Killer Weed


A report from the Montgomery County, Ohio, sheriff's office blames inadequate training and unreliable information for a drug raid that killed 23-year-old Clayton Helriggle.

Officers struggled during the West Alexandria raid from the start. Two officers performing surveillance on the house thought they were spotted before the raid began and another failed to ram the front door open, the report said. When they got in, police threw a flash-bang grenade and filled the house with smoke. Helriggle woke up and ran down the back stairs with a handgun, the report said. Lewisburg Sgt. Kent Moore saw the gun and fired his shotgun into Helriggle's chest, killing him, according to the report.

Although Helriggle was suspected of selling pot, the Associated Press reports, police found "only a small amount of marijuana"–"less than an ounce." Everyone knows you need at least an ounce to justify breaking into a man's home and shooting him dead.


NEXT: Drinking Buddies

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  1. Remember, head shot.

  2. I wonder if this is an example of one of the “victorious” battles fought in the War on Drugs? A war we’ve apparently been winning since the formation of the DEA under Nixon…

    When do we actually get to win it and stop fighting it?

  3. Why Mike, don’t be silly – didn’t anyone ever tell you that the price of freedom is eternal vigilence? Like the War On Terror, this is actually one of the first of the modern Eternal Wars. They are wars which must be fought forever, you see, lest we loose them.

    Thus we must forever fight, because while we can never win, to give up is to loose.

    Just one more brilliant concept from Orwell that has actually been adopted and used in the US government.

  4. This is yet another bad thing about the War on Some Drugs: the militarization of domestic law enforcement. Every two-bit town nowadays has a bunch of cops who like to dress up like storm troopers and kick down doors like they’re in Delta Force or something. It’s not very rare for them to screw up and someone ends up dead.

    I’ve never understood why these guys *have* to knock down doors and come breaking into homes with guns drawn. If someone you want to arrest is in a house, why don’t you just wait for him to come out?

  5. I wonder if anyone has ever done a study comparing the number of deaths attributed to police actions vs. the number of deaths actually caused by drugs.

  6. Where are those anti-tobacco lawyers when there’s real work to be done?

  7. I’m just a silly kinda guy, Plutarck!

    I’ll agree that the War on Terror could very well turn into an “eternal war”, but there’s at least a chance (however slim it may currently appear) that we can win that. It will take at least a generation, but I believe that we can drag the Islamic fundamentalists kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. It won’t be cheap, it won’t be without bloodshed, but we need to try. (Or at the very least demonstrate that any and all terrorist attacks on the US or her citizens will be met with swift and deadly force, a force which will not only affect the individual terrorist but the very principles that the terrorist is “fighting” for – i.e. fundamentalist Islam?s growth and survival.)

    To me, it?s a question of supply vs. demand. We can, in a sense, destroy the “demand” for a fundamentalist Islam-style of government through the establishment of republican government. Yet, how can we expect to destroy the demand for illegal drugs? We’ve tried cutting demand at home with harsher prison sentences. We?ve given law enforcement more leeway (yes, I do see the lose parallel with the Patriot Act, and no, I don’t like the Patriot Act either). There?s been limited drug education – an education usually based on half-truths at the very best, lies at the very worst. We’ve also tried cutting things on the supply end through interdiction efforts. Yet, the market always finds a way. (Ever see the movie Traffic?)

    As I see it, Plutarck, the major difference between the War on Terror and the War on Drugs is that the former is an ideological war pitting extreme Islam against capitalistic values, and the latter is an economic war pitting society?s current moral standards against the free market. Obviously, the market is much more powerful.

    Just my two cents.

  8. Apparently John Walters is correct. Todays high potency pot is much more dangerous to the user and death can result with small quantities.

  9. “There’s been limited drug education – an education usually based on half-truths at the very best, lies at the very worst. ”

    boy is that ever true.
    i remember when i was in DARE they told us that pot was addictive ater one puff and could kill.
    this somehow failed to convince me, especially becuase i KNEW kids who smoked pot.

    but the stories and coloring books featuring worms and rodents who tried drugs were cool though.
    mike, i’d point out that you framed the was on terror as winnable entirely in the context of islamic terrorism. but what of the basques, or the IRA, or te palestinians- nationalist movements? i can anem some other places where this kind of “terrorism” is brewing- or could brew- tibet, maybe scotland (though the recet scot national party results seem to indicate that that is unlikely) quebec, historical kurdistan, to name a few.

    and thats ignoring also the long history of political extremists, ranging from mr. rudolph o baader-eminhof, which (again) coud be very potent and still is.
    Indeed, excepting 9/11, i can name a long list of terrorist movements that have killed more western citizens than al qaeda: hamas, IRA, abortion bombers, ETA, and maybe someleftist groups that still operate (not sure if baader-meinhof is one, there was a story about the 25th anniversary with all their children in der spiegel about ten years ago.)
    But anyways my point is terrorism came before and will continue to come after this recent spate of muslim fundamentalists are dead and forgotten.

