On May 7, 2008 we sadly lost a 23 year old woman to drugs. Rachel Hoffman had agreed to become an informant for the Tallahassee police department shortly after she was discovered with many times over the misdemeanor limit for marijuana. The amount qualified Rachel to face felony charges. The masterful marketing of Rachel after her death recently brought a $2.4 million dollar settlement to her parents from the city of Tallahassee.
Since Rachel’s death, many advocates who propose for the liberalization of our drug laws have made Rachel a symbol for their cause. While the pro legalization advocates have marketed Rachel’s memory for their special interests, the parents have remained silent. After the Florida legislature authorized the $2.4 million dollars to the parents, the American press displayed an angelic young woman who was a victim of the police and not the damage and destruction drugs have brought to so many families.
The Tampa paper described Rachel as “naive when she agreed to help police”. http://www2.tbo.com/news/news/2012/mar/08/slain-informant-receives-justice-ar-366859/
The truth was that Rachel was wrapped up in the drug culture, knew the drug score, was in a court ordered drug treatment program, missed her last scheduled drug test, knew the street drug vernacular and knew how to contact people who could pull off a $13,000 drug deal. Rachel’s actions in the year prior to her death did not indicate “naive”.
The parents lived in Clearwater when Rachel died and had apparently lost touch with their daughter’s reported drug dealing. Sadly, since Rachel’s death, the parents have been a part of the marketing effort toward the march to their $2.4 million dollar payday with quotes about how much they missed their daughter when in fact they had no comment about her lifestyle and blamed the police for her death.
It is my hope that an investigative journalist begin to examine and report on the Rachel Hoffman story. It should be called “The Marketing of Rachel Hoffman” or “How to Get $2.4 million Dollars From Your Daughter’s Death With the Influence of the Drug Legalization Advocates”
Rachel’s drug issues represent what tens of thousands of parents have had to face. The parents I know have all stepped forward in trying to better understand how to help educate other parents.
Rachel became a victim to drugs and her death became a payday for her parents who have remained silent while the advocates for drug legalization have used Rachel for their personal causes. Rachel’s death could have been an example for so much more in our growing drug culture that is taking too many children away from their parents.
The Rachel Hoffman story: A marketing story to be read by every student pursuing a legal degree that includes personal injury.