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. or should one b brave enough to do that knowing their not gonna get the job, just to show how one could get safisticated as them

  2. LEO has no business wearing a uniform I fu^king pay for to disrespect my wishes. Who the hell do these IDIOTS think they are? They work for us, if I want them to give an opinion when wearing a police uniform I will give them one. Till then shut the fu^k up.

  3. This is mainly intended as a reply to Matt’s comment.
    Of course cops are below average IQ. It’s part of the design of the way police are hired. Detectives need to have a decent amount of intelligence (not too much) but your average beat cop is expected to be a ‘Yes’ man and a soldier on the street. They are not expected to do anything but what they are told and if they think that can lead to questions and when cops ask questions it threatens the smooth operation of the system and status quo.
    I cannot remember the exact article and am feeling too lazy to look it up, but as I remember it, about 5 years ago, a man sued his local police department for discrimination in hiring. He had been through the academy and applied to the local police force and they turned him down because he was too intelligent. The police department had a max IQ of 120 allowed in it’s police. The man lost the case, because the judge ruled that intelligence is not protected by discrimination laws and that the police were perfectly within their right to refuse him on the grounds that he was too smart.

  4. Cops are a lot like military—they are trained to follow directions. To follow the directives of ones superiors one must believe in the overall mission objectives of the organization, which leads one into the belief that the senior officals (having had more experience in the game) are following the correct path. Although they tend to be adreniline junkies that isn’t of itself a bad thing. Just as militant type occupations at the “ground level” may tend to attract a lot of people from the lower end of the intelligence pool doesn’t mean that it only attracts that type. From what I’ve seen there are a lot if intelligent people in those feilds and most of the carreer oriented ones aren’t worried about losing work even if the penal code was reduced by 75 percent or brought all the troops home.
    I like to believe that most cops are good people. The sadistic few of them who relish in others misery just make it look bad for the majority. It’s usually the organizing leaders that are the most responsible for the perpetuation of “the lies” in their own best interests. So let’s not blame all policemen/wemon for the overzealousness of a few.
    It is the ones who are paid to think–not the ones who are paid to do that shoulder most of the blame. They are the ones who allow the corruption to persist when one of thier biggest responsibilities is to weed out that kind of behavior. Instead, they perpetuate it for their own benefit thereby fiting the mold of the type of persons that those with all of the real power want to move up the chain–and they do and so on and so on….

  5. The answer to the question is easy. We live in a police state, and police happen to be simpletons; mere peons of the state.

  6. but cops with no education MUST know more about science and health then doctors who went to school for 10 years, LOL…

  7. Make no mistake about it, we are up against formidable opposition, please consider the fact that the 1936 propaganda classic, “Reefer Madness” was initially produced by a group of liquor distillers, who knew then, as they know now, exactly what their competition was for the adult use market. we are not only up against alcohol companies, we are up against pharmaceutical companies who would rather see your grandmother buying their pharmaceutical medicine than her growing her own flowers to alleviate her glaucoma, we are also up against the petrochemical industry who know full well that farmers could easily grow hemp and use the seed to create their own bio-diesel, I could go on and on about the corporate interests who are profit motivated to keep the status quo, but there is no lobby group as ominous as the prison guards union, they have lobbied hard against marijuana law reform because they know that keeping these laws against your civil liberties makes them money, it keeps their jails full and your tax dollars going into their pockets.

  8. A friend in the Army has the perfect saying for the conformist attitude that the military and police seek: “1-2-3, program me.”

  9. I think it should be against the law for public servants to lobby governments or publicly advocate for causes that are directly connected to their profession. It’s not just police abusing their taxpayer subsidized credibility to suit their own agendas, there are social workers lobbying to make spanking illegal and drug test welfare recipients, and even army officers lobbying for more wars.

  10. It has been my experience that I know more about marijuana than 99% of law enforcement officers I have talk with. Most of them still think the movie “Reefer Madness” is an actual account of the dangers of marijuana use.

