Skip to main content

 photo JacobLavorajpg_zps85e5c668.jpg

Melanie Lofton of Khon2 reports a 19 year old Texas man facing possible life sentence for pot brownies. Because this teenager used hash oil instead of regular marijuana to bake his pound an a half of marijuana brownies the aggressive Texas prosecutor can use the weight of the "sugar, cocoa, butter and other ingredients to determine the weight of the drugs" so the state's drug law allow it to charge Jacob Lavoro with selling a pound and half of "hash oil," rather than the fraction of an ounce or so that he actually used,  which will therefore count as a first-degree felony - a charge which carries a penalty of 10 years to life in prison.

That will teach him a lesson!

“It’s outrageous. It’s crazy. I don’t understand it,” Joe Lavoro, the man’s father said.

“Five years to life? I’m sorry. I’m a law abiding citizen. I’m a conservative. I love my country. I’m a Vietnam veteran, but I’ll be &%$#ed. This is wrong. This is &%$n wrong!” the father said.

The former high school football player has a clean record.

“If he did something wrong, he should be punished but to the extent that makes sense. This is illogical. I’m really upset, and I’m frightened, I’m frightened for my son,” Joe said.

Holmes the boys lawyer noticed this is the same country that withheld evidence in the Morton case "where a man spent 25 year in prison and he was complete innocent." He also said the District Attorney has not returned his calls.

If they did not include the weight of the sugar, cocoa and butte Holmes believes this offense should be charged as a misdemeanor.

I expect Joe Lovoro will be the last of the Lororo line that voluntarily serves his country's armed services with pride. When a country treats its citizens like fodder why should citizens serve that country? And at what point does the social contract become invalid? At what point did Jacob Lavoro, and the 70 plus million like him, get to sign his contract?

To imagine how totally stupid and tragic our drug laws are, in addition to the damage a sentence of 10 year to life will do to this poor 19 year boy, and his family think also of the cost of approximately $50,000/year it will cost the taxpayers to put him in person for a minimum of 10 years will be $500,000. $1.5 million for 30 years. And what will this man do when he gets out of jail?

This is insane, and inhumane. Seriously. If this is how we are going to treat our people we ought to seriously consider mass sterilization, for we are a nation unfit to have children. If we should discover intelligent life on another planet we should declare ourselves non compos mentis and ask them to become our guardian ad litem for it appears not only are we a cruel and mean spirited species but we are not even apparently competent enough to manage our own affairs.

Who will protect us from our own system of justice? From our DEA? From our police departments? From our Attorney Generals? From our CIA, and NSA? How do we prepare our innocent children for the harsh reality that the fear they must guard against vastly more than being beaten up by the bullies at school, or the viscous gangs or drug criminals in the cities, are the police departments, entrapment by undercover DEA agents, or their local police departments, he United States District Courts, and the U.S. District Attorney who may send them to jail for the rest of their their lives for selling a pound and a half of pot brownies.

Quick run for your life son, it's the cops! You never now what they may want. Hide in the basement.    

1:06 PM PT:

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (49+ / 0-)

    Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

    by HoundDog on Tue May 20, 2014 at 10:20:13 AM PDT

    •  I hope you are right. What a traumatic experience (11+ / 0-)

      it is going to be. It is hard to now anymore. Some of this zero tolerance people seem to have no compassion or common sense.

      I feel traumatized just reading about it.

      A healthy person is supposed to have resiliency. Once one has been traumatized sufficient number of times and suffered losses one has not fully recovered from damage my be irreparable.

      Neitztche (spelling?) was famous for that quote, "what doesn't kill you lives you stronger."

      I think he may have been wrong about that that. That sad truth might be "What doesn't kill you at first leaves you weaker so that so you slowly wither away and some little thing you might have otherwise survived will kill you off later."

      And I think he might have written this down if it were not for the fact he spent his last years in a sanotarium after going mad from syphylus.

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

      by HoundDog on Tue May 20, 2014 at 10:34:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have a good friend... (16+ / 0-)

      who was at a poker party one night in Dallas. He had enough coke for his own use. The party was raided and it was the wrong address.   __ was the only one who had any drugs on him. The cops had to do something so  they  were extremely rough with him and charged him with  resisting arrest, assaulting an officer and the coke. He got 50 years. He was 33. This was in 1975.

