It's Reefer Madness for Real 

It's Reefer Madness for Real 
Posted by FoM on June 07, 2000 at 06:58:13 PT
Marijuana trade fuels gunplay in the streets 
Source: New York Daily News
The children of St. Mark's Lutheran School in Bushwick, Brooklyn, play outside warily now, remembering the morning last month when 15 gunshots erupted nearby. Luckily the children were inside at the time, but they were frantic just the same. "I heard banging out on Bushwick Ave.; I counted but then I lost count," said Principal Veronica Gordon. "I was scared myself."
Veronica Gordon, principal of St. Mark's Lutheran School in Bushwick, Brooklyn, is concerned for the safety of students following drug-related gunfire. It was a throwback to a time when daylight gunfire took a constant, heavy toll on neighborhoods as crack gangs battled each other.But according to police, the shots fired on Bushwick and Weirfield St. represent a new citywide phenomenon: The marijuana trade is fueling the kind of bloodshed that crack cocaine did a decade ago."Marijuana violence is going through the roof," said Garry McCarthy, NYPD deputy commissioner for operations. "It's a trend we've identified over the last few months. "We have evidence that what is happening is bad, violent people who used to be crack dealers are now marijuana dealers."A first-time offender can receive a minimum of one to three years in prison for the sale of just one vial of crack, while the sale of 10 pounds of marijuana can result in probation. That disparity coupled with years of major crackdowns on heroin and cocaine has driven many dealers into the equally lucrative marijuana market.Guns are increasingly found among police seizures of pot. Eight of the 18 shootings this year in Bushwick's 83rd Precinct and four of the precinct's five homicides occurred in a small area where pot dealers flourish, police said. Heroin and crack once ruled those same streets."The shootings are related to the marijuana trade because they involve marijuana dealers, sales, or the criminal records of victims show marijuana," said Capt. Kevin Unick, commander of the 83rd Precinct.On May 17, cops raided three buildings on Cornelia St., seizing 100 pounds of marijuana from one of the pastel aluminum-sided houses, and arresting eight people."Up the block there was a homicide; there were two other shootings on that block. We believe it to be the result of people trying to compete for the marijuana trade," Unick said."Cornelia St. used to have a lot of heroin locations, 35 brand names," Unick said. "Now it's pot, vacuum-sealed and packaged."The same pattern has evolved elsewhere.In the 47th Precinct in the North Bronx, for example, 32 people have been shot this year in 25 incidents; 11 of the victims died. At least three of the homicides and five of the incidents are believed linked to the pot wars."There is violence connected to something that was always seen as a nonviolent drug," said Deputy Inspector Kevin Clark of the 47th Precinct.Marijuana seizures have doubled. Police have recovered about 8,000 pounds since Jan. 1, compared with about 4,000 pounds during the same period last year.Chief Charles Kammerdener of the NYPD narcotics bureau said nearly a third of the city's known outdoor drug locations are now devoted to marijuana. "That is quite high," he said. "And areas that had no marijuana now sell crack and marijuana."People forget narcotics is a business, and there's a lot of money to be made. That can lead to disputes and violence."On May 10, Kammerdener said, eight people were arrested on Arden St. in Inwood, Manhattan. They allegedly controlled the marijuana trade on the block between Nagle and Sherman Aves."Undercovers spent $11,000 there in a few months," Kammerdener said. "Multiply that by hundreds of people a week going to that one block."He added: "We are looking at some of the individuals being involved in some shootings." Special narcotics prosecutor Bridget Brennan said cocaine organizations are involved in marijuana sales "in bulk, very substantial amounts."Her agency's investigators broke a case in Washington Heights involving four brothers who sold cocaine and "supermarijuana"  grown hydroponically. The organization set aside two apartments for growing dope, which allegedly sold for $8,000 a pound.Authorities are trying to create a strategy to end the violence.In the 47th Precinct, for the last two months, cops have set up roadblocks and targeted quality-of-life offenses along White Plains Road, where dealers ply cocaine and pot. Avery Mehlman, chief of the Brooklyn District Attorney's narcotics bureau, said the Cornelia St. defendants' prior arrests for selling pot will be part of the prosecution. "We are taking a harder look at the marijuana trade," said Mehlman, "working with narcotics detectives to crack down, because violence has been attributed to it.""After we take someone down, people may try to move in, so my concern is the followup," said Bushwick's Unick. "We'll keep a uniformed presence."That is a comfort to Principal Gordon of St. Mark's Lutheran School, where the fusillade nearby is believed linked to a previous killing over pot."The police told us not to use the courtyard for a couple of weeks," she said as her students did jumping jacks outside. "Now they told us to use the street again, and they stop by frequently to check up on things."You can't keep kids in forever."By Patrice O'Shaughnessy, Daily News Staff WriterPublication Date: June 7, 2000 2000 Daily News, L.P.CannabisNews Articles On Reefer Madness:
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Comment #6 posted by MikeEEEEE on June 07, 2000 at 16:51:40 PT
The only solution
From the article: Authorities are trying to create a strategy to end the violence.Here's the solution: Stop prohibition!!! Probibition part 2 failed.
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Comment #5 posted by steve1 on June 07, 2000 at 16:09:53 PT
what do we need a few more AL CAPONE and some more massacres before the laws change? I think so.
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Comment #4 posted by JBC420 on June 07, 2000 at 14:05:57 PT
Makes you think
Back during Alchohol prohibition gangsters often trafficed in alcohol. When prohibiton ended this phenomenon greatly declined(didnt stop some still sell un-taxed liquor). If marijuana were legalized people like this wouldn't have a market for their product. Who would buy from a street thug when all they had to do was go to the store.
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Comment #3 posted by CD1 on June 07, 2000 at 12:25:46 PT
Once again, the anti-marijuana crowd is blaming problems on marijuana, when the real problem is marijuana prohibition.
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Comment #2 posted by Dan B on June 07, 2000 at 09:02:38 PT:
Black Market Violence
"There is violence connected to something that was always seen as a nonviolent drug," said Deputy Inspector Kevin Clark of the 47th Precinct.This quotation seems to sum up nicely the reason for the violence: the black market, not marijuana. It is the drug trade, not the drug, that fuels this kind of bloodshed. If we get marijuana out of the hands of criminals and into the hands of the average American entrepreneur, this bloodshed will cease. 
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Comment #1 posted by Seth Olsen on June 07, 2000 at 08:22:50 PT:
The Joys of Prohibition
	Hopefully, this will lead to an awareness among the populace that such violence is a direct result of drug users' and dealers' inability to enforce their contracts through legal, nonviolent channels. Otherwise, it may lead to a tightening of the vice of prohibition in the name of reducing the violence. Such an option is more likely to make it worse than better. Fortunately, enough priveledged individuals and their children use marijuana so that tightening the vice too much will lead these people, who hold the greatest fraction of power in this country, to react against such action.Seth Olsen
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