Drugs

Pot and Polos

polo ralph lauren pot bust.jpgHere’s a story that might interest the “legalize cannabis” crowd. From our friends at Fashionista:

This is turning into the summer of the fashion crowd running into trouble with the law.

Last week, a major drug bust went down in Ralph Lauren’s tony New Canaan, CT store. The stock manager, 34-year-old Ricky Sullins, was arrested for accepting a FedEx package loaded with 14 pounds of marijuana. FedEx contacted the police before delivering the package since they could smell the drugs through the box and an undercover cop posed as the delivery man.

Fourteen pounds is enough to get an entire polo team high — including the horses. Since it involved a large quantity of pot moving through the state of Connecticut, we wonder if U. Conn. law student John Belanger was involved.
If Sullins is looking for representation, might we suggest Allison Margolin, aka L.A.’s Dopest Attorney? She’s a California attorney, but perhaps she can get admitted pro hac.
To read more and comment, click on the link below.
Pot and Polos [Fashionista]

john belanger u conn law dea drug money.jpgJohn Belanger, who appears to be a rising 3L at the University of Connecticut, will likely be deferring his third year of law school. He has some bigger legal issues to deal with.
Belanger, 27, was arrested last week for his role in running an international drug ring. From the Watertown Daily Times:

Federal authorities have charged more than 45 people nationwide over their alleged roles in an international drug-smuggling operation that moved $1 billion worth of marijuana.
The two-year investigation exposed a pipeline moving thousands of pounds of marijuana each month from the north country to numerous U.S. cities, including Boston, New York and Miami, prosecutors said. The crime syndicate is alleged to have moved the marijuana, which came from Canada through the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation in Franklin County and near Churubusco in Clinton County, over the past four years….
Zachary Gouchie, 24, of Montreal, Edward Kener, 31, of Weston, Fla., and John Belanger, 27, of Hartford, Conn., were accused of recruiting people and directing the movement of the marijuana along the East Coast.

Given that this allegedly started four years ago, perhaps Belanger decided to go to law school to give legal advice to the drug cartel. Those with knowledge of Belanger tell us about his exploits at U. Conn. and his special interest in American Indian law, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Student of the Day: John Belanger”

china high.jpgIf you like the fast life, look out for opportunities in your firm’s offices abroad. Judging from the Russian tales of Deidre Dare and the new memoir, China High, by the pseudonymous “ZZ,” life in Biglaw’s foreign offices is full of drugs, sex, and nonstop clubbing.
Of course, these two are no longer with their firms, Dare fired from Allen & Overy and ZZ no longer on the payroll at Sidley Austin. Which leads us to suggest that you not serialize your wild adventures — Dare’s downfall — or get caught running food delivery business or smoking opium-laced hashish in public — ZZ’s sins.
Now ZZ is pursuing a new career: writing. He has spun his adventures and misadventures into a memoir, called China High. From Bloomberg:

The seat of China’s age-old civilization is as seamy on the inside as it looks imposing from the outside, judging from “China High,” a memoir scribbled under the nom de plume ZZ by a Shanghai-born, U.S.-trained lawyer in his 20s.
Written before the global credit meltdown, “China High” lifts a curtain on a side of Beijing seldom seen by tourists. ZZ captures the nocturnal buzz of a city where rave parties in derelict factories are a staple and orgies have become a rite of passage. Then there’s the pot, which locals call the Big Numb….
A Chinese national, ZZ graduated from Brandeis University and Boston College Law School, says his publisher, St. Martin’s Press. Then he went to Hong Kong in late 2000 to work for Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP (now Sidley Austin LLP) and transferred to its Beijing office in late 2001.

That bio is detailed enough that we don’t imagine ZZ is going to stay anonymous for long.
Those who have been to Beijing know that it is super cheap. Anyone living there with a $250,000 salary gets to live like a king. A sex-having, drug-doing, dumpling-eating king. More on ZZ’s indulgences and “flings with models, Mrs. Robinsons, kept women and what he delicately terms ‘local girls with jungle fever’,” after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Sidley Associate Writes Tell-All About Legal Life in the Forbidden City”

How should the federal and state governments deal with their depleted coffers? Here’s one idea, from Nick Gillespie of Reason.com, in yesterday’s New York Times:

cannabis_leaf.gifLegalize drugs and then tax sales of them. And while we’re at it, welcome all forms of gambling (rather than just the few currently and arbitrarily allowed) and let prostitution go legit too. All of these vices, involving billions of dollars and consenting adults, already take place. They just take place beyond the taxman’s reach.

