If "cops don't make laws, they just enforce them", why are police opposing marijuana legalization?

Since fourteen states have legalized the use of cannabis for sick and disabled people we here at NORML have reported on numerous stories of medical users harassed, arrested, and jailed by police. We have also reported on healthy adults in all fifty states whose lives are turned upside down by an arrest, sometimes losing student loans, jobs, children, pets, dignity, property, and freedom over a single joint, seed, or even a cannabis stem. When we and others bring up these insane injustices to the police who are making these arrests, we often hear the platitude that “cops don’t make the laws, we just enforce the laws.”
So why do we consistently see representatives of law enforcement opposing medical marijuana, marijuana decriminalization, and marijuana legalization efforts in state legislatures?
In California, the California Narcotics Officers Association schools police officers to believe the public “have been misled… into believing there is merit to their argument that smoking marijuana is a safe and effective medicine.” This is in direct contradiction of the stated position of the American Medical Association otherwise that “short term controlled trials indicate that smoked cannabis reduces neuropathic pain, improves appetite and caloric intake especially in patients with reduced muscle mass, and may relieve spasticity and pain in patients with multiple sclerosis.”
In New Jersey, the medical marijuana law was severely curtailed when the Assembly heard the unfounded assertion by a representative of New Jersey’s Fraternal Order of Police that “I’ve heard in California there’s a lot peripheral crime around these centers [medical marijuana dispensaries], I get that from the different law enforcement agencies around the country who I have regular contact with.” This is in direct contradiction of the findings of the Chief of the LAPD who stated: “Banks are more likely to get robbed than medical marijuana dispensaries.” The Chief was responding to the notion that there is greater crime around dispensaries and said “I have tried to verify that because that, of course, is the mantra. It doesn’t really bear out.”
And in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs Control publishes a “fact sheet” on marijuana that states: “Today’s new cultivation methods are producing a drug with up to 30 percent THC, or 3,000 percent higher than the old 1960’s-1980’s available marijuana.” This is in direct contradiction to the DEA’s own figures on marijuana potency which find that today’s average cannabis seizure may have doubled in THC potency (a 100% increase, not a 3,000% increase.) Oklahoma’s bureau doesn’t address why 30% THC marijuana is to be feared, but 100% THC Marinol pills are FDA-approved.

The attitudes of most in law enforcement are also contrary to the attitudes of the public. A recent ABC News / Washington Post poll found that support for medical marijuana is now at 81% nationwide, with a majority overall (62% nationwide) who support a system at least as open as Oregon’s OMMA where not-necessarily terminal patients can only qualify if they suffer a specific condition from a list and a majority of those who support medical marijuana (56% of the 81% who support it) supporting an open system like California’s Prop-215 where “doctors should be able to prescribe medical marijuana to anyone they think it can help”.

But according to a June 2009 survey in POLICE Magazine, even though a majority (54.6%) of police say they support medical marijuana, almost all of those who support it (88%) say it must be only under stricter regulation than we have currently in the medical marijuana states.

When asked about marijuana legalization overall, even for healthy adults, the American Public are also contrary to the opinions of law enforcement. The latest Angus Reid poll is the first to show majority American support for legalization (53%), while the latest Gallup poll puts support at 44%, its best mark in forty years of polling.

But according to the same POLICE survey, marijuana legalization has less than half the support among cops than among the public they protect and serve. Only 23% of police supported re-legalization of cannabis.
When asked why, specifically, those police who opposed re-legalization felt that way, eight in ten said that marijuana is a “gateway drug”, there was the danger of “people driving high”, and seven in ten cited the “harm to user and society”. Longtime NORML readers know that the gateway drug theory has been debunked by the Institutes of Medicine in 1999 and every reputable study over the past ten years. While everybody, especially NORML, discourages driving under the influence of cannabis, we understand that there are people behaving irresponsibly now and re-legalization would not encourage less responsibility, but more. Under re-legalization, money raised from taxes could sponsor anti-stoned-driving campaigns like the ones that have successfully reduced drunk driving.

