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Cash McElroy: The Other Side of the Story

CashI mentioned in Leading Off this morning the story about the former SMU frat brothers who were busted in a marijuana grow operation. Unfair Park has some more details. An alert FrontBurnervian recently met one of the guys who was arrested, Cash McElroy, and he pointed me to McElroy’s Facebook page, where this picture was posted in October 2010. It breaks my heart a little. I know the guy broke the law and all. But come on. He was growing marijuana. Half the country is doing this legally. McElroy, from accounts, had tried to distance himself from the grow operation, which only got him in more trouble. In unburdening himself of some of the grow houses, he got nabbed for money laundering. McElroy was sentenced to three years, while the others got sentences of 24 and 30 months.

  • Glenn Campbell

    I dont understand this post at all. Is it because of how he looks (white)?

    Why didnt Sam Hurd have the other side of his story told after his sentencing? Is it because hes black? Why the photo? Should we go easier on people because they have children? This guy is an idiot. He knew what he did was illegal, and did it anyway. Its unfortunate that his children’s lives will be forever altered, but I have no sympathy for him.

    Also, half of the country is not doing this legally. Thats just stupid to say.

  • Tim Rogers

    What the what? No, race has nothing to do with it. I see the kids, and it breaks my heart a little. Show me a picture of Sam Hurd with his kids, and it’ll do the same.

  • Larry

    Nobody has ever been harmed by the use of Marijuana, only our ‘laws’. With more than 25% of the entire world’s prison population right here in America – more than any nation in the history of the world – and the overwhelming majority are in jail for drug posession. With about 850,000 arrests each year for simple Marijuana posession, coupled with MORE than 20 states with Medical Marijuana laws activly dispensing Marijuana, our state and federal justice department is out of control! Within a few years, after we’ve legalized marijuana federally and within this state, we – as a society – will look back at these draconian laws and realize all of the lives that we destroyed.

    It’s not possible for us to say that we live in a Free Country today, because a Free Country doesn’t have more prisoners than any country in the entire history of the world. Help us end prohibition and put some santiy back into our lives and our government. http://www.dfwnorml.org

    Larry Talley
    USN, Retired

  • JtB

    Legalize it. This is ridiculous. What a waste of taxpayer money to prosecute and maintain this guy in prison for growing plants. Mr. Campbell, I hope you get a ticket every time you go a half mile over the speed limit.

  • Glenn Campbell

    I’m all for de criminalization, but until then, rules are rules.

  • Jimmy Cammack

    You’re the same guy who would have turned in run away slaves because “rules are rules.”

  • Brett Moore

    Apparently one is not allowed to have empathy, lest one coddle lawbreakers.

  • Glenn Campbell

    Wrong. Like you, I think weed dealers suffer a similar plight hat slaves did and should be treated the same.

  • Raphael Ravenscroft

    Jeez Jimmy… took that analogy a little far, eh?

    How can you make that assumption about anyone? I think more people will defy law/governance to stick up for a fellow human than they would a silly plant.

    BTW, ridiculous arguments like that are what keep lawmakers from taking the decriminalization movement seriously.

  • Raphael Ravenscroft

    If it breaks your heart to see the kids, what do you think it does to the mother of those kids to see you post them for the world to see? What value does it add to the story that couldn’t be accomplished by just typing the words “father of three”?

    Did you just want to be the first to post his photo and all your Facebooking, er, reporting could do is come up with one that included his kids?

  • dallasboiler

    I have no interest in marijuana, so I don’t care if it is legalized or not. However, I do find it interesting that its use would be legalized at a time when federal and local governments (in the name of public health) are trying to legislate/regulate away tobacco, supersized fountain drinks, partially hydrogenated fats, etc. Despite the medicinal attributes of marijuana that some tout, it seems that most people smoke it purely for recreational purposes; and that comes with all of the other bad side effects of smoking tobacco for regular users (reduced lung capacity, exposure to carcinogens, etc.). It seems like a move to legalize it is completely counter to the rest of the public heathcare doctorine currently being inacted. (Thus, I understand why Libertarians are for legalization, but I don’t understand why liberals would be for it.)

    Secondly, how should we regulate consumption of this product by drivers? The federal government is pushing states to reduce DWI/OWI limits for alcohol to 0.05% BAC (1-2 beers for most people in a 1 hour period). From how I’ve heard it described in movies, TV shows and by others; the level of impairment one may feel from marijuana is more than just the equivalent of a couple of beers. If marijuana were to be legalized, how are we going to ensure that we regulate consumption such that drivers aren’t driving while impaired and causing more incidents than we already cope with on the roads today alcohol?

    Lastly, if marijuana is legalized, heavily taxed, and regulated as most suggest; won’t there still be a significant opportunity for criminals to maintain a black market to evade taxation and provide product to those who are unwilling to pay for the legal, taxed product? While legalization of marijuana would provide relief of those imprisoned for possession-only related offenses, it seems that there would still be a criminal element incentivized to produce and distribute product on the black market who would be subject. It’s a mis-nomer to “sell” the legalization of marijuana on the premise of reducing prison populations … less than 1% of all prisoners are incarcerated on possession charges. Much of the criminal element which today distributes marijuana would not just evaporate. It will repurpose itself to operate a black market for the product or will focus on distributing other illegal drugs which are significantly more profitable.

    As far as the individuals in the story are concerned, I don’t feel too sorry for them. They profited from what they were doing BECAUSE it was illegal. They knew that it was illegal and knew the consequences of getting caught. If marijuana were legal in the first place, they may have instead partnered up a junior Walter Whites to exploit that opportunity to make easy money that would take much longer in a legitimate job. It is unfortunate that they made choices that could negatively affect their families and couldn’t easily undo the consequences to walk away.

