Stuff co.nz 15 March 2019Family First Comment: Excellent article. A reality check! “Gangs will continue to supply 24/7 home delivery tax-free with free samples of harder drugs. But it will be worse than that. Replacing the war on drugs with a war on marijuana tax cheats will mean gangs will continue to supply most of the market tax-free, including to teenagers with offers of harder drugs but the police will have less incentive to chase down what is now a grey market rather than a black market. Do not underestimate the entrepreneurial ingenuity of criminals.”#PeopleBeforeProfitsOPINION: Never let a bunch of anti-capitalists design a legal market for cannabis.Their consuming hatred of Big Marijuana and the profit motive would create such an ineffectual legal market that the gangs will still supply most of the marijuana along with offers of free samples of harder drugs that even voters will work out how awful the legal model is and vote it down at the coming referendum.The Greens and the Drug Foundation not only want to decriminalise marijuana, they want to legalise it with government controls on who can supply, and checks on quality. They seem to want to limit access to social supply and consumer co-ops so that Big Marijuana is kept out of the market. No for-profit supply seems to be their ideal.The Greens seem to want to imitate the monumental screwup in Canada. Not only did Canada forget to legalise production before supply, so they ran out of inventory within a week, but each province decided for itself how marijuana was to be legally sold.One province chose a government monopoly. Others allowed private retailers but they had to have a clean record and pay tens of thousands of dollars in annual registration fees.Most of the current marijuana dealers in Canada did not qualify and already had an established network of customers so they stayed in business offering tax-free marijuana. American states also continue to have black markets in marijuana.What the Greens will set up is a legal supply that is hopeless at competing with existing gang suppliers. The legal shops will be so far away from schools and other sensitive locations, open 9-to-5 in a remote warehouse district, paying a living wage that they will end up asking for a bailout from Shane Jones’ Regional Growth Fund because they attracted so few customers.Gangs will continue to supply 24/7 home delivery tax-free with free samples of harder drugs. But it will be worse than that.Replacing the war on drugs with a war on marijuana tax cheats will mean gangs will continue to supply most of the market tax-free, including to teenagers with offers of harder drugs but the police will have less incentive to chase down what is now a grey market rather than a black market.Do not underestimate the entrepreneurial ingenuity of criminals. Some UN bureaucrats had a cunning plan; occasionally hold a lawful sale of previously confiscated ivory to collapse the price of poached ivory and drive the poachers out of business.Elephant poaching soared because criminals worked out that they could pass off their illegal ivory as legally acquired and sell it to people who otherwise would not buy it, much less show it off to their friends because it was illegally obtained. A large market in counterfeit legal ivory developed in China and other places off the back of an earnest attempt to collapse the price of illegal ivory.I’m a recovering libertarian. I support decriminalisation because if adults want to get high, more fool them as long as they do not harm others. But I know that argument will never sell at a referendum.The reason dope-smoking-on-Saturday-night successful middle-class parents oppose decriminalisation is that when they are feuding with their kids over bad grades, they still want to tell them that marijuana is illegal. They want that argument in their back pocket because they know that, unlike themselves, more than a few mates drifted off into a cloud of dope at university and failed.They want every possible persuasive tactic available to them to stop their kids going the same way.The best argument for decriminalisation that will work at a referendum is that it pushes gangs out of the supply chain so kids will not be offered samples of harder drugs. That pragmatic argument and better-quality control could win a majority.Right now, the maximum penalty is three months for possession of marijuana. Three were sent to prison last year for possession of marijuana as their lead offence for their sentencing. Another 15 were sent to prison for possession of harder drugs, which carries a maximum of six months. A good guess is most were gang members on the receiving end of well-deserved police harassment.As the illegal trade is offering samples of harder drugs and supplying teenagers, the rationale for suppressing the illegal trade is stronger. Penalties for illegal supply and even marijuana possession through an illegal supplier might have to increase after legalisation.Colorado quickly found it had to regulate marijuana packaging strictly because little kids thought edible marijuana was a lolly and ended up at the emergency department.If advocates of legalisation want a legal market that drives the gangs out of marijuana supply, the Greens and others on the Left will have to swallow a big dead rat and embrace capitalism.Big Marijuana might end up developing an app that ensures that adults and only adults buy marijuana delivered by Uber Eats. Marijuana legalisation will be full of the unexpected.* Jim Rose blogs at Utopiayouarestandinginit.comhttps://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/111279052/is-drug-legalisation-worse-than-the-status-quoKeep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.