      Don't mess with Texas.

      This brownie case is another example of 'law gone bad'. Happens a lot in Texas.

      If I wasn't Bob Dylan, I'd probably think that Bob Dylan has a lot of answers myself. Bob Dylan

      by weezilgirl on Tue May 20, 2014 at 10:41:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How sad. Broken lives. No compassion. A police (9+ / 0-)

        state. Once someone is in jail in this country the rest of people do no give a shit. You might as well be an illegal aliens or a "foreigner." Once they let you out of prison you could starve on the street homeless and folks will just step right over you.

        When the Jimi Hendrix Experience tribute band came to Boston about 10 years ago, my son was about 14, we had go down to the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Boston, which is off of the Commons. It was February.

        There is a side street. Its one of the places they don't run the homeless people off so they sleep in the doorways, wrapped in old blankets and newspapers. My son wanted me to do something about one of them who looked pretty bad. We were about to be late, so I had to bite my lip and tell him that was a job for the police who were walking by ignoring them.

        We walked on in. It was one of the best concerts ever.

        But when you have to step over dying and starving homeless people in 20 degree whether to get to your rock concert and tell your 14 year old son not to worry about it, it leaves a sad scar on one soul that never heals.

        Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

        by HoundDog on Tue May 20, 2014 at 11:29:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, HoundDog, I'm so sorry (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ladybug53

          I know that we all look back and see that we could have done something differently, but at that time, we were doing what we thought was best. I, too, have those scars. xoxox

          If I wasn't Bob Dylan, I'd probably think that Bob Dylan has a lot of answers myself. Bob Dylan

          by weezilgirl on Tue May 20, 2014 at 11:48:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I've seen homeless in wheelchairs (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ladybug53

          trying to get situated for the night in a 34 degree drizzle.

          I can still see it.

          I did nothing but walk on by telling myself I had to get on home before it really started raining hard.

          Sorry, everybody.

    •  Meanwhile they are letting loose a repeat rapist (7+ / 0-)

      in my neck of the woods. He has raped FORTY-SIX women! Everytime he gets out he rapes again!!!

      I actually run into people who claim that rape is not much of a crime, which makes my blood boil. "Obviously" women are "sexually repressed" because they ought to "enjoy it."

      Rapists should be the ones to get life sentences, along with murderers.

      But someone who sells a little pot is THE REAL THREAT TO SOCIETY!

      Actually I am pretty certain that without public outcry THEY WOULD imprison him for life. There are others that they have done the same thing to. They want to make an example of people. I imagine Texas, being conservative, is one of the worst.

      One thing is does have going for him is that he is white. For sure a black or hispanic person would have an even harder time fighting this.

      We do have intelligent life on this planet. What we don't have is SANE LIFE.

      If billionaires can afford to spend millions of dollars so that they can avoid paying taxes and fair wages, then they *can afford* to pay taxes and fair wages!

      by Pixie5 on Tue May 20, 2014 at 11:28:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've read cases out in Florida where the prisons (5+ / 0-)

        got so full there had to let out armed robbers and rapist to make room for some of the drug prisoners who had mandatory sentences.

        Or maybe it was that the robbers had served like half of their sentences but the druggies were just coming in, -yes, I think that was it.  

        Absolutely crazy.

        We need sentencing reform.

        They should use ankle bracelets for drug sentences. No jail time at all. Counseling, AA meeting, whatever. But, paying $50,000 per year is stupid, and counterproductive even for the ones that were dealing and do a crimes. Users should even be charged.

        Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

        by HoundDog on Tue May 20, 2014 at 11:34:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Cruel and Unusual in a civil society. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog


    If music be the food of love, then laughter is its queen, and likewise, if behind is in front, then dirt in truth is clean.

    by glb3 on Tue May 20, 2014 at 10:29:14 AM PDT

    •  Agreed. (0+ / 0-)

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

      by HoundDog on Tue May 20, 2014 at 11:35:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I gotta believe a judge would kill this case... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, peacestpete, ColoTim

    outright after finding out the perverse formula the prosecutor's using for weight determination.

    If not, you're right. We should all heed your cautionary.

    Quick run for your life son, it's the cops! You never now what they may want. Hide in the basement.