As for the “harm to user and society”, POLICE readers still felt by a margin of 3-2 that alcohol was “more of a threat to the community” than marijuana. (The survey does not record the support among police for reinstating alcohol prohibition to prevent alcohol’s “harm to user and society”, however.) This 39% of police who believe marijuana is safer than alcohol comes closest to matching public opinion, which shows now a slim majority (51%) believe marijuana is safer than alcohol.

While the general public is barely approaching majority support for outright marijuana legalization, the public has long held the belief that any punishment for adult marijuana possession should be a fine only. Three out of four Americans (76%) believe that if marijuana users are to be punished, they should only be fined and not arrested and sent to jail. Yet the POLICE Magazine survey finds that two out of three cops (65%) think it is “worth law enforcement’s time to bust marijuana users”.
Another area where police opinions differ from the public is on the issue of the murderous Mexican drug gangs that have assassinated, kidnapped, murdered, tortured, and beheaded over 15,000 Mexicans in just two years. The Arizona Attorney General has cited that “marijuana sales make up 75 percent of the money that Mexican cartels use for other operations, including smuggling other drugs and fighting the Mexican army and police.” But in the POLICE Magazine survey, two-thirds of cops (68%) believe marijuana legalization would have no “favorable impact on problems associated with gangs and cartels.”
So do the police know something about the dangers of cannabis use that the American Medical Association, the American people, and the Arizona Attorney General do not? A cynic might think that police are merely acting in their own best interest, protecting their source of easy statistic-padding arrests and asset forfeiture bounty, but I’m more inclined to believe many of these front-line soldiers in the War on Marijuana are acting in good faith based on terrible misinformation about cannabis.

0 thoughts

  1. Because it’s very easy to bash and abuse the pot smoker or dealer because they’re not armed or resisting. It’s very easy and lucrative to take away property from growers because they don’t shoot back. It’s easy to prosecute them because “they threaten the children” by their very existence. We are the “low hanging fruit” so it’s easy to pick on us..

  2. I ask this very question any time someone feeds me that “police don’t make the law, they only enforce it” line. “Officer’s Associations” and other law enforcement groups are always — ALWAYS — heading up the opposition to any legalization or decriminalization measures, including medical laws.
    With the exception of LEAP, pretty much every single law enforcement organization is somehow involved in the political fight to keep marijuana illegal. Strange thing to do for people who supposedly are indifferent to legislation and only concern themselves with enforcement.

  3. “A cynic might think that police are merely acting in their own best interest, protecting their source of easy statistic-padding arrests and asset forfeiture bounty, but I’m more inclined to believe many of these front-line soldiers in the War on Marijuana are acting in good faith based on terrible misinformation about cannabis”
    Call me a cynic if you want, but it doesn’t change the fact that cops act in their own best interests just as quickly as anyone else. I am a bit disappointed that the author didn’t mention that many (if not all) police precincts are UNIONIZED. A unionized group will almost ALWAYS vote and publicly speak according to the best interests of those involved in their union. More “illegal” substances equals more arrests, equals more money in the budget….As simple as it gets in my book!
    -Oz

  4. well i dont see a problem driving high. in texas dwi education one has to take after getting a dwi. they state very quickly but they do say it, that people drive on average 6% better while under the influence of only cannabis. mixed with other substances its a different story tho

  5. Of course law enforcement disagrees with public opinion concerning this matter. When we legalize it we won’t have as many people in jail and the police will have to chase real criminals that won’t be as easy as harrasing peaceful people. They cannot fill the jails seize our property and auction it for a tidy sum. Without the drug war we will see a reduction in law enforcement jobs trust me they need us

  6. The cops are “idiots” like a fox.They want marijuana illegal for job security and easy pickings.Robbery in progress.Not now I have more important issues with this pot smoker. I will continue to distrust and dislike these distroyers of community until drug use is looked upon as a medical issue.