Legalizing the world’s oldest profession probably wasn’t what Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, meant when he said that we should never allow a crisis to go to waste. But turning America into a Sin City on a Hill could help President Obama pay for his ambitious plans to overhaul health care and invest in green energy. More taxed vices would certainly lead to significant new revenue streams at every level. That’s one of the reasons 52 percent of voters in a recent Zogby poll said they support legalizing, taxing and regulating the growth and sale of marijuana.

Are ATL readers more or less libertarian than the general public? In a prior poll, almost 70 percent of you voted in favor of legalizing prostitution.
We know how L.A.’s dopest attorney feels — but what’s your opinion of pot? Vote in this poll, and debate in the comments.


Paying With Our Sins [New York Times]
Earlier: A Seminal Question: Should Prostitution Be Legalized?
Adventures in Lawyer Advertising: ‘The Dopest Attorney’

Allison Margolin, whom we have written about before, is an HLS grad who practices law in Los Angeles. According to her website, she “handles all criminal cases from murder to medical marijuana.” But the latter would appear to be her passion, judging from how she wishes to be reached:

  • You can call her at 1-888-DOPE-LAW.
  • You can check out her website at www.LAsDopestAttorney.com. If you visit it, you will be greeted by the banner, “Have No Fear. LA’s Dopest Attorney is Here.”
  • You can e-mail her at [email protected].
    When we were in L.A. in March, we spotted her ad in L.A. City Beat (a newspaper that has since folded). A tipster did us the favor of scanning it and sending it our way:
    LA's Dopest Attorney.jpg
    Her branding skills are dope, yo.
    We don’t know if Margolin was on law review during her days at Harvard Law School, but we do know she recently penned a legal editorial for stoners. Check out her argument against the prosecution of medipot growers in CelebStoner.
    U.S. Must Stop Prosecuting Medipot Growers [Celebstoner]
    Earlier: Allison Margolin: ‘Lawyer Hot’

  • date rape drug.jpgAs we’ve previously noted, when it comes to disputes between lawyers and their former firms, there are several sides to every story. For example, compare Yolanda Young’s claims against Covington & Burling with the firm’s response (PDF).
    We try to cover both sides of these controversies. Having previously covered Roofiegate — aka Moor v. Bingham McCutchen, a complaint filed by ex-associate Michelle Moor against the firm, alleging that she was slipped a date rape drug at the firm’s holiday party — we now bring you this update.
    The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) has dismissed Michelle Moor’s complaint:

    Based upon the Commission’s investigation, the Commission is unable to conclude that the information obtained establishes a violation of the statutes. This does not certify that the Respondent is in compliance with the statutes. No finding is made as to any other issues that might be construed as having been raised by this complaint.

    Details, plus a link to the Commission’s ruling, after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Roofiegate Resolved: Bingham Vindicated Prevails, Complaint Dismissed”

    Michael Phelps pot marijuana bong.jpg* In case you are wondering, I’m in the foreground on the right in this artist’s depiction. [Courtoons]

    * Are doctors now more hated than lawyers? That probably depends on how sick you are. [What About Clients?]

    * Should you friend your boss on Facebook? [Corporette]

    * It might be in poor taste, but Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s surgery was the opening bell on the Kagan v. Sotomayor steel cage match. [CQ Politics]

    * Michael Phelps lost one of his sponsors, after being photographed smoking from what looked like a marijuana pipe. ESPN is doing 24/7 analysis about what this means for Phelps, kids, and America. I’m sure Katie Couric is going to get involved soon. Thank God I only smoke tobacco, drink alcohol and caffeine, eat red meat with lots of salt, take whatever Pfizer tells me I need, and gamble away all of my disposable income. A real role model follows the law! [Popsquire]

    My best friend's bong.jpgWe expect ATL friend Mark Herrmann at Drug and Device Law to weigh in on this matter fully and with much glee. But in the meantime, we wanted to alert the more botanical subset of our readership of some breaking news: if the cops surprise you, you don’t have to drink the bong water. At least not in Minnesota … unless of course you want to.

