April 14, 2016

I agree that a life sentence is far too harsh for this...

"Lee Carroll Brooker, a 75-year-old disabled veteran suffering from chronic pain, was arrested in July 2011 for growing three dozen marijuana plants for his own medicinal use behind his son’s house in Dothan, Ala., where he lived. For this crime, Mr. Brooker was given a life sentence with no possibility of release."

... but I can't get my mind around "three dozen marijuana plants for his own medicinal use."

"Alabama law mandates that anyone with certain prior felony convictions be sentenced to life without parole for possessing more than 1 kilogram, or 2.2 pounds, of marijuana, regardless of intent to sell."

Isn't that just to save the government the trouble of needing to prove intent to sell? The large amount defines the crime in a way that takes it out of the range of what a user would possess to supply his own needs. I'm not attempting to comment on that approach to defining crimes and making prosecutions easier to accomplish or on the legalization question generally. I'm just finding fault with the linked NYT editorial, which says the Supreme Court should take this case and find an 8th Amendment violation. The editorial loses credibility in the first sentence by saying "three dozen marijuana plants for his own medicinal use."

118 comments:

iqvoice said...

I confess to being marijuana ignorant. So how much marijuana can you grow from one plant, and is it enough to support a medicinal consumption level (as opposed to a recreational level?)

Ann Althouse said...

You can look it up on line. How many plants would you need to keep growing to continuously supply just one person? The answer sure isn't 36!

Robert Cook said...

Prosecutions shouldn't be made easier to accomplish, but harder. That's the point of the Bill of Rights.

Laslo Spatula said...

He should've just moved here to Washington.

I am Laslo.

Mark said...

Given this was the summer and he was growing outside, we can assume this crop is meant to last him the entire year?

If you are weighing the whole plants, 2.8 pounds doesn't seem like a massive amount of end product to last a year of constant daily use for pain.

AF said...

I agree it's not a believable statement. Almost as unbelievable is the claim of anyone that they are growing marijuana for their own "medical" use, if "medical" is taken to mean that they would not want to smoke marijuana if they were healthy. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with people smoking pot for recreation, or that pot doesn't make some people feel better, or even that a very small number of people might legitimately use it to improve certain health symptoms. But by and large, the "medical" aspect of the medical marijuana movement is disingenuous.

tim maguire said...

If you have to smoke a joint or more a day, three dozen plants isn't necessarily a lot. Were they at different stages of growth?

bagoh20 said...

Even if he was growing it and selling it, the sentence is ridiculous. The idea that growing a harmless plant in any quantity is as terrible as killing and/or raping is just retarded. Speeding or running a red light is more serious, even if you accept that pot is a bad thing. A harsh sentence should never be a possibility for a crime that only affects others if they knowingly choose to let it.

tim maguire said...

AF said...
I agree it's not a believable statement...if "medical" is taken to mean that they would not want to smoke marijuana if they were healthy.


Why would anyone take "medical" to mean that?

Expat(ish) said...

He's 75 and in ill health and going to a federal pen in the deep south.

What'd they really need to give him, three years?

-XC

Fernandinande said...

"Gonzalez said in a statement that 42 marijuana plants were seized from the property and the plants had an estimated street value of about $92,000. The plants were found behind a house in a wooded area."

$92,000/(2.8*16) = $2053/ounce. No, they never lie.

AF said...

"Why would anyone take "medical" to mean that?"

It's true of pretty much anything else you do for "medical" reasons. Unless you are using the word ironically.

Mr Wibble said...

A quick web search suggests that an outdoor plant can yield 17.5 ounces under perfect conditions. Assuming that they're not, and the plant yields 12 ounces of usable marijuana, then that comes to roughly 340 grams. With one gram per joint, then he'd have almost a year's worth just from one plant. Certainly enough to last a year with four or five plants.

36? He's selling.

BarrySanders20 said...

Althouse identifies the advocacy in the article that exposes its bias. Cruel neutrality is offended by the presumption that the plants were for personal use. and the law is designed to avoid the need for the government to prove intent.
What if he isn't a very productive farmer and his yield per plant is poor? Maybe he needs to grow 36 plants to produce the same amount of useable weed as a non-disabled farmer schooled in the ways of soil fertilization would produce. Basing a criminal statute on the number of plants or the total weight seems strange since that presumes all plants and farmers are the same.

Sean Gleeson said...

Althouse: "How many plants would you need to keep growing to continuously supply just one person?"

But your assumptions are faulty. Considering (1) the constant pain the man is in, (2) the physically taxing nature of gardening work, and (3) the risk of exposure for every day those plants were out there, why would he want to be continuously growing the crop? Would it not make much more sense to get a large supply (even a lifetime supply if possible) out of the effort, so that he would not have to keep doing it? The three dozen plants certainly do not disprove his intention to use them himself, at least to me.

coupe said...

His logic is that of a Bank robber who has a chronic need for money.

The nice thing is, he probably gets free prescriptions in the prison.

My sister was married to a man who spent 5 years in prison for tax evasion. He says he still misses it. Free room and board, free medicine. 10 cents an hour for work in the laundry.