  11. Albert Einstein once said it takes a man of low morality to become a police officer. Infact in my entire life Ive only met one truly good cop. In my personal experience the lot of them are very bad people. If America only knew what goes on in those police stations. Police officers don’t enforce laws, they protect infrastructure. Drug money is often a good way for an officer to compensate for a low salary. Most drug money is taken from marijuana busts. One of my close friends became a cop and she hates it. It’s nothing like she thought it would be and she sincerely believes she’s going to hell and cannot forgive herself for some of the things she was forced to do to people by law. She’ll be leaving the force with a host of issues. Her fellow officers enjoy the perks of their job as most police officers share the belief that as long as they wear that badge they are ABOVE THE LAW. The people are considered little more then cattle, and the officers groan every time they have to answer a call that might involve literally saving a life. The officers cheer when they get called to a drug bust. Police officers are infectious vermin and must be dealt with like such. They should be destroyed and rebuilt with honor and love for mankind. They should serve the PUBLIC or die.

  12. post 33 Ed McCann says it all. I agree it is definatly a social conservative type of mindset we are fighting. There will always be crime, cops will always have jobs. I don’t think for one minute that any cop will loose their job because of legalization. I would hope that all the money saved would help with better training for police officers, drug education for the public, besides with all the money saved some of it could be used to keep those cops on the street fighting actual dangerous criminals.

  13. Every cop “takes an oath” never to rat out another cop. This is a conspiracy to with hold information. Thus, EVERY COP IS A CRIMINAL!

  14. It is all about the money!! Like most laws, bills, govt’ programs, it is all about the money. Now that local, state and the feds are broke, maybe the elected officals will realize arresting pot smokers, cost US more than the crime. Of course special interest has more money than I, but i have a vote and a voice (NORML)
    Thanks for all that you do at NORML.

  15. The cops make money on pot arrests. They get overtime pay for court appearances and share in funds and property confiscated in the name of a drug morality based entirely on lies. All drug prohibition laws are based on racist lies See (See “NEGRO COCAINE “FIENDS” NEW SOUTHERN MENACE New York Times, Sunday February 8, 1914 http://www.druglibrary.org/SCHAFFER/HISTORY/negro_cocaine_fiends.htm)
    The claim that forfeiture reduces drug war expenses is the biggest lie because it costs $30,000 plus per inmate every year. Forfeiture doesn’t cover the costs of courts, enforcement of prison expenses.
    The cops love it because they can chisel a lot of money into their own pockets.

  16. The pressure on the government to quit programs that don’t work is going up. The house oversight committee
    has just announced that the financial institutions are going to start foreclosures on commercial loans. That means the closing of businesses and more unemployment.
    It was bad enough when they were taking cars and homes from people,but it is going to get worse. They also predict that unless the government does something,most small town banks will fail next year.
    The congress is in the middle of budgeting meetings and we need to put pressure on them to stop funding the war on marijuana. It is the low hanging fruit right now.

  17. Some people here seem to think we don’t need the police.Come on people,pull your heads out of your asses! These people give their lives for us!The police are only doing what they are told.They are acting on what was pounded into their heads since the academy.Sure, there is a small percentage that are making alot of money off of drug busts.But as a whole, they are just good people cought up in a corrupt system trying to do what their told.The LEAP(Law Enforcment Against Prohibition) membership is growing(15,000) the word is out they are trying to help too!Give them a break!

