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Well, that problem's solved

Things aren't going so well in Cleveland right now.  Three weeks ago, 15-year-old Arthur "Ace Boogie" Buford, already on probation for one aggravated robbery, was killed when he made the unfortunate career decision of trying to rob Damon Wells at gunpoint, and it turned out that Damon was packing, too, and was quicker on the draw.  The community quickly rallied around... well, Ace Boogie, to the point Wells was driven from his home, a turn of events which has provoked some soul-searching and, hopefully, the epiphany that a community which excuses, much less exalts, 15-year-old thugs is in serious trouble.  Then last week Ford Motor Co. announced it was shuttering its casting plant here, the source of direct employment for 1600 workers, and indirect employment for thousands more.  And continuing efforts to contact Frank Jackson and inform him that he won the mayoral election a year and a half ago, and might want to give some thought to actually assuming the duties of that office, have so far proved unavailing.

But a shout-out to Sue Altmeyer, who runs the Cleveland Law Library blog, for pointing out that we may have turned the corner.  On May 2, according to page 11 of the City Record, a new ordinance was proposed in City Council which would increase the penalty for possession of less than 100 grams of marijuana from a minor misdemeanor to a fourth degree misdemeanor.  Actually, according to the Record, it would be a "forth degree misdemeanor," but whichever spelling you prefer, it's a welcome development in our continuing war against drugs.  A minor misdemeanor doesn't count as a criminal conviction, but a fourth -- er, forth -- degree misdemeanor does, and if there's anything the black community here needs, it's more young men with criminal records.

The sponsor of the bill was Zachary Reed, a black councilman who's presently on probation for a drunk driving conviction, and earlier spent ten days in jail for violating that probation.

"It is difficult not to write satire."

Juvenal, c. 130 AD

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