It's a Bernie Sanders dream come true.

Hagar said...

"including unusable parts like vines and stalks -" so there was not 1 kg. "within the intent of the legislation," or however that would be phrased.
And I do not know if it is true that the judge would have had "no choice" even if there had been 1 kg. of dried and ready to smoke marijuana. This sounds like the B.S. the judge gives the jurors about there being no such thing as "jury nullification."

Laslo Spatula said...

"Rainy Day Prison # 12 & 35".

I am Laslo.

Mr Wibble said...

Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if his son is the one selling, and dad just decided to take the fall.

bagoh20 said...

"His logic is that of a Bank robber who has a chronic need for money."

And the law's logic is that we would prefer he robs us rather than grow too much pot for himself.

traditionalguy said...

Pain needs medication including self medication. People in pain all the time are being tortured by the War on Drugs including outlawing marijuana. I blame the influence of Southern Baptists. They cannot admit reality about this. Apparently Jesus has no effect on their political courage levels.

Multiple Sclerosis is Reality.

Laslo Spatula said...

From Wiki:

Since approximately one-fourth of the U.S. peanut crop is produced nearby, with much of it being processed in the city, Dothan is sometimes referred to as "The Peanut Capital of the World". Dothan also hosts the annual National Peanut Festival at the dedicated "Peanut Festival Fairgrounds".

Should've stuck to medicinal peanuts.

I am Laslo.

CachorroQuente said...

"Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if his son is the one selling, and dad just decided to take the fall. "

When Donald Trump is president, he'll put a stop to this sort of crap. Water board the old man until he gives up the kid. Then build a wall around Alabama and make the Netherlands pay for it.

Michael K said...

" But by and large, the "medical" aspect of the medical marijuana movement is disingenuous."

The only medical use that I know of, that is legitimate, is for nausea from chemotherapy. It does work for that but that is a tiny share of the "medical use" bullshit.

Fernandinande said...

CachorroQuente said...
When Donald Trump is president, he'll put a stop to this sort of crap. Water board the old man until he gives up the kid. Then build a wall around Alabama and make the Netherlands pay for it.


Trump is actually rather moderately anti-drug war. Please insert 25 cents to play again.

Fernandinande said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael K said...

By the way, what was the previous felony ?

Cookie, I am certain that my knowledge of marijuana is only a trace of your vast experience.

I was speaking of patient experience. None was personal, like yours.

Fernandinande said...

Michael K said...
The only medical use that I know of, that is legitimate, is for nausea from chemotherapy.


You really don't know much, do you?

Unattorney said...

As a career prosecutor, I saw people sent to prison for marijuana that today would be discarded as inactive trash. Somehow, users today consume marijuana 100 times more potent but the effects are basically the same. Marijuana is the only drug known where the effects are not dose dependent, hence it is impossible to die from an overdose. Now having to live with chronic, intractable pain, medical marijuana allows me to escape from the trials of opiate use. 36 plants would be totally appropriate if I grew my own since only the buds are viewed as useful now. Only idiots and cops think leaf is worth using. By the way, possession for sale cases are often based on bullshit opinions from narcs. According to the standards of most narcs, the amount of painkillers in a normal 90 day prescription could not be for personal use if bought on the street. There is nothing more pathetic then watching a person be sent to prison in a courtroom where the judge, public defender, prosecutor, court reporter, and clerk all smoke dope. Only, the bailiff was straight. In fact, it was so depressing we all had to get stoned that night.

Nonapod said...

I've been and continue to be of the position that (with some possible exceptions) most drugs should be fully legalized. At the very least medical usage for weed should be legal in every state.

Fabi said...

Interpolating through the values provided by Fernandinande and Mr Wibble, the street value of $92,000 yields about $180/oz. The esoteric breeds are often $400/oz. or more and Oaxacan pressed ditch weed is about $100/oz., so that seems like a reasonable valuation.

Char Char Binks said...

He got off easy, considering that he already has 75 years of life under his belt that they can't imprison him for.

Todd said...

Jury nullification anyone?

tim maguire said...

AF said...
"Why would anyone take "medical" to mean that?"

It's true of pretty much anything else you do for "medical" reasons.


Both untrue and irrelevant. We were talking about the meaning of the word "medical," not a detail that is often true about medical treatments. Your assertion that it's not medical if it's enjoyable is laughable.

madAsHell said...

I dunno. I've smoked a lot of pot, and pain relief wasn't one of the benefits.

Walter S. said...

I have done some gardening, but I'm a rank amateur. So I wouldn't know how many of any kind of plant I would need for any purpose. But I do know that if I want X plants to grow the way I want, I have to plant way, way more than X of them.

Smilin' Jack said...

You can look it up on line. How many plants would you need to keep growing to continuously supply just one person? The answer sure isn't 36!

Of course not. Why, with 36 plants he's obviously planning to set up his own cartel and compete with the Mexicans. Probably recruit the Hell's Angels to help distribute that much product. Totally puts Walter White to shame.

Sebastian said...