  18. The peripheral crime they cite is a direct result of viewing cannabis as a controlled substance. The illegal activities are only present because the focus is to give data showing crimes in the areas where the dispensaries exist. Those crimes are a result of the prohibition laws and account for the escalated crimes, but perceived and real, across all demographics in the US.
    If you tell the lie often enough people will believe it is the strategy as usual. Make people fear dispensaries, just like we made people fear large crowds of black people in a bygone era, all in the name of sacrificing the few for “the greater good.” People need to learn that the foundation of a measure of a civilization is not measured on how we treat the majority, but rather in how we treat the minority.
    As stated what this exemplifies is that we have crossed the line into willfully having voted ourselves in most areas of the country (directly or by lack of protestation) directly into a Police State. Even in the name of Freedom and Democracy we have inherently given up both to simply “protect this way of life.” (*Yes I am aware we live in a Representative Republic.*) What way of life is it exactly that we will have left? Work for less, pay more taxes, live under greater scrutiny and above all be quiet? Is that our new mantra?
    Thanks to NORML and others most will not go quietly into a good night.

  19. Actually Mark there’s a little more to it than that. The ego within each human is dangerous and can, and usually does, turn destructive when placed in a position of power.
    Listed below are what citizensopposingprohibition dot org say about those opposing legalization:
    Supporters of the War on Drugs/Modern Prohibition
    1. Fraternal Order of Police, National Sheriff’s Association, Chiefs of Police Assoc.
    2. Mexican Drug Cartels
    3. Senators John McCain, John Kerry, Tom Coburn
    4. Osama Lin Laden
    5. Big Pharma
    6. California Narcotics Officers Association
    7. MS-13 Gang Association
    8. Deputy Chief Thomas Gordon of California
    9. Al-Qaeda & the Taliban
    10. The Washington Post, Dallas Morning News, New York Times
    11. FARC of Colombia, Shining Path of Peru
    12. George Will
    13. Crips & Bloods – Hell’s Angels
    14. Congressmen Dan Lungren, Dan Burton, Mark Souder, S. Reyes
    15. Meth Makers Association of Mexico
    16. President Obama

  20. So, most cops are against decriminalization of herb, eh? No surprise there. And they wonder why we call them pigs.

  21. According to all the polls, two main groups are againt legalization: drug dealers and the police. The two groups of people that benefit the most from prohibition.
    My brother in-law is an NYPD officer. He told me straight up that weed arrests mean overtime and promotions for police officers. He said that cops in NYC are actually encouraged to go after marijuana offenders.
    Pot offenders create a multi-million dollar business for law enforcement up and down the line. It’s sad that government would imprison people just for profit alone.
    Free The Weed. Free The People.

  22. As a member of the law enforcement community, I am entertained by the comments of your readers. The uniform hostility toward officers, The grandstanding about your cause, the apparent belief that police officers are morons and pot smokers are the elite of philosophy, law, medicine and botany, and the overall uniform thought pattern of how law enforcement officers are unmotivated automatons that seek the “easy bust”
    and fail to “fight real crime”.
    I can tell you that most of my fellow police officers have at minimum an associates degree, most have bachelors degrees and many of my colleagues have masters or doctorate degrees.
    I can also tell you that when arresting manufacturers of your “mother earth made herb” other illicit drugs are found along with marijuana. I have noted that it is infrequent that I discover a user of marijuana that does not use some form of narcotic, other hallucinogen, illegal stimulant or depressant.
    Obviously, there will forever be differing opinions. However, as you whine and cry that law enforcement has somehow lumped all cannabis users into one lot, so have you become hypocrites by over generalizing all police officers as lazy, moronic, greedy, brutalizing thugs.
    It is comments such as these that win you no support from legislators or members of law enforcement.
    [Editor’s note: Thanks aptly named ‘Idiotcop’ for affirming what many citizens already know about law enforcement, your self-interest in prohibition and the ‘blue line’.
    It is so obvious these days that about the only public defenders of the failed 73-year old prohibition of cannabis are organs of the government, notably law enforcement and ‘drug rehab’ industry types.
    When reformers give more money to legislators, bring more political pressure for reform and the media continues exposing the naked self-interests of law enforcement to maintain the status quo, some longtime employees of the war on some drugs will need to find another field of work.]