  7. I think its all fuckin bullshit i mean hyow come alcohol is legal and its 1 of the #1 killers in america with drunk driving. but were the fuckin bad people because we smoke a plant that comes from mother earth. congress needs to get over themselves and realize that marijuana is not harmful, and is safer then a cigarette.

  8. Russ, you are much more generous than I am, the cops know that busting Cannabis users/growers is “easy duty”.
    L.E.A.P. should have educational classes for their fellow Prohibitionist leaning cops, sort of a reverse DARE program….
    ONE THING that everyone needs to know about is JURY NULLIFICATION, spread that word around.IF the juries refuse to convict,eventually the word is going to get out that the police are just wasting taxpayers money, and in these hard economic times that will have an impact.

  9. You should remove VIRGINIA off of your map, HB1134 and HB1136 were brought to the floor and promptly TABLED, which in the Commonwealth means Killed. Done end of story.
    [Russ responds – sure, and the Washington legalization bill is through and some others are dead as well. The map is meant to show in 2010 which states took up the issue of marijuana law reform… not that they were necessarily successful. When we’re talking about it, we’re winning.]

  10. When is the public going to get it? Law enforcement is making a living off the suffering of peaceful citizens. This is SLAVERY pure and simple!!!!!!!! People are deriving a paycheck by capturing people and making them forfeit their property and rights. Stop this madness!!!!
    This abuse by law enforcement should be NORML’s primary focus in this drug war. This needs to be the STORY!!! Not that pot is safer or whatever. This story needs to be slammed down the throats of the mainstream press until they realize what is going on….
    [Editor’s note: Reform groups, in the case of organizations like NORML, ACLU, NAACP, etc…have been aptly demonstrating the self-interests of law enforcement’s advocacy for the status quo in cannabis prohibition for nearly 40 years.
    The problem resides with the so-called mainstream media that does not report on law enforcement’s perpetuation of prohibition laws, and in turn an uninformed general public does not put sufficient pressure on their elected policy makers to reign in police.]

  11. Why? I will tell you why: Money. They would lose their jobs if there was nothing to enforce.
    They do pull out that same sad story “oh I’ve seen it destroy families” or “Oh I don’t want to send our children the wrong message”
    What EXACTLY is the “wrong message”? The wrong message is just saying smoking marijuana is okay? How about that persecution is bad? How about that reasonable adults talk about their differences and work out a compromise? No? Just that marijuana is bad…
    If you didn’t know, there is also a study saying that the IQ of the average Law Enforcement Officer is under 100 (90 I believe was the score). Yet these are the people we trust with our lives… think about that.
    90 is NOT FAR ABOVE MENTALLY DISABLED and yet it’s the average police IQ.

  12. Money, Money, Money. When the police bust a semitruck with a load of weed, everybody makes MONEY. The state confiscates the truck and sells it for some MONEY. The state charges the taxpayers around $50 dollars a day to house the truck driver/smuggler in prison therefore making MONEY. The local attorney plea bargains with the DA for a shorter sentence thus providing a service to the community and they both make some MONEY. If some crooked officials get involved they pocket some drug MONEY.

  13. That’s the problem with living with lies for so long they are percieved as truth. The longer you live them the harder they are to let go.
    Get us all back on the same team. Stop alienating the public by perpetuating these lies. Stop hiding the truth from the public on issues like how digging up worthless “ditch weed” magically becomes x number of dangerous plants that are worth (by over inflated theoretical street values, as if they were actual pot plants, as if they were fully mature instead of all the inch tall plants you are counting, when we know the truth is that you couldn’t give it away on the street) millions in grants to keep your job secure. All this does is drive us further apart.

  14. Yeah I agree with pretty much all that was said so far. The only officers with the opposite opinion are the ones that are thinking with their heads and not their wallets. Its very discouraging that people just continue these lies keeping the calm, non aggressive pot smokers from just enjoying life the way the good lord intended. I’m very close to just giving up on my state (PA) and moving to Cali where i can live my life without fear of prosecution. I live in constant fear that at some point I’m gonna be caught with a quarter and end up going to jail for something so harmless. It’s like being arrested for hitting someone with a foam stick. It’s just ridiculous. No Harm No Foul!