36 plants = intent to sell. "Medical" pot = mostly hoax. Don't do the crime if you can't etc. But the sentence is harsh and prosecutions can be arbitrary. All the more reason to obey the law. Unless you are an illegal alien.

Char Char Binks said...

AF never heard of preventive medicine.

CachorroQuente said...

"Trump is actually rather moderately anti-drug war. Please insert 25 cents to play again."

That can't be. Surely Trump knows that pot causes autism.

Danno said...

Although I do not advocate for making marijuana totally legal, I have to say I'm with bagoh20 on this one and sentencing him to life is truly retarded. Also with with his idea that "the law's logic is that we would prefer he robs us...". Our prisons should not be filled with the nonviolent offenders, but save that space for the violent ones.

Bob Boyd said...

And I turned eighty-one in prison doing life without parole
No one could teach me math, but Mama tried, Mama tried

I Callahan said...

But by and large, the "medical" aspect of the medical marijuana movement is disingenuous.

You, sir or madam, win the internet for the day. Don't be surprised that there will be few people giving you the kudos you deserve.

"Medicinal" marijuana is a narrative to make it legal to use. It seems that's easier than lobbying or advocating for legalization honestly.

Carol said...

Our prisons should not be filled with the nonviolent offenders, but save that space for the violent ones.

No, we're letting them out because Racism.

I Callahan said...

You really don't know much, do you?

medicalmarijuana.procon.org

Gee. That sounds like an unbiased site...

Terry said...

"Mr. Brooker had been convicted of armed robberies in Florida two decades earlier, for which he served 10 years."
Four felonies, according to the Dothan Eagle.
http://www.dothaneagle.com/news/crime_court/jury-finds--year-old-man-guilty-of-drug-trafficking/article_cacd0d12-2f97-11e4-8d08-0017a43b2370.html
So Brooker used the threat of death to steal people's money when he was in his mid-50s. Shouldn't he have gotten life for that?
Brooker's son is a convicted drug dealer.
"Brooker’s son, Darren, was convicted last year of a similar drug trafficking charge."
Why do people read the Times? Good comics section?
Maybe give Brooker a chance for parole after 5 years? Life expectancy for a male in TX is 76 years.

traditionalguy said...

Self righteous healthy people agreeing they must Keep hurting people from growing their own a relaxant pain killer that harms no one is basic EVIL masquerading as if it is Law keeping.

Spin that anyway you want to. You are still evil.

Terry said...

Boy! That last comment was chock-full of self righteousness, traditional guy!

Curious George said...

"Terry said...
"Mr. Brooker had been convicted of armed robberies in Florida two decades earlier, for which he served 10 years."
Four felonies, according to the Dothan Eagle.
http://www.dothaneagle.com/news/crime_court/jury-finds--year-old-man-guilty-of-drug-trafficking/article_cacd0d12-2f97-11e4-8d08-0017a43b2370.html
So Brooker used the threat of death to steal people's money when he was in his mid-50s. Shouldn't he have gotten life for that?
Brooker's son is a convicted drug dealer.
"Brooker’s son, Darren, was convicted last year of a similar drug trafficking charge."
Why do people read the Times? Good comics section?"

Crossword puzzle.

I Callahan said...

Oh, please, tradguy. Stop setting up strawmen. I'm not for keeping it illegal. I'm fine with legalization. It doesn't affect me one way or the other.

I do have a problem with the whole "medicinal" thing. Let's be honest, shall we? If MJ didn't have the fun effects it had, would anyone consider it for any real medicinal purpose? It's way too convenient that it does have fun effects that so many people are looking for other uses for it.

Like I said - instead of honestly advocating, people are willing to game the system to get it legalized through the back door. I guess the end justifies the means.

JSD said...

Next time you visit Home Depot, cruise by the gardening section. Check out the customers and try to imagine what type of home gardening they are doing. Yes, the big box stores are fully aware of this activity and stock all the necessary supplies.

Michael K said...

"The only medical use that I know of, that is legitimate, is for nausea from chemotherapy.

You really don't know much, do you?"

Callahan beat me to it. Hilarious.

I was referring to real effects, not some doper's imaginary effects.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

The son was convicted too. The trial report from the local paper doesn't have the medicinal angle but does indicate the son was convicted too.

There is another legal question. You are living with your son, and helping him grow marijuana on his property. Are you in possession of the marijuana?

Gabriel said...

@Fabi:. The esoteric breeds are often $400/oz. or more and Oaxacan pressed ditch weed is about $100/oz., so that seems like a reasonable valuation.

But that would be ounces of bud, not ounces of stems and leaves.

@Terry: Terry said...
"Mr. Brooker had been convicted of armed robberies in Florida two decades earlier, for which he served 10 years." Four felonies, according to the Dothan Eagle.


That he has been a bad person, does not mean he deserves life imprisonment for a victimless crime.

Terry said...

