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(Boston Globe)   Smoking pot on federal property is against the law unless you are "one of the best-known figures in the new-media elite"   (boston.com) divider line 98
    More: PSA, law schools, media elites, marijuana, legal systems, Boston University, medical marijuana, federal judge, smoking  
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24792 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Sep 2009 at 11:33 AM (5 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-09-12 09:43:17 AM
If the judge doesn't like it, he can get himself appointed federal prosecutor and prosecute. Or, he can do something about our retarded drug laws that could lead to deportation for something so trivial. Finally, the judge could get out of the law all together -- he seems like he'd be an excellent school principal who would sit on his brain and expel a first grader for bringing a butter knife or aspirin to school because the "law requires" him to do so and not to bother to consider whether the expulsion was true justice and/or it accomplished anything.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2009-09-12 09:45:48 AM
If the judge doesn't like it, he can get himself appointed federal prosecutor and prosecute.

Or he can dismiss the three companion cases in the interests of justice. Not sure if that would stick on appeal.
 
2009-09-12 09:47:30 AM
I know some people *cough* that had the distinct pleasure of burning one while lying in a horse pasture at Mt. Vernon in Virginia.
 
2009-09-12 09:48:06 AM
P.S. This was in 1986 and somewhat of a feat considering smoking of any kind was verboten on the property.
 
2009-09-12 09:55:49 AM
In a strongly worded memorandum issued Thursday, US Magistrate Judge Robert B. Collings said the decision by Acting US Attorney Michael K. Loucks to dismiss a federal misdemeanor possession charge against Sullivan flouted a "cardinal principle of our legal system'' - that all persons stand equal before the law.

I don't know where this guy has been for the past 30 years, but the war on drugs has always had a double standard when it comes to prosecution.
 
2009-09-12 10:11:48 AM
HOW much money has been spent prosecuting this??
 
2009-09-12 10:13:13 AM
Weaver95: I don't know where this guy has been for the past 30 years, but the war on drugs has always had a double standard when it comes to prosecution.

A street kid gets arrested, gonna do some time
He got out three years from now just to commit more crime
A businessman is caught with 24 kilos
He's out on bail and out of jail
And that's the way it goes

/Grandmaster Flash
 
2009-09-12 10:25:29 AM
I'm really hopeful that by the time my daughters are my age we'll be able to smoke weed legally.

\Of course, PA residents would have to buy it in "state stores"
 
2009-09-12 11:39:24 AM
damageddude: Finally, the judge could get out of the law all together -- he seems like he'd be an excellent school principal who would sit on his brain and expel a first grader for bringing a butter knife or aspirin to school because the "law requires" him to do so and not to bother to consider whether the expulsion was true justice and/or it accomplished anything.

The judge isn't being some martinet.

His problem -- and I agree with him -- is that Sullivan got special treatment. There is no good reason why other people under similar circumstances are being prosecuted while Sullivan is being let off the hook. Either all of them should face the music or none of them should.
 
2009-09-12 11:40:08 AM
Different rules for the privileged. This is not new.
 
2009-09-12 11:42:53 AM
The guy was caught smoking a joint, not running a grow-op. Sounds to me this judge was motivated for other reasons to be upset.
 
2009-09-12 11:43:03 AM
FTFA: "In a strongly worded memorandum issued Thursday, US Magistrate Judge Robert B. Collings said the decision by Acting US Attorney Michael K. Loucks to dismiss a federal misdemeanor possession charge against Sullivan flouted a "cardinal principle of our legal system'' - that all persons stand equal before the law."

Bullshiat. People like Mel Gibson, the singer of Fallout Boy, Winona Ryder and countless other celebs get let off the hook for breaking the law.

Then again, I've been let off of a couple traffic violations because of my military status...

/shrugs
//can't drive 55
 
2009-09-12 11:43:08 AM
In cases like this, It's not what you know, or who you know.

It's what you do to who you know.
 
2009-09-12 11:43:10 AM
Wow.