    "If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged." - 17th-century French clergyman and statesman Cardinal Richelieu.

    by markthshark on Tue May 20, 2014 at 10:32:28 AM PDT

    •  You would like to think so but generally (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Floande, Joffan, Jesse Douglas, gfv6800

      most prosecutors would insist on at least a felony conviction if not significant jail time.  Prosecutors love the formula that allows them to count all of the ingredients for weight purposes.  In NC carrying around someone else's cough medicine can get you charged with trafficking in opiods.  And they do charge people like this.  Prosecutors love draconian laws because they know they can almost always get some life-changing felony conviction out of a person who is looking at spending the rest of their life (or a significant portion of it) in prison.  What would you advise your son to do if the DA says you can have probation just so long as you plead guilty to a felony?  Prosecutors judge their success rate on the numbers of high level convictions.  It is a perverse system and most states as well as the federal system have abdicated all judicial discretion in favor of giving prosecutors complete control.  Why would a prosecutor, who can advance his career and bring more grant money into the office choose to let this kid go when he could get a conviction for trafficking.  Sure, compassion and common sense would make you let it go.  But there are plenty of prosecutors who are much more motivated by money and career advancement than by compassion.  They chose this job and it doesn't attract the compassionate.  And so long as the laws are written in a way to keep our privately operated prisons operating at full capacity the prosecutors will have disproportionate power.

      "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

      by stellaluna on Tue May 20, 2014 at 11:43:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Really? Ya wanna go Soveriegn? (0+ / 0-)
    At what point did Jacob Lavoro, and the 70 plus million like him, get to sign his contract?
    ...when he walked on his first public road.

    It doesn't work that way, and you know that.

    This is a crappy situation, but crappy situations are part of a " Rule Of Law" system. Ya don't get to opt out of laws because you think they're unfair.

    I've got a lot of sympathy for this kid, but he was a fool to break the law without knowing exactly what laws he was breaking, and the possible ramifications.

    •  I think the whole point of the diary... (16+ / 0-)

      ...was that the sentencing guideline is unfair, and I think that is true on its face. I think that it is patently obvious that this kid hurt precisely no one, and that the basis of the sentencing guideline is specious and designed to be overly punitive.

      If this were a story about some guy hunting turkey out of season and it turned out Texas had a mandatory 20 year prison sentence for doing that, I'd still be sympathetic.

      We have a "justice" system in this country that is perverse. We have over 2 million people in this country serving time in prison. More than 20 times more than we did 30 years ago. Do you think that it might merit some critical examination and that this might be one example of miscarriage?

      Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

      by The Termite on Tue May 20, 2014 at 10:39:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not arguing that he should be excused RJ. (6+ / 0-)

      I'm raising the larger point for all of us.

      Right now before the next generation walks on their first road, do we not have the moral obligation to debate on their behalf the legitimacy of the contract in which the individuals give up some modicum of freedom to the state so that the state can protect our collective common good on our behalf?

      Of course, it can we've made that deal, that what the legitimacy of our government is base on.

      But with that in mind how do we justify a "war on drugs" in which our government in the "interest of our common good," in our "collective best interest" launches a war against" approxiamatelly 30% to 40% of our own population?

      That I propose is an unjust war which is a violation of the intent of our contract and should be terminated and corrected.

      General McCaffery, a leader during the Vietnam war and a former DEA leader was interviewed about lessons learned from the Vietnam War fiasco. He said the most important lesson the top DOD and Pentagon General and Admiral learned was to never again fight a war the American people did not fully support.

      I nearly fell out of my chair I the irony that he did not get it. There he was leading a war against American drug users.

      At that time just the number of Americans who had tried marijuana was 68 million, which I think was somewhere near about a third to 40% of the adult population. If you add in illicit use of their spouses prescriptions drugs etc. I do not no what it is but you get my point.

      I would add other non-violent moral crimes such a adult sex workers, not child abuse. Register and license them. But we should organize our society in such a way as to have the minimum number of people be criminals for what people are going to be doing anyway.

      This is not to endorse any activity that harms anyone else, or violates anyone else property rights, or violates any one else self-determinism.

      Especially since we seem to have crossed a point of no return with regard to NSA and corporate surveillance of the individual if we do not minimize the number of potential crimes individuals will be subject to extortion and blackmail in numerous ways people are not even imagining now.