I think that Althouse is showing a bit of ageism. A man of seventy-five is not harmless.
According to this, the police originally went to the home to search for stolen property.
http://law.justia.com/cases/alabama/supreme-court/2015/1141160.html
They also found a scale among the growing equipment. Why do you need a scale if you aren't going to sell the shit? Plants and grow lamps were found in the home, plants were found growing in containers on the lanai, and Brooker led them to a grow patch 100 yards away. This was not a 'medicinal marijuana for personal use' case.
If there is an injustice, it is that the operation seems to have been set up and run by Brooker's son, not Brooker himself.
http://law.justia.com/cases/alabama/supreme-court/2015/1141160.html

Terry said...

I suppose if Brooker had been stopped for speeding, and the cop had found a gun in his car, he would have gotten the same sentence. Victimless crime? Sure. Marijuana angle? None. Sympathy? None.

Robert Cook said...

"Cookie, I am certain that my knowledge of marijuana is only a trace of your vast experience."

I think you're confusing me with another commenter. I know next to nothing about marijuana--except that it shouldn't be illegal--as I have never been a user of it.

traditionalguy said...

If not now, then when will we accept realty over ideology that draws votes by using the easy fear of intoxication happiness out of control.

We are in effect waterboarding people with chronic neurologic illnesses. But they are doing us no harm except in the imaginations of many weak minded cowards.

DrSquid said...

There may be some medical value to THC, or maybe not. But if there is a benefit, why isnt it prescribed like other drugs? with a specified dose, strength and frequency. If your doctor told you to just get a bag of that chemotherapy and take some when you feel like you need it, he'd be put in jail. But "get some pot and smoke it" is legitimate medicine? If it's medicine why not administer the active ingredient in a tested proven regimen. Take a walk down Venice Beach in LA if you believe marijuana is real medicine.

Michael K said...

"I have never been a user of it."

Then how do you tell me I know "nothing" about it ?

I don't believe you. You have the mind set of a doper, if I ever saw one.

Hagar said...

I think the comments hereon are as far off the mark as the NYT article, which is just spinning the case for its own "progressive" purposes.
The judge, who knew the full circumstances of the case, but which we have not been told, said if he “could sentence you to a term that is less than life without parole, I would.”
This is equivalent to "The Law is a ass," which is something a judge should never say from the bench.

traditionalguy said...

FTR I have never even seem marijuna. But I have friends that I am loyal to.

Robert Cook said...

I didn't. As I said, you're confusing me another commenter.

Michael K said...

"But if there is a benefit, why isnt it prescribed like other drugs? with a specified dose, strength and frequency. I"

THC is a prescription drug and can be obtained in California. The reason for smoking it, as explained by a few patients, is the nausea. The THC pill was vomited up. The cigarette form was tolerated.

Michael K said...

Cookie, I can't find the comment that I attributed to you. Maybe it was deleted. If it was not you, my apologies.

Michael said...

Man but I love these dope posts especially when our resident doper Ferdinandinand weighs in with his stoner science. He gets extra huffy on this point. Revealing again how weed consumption makes you stupid.

My mother found zero benefit to marijuana during her very unsuccessful chemo.

I Callahan said...

But they are doing us no harm except in the imaginations of many weak minded cowards.

Once again - is ANYONE in this thread saying it should stay illegal?

bagoh20 said...

I always thought the medicinal thing was mostly bullshit, and of course with many people it is just an excuse, but my mother who has terminal cancer and who never used pot in her life, now swears by it. She uses cannabis creams on her arthritic hands and feat and says it's the only thing that ever helped, and that it helps a lot. I don't see how, but I got her everything else on the market - prescription and otherwise, and cannabis was the only thing she wanted to use again. Too bad, because it's also the most expensive one.

Terry said...

I don't have a problem with legalizing weed. Hard to see how you can restrict its use to those 21 and over, though. My problem is with the Times, which, as usual, sacrifices good reporting to push a political agenda.

boycat said...

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

bagoh20 said...

If it don't fit, you must acquit.

bagoh20 said...

Rhyming is the basis of fair criminal policy.

Ann Althouse said...

"I think that Althouse is showing a bit of ageism. A man of seventy-five is not harmless."

Where do you think I'm showing ageism? It's not there. In fact, I was going to add this, but I think the NYT is trying to make him seem sympathetic because of his age. I think whatever law should apply here should be the same whether the person is old or young. In fact, to me a younger person would be more sympathetic because life in prison is likely to be a much longer time.

Michael K said...

"Hard to see how you can restrict its use to those 21 and over, though. "

There is some hazard to adolescent brains.

The findings from neurobiologic research show that addiction is a disease that emerges gradually and that has its onset predominantly during a particular risk period: adolescence. Adolescence is a time when the still-developing brain is particularly sensitive to the effects of drugs, a factor that contributes to adolescents’ greater vulnerability to drug experimentation and addiction. Adolescence is also a period of enhanced neuroplasticity during which the underdeveloped neural networks necessary for adult-level judgment (the prefrontal cortical regions) cannot yet properly regulate emotion. Studies have also shown that children and adolescents with evidence of structural or functional changes in frontal cortical regions or with traits of novelty seeking or impulsivity are at greater risk for substance-use disorders.

References are included.

