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Drug Bust at San Diego State
May 9, 2008 12:43 AM   Subscribe

Students for Sensible Drug Policy responds to "Operation Sudden Fall"

75 students were arrested at San Diego State University on May 6. Press Conference Video.
posted by needsnoprosecutor (62 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
I just love the cognitive dissonance between "Our children are our biggest asset" and "75 SDSU students ... have been arrested."
posted by Silentgoldfish at 1:09 AM on May 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


Hang em.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 1:09 AM on May 9, 2008


I'm all for people not breaking the law, but we've been following the same course of action for decades and we still don't seem to get that it isn't going to accomplish anything. Well, except for us ending up with more people in prison, which isn't exactly what we should be aiming for.
posted by Stunt at 1:18 AM on May 9, 2008


Personally, I love the picture of those two stoners trying to disguise themselves in suits in the hope that it makes them look respectable.

Guys, your smiles are just too damn wide for those suits to look credible. Nice try though.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:30 AM on May 9, 2008


I'm all for people not breaking the law

Personally, I'm all for people not breaking just laws. Unjust laws, well, knock yourself out.
posted by Justinian at 1:44 AM on May 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


Our children are our biggest asset and absent a safe, drug free learning environment, their chances of succeeding are greatly diminished.

Because arresting a few people and confiscating their drugs is, of course, going to magically make all the rest of the drugs disappear.
posted by xchmp at 2:04 AM on May 9, 2008


I read that as "Operation Sudden Fail." Which, you know, kind of makes sense if it's the War on Drugs you're talking about.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:07 AM on May 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


Because arresting a few people and confiscating their drugs is, of course, going to magically make all the rest of the drugs disappear.

Yeah, not arresting people and not confiscating their drugs is so much more effective at removing drugs from the environment than arresting people and confiscating their drugs. Also, I eat when I'm full and sleep when I wake up. It's crazy, man!
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:27 AM on May 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Jeepers! The DEA arrested 75 students, mostly centered around a single fraternity that was using drug money to fund itself. This bust is obviously the sign of sudden drug-demic in our nation's hallowed higher institutions of learning! To think, that on the campus of one of California's largest universities, the DEA was able to charge a whole 75 students with such serious crimes as "selling," or even (gasp) "possession of," cocaine and the demon weed. And it only took five months! Why I'll bet the supply of illicit drugs at the school was disrupted for a good solid hour! Heckuva job, DEA!
posted by Panjandrum at 2:31 AM on May 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


W, wah, wah. Here's some news for you: holding is illegal. Whether those students think it should be or not, it is, and that fatty can get you a ride in a city vehicle and a nasty stain on that lilly white permanent record.

If you provoke Johnny Law by openly defying the law, he will generally respond with painful reminders. Show a little respect for the illegality of the substance. Don't let the people down the hall know who you are, be careful with what you carry, and keep gas in the car. Show a little street smart.

And if you can't do that, just say no to drugs cause you're gonna screw it up for the rest of us.
posted by three blind mice at 2:42 AM on May 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


Well, it's lovely to see a frat get burned, but this likely means that more non-students have started selling on campus, i.e. more guns.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:52 AM on May 9, 2008


I haven't read about this extensively, but whenever I hear about the "drug bust" at SDSU, I want to know what drugs we're talking about. Did they confiscate commercial quantities of non-pot drugs?
posted by Crotalus at 3:02 AM on May 9, 2008


Pretty funny that one of the students was about to receive a criminal justice degree.
posted by dabitch at 3:15 AM on May 9, 2008


Three blind mice, your proposal of submission reminds me of that post about homosexual couples having to watch what they do in public constantly. It is what it is, but it is not acceptable.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 3:32 AM on May 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


dabitch means this one:
One student arrested was a cocaine dealer on campus who was just one month away from obtaining his Masters Degree in Homeland Security and also worked as a student Community Service Officer on campus and reported to the campus police.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:33 AM on May 9, 2008


A masters degree in Homeland Security. What a marvelous age we live in.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:34 AM on May 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


Three blind mice, your proposal of submission reminds me of that post about homosexual couples having to watch what they do in public constantly. It is what it is, but it is not acceptable. It is what it is, but it is not acceptable.

