In recent weeks, the NYPD and Washington, D.C.P.D. grabbed headlines with high profile pot busts.  In New York, Kareem Burke, a former business associate of rapper Jay-Z, was one of several caught in an interstate sting, which put the dope on the table.  Before we quote the New York Daily News, let’s re-quote Treme and The Wire creator/executive producer David Simon, whom we agree with on his low opinion of dope on the table police work.

So, you have to look at what the Baltimore Police Department was doing in the war on drugs.  They were consumed by the idea of statistics.  Of dope on the table.  To this day, when a police department puts dope on the table or guns on the table, you know, ‘we did a raid yesterday and we seized these drugs and these guns’ and they call a press conference.  The city is awash in heroin, cocaine, and guns.  Any street cop can go out and make a gun case or certainly a drug case.  It’s like the entire city is swimming and they’ve literally put a beeker of water on the table and gone, look, we’ve done police work.  But dope on the table works.  The cameras always come.  The cameras always say ‘ah, they’re fighting the war on drugs’ and what they’re not doing is anything meaningful in the way of  police work.  They were locking up more people for drugs than ever before, the rates of violence went up, and their ability to solve those crimes of violence went down, because they had taught a whole generation of cops not how to do police work.  They taught them how to go up on the corner and jack a guy up, go in his pockets, get a vial here, a vial there.  To actually solve a string of robberies on your post, to actually solve a murder, to actually solve a string of rapes?  That requires police work.”

Now listen to this lying liar customs agent:

“This isn’t just a group that controlled one block, one neighborhood,” said Jim Hayes special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“They dominated the wholesale marijuana market in New York for 20 years.”

And then they put the dope on the table for all of us folks who missed the 2 second local news piece:

The investigation that derailed the ring was launched 18 months ago after investigators sniffed out the money trail, the law enforcement source said. In addition to rounding up the ring, the feds seized $1 million in drug profits and 177 pounds of pot.

Okay.  First of all, there is no possible way for one operation to control the marijuana trade.  In fact, a state can’t even control the trade, but one is doing an excellent job: California.  177 pounds…is nothing.  Where we sit, in NYC, so much herb is coming from California and from the provinces of Quebec and Vancouver–places where it is not illegal to grow.  Various ethnic cartels have the direct connect to Cali and to Canada, and cannabis is so plentiful–beautiful Cali bud–that I can have unlimited pounds at my door within 30 minutes at almost any hour of the day.  If I had $25,000-$30,000 and wanted 10 lbs. of herb, I could probably name my strain.

Like David Simon says, it’s bullshit police work, a bullshit news story, and a complete waste of taxpayer time and money.  But with the economy in dire straits, police forces are going to play the seizure of assets game to the fullest, right up until the minute that every state goes the way of California.  Still, the federal government says they won’t buy in to the legalization craze.  Just last week, the attorney general said ‘all illegal drugs remain a serious priority, blah, blah, blah.’

Let me translate for you.  States’ rights will prevail, but the federal government reserves the right to start the drug war back up again, when they see fit, even though states’ rights will prevail, and the federal government will be “at war” with its own states.  Nice.

But here’s an even better one, that went down in Washington.  The bang up police force–real crusaders–got some hardened criminals off the street.  Or, at least, out of their backyards.

CBS News chief is facing serious jail time and the loss of his job after cops busted him for growing marijuana in his back yard.

Howard Arenstein, 60, an award-winning reporter and the news-radio station’s Washington bureau chief, was holed up in his Georgetown home yesterday after he and his wife, Orly Katz, were released early Sunday without having to post bail.

Katz, 55, is the Washington-based correspondent for Yediot Ahronot, an Israeli newspaper.

The couple has four grown children.

Police, acting on a tip, raided Arenstein’s home Saturday and discovered 11 “full-grown marijuana plants” in his back yard, each more than 8-feet high, and “six 2-ounce bags of marijuana,” a police spokesman said.

Howard Arenstein and Orly Katz?  With four grown children?  Growing in their backyard?  They had eleven shwaggy outdoor plants and 12 ounces–less than a pound–of gross DC outdoor bud.  The police did rid the streets of an awful operation.  In terms of quality.  But do you know who grows herb in their backyard?  Amateurs.  This is some sort of political dispute, jealous underling, anonymous tip type of bullshit. 

Here’s the kicker.  Jay-Z’s boy and the Arenstein’s have already retained sterling legal counsel who will probably earn their retainers.  Especially in the case of Katz and Arenstein, who maybe had $2500 worth of herb on hand, to be very kind.  No way on earth those 2 go to jail.   Burke will probably get the absolute minimum sentence allowable for his “crimes.”

A beeker of water indeed.  And to what end?

Crack (,