Spent the day in court, traffic court, witnessed a trial and otherwise all plea bargains with big fines as the way the town brings in revenue obviously cause some of the original "violations" people were brought in for were pretty lame and even bogus, like a woman pulled over for driving in the 65-mile limit fast lane at 58, etc.
But the obvious taking advantage of people to make money on fines was compounded by the fact that over ninety percent of the cases involved marijuana, because after people were pulled over the officer, usually a state trooper because they were on a highway that runs through the town where the ticket was issued and the court was, smelled either "burnt marijuana" or "raw marijuana" (which I hadn't known before are the official legal terms and the troopers take a course to learn the smell of each!).
So that raised the possibility of jail time or bigger fines and was used to intimidate people into copping to a lesser plea and paying a less huge fine but still one that was a hardship to most, who, by the way, and no surprise—and despite the fact that the town this was all happening in is predominantly if not almost completely "white"—were almost all not "white," in fact the person I was with was the only "white" defendant who was also a native-born "American."
It isn't just the Fergusons that have this problem. It's an all-American problem. Either that or no "white" people ever smoke or have in their possession marijuana in their cars. Yeah sure.