person on MeFi has someone close to them that struggles with addiction. Maybe, like me, you know some who lost the battle. As much as I loathe the Bush family's politics, I wouldn't wish this upon them.
posted by pejamo at 11:24 AM on September 10, 2002


Great timing as I just cast my vote for Bill McBride whose defeat over Reno will allow him to go up against Jeb in one month. Feel sorry for the girl, but perhaps she is helping Florida get a decent governor in Tallahassee.
posted by bmxGirl at 11:25 AM on September 10, 2002


Possession of any amount of cocaine is a felony.

How many less well-connected Americans will go to prison for this offense?

"Crack cocaine is the only drug for which the first offense of simple possession can trigger a federal mandatory minimum sentence. Possession of 5 grams of crack will trigger a 5 year mandatory minimum sentence. "Simple possession of any quantity of any other substance by a first-time offender-including powder cocaine-is a misdemeanor offense punishable by a maximum of one year in prison." (21 U.S.C. 844.)

Source: US Sentencing Commission, Special Report to Congress: Cocaine and Federal Sentencing Policy (Washington DC: US Sentencing Commission, February 1995), p. iii.


Do I wish her ill? No. Do I wish that others suffer by being are punished under this irrational law? No. Do I want to see favoritism for the well connected? No.
posted by Red58 at 11:29 AM on September 10, 2002


I have zero sympathy for any politician whose child got caught under unfair mandatory minimum laws the politician has either formally or tacitly supported. In fact, the laws probably won't get changed until *more* politician's kids get caught under them. Bring it on.
posted by mediareport at 11:38 AM on September 10, 2002


After reading brief upon appellant brief whereby users are slammed, after copping to a minor possession charge, by constructive sentencing that turns into decades-long confinements, I whole-heartedly second Red58. Not that I wish Ms. Bush harm, but that maybe having the absurdity of these guidelines hit a little closer to home will serve as a wake-up call to the hardcore members of the Drug Wars crowd.

I reiterate, this is not a personal attack on Ms. Bush. What she is going through, I wouldn't wish on anyone.
posted by Fezboy! at 11:40 AM on September 10, 2002


Can't Katherine Harris retroactively smoke dat rock for her?
posted by machaus at 11:41 AM on September 10, 2002


pejamo- what Red58 said. I do feel sorry for her; but I feel a hell of a lot sorrier for the thousands who have had their and their familes; lives ruined by a mandatory sentencing policy towards the one drug that is predominantly associated with African-American users; laws in which many of and/or their relative counterparts were signed or endorsed by various members of the Bush family over the years.

It is frustratingly obvious that this woman is not going to jail, despite the fact that this is a repeated offense, and that those found with less that she had on her were suddenly subjected to "minimum sentencing."

(And for reference, powder cocaine- the drug that has the highest percentage of association with whites- has one of the largest quantity requirements for minimum sentencing among any illicit drugs available in the United States. I am trying to find a site with the stats, but for now I can only refer you to the revealing book "No Equal Justice" by David Cole.)

Finally, I make this note: recently courts have ruled that those living in government housing can be kicked out by their landlords if their relatives have drug convictions... even if there is no association between the tenant and the convicted drug user. Last time I checked, isn't the Florida governor's mansion government housing?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:42 AM on September 10, 2002


What have W's daughters partaken in besides some underage drinking or attempted buying of margaritas at Chuy's? That's not all that excessive.
posted by turbodog at 11:45 AM on September 10, 2002


Only a matter of time before Jeb does a Michael Douglas style breakdown at the podium.
posted by GriffX at 11:46 AM on September 10, 2002


Oh good, it's official: this is a Democratic conspiracy against Jeb Bush.

I love reading Free Republic after stuff like this comes out. Speaking of smoking crack...
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:49 AM on September 10, 2002


Xanax, turbodog. You're forgetting the Xanax.
posted by mediareport at 11:50 AM on September 10, 2002


Now Darryl Strawberry got 18 months in jail in Florida for violating his probation while in a treatment center. Anyone wanna bet how many months Noel gets?
posted by trigfunctions at 11:51 AM on September 10, 2002


I read that headline as: Orlando police find crack on Gov. Bush's daughter

That would have been a much funnier headline.
posted by ColdChef at 11:54 AM on September 10, 2002


Xanax, turbodog. You're forgetting the Xanax.

That was Jeb's daughter, not the W twins.
posted by machaus at 11:56 AM on September 10, 2002


This is *not* the current president. Just thought this should be made clear, as some people seem confused. (Not that he's guilt free (tm)).
posted by woil at 12:23 PM on September 10, 2002


She has not been charged yet? WTF? She is allowed to stay in the rehab center? WTF?
posted by magullo at 12:24 PM on September 10, 2002


Slightly off topic, This American Life did an amazing show on drug sentencing. I can't seem to link to the show itself, but the site has a search function. The show originally aired in October 99.
posted by herc at 12:27 PM on September 10, 2002


as far as addiction being hereditary, I think it's a real concern. That's why I don't touch alcohol...both my parents had problems (particularly mother).

In COA (children of alcoholics) the saying is either you become one or marry one, so I promised myself young that I'd break the chain. After dating an alcoholic in college that I was in denial about, I found that the only way I could truly not end up addicted was to stay away from the stuff, and those who use it. So when people invite me to happy hour or to a party I decline...brings back too many (bad) memories.

Besides, when you're sober at a party it really isn't any fun!
posted by evening at 12:29 PM on September 10, 2002


"Possession of any amount of cocaine is a felony ..."