I have a bit too much respect for the rights of homosexuals to compare (let alone equate) my filthy desire to get stoned with their quest for basic civil rights.

Large scale dealing out of a frat house - out of any fixed location - is stupid. You know it, I know it, and those frat boys should have known it. I got no sympathy at all for 'em.
posted by three blind mice at 3:49 AM on May 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


The calls by Students For A Sensible Drug Policy for a "good samaritan" policy remind me of something I heard, but cannot verify, about the death of Len Bias. It is widely known that he died following a seizure induced by cocaine abuse, but less widely reported is that he actually had 3 seizures; had paramedics been called after the first one he would probably hae lived. But his companions, fearful of the repercussions of a drug bust, waited until it was too late to call for help. Drug policies built on fear and draconian penalties aimed at the end user have some real problems.
posted by TedW at 4:51 AM on May 9, 2008


What exactly is a Masters Degree in Homeland Security, please?
posted by fixedgear at 4:52 AM on May 9, 2008


What exactly is a Masters Degree in Homeland Security, please?

$20, same as in town.
posted by aihal at 5:12 AM on May 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


Operation Adjective Noun
posted by oaf at 5:16 AM on May 9, 2008 [9 favorites]


Anybody know a school offering a Masters in Fatherland Husbandry?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:21 AM on May 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


After you aquire a Masters in Homeland Security is the next step the beginning of your march to a Doctorate in the same field?

If I was a youngster today I would concentrate on a Doctorate of Metafiltery immediately after obtaining my Master of Metafiltery
.
posted by notreally at 6:28 AM on May 9, 2008


Sorry. I apologize.
posted by notreally at 6:29 AM on May 9, 2008


But his companions, fearful of the repercussions of a drug bust, waited until it was too late to call for help. Drug policies built on fear and draconian penalties aimed at the end user have some real problems.

On the other hand. because cocaine was so freely available to Lenny Bias his sudden death from it (given his underlying medical condition) was more or less inevitable. You only need to see once what a snort does to your EKG to understand why people with heart problems shouldn't be messing with the stuff.

* to Lenny. I was a big fan.

Look I am as pro-drug as the next stoner, but it ain't for everyone. There is a culture. Respect it and you'll get along fine, flaunt it and you get another kind of medicine.
posted by three blind mice at 6:34 AM on May 9, 2008


Operation Dubious Ethicality?
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:43 AM on May 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


I read that as "Operation Sudden Fail." Which, you know, kind of makes sense if it's the War on Drugs you're talking about.

Me too. But the war on drugs isn't an example of "sudden fail"; it's consistent, regular, and all-the-time fail.
posted by WalterMitty at 6:54 AM on May 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


yeah, but ridiculous laws don't change themselves - institutionalized sensationalized and scare tactics can go on infinitely. just keeping it on the sly, while the smart thing to do, is hardly going to make things better for society - those 75 kids have their professional careers basically ruined, and for what? some pot and blow, and two totally avoidable deaths that would have been *LESS* likely under the proposed alternative?

Yeah, not arresting people and not confiscating their drugs is so much more effective at removing drugs from the environment than arresting people and confiscating their drugs. Also, I eat when I'm full and sleep when I wake up. It's crazy, man!

posted by Pope Guilty at 9:27 PM on May 9

You're a drug dealer on campus. Seventy five of the most high profile dealers have just been busted. You could get out now, but suddenly people can't get what they want, and are willing to pay big money for what only a few people like yourself can supply to a large market. You either a) lay low for a while or b) make a killing, either way you'll be back in business in six months when this all blows over, either a little or a lot richer.
Those higher up the chain are far above the inconsequential arrests of minor pawns, and quickly recruit or promote more for the front line. Your product is no more expensive to produce, but is suddenly selling upto three times the old price. To top it off, your new customers are now paranoid, secretive, and far more trustworthy, meaning no more hiccupps until the next "show the parents we are doing something" sideshow rolls round.

