Is this 'high-level crime'?
Detroit pot bust coverage unfairly equates growing operations with violent crime
Published: August 31, 2011
And The Detroit News hastened to draw the mandatory link between marijuana growing and serious criminality by adding, "The mayor urged residents to join local, state and federal authorities in battling a wave of violent crime citywide."
This particular marijuana grow operation — and I'm working from the published report — couldn't have had much of a criminal impact on the severely run-down, nearly abandoned urban neighborhood surrounding it.
"Neighbors said they were shocked to learn about the bust," the News reported, "adding they believed the building had been unoccupied for years. ... 'I didn't know they were doing all this,' said one bystander."
An employee at the barber salon next door agreed: "They had it locked up tight. There was very little traffic. You would just see them early in the morning or late at night."
That's because the only violent crime associated with marijuana growing is limited to the brutal actions of the raiders themselves or the attacks by non-uniformed thugs trying to rip off a growing business — not the growers, who are simply supplying the needs of the smokers and trying to make a few dollars in the process, like any other supplier of consumer goods and services in our battered business economy.
And the smokers are not at war with anybody.
The alleged 12,000 plants seized at Chene and Mack is a lot of pot — but does it approach the magnitude of "high-level crime"?
If these plants had been grown by a collective of licensed care-givers under Michigan law to provide medicine for nearly a thousand patients, would that make them a "criminal cartel" or rather a highly efficient source of effective medicine for people who need it?
Get right on weed! Let it grow!
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