Florida Cop Planted Drugs in Vehicles

Governments can employ drug wars for superficial purposes. Sometimes it’s to provide plausible denials for committing human rights crimes against minorities, or even political opponents. Several events in Florida and Russia illustrate the continuing problem of drug war human rights abuses:

In October 2017, Derek Benefield was driving in the Florida Panhandle’s Jackson County when he was pulled over for allegedly swerving into the opposite lane. Once at the car, sheriff’s deputy Zachary Wester claimed to smell marijuana and conducted a search of the vehicle, which, he reported, turned up methamphetamine and marijuana. Despite insisting the drugs weren’t his, Benefield, who was already on probation, was arrested, charged $1,100 in fines and court fees, and sentenced to one year in county jail.

Benefield was seven months into his sentence when, in September 2018, the state attorney’s office dropped his case and those of 118 others. Largely thanks to the diligence of one assistant state attorney, Wester was suspected of routinely planting drugs during traffic stops over his two years in the department. […]

In Russia, human rights leader Oyub Titiyev of Chechnya was recently released from a Russian jail after serving 18 months for 207 grams of marijuana. His supporters say the charges were fabricated after his car was stopped for a documents check. In another case, Russian investigative reporter Ivan Golunov was arrested and charged with drug trafficking, leading to rebukes by Russian journalists and human rights activists that the authorities planted the drugs. Russia’s Interior Ministry was forced to drop the charges against Golunov due in part to Golunov’s status as a public figure, and because the Ministry couldn’t prove he owned the drugs. The incident inspired an ongoing public debate causing many Russians to reconsider their support for Russia’s drug war.

Whether it involves the planting of drugs on 1950s black motorists in Pasadena, California, to discourage them from moving into white neighborhoods, or the more recent performance of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Philippine drug war, a conflict the UN Human Rights Council sees as a homicidal attack on the poor—drugs notwithstanding; drug wars demonstrate how categorical thinkers in governments use law enforcement to harass or even eliminate an immense range of people deemed undesirable. It’s no surprise public perceptions of drug wars emerge that make the friendly local police officer on the beat look rare, even extinct, replaced by sanctioned predators, destroyers of lives and careers.

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24 Responses to Florida Cop Planted Drugs in Vehicles

  1. darkcycle says:

    People finally learning what we’ve been saying for a long while now. If you want control over something, regulate it. If you ban it you abdicate any control you may have had. https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/in-californias-cannabis-war-civil-is-the-new-criminal?fbclid=IwAR29KkFiDWtpiSviWCApxkDmbEJVkIhEEjEoZPJOUOC3r5n5b9O9fwYmKNs

  2. DdC says:

    French judge rules Jewish woman’s killer not responsible because he smoked weed
    JTA — A Muslim man who killed his Jewish neighbor in Paris while shouting about Allah is probably not criminally responsible for his actions because he had smoked marijuana beforehand, a French judge ruled.

    ‘After Two Puffs, I Was Turned Into a Bat’
    Admitting to marijuana use became a popular way of avoiding conscription, and murderers cited the brainwashing powers of “an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality and death” to plead diminished responsibility for their crimes.

    Their claims were frequently supported by an expert witness, the pharmacologist Dr James Munch, who claimed that “after two puffs on a marijuana cigarette, I was turned into a bat”. Sentences were commuted from death to imprisonment on Munch’s evidence, and Anslinger had to ask him to stop testifying.

  3. strayan says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, Keith Humphrey’s Junior: https://twitter.com/germanrlopez/status/1152216529393606656?s=20

    Please get on Twitter Kaptinemo (I know you’ve refused in the past). I implore you.

  4. Hungriness note a tangibles offers against you. drugwarrant.com

  5. couchnik says:

    I wonder if the guy who promoted the theory that heroin cannot cause an overdose death is still reading DWR? If so he might like to check out the career of Dr Barton, (Harold Shipman 2.0.)

    • kaptinemo says:

      Long before the war, the Nazis had a program of euthanizing mental patients and others who were deemed by those in power, in the parlance of the ideology, “To have lives not worth living.”

      Seems Doctor Barton had taken a page from their book and applied it to the elderly.

    • darkcycle says:

      Stanton Peele makes that case, and from a quick read of the article, it looks like it was a a lethal drug combo, and Heroin was used in concert with other medications. “The Gosport Independent Panel’s report stated: ‘There was an institutionalised regime of prescribing and administering ‘dangerous doses’ of a hazardous combination of medication not clinically indicated or justified, with patients and relatives powerless in their relationship with professional staff.’ ”
      Dr. Peele’s assertion remains unrefuted.

  6. Atrocity says:

    According to a tweet from his sister and his Wikipedia entry, Mark A. R. Kleiman died today, July 21, 2019.

  7. DdC says:

    Paul Krassner Requiescat In Pace

    April 9, 1932 – July 21, 2019

    1960s prankster Paul Krassner, who named Yippies, dies at 87

  8. dino says:

    Kleiman’s death is a no doubt win for human freedom

  9. NorCalNative says:

    Mark’s inability to grasp the significance of the science behind the endocannabinoid system was extremely problematic.

    It was the wrong that pretty much negated any other thing he did IMOP.

    I actually liked him and was saddened to hear about his death.

  10. WalStMonky says:


    A Pennsylvania woman who is a State authorized medicinal cannabis patient has been arrested for smoking cannabis. Not the cannabis part…the smoking part. It’s illegal for Pennsylvania patients to smoke their medicine. But we don’t need to worry about the woman illegally smoking medicinal cannabis in the future. Her registration in the Pennsylvania medicinal cannabis registry was revoked.

    Berks County woman charged with illegal use of medical marijuana in Lancaster County traffic stop

    /snip/ Rachor allegedly told police she used the pipe to smoke medical marijuana. By law, medical marijuana is not allowed to be smoked in Pennsylvania — and by doing so, Rachor forfeited the protections of the medical marijuana act, police say.

  11. PullTheOtherOne says:

    Educate yourself: “Is Kleiman angling for a job lobbying for the Mexican drug cartels?”

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