Quinn PD, Harden KP. Differential changes in impulsivity and sensation seeking and the escalation of substance use from adolescence to early adulthood. Dev Psychopathol 2013;25:223-239

Alcohol has similar effects,.

Howard said...

Wrong again Doc Quack Kennedy.
CBD not THC
US Government CBD Patent

The leaves are rich in non-psychoactive cbd's. Not all medical uses are from the THC-laden buds. The harvesting of leaves for juicing requires dozens of plants.

Wilbur said...

A good question Left Bank. If not in actual possession, you are in constructive possession if:
You are aware of its presence.
You know what it is.
You exercise dominion and control over it.

If more people than you had access to it, those three elements must be proven by evidence other than mere proximity to it.

boycat said...

If his defense is that he didn't know it was illegal and he was somehow tricked by the government into growing the dope, then I might be sympathetic to a point. But it looks like he's just your standard issue scofflaw.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

What plea deal was offered? I very much dislike the overcriminalization and overcharging of actual crimes, but once you're at that point (I mean, once you're busted and facing a trial) you've got to make your own choice. Did he not have effective counsel? He knows his record and he'd have to know what a conviction would mean. I don't know what the stats are on affirmative defenses for drug trafficking charges, but I can't imagine they're very favorable...

StephenFearby said...

Reefer Madness!

Marijuana Use Causes 7-Fold Increased Risk of Violent Behavior

"...What makes this new study more compelling than previous studies is that the researchers followed the same individuals for over 50 years from a young age to adulthood. This is precisely what one needs to do to solve the chicken or egg riddle with respect to cannabis and violence: just look and see which one happens first."

http://blog.brainfacts.org/2016/03/marijuana-use-causes-7-fold-increased-risk-of-violent-behavior/#.Vw-uj_krLtT


Proposition. People do stupid things (cocaine, pot cigarettes) because it makes their brains feel better.

Why? The mid-brain hit of dopamine.

Anything out there maybe can do this without turning you into a drug fiend?

Two OTC supplements, Citicoline (CDP-Choline) or Choline alphoscerate (Alpha-GPC) -- which pretty accomplish the same thing, in different ways -- seem to be promising candidates:


Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2014 Jul;40(4):262-8.

Citicoline in addictive disorders: a review of the literature.

"...Citicoline is a dietary supplement that has been used as a neuroprotective agent for neurological disorders such as stroke and dementia. Citicoline influences acetylcholine, dopamine, and glutamate neurotransmitter systems; serves as an intermediate in phospholipid metabolism; and enhances the integrity of neuronal membranes. Interest has grown in citicoline as a treatment for addiction since it may have beneficial effects on craving, withdrawal symptoms, and cognitive functioning, as well as the ability to attenuate the neurotoxic effects of drugs of abuse."

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4139283/pdf/nihms614218.pdf


Int J Neurol Neurother. 2015 Sep 30;2(3):1-8.

Citicoline Treatment Improves Measures of Impulsivity and Task Performance in Chronic Marijuana Smokers: A Pilot BOLD fMRI Study.

"...Following the 8 week trial, MJ smokers treated with citicoline demonstrated significantly lower levels of behavioral impulsivity, improved task accuracy on both the MSIT and Stroop tasks, and exhibited significantly different patterns of brain activation relative to baseline levels and relative to those who received placebo."

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4674830/pdf/nihms740313.pdf


YMMV





Michael K said...

Howard is his usual charming left wing self.

boycat said...

Both Washington and Oregon are experiencing a significant uptick in vehicle crashes and fatalities related to cannabis consumption since pot was legalized in those states. I'd imagine Colorado is experiencing pretty much the same. There is currently no adequate scientific test available that measures the actual level of cannabis intoxication at any given moment. Field sobriety testing is about it.

Bruce Hayden said...

We were talking about commenting yesterday in another of Ann's posts, and this comment thread is an example of why I like such. By the end, I had far, far more information than either Ann or the original poster provided.

Terry said...

"Howard" has linked to a Wikipedia article that says that CBD is found in marijuana plants, but its medical effects are unknown and that people don't smoke marijuana to get the effects of CBD.

Way to go, "Howard"!

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Life in prison for non violent offense. Check. Laws making it easier for the state to prove intent. Check.

Numbers 1,354 and 1,355 that there are no small government conservatives.

n.n said...

Drugs and Human Performance: Cannabis/Marijuana (THC)

Psychoactive drugs should be regulated with performance goals. Their use should not be normalized (not promoted or discouraged), but rather tolerated (when reasonable and rational), with implicit responsibility and explicit liability attributed to the user. Since it does have short-term and perhaps long-term mind-altering effects, its use should be disclosed and considered consistent with the requirements and duties of responsibilities.

side effect: depersonalization

Interesting. That sounds vaguely familiar.

Terry said...

"Numbers 1,354 and 1,355 that there are no small government conservatives."
Bill, Republic of Texas discovers that conservatives are not Libertarians.

Smilin' Jack said...

