There’s something funky going on over at the offices of the US attorney’s office. Actually, there are probably a bunch of funk-smelling activities going on there, but we’re just going to talk about one in particular today. Namely, that the same office that investigates domestic acts of terror and drug-smuggling rings is for some absurd reason prosecuting a 19 year-old for possession of a single gram of weed in Oregon of all places, a state which fully legalized marijuana last year, as reported by The Guardian.
Devontre Thomas, a high school student at the time of his arrest and Native American, will be before a federal court soon for his possession of a very, very small amount of cannabis. Many details of the case are unclear and ridiculous. For example, Thomas did not even have any marijuana on him at the time of his arrest, he only confessed to an officer than he had purchased $20 worth of pot after a friend of his was discovered with weed “debris,” according to KGW-TV.
Even less clear than why cops would bother with charging a kid for not possessing weed is why the case was handed over to federal prosecutors, who haven’t charged a marijuana possession case in Oregon since 2011.
“I can’t figure out why they are going after this youth. It literally makes no sense,” Mat dos Santos, legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, told The Guardian. “I find it really hard to believe this should merit the concern of the US attorney. It’s really heartbreaking.”
The case bafflingly breaks precedent and ideology with the attorney general’s office, which has issued both a memo in 2013 which stated that the federal government would leave small cases under the jurisdiction of local agencies and another initiative pushes employees to make the most dangerous criminals a priority. Few would argue that Thomas’s activities make him a criminal, let alone a dangerous one.
Photo via Flickr user Heath Alseike