  15. I think at the very core of this “war on drugs” with marijuana being (no longer a pipedream) legalized nationwide, the cartels and police could do more, involving other serious crimes rather than pick on the marijuana user/grower. Go after the meth dealers, the gangbangers, illegal immigrants, the cartels, and crooked politicians. As for one comment I just read: I think marijuana shouldn’t be used while driving, but to each their own. I’d much rather people use marijuana than pharmaceutical drugs. Sure the gov’t will tax it, but so what. Black market would only exist for hashish and high quality buds, but think about it…hopefully less people would drink, beat their wives, beat their kids(not the same as smacking a kid), I see the legalization of marijuana to be a cash cow for our gov’t.

  16. I also think if legalization occurs nationwide the drug companies will have a decrease in profits, people will be healthier, the police will get a budget cut, yes loss of jobs, but concentrate on other serious crimes, release non-violent drug offenders from jails and prisons because putting a good man with hardened criminals is not justice, it is torture.

  17. As long as police departments are receiving drug enforcement funds from the DEA,they are going to lie and support the prohibition of marijuana. Never mind that they are supporting the killings in Mexico and doing the public relations work of the cartels.
    As much as we would like to free the police up from marijuana as a crime,they realize full well that arresting marijuana users is a lot safer than arresting drunks.

  18. at 42 and an avid cannabis consumer, whom has bought, sold, traded this commodity for the past 29 years and have never been harassed, are arrested for it, knock on wood. Ten years ago, only after my divorce I decided to cold turkey quit smoking cannabis and I did for almost two year, Then I moved to California from New Orleans for work… only to find myself become a drunken mess, yes growing up in New Orleans and was never much of a drinker. Then I started to understand the importance of cannabis use, when I was twenty one I blew my back out and have lived in pain ever since, besides vicodin, cannabis is the only thing that TRULY relieves the pain and discomfort.
    Now I’m proud to say that I’m once again a daily prescriber of cannabis a very happy, productive white collar republican who is starting a business to become the countries fastest growing distributor of cannabis and cannabis confections.
    and no I not going to spam you with my companies name. not yet anyway…lol

  19. I believe when the “Law enforcement” is in fact stating how the law is made, that is in fact called a “police state”.

  20. I think in the last statement, it could be both for their jobs and for our “best interest”. First, i think they get fed the same BS in training that we all got fed in health class in middle school, just on a different scale. So when they actually become active cops, i’d believe that they arrest a marijuana user wanting to do the right thing. However, soon they realize that what they learned is a lie and that these people they are arresting are actually not bad people and marijuana isn’t as destructive as they first believed. Now it is not about the drug, but about the job. Without marijuana, they would have to fill up their record and resume with drunk drivers, murderers, rapists, true DRUG dealers etc. people that actually hurt others and also who are less frequent than the every other person at a college who smokes pot. If you had to clean a toilet, which would you want? A urinal or something someone shat all over and smells awful?

  21. The police are too afraid to deal with real criminals. They know they can get away with harassing marijuana users. I wonder if this was their idea of “serving and protecting” when they joined the force. Little do these imbeciles know, the very laws they enforce are the reason criminals are so empowered.

  22. I am from Oklahoma and we have draconian laws on marijuana and police here act more like para-military gestapo,hobnail boot, assholes, but if you ask the local police they would like marijuana legal,but that is BS . But other than that,draconian laws,it’s a nice place to live.But you can get pretty good homegrown,maybe 10% thc hard to tell.Peace

  23. How many officers are trained to think that marijuana is harmful? They are spoonfed lies . Everything they think they know about marijuana was probably told to them in their training. They are told that it is dangerous and therefore needs to be eradicated. Cops really are just guilty of forced ignorance.