Okay... so let's totally ignore the law, and that the judge was discussing matters of the law and the double standard applied to someone who is obviously a minor news celebrity, because you don't like the law? If you don't like the law, do something to change it. In the meantime, if we don't uphold it, we erode the quality of our future as a nation.

So one more time, kids: Uphold the law (insofar as it doesn't demand you act unethically) while you work to change it. That's how this country is supposed to function.

In this case, the judge was spot on.
 
2009-09-12 11:43:58 AM
bronyaur1: HOW much money has been spent prosecuting this??

THIS.

They shouldn't have prosecuted anyone. What a farking waste of my tax dollars.
 
2009-09-12 11:44:14 AM
legalize it

preferential treatment, that is

...it's not? really?

never mind
 
2009-09-12 11:44:55 AM
eraser8: damageddude: Finally, the judge could get out of the law all together -- he seems like he'd be an excellent school principal who would sit on his brain and expel a first grader for bringing a butter knife or aspirin to school because the "law requires" him to do so and not to bother to consider whether the expulsion was true justice and/or it accomplished anything.

The judge isn't being some martinet.

His problem -- and I agree with him -- is that Sullivan got special treatment. There is no good reason why other people under similar circumstances are being prosecuted while Sullivan is being let off the hook. Either all of them should face the music or none of them should.


Exactly. Doesn't really matter what the law is that Sullivan broke or how anyone feels about the law, the point of the matter is that he got off because of who he is. No, this is not a new development. Also doesn't make it okay, either.
 
2009-09-12 11:48:12 AM
Bloggers are never "elite", even if they are as prominent as Sullivan is. The media elite have an interest in the success of the media - their power depends on the hierarchy. Bloggers are quite the opposite.
 
2009-09-12 11:49:38 AM
Never heard of him.
 
2009-09-12 11:50:39 AM
Your_Huckleberry: eraser8: damageddude: Finally, the judge could get out of the law all together -- he seems like he'd be an excellent school principal who would sit on his brain and expel a first grader for bringing a butter knife or aspirin to school because the "law requires" him to do so and not to bother to consider whether the expulsion was true justice and/or it accomplished anything.

The judge isn't being some martinet.

His problem -- and I agree with him -- is that Sullivan got special treatment. There is no good reason why other people under similar circumstances are being prosecuted while Sullivan is being let off the hook. Either all of them should face the music or none of them should.

Exactly. Doesn't really matter what the law is that Sullivan broke or how anyone feels about the law, the point of the matter is that he got off because of who he is. No, this is not a new development. Also doesn't make it okay, either.




So he pays a $125 ticket, and keeps smoking pot.

Maybe or maybe not affecting an immigration application.

So what is the benefit of prosecuting or dropping the case? $125? Deterrence of smoking on federal land?

And how much time and money was wasted on prosecuting 4 cases of pot possession on a federally owned beach?


Retarded.
 
2009-09-12 11:54:06 AM
let him go.... it only helps the whole overall situation. let us all go. legalize it
 
2009-09-12 11:55:09 AM
eraser8: damageddude: Finally, the judge could get out of the law all together -- he seems like he'd be an excellent school principal who would sit on his brain and expel a first grader for bringing a butter knife or aspirin to school because the "law requires" him to do so and not to bother to consider whether the expulsion was true justice and/or it accomplished anything.

The judge isn't being some martinet.

His problem -- and I agree with him -- is that Sullivan got special treatment. There is no good reason why other people under similar circumstances are being prosecuted while Sullivan is being let off the hook. Either all of them should face the music or none of them should.


Not necessarily.

Sullivan is HIV positive and here on a visa. He's also been in a long battle to gain citizenship, a battle that's almost impossible [unfairly] because of the disease he has. Thus, the consequences could be much, much greater for him, even for a misdemeanor.

We've long had a justice system that is supposed to weight the specifics of a case charge and make sure the punishment isn't overly oppressive for the crime.

It's only recently that we've struck this vindictive streak, three strikes, and go frak yourself tone.
 
