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Ferguson Prosecutors Exploited Michael Brown’s Marijuana Use


michael brown ferguson missouri marijuanaBy Dan Viets

I was invited to speak last week to members of the Boone County Bar Association about the civil liberties implications of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August of last year.

During months of secret Grand Jury hearings, St. Louis County Prosecutor, Robert McCulloch, and his assistants repeatedly told jurors that Michael Brown’s use of marijuana might be the reason why an unarmed 18 year old would attack a police officer, charging head first into a barrage of bullets, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported on November 28 of last year. An autopsy on Brown’s body showed inactive metabolites of marijuana but did not show that he was under the influence of marijuana when he was killed. According to the Post, while St. Louis County police officers were investigating the killing of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, they were told by two construction workers who witnessed the shooting that they had spoken to Brown shortly before he was shot. One of those workers told the police that he made an offhand remark that Michael should try “waxing”, meaning that he should try smoking a concentrated form of cannabis known as wax.

Based solely on that reported remark, prosecutors proceeded to suggest to Grand Jurors that Michael had indeed been consuming not just marijuana, but “wax”, which they told jurors might account for Michael’s otherwise irrational and totally uncharacteristic alleged behavior.

This absurd premise became a theme of McCulloch’s office in their efforts to persuade the Grand Jury that Officer Wilson should not be indicted for any criminal offense based on his killing of Michael Brown.

This kind of reefer madness echoes the outrageous claims made by prohibitionists in the 1920’s and 1930’s, especially in regard to the use of cannabis by African-Americans.

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Johnny Green


  1. The KKK always has been exclusively Democrat and still is. Also slavery was a 100% Democrat pro and Republican against. And while some did change parties temporarely it wasnt large or permanent. Also Democrats were the ones who first demomized marijuana and oulawed it with an impossibly prohibitive tax law which is what theyre going to reinstate once its legal in enough places. While Republicans have always been dumb $#!Ts when it comes to weed they actually have never been the racists that they are always labeled as a quick discredit by actual racists.

  2. stellarvoyager on

    “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or
    black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common
    pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were
    making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we
    couldn’t resist it.”

    – John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

    “[Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole
    problem is really the blacks” Haldeman, his Chief of Staff wrote, “The
    key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to.”

    The drug war truly is the new Jim Crow.

  3. stellarvoyager on

    No, he’s right. It was southern conservatives, particularly social conservatives, who at the time were democrats (“dixiecrats”), and then fled to the GOP after LBJ signed the civil rights act, and Nixon employed his “southern strategy.” The party labels eventually reversed, but the ideologies are the same. Not like I mentioned a party in my original post anyway, but you had to go and inject partisan politics into this discussion, so you got some truthful responses.

  4. stellarvoyager on

    The relevant question is in what party and to what ideology do today’s (post 1970) racists belong, and the answer is clear. Ask Steve “I’m David Duke without all of the baggage” Scalise and the party leadership who decided to let him have his leadership post despite soliciting votes at neo nazi and KKK rallies.

    And remind me which political party’s presidents started and then escalated the war on drugs, and what their motives were in doing so.

  5. Southern Conservatives were responsible for institutional racism and slavery. This group switched political parties in the 1980’s, and now Southern Conservatives are members of the Republican party.

  6. What a joke …. Crack yes – Weed no ……

    If anything it would relax him, silly rabbits!

  7. stellarvoyager on

    Marijuana prohibition and racism go together like two peas in a disgusting, filthy pod of ignorance and corruption.

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