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The Cop's Perspective

Cozmo

New Member
Cities and towns from Washington state to Arkansas passed ordinances last year making the enforcement of marijuana crimes the lowest priority for local police.

Law officers say the enforcement of marijuana laws already are a low priority, even if an unspoken one, for most departments.

Opponents in nearly all the states where these initiatives are pending or have been passed say that they're either illegal or that they will only add to the crime rate.

Proponents – including the former chief of police in Seattle – say the changes decrease crime and save taxpayers millions of dollars on courts and incarceration.

More often than not minor marijuana charges come in association with more serious crimes, police in Maine and across the nation said.

In Missoula, Mont., where voters adopted an ordinance last year similar to one going before West Paris voters next week, not much has changed, said Police Chief Rusty Wickman.

Enforcing marijuana laws was never much of a priority, and hardly anyone gets booked for pot-related misdemeanors, Wickman said.

"It's a matter of semantics," he said. "I mean, *edit* and related crimes are the ones we see a real problem with. That's where our priorities are already."

Here in Maine, Farmington Police Chief Richard Caton III thinks legalizing pot would be better than de-emphasizing enforcement. Caton doesn't endorse legalization but thinks dictating where law enforcement should place its priorities by town ordinance is a bad idea.

"I think it's irresponsible, the way they're doing it," Caton said of the push by the Lewiston-based Maine Marijuana Policy Initiative. "If they go and say, 'Let's legalize marijuana,' that would be better than this back-door way."

The proper way would be to change it at the federal and state levels, Caton said. Police bound by state and federal laws would be faced with disobeying them if the local ordinance passed, Caton said.

It would also send the wrong message in general, Maine Drug Enforcement Agency Director Roy McKinney said.

Marijuana remains one of the most frequently abused drugs, McKinney said.
"It's the No. 1 drug, next to alcohol, people seek addiction treatment for," McKinney said. "Enforcement plays a vital role in the support of treatment and prevention, as well as reducing the supply of the drug and bringing before the court those that would financially gain from the sale of the drug to young and old alike."

He also worried that making marijuana crimes the lowest enforcement priority for local cops would send the message that marijuana use is safe.
And besides, he said, most police departments are too busy with more serious crimes to spend much time or energy cracking down on casual pot smokers.

Former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper, a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, believes legalizing pot might affect crime the way ending Prohibition did in the 1930s.

"Prohibition in the 1920s invented Al Capone," Stamper said. "We need to pay attention to that legacy. It ushered in an incredible period of lawlessness in this country. From 1920 to 1933 there were shootouts in city streets, huge wars among bootleg alcohol traders, and the law gave rise to this unprecedented level of lawlessness."

Alcohol – not marijuana – tends to be the drug most closely associated with violent crimes, Stamper said.

"As a cop for three and a half decades, I never encountered a single person under the influence of marijuana who was violent," Stamper said.
"I think it's safe to say that if you stack marijuana up against alcohol, the more dangerous and costly drug by far is alcohol. It's laughable to ask a career cop, `Have you ever encountered somebody under the influence of alcohol who was violent?'"

Source: SunJournal.com
Author: Maggie Gill-Austern
Copyright: 2007 Sun Journal
Website: SunJournal.com - Central Maine's News Source
 

Cozmo

New Member
"It's the No. 1 drug, next to alcohol, people seek addiction treatment for"

Can I call bullshit on this? Does anybody know of a source for this info?


Ya I never understood addicition treatment for Marijuana :hmmmm:
 

bigfanofpj

New Member

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
is marijuana addiction treatment free?

its about money, its always about money and control.
 

CubsRule420

New Member
i thought about that and i think that is probably a correct stat personally, when you go through diversion most states probably consider the forced drug rehab talks such as diversion classes, na, and aa an addiction treatment. and more people probably get dui's and alcohol related arrests and MIP's...
 

Gorillabuds

New Member
Marijuana remains one of the most frequently abused drugs, McKinney said.
"It's the No. 1 drug, next to alcohol, people seek addiction treatment for,"

Someone needs to tell the guy that people don't seek help for MJ addiction since it's not addicting. If someone can't stop smoking MJ, it's a behavioral issue, not a physical addiction issue. I guess no matter how much law enforcement is trained and educated, they still hold dearly onto their common misconceptions as fact and they keep spreading the ignorance around. It's one of their tactics to justify the drug enforcement parts of their job.

edit: wow..I didn't read down to the very bottom thread responses to see that everyone else picked up on the very same line until I read my own entry. Glad to see we're all on the same page about this issue.
 

Mernahuana

New Member
actually the fact is very much true! many are taking pleas with the offer of rehab instead of jail time...especially for first offences...if all marijuana offenders simply shut up when arrested (no ratting) and then tell their attorney take my case to trial, the system would grind to halt.
 

Keith Lake

420 Emeritus
420 Staff
actually the fact is very much true! many are taking pleas with the offer of rehab instead of jail time...especially for first offences...if all marijuana offenders simply shut up when arrested (no ratting) and then tell their attorney take my case to trial, the system would grind to halt.

Great idea and I agree - - or better yet don't get caught
 

Mernahuana

New Member
it's a great idea...but also costly! as for not getting busting, true! there's a wealth of free information on what to do when stop by the cops...everyone should read. i'm pretty good at getting arrested and un-arrested, about to be 2 - 0 vs. The Man...it's hard tho.
 

Blob

New Member
I agree with CubsRule, the stat is probably true if only for the fact that people busted for possession agree to go into "rehab" programs and go on probation instead of facing jail time.

Also, weed can be physically addicting, regardless of almost every pot smoker's claim. I notice withdrawl symptoms if I have been smoking heavily and then quit, and these symptoms have been documented in studies. Granted, its only little things like difficulty sleeping and feeling really bored and slightly useless. I'm not hugging the toilet and hallucinating hoping that I survive through the night, but the physical addiction is still there even if it is easy to overcome.
 

Lilstinky420

New Member
I agree that weed can be addicting, even physically. I fekkn love weed, LOVE IT, and can't wait till it's legal but gotta admit the facts.
 

xDarkLightx

New Member
If you think about it ANYTHING is addictive. As a matter of fact I can say I'm addicted to computer use. The point is, MJ has been proven to be less addictive than caffine (which I'm sure most of us already know), therefore I am also calling bullshit on that cop's statement.
 

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
At the end of the day, the beat cops opinion pales into insignificance compared to the pervasive influence of the DEA and its use of powerful Federal laws to hammer innocent users. Beat cops are at a micro level and are more concerned at results that justify their pay packet or desire for promotion! For any meaningful change to mj laws, it has to be tackled at the Federal level. A start would be to lobby for reclassification of mj from a class one drug to a more appropriate listing. No meaningful change will ever happen at the smokers end until police can see clearly that the role they play should be to catch criminals, not smokers. As long as cannabis is a class one drug, cops will continue to bust users as they are soft targets.
I say legitamise then legalise!
 
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