2009-09-12 11:56:52 AM
Well the ugly motherfarker was smoking a joint on a federal beach! He deserves at least a few months in the slammer, if not more. Everybody knows federal property is subject to more restrictions, duh. Fact is, all you stupid pot smokers forget this the second you inhale that stuff. Hope you all serve a stint in the slammer.

/Cue the Fark Pot Brigade with hemp facts and Grateful Dead links
//Kidding, all
 
2009-09-12 11:56:54 AM
hmm, even as a "self-described libertarian conservative" one has to be willing to deal with the consequences of their actions.
 
2009-09-12 11:58:17 AM
You know you've officially "made it" in America when the laws don't apply to you anymore.
 
2009-09-12 11:58:42 AM
Willy Nelson smoked pot in the White House while Nancy Reagan was out preaching 'Just say no to drugs'.
 
2009-09-12 12:02:40 PM
Weaver95: I don't know where this guy has been for the past 30 years, but the war on drugs has always had a double standard when it comes to prosecution.

...aaaaaand done.

Sadly you'll never get society at large to see the light. Even people that disagree with drug laws won't think of changing them or excusing breaking them. "Well, the law is the law." Forgetting what the origin of law is supposed to be in a republic or a democracy.

BTW, been looking for you lately, Weaver95. I'm in Philadelphia today and again on next Saturday the 19th. GF and I are visiting her parents in NJ and flew in to PHL. Would love to meet up if you have the time.
 
2009-09-12 12:04:29 PM
Advocating consistent enforcement of stupid laws may or may not lead to the repeal of stupid laws, but if influential people can escape enforcement, that leaves only non-influential people to be adversely affected. Then who's going to change the law?
 
2009-09-12 12:05:09 PM
/email in profile
 
2009-09-12 12:05:27 PM
>>"one of the best-known figures in the new-media elite"
I didn't know Drew partakes!
 
2009-09-12 12:07:26 PM
vsync: Weaver95: I don't know where this guy has been for the past 30 years, but the war on drugs has always had a double standard when it comes to prosecution.

...aaaaaand done.

Sadly you'll never get society at large to see the light. Even people that disagree with drug laws won't think of changing them or excusing breaking them. "Well, the law is the law." Forgetting what the origin of law is supposed to be in a republic or a democracy.

BTW, been looking for you lately, Weaver95. I'm in Philadelphia today and again on next Saturday the 19th. GF and I are visiting her parents in NJ and flew in to PHL. Would love to meet up if you have the time.


Welcome to Philly, enjoy your stay. If you see anyone littering, please punch them.
 
2009-09-12 12:08:19 PM
What really bothers me is that this is even an issue- the cop was being a dick. Lets face it- it was a simple mistake, and it was within the cop's ability to correct the situation and send sullivan on his way. It was a mistake that harmed no one, was easily made, was easily correctable, would have been a non-issue had the guy chose a different beach to walk. I mean, COME ON.

Here's how it should have went down:


[cop] Hello sir, is that marijuana I smell?
[sullivan] Why, quite right old chap. I do love a good splif while strolling on the beach...
[cop] Sir, this is federal property. Are you aware that smoking marijuana is illegal?
[sullivan] I thought it was legal in Massachusetts?
[cop] The beach is federal property. That referendum doesn't apply here. Please sir, if you could just take it off the beach, I'd appreciate it.
[sullivan] oh, quite right; thank you my good man. Cheerio!


See? That's how it should go off. fark the letter of the law. Treat people like farking humans when they make an honest mistake that causes no harm.

As the great Wil Wheaton says, "Don't be a dick!"
 
2009-09-12 12:09:08 PM
he's right you know, all people should be equal under the law...


so DROP EVERYBODY'S MARIJUANA CHARGES!


If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny. -thomas Jeffesrson
 
2009-09-12 12:10:10 PM
Satanic_Hamster: Never heard of him.

THIS.

Throw him in a PMITA prison like every other pot smoker, or legalize it.
 
2009-09-12 12:10:57 PM
AbiNormal
Willy Nelson smoked pot in the White House while Nancy Reagan was out preaching 'Just say no to drugs'.


