Court Ruling Ends Reverse Marijuana Sting Operations 10/30/98

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!

The New York State Court of Appeals dealt a blow to a controversial but popular tactic in marijuana enforcement last week (10/22) when it ruled that people arrested in reverse sting or "sell and bust" operations cannot be charged with criminal solicitation.

Police, who are forbidden from selling actual marijuana, generally use a substitute such as oregano when posing as dealers to arrest unsuspecting buyers. That eliminates the possibility of charging them with possession. And because there is no official penalty for "attempted possession" of marijuana, police had been charging arrestees with criminal solicitation. The court ruled, however, that the New York Penal Code stipulates that "a person is not guilty of solicitation when that solicitation constitutes conduct of a kind that is necessarily incidental to the commission of the crime solicited."

This language exists to insure that a person cannot be charged both with a crime and additionally with an act that is necessarily subsumed by the first charge. 54 defendants who had been so charged for their efforts to buy small quantities of marijuana from undercover officers had their cases dismissed.

Thomas Morse, the Assistant District Attorney in this case, insisted that the legal loophole would be closed and that it would soon be a crime in New York to "attempt to possess" marijuana. He told The New York Times, "We're going to move the halls of justice to the corridors of the Legislature. We hope to find a sponsor in the next session."

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #65, 10/30/98 Announcements | STUDY: 13% Of Black Men Ineligible to Vote | Mother Holding Child Shot by Police in Her Home | Medical Marijuana Goes to Voters on Tuesday | Forces Lined Up For and Against I-59 | Report from Oregon | Court Ruling Ends Reverse Marijuana Sting Operations | Tasmanian Government Wants Possession of Marijuana Legalized | Editorial: The 13% Solution
Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]