Pubdate: Thu, 15 May 2008
Source: St. Petersburg Times (FL)
Copyright: 2008 St. Petersburg Times
Author: Gene O'Brien


The police said that Rachel Hoffman did not follow protocol on a drug
sting. Rachel Hoffman wasn't a professional police informer with
undercover training. Rachel Hoffman was a student sent into a
life-threatening situation by professionals who knew that drug dealers
who are involved with the quantities of drugs that Hoffman was sent to
buy were the kind of people that have the potential for extreme
violence. And the police wanted her to buy a gun from these people?
The professionally trained police knew the risks of sending Hoffman, a
college student who wanted to be a chef, into this potential death

Casual drug users and large-quantity drug dealers are a world apart,
but in the eyes of the police they are both the same type of criminal.
Rachel Hoffman should have never been arrested in the first place. If
her life was negatively affected by her drug use, then treatment might
have been in order, but to put Hoffman in the company of gun and drug
dealers is unconscionable.

The vast majority of illegal drug use involves marijuana, and if it
were decriminalized the funding for police agencies would drop
dramatically. The police agencies don't want to lose this funding so
the information that we are fed demonizes marijuana. Our draconian
drug laws also give the worst elements of our society, like the people
that murdered Rachel Hoffman, money and power.

My heartfelt sympathies go out to Hoffman's parents and loved

Gene O'Brien

Palm Harbor
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