There will always be a market for drugs. People have always used them, and always will. Either we deal with it like rational adults, or we recede to this knee-jerk bullshit like so many have, helped largely by politicians and officials always ready for an easy vote by getting "tough on the bad guys" well, guess what, the bad guys are real people, they're john and mary next door. save the children is bullshit, our children DO drugs.

the golden rule, i think, is this:

any law, that if enforcement was 100% effective, would see over half the population jailed is totally retarded.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 6:58 AM on May 9, 2008 [6 favorites]


Oh good lord. They weren't busting some kid who was caught smoking a joint and now he'll lose his scholarship; they caught people who were running an armed cocaine ring out of their frat. Two kids died. They were buying guns. You may disagree with the Feds but at least they did their job correctly, which is a hell of a lot better than NY cops putting 50 bullets in a guy because they thought he was dealing.

I support ending the WOD but I think anti-WOD folks need a hell of a better poster child than 75 people with $60 grand, a half-dozen firearms, and two kilos of coke in their bedroom.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:06 AM on May 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


no offence, but guns aren't exactly rare in american society. the fact they they got over $100,000 worth of drugs and only a few handguns to show for it says something about the college environment.

just because i don't like the WOD doesn't mean i want to buddy up with coke dealers, either. get a grip.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 7:30 AM on May 9, 2008


I support ending the WOD but I think anti-WOD folks need a hell of a better poster child than 75 people with $60 grand, a half-dozen firearms, and two kilos of coke in their bedroom.

I'd say that they make an ideal poster children for an anti-war on drugs campaign. The policy that busted them also enables them to accumulate huge sums of money, as well as necessitate the introduction of weapons to defend those huge ill-gotten sums.

A bunch of upper class white kids dragged into the underbelly of the US drug market that is created by War on Drugs, sounds like Oprah's couch talk to me. I have a feeling that when presented correctly, this case has potential eye/wallet opening potential.
posted by JimmyJames at 7:44 AM on May 9, 2008 [3 favorites]



What is the DEA doing focusing on such a small-time operation? Why are they literally making a federal case out of it?
posted by Maias at 7:53 AM on May 9, 2008


Dealing pot/hash is ok by me, although it IS illegal.

Dealing cocaine is NOT ok, not by a long shot, those kids got what they deserved.
posted by Vindaloo at 7:54 AM on May 9, 2008


"A bunch of upper class white kids" is the only reason this is news.
posted by ook at 7:57 AM on May 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Our children are our biggest asset and absent a safe, drug free learning environment, their chances of succeeding are greatly diminished."

Sigh... and I now have to repeat yet another bit of the pro-drug rhetoric: I'm sure they were pinned down and the drugs were forced into their noses. And another: and now that the kids can't get coke on campus, they'll go off campus because IT IS EVERYWHERE.

"A bunch of upper class white kids" is the only reason this is news.

Duh!
posted by hellslinger at 8:06 AM on May 9, 2008


I have a bit too much respect for the rights of homosexuals to compare (let alone equate) my filthy desire to get stoned with their quest for basic civil rights.

My friend, your desire to experience pleasure with your body and mind is not filthy. It is a tribute to our oppression that you even say (think?) so. Notice that there is also no shortage of people that would consider homosexuals "filthy".

This is not by accident. It is not that i do not have the respect. It is that i have the perspective: we are talking about the same right. The right to be judged on the consequences of our actions and not something else.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 8:11 AM on May 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


A bunch of upper class white kids dragged into the underbelly of the US drug market

"dragged into the underbelly?" Are you serious?