  • Observer

    Cash McElroy is a totally badass name though. He broke the law for a long period of time and though he regrets it , if you can’t do the time . . . blah blah blah. We live in a very forgiving world – people do much worse and are forgiven. He’ll be fine.

  • Peter Kurilecz

    you make too much sense

  • RLS

    I came across this post while en route to the East Coast. Good comments, most of them at least: although I too was a bit surprised by the publication of McElroy with some kids.

    It still amazes me that one of the easiest ways to spur vigorous debate (with presumed uplift to CPMs) on a commercial blog is to energize the Weed Issue. But that wouldn’t be the first time that Rogers was moved by Cash.

    (Sorry, Tim. couldn’t help myself.)

  • Guestoftheregime

    In time, our president will change these silly laws.

  • Intheknow

    Many people are trying to make this into a race thing. “A bunch of rich white guys from SMU”… News flash! One of these guys is black! (Eric love)

  • JtB

    Firstly, you are indeed correct that marijuana should be on the legal echelon as tobacco, supersized fountain drinks, partially hydrogenated fats.
    Secondly, we have the science to detect if someone is high. A rich industry could erupt that would facilitate the testing of drivers under the influence. But until then, it should be monitored the same way it is done when drivers are pulled over while on valium or other legal prescription drugs.
    Lastly, even though very addictive, I have yet to see any of my friends who smoke grow their own tobacco. I have seen people brew their own beer, or make their own wine. Those that are successful apply for a license which brings more revenue to the state. But if someone wants to grow and distribute marijuana without the proper licensing, then to me, that should be akin to selling booze with out a TABC permit.

  • Whoopsie

    He distanced himself? Wait. No, Cash instead was still taking 20% of the drug sales from the 2 houses he ‘turned over” to Lou and together they began laundering that drug money through 3 businesses and the over-improvement of multiple personally owned residences. This is much more than about basic selling of weed to college kids (a nice built in niche market). If you know Cash & Lou at all, you know they are both jerks (I’m being polite), are incredibly arrogant, entitled and have always been shady. They knew exactly what they were doing and took their “above the law” mentality to a whole new level. You don’t mess with the federal government. Big mistake. HUGE.

  • Samuel

    This is not a marijuana issue. This is about a gang of privileged white guys that made a fortune illegally and the feds didn’t touch any of their money. Yeah, they got away with it. They didn’t think they had the brains or talent to be successful legally. And why are you worried about the children. Obviously he wasn’t.

  • Tim Rogers

    They weren’t all white. This has nothing to do with race. Thank you for playing.

  • Monika Jones

    While I understand all the above viewpoints, I would like to point out that if cannabis were legalized in much the same way we have done with alcohol, whether or not this man should be jailed would be a NON-ISSUE. While there are many people in this country like Dallasboiler who have no interest in marijuana, there are a GROWING number of Americans who do. These topics have converged coincidentally and I think it DOES reveal a very intriguing distinction. Things like tobacco and fountain drinks (and marijuana for that matter) could be considered unnecessary “luxuries”. They simply are what they are, the user knows what they are getting, and is making a conscious choice to purchase them. As for hydrogenated fats, those ought to be labeled properly with clear distinction, as long as that is done I can’t imagine they will be “done away with”. The prohibition of marijuana is a money allocation issue, and nothing more. There will always be people profiting off it, but the question is who? And at what cost? Prohibition of alcohol has proven that this type of legislation is inherently flawed: because it causes enormous discontent to the general population. If citizens in our country were allowed to freely make their choice about cannabis, whether they want to be a user, cultivator, distributor, etc. I think they would be more open to supporting laws that encouraged proper regulation, and more empathetic with law enforcement in closing down illegitimate operations. In addition to that, removing the plant from the schedule drug class it is currently in and decriminalizing it will likely reduce many fines and sentences, so that men like Mr.McElroy can pay their debts without missing three years of their children’s lives. I do not know his situation, whether he was a “good” person or a corrupt one, nor do I blindly sympathize with him simply because I support ending the prohibition of cannabis; I’m just looking at the big picture.

  • Monika Jones

    I fully agree with JtB – Dallasbroiler while you bring up valid points, they are by no means “new”. People who have seriously pondered the question have come up with solutions. To say that you do not feel sorry for this man, that much I can understand especially given your political views, but it does kind of appear from your post that you oppose legalization or ending prohibition of any kind? Seems rather silly to me to take this route unless the desired affect is to move away from democracy altogether… government has no business dictating people’s consumption of food or intoxicants.

  • Monika Jones

    See this is what I mean, now because of prohibition of cannabis, people who do not even KNOW this man will be rallying in support of him, simply because they see laws they don’t like, they see other people getting jailed and fined for MINOR offenses, and they want it to end. I don’t know anything about this guy and I refuse to make any assumptions, but Whoopsie, I wouldn’t doubt that what you’re saying is true. I just think if cannabis truly were legally regulated then we would be able to LEGALLY separate the arrogant entitled jerks who think they’re “above the law” from the old man just wanting to grow a little in his back yard, or the college student just trying to sell to his buddies to make an extra buck. Operations like this one could be busted and nobody would feel bad for him because they LEGAL routes were available, and he simply refused to take them.

  • Adela Wisdom

    The law is unjust. The law is wrong. The Controlled Substance Act is unconstitutional. This is where JURY NULLIFICATION is important. No-one belongs in jail for a plant. Free Jeremy Cash McElroy.

    http://www.pow420.com/jeremy_mcelroy