Willie: Hey, Ronnie, is your old lady around?
Ronnie: No. Why.
Willie: Do you mind if I burn this?
Ronnie: Just read my lips...
Light up....
Willie: Your old lady doesn't like this, does she?
Ronnie (exhaling): Naw. She's pretty tight assed about everything. (laughs)
Willie: You tapping that thing?
Ronnie: Not since color television.
Willie: This is pretty cool.
Ronnie: Wanna nuke something? I got the codes and a phone.
Willie: Naw. I just wanna check out the colors on this rugs. So intense.
Ronnie: Check this out! Cover this part and it says "Seal of the United States" (barks like a seal)
Willie: You just blew my mind.
 
2009-09-12 12:11:25 PM
TyrantII: eraser8: damageddude: Finally, the judge could get out of the law all together -- he seems like he'd be an excellent school principal who would sit on his brain and expel a first grader for bringing a butter knife or aspirin to school because the "law requires" him to do so and not to bother to consider whether the expulsion was true justice and/or it accomplished anything.

The judge isn't being some martinet.

His problem -- and I agree with him -- is that Sullivan got special treatment. There is no good reason why other people under similar circumstances are being prosecuted while Sullivan is being let off the hook. Either all of them should face the music or none of them should.

Not necessarily.

Sullivan is HIV positive and here on a visa. He's also been in a long battle to gain citizenship, a battle that's almost impossible [unfairly] because of the disease he has. Thus, the consequences could be much, much greater for him, even for a misdemeanor.

We've long had a justice system that is supposed to weight the specifics of a case charge and make sure the punishment isn't overly oppressive for the crime.

It's only recently that we've struck this vindictive streak, three strikes, and go frak yourself tone.


So in spite of this long battle, he decided to smoke a joint on federal property and break the law?? Sorry, the sympathy train left long ago.

And why is it unfair that his health status might prevent him from getting his visa? (not citizenship, but visa) Are we supposed to treat his infectious disease differently than the others?


The judge here has basically determined the prosecutor abused his discretion (possibly for political reasons), but that there isn't anyone with legal standing to object to it. I think we will know what happens the next time he abuses his discretion and the defendant objects to it before this judge.
 
2009-09-12 12:13:02 PM
RoxtarRyan: Bullshiat. People like Mel Gibson, the singer of Fallout Boy, Winona Ryder and countless other celebs get let off the hook for breaking the law.

A judge in California lets a prosecutor let celebrities off while still prosecuting regular folks ergo judges everywhere should not say anything when their prosecutors let celebrities off.

Good argument, sparky.
 
2009-09-12 12:14:27 PM
The Justice system is a joke nationwide. No one is held accountable. Whether you believe in legalization of drugs or not is irrelevant. The law makers need to stop making new laws, repeal outdated/stupid laws and enforce vigorously the laws that remain.

/not innocent
//takes responsibility for my own actions
 
2009-09-12 12:14:44 PM
The prosecutor said "further prosecution of the violation would not be in the interests of justice.''

What? Doesn't the D.A. realize this asshole was burning a dead plant on the beach and inhaling the fumes for his own amusement?

How can our society hope to survive if we allow this kind of immoral and destructive behavior to go unpunished?
 
2009-09-12 12:15:49 PM
OMG is that justice? You can't let him get away with that when the poor victims of his vicious crime will never get over their pain! Amirite!?

Oh wait there are no victims and it shouldn't be illegal to begin with. Pot prohibition is a travesty that makes no sense and creates more problems than it could ever solve.

Civil disobedience is about disregarding unjust laws created by angry a-holes.
 
2009-09-12 12:16:55 PM
morgajel: See? That's how it should go off. fark the letter of the law. Treat people like farking humans when they make an honest mistake that causes no harm.

Yea but assholes ruined that police behavior for everyone.
 
2009-09-12 12:18:26 PM
Spoonerific: The prosecutor said "further prosecution of the violation would not be in the interests of justice.'

But then he followed it up with, "... but these three nobodies we picked up later need to fry for their actions".
 
