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Congressman Cohen Delivers Floor Speech On Confidential Informants


After watching a recent 60 Minutes episode, Congressman Cohen delivered a floor speech on the need to end the practice of local law enforcement using young people as informants for minor, non-violent drug related crimes without regard to their rights or safety. Below is video footage of that floor speech:

Below is an e-mail that I received from the amazing Betty Aldworth, Executive Director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. I posted it when I received, but felt it was worth sharing again in light of Congressman Cohen’s speech:

Last Sunday, 60 Minutes aired an investigation of the use of young people as confidential informants featuring the story of SSDP alumna Rachel Hoffman. Frequently, young people who are busted for minor drug offenses are pressured into becoming informants without the guidance of trusted adults, advice from an attorney, or a full understanding of their rights and the likely outcomes of their choices. Frightened, pressured, and alone, they agree to participate in a scheme to catch more “bad guys.” But the truth is that this scheme will, at best, catch their friends in the same web or, at worst, expose them to the violence inherent in the unregulated drug market or even death.

“Joe”, an SSDP member at a U.S. college, is one of those people who was busted allegedly in possession of a small amount of marijuana concentrate. “Joe” is facing a variety of charges including drug manufacturing, a very serious charge, so he asked us not to use his name. Just a few states away, marijuana concentrate is manufactured and sold by business people who are celebrated on the covers of magazines, but “Joe” was told he could face up to 6 years in prison. Without the opportunity to consult with a trusted adult or attorney, “Joe” was pressured to participate in the police department’s confidential informant program to avoid being charged. If he were charged, it’s unlikely he’d face 6 years in prison as he was told, but he would certainly face suspension or expulsion from his university, unmanageable fines, some jail time, and a lifetime of curtailed opportunities due to the felony charge.

Thankfully, “Joe” was able to work out another arrangement with the police and has neither been charged nor forced to participate in a drug purchase. Since then, he has joined SSDP and is working to make sure other students don’t face the same kind of fate. You can join “Joe” and other SSDP members to stop this devastating practice.

Together, we can protect future generations of students from this insidious and dangerous practice.


Betty Aldworth


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  1. Ellyn Williams on

    Thank you Congressman Cohen for standing up for marijuana and the use of confidential informants. God Bless you!

  2. God Bless 60 minutes for doing their story.
    Its long past time to legalize Marijuana.
    My “Dog in this Fight” is the plight of America’s Cancer Patients.
    Not just their right to have Safe, Legal, Access to Medical Marijuana, but the fact that we spend almost nothing on the War on Cancer compared to the number of Americans it Tortures, Maims, and Kills.
    This year 1.7 Americans will be diagnosed with Cancer — and half of them will eventually die of it after suffering pain beyond the ability of words to describe.
    This year alone roughly. 600,000 Americans will die of Cancer.
    more than 3,000 this weekend, more than 1,500 Every day.
    Every minute, yet another American dies of Cancer.
    If you’re an American man, you’ve got a 1 out of 2 chance of getting Cancer and a 1 out o 2 chance of dying from it.
    Every American Cancer Patient deserves the right to have Safe, Legal, Access to Medical Marijuana.
    Every. Single. One.

  3. Closet Warrior on

    I once knew a young guy who got a dui and didnt even have a gram of smoke on him, This guy had never even j-walked before and the pigs, they flipped his scary bitch-ass to roll on our best friend who sold weed. This guy was a Salt-of-the-Earth kinda guy, very nice, honest and respectfully generous and never hurt a fly in his life. The bacon patrol had guy A wear a wire in two controlled buys that made our friend a Felon at 19. Turns out he admitted to our friend, from being guilt ridden, he did it to stay in college and not be looked down upon by his family but what about everyone else? He’s lucky our friend was such an understanding and nice guy. Long story short-the cops fucked both their lives because they took advantage of two your guys who didn’t know their rights. Beware the Name Game and know your rights!!!!

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