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

Absolutely. You people are forgetting that this isn't about marijuana, or even marijuna. It's about justice. The blood of this man's victims cries out for justice! Thank God we live in a country rich enough to imprison this spawn of Satan, and millions more like him, for life, so that his crimes against humanity can never be repeated. Makes one proud to be an American taxpayer.

boycat said...

No smilin' jack, that's not it. Almost half of people serving time in prison are there for drug-related offenses. To give this guy a pass because it makes us feel better about ourselves does injustice in a much larger scale.

Terry said...

Brooker was earlier convicted of four felonies for armed robbery. That is the reason the marijuana trafficking charge got him a life sentence. Brooker's son was charged with a similar crime with no criminal record. He got ten years, with half the time suspended. The son wouldn't have done any time if he had kept his nose clean.

Terry said...

If you are a conservative, shouldn't you believe that the people of Alabama get to decide what should be illegal and what the penalty for breaking the law should be?

JCC said...

Adding a few more details: The search was for stolen property. There was evidence of a grow operation in the house, that is, lamps, marijuana plants, etc, but because they were found in an area not covered by the consent to search, they were inadmissible apparently. Outside, the cops found a number of small plants in pots next to the house, and then the 36 "very large, mature" plants in a garden area. The father claimed ownership, and said the plants were for his chronic pain, but the son, who lives in the same house, has been arrested in the recent past for drug sale and possession. The father has four (4) prior convictions for Robbery, three for robbery with a firearm, and one for attempted robbery. So Dad is no angel. He's a career criminal but past the age when he can run away from armed robberies any more. So I guess he's into more recumbent crime.

The only evidence that the plants were for poor old Dad's chronic pain instead of for unlawful sale would be the golden word of career criminal and armed robber Dad, who apprently owned up to the dope, probably to save Junior from the rap. So Dad is hoping to gain benefit from his age.

Guess the Times forgot to mention this. Hard to fathom...

Michael K said...

"Brooker was earlier convicted of four felonies for armed robbery. That is the reason the marijuana trafficking charge got him a life sentence."

Thanks. Somebody finally answered my question.

JCC said...

Brooker is not being sentenced to life for possessing 36 marijuana plants. He's being sentenced to life because he has those Armed Robbery convictions, four of them, and he has now been convicted of a new felony - any felony - which triggers the career criminal penalties. Absent the past robbery convictions, he would probaly not get any jail time for the grass.

He may be getting this jolt too, because the judge suspects (knows) the old man is in the drug sales business with the hoodlum son, and Dad refused some reasonable, lesser plea deal because Dad thought he could game the system and get off by claiming old age, medical marijuana, poor me, etc.

All that robbing and lying eventually catches up with you.

Howard said...

Terry:"If you are a conservative, shouldn't you believe that the people of Alabama get to decide what should be illegal and what the penalty for breaking the law should be?"

Yes, if you are an elite wall-street loving, bible-belt low IQ conservative, you believe in the tyranny of the masses because the US is a pure democracy and not a republic. If the people of your state decided to tax your business at 50%, prevent lunch-time bible studies at public parks, ban guns, ban hunting and fishing, create draconian environmental laws that closed all the factories and industries, including energy and fuel production and distribution that would fall under your brand of conservatism.

Terry said...

JCC-
I was an alternate on a jury. The defendant was charged with assault for being in a brawl. He had been going from construction site to construction site selling smoked meat out of his truck. One of his customers noticed that the guy's truck was identical to a truck seen outside his uncle's farm on a night when some pigs were stolen. The brawl began.
Anyway, I couldn't figure out why the state was prosecuting the defendant for this penny-ante crime. No one was killed. One guy ended up with a concussion, but he didn't get around to going to a doctor until several days after the brawl.
After I was released from the jury, I asked around, and it turned out the defendant was a murder suspect. Witnesses saw him talking to a homeless guy. Homeless guy disappeared, and defendant sold homeless guy's moped. Six months later, homeless guy's bones were found next to the landfill, but feral pigs had been at the remains. They couldn't even prove foul play.
The defendant was acquitted in the trial I attended. A year later I read in the paper that he had been convicted of statutory rape for sexual contact with a thirteen year old relative.

Terry said...

Howard, you are a crazy person. Where do you think sovereignty originates? What is its source?

Bob Boyd said...

"He had been going from construction site to construction site selling smoked meat out of his truck."
"Witnesses saw him talking to a homeless guy. Homeless guy disappeared"

Hmmm....

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

boycat,

MJ can't be tested for because it (or THC, anyway) is fat-soluble, and therefore sticks around as long as six weeks. Field sobriety tests are therefore it, apart from the obvious stuff like odor and actual product. Except that your basic field sobriety test is so off-the-charts rote that I don't know where to begin.

Titus said...

Shocking this happened in the south-poor, stupid, obese, pathetic hell hole that it is.

Fernandinande said...

Terry said...
Brooker was earlier convicted of four felonies for armed robbery.


Which is why I don't feel sorry for him - he should've been killed a long time ago.

boycat said...
Both Washington and Oregon are experiencing a significant uptick in vehicle crashes and fatalities related to cannabis consumption since pot was legalized in those states.


I couldn't find good stats for Washington (besides, why should I and not you?)