2009-09-12 12:20:00 PM
What I want to know is, WTF is a federal beach? Is that akin to a national park? How do you know whether you're on a federal beach?
 
2009-09-12 12:21:04 PM
Herunar: Bloggers are never "elite", even if they are as prominent as Sullivan is. The media elite have an interest in the success of the media - their power depends on the hierarchy. Bloggers are quite the opposite.

These things are all about snobbery. It's about whether people perceive someone as "the sort of person who will have a problem with it".

A British politician as good as said it about drugs "there's a difference between a student smoking dope and someone on a council estate".

Movie censorship in the UK was always far more lenient when it came to arthouse movies which were watched by the upper middle class than blockbusters for the lower classes.
 
2009-09-12 12:21:23 PM
Rustico: Weaver95: I don't know where this guy has been for the past 30 years, but the war on drugs has always had a double standard when it comes to prosecution.

A street kid gets arrested, gonna do some time
He got out three years from now just to commit more crime
A businessman is caught with 24 kilos
He's out on bail and out of jail
And that's the way it goes

/Grandmaster Flash


White lines...connected to my mind...The more I see, the more I do.

Sweet stuff. Haven't heard (or thought about) that tune in years, but it's a sweet one. Thanks for the memory jog. Wrong substance, but perfect sentiment here, too.
 
2009-09-12 12:23:49 PM
Collings added with obvious irritation that he had no power to order prosecutors to pursue the case, and granted their motion to dismiss it. The fact that he did, however, "does not require the Court to believe that the end result is a just one,'' he wrote.

Honestly not a troll but why did the judge grant the motion to dismiss it if he disagreed so vehemently with the lack of prosecution? I thought that judges could accept or reject motions and even plea bargains if they thought justice was not being served. I distinctly remember cases where the judge disagreed with plea bargains that they thought were too lenient and rejected them giving the defendants and prosecutors the choice of renegotiating with conditions like x years of prison time must be included or proceeding to trial.
 
2009-09-12 12:24:59 PM
damageddude: If the judge doesn't like it, he can get himself appointed federal prosecutor and prosecute. Or, he can do something about our retarded drug laws that could lead to deportation for something so trivial. Finally, the judge could get out of the law all together -- he seems like he'd be an excellent school principal who would sit on his brain and expel a first grader for bringing a butter knife or aspirin to school because the "law requires" him to do so and not to bother to consider whether the expulsion was true justice and/or it accomplished anything.

As the story noted, the judge's problem is not with the law but with the prosecutors enforcing it differently depending on who you are. That you don't seem to be bothered by this aspect of the story strikes me as odd.
 
2009-09-12 12:25:13 PM
OscarTamerz: why did the judge grant the motion to dismiss

I believe charges weren't pressed to begin with.

/I'm not about to start reading the farking articles now.
 
2009-09-12 12:25:32 PM
big-simon: Wow.

Okay... so let's totally ignore the law, and that the judge was discussing matters of the law and the double standard applied to someone who is obviously a minor news celebrity, because you don't like the law? If you don't like the law, do something to change it. In the meantime, if we don't uphold it, we erode the quality of our future as a nation.

So one more time, kids: Uphold the law (insofar as it doesn't demand you act unethically) while you work to change it. That's how this country is supposed to function.

In this case, the judge was spot on.


Interesting you invoke ethics when it comes to change of the law.

The standards of ethics change from person to person, some involving morals while others involve only property and personal space.

For example, I find drug laws unethical in it's overreach to search, seizure and in some cases, self incrimination.

If I find that my neighbor is using drugs, is it ethical for me to decline providing that information to the law enforcement since I see that the punishment far exceeds the crime?
 
2009-09-12 12:25:40 PM
"I thought small amounts of marijuana were legal to have in Massachusetts,'' according to court records.

Massachusetts voters approved a referendum in November that decriminalized small amounts of marijuana, but the change does not apply to federal property


Uh huh. There's always a catch, isn't there?

/move to Canada, its legal here!
//no, no its not.
///where do people get these ideas?
////boobies.
 
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