  23. Well, I can see that the “idiotcop” has just proven my point, and the editor’s point, that most pigs–oops! I meant Gendarmes…are “unmotivated automatons looking for an easy bust”…no, scratch that…they are VERY motivated…by their ignorance. Just listen to this knucklehead’s words:
    “I can also tell you that when arresting manufacturers of your ‘mother earth made herb’ other illicit drugs are found along with marijuana. I have noted that it is infrequent that I discover a user of marijuana that does not use some form of narcotic, other hallucinogen, illegal stimulant or depressant”.
    I rest my case!

  24. Re: Idiotcop Says:
    The uniform hostility toward officers, The grandstanding about your cause, the apparent belief that police officers are morons and pot smokers are the elite of philosophy, law, medicine and botany, and the overall uniform thought pattern of how law enforcement officers are unmotivated automatons that seek the “easy bust” and fail to “fight real crime”.
    You can knock off the BS until you begin reporting crooked lawbreaking officers, testifying against lawbreaking fellow officers in court and seeing them sent to prison with other criminals where they belong.
    You need to give up the TESTILYING that I saw during jury service. The jury caught four cops deliberately lying about every aspect of a case. If they weren’t morons how did they think they could use crudely forged documents to make their case. Trust me on this, if that jury had had the power those four coppers would have been doing hard time for the frame job they attempted. Once the first lie unraveled it became clear that they hadn’t spoken a single word of truth. We didn’t want to believe the extent of the dishonesty, but the evidence just kept piling up that they were perjurers.
    Cops need to stop planting evidence. Don’t bother denying it. I know for an absolute fact that the three ounces of pot they “found” in a friend’s apartment weren’t there until after the cops arrived. I was one of the crew who spent half a day cleaning the place from ceiling to floor since we knew they were coming.
    I can tell you that most of my fellow police officers have at minimum an associates degree, most have bachelors degrees and many of my colleagues have masters or doctorate degrees.
    What they lack is MORALITY.
    I can also tell you that when arresting manufacturers of your “mother earth made herb” other illicit drugs are found along with marijuana. I have noted that it is infrequent that I discover a user of marijuana that does not use some form of narcotic, other hallucinogen, illegal stimulant or depressant.
    And how does drug use (or drug addiction) justify a prison sentence? If you have one of those associate degrees, maybe you can understand that before drug prohibition, the United States never had a “drug problem.” Try and find cases of criminal activity associated with opiate and cocaine addiction before 1914 (1912 in New York state). Some users may have resented their addiction, but that was THEIR problem. The drug crusaders made drugs everyone’s problem in ways that never existed before.
    Most opiate users before 1914 were women trying to relieve their menstrual upsets. Because no one in those days knew of any criminal activity involving drug use, the drug warriors used perjury and racist accusations to get the Harrison Narcotics Act passed. Frauds like Dr Charles B Towns (who never attended a medical school despite posing as an MD!) and Edward Huntington Williams, M.D. who invented “cocaine nigger” scares which were never verified were used to justify a clearly unconstitutional intrusion into the practice of medicine. (NEGRO COCAINE “FIENDS” NEW SOUTHERN MENACE — New York Times, Sunday February 8, 1914 — http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/history/negro_cocaine_fiends.htm)
    My extensive research failed to reveal a single criminal case supporting the drug crusader’s claims that drug use was causing crime when drugs were legal (pre 1914). Instead of finding a multitude of reports detailing the crime and the damage of drug addiction all I found were a few fiction laced editorials and the pernicious lobbying of Congress by outrageous liars.
    If you are convinced that the drug war is a righteous policy, perhaps you’d like to have a public debate about drug prohibition. I can arrange it if you are serious. If you think you can defend Harry Anslinger, I’d love to see you try.