  24. #5 i agree law enforcement wants the easy road just bust cannabis users, an let the pedophiles out with a ankle braclet

  25. Error 404 – message on your “This is in direct contradiction of the stated position of the American Medical Association” link.

  26. it SEEMS that majority of the law enforcement views are paid for, meaning, they usaully share the same view becasue of their peers. i have meet many cops old and new who are just cops just to have a job and have no clue or personaly feelings about the subject.
    the police have their own brotherhood of some type and expect! EXPECT to be treated differently at all times, even when they drive them and their families around in their cop car. Police get away with everything!!! and people think that just because a cop is a cop he KNOWS everythihng!! Cops may know their job but they don’t know the people they are suppose to PROTECT AND SERVE, NOT SEARCH AND DESTROY!!!!!!!

  27. The Holocaust occured because people were “just following the rules.” Kudos to the 23% of law enforcement officer that say “stop arresting marijuana users.” It doesn’t take a lot of brains to recognize an evil law, but it takes a tremendous amount of guts to stand up against it!

  28. Without a doubt, the reason so many cops are opposed to any drug reform is they are putting #1 first. The only problem is that, unlike most other jobs, putting #1 first in their field can often result in massive destruction for other parties.
    If they are honestly acting in good faith, it doesn’t make them any less responsible (just as acting in good faith under Hitler didn’t give you a pass) and in fact, is an insult to their intelligence.
    Just read the line that 68% believe that legalizing cannabis would have no positive impact with regards to drug cartel problems. That’s not even an opinion question! They’re denying the basic laws of supply and demand as if, for some reason, they don’t apply to illegal activity. In reality, the drug trade is one of the finest examples of unabated capitalism left in the world, with the exception of all of the violence due to selling a product outlawed by most nations. Of course, in a world of true capitalism, the demand would equal supply and an equilibrium price, far lower than what you see now, would be set.

  29. I think police in general oppose marijuana legalization for social and cultural reasons, not financial. I don’t think cops believe busting pot users is a way for them to keep their jobs or ensure they get more funding — they know they will have plenty of job security even if weed is legal. It’s more likely that cops tend to be socially conservative, and see smoking pot as too out of control, too free. And after all, anyone who smokes weed has disrespect for the law, right??? There’s always the “long-haired hippy” talk that shows police aren’t down with different types of people. They’re likely to be concerned with security, which is often opposed to freedom, and so more likely to accept conformity. Basically, police have an idea (mostly just a stereotype) of who smokes weed and just don’t like those kinds of people.

