Why does the U.S. government kill citizens who smoke pot?
January 30, 2002 4:32 AM   Subscribe

Why does the U.S. government kill citizens who smoke pot? The bizarre and scary story of the Rinbow Farm.
posted by magullo (22 comments total)
The caption on the picture at the top of the page describes Tom Crosslin as someone who "…channeled his anti-government anger into the movement to legalize marijuana." From the article it sounds as if the situation was rather the opposite of that.
posted by Nothing at 5:29 AM on January 30, 2002

By now Crosslin and Rohm were dressed in camouflage uniforms and carrying rifles. More buildings, including the Joint, were burning.

*sigh* camo and rifles are a bad mix. Activism for the legalization of drugs is more effective if you leave that out.

very sad story, no doubt, but the thing that impressed me the most was this:

They [crosslin and a local kid, Peoples] stopped in the woods to rest at a campsite for a moment. Then, according to Bell, Crosslin spotted one of the FBI agents lying on the ground about 20 feet away, and he raised his rifle to his shoulder.

When he did that, two agents fired, one of them shooting Crosslin through the forehead, killing him instantly...

Peoples fell, too, fragments of Crosslin's skull and brain splattered across his face [but, alive]. Perhaps he could confirm or deny the FBI account of the shooting, but he refuses to talk to reporters.

i was impressed that the snipers only hit the guy with the gun....deadly force should never be random.
posted by th3ph17 at 6:19 AM on January 30, 2002

Here is my point: by the end these dudes were obviously out of it, but to what extent was the harrasssment necessary? How does growing marihuana justify the deaths of two people? And while we are at it, why is growing weed defined as "manufacturing" marihuana by the drug enfocement authorities? Do other farmers "manufacture" peanuts?
posted by magullo at 6:33 AM on January 30, 2002

It's really hard to defend someone when they start shooting at TV choppers.

magullo: they were not shot because they were growing marijuana; they were shot because they were aiming guns at citizens and police. Even if you believe that marijuana should be a drug regulated like others that happen to be socially acceptable (for reasons of habit and tradition lost to time), you must admit that the citizens of the state of Michigan have, through representative government, established laws which local authorities were seeking to enforce. Focus your wrath on changing those laws, "dude".
posted by dhartung at 6:38 AM on January 30, 2002

i've no irrational love of snipers or anything, and i think pot should be legalized.

the pot is totally secondary to guys writing wills, burning buildings, shooting at helicopters and loudspeakers, and aiming guns at people while you are all camo-ed up.

also, with their public stance on the leaf, it was stupid of them to grow. Seriously...this is not some grandma being arrested for medical use, these guys had 300 plants. If they were growing organic lemons instead and shot at the cops over tax records the same thing would happen.
posted by th3ph17 at 6:39 AM on January 30, 2002

And why does the US government reward those who smoke crack?
posted by adampsyche at 6:47 AM on January 30, 2002

Mmmmmm I could go for a big fat doobie, a bag of Doritos and some suicide by cop right now.

Flipness aside, the dead guys got what they wanted. There's lots and lots and lots of things I disagree with the U.S. government about, but nothing I want to get killed over. Why do you think they call it dope?
posted by sacre_bleu at 7:06 AM on January 30, 2002

If the cops and FBI don't show, then NO ONE gets shot. Riots rarely go down when cops aren't around.
posted by uftheory at 7:11 AM on January 30, 2002

Tell that to Reginald Denny.
posted by Mid at 7:20 AM on January 30, 2002

ok utftheory, true, cops and the FBI shoot people. In this case--regardless of any other previous actions on the FBI's part--they shot guys who had already fired at police and reporters. How is that even remotely related to riots? Riot cops wear those big helmets and shit so they don't have to shoot people, ya know?

why is a left-wing guy like me in here defending the FBI? *sigh*
posted by th3ph17 at 7:48 AM on January 30, 2002

Tell it to Rodney King and the jury that acquitted his assailants.
posted by sudama at 7:59 AM on January 30, 2002

oops ... Rainbow Farm's website
posted by danOstuporStar at 7:59 AM on January 30, 2002

Point taken, th3ph17. I wasn't defending those yahoos from Michigan as much as I was saying that it take two to tango.

The Post article suggested to me that the situation could have been diffused with no shots fired. Why did the police show up for a fire anyhow? It sounded more like a job for the fire department.

And I've never heard of the police attempting to arrest anyone on the same day that they miss a court hearing. If these guys were so dangerous, why were they released after an arraignment?

This stinks of Cool Hand Luke.
posted by uftheory at 8:59 AM on January 30, 2002

On April 20, 2001, Rainbow Farm held another festival

Anti-Government types seem to have a fascination with that date. I wonder why...
posted by Harry Hopkins' Hat at 9:30 AM on January 30, 2002

I think in this case it may not have been only the reason you think, HHH. April 20 is, after all, "4/20", which is stonerspeak for "it's time to go burn one".

At least that's what I'm told.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:45 AM on January 30, 2002

What a sad story, but I'm definitely aware of both sides of the coin...the killings certainly were unjustified, but there seem to be steps that could have been taken by both sides to avoid that end.

...and for some reason, the fact that they were rural gay men just makes it that much sadder for me.

(oh, and BitterOldPunk, I think you're right. April 20th at 4:20pm was always a bit of a holiday back in college.)
posted by arielmeadow at 11:48 AM on January 30, 2002

Teter's being a total Javert here; trying to seize the farm from the orphaned son- who was legally willed it- smacks of going waaay beyond merely prosecuting the law and into a primitive masturbating- monkey- frenzy of trying to "win" at all costs, to "beat those darn Duke boys". He lays it out in the last paragraph; the only public nuisance he describes in pursuing this even now is the possibility of a memorial on the campground, which is apparently too much for him to stomach: any kind of memorial would presumably be a "win" for the dead Crosslin and Rohm.
posted by hincandenza at 12:30 PM on January 30, 2002

"beat those darn Duke boys"

That show would have been much better if Bo and Luke were gay.
posted by Harry Hopkins' Hat at 1:07 PM on January 30, 2002

carry guns, sell smoke to minors...someones gonna get pissed...specialy when a kid rams his car into some local landscape while fried. hey, they carried guns, they got investigated they got kilt. bo and luke is an interesting comparison. though they were "good ole boys" these clowns were "wanna-be-hill-billys." (michigan farmer) Rainbow farms was a joke then and well...it is a beautiful piece of land.
posted by clavdivs at 2:33 PM on January 30, 2002

"An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and willingly accepts the penalty... to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is... expressing the very highest respect for law."

-Dr Martin Luther King

... these chaps had it half right, at least
posted by titboy at 7:42 PM on January 30, 2002

Well, the general lack of sympathy for two men who were murdered by the forces of the state definitely puts paid to the theory that MeFi is a bastion of liberal sentiment. The general argument seems to be that if you are dumb enough to cross the government, and then try to defend your constitutional rights to fair process, freedom of assembly and private property, then you are asking to get a bullet in the head. Shame...

Of course, it depends whether you are inclined to believe the undercover cops who claim they were offered drugs, or the 2 FBI snipers who claim that they were about to be fired on, or if you believe that pig of a DA who had a personal hard-on for these boys...

posted by fellorwaspushed at 9:50 AM on January 31, 2002

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