Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Schmokin

SRB just says no to legal pot. "I'm not going to be waving the Schmoke flag."
   Funny, Schmoke presided over all kinds of steaming hot messes as mayor: privatizing public schools with shiteous results and 90 city schools taken over by the state due to excessive crapulence, all while simultaneously emblazoning the "City that Reads" slogan on bus benches, misusing and losing federal housing funds, crony hires with plush salaries ... but all of his epic missteps have been long forgotten in favor of mocking his one brave, bold, good idea. But it was an idea before its time, and the vituperative knee-jerk backlash from conservatives has obvz spooked mayors for decades to come, including ours, and probably set the NORML cause back 20+ years. History will vindicate Kurt Schmoke on the pot issue, but in the present the spanking continues.

And vindication for Jason Weinstein
, former assistant U.S. Attorney in Baltimore responsible for high-profile busts like Itchy Man, Ed Norris and the guy who burned the Dawson family to death. In 2012 he "resigned" from the DOJ to take the fall for Operation Fast and Furious* after Republicans blamed him for the Bush-era program. Now it's come to light that the DEA had been working with the Sinaloa drug cartel since the late 1990s, a decade before Weinstein came on the scene. But a "happy" ending, since the WaPo story was published, Weinstein landed a job with Steptoe & Johnson LLP, sacrificing his populist morals for big $$ white-collar criminal defen$$$e.

In other potlitical news, Van Smith interviewed rising gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur.

Corrections officer Taryn "Mrs. Loney" Kirkland got 3 1/2 years for her part in jailhouse drug-smuggling,* her inmate lover Steven Loney got 9 years.

Gregg Bernstein has raised $340k for the State's Attorney's race,* 20 times more than his closest competitor. His contributors include the Orioles and Harbor Point's Michael Beatty.

Six middle-schoolers-- three boys and three girls between the ages of 13 and 14-- were arrested for assaulting a woman on the light rail near the Westport stop.

A man was beaten with a brick, robbed and carjacked in Canton.


Chad Kinney, head of the CitiStat program, was fired after a mere 17 months on the job for reasons undisclosed. And the city has agreed to pay a New York company $286,000 to redesign the city's web site,* because there are no web companies in Baltimore.

"What if I smack the shit out of you?" "What if I pull this pistol out?," a dog owner lured onto the baseball fields and robbed in Patterson Park and a rape thwarted per the victim's request in the Baltimore Guide east side crime blotter.

A man threatening to shoot his mother, a guy robbed for his coat and lots of American cars stolen in the North Baltimore blotter.*

12 years for crack dealer Donte Cox

A 13-year-old boy was awarded a $50k settlement* in a wrongful-arrest case.

Statistics corner: there were 761 drug overdose deaths in Maryland in 2012, of those 378 were from hairron. H ODs in 2011 = 245.

4 comments:

Kirk River Mud said...

Where to begin...so much crapulence. I was disappointed to hear SRB's lack of an opinion or knowledge on the marijuana legalization issue when she was interviewed on 98 Rock on the issue. Legalization would absolutely reduce the impact of organized gangs in city communities. Maybe only reduce it 10%, but to use the lingo of the gun control maniacs, "if it's just one life it saves, there's no price too high!" Maryland (and Baltimore City) have never seen a tax they do not like, making the continued disdain for legalization is laughable. Sorry old folks in elected office, your pot problem is not worsening your heroin problem. But it IS funding your heroin industry as "meat and potatoes." Keep the status quo, and you keep that industry vibrant. Brilliant, SRB. Brilliant.

Maurice Bradbury said...

I suspect it has a lot to do with the city being dependent on federal grant money to fight drugs. No fight drugs, no grant money. The city also gets money all over the place to build and maintain drug treatment centers, even though from what I understand the pot smokers always get sentenced to treatment and have to pay for it themselves anyway. Then there's the bail bondspeople and defense attorneys who make a living off of a steady stream of stoners.

Do a quick Google of Baltimore federal grant money and drugs and you will find $ after $:

$7.3 million

"Nearly a million"

$100,000

$13 million

And yeah, legalizing it and taxing it would make millions too, but then the city might have to give back some of those millions in grants, it would antagonize the federal government that the city is completely financially dependent on, and it could potentially displease many donors to SRB and MOM (attorneys, health care organizations, casino operators who hope booze will be your drug of choice).

And remember, SRB or a governor couldn't change the law if they wanted to anyway. They're executives, not judges or legislators. So for them getting on the legalization train is lose-lose.

Cham said...

Yesterday Missouri, New Hampshire and DC showed they were inching toward decriminalization and legalization of marijuana use. Every day another unsuspecting state is submitting signatures or their governing bodies are passing new laws that are reflecting public sentiment. The polls are pretty clear which way the wind is blowing on this subject. At this point in the game, it is political suicide to endorse maintaining steep prison sentences for marijuana possession. A wise politician in the shoes of SRB or O'Malley would start evading questions, staying quiet and non-committal when asked about marijuana. I guess you can't fix stupid.

Kirk River Mud said...

Maurice you are completely correct. As this debate has popped up again, I've been oblivious to the federal grant connection thing. Unrelated but makes me think of reading my student loan papers 20+ years ago, stating that my stafford loan and all federal support would be canceled if I was found guilty of *any* narcotics charge. *ANY*

You're also right that in the status quo (beyond the status quo of the street, which I mentioned), illegal pot is good meat and potatoes money. Bail bondsmen being obvious (and legal!) beneficiaries of criminalization.

That all adds more wrinkles to it. For sure.