      It is not possible or reasonable to expect an individual to make a choice on the social contract before he or she walks on their first road, or attends their first kindergarten.

      There is no option any longer to opt out of the social contract. No "western frontier or Australia to escape to.

      The best we can hope for is that we are wise enough as a people to pause at moments like this and realize that something has gone terrible wrong, and it is more than just a case error in this courthouse in Texas.

      It is more than just this District Attorney in Texas.

      It is more than just the Drug Laws in the whole country.

      Perhaps, I am pushing the point to far, but IMO I believe our issues, go require an higher level examination of the balances of rights, and powers between the Individuals, States, Federal Goverments, and Corporations but I'll be the first to admit this claim goes far beyond the evidence illustrated by the case presented here.

      And, I'm not even sure I given the political environment with the Tea Party right now I would even want to open up that question now, if I had a magic button to open up a Constitutional Convention to consider it. -- in fact if you gave me that option an I had to decide at this second I am certain I would not put it.

      But I think people like you and I and other progressive Democrats should be devoting a certain amount of our time to preparing for such a moment because I believe we are in peril in that regard, and losing that battle, and may be past the point of no return.

      I mean I am pessimistic about it RJ. We may have lost already.

      But have to make the best of what we've got, which, means in this case reforming our drug laws, sentencing reform, and hopefully convincing President Obama and the Governors to review the 800,000 nonviolent drug prisoners for potential amnesty. With the goal of releasing like about 600,000 of them at least.

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

      by HoundDog on Tue May 20, 2014 at 11:08:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Please tell me why murderers and rapists get less (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RMForbes

      time than this kid. And would you really expect ANYONE to know that using hash oil carried a stiffer penalty than straight pot?

      That is too similiar to the way that coke and crack are catagorized. Coke, which is generally used by people who are white and middle-class or higher, carries a smaller penalty than crack. Why is that? It is the same drug! So a poor person (and likely not white) is going to prison for using/selling crack, while those who use or sell the more "respectable" cocaine don't.

      He made a mistake for sure, but he should be given probation and community service.

      And I am sorry but the very definition of teenagers includes the fact they generally lack good judgment since the brain doesn't even become mature until 25.

      So does he deserve to have his whole life ruined over a piddly crime? Especially since he has had a clean record until now?

      You strike me as someone who sees everything in black and white and will excuse any kind of injustice based on your belief that the law is always right, set in stone and never to be questioned. That is completely illogical.

      If billionaires can afford to spend millions of dollars so that they can avoid paying taxes and fair wages, then they *can afford* to pay taxes and fair wages!

      by Pixie5 on Tue May 20, 2014 at 11:57:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Anyone who lives in TX just needs (13+ / 0-)

    to recognize that they live in a place where justice is meted out 14th-Century style. The time to move away is before you unluckily get caught in the TX criminal justice system. It's really all about plucking out a few basically law-abiding citizens and destroying their lives for sport. If that's not your thing, move as far away from TX as you can.

    •  If it were me I'd flee the country. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IB JOHN, doc2
    •  People often ask me why I left Texas and (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      uniqity, HoundDog, ColoTim, YucatanMan

      moved overseas ...

      The world is bad enough as it is, you have no right to make it any worse.
      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

      by InAntalya on Tue May 20, 2014 at 10:57:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  After seeing all the insanity in Texas I am fairly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RMForbes, doc2

      sure that I would never move there if I could help it. Just the fact that people are allowed to carry around assault rifles in public is enough for me. Someone selling pot brownies gets prison, but the government is just fine and dandy about people threatening others with guns in public.

      Seriously I thought the Wild, Wild West was history...

      Every once in a while I see Texans calling for the right to secede from the Union. I, for one, would be quite happy with that arrangement. Just let the lunatics run the asylum down. I can think of a few more states that could follow.

      Not to bash the good people that live there. It is just that they keep electing idiots to run their state.

      If billionaires can afford to spend millions of dollars so that they can avoid paying taxes and fair wages, then they *can afford* to pay taxes and fair wages!

      by Pixie5 on Tue May 20, 2014 at 12:11:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Somebody should ask anyone involved (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    live1

    in writing those laws why they shouldn't get life in prison too.

    Hey, an eye for a tooth.  Or whatever that said.