  30. OBJECTIVE STATEMENT
    It is the objective of the Genesist Faith to organize and unite its adherents throughout the world. The inspiration and incentive of “our mindset and relentless agenda” is, and will for-ever-more be. “The certainty of religious freedom.”
    INTENT AND PURPOSE
    It is the intent and purpose of the Genesist Faith to rise to action, with the equivolence of war, and invoke the “free exercise thereof” clause in Article I of the Constitution of the United States of America, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993-RFRA (H.R.1308) as a “Conscience Clause” relevent to the prohibition of our Holy Sacrament. A conscience clause is a clause in a law exempting those whose religious or moral principles “forbid compliance.” The prohobotion of our Holy Sacrament is a “subsatnrial burden” on the Genesist Faith, and forbids a Genesist’s compliance.”
    The Religious Freedom Restoration Act-RFRA recognizes the “free exercise of religion as a inalienable right” and secures its protection in the first amendment of the Constitution. Nothing in this Act should be construed to authorize any government to “burden any religious belief or the free exercise thereof.” Genesists are resolute in our contention that our “inalienable religious right” has been, and remains, “substantially burdened and disrupted” by government’s excessive interference. Therefore, Genesists vigorously resist government’s monopolizing political pretext and intrusion of our faith, and demand impunity in a free unencombered way of life, guaranteed in the Constitution.
    It is by virtue of this Act, and the first amendment of the U.S Constitutuion, as well as the International Declaration of Human Rights that Genesists claim the “right to practice our faith,” unobstructed by governmental interference; also the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that government “must prove” that damage has been done to the greater community before any action can be taken against using sacraments in the observance of one’s faith.
    Therefore, Genesists assert a “severence clause” opposing the unconstitutional application of “competing governmental interests.” Genesists demand that our Constitutional Right be restored, that our free exercise of religion be protected, and compelling governmental interests be declared voidable and severed.
    RATIONALE
    God has given us the priviledge and the responsibility of “free choice.” We have the capacity and obligation to make the kind of choices that shape the world we are part of. It’s our “free choices” that make the world the way it is. “Genesists are under obligation to God with liberty of conscience.” A part of that obligation is the way we treat our fellow humans with the inherent goodness of humanity and truth. We are free to control our own humanity, and any attempt to insult that inherent goodness and truth is reprehensible. Therefore, Genesists lawfully assemble in our faith, holding our Constitution as absolute. Our grievance as a worldwide faith based communtiy is that government’s intransigent prohibition of our inalienable religious right, observation, rite, activity, or “free exercise thereof” is absolutely unacceptable, and Genesists invoke a “conscience clause,” and assert a “severence clause.”
    GENESISTS ARE A BODY OF MASS DISTINCTION
    Genesists are well defined and unmistakable. From sea to shinning sea, “every county” in each and every sovereign stae, of these United States of Ameica, is a “Genesits Colony,” and bears the names of that county. This includes our brethren throughout the world. The Genesist Faith tyranscends all boundries. It’s a small world after all. “Friends find each other.” It is the Genesist’s oblective, intent and purpose for friends throught the world to “find eache other and stand as one”…standing as “one” against the aggression directed at our constitutional, and “God given” religious right of Holy Sacrament…”Manna.”

  31. I think there should be more emphasis on the re-prohibition of alcohol. Not that I support it, it is every free persons right to get smashed in whatever way they see fit, but if the police want to continue enforcing marijuana prohibition we should talk about the other legal drugs especially one that used to be illegal. It is the main cause of drug induced car accidents and poses a threat to those who mistreat it but it is legal because the repercussions of prohibition out way the possible dangers. If half as many people understood that as those that drink alcohol, marijuana would have been legal forty years ago regardless of medical value. I could go one to cigarettes and state how many lives they take (440,000) vs. how many lives taken by marijuana (none) but unless someone in our legislature opens their ears I might as well be mute. We may be doomed to repeat history but we should at least realize how stupid we are while we sit and shake our fingers.

  32. ^That’s a pretty accurate point Richard, about the real criminals being more of a dangerous effort where cannabis users are less likely to be of a challenge to constrain.

  33. In the end I feel it always comes down to money. The paychecks on the loe’s side and the “paycheck” on the dealers side.
    If I was a cop , I would vote to keep my job. If I was a dealer I would also “vote” to keep my “job”.
    Cops can go to legislatures and speak for thier jobs.
    Drug dealers can donate money to reps(prohibis) they want voted in.
    ….in the end we all in the middle suffer for thier lack of foresight and greed.

  34. The police officers don’t want to legalize because they are scared they will loose there jobs. Although some would inevitably loose there jobs due to the legalization of marijuana, the offset would be the creation of jobs in other areas.

  35. It is a good article. Well said.
    The police in uniform should play no part in politics, however, politicians like to use them. The “law and order” politicians are the most crooked and most often ended up in prison, or resigned from office in disgrace.

  36. The culture is changing and the cops are having a hissy fit. Fuck DEA and the ONDCP,too. I would love to hear what diarrhea comes out of the mouths of John Walters and Barry McCaffery when the law changes. Hopefully they are still around when the public officially states that they do not believe the bullshit they spewed

  37. You do not know what is good for you and cannot possibly make ANY good decisions !!! SHUT UP and sit down and do as you are told !! We only get punished when we have done something WRONG !! You are bad and we are good and you should not have ANY rights, just like women and blacks you should learn your PLACE !!!