For Oregon:
"Unintentional motor vehicle traffic crashes (MVT) cause injury or death to vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, pedal cyclists, and pedestrians.
Summary information:
• In Oregon in 2014, MVT caused 327 deaths and 1,709 hospitalizations.
• MVT mortality and hospitalization rates declined in Oregon between 2000 and 2014."

I'd imagine Colorado is experiencing pretty much the same.

Since marijuana legalization, highway fatalities in Colorado are at near-historic lows

boycat said...
Almost half of people serving time in prison are there for drug-related offenses.


Wrong again. It's about 20%.

Howard said...

Terry: "Where do you think sovereignty originates? What is its source?"

The Laws of Nature and of Nature's God

Fernandinande said...

StephenFearby said...
Reefer Madness!


Crime report for a couple of small CO towns:
- Pit bull attacks small dog
- DRUNK attacks daughter and steals her car
- DRUNK beating wife
- DRUNK yelling outside library
- DRUNK mother passed out with toddlers in motel
- Teenager "fight club"
- Playstation stolen
- DRUNK violates restraining order
- DRUNK woman peering into parked cars
- Shoplifting food
- Stolen bicycle
- House vandalized
- Graffiti
- DRUNK bleeding parents w/kids out of control
- DRUNK wrecks car
- Trying to mail marijuana vapor cartridges
- Various unknown drugs and bloody needle
- DRUNK weaving and harassing McDonald's drive-up
- Obsessed boyfriend hides in ex's closet at her work
- DRUNK pissing in theater
- DRUNK wrecked his car
- Shoplifting from Walmart
- DRUNK women fighting
- Meth guy drives badly
- Dog bites a kid
- Couple fighting
- DRUNK driving > 70 in 35 zone
- DRUNK in public, fights w/cops (drinking vanilla extract).
- Ex-husband broken into house
- Guy with hatchet and no-weapons restraining order
- Couple fighting
- Aggressive pitbull running around
- DRUNK with Swastika tattoo attacks guy in parking lot
- Violated restraining order to see kid.
- Couple fighting
- DRUNK shoplifting cough syrup
- DRUNK with no shoes pisses on police station
- Two guys fighting
- Mailbox run over
- DRUNK urinating and vomiting simultaneously at a pre-school
- Semi-truck windshields shot with BB gun
- DRUNK half-naked woman attacks husband in motel lobby
- Woman kicks husband (awaiting hernia surgery) in groin
- DRUNK adult punches his mother
- DRUNK swimming naked in park's duck pond
- Cut off and threw away alcohol monitor
- DRUNK in public, three noisy guys
- Attempt to mail marijuana
- DRUNK obnoxious at burger drive-in
- DRUNK driving and loaded shotgun
- Two girls assault another girl
- DRUNK tore up ex-wife's house
- Shoplifting at Walmart
- DRUNK attacks woman and cop and threatens to vote for Trump
- Shoplifting
- Shoplifting
- Stuff stolen from mailbox
- Guy arrested for fighting kicks a cop
- Loose dogs kill 17 chickens
- Dog kills two chickens
- Woman screams because mouse ran across her face at B&B (had warrant)
- Woman attacks husband
- Guy with crowbar and screw-driver runs away from house
- Rats eat wiring in RV and it catches on fire
- *** Here you go: guy ate pot and drove car on grass in park
- Woman not paid $400 for hay
- Son-in-law points laser-sighted gun at parent's house.
- Scammed by Nigerian
- Two guys fighting
- Dogs knocking over trash cans

No reports omitted; no drug references omitted. Each "DRUNK" was mentioned in the report.

Terry said...

"Blogger Howard said...
Terry: "Where do you think sovereignty originates? What is its source?"

The Laws of Nature and of Nature's God"

So there would still be a thing called "sovereignty" even if there were no people. Interesting theory you got there, Howard. Too bad it's crap.

Terry said...

Blogger Fernandinande said...
StephenFearby said...
Reefer Madness!

Crime report for a couple of small CO towns:

I know a guy who has a small janitorial business. He cleans the county prosecutor's office, and he likes to snoop. He told that 99% of the cases the prosecutor handles involve booze or drugs. People doing stupid things when they are drunk or stoned, or people doing stupid things to get the money to buy booze or drugs, or simply stealing booze or drugs.
It's a sad world.

Kansas Scout said...

what exactly defines the appropriate amount of marijuana for personal use? If someone wanted to grow a large amount one time to avoid having to grow some frequently that would have it's own logic. Anyway, it should be legal and eventually will be. I hope such victims of bad drug laws are pardoned sooner and not later.

Howard said...

Terry: Excuse me, I thought we were discussing the USA. Your conservative tyranny originates from the point of a rifle.

Fabi said...

"So I crossed an imaginary line with a couple of plants."

-- George Jung

Terry said...

"Howard wrote:
Your conservative tyranny originates from the point of a rifle."
Not so! The death penalty would not have been appropriate in Brooker's case.

hombre said...

It is difficult to imagine that no plea bargain was offered in this case.

hombre said...