    Best Scientist Ever Predicts Bacon Will Be Element 119 On The Periodic Table

    by dov12348 on Tue May 20, 2014 at 10:39:54 AM PDT

  •  $2 billion wasted every year on the War on Drugs. (5+ / 0-)

    His Dad is wrong, no one should get punished for this. But I'm sure DEA director Michele Leonhart is smiling.

    I'm not serious. Seriously.

    by IB JOHN on Tue May 20, 2014 at 10:51:49 AM PDT

    •  And that's only the direct cost to the taxpayer (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IB JOHN, Floande

      If you take into account the economic impact on the lives destroyed by their encounter with the legal system because of these drug prohibitions, it has cost us trillions of dollars in decreased economic growth since this failed war on drugs was started by the Nixon Administration in 1971.

      Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

      by RMForbes on Tue May 20, 2014 at 11:38:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another prosecutor dreams of a political career (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    uniqity, a2nite, ColoTim

    And if he has to walk to his destiny over the broken backs of some hapless teenagers, well, great men just dont worry about little stuff like that.

  •  read this yesterday and thought the kid would (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, HoundDog, ColoTim

    possibly have been better off trying to shoot it out with the cops.
    This calls to mind the crazy 60s when I seem to remember  Lindsey pushed through the death penalty for drug dealers in NY only to find that this increased the number of gunfights between cops and drug dealers.  (This is from memory so feel free to correct my memory as needed)  It seemed for the drug dealers, since they were already facing a possible death sentence, back in the day before it was outlawed, decided what would they get for shooting a cop or two extra?  Two death penalties?

    Draconian drug enforcement rarely accomplishes its goals.  Ask the Saudis or other countries with the death penalty for drug possession

  •  I feel for this young man and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, Cassandra Waites, ColoTim

    his parents.  No one should be handed this kind of punishment for this "crime."  No one.  I don't care who it is, this is cruel and extreme punishment.

    I'm with HoundDog:

    But have to make the best of what we've got, which, means in this case reforming our drug laws, sentencing reform, and hopefully convincing President Obama and the Governors to review the 800,000 nonviolent drug prisoners for potential amnesty. With the goal of releasing like about 600,000 of them at least.  

    I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

    by KayCeSF on Tue May 20, 2014 at 11:22:35 AM PDT

  •  That Texas evidence rule needs to be overturned (5+ / 0-)

    as an unconstitutiona, legally sanctioned police/prosecutor  manipulation of the physical analysis of evidence.

  •  Dad If You're a Vietnam Vet You're Plenty Old Enuf (7+ / 0-)

    to have seen what happens when good people vote conservative.

    Especially where recreational plants are involved.

    I hope your son is able to get out of this reasonably soon, and I hope you reconsider your politics.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue May 20, 2014 at 11:30:47 AM PDT

  •  I really doubt this young man will get a long (4+ / 0-)

    prison sentence because of his race. If he were of another race with darker skin in Texas he would likely get the maximum sentence. After all, these drug prohibitions are really about controlling minority populations and keeping the working poor in economic desperation. This is insanity.

    The real issue here will not even be discussed by the court. Hash oil is not a drug, it's an essential oil. It does contain actual cannabinoid drugs which could be actually measured fairly accurately. Of course, the prosecutor wouldn't even consider looking at this so called crime fairly and the fact that cannabinoid drugs are not harmful at all. They never have in the past and they very likely never will. I am very sad for the people of Texas.

    Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

    by RMForbes on Tue May 20, 2014 at 11:30:48 AM PDT

    •  ...and, sad for the other 47 states (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RMForbes

      where recreational MJ. is illegal?  It's not necessarily a lot different there.  The degree of screwed-up-ness of the evidence law/procedure is undeniable in TX, but I imagine there are out-of-whack provisions in most other jurisdictions, too.

      I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

      by tom 47 on Tue May 20, 2014 at 12:34:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Williamson County (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VeloDramatic, YucatanMan

    This is the ultra-ultra conservative area just North of Austin that is notorious for ridiculous prosecution. It will take an Act of God to make this prosecutor pursue anything less than the maximum he can get on this man.

    And as Gooserock said above, these people need to understand that this is exactly what happens when you vote Republican. And for this man's father that's justifiably concerned about his son, this is what happens, Dad.

    Now, watch as the liberals he probably despises go to bat for his son to try to get a more reasonable outcome.