They were trying to get more money to build improvements on their frat house. They were goddamn grad students. They got caught because they sent text messages during a trip to Las Vegas advertising the coke they were getting ready to sell.

Poor, crack-addicted runaways forced into prostitution or other crimes are "dragged into the underbelly" of the US drug market. These were assholes who didn't want to get jobs and the reason the aforementioned poor souls "dragged into the underbelly" exist, like the two students their product killed, is because of fuckers like them.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:21 AM on May 9, 2008


A masters degree in Homeland Security. What a marvelous age we live in.

Future generations will read of our lives and declare us all morons and monsters, which is why we must ensure they never, never learn to read.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:25 AM on May 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dealing pot/hash is ok by me, although it IS illegal.
Dealing cocaine is NOT ok, not by a long shot, those kids got what they deserved.


The arbitrary assignment of value by the Czar's office to different drugs is one of the elements of the drug war that makes it such a scourge. What if they had been dealing crack, would that be worse, better? The current policy says slaps 10x harsher sentences for crack, a different delivery system of cocaine.

Instead, I suggest we all review at all the different effects of drugs on society and set up realistic systems and programs to deal with those problems (like the good Samaritans policy). It's a more productive alternative to declaring certain substances superior and acceptable (alcohol, pot, Cigs, and the current pharmacopoeia of legal psychotropic pharmaceuticals) and condemn people for using substances outside of arbitrary circle in the sand.

Dealers sell what the market will bear. If the SDSU campus had a craving for rabid lamas, you'd better believe that even Hillel house would be selling them.
posted by JimmyJames at 8:34 AM on May 9, 2008


XQUZYPHYR writes "Poor, crack-addicted runaways forced into prostitution or other crimes are 'dragged into the underbelly' of the US drug market. These were assholes who didn't want to get jobs and the reason the aforementioned poor souls 'dragged into the underbelly' exist, like the two students their product killed, is because of fuckers like them."

I don't think that sympathy or lack thereof for victims or perps makes for very good policy or law. It's not really about that. The real point is that the War on Drugs allows for these situations to arise. Sure, these kids were opportunists and fairly blatant to the point of asking to get busted. I don't care about them so much. I do care that our policies and laws are cultivating this sort of thing.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:37 AM on May 9, 2008


XQUZYPHYR: The problem with "crack addicted prostitutes" specifically as poster children for drug policy reform is that no one gives a shit about them. Don't get me wrong, these douche-nozzle, SMS using, asshole drug dealers are shitheads.
The reason they could be poster children is that without policy reform, they could be YOUR Southern California university drug bust tragedy son/daughter. White kids arrests spurred the Marijuana reform in the 1970 Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act that decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. Perhaps this could spur something similar.

I was suggesting that "dragged into the underbelly" as a way to spin their actions so as to get staunch "hang-em-high" so-cal republicans might start thinking about reform as a option, not to trivialize the plight of crack addicted whores everywhere.
posted by JimmyJames at 8:49 AM on May 9, 2008


Evidence seized includes four pounds of cocaine, 50 pounds of marijuana, 48 hydroponic marijuana plants, 350 ecstasy pills, psilocybin (mushrooms), 30 vials of hash oil, methamphetamine, various illicit prescription drugs, one shotgun, three semi-automatic pistols, three brass knuckles and $60,000 in cash.

This may sound like a lot, but when you consider that it's the total result of arresting 96 people, you realize that when spread out over those numbers, this really wasn't the major score that the cops are making it out to be. Sure, they make a big deal over the firearms and the cash, but hell, I have more guns than that, and the money works out to be about $625 per person, so we aren't necessarily talking about suitcases full of cash.
posted by quin at 9:35 AM on May 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Guys, your smiles are just too damn wide for those suits to look credible. Nice try though.