Terry: "He told that 99% of the cases the prosecutor handles involve booze or drugs."

He may have told you that, but it is either a gross exaggeration or a very unusual county. Of course, if you throw poverty into the mix, it lines up nicely with lefty "root cause" nonsense. You know, "There are no criminals, only victims."

JCCamp said...

@ Terry -
Misdemeanor prosecutions are usually discretionary. Although I have no idea why the state chose to prosecute the defendant in your case, it may not have been solely because he was the suspect in a murder. It may have been because he was the suspect/defendant in a series of petty or not-so-petty but hard to prosecute crimes over a period of time, and they felt it was time to drop the hammer on him for everything that came in the door, rather than extend the benefit of the doubt any longer. Exactly the type of incident as your trial would be typical, since the same face kept popping up, and the authorities decided a little more time in court might slow down the train wreck before someone else turned up missing or dead. That would be my suspicion anyway.

A conviction in a misdemeanor battery case really wouldn't do much that I can think of in terms of assisting a murder investigation or subsequent trial, although maybe I'm missing something. Maybe the cops seized something at the time of the misdemeanor arrest they thought they might need in the murder case later, and they wanted to make sure they didn't have a 4th Amendment issue with it. That's pretty far-fetched though. Whatever their reasoning, I doubt you'd ever get a straight answer about it. Which is OK. It was almost certainly in the interests of justice.

JCCamp said...

@ Howard -

"...elite wall-street loving, bible-belt low IQ conservative..."

Kind of mixing your hate groups, aren't you? I would have thought that "Wall Street loving" and "Bible-belt , low IQ" might be somehow mutually exclusive sub-sets of the greater "enemies of the proletariat" set

"The Laws of Nature"

Seriously? Which ones? Like Boyle's Law? Something like that is the origin of sovereign power? This is incoherent.

JCCamp said...

@ hombre -

I thought that I read in one of the news reports that Brooker turned down a plea deal offered by the prosecution (no details), but that may not be correct. It would be in character if accurate.

Certainly a large percentage of criminal prosecutions have drugs or alcohol in the somewhere in the factual chain, either in use by victim or suspect, or a history of use by either, or addiction being a potential motive for a crime, or the drug culture being an element in the circumstances, or drugs or drug cash being a motive in and of themselves. For instance, I think that something approaching ⅔'s of all fatal traffic accidents implicate some drug or alcohol use, which is not to say the drugs or alcohol are the cause. If you were to only consider those persons who are arrested and have a record of multiple prior arrests, I suspect nearly 100% will have used drugs or alcohol in the immediate time before their new arrest. Certainly, those arrested for, say, prostitution, the number will be close to 100%. I don't think there is any attempt to capture this data though, and it would just be a wild guess to estimate the influence of drugs and alcohol on the population of those arrested in the U S. because use prior to arrests does not always conflate with influencing arrest.

Unknown said...

Marijuana is just like alcohol. Most adults smoke pot just like adults drink wine. Just enough to enjoy the effects without getting wasted. Pot has different flavors and tastes just like wine and grown-ups enjoy the variety. We keep kids away from alcohol until they are grown; why can't we do the same with pot? I read some of the comments here and realize that Carrie Nation is alive and well. We just can't allow people to enjoy themselves.

I do wonder how many people in these comments are sitting down with their nightly glass of wine and telling us how pot is going to destroy civilization? Me? I am sitting here listening to my neighbor getting drunk on beer again; waiting for the yelling to start. The worst I had to deal with from my pot-smoking neighbors is having to listen to String Cheese Incident for hours on end. I prefer that to the yelling.

Howard said...

To you fearful tools of right-wing tyrannical bigotry, that was a direct quote from the Declaration of Independence. The second about the point of a rifle was cobbed from Ayn Rand.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.


"The concept of free competition enforced by law is a grotesque contradiction in terms. It means: forcing people to be free at the point of a gun." - Ayn Rand

JAORE said...

"a federal pen in the deep south."

Piss up a rope, you Yankee asshole.

Too harsh? Maybe. But I'm sure sick o the condescending, inaccurate stereotypes of the south.

FWIW the Federal Pen at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, AL is known for the quality of their tennis courts.

Terry said...

Howard said...
To you fearful tools of right-wing tyrannical bigotry, that was a direct quote from the Declaration of Independence

No it wasn't.
Good ol' crazee Howard.

Achilles said...

Michael K said...

"THC is a prescription drug and can be obtained in California. The reason for smoking it, as explained by a few patients, is the nausea. The THC pill was vomited up. The cigarette form was tolerated."

I know several people using it to treat glaucoma personally.

I knew and know people with MS. It isn't a cure but it vastly improves their quality of life.

I don't know any of the kids with epilepsy who are using it but I know of several.

Pain, nausea and maintaining body weight are given.

I agree most of the people with medical issues are full of crap and just want to get high but there are several legitimate uses medically and it is far far cheaper than prescription drugs.

You are right about the effects on younger brains and should look into concentrates. If there is a way Marijuana can be abused it is by dabbing oil concentrates. That messes people up particularly the under 25 group.