    [Terrorists] are a dime a dozen, they are all over the world and for every one we lock up there will be three to take his place. --Digby

    by rabel on Tue May 20, 2014 at 11:58:53 AM PDT

  •  it's time for a national discussion on cannabis (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RMForbes

    rescheduling is the only realistic way to prevent this kind of crap from happening.

    sad that this guy and countless others are tossed into the meat grinder for something i can go buy at the store.

    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -Bertrand Russell

    by elkhunter on Tue May 20, 2014 at 12:02:31 PM PDT

  •  Holder and Obama are complicit in this. Cowards. (0+ / 0-)
    •  Come on (0+ / 0-)

      These backwards areas will always cling to their racist and class warfare drug laws for their profit no matter what Obama or Holder does. In fact, they would hold on to and more vehemently support these laws even more if Obama tried to do away with them. You seem to have Obama derangement syndrome just as bad as these people. In reality not every issue is Obama's fault.

      Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

      by RMForbes on Tue May 20, 2014 at 12:46:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Possible reasons for throwing the book (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dawgflyer13, RMForbes, grubber

    1. They want to start with a biiiiig charge, so they can plea bargain down to something that's still fairly substantial.

    It’s unlikely that he will actually get a life sentence. But the threat of a life sentence does give the prosecutor a better hand when negotiating a plea bargain.
    ...when weighed against the possibility of life in prison, a judge and prosecutor could leave this guy with a felony record, a year in prison and five years of probation, and come off looking downright reasonable.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...
    2. This wasn't just one pan of brownies for a party, or a friend. It was part of an ongoing business, so they want to maximize the consequences.
    Round Rock Police laid out the allegation in an arrest affidavit.  Police allege Jacob Lavoro of operating a pot cookie and brownie business right out of his apartment. "It's just right across the hall" exclaimed neighbor Prasanna Prahaladhan.  "It's scary he was able to pull it off right next door." Police say inside Lavoro's apartment they found six bags of cookies, nine bags of brownies, and $1,675 in cash.  According to a text conversation copied in the affidavit, Lavoro even delivered the goodies himself.
    http://www.keyetv.com/...

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Tue May 20, 2014 at 12:13:45 PM PDT

    •  This makes more sense (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, OrganicChemist

      thank you for telling the WHOLE story.

      It wasn't A batch of brownies - he was operating a business.. he was a dealer. So, yes, he's going to get the book thrown at him - every, single time.

      Doesn't make it right, just makes it what it is.

      It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness- Unknown -7.50, -5.03

      by dawgflyer13 on Tue May 20, 2014 at 01:08:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He was not a drug dealer, he was selling baked (0+ / 0-)

        goods and not drugs. Marijuana, which is only a slang term for the dried female flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant that is normally smoked, is no more a drug than green tea and hash oil is no more a drug than the green tea extract sold at health food stores for weight control.

        He was charged with selling baked goods infused with hash oil, he was not charged with selling drugs. The actual cannabinoid drugs found in the hash oil are far less detrimental to our health than the fat and sugar in the baked goods he was peddling. Plus, he was not charged with distributing the only controlled cannabinoid drug THC.

        Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

        by RMForbes on Tue May 20, 2014 at 01:53:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He wasn't charged with selling baked goods (0+ / 0-)

          He was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance. as well as charged with manufacture/delivery of a substance.

          What bumped it to a felony was they were allowed to claim the weight of the controlled substance as = the weight of the whole batch.
          http://www.policestateusa.com/...

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Tue May 20, 2014 at 02:57:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And I'll say it again, marijuana is not a drug (0+ / 0-)

            It's a slang term for the DRIED FEMALE FLOWERS and LEAVES of the cannabis plants that are normally smoked. The fact that a slang term has ended up in our legal system is a travesty of justice. This problem happens when even those of us that want to end this ridiculous prohibition conflate dried marijuana, cannabis plants and the cannabinoid drug THC as if they mean the same thing when in reality they are not at all the same things.  

            Marijuana is no more a drug than the dried leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant we call green tea is a drug. The primary psychoactive drug in green tea is caffeine and the primary and controlled psychoactive drug produced by the resin glands of the cannabis plant is the cannabinoid drug THC. THC, CBD and CBN are drugs but not the dried flowers of leaves. He should have been charged with the possession and distribution of the cannabinoid drugs like THC instead of dried plant material that is no longer illegal to grow in America since the President signed this years Farm Bill.

            Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

            by RMForbes on Tue May 20, 2014 at 03:55:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Tomato - Tomahtoe (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OrganicChemist

          Under our current (ridiculous) drug laws Hash Oil is a Schedule 1 narcotic - a drug.

          Selling a Schedule 1 narcotic is a crime - it's called, in street slang, "dealing", especially over certain amounts.

          You may not like the drug laws, I certainly don't.  I was merely making the point (one that has been, oddly, left out of this diary) that it was not A batch of brownies that he baked and got caught with. He was operating a business - he had been doing it for a while, and had quite a stash when he was caught.  He wasn't some poor, misguided kid who baked a batch of brownies to see what would happen, or to take to a buddies party... no, he was baking them and then selling them.  It was a pretty lucrative business from what I can tell... especially given he was caught with over $1600 in cash on him.

          The totality of these circumstances makes him a dealer - any way you slice it.

          Also, hash oil has a MUCH higher THC concentration than regular MJ...  

          Do I care? Nope... I wonder if they were any good.  But there is a HUGE part of me that is sick and tired of people cherry picking facts to fit a narrative... tell the WHOLE DAMN STORY!  Quit trying to make these people into fucking heroes, or poor, pitiful, helpless things we are supposed to feel sorry for.

          Because I don't...  

          Also, would it be preferable if the IRS threw him in jail for failure to pay taxes on those cash profits - it worked for Capone.

          It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness- Unknown -7.50, -5.03

          by dawgflyer13 on Tue May 20, 2014 at 03:37:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •   How can marijuana or even hashish be a narcotic (0+ / 0-)

            if it is not actually a drug? Even the primary cannabinoid drug found in cannabis resins, THC, is hardly a real narcotic. All herbal Cannabinoids including THC are some of the most therapeutic and less toxic substances known. Why do you accept the propaganda that marijuana is the same thing as how the prohibitionists define it? Just because they say so and get their definitions codified into the penal code doesn't make it true.

            Hash oil does not necessarily have a higher THC to CBD ratio which would produce a stronger THC high. I bought some hash oil back in the 70's that wouldn't get me high at all. I didn't know about CBD back then but I do now and I know for a fact that CBD kills the THC high when present in ratios slightly better than one to one. So even if hash oil has a higher concentration of THC it doesn't necessarily mean it is stronger.

            Unlike you I'm far less thrilled to throw someone in prison for non-violent offenses. Yes, he should have paid his taxes but he couldn't because of the draconian laws that are based upon the mythology of marijuana created decades ago. He did nothing wrong in my view, the real problem is with the unreasonable laws created originally to keep minorities and the poor in desperate situations. I don't think we need any more martyrs to the failed war on drugs in our prison system.

            It's way past time to end all this bullshit. No the dried plant material called marijuana, the cannabis plant or cannabinoid drugs like THC and CBD are not the same things at all and it's time that we all stop acting like they are because the prohibitionist say they are.

            Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

            by RMForbes on Tue May 20, 2014 at 06:07:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I never said I was thrilled (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              OrganicChemist

              to throw anyone in prison - jail/prison is a shitty place, I worked in one, it sucked. And, yes, I know how overcrowded the jails/prisons are because of these stupid and insane laws.  

              What I did say was: if you can't do the time, don't do the fucking crime.  Like it or not, what he did was a crime under our current laws. Don't like the laws? Then you change them...  that's how reform works.

              There are plenty of laws I don't like - I don't go around breaking them just because I don't agree with them.

              And, FYI, I live in California and have a medical marijuana license.  I had a psychologist in NC that recommended I try marijuana, but he couldn't prescribe it because it is illegal there - so I gave up everything to move to a state where I could legally obtain it.  I, literally, left everything behind - sold almost every living possession I had to move here.  I waited 3 years to save up enough money and worked 2 full time jobs just about all 3 years.  It sucked, and I could have very easily broken the law and obtained what has given me such relief, but I had no desire to go to jail or ruin my life with a drug arrest - so I waited.

              That's what you do.  

              Again, I have no fucking sympathy for this guy - none.

