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A Lot Spent to Stop Pot

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
The DA's office spared no expense in the drug investigation. "Operation Night Out" included wire-tapping, aerial reconnaissance and managing an informant on the inside.

The investigation was started by state police detectives in the office of Bristol County District Attorney Samuel Sutter but then mushroomed. Sutter brought in the State Police Special Services Operations unit, federal authorities from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, a Rhode Island drug task force staffed by multiple agencies, and additional Massachusetts state police from the Plymouth County district attorney's office. Since this investigation focused on a couple of businesses in North Attleboro, local police also had a role to play.

Imagine what all this undercover work, involving numerous police officers and a state police helicopter equipped with high-tech surveillance equipment, cost the district attorney's office. It must be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and that doesn't even count the prosecutions to come.

So, what did the six-month investigation yield? Not a lot: five arrests, a little marijuana, a few weapons, recovery of $37,000 and elimination of a couple of marijuana growing operations.

Was it worth it? It's too soon to tell since the cases haven't gone to court, but the charges so far don't amount to much. Two men with ties to the Attleboros pleaded innocent to drug conspiracy and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Also arrested were a Bellingham man and a Marion couple who were allegedly growing pot. DA Sutter said the investigation is continuing and more arrests could be made.

The investigation was dubbed Operation Night Out because the local men who were arrested own Celebrity Limousine and Entourage Limousine on Route 1. Four of their vehicles were confiscated. Sutter said limos were used to deliver marijuana.

Note that none of the charges involve any drugs other than marijuana, which seems strange since the DA's office referred to "illegal distribution of narcotics." In any case, it's all about pot for now; this in a state that decriminalized pot possession two years ago.

Obviously the law doesn't apply to drug dealing, but the pot has to come from somewhere. Hence there are going to be marijuana growing operations and middlemen who seek to profit from the marijuana market.

New England is the most liberal part of the country when it comes to tolerance of marijuana use. The Massachusetts decriminalization law came about because of a voter initiative in 2008. Bills have been filed to go a step further and legalize pot here.

Rhode Island has a medical marijuana law. ( One of those charged in North Attleboro was licensed in Rhode Island to grow and use marijuana for back pain, according to his lawyer. ) Rhode Island recently began licensing marijuana dispensaries.

Maine and Vermont have medical marijuana laws. Maine has also decriminalized pot possession. The governor of Connecticut supports decriminalization as part of a corrections reform package. New Hampshire doesn't have such laws but bills are under consideration in the legislature there.

Similar laws are found in about a third of the states across the country. The Obama administration, meanwhile, has said that it opposes decriminalization but isn't going to fight medicinal use of marijuana.

It was in 1972 that a special commission appointed by President Richard Nixon recommended decriminalization of marijuana. That idea went nowhere and after almost 40 years the United States still hasn't come to grips with the marijuana "problem."

Thus we end up with investigations like "Operation Night Out," expensive undercover operations financed by the taxpayers. Maybe DA Sutter should instead take a day off, at least until he can come up with something more substantial than this investigation has produced so far.

NewsHawk: Jim Behr: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: Sun Chronicle (Attleboro, MA)
Copyright: 2011 Sun Chronicle
Contact: opinion@thesunchronicle.com
Website: - The Sun Chronicle Online - Front
Details: MAP: Media Directory
Author: Ned Bristol


New Member
What a circus of complete idiots. It would just be funny if these laws and the idiots enforcing them were not so completely harmful to society and ruining lives in so many ways while wasting MOUNTAINS of money that belongs to the people. Is persecuting people for doing something harmless to society worth it?


New Member
Give the prohibitionists a medal hurry up thou. They will have to be made out of plastic were running out of money.
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