I asked Murray about another development that disturbed me at the hearing last week: Two police officers tried to shred Esparza’s credibility by saying she’d somehow consented to being raped. One said that after Ramirez overpowered her, Esparza “consented to Gonzalo raping her.” Another testified that because Patricia was too weak to fend Gonzalo off, she “allowed Gonzalo to rape her.”
It should be obvious, especially to anyone in law enforcement: There is no such thing as consenting to being raped. It’s a contradiction in terms. For police and prosecutors to create any other impression is to blur the definition of rape in a way that disserves victims everywhere.
Murray, however, said, “I’ve heard a million people say she was raped. Really? There’s been no finding of that and I know of no evidence of that except the accused murderer’s statement of it.”
Would you please ask the D.A. to make sense of this?
This closure is in response to a significant increase in wood poaching crimes occurring along the parkway. These crimes usually
involve cutting burl and bunion growths from both standing and fallen old-growth redwood trees. The wood is then sold for construction materials, ornamental furniture, and souvenirs. This type of wood is becoming increasingly rare and the most plentiful supply is often found on park lands.
(T)he situation in Afghanistan is dire with little prospect for improvement in 2014 or beyond. Afghan farmers are growing more opium poppies today than at any time in their modern history," Sopko said. "In sum, the expanding cultivation and trafficking of drugs is one of the most significant factors putting the entire U.S. and international donor investment in the reconstruction of Afghanistan at risk.
…let’s watch the War About Drugs™ chase it’s tail some more.
At issue, at least for me, is the manner in which the new regulations have been enacted. Tight regulation, short supply and the general cost of running a business—including additional security measures– caused early prices to skyrocket. Some shops are reporting sales as high as $500 per ounce, plus 25 percent tales tax— or nearly double what one might pay at the nearest trap house or college dorm room.
At that price, one should be able to dump their stash on the coffee table and watch it magically roll and light itself.
A chart-topping friend in the music industry, who is nothing short of an expert “weedologist”, says it is indeed “top notch sh*t.” But he recalls copping an ounce for just $300 a few months ago in Colorado.
The government now owns the game and with that comes a myriad of drawbacks. Exorbitant pricing and heavy taxation effectively locked many people out of the market. And even if that is short-term, it ensures the black market will persist. The ever savvy and nimble “trap gods”, free of the regulatory environment, the costs associated with lighting up a store, paying employees and issuing W-2s, will adjust their prices to meet the demand for cheaper weed.
That’s just the free market at work. And nobody knows the game better than the streets.
But make no mistake, that street market will remain criminalized. “The new system is f**ked up,” said the weedologist. He agrees that, in fact, for this experiment to be successful not only will the state have to get more shops approved to improve the supply chain flow, law enforcement must clamp down on the illegal trade. The government game cannot survive if the street peddler and his bargain basement prices are allowed to flourish. And that almost certainly means more arrests– more arrests of a largely black, brown and disproportionately poor population of street vendors. The result may further tip the scales in favor of a privileged class already largely safe from criminalization.
MSNBC host Chris Hayes, a fervent anti-prohibition supporter, took to the airwaves with a powerful, personal account of how he almost landed in the jail for marijuana possession.“I can tell you as sure as I am sitting here before you that if I was a black kid with cornrows instead of a white kid with glasses, my a** would’ve been in a squad car faster than you can say George W. Bush,” Hayes told his All In audience.
If anyone has any suggestions on a scheme to make legalization of marijuana fairer to people of color, please do share.