Hmmm ... I honestly didn't know Florida had a zero-tolerance law with cocaine. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, though this statement: "... police didn't immediately arrest her because they couldn't obtain a sworn statement that she was in possession of cocaine ..." is probably the legal hook that gets her off. Not that I want to see her go down, it's more that I'd like Jeb Bush (and maybe even his brother) have a "Traffic"-like awakening. Must be the hopeless romantic in me ...
posted by krinklyfig at 12:30 PM on September 10, 2002


yeah, it's like traffic! (if jeb bush were drug czar :) or like how michael douglas sez in the end, "If there is a war on drugs, then many of our family members are the enemy. And I don't know how you wage war on your own family." keke
posted by kliuless at 12:39 PM on September 10, 2002


"Bush wasn't immediately arrested because police couldn't obtain sworn statements from people at the center"

Who called the police and why? Treatment centers have policies on this issue. Either you deal in-house or you don't. The last thing you do is waffle. It gives the wrong message to the addict.

I know some centers are required by law to report in certain cases. If Bush was detained under the Marchman Act she is effectively in a jail -- a lockdown treatment center.

Some centers are better constructed to "lock down" the patients. If the center is not a lockdown facility and an involuntary patient tries to leave -- staff are usually instructed to call the police.

(Anyone catch the irony of the address of the detox center -- 712 W. Gore Street?)
posted by ?! at 12:45 PM on September 10, 2002


Note that 0.2g of cocaine is 4% of the amount necessary to trigger that mandatory 5-year sentence.

Darryl Strawberry got jail because he was repeatedly violating probationary agreements with a judge, including fleeing the coop and wasn't there some driving while drugged involved? Here, she hasn't apparently seen a judge since the first commitment and remains, at the least, in the treatment facility. I suspect these will be treated much more lightly, unless violations continue to escalate, and endanger others. Even Strawb's judge understood that treatment is often two steps up & one back.
posted by dhartung at 1:07 PM on September 10, 2002


the laws probably won't get changed until *more* politician's kids get caught under them.

Harsh, mediareport, but I completely agree.

One other factor that has to be important in this case, especially as it's in Florida, is the political influence of all that drug money. The laundering process has already been proven, particularly during the scandals surrounding the S&Ls and BCCI, to exercise a great deal of power in that state.
posted by Nicolae Carpathia at 2:02 PM on September 10, 2002


Also: voting troubles in South Florida have pushed back the end of today's voting 2 hours statewide.

Its really sad that we had 2 years to fix this (although the extra time could have some positive reprecussions in some of the races).
posted by noisemartyr at 3:00 PM on September 10, 2002


from the article,

workers gave them a ``white, rocklike substance''
Jeb, ``The road to recovery is a rocky one..........
posted by thomcatspike at 4:21 PM on September 10, 2002


Besides, when you're sober at a party it really isn't any fun!

Oh, observing the stupid things people will do while intoxicated can be quite entertaining. One time I saw a bunch of guys from a company I used to work for invent a new game they called "Death Jarts." One drunken moron would stand with his feet about a foot apart, while another drunken moron would try to toss lawn darts in between them from about twenty feet away. You got one point if you got the dart between the target's feet and another if the vict... er... target... flinched.

Much to my amazement, grievous bodily harm failed to ensue. Still, at that moment, I realized I never wanted to be drunk enough that that sort of thing seemed like a good idea to me.
posted by kindall at 5:32 PM on September 10, 2002


Actually, they didn't find crack, they found "a white, rocklike substance... which tested positive for cocaine". Because we all know that only poor kids use crack, don't we?
posted by riviera at 5:42 PM on September 10, 2002


Got a handy cite for that drug money/S&L/BCCI thing, Nicolae? Sounds great.

observing the stupid things people will do while intoxicated can be quite entertaining.

Amen, kindall. I spent a month one summer on medication that didn't allow me to drink. This was at the height of the "Chapel Hill is the next Seattle" garbage in the early '90s -- tons of great rock shows, media attention, excitement in the air, the whole bit. Watching the drunken parade from a position of enforced sobriety was goddamn close to enlightening.
posted by mediareport at 5:47 PM on September 10, 2002


Actually, I think observing the stupid things people do while intoxicated isn't nearly as fun as actually doing the stupid things while intoxicated. Now, lawn darts to the crotch region isn't necessarily my idea of stupid-fun, but other sorts of drunken revelry can be quite entertaining.

However, I definately respect people's position not to drink if they have alcoholics in the family. Keeps them safe, and at the same time, makes a statement that they are prepared to break the cycle of pain and anguish within their family, something that takes courage.

Anyway, back on topic, I too am dreadfully certain that this won't be dealt with in the same way that thousands of poor people's cases are dealt with. If she was black and poor, then that 'rocklike substance that tested positive for cocaine' would be 'crack' and she would be in jail right now, and would end up staying there for many many years. Unless she made a 'deal' with the DEA, and fingered someone else (regardless of their actual guilt, implication in a conspiracy charge will garner the same punishment as actual possession charges) and got a few years knocked off her sentence for being a good little snitch.

I hope she gets over her addiction in a safe way, but I also hope that some attention gets drawn to the fact that the War on Drugs isn't targeting evil drug lords with guns, but is targetting our own families. Her addiction is a public health issue, and should be treated as such. She may get that treatment, but thousands of others around the country will get no such care, and have their lives taken away by a system that places its prosecution priority on non-violent offenses like this, while being soft on crimes against people, like rape and murder.

Man, oh man.
posted by phidauex at 9:26 PM on September 10, 2002


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