Selling marijuana is a crime. If you are found to be a dealer, you get arrested. You get prosecuted. And, if you are convicted, you face consequences.
Doesn't matter if you're a nice guy.
Last Thursday we posted a story at OakPark.com about a young Oak Park man arrested at his home. River Forest cops said they received a tip about marijuana being sold outside the home, there was extensive surveillance and, finally, a search warrant was executed that turned up marijuana, a sum of cash and indicators that a larger amount of marijuana had moved through the house recently.
An intriguing and intense discussion, a referendum of sorts on the use, abuse and legalities of pot, has followed on our website. As of Monday there have been 75 comments posted. Many of the comments have come from friends and acquaintances of the man arrested and they would make a guy feel good if this was a wedding, roast or funeral. "Kind, friendly, giving"; "A true friend"; "Intelligent, witty, polite."
That is all excellent and perhaps these buds can become character witnesses if this case goes to trial.
But it is irrelevant. This isn't a personality test. It is a legal matter.
Since last spring, a growing and ever more vocal group of local parents have been raising concerns and taking action against rampant alcohol and drug availability in Oak Park and River Forest. We support their actions.
In our reporting, as recently as last month, we've explored how it is that marijuana is actually sold to our kids. And it isn't by the boogeyman, by gangs or monsters. Mainly it is sold by pleasant, young people raised in our communities. If these villages are serious about rooting out the sale of marijuana we need to open our eyes to the methods employed in its sale.
Last week, on south Kenilworth we saw an alleged example of "a significant amount of suspect sales going on in front of the house," according to River Forest police. This isn't a difficult judgment call. If prosecutors make the case, the young man in question has made a very serious error. The community values of Oak Park and River Forest do not, should not allow the open sale of any drug.
Our police officers were acting in support of those values and our laws. Being a nice guy isn't a defense.