  10. No knock and non-judicial forfeiture are two of the biggest mistakes of the 20th century. Now that more states are putting forfeitures into the general fund rather than directly into the police budget, perhaps the Constitution will breath a little easier.

  11. Any cop put in that situation would do exactly the same thing. Moral: don’t put cops in that situation.

  12. I used to go out with a cop’s daughter.

    Not just any cop, but an actual fed. He was working at ATF, but had previously worked for both DEA and IRS. What a family for a libertarian to date into!

    He had been involved in many “dynamic entries” or no-knock raids. During one of them, he was shot. In the head. Luckily for him, the bullet went through his jaw and didn’t mess up his brain.

    Maybe the way that we can win the drug war is, in part, by emphasizing the fact that this sort of thing makes police work more dangerous than it otherwise would be.

  13. “Where are those anti-tobacco lawyers when there’s real work to be done?”

    Without a deep pocket, the trial lawyers won’t touch it. The cops have governmental immunity.

  14. When I was in DARE, they never told me pot could kill, though they did say that it was a highly addictive drug which could reduce short-term memory and ability to concentrate. (Gasp!!!!!)

    They did, however, mention that heroin and cocaine could kill, though they never, ever gave statistics about it. It was always the example of one person who had a rare heart defect who died after snorting his first line of coke. Sometimes this (possibly nonexistent) person was a promising basketball star, other times a kid like me. In any case, the message was clear about these sorts of “hard drugs”: (1) If you did pot, you would inexorably move towards doing them. (2) Heroin and cocaine are some of the most addictive substances on earth. (3) They can kill you. The drugs most commonly talked about were drugs that I’ve never personally seen: cocaine, heroin and crack.

    Occasionally, the police officer (who, I might add, carried a loaded gun into an elementary school) would mention that some druggies might seem OK on the outside, but they’re not OK on the inside. Besides, since most people run into serious problems in their lives after taking drugs–you wouldn’t want to take that chance.

    This sort of propaganda was totally transparent to me, and every other fourth-grader I knew. One of the biggest potheads I’ve ever met was awarded a DARE prize for his excellent anti-drug essay. He joked that he wrote it while high.

    What’s the point of this long description? It sounds like the Soviet Union. And, like in the USSR, counter-revolutionaries die.

  15. Meanwhile, not too far from where I live (Central Maine)a few weeks back some useless pus head was convicted, for the third time, of sexual misconduct with a child. Not a 16 year old you could have mistaken for 20, but a girl around 12. Mind you, he has done that twice before. He will spend about two years in prison, even though he violated the terms of his probation when he was caught the third time.

    While someone I know was sent to prison for several years for selling weed. I think he is still there.

    So, we jail and sometimes kill people for selling a plant that makes me giggle and eat chips, but it is okay because it is for the children.

    But if someone actually hurts a child, not much happens to the perp.

    I feel ill.

  16. “No knock and non-judicial forfeiture are two of the biggest mistakes of the 20th century.”

    Hyperbole alert!


    Regular cannabis users are at greater risk of developing mental illness later in life. One study, which researched people in Sweden, Holland and New Zealand, found that the risk was seven times higher for heavy users.

    A number of studies have confirmed that cannabis consumption acts to increase later risk of schizophrenia. Cannabis can cause severe psychotic reactions. A recent Dutch study of more than 4,000 people showed that those taking large amounts of cannabis were almost seven times more likely to have psychotic symptoms three years later.

    Another study of 50,000 Swedish Army conscripts, found that 18-year olds who toked more than 50 times were six times more likely to develop schizophrenia in the following 15 years.


  18. noknok, one thing that some pro legalization people do that pisses me off is to totally deny that weed just might be harmful.

    And when they do that, they give ammo to those that want to see the weed stay illegal.

    Because studies come up that point to pot having harmful effects, and they use that against us.

    Those that say that pot can’t possibly harm anyone look like fools. Worse, they make the rest of us that want to legalize pot look like fools too.

    So we must be truthful with our arguments.

    Sure, pot is a drug and can harm you if you smoke too much. Same thing with tabacco, alcohol, red meat and twinkies.

    So, remind your more left leaning friends that the next time they try to tell someone that the weed should be legal, tell them to argue more like a libertarian.

    so, noknok, since you are probably not in favor of legalization, I say to you this. You are right, pot can do some harm. Probably in more ways than one. But it does not even begin to justfy a drug war that is dangerous, wasteful and quite frankly, can’t be won.

  19. These conclusions are one way of interpreting the data in these studies. Another is to conclude that people at higher risk of mental illness are more inclined to try pot than the population in general. This may be an attempt at self medication by those not yet diagnosed or even showing noticeable symptoms.

    Since people who will eventually have schizophrenia are 4 times more likely than the general population to use nicotine in early adolescence, would you like to conclude nicotine use leads to increased chances of developing schizophrenia?

  20. Bom-bom, “I say to you this,” too. You are right, it does not justfy a dangerous drug war that is wasteful, wasteful, wasteful, and can NEVER be be won.

    (The news report was meant for the ears of the clinic, not the cop stations.)

