Somebody save us from hard-headed police chiefs

No amount of studious research can fix stupid:

The workload could be reallocated away from petty marijuana arrests, City Council, the mayor and social justice advocates say. Although Lopez says DPD has never prioritized low-level pot busts, the ones that occur still disproportionately affect people of color. White pot smokers get away with it; blacks do not.

To which Lopez, ever charismatic, replied, “I would recommend to people concerned about this issue that they not smoke marijuana.”

Setting aside for a moment the harmless (and often medically helpful) nature of marijuana and the moral imperative to decriminalize it, when your racially-tuned crime-control dragnet scoops up a heck of a lot more people of color than their white counterparts, busting those otherwise innocent kids for small quantities of marijuana represents a horrifically "unjust" system. Two eighteen year-old boys, both recreational pot users. One gets busted and his future darkens, the other easily flies under police radar and stumbles through UNC on the five-year plan. It''s the difference between making $25,000 per year and $55,000. Just felt like throwing some numbers out there. It's not always about bad choices or bad luck, there are institutional factors that play a part. We can't easily fix the choices thing, but we can (and should) address those institutional problems.

Rent too damn high

Rent is too damn high, especially if you work for minimum wage. Tell me again why we shouldn't raise the minimum wage?

The Raleigh-Durham area joins several mid-size metros as having the highest rent increases in 2014, according to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal.

The report, based on data from real estate research firm Reis Inc., looks at apartment rents in the fourth quarter 2014 compared to the previous year. Nationwide, the average increase was 3.6 percent; Raleigh rents rose 4.8 percent.

Terrific Tapas

Jane enjoying tapas

Another downtown success story has unfolded in our neighboring Durham.

Had a delicious lunch today with a good friend who has moved into a new co-housing apartment building a couple of blocks from downtown Durham. Easy walk over to enjoy four Taberna Tapas dishes, including locally grown sweet potato fries, seared salmon, a Portobella cap with saffron rice, and green beans with anchovies. Yummy!

Then over to the busy Credit Union past the modern bus terminal and train station as the Amtrak to NYC pulled out.

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