Former USC Department of Public Safety officer Keith Lawrence will be honored for his service this week in Washington D.C. as part of National Police Week May 11-17. His name will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial that honors law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.Lawrence and his fiancée Monica Quan were killed in the parking garage of their Irvine condominium last February by former Los Angeles Police Department officer Christopher Dorner.USC Department of Public Safety officer Keith Lawrence and his fiancée were killed last February by former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner. Lawrence will be honored Tuesday at the the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C. — photo courtesy of DPS Chief ThomasThough Lawrence was technically off-duty at the time of his death, the Irvine Police Department ruled that he died in the line of duty, in part because evidence suggested that Dorner, angry about his termination from LAPD and the failure of his subsequent appeals, had specifically targeted both Lawrence and Quan. Quan’s father, Randy Quan, represented Dorner at the internal review hearing that lead to his dismissal from LAPD.“He felt that Randy Quan did not do a good enough job in defending him,” DPS Chief John Thomas said. “His retribution was he wanted to hurt Randy and if he couldn’t hurt Randy he was going to hurt his family.”Thomas and about 20 officers from the department will accompany Keith’s parents Kevin and Venius Lawrence to Washington D.C. and take part in events throughout the week which is geared to honor police officers and their families. The week’s events include a candlelight vigil at the Memorial on Tuesday.“My role in that ceremony is to accompany Keith’s mother and father up to the front and read his name and place a wreath in front of where his name is going to be engraved on the monument,” Chief Thomas said.The monument bears the names of more than 20,000 officers killed in the line of duty throughout U.S. history. Lawrence is one of two campus officers whose names will be added to the wall this year. The second is Massachusetts Institute of Technology Police Officer Sean Collier who was shot and killed by the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.Lawrence is the first officer in the history of USC DPS to be killed in the line of duty.Chief Thomas said it’s interesting that both the campus officers being honored this year were killed in tragic stories heavily covered by the national media. But, he said, campus law enforcement officers are increasingly facing more dangerous situations.“It’s getting more and more frequent in the sense that campus law enforcement are put in places and have to deal with situations that actually are just as deadly or sometime even more deadly than municipal agents or federal agents,” Chief Thomas said. “Crime doesn’t know any boundaries.”Lawrence joined DPS as an armed police officer in August 2012. He had previously worked in municipal policing but was looking to join campus law enforcement. Randy Quan, who knew Chief Thomas from their time at LAPD suggested Lawrence might be a good fit at USC.“He went through our process and was successful,” Chief Thomas said. “In the short time he was here he really loved being at USC. He found his place and I was excited to look at how he would contribute to our university and his future. He was so full of life and had so much ahead of him.”Thomas said, Lawrence loved two things: Monica Quan and basketball. Quan and Lawrence met at Concordia University where both played basketball. They got engaged a few days before their deaths.“He was so in love with Monica he used to drive people nuts around here because it was all he wanted to talk about,” Thomas said. “It’s rare that cops will actually just talk about their girlfriend or their wife or their fiancée, but that’s all he did.”Thomas said DPS has created a shadow box that will be put up in the office and the department will retire Lawrence’s badge number, 41.
UPDATED: Aug. 28, 2017 at 2:38 p.m.Forward Taurean Thompson has reportedly withdrawn from Syracuse and “likely won’t be back,” according to Donna Ditota of Syracuse.com.“We have been informed that Taurean is taking a leave of absence from Syracuse University,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said in a statement to Syracuse.com. “My understanding is he wants to go to school closer to home due to some family health issues.”Summer-long rumors speculated something like this would happen, Ditota reported. She wrote that Thompson did not attend summer classes, “unusual though not unprecedented.” That Thompson was rumored to maybe transfer from SU or pursue a professional career. That Thompson has not responded to messages and invitations from teammates over the summer.Thompson’s two high school coaches, Bob Hurley at St. Anthony (New Jersey) High School and Jason Smith at Brewster (New Hampshire) Academy, both told The Daily Orange that they had not heard from him in months.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThompson attended a closing ceremony for St. Anthony in May, Hurley said, and at that time everything seemed “normal. School and everything seemed good.” Jessica Sheldon | Staff PhotographerLast season, Thompson averaged 9.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. He shot 54.6 percent from the field while playing 17.9 minutes per game. He scored well, but struggled with foul trouble and learning the Orange’s 2-3 zone defense. Thompson rotated in at center.Now, at that position, Syracuse has only Paschal Chukwu, the 7-foot-2 Providence, Rhode Island transfer who missed most of last season after eye surgery, and Bourama Sidibe, an incoming freshman. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on August 28, 2017 at 1:40 pm Contact Sam: firstname.lastname@example.org | @Sam4TR