Tuesday, April 11, 2006

"Hey, you're cute! If you get me some pot, I'd like, really appreciate it."

From The Agitator, this is just horrid.

Drug cops in Falmouth, Mass. sent a hot, young female cop to pose as a student at the local high school. She befriended several adolescent boys with low self esteem by pretending she was interested in them, then she asked them to get her marijuana. If you've ever been a high school boy, it won't surprise you to learn that they came through, even though most of them had no history of drug use at all, much less of drug peddling.

This is the sort of story that makes you feel sorry for the kids roped into all this, but isn't the real problem one of general police tactics in the first place. Does it really make any of us safer to have police engage in these undercover sting operations in order to uncover violators of victimless crimes? (Drugs obviously come to mind, but think of how common prostitution stings are as well.) Has any evidence ever been presented that such undercover operations have any impact on the percentages of crimes in which there are victims, or even that society gleams any net benefit from such operations?

Any first year law student can tell you the difference between crimes than are mala in se (bad in and of themselves), and crimes that are mala prohibita (bad because they are prohibited and the government says they're bad). Everytime I hear of stories like this I wonder why we have crimes that are mala prohibita in the first place.


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