It’s the Only Thing

Illegal drugs are big news here in Vermont. In Windsor county, Robert Sand the state’s attorney (the equivalent of a district attorney) has long been an advocate of reforming marijuana laws. He says prosecuting cases and sending people to jail for small amounts of marijuana is a waste of taxpayer money and diverts resources from serious crime.

Mr. Sand recently came under fire from the governor for allowing a first time marijuana offender to be sent to a drug diversion program. Gov. Jim Douglas asked state police in Mr. Sand’s jurisdiction to sent new marijuana cases directly to the state attorney general’s office.

Public sentiment was clearly on Mr. Sand’s side and the governor had to back down.

Saturday’s local paper carried a story about a star high school basketball player who pleaded guilty to marijuana possession and was given a nine-month deferred sentence (if he keeps his nose clean, the record’s expunged in nine months) and will face no sanctions from his school or team, because his crime was committed in the off-season.

Reading deeper into the story, we find the young athlete was not merely caught with a joint, but had cocaine, four digital scales and unexplained deposits in his bank account. So, it’s not a kid with a joint, it’s a coke dealer.

The athlete’s parents turned him in. A wrenching decision for them no doubt, but also a savvy one. If you find out your kid is dealing coke, don’t wait for the inevitable drug bust, because your kid will go to prison. Instead, get a good lawyer negotiate a deal with the state’s attorney before you surrender the kid to the cops and with luck, he’ll get off with a suspended sentence and will be out there starting for the local high school five.

No word as yet from the governor that he intends to intervene in high school sports.

As Vince Lombardi said, “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”

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