    The Minnesota Court of Appeals has decided:

    Because the post-use by-product of a methamphetamine bong is created through drug use and not prepared for the purpose of drug use, sale, or manufacturing, the water contained in the post-use by-product is not a mixture as defined in § 152.01, subd. 9a.

    That is very interesting news, but don’t tell the kids. Hilarity will ensue, trust me.

    For instance, you might be able to get somebody to do this:

    [A] police officer testified–at a contested omnibus hearing–that drug users who are indigent or who do not have a readily available source for drugs retain the water from a methamphetamine bong for future consumption either orally or by injection. The officer testified that he knew of drug users who had consumed bong water containing methamphetamine.

    God I miss college.

    Anyway, after the jump, if bong water is distinguishable from a controlled substance, what is it comparable to?

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Bong Water: The Uncontrollable Substance”

    [Ed Note: Do you have a question for next week? Send it in to [email protected]]

    pls hndle copy 2.jpgDear ATL,

    As a 3L, coasting through his last year of school, I find the occasional moment to partake in a bit of “relaxation” by way of an unmentioned illegal plant.

    I’m wondering though, other than a question about this on the Bar application, would I be subject to any type of drug testing for the bar or at my post-bar big law firm? Do firms ever drug test their employees?

    – Panama Red.

    Dear Panama Red,

    If you show up to work with bags of White Castle or pester secretaries with questions about where your car’s at, firms may demand a drug test (based on boilerplate paperwork you fill out at the outset of your job permitting them to do so), and they can fire you without cause anyway. But as far as I know, no law firms routinely test associates for drugs, and neither does any bar-related process.

    However, firms do prohibit associates from moonlighting or engaging in activities that would be detrimental to the business or reputation of the firm. Practically speaking this means you’ll have to get off Phish tour (editor’s note: they’re not reuniting, give up the ship) and turn in that ridiculous shell necklace from Hollister. The hemp one, too. God, this is embarrassing.

    Since it would have only taken a Google search for you to have answered your own question, I’ll take your email as a cry for help and give you some actual advice. You need to lay off the weed and focus on passing the bar and keeping your job. Also, I see you didn’t get the memo about how everybody switched over to coke. Um, yeah. AWKWARD.

    Your friend,

    Marin

    After the jump, Marin passes the blunt to Elie, who’s wearing a “Take Me Drunk I’m Home” t-shirt.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Pls Hndle Thx: The Chronic”

    pacino plays biglaw associate.JPGBack in the eighties, the popular myth was that all Manhattan attorneys had a leather briefcase, a good blue pen, and a Scarface-sized bowl of cocaine on their desk. Sadly, by the time I got to Biglaw the briefcase had been replaced by a canvas bag with a gaudy firm emblem emblazoned on the side like the mark of the beast. The nice pen was replaced with a desktop computer designed to block The Onion. And the coke was replaced by the marvelous ephedrine they used to put into Red Bull.

    But perhaps London attorneys are poised to relive the NYC glory days. A new study reports that hard drug use is on the rise in the U.K.:

    One partner claims he knows “people who just make a phone call from their office and nip down to reception to pick up their delivery” — something that happens in every big law firm, he claims.

    The survey, by the magazine Legal Business, also says that there is evidence of “cocaine clubs” in law firms’ basements and of partner-led games of poker and taking cocaine with clients. But it also finds that law firms are ignorant or indifferent to the problem. One lawyer is quoted: “I spanked £100,000 on cocaine in one year and no one noticed.

    If a partner ever invited me to a coke and poker party I would still be in rehab a practicing attorney today.

    The key similarity between Britain today and the America of yesterday seems to be the total professional indifference to drug use:

    The legal profession, unlike other classic professions such as medicine and teaching, does not give a damn, as long as you are profitable.

    Well, nobody wants a coked-up doctor trying to save you from a cocaine overdose. And nobody wants a coke-head teaching your kids. But if a little nose candy is going to make you work longer, why would partners particularly care what you do on the side?

    Because you could die? Because partners care about your health? Right. You could be the last unicorn and you’d still bill 100 hours a week if there was work to be done.

    Substance abuse problems that span the ocean after the jump.

    double red triangle arrows Continue reading “I Hear That ‘Magic Circle’ Powder Is Killer”

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