Last week, we told you the great news about the folks at Friendly Market being found not guilty on felony charges of "acquiring proceeds from drug activity" and multiple counts of "possession of drug paraphernalia." The jury came to the verdict because:
A) The bongs, pipes, rolling papers and fake cigarette one-hitters the Friendly Market sold can also be used to smoke tobacco (wink wink).
B) You can also smoke weed out of objects like Coke cans, apples and aluminum foil to also serve as drug paraphernalia.
Considering this was the fourth time Cleveland County DA Greg Mashburn had failed to secure a guilty verdict in a Friendly Market related trial, you'd think the guy would hop off his moral high horse and let the people be. Naturally, being an Oklahoma politician, he's doing the exact opposite.
Despite three acquittals and one hung jury, Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn says he will continue to prosecute remaining charges in The Friendly Market case.
Mashburn also vowed in an interview with The Oklahoman to prosecute to the full extent of the law any glass pipe shops that attempt to open in his jurisdiction.
"Nothing changes," Mashburn said Tuesday. "It is still against the law and I will still proceed to prosecute the other cases."
Mashburn believes state law clearly defines items police seized in two raids on The Friendly Market in 2015 as drug paraphernalia. The items included glass water pipes or bongs, commonly used to smoke marijuana. The defendants have maintained the items can be used to smoke tobacco and a variety of legal herbs.
"If anyone were to open up a shop that the statute does not allow," Mashburn said, "I wouldn't hesitate to prosecute it and we will just go forward."...
"To me, it's really no different than if someone was charged with DUI," Mashburn said. "If they drive drunk again, I will prosecute again. We will continue to enforce the law until it changes."t
I have a question for the people of Cleveland County. When you get a chance, can you elect a new District Attorney? Preferably someone who will go after real criminals and work to make your community safer, and not waste time and money going after glass shops like he's the angry preacher from Footloose. Thanks in advance! We appreciate it.
Here's some more:
There's also a civil asset forfeiture case pending against [Friendly Market owner Robert Cox], in which the prosecution is attempting to seize more than $3,000 in cash and inventory.
The state may well still prevail in the forfeiture case, because it's a civil case with a lower burden of proof than a criminal case, Lynch said. The defense has claimed that police and prosecutors have been motivated by money seized in the forfeiture action.
"That's just silly. What is it, $3,000? I run a $6 million budget — it has nothing to do with it," Mashburn said. "They shouldn't keep the money for selling drug paraphernalia."
Hey legislators! I found some money to help with the state budget crisis! This guy has a six million dollar budget and he's wasting it on taking glass pipe salesmen to jury trials. Nuts, huh? Why don't we spend the money he's wasting trying to take down glass shops and give it to education instead?
Actually, knowing Oklahoma lawmakers like they do, they'll probably double his budget so he can also go after the underground porn magazine trade. In Oklahoma, victimless crimes will always be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.