Wait, wait, wait: So those two guys at my door this morning were trying to tell me the good news about DRUGS?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:44 AM on May 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think they literally could get this much drugs and cash raiding ANY frat row at ANY SoCal school, and most likely more. People sell drugs at college. Frats are convenient places to do it. Film at 11.
posted by rooftop secrets at 9:58 AM on May 9, 2008


Evidence seized includes four pounds of cocaine, 50 pounds of marijuana, 48 hydroponic marijuana plants, 350 ecstasy pills, psilocybin (mushrooms), 30 vials of hash oil, methamphetamine, various illicit prescription drugs

with a street value of 3 billion dollars.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:00 AM on May 9, 2008


Oh good lord. They weren't busting some kid who was caught smoking a joint and now he'll lose his scholarship; they caught people who were running an armed cocaine ring out of their frat. Two kids died. They were buying guns.

Oh, come on. According to the article, they found "one shotgun, three semi-automatic pistols, [and] three brass knuckles", amongst 75 people. That does not constitute an "armed cocaine ring", by any means... what, did they just forget to arm the other 72?

Given 75 college-going Americans, less than five guns is a surprisingly low number.
posted by vorfeed at 10:26 AM on May 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


What's funny is that the "sale" on cocaine is always in scare quotes, and they make a big deal out of the TEXT MESSAGING IS KILLING OUR CHILDREN. They had temporarily reduced prices on cocaine. It's a sale on cocaine, what's with the scare quotes?
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:29 AM on May 9, 2008


This may sound like a lot, but when you consider that it's the total result of arresting 96 people, you realize that when spread out over those numbers, this really wasn't the major score that the cops are making it out to be.

...so we aren't necessarily talking about suitcases full of cash.

50lbs of Pot x $4000 a lb = ~ $200,000
4lbs of Cocaine = ~$ 50,000

I think that would be considered a suitcase full of cash...
posted by SweetJesus at 10:56 AM on May 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


The part that amuses me most is how blatant they were. Anybody that's ever listened to an entire Jay-Z album knows more about how to deal drugs and not get busted than these clowns.
posted by Jart at 11:33 AM on May 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


I gather that many people in this thread have never been to or have even heard about SDSU before this incident -- an incident that is sadly the icing on the cake of just how out-of-whack the California State University system is in its relationships with its students, its handling of day-to-day affairs and its half-assed, hare-brained Greek systems.

That's not to say drugs, guns, criminal activity and stupid people aren't present at other institutions, of course. But my reaction upon hearing the news was an unsurprised "Well of course this happened at SDSU ... what other school would be tangentially involved in something on this scale?"
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:37 AM on May 9, 2008


Wait, we need to know about SDSU *before* we make fun of an institution of higher learning that grants advanced degrees in something called 'Homeland Security?'
posted by fixedgear at 1:59 PM on May 9, 2008


How many kids die of binge drinking every year? Do you think that if the drugs weren't available that those kids wouldn't have found some other way to kill themselves?
posted by empath at 4:22 PM on May 9, 2008


sweetjesus -- are those wholesale prices or street prices? 350 pills is about $9,000 at street prices, depending on what part of the country you're in, but if you bought 350 at one shot, you're likely to be paying something closer to $2,000 or less.
posted by empath at 4:24 PM on May 9, 2008


Oh, come on. According to the article, they found "one shotgun, three semi-automatic pistols, [and] three brass knuckles", amongst 75 people. That does not constitute an "armed cocaine ring", by any means... what, did they just forget to arm the other 72?

Given 75 college-going Americans, less than five guns is a surprisingly low number.


Ya'll are fucked. Just thought you might like to know.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:26 PM on May 9, 2008


Correct me if I'm wrong, but at this point we have no idea how many of the 75 students arrested were the gun-toting Lexus-driving coke sellers versus how many were the "hey, I scored some weed, do you want to split an eigth for the concert, dude?" stoners, do we? I think the distinction may be important when your motivation is girls dead from coke overdoses.