  38. This is so sad, these stories of harassment.
    Since I can personally do nothing to help, I donate to NORML. This is in the hope that NORML professionals will speak up at these government meetings where lies are being spread by the right wing.
    [Editor’s note: Thanks for your support! Since 1970, NORML’s staff in Washington, DC and hundreds of local activists affiliated within NORML’s chapter network testify and confront prohibitionists every day.]

  39. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-piper/obamas-2010-drug-control_b_459868.html
    “President Obama’s newly released drug war budget is essentially the same as Bush’s, with roughly twice as much money going to the criminal justice system as to treatment and prevention. This is the case despite the fact that Obama said on the campaign trail drug use should be treated as a health issue not a criminal justice issue. And despite his drug czar telling the Wall Street Journal last year the war on drugs should be ended. While the president appears unwilling to change how taxpayer money is misspent, he can still seek reform. The White House’s forthcoming 2010 drug strategy is the best opportunity to do that.”
    Time to think outside of the box people.

  40. In the USA, the police are supposed to enforce laws, not make them. It’s a concept known as “Checks and Balances”. It’s one of the hallmarks of democracy.

  41. I am not a religeous person by any stretch of the imagination but I have heard this quote, supposedly from the Bible Genesis 1 29….The Garden of Eden
    And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth…
    This is a herb we are talking about, not a drug!!!!!
    Why can’t the authorities recognise that fact and get on with catching the real criminals eg: rapists, murderers, pedophiles, drunk drivers, corporate fraudsters etc and leave us cannibis smoking folk alone. I will be 60 next year and would much rather see my offspring sharing a joint with me than popping pills, consuming copious amounts of alchohol and going out killing people….. Seems to me it is simple logic!

  42. Imagine how much respect law enforcement would gain from the general public if they remained even neutral to ending prohibition? Imagine if the cops were no longer the ‘bad’ guys to the marijuana producer/consumer?
    If the COPS really cared about gaining more control over the streets they would push for legalization. Personally, I think the number of people in the USA who consume marijuana is far greater than even NORML’s figures of 20 million or so. I would say the market share for marijuana is about the same as it is for oranges for example. I would say that at least 6 in 10 people have had contact with marijuana and know it is no big deal.
    Imagine now if this majority now gained the respect of law enforcement because there is no fear of arrest/discrimination anymore for weed? Most of this pot consuming majority does not commit any other crimes, besides the usual parking or speeding ticket. Imagine if the COPS treated bud like they do a Bud Lite beer in a bar?
    So my point: Law enforcement, by being truthful about the talking points (science, business, economy, cultural, religious,) on marijuana, and NOT being activists supporting prohibition, would seem like allies to the majority. That momentum would gain them more credibility on the streets, thus making their jobs safer and with public support.
    The day weed is legalized in your state, to the pot smoker he becomes free. There is no other crime that the marijuana smoker has to haul and the Cops become our friends. And this dear law enforcement is the biggest reason to not stand in the way of reform.
    Pushing Marijuana Prohibition is Pushing for more confusion and for less support from the populous!

  43. Holy Smokes! Why would they want to give up the easy bust. “I think I smell marijuana. Do you have any marijuana? I think I need to search you. I smell marijuana. It’s so easy to fight crime when it’s so easy to find.
    rev.sleezy

  44. The only people who want to go into law enforcement are those willing to enforce the laws and a good deal of law enforcement is law enforcement against drugs that have been made illegal by legislation of one kind or another. Sorry, but it’s true. Cops don’t write laws, they just enforce them and only people willing to wage the Drug War are willing to become law enforcement officers. When your representetives quit waging the Drug War in the halls of government, then only cops who don’t care about the Drug War will become law enforcement officers. Those who can’t abide the changes, or don’t have any other skills in law enforcement will drop out or be dismissed.
    The real clue is what will happen to the dope dealers and organized crime. There is where the real economic hardship will commence and not a moment too soon.
    And of course, when the Drug War ends, so also will the quack “medical marijuana” dispenseries disappear.

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