Letters from the Issue of November 7, 2002

In Denmark we really know how to get stoned

Think about how many people get crazy when they drink: fights, killings, et cetera. But when you smoke too much, you go to sleep. The U.S. could get a lot of tax money if it were legal. No drug is perfect, I know that. But drinking and smoking pot have nothing to do with taking cocaine and crack.

Rasmus Johannes Askholm

Denmark

Beach Unveils Innovative New Policing Technique

Officers to exercise personal judgment prior to action: I have a question about police procedures in Miami, in particular about the South Beach area. I visited your fine city not long ago for the first time. I have to say I really liked it for many reasons, though some things were inexplicably overpriced. But that's part of traveling.

I was walking down Ocean Drive around 1:00 a.m. and ran into a brawl in front of a place called Fat Tuesday's. I haven't seen quite that big a melee in a long time. Not wanting to get caught up in the festivities, I crossed the street to go around. As I was crossing I came upon a Miami Beach police officer sitting on the back of his truck. He was apparently trying to woo an attractive woman half his age and couldn't be bothered with the unruly behavior going on right under his nose.

So being that I had my liquid courage in full effect, I asked him if he was going to do something. He said, and I quote: "I'm not going over there! It's not my problem."

I was wondering if the laws are different in South Beach than most other places? Or is this just typical of most police officers to have a hands-off-unless-I-absolutely-have-to attitude?

If the same thing were to happen here in Houston, there would be a cavalry the size of a small army that would be there to break it up in record time, if for nothing else than the fun of roughing up some club kids. The cops in Houston are what you might call proactive, to the point of rivaling Los Angeles cops in their haste to put the smackdown on unruly citizens. Gotta love the South!

So what really is the deal with the Miami heat? And I'm not referring to the basketball team or the weather. Just curious.

Rich Britton

Houston, Texas

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