Drug Law

“KopBusters” Barry Cooper & Wife Lose Son Over Misdemeanor Marijuana Charge

| by NORML

(True/Slant) Because of Barry’s recent misdemeanor arrest over allegations of a false police report, Williamson County officers gained entry to the couple’s home and discovered a couple of marijuana cigarette butts during their search, for which both husband and wife were charged in Travis County. Police also took the Coopers’ electronics and digital media and managed to keep the former officer behind bars for over 48 hours.

In the document, an affidavit in support of ex parte relief filed with a court in Upshur County, Texas, Mr. Johnston contends that because of Barry and Candi’s standing as nationally-known marijuana activists and their high (no pun intended) level of comfort with the drug, they pose a danger to Zachary. He cites articles on the duo’s exploits published by Cannabis Culture and Maxim, noting in particular that when Barry and Candi met, she was his “pot dealer.”

“This recent [arrest] crosses the line from advocacy to illicit drug abuse,” Mr. Johnston concludes. “I have tried to tolerate the Coopers and their lifestyle as long as I can. My son, Zachary, does not deserve to be raised in a household that uses illicit drugs, abuses drugs, and where they derive the majority of their income on the advocacy of how to engage in illegal conduct.”

And he’s got every right to make that claim, which will absolutely be taken seriously considering standing law. However

“I smoked pot with that motherfucker eight months ago!” Cooper jeered over the phone. “I have a witness, his ex-girlfriend. And she’s gonna testify. We do that shit away from our kids, and everything we’ve ever used for our shows is a prop.”

I’ve written about Barry Cooper before and have spoken in public and in the media of my disagreements with his notions of surrendering 5th Amendment rights during a police search and of filing false police reports in his “KopBusters” stings.  I’ve also praised Cooper for the factual education he does provide in many other areas of his DVDs and for his important perspective as a former K-9 handler/trainer and narcotics officer.

But none of that controversy is relevant to the tragedy that is unfolding in this custodial dispute over his 7-year-old stepson, a matter further complicated by the boy’s cerebral palsy.  Not everybody who smokes pot is a high-profile activist like Barry and Candi Cooper, but these cases of children being lost over parental marijuana use are not uncommon, even in the fourteen states that allow for medical marijuana.

Stephen C. Webster has been doing fantastic work covering this story over at True/Slant.  His post from today includes an update that the Coopers were unsuccessful in getting Zachary back in the most recent hearing, where the Deputy District Attorney pronounced the couple to be fit parents, the children healthy, happy and “well cared for” and that there “is nothing to indicate that the kids are at risk.”

Also included is the entire CPS report released to the public, where the police are trying to paint a very different picture.  It is so patently offensive that I can only respond to it in sarcasm font.

"The 14-year-old has drug posters in her room along with imitation marijuana items."

My god, a teenage girl with a pot leaf poster and a fake marijuana leaf lei?!?  If that were grounds for losing your kids where I live now on the West Coast, we’d be deluged by orphans.

"Parents are unsuitable and create an environment where the children believe the government is out to harm them."

My god, teaching the kids that the government is out to harm them?!?  If that were grounds for losing your kids where I used to live in Idaho, they’d be deluged by orphans.

7-year-old child with cerebral palsy was engaged in "outburst" of "Crying Excessively" for "no reason observed during the execution of a search warrant at the residence."

Clearly when your mentally-challenged stepson cries for no reason when armed strangers burst in to his home and take away his mommy and daddy in handcuffs, it’s evidence of your poor parenting.  Maybe he wouldn’t have been so scared if he hadn’t been trained to think the government was out to harm him.

Barry Cooper "does not believe in church" and "hates his father"

Whew!  I love my father… so guess I’d get to keep my kids, if I had any.

"The children are being mentally abused to believe drugs are good."

Does this mean the only good parents left are the ones who believe in “faith healing”?

"The family will not allow any government employee into the home without court orders."

Only the worst of parents teach their children to invoke their 4th Amendment rights!