  25. Lets be honest, the whole war on pot is morally wrong, for example, I am from a small town in tennessee. One respected member of the community was arrested for growing FIVE marijana plants four years ago. He is in prison for fifteen years. Another inciednt that took place in my hometown three weeks later defines the U.S. Governments priotites. A woman shot and killed her husband in the back while he was asleep in bed. She recieved two and a half days in jail. Her name was mary winkler it is a true story. Tell me what is wrong with this picture. It boils down to the government is full of shit. This message portays that a dead man with three children is less important than a harmless plant that grows in the ground. If any cop or official has an explanation to this maddness i want to hear it so i can tell them they are full of shit too. Every law against marijuana is bullshit and their is no denying that it is only busy work for the police force. But I would seriously think the justice department would take first degree murder more seriously than a few plants. If this story angers you like it does me it is time to stand up and do something and show the government and law officials that criminal marijuana laws are wrong.

  26. We in the cannabis using community MUST ENGAGE LAW ENFORCEMENT, not call them names or accuse them of no morality. We will all become safer when we can work WITH the police to address serious concerns.
    We CANNOT overgeneralize and say cops are crooked, cops just want to throw us in jail, etc. That does not advance our cause at all. What might advance our cause is understanding why police hold the views they do, how they justify them, and then working to change those views.
    If those views are irrational and destructive, then we must use democratic means to overturn their influence.
    Yes, some cops are perjurers and plant evidence. Yes, some potheads engage in other criminal acts. But don’t say all of them are.
    This statement: “It is comments such as these that win you no support from legislators or members of law enforcement.” intrigues me — what WILL win us support from law enforcement and legislators? Honest, adult, rational dialogue?
    I invite “idiotcop” to a constructive, respectful conversation on cannabis prohibition. If you wish, we can have it offline to avoid inflaming tensions. I commit to a fair hearing of your views, if you commit to the same.
    Only by acting like reasonable adults can we start to address all of our concerns.

  27. I also invite “idiotcop” to think about why so many people post such harsh views of the police. Does he find those views helpful or hurtful in doing his job? Are they justified at all? What could the police do to reassure the public that they aren’t the monsters so many people believe them to be? How can the police regain so many people’s broken trust?
    And finally, does “idiotcop” believe that re-prohibition of alcohol would solve the problems associated with it? Or that prohibition of some substances actually reduces their use?

  28. Arguing with the cops is a waste of time. The police are obligated to uphold the law and as long as growing or possessing cannabis is a against the law, then the police are obliged to uphold the law. Of course, only people willing to wage the Drug War are going to be willing to become police officers.
    Quit fooling with the police and start fooling with the people who write the laws. The police are easily available and even the laziest pot smoker can point the finger at them. This is not work. Ending the Drug War is going to take a little more effort than that.
    When you see somebody complaining about the police enforcing drug laws, but NOT complaining about the laws themselves, you can be pretty sure that person is making money in some way on the other side of the law. Ending the Drug War puts both gangsters and dope infatuated police officers out of business.

  29. Yeah..if you’re reading “idiotcop” this is for you.
    I got two words for ya. Salvatore Rivieri.
    This is the image the majority of the people I know think of when the word “police” is mentioned. By the way…getting your associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree says nothing for a person’s intellect or ability to use common sense, dont fool yourself.

  30. Anti-Marijuana crusaders are the lowest forms of life that crawl on the Earth. Did you hear me, huh, “Idiotcop”? Yo Bubba, there’s a storm coming. Are you ready, punk?

  31. It’s simple…your basic beat cop is always given far too much credit and are allowed far more input than should be allowed. For example, recently, in New Jersey, a nineteen year old kid was busted at 11am for having weed in the car. When the kid got pulled over, he had weed all in his teeth because he attempted to eat it. This is how it was reported: “The officer detected marijuana in the car…” Let’s be clear here; that cop didn’t “detect” anything. He smelled weed because weed stinks and he has a nose. End of story. The word “detect” is far FAR too much credit. Most beat cops aren’t exactly geniuses. They are just fascists who chose the business they are in because they wanted the thrill of being a cop. Generally speaking, it takes a special kind to want to become a police officer. Of course, that is not to say that I have never met a good cop whose heart is in the right place…but that is rare.