Now, I know our Government would never conflate two unlike things and imply a causal relationship to drum up public support for fundamentally bad actions, whether that be the invasion of Iraq or the infiltration of a campus with undercover narcs, turning students themselves into narcs to catch the big fish. And certainly, when they need a victory in the War on Whatever, the Government never announces big splashy sensational numbers which are trumpted by an uncritical press on page one, only to have the real numbers (which tell a very different picture) come out months or years later in small type on page 47a of an obscure journal. That just doesn't happen. So I guess I'm supposed to think that the futures of these kids is acceptable collateral damage, that they had it coming?

The drug propaganda tells me that drugs will ruin my life, but then shows me these kids on the Dean's List, getting good educations, productive members of society, and the worst consequence of doing drugs was simply getting caught. Sorry, but that's fucked up.

If the problem you really wanted to solve was less girls dead from coke overdoses, Operation Everyone's a Rat ain't gonna do jack shit, sorry. It will make it MORE likely that students will die in the future, because no one is going to call for help in that situation knowing they'll be thrown to the wolves.
posted by Robin Kestrel at 6:28 PM on May 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Cool Papa - word! I am an SDSU alumnus. Heck, you could collect that much junk from the front yards of the fraternities on Friday mornings than they showed there. It was mused that this was nothing. That is the unfortunate truth.

And this was no surprise. I had a good idea that the bust was at SDSU before I knew the actual location. And I support the bust for two reasons: 1) arrogant frats think they can do anything and 2) 2 people died. That's the real shit, my friends.

As for the sensible drug policy kids, they are just annoying. People screwed up on drugs are always gonna do the wrong thing, regardless of the consequences. And yes, for all you drug abuse apologists out there, it *is* a drain on society. There were two real victims there. And here in Portland at Reed college. And Lincoln High School and countless other places.

2 women died. You bros may discount the hos, but the fact is those women were someone's daughters, sisters, friends. As a father, I can tell you I would do anything to avenge my daughter's death. 100 dumb-ass fuck-wads ain't near e-fucking-nuff. I'm glad their lives are ruined. They shoulda thought about that before getting involved. Anyone with a lick of sense knows that proximity is 99% of guilt.

Have some damn respect for the women who lost their lives. And never underestimate the dangerousness of someone fucked up on drugs.
posted by valentinepig at 9:25 PM on May 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


2) 2 people died. That's the real shit, my friends.

That's why I shot a liquor store clerk when I heard about some kid dead from an alcohol overdose.

You bros may discount the hos, but the fact is those women were someone's daughters, sisters, friends.

Weird sexist fail?
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 1:02 AM on May 10, 2008


And yes, for all you drug abuse apologists out there, it *is* a drain on society.

As opposed to the War On Drugs, which has been such an enhancement to society. Do we have to keep replaying Prohibition? Do you 'drugs are evil, so it's all worth it' folks even know about Prohibition?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:50 AM on May 10, 2008


Given 75 college-going Americans, less than five guns is a surprisingly low number.

Coming from a place where nobody I know possesses a gun, and never having seen a real gun in my life, this sounds extremely scary.
posted by monocot at 6:54 AM on May 10, 2008


We gotta git them because a' NINE ONE ONE!

Ah, the need for revenge, to punish someone, anyone, without regard for the facts or consequences. An irrational primal urge the current administration has harnessed well in many different policy arenas.
posted by Robin Kestrel at 8:24 AM on May 10, 2008


Given 75 college-going Americans, less than five guns is a surprisingly low number.

It's been a couple of years since I went to college, but this isn't how I remember it.
posted by EarBucket at 9:03 AM on May 10, 2008


50lbs of Pot x $4000 a lb = ~ $200,000
4lbs of Cocaine = ~$ 50,000

I think that would be considered a suitcase full of cash...


Not to get all technical and stuff, but $250k only really fills the suitcase if it's in twenties and smaller.

/derail brought to you by National Cash Awareness Week

posted by eritain at 4:22 PM on May 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


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