Those damn French

According to Wikipedia, the metric system is an internationally agreed decimal system of measurement that was originally based on the mètre des Archives and the kilogramme des Archives introduced by France in 1799. And that brings me to the Sentencing Guidelines.

When it comes to drugs, the Sentencing Guidelines punish offenders using drug quantity as a proxy for culpability. In doing so, the question of “how much” relies upon the metric system instead of the good old English system of customary units (like pounds). We (the drug dealers and I) have been confused ever since.

Who knew an eight ball was 3.5 grams?*


*It is true that this has stimulated the American market for gram scales. But that is only good for the Chicoms who have a monopoly on the business of making these handy hand-held devices.

16 responses

  1. It may interest you to know that the kilogram, the base unit for all those drug convictions, is just a lump of metal in France. Called the international prototype kilogram, it’s a little lump of platinum covered by a couple of bell jars sitting in a basement in France. The scientific definition of the kilogram is currently “the mass of that little lump of platinum in France.”

  2. quick question/comment – isn’t it amazing w/ all the hullabaloo about education being down that many of these people can do fractions and decimals quite well on the street? :).

  3. The fries are from Belgium and we used to have liberty cabbage. Myers v NE has not altered text of State Constitution. What do real Nebraskans eat?

  4. Metric is useful for scientific calculations, as Keller would attest. Hope the nosebleeds and foot swelling are better, Judge.

  5. Meat and potatoes, preferably beef or pork, weighed in pounds and ounces. No foo-foo stuff on the Great Plains. I suppose a side of corn (of course!) would make a more balanced meal.

  6. Unfortunately, his lyrics are too close for comfort: “the older they get, the dumber they get.”

  7. Judge:
    Please don’t fret. The American public’s refusal to accept metrification (we are the only industrialized country in the entire world that does not use the metric system) is similar to its earlier opposition to Prohibition. In both instances, the pubic–on principle–refused to accept something which had been mandated by the government. Compared to this, the occasional use of the metric system in the Sentencing Guidelines seems like small change.

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