  32. This is what I don’t get about NORML…
    The editor wrote “When reformers give more money to legislators”
    Isn’t that the underlying problem? Right now the drug-enforcement, prevention, and treatment lobbyist are lining the pockets of politicians, hence Marijuana prohibition.
    Sure NORML can play the game and maybe win the legislatures over, part of it by lobbying and lining their pockets.
    Whose to say when Marijuana laws are reformed, the drug-war lobbyists will win over the legislatures once again with propaganda and MONEY!?
    This is why we need to reform the whole system, and NOT just lobby on one issue which can easily be overturned.
    Politicians like Kuchinich and Ron Paul are gaining huge notoriety and support. Many like-minded individuals are now campaigning and hoping to enter the political realm either directly into the congress, or working their way up through local politics. What is the harm in supporting these reformers from all backrounds to help fix the system and preserve the system to guarantee that when Marijuana laws are reformed, they will not be overturned due to the same endemic corruption built into the current establishment?
    [Editor’s note: Stop trying to impale cannabis law reform onto your ‘lets change the whole system’ fantasies. You can dream all you like about ‘reforming’ Congress and the government, but that is hardly NORML’s narrow agenda of cannabis law reform.
    Politicians like Kuchinich and Ron Paul are gaining huge notoriety and support.
    Is this accurate? Both men are ‘freaks’ in their parties, neither garner much national support politically, neither are taken very seriously.
    You can wrap yourself as tightly as you like in your ‘government is corrupt — revolution is the answer’ blanket, but if you believe Paul and Kucinich have any genuine mainstream political support, then you’re as delusional as they were (maybe still are!) in believing that a majority of the American population is going to sweep them into power.
    Again, cannabis consumers don’t have to fear a supposedly corrupt government as much as they should fear cannabis consumer apathy to being involved in their own liberation.]

  33. W., 02/17/10
    When I first practiced law, I was a 1950’s square, regarding American anti-narcotics laws. A colleague
    educated me on the history and politics of the Harrison Act of 1914. Since then, I have read up on the subject on my own.
    The U.S.’s anti-drug laws emerged as the result of White racism and outright hysteria. Then as now, politicians and cops prevailed. There was almost no pharmacology discussed rationally in Congress or in any State legislature.
    It wasn’t until the mid-1960’s, when White, middle-class children of doctors, lawyers, teachers, and politicians were prosecuted for possession of “grass” and faced draconian prison terms that some of the State legislatures amended those laws to be less draconian.
    When only Black, Asian, and Latino men were facing long prison terms, no one seemed to care. The situation changed during the Viet Nam War. Marihuana became a symbol of culture clash. That’s where we are today. Sadly, “Reefer Madness” is alive and if not well, not completely moribund either.

  34. Iwill never understand why these so-called “Conservatives” have to constantly stick their noses where they don’t belong. I hate to sound as prejudiced as they are…BUT…I’m afraid that I will have to. Those people (that’s right, I said “those people”) seem to have a two-sided philosophy. One set of rules for themselves, and another set of rules for everybody else.
    For example:
    When Conservatives speak of “States Rights”, they are “Pro” when it comes to anything Conservative (read: primitive). However, when it comes to something that would be considered “Liberal”, such as Legalization (if only?) of Marijuana, SUDDENLY these defenders of “freedom” become hard-core Federalists.
    I know, I know, they’re disgusting people. Especially when they try to rationalize their beliefs. Aren’t they embarassed to show such hypocrisy in public?
    “I hate the sin, but I love the sinner”
    How many times have you heard that one?
    Believe me…I’m 53 years old and I’ve been hearing this bullshit all my life. And it never changes, it’s always the same garbage.