              It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness- Unknown -7.50, -5.03

              by dawgflyer13 on Tue May 20, 2014 at 06:30:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If we can't agree that the laws against cannabis (0+ / 0-)

                are the real problem then I'm afraid all is lost. Honestly, I don't get your attitude of "if you can't do the time...don't do the crime". To be blunt that is wingnut position and I can't disagree more.

                Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

                by RMForbes on Tue May 20, 2014 at 06:44:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  He also apparently had 143 grams... (0+ / 0-)

        of hash oil when over 4 grams is a felony. I don't necessarily agree with the aggregate ingredient formula for determining a charge, but he is clearly a dealer and not just a private recreational user.

        WE also know there have been numerous problems with edible cannabis products in Colorado which is causing a bit of a rethink in how to treat them there.

    •  But he is white so he must just be an entrepreneur (0+ / 0-)

      If he were a person of color and/or came from a poor neighborhood this would not have been news at all and he would get life without any chance of parole.

      Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

      by RMForbes on Tue May 20, 2014 at 01:17:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I t&r'd this diary for the topic, but I sure wish (0+ / 0-)

    that diarists around here would state all of the basic facts of a topic, the reportage of "what, who, where" at a minimum.
    I don't know if the diarist lives in Texas or not, but Texas is one big place.
    The only clue to the location of this travesty is the call sign of the tv station, khon2, which I and many others have never heard of.
    But wait you say, just click on the link given...no, sorry, I rarely click on third party links, and almost never on those of "the media". Media websites are often even more aggravating and intrusive than the Daily Kos site itself.
    Giving the city and county of this trial would be nice.

    "The church of life is not in a building, it is the open sky, the surrounding ocean, the beautiful soil"...George Helm, 1/1977

    by Bluefin on Tue May 20, 2014 at 12:34:09 PM PDT

    •  Here's your "where" (0+ / 0-)

      https://www.google.com/...
      OK, it's a link, but only to Google maps.

      This is not a sig-line.

      by Joffan on Tue May 20, 2014 at 01:40:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Again, a simple city and county couldn't be (0+ / 0-)

        stated, instead a link of dubious value is given.
        We Texans tend to keep general 'maps' in our heads with pertinent details of a given region, county or town (like stereotypes). Again, it's a friggen big place.
        The link itself provides latitude/longitude co-ordinates, that's great, sure. Trained as an actual navigator (and not as a mere user of 'the GPS thingy'), and having driven/flown hundreds of thousands of Texas miles, I can interpret it; but most people cannot without a damn click on 'the damn google'.
        And most still wouldn't realize from that link that that area is one of the state's reddest 'bagger/talibangelical paradises (and I've worked there many times, wouldn't care to live there at all).

        "The church of life is not in a building, it is the open sky, the surrounding ocean, the beautiful soil"...George Helm, 1/1977

        by Bluefin on Tue May 20, 2014 at 10:44:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just giving city/county (0+ / 0-)

          wouldn't give that interesting political-demographic background either.

          But just for you: Round Rock, Williamson County - also part of the Greater Austin area.

          This is not a sig-line.

          by Joffan on Wed May 21, 2014 at 11:01:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Prosecutorial overreach (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joe Jackson, RMForbes

    ... an epidemic that shows no sign of dying down.

    It is insanity that the prosecutor should bring a charge totally unsupported by reality in order to plea-bargain to some other charge still with draconian penalties. The process is only thought of as "normal" by habituation.

    But it is still insane.

    This is not a sig-line.

    by Joffan on Tue May 20, 2014 at 01:44:36 PM PDT

    •  It is a textbook example of insanity Joffan. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RMForbes, Joffan

      What, in increasing areas is legal and/or therapeutic behavior could cost Texas 60 years at about 50K/yr, $3,000000 (most of it to profit the odious prison/industrial cartel. Now there is a real crime. Not to mention the loss of a life and love for an act that is only a wrong geographically.  

      "the northern lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see. Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee". - Robert Service, Bard of the Yukon

      by Joe Jackson on Tue May 20, 2014 at 04:53:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  remember folks, last three Presidents smoked pot (0+ / 0-)

    that's 22+ solid years of Presidents that smoked pot like this kid when they were more or less his age.

    22+ solid years of Presidents that would have eaten one of those brownies at one point or another when they were about this kid's age.

    kinda makes you wonder.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site