  21. Good point who’s there. Wish I had said it.

    If I had been smarter, maybe I would have;-)

  22. Nok nok …

    Who’s there?

    Orange …

    Orange who?

    Orange’d you just a little paranoid?

  23. anon @5:51, weed will do that to you.

  24. No-o-o-o-o kidding, bomb-bomb!

    You’re right, If you had been smarter, maybe you would have discovered THAT sooner, too.

  25. Sorry, dumb-dumb, I just realized we should go a little easier on you.

  26. anon, you are soooo funny.

    i wish i could be more like you.

  27. OK, enough flaming. We shouldn’t take our holiday frustrations out on each other.

  28. Okay 6:20, lets take our holiday frustrations out on Dubya instead.

  29. You’re right. Let’s. (Sorry I was so mean.)

    Now tell me, what did Dubya do this time to deserve a spanking? I’m not really keeping up with him, you know. Got a life to live.

  30. Mike H.:

    “We” are not fighting the drug war. THEY are. And they’re winning it. Who do you think the enemy is, anyway?

    Bomb bomb:

    Not too long ago, a guy was arrested for statutory rape with a 12-year-old in this area. His defense? “I thought she was 13!”

  31. “We” are not fighting the drug war. THEY are. And they’re winning it.”

    They’re winning it??

    They’re WINNING it, Kevin?

    Really? You mean, the 30-year-war is finally coming to an end? Great! Then we won’t have to help you wipe that egg off your face in the year 2025, will we.

    Maybe then we can finally busy ourselves with the “War on Poverty,” or the “War on Illiteracy,” etc., ad infinitum.

  32. “Remember, head shot.”
    Posted by GG Liddy at July 2, 2003 01:26 PM

    Mouth shot’s more effective, G-man.

  33. Winning = perpetuating.

    They’re winning.

  34. IF “winning” equaled “perpetuating,” you could publish a special DEA Dictionary and give them a perfect excuse.

    Let’s not pervert the language, Anghelone, and give them any ideas, OK?

  35. Marching Home:

    They’re winning it in the sense that they’re achieving their real objectives: turning the Fourth Amendment into toilet paper, militarizing police, and funnelling hundreds of billions of extra $$ in taxes and forfeiture money into the prison-jackboot-industrial complex. But the only way to win that kind of war is to keep fighting it.

    Of course, I’d include drug traffickers in the “THEY” that are winning. I’d be willing to bet a week’s pay that the drug warrior politicians get some of their biggest campaign contributions in laundered drug money.

  36. You’ve got a point, Kevin: “I’d be willing to bet a week’s pay that the drug warrior politicians get some of their biggest campaign contributions in laundered drug money.”

    Wasn’t there a special airport near Hope, Arkansas, for just that purpose during the 90’s?

  37. You mean Mena airport? Yeah, it’s one of the things the Repugs didn’t go after in the Whitewater investigation because the GOP was too heavily implicated. Sort of a mirror image of why the Dems didn’t make much out of Enron (I mean the party establishment types, not the assorted Gore cheerleaders on the web).

  38. “Although Helriggle was suspected of selling pot, the Associated Press reports, police found only a small amount of marijuana — less than an ounce.”

    You mean, cops don’t carry bags and bags of the stuff in the trunk of their cruisers so they can plant it during a “search”?

  39. The drug war is just bullshit. Dead innocents, over crowded prisons, corruption, wasted taxes…

  40. Hello, Chong! Where you been?
    Hanging out on some remote island?
    Welcome back to Amerika.
    You’ve got some catchin’ up to do.

  41. Kevin’s point about some drug warriors actually being in on the action is probably true, but it would be absurd to think that such a setup explains any more than a miniscule fraction of the widespread support for the WOD among the public and the political leadership. We have to face the fact that most people who want to keep mj illegal are doing what they genuinely think is the right thing for our society.

    It’s not the hypocrites that scare me; it’s the true believers. Reach them, and the self-serving hypocrites will fall in line.


  43. my IDIOT stepson sprayed my entire flowerbed with weed killer. is there anything i can do?

  44. my IDIOT stepson sprayed my entire flowerbed with weed killer. is there anything i can do?

  45. my IDIOT stepson sprayed my entire flowerbed with weed killer. is there anything i can do?

  46. my IDIOT stepson sprayed my entire flowerbed with weed killer. is there anything i can do?

  47. my IDIOT stepson sprayed my entire flowerbed with weed killer. is there anything i can do?

  48. my IDIOT stepson sprayed my entire flowerbed with weed killer. is there anything i can do?

  49. weedkillers generally treat flowers and weeds the same. it will kill them. If the weed killer isnt too potent, it could wash away in a year or so. A freind of mine put weed & feed granules on his wifes flowerbed and it took 2 years for it to recover fully. you could replace the soil but thats alot of effort.

  50. EMAIL:
    DATE: 01/21/2004 10:31:10
    To be poor without bitterness is easy; to be rich without arrogance is hard.

  51. An interesting read! I’ll consider what you said over my christmas holidays. I want The Sims 2 for Christmas!

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