  35. While I understand what you said Ed McCann and why you said it I must admit I’m opposed to your technique.
    Police are indeed pissed off because they’re losing their gravy train with the end of prohibition. They don’t want to listen to reason, only the beat of their own ill thought out drum.
    I do belong to LEAP too but these are decent ex cops who have seen the error of their ways and are diligently trying to end this hideous war on drugs.
    Perhaps your conversation idiotcop should be directed towards LEAP, or are you too afraid you’ll be told the truth and have to also admit to your error in thinking?
    Better get with the program idiotcop because the end prohibition movement is NOT going to stop. We will win.

  36. it is very depressing reading about murders getting less jail time than those who grow pot. I am even amazed that stores such as walmart would sell hard liquors. we all know that liquor is the deadly drug. every police in the U.S. should focus on getting murderers, rapist or people that carry guns off the streets.. i would feel less threated if i saw somebody smoking a joint than carry a gun. what kind of advice is the goverment trying to give us? do they want us to get drunk and beat up people that we love. This is a true story. I went to amsterdam for two weeks and the cops up there didnt even carry a gun cause everyone is high and happy. Maybe we should tell President OBAMA to spend the week in Amsterdam and see that smoking a joint is really harmless.

  37. Editor: Too true. It is a mistake to hitch the cause of ending the Drug War against cannabis to any kind other cause or political front. No matter how you look at the situation, criminalizing cannabis especially has been a national and global nightmare. As long as we are distracted away from the obvious failures in purpose and practice in how to deal with cannabis, we will never win.
    People have a right to indulge themselves in a certain amount of vice. We recognize this in the legalization of alcohol and we deal with it by constantly warning and educating people about its risks. Tobacco too is legal but has to be confronted. People have a right to worry about their children being exposed and tempted to substances and behaviors that can set them on a path towards ruined lives.
    But putting cannabis users in the hands of the criminal justice system is just plain hysteria. It is a burden and a corrupter of our system of local law enforcement. We deserve better and law enforcement deserves better too.

  38. A West Valley police officer in Utah was pulled over for drunk driving by a Highway Patrol officer last night. The HP officer called the drunk cops girlfriend to come pick him up. End of story …….

  39. Interesting about that drunk cop just getting away with it, as they always do.
    And these cops are the same lowlifes that all the people in the room at the CPAC be defending. I watched the “highlights” of that conference on TV yesterday. All the usual suspect were there: Jim “God hates Medical Marijuana” Demint, Mitt “I’ve modified my positions” Romney, Dick “torture is good” Cheney.
    I saw that scumbag, Dick Armey, there. When Preident Bill Clinton said during his State of the Union speech that he wanted to raise the Minimum Wage, Dick Armey just sat there and smirked. Kinda tells you whose side he’s on, eh?
    One young man got up and said that “We never did cocaine or other drugs! That separates US from THEM”. As if he were actually proud of being an ignorant ass.

  40. With all the marijuana arrests made in Oklahoma (where I am currently living) the police are making an absolute killing. I got caught with weed that was not even mine. (the owner of the apartment stated it and the pipe were her’s but I had smoked with her earlier in the day) I owe the state of Oklahoma 1130 dollars in court fines plus 40 dollars a month to “supervise me” F that i’ll look after myself for free! oh and 40 dollars to the Payne county drug fund? wtf is that? I am merely one more statistic and more person getting screwed out of money by the PO-LICE. Why would any law enforcement official want to make it legal or even have a half way rational policy when they are making millions and millions a year. How do you think they were able to afford the new fancy chargers they drive. This is where the problem is though. I believe that the citizens should be able to check and balance and law enforcement.

