No one has ever died from smoking marijuana. But getting busted with a small amount of marijuana has led to countless tragic deaths.
This week, Shelley Hilliard, a 19-year-old woman from Detroit, was killed after working as a police informant. On October 20, Hilliard was arrested for a small amount of marijuana. The police offered her a way out: She could set up a drug deal. She called a drug dealer and said she had someone who wanted to buy $335 of cocaine and marijuana. When the dealer showed up he was arrested. The dealer was released, and three days later Hilliard was found dead in the streets. The dealer has been charged with murder.
Hilliard tragic death brings back memories of Rachel Hoffman, the 23-year-old, Florida State graduate from Tallahassee who also worked as an informant after she was busted with a small amount of marijuana and Ecstasy. Hoffman was sent alone on a “buy and bust” and was given $13,000 to buy Ecstasy, cocaine and a gun. The men shot Hoffman five times, stole her car and credit card, and dumped her body into a ditch. This week Tallahassee approved a $2.6 million settlement with Rachel’s parents.
These two women should still be with us on this earth, but were instead pawns in an unwinnable drug war that led to their violent deaths.
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Tony Newman Director of Media Relations, Drug Policy Alliance