On a Wednesday morning at 6:30 am, Derek Cruice emerged from the back of his house to see what all the noise was, as his friend was already on his knees surrendering to the cops. Derek was greeted by a murderous asshole named Todd Raible with a bullet to the face. Todd was a member of the SWAT team raiding Derek’s house. Derek was wearing basketball shorts and was shirtless. More importantly, he was unarmed, and had absolutely no way of hiding a firearm while dressed like that. You can barely keep a phone in shorts like that, much less a gun.
Volusia county’s sheriff department and a SWAT team decided that Derek’s house was worth raiding as part of an ongoing narcotics investigation. This alleged investigation led them to a house with no guns filled with unarmed civilians, and a trivial amount of marijuana. 217 grams is what the news reported, and to be clear, 217 grams of weed is about seven and a half ounces. That’s not some big time distribution quantity. That’s barely even dealing at all. If that’s all you’ve got, you might make enough money to cover the bill for the phone you use to tell 10 of your buddies to come over and blaze up because the favor you did for them came through.
But sources close to the matter, in other words, people I know who were there, say it was far, far less than that, as little as 50 grams or so. I guess the investigators had to scrape a lot of fucking bowls and ashtrays to make up the difference, driving home the point that there just wasn’t enough weed in the house to warrant this kind of raid in the first place. Sorry guys, but fluffing the numbers still didn’t get you the mountain of child-killing marijuana you were hoping to save Deltona from. Never mind the fact that Derek was not a violent person, there was no record anywhere of him being a violent person, weed is not a violent drug, and there was absolutely no cause for a no-knock raid in which doors are broken down and shots are fired on unarmed, half dressed 26 year olds with admittedly awesome facial hair. But ol’ Todd says Derek was coming at him. Not even Todd’s buddies will back him up on that at this point, and even if he was, you still can’t hide a gun in those shorts, so what the fuck was he coming at you with, Todd? His giant sack?
So did the fine deputies of Volusia county put an end to the plague of terrible pot selling junky white trash that are ruining the fair city of Deltona? No. All they managed to do is kill a really nice guy whose only crime was getting weed for his friends. A guy who enjoyed role playing with foam swords. A guy who loved playing video games and was frequently all up in your bases fragging your dudes. A guy who was generous, who never showed up to a party empty handed. I know, because I threw a lot of fucking parties while I lived over there and he always brought beer and a great attitude. He was the kind of guy who would keep an eye on your back. Once we had a beer tapping contest and he made me throw up harder than I ever have in my life, which was amazing. He may have even bought one of my albums, and no one does that.
What Derek was not was a drug lord. There was no cartel. There were no guns anywhere in the house. He was not a violent offender, and what little record he had featured only a very few, very minor possession related items. His worst offense in my opinion was coming over all the time with no shoes on. But on that morning, the sheriff’s department decided to murder him over something that shouldn’t be illegal anyway. Something that is less dangerous than tobacco or alcohol or even over the counter cough syrup. I have never seen nor heard nor read reports of anyone dying as a result of marijuana. Unless, of course, you happen to have a few ounces of it and the cops decide to bust your door down and shoot you in the face when you come out to see what the ruckus is all about.
How many lives have to be ruined or ended before we decriminalize this plant? How many Dereks have to die before Florida gets the fucking hint that weed is not the tool of the devil wielded by gun-toting hardened criminals who want to fund terrorism and steal our children and burn down our churches? How many petitions do we have to create and sign and how many people do we have to sacrifice to end this fucking madness? I once read somewhere that it can take as many as three deaths before the city will install a traffic light at an intersection. How many people have to be shot in the face before the state realizes that weed is not the fucking problem, that the laws are?
Do not forget Derek. Do not stand idly by and let the oppressive and militant law enforcement agencies execute good people over harmless plants. The next time somebody approaches you with a decriminalization petition, don’t wave them off. Sign it. Tell your local and state representatives that you want this retarded shit to end, that nobody needs to die over weed. Get out there and do something. For Derek and everyone else who has been shot and killed by the cops over weed or skittles or phones or being in the wrong neighborhood or not being white or not being rich or just fucking not being what they want when they want it. Its time to end this classist, racist, uneducated, unfounded, wholly unnecessary use of excessive force over nothing bullshit.
Its time to complain and complain loudly and publicly to the people that continue to wage this ridiculous drug war.