    Without exemption (circumscription-qualififcation) no person(s) shall make any law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the “FREE EXERCISE THEREOF.” Genesists are free to profess and maintain their opinion in matters of religion, and in no wise diminish, enlarge, or effect their civil capacities. Genesists shall not suffer on account of their religious opinions, beliefs or practices; for whosoever would stand on a Genesist’s path of religious freedom (individual freedon) and rattle their sword, such act provokes infringement of the “NATURAL RIGHTS OF MANKIND,” the priviledges and advantages to which in common withtheir fellow Genesists he or she has a “NATURAL RIGHT.”
    We Genesists rise and stand “IN DEFENSE” of individual and religious freedom. When we need to vote…we vote. When we need to fight…we fight. When we need to negotiate peace for the sake of mankind…we listen with insatiable ears (constantly wanting more). We are “FREE AMERICAN GENESISTS.”
    Gnesists have a right to take account of the facts, and a right to an open mind and conscience. We stand for the salvation of free thinking, and the ability to act on those thoughts and beliefs. The free ground Genesists stand on is tapped solid by the feet of individual ation, so! the fate of individual freedom depends entirely upon a Genesist’s defense of it.
    No law can be sacred to Genesists but that of our nature. The only right is what is after our Constitution, the only wrong is what is against it. When “

  42. No law can be sacred to Genesists but that of our nature. The only right is what is after our Constitution, the only wrong is what is against it. When “ONE GENESISTS” loses his or her individual freedom, “EACH AND EVERY GENESIST” loses theirs. Individual freedom is the bedrock for freedom for all; for without it, when it is denied, when it is with-held, are we not a controlled mass? “THERE’S TWO WAYS TO BE FOOLED.” One is to believe what isn’t true, the other is to refuse to believe what is true. Those who will sacrafice freedom for order, will receive neither. Genesists “REJECT IMPRISONED MINDS.”
    Genesists believe in the American Creed. We believe in the United States of America…as a government of the people, by the people, for the people, whose just powers are derived from the “CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED,” a democracy in a republic, a sovereign nation of many sovereign states, a perfect union, one and inseperable, established upon the principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which “AMERICAN PATRIOTS SACRAFICED THEIR LIVES AND FORTUNES.” Therefore, we believe it is “OUR DUTY TO OUR COUNTRY” to love it, to support its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to “DEFEND IT AGAINST ALL ENEMIES.”

  43. Wake up America! The police don’t want marijuana legal because that would put a big dent in the police officers retirement fund……Let’s wake up America…
    U.S. Government conspiracy against the citizens is what is going on…that’s the bottom line…
    So, here’s one against political corruption, scoundralous and corrupted police and government officials…is definitaly the name of the game.
    Suck on that uncle Sam, U B–t–d.

  44. A few months ago here in Colorado Springs I had the pleasure of sitting in city council meetings on the topic of Medical Marijuana. I learned that not only do police enforce the laws but are always given a token seat at the Colorado Springs city council meetings.
    I asked the exact question… “If we the people make the laws and law enforcement is supposed to do exactly that then why do the police haver a token seat here? Shouldnt we make the law and tell them to go enforce it?”… I was promptly warned not to make enemies of the police.
    Im sure Colorado Springs is not an unusual case. Law enfoircement has tricked our population into accepting that law enforcement is part of law creation…. This is a dangerous course. Law enforcement shaping and creating the laws that they will choose to enforce is nothing short of law enforcement believing it has been given the right to do whatever it wants. Does something about that sound wrong to any of you?

  45. What the hell (not “heck”) happened since the Seventies? Things were so liberated and wonderful. In 1980, when the Bible-banging animals seized power, why did so many in our generation get brainwashed by that shit? I have always hated pigs–oops! I mean “Constables”–no, actually, I MEANT PIGS! Where is the BLA and the SLA now that we need them?

  46. PLease why all the foul language against our states defense units, i know for a recreational marijuana user it is easy to look at a police officer and think “PIG”,or other bad puns and comments,but in all reality they are simply doing there job most of the time.It is taught to them that stoners are bad people who just feed money to drug and war lords helping terrorist so most of the “muscle bound diesel block heads” as some say have no clue what they are enforcing they just know its bad and its illegal, so dont blame the officer blame our Government and pray for a change cause in all reality that law enforcement officer could end up saving you or one of your loved ones life, so think about it before you jump to smirk at your neighborhood officer, instead greet him and go about your stoned way…..Peace LEGALIZE IT .please.

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