texas norml region conference marijuana cannabis
Ending Marijuana Prohibition

Houston Police Chief Says Marijuana Prohibition Has Failed

texas norml region conference marijuana cannabisTexas is not a friendly place when it comes to marijuana laws. That’s why the recent words of Houston’s Police Chief are very important. Below is a summary sent to me by my friends at Law Enforcement Against Prohibition:

In an interview with Cultural Baggage, a radio show hosted by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) speaker and former Air Force Security Policeman, Dean Becker, Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland said marijuana prohibition is a failed public policy. During the interview, Chief McClelland highlighted pilot programs within his department and others in the state to reduce marijuana possession penalties for first-time offenders. He also discussed the necessary role of the federal government in changing national drug laws. Because many state-legal marijuana businesses cannot safely use banks and because illegal markets still exist in most states, those markets can still flourish by undercutting the dispensaries, said the Chief. McClelland also acknowledged the racism inherent in drug enforcement practices which results in the incarceration of a disproportionate number of young black men.

The thirty-minute interview covering a variety of law enforcement issues including the rights of protestors, the immense power of drug cartels and why so many Americans use substances will air this Friday, at 4:30 pm CT, on KPFT 90.1 FM in Houston and streaming online.

“It’s not uncommon to hear these sorts of comments from police on the street,” said Maj. Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of law enforcement officers opposed to the war on drugs. “What is less common is to see a top administrator choose to speak out about what’s right despite major financial incentives – in the form of federal grants and asset forfeiture proceeds – to protect the status quo. I salute Chief McClelland for standing up for social justice. He exemplifies the best of American policing today.”

LEAP is a nonprofit of criminal justice professionals who know the drug war has failed to reduce drug abuse while creating a public safety nightmare of increased gang violence, police militarization and the fueling of dangerous underground markets.

  • moldy

    Nice work Mr. Becker and LEAP!!

  • wowFAD

    Alaska has been a game-changer for those of us who live in “red” states that have been, stereotypically, significantly more hostile towards cannabis consumers. Before Alaska’s midterm decision, most of us had no other apparent choice but to hope for change from the top down, federally — clearly, that was never going to happen.

    But now, folks in “red” states like Texas look at Alaska and understand this isn’t a partisan issue, at all. It used to be the case that only a little bit of movement would occur, year by year, in states such as Texas, Alabama, Georgia, etc. Thanks to Alaska’s voters, I think that preconception has been severely wounded. The statements by Houston’s police chief are just another verse of the same song, entitled “Prohibition Death Knell.”

    Johnny was good enough to post an article about the legislation proposed in Georgia — SB7, a comprehensive medical cannabis bill, and SR6, a resolution that (if passed) would be put on the ballot for ratification by voters in 2016. I was a little too busy to verbally dance with joy on that article because I was looking for every last bit of local coverage I could find to gauge reactions. I’ve only seen one church lady make a stink, so far — but that’s it. The overwhelming opinion about medical cannabis is that we need it. And the mounting majority opinion for SR6 is “let the voters decide.”

    Once a single “red” state tips in the Dirty South (the SEC for you football fans) the other “fly-over” states will fall like dominoes. Other states will be out of excuses if Georgia and/or TEXAS reforms their cannabis laws. At that point, we’d see massive policy shifts across the country within a single election cycle. Republicans will pull out the stick and Democrats will pull out the fence post — everyone will finally start walking straight. It is truly an exciting time to be alive!

    • I have been posting this on the ‘net to some effect. It is time we turned the tables on them.

      The Prohibitionists are involved in mass murder. The Reagan – Bush administration tried to suppress the finding that cannabis is effective against cancer. You can look it up. Of course the Democrats did nothing when they had a chance.

      Cannabis cures cancer. Cancer kills 586,000 Americans every year. Every Prohibitionist is complicit in mass murder.

      Pass it on.

      http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/healthprofessional/page4

      • Denny

        I agree that cannabis has tremendous, untapped potential for treating an array of medical conditions.
        However, attempting to shove this down the throats of people that are relatively uninformed won’t produce anything other than resentment.
        Effectively educating people by presenting valid study results as they become available can serve to break the ice and gain their unbiased attention.
        Also note that attempting to convince anyone about anything when relying on only one study outcome isn’t particularly overwhelming evidence.
        There must be ongoing valid research and testing…

        • Captain Obvious

          I think post legalization, this will be a key talking point. The evidence is overwhelming and a matter of time before health experts see it everyday and raise those same questions deduced from the facts as they develop PTSD. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are suicides since that would be a more legit reason than loosing money like the ‘bankers’ 2 bit superficial values. Everyone is resisting because they know racketeering charges likely may be in the cards. I bet they get immunity since you cant punish a politician for bad law other than a peaceful vote and redress of grievances or no laws would ever get made. However, we certainly know that calling someone a “baby killer” will never get a law changed, but that doesnt have majority support like cannabis does.

          • Funny thing. I just had a guy on a post about Mitt Romney call me insane for my “cannabis cures cancer” remark. So I left this link:

            http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/healthprofessional/page4

            I agree that one or two people calling them mass murderers will get dismissed. If “everyone” does it and it catches on? Well no one (very few) wants to be a Nazi. You saw that post WW2, Roughly 1/3 the country voted for them. By the time the mass murder charge was well known less than 1% had voted for them.

            I’m trying for the same effect. I want to reduce support for Prohibition to less than 1%.

            I think it will take me about 6 months of steady effort.

          • Captain Obvious

            Overtime I think it will catch on and more will do/accept it not without its opposition of course. I was thinking the exact same thing from deducing from the growing evidence, and I know others already are too.

            The charge was well accepted since we(Allies) forced the fascist Nazi genocide deniers to physically bury the dead bodies they murdered and explain why they engineered hell on earth in international court. That only happened because of martial law from foreign intervention in Germany in a time of no internet.

            Over time, everyone will have someone in their family that gets cancer or severe autoimmune disease that will challenge such complacency. If people dont use cannabis as a med or supplement, they will could be at a high risk for cancer anyway. Effectively, creating their own eugenics program or new cannabis consumers that want a 2nd chance at life.

          • Funny thing. I just had a guy on a post about Mitt Romney call me insane for my “cannabis cures cancer” remark. So I left this link:

            http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/healthprofessional/page4

            I agree that one or two people calling them mass murderers will get dismissed. If “everyone” does it and it catches on? Well no one (very few) wants to be a Nazi. You saw that post WW2, Roughly 1/3 the country voted for them. By the time the mass murder charge was well known less than 1% had voted for them.

            I’m trying for the same effect. I want to reduce support for Prohibition to less than 1%.

            I think it will take me about 6 months of steady effort.

        • There is more than sufficient research that cannabis cures cancer. One link is just an opener. Try Google “cannabis cures cancer”.

  • Nathaniel

    Beyond California being a huge prize for legalization, Texas becoming a member of the pro medicinal/legalization crowd would be epic. A win that large in the south would be the dawn of a new era.
    It is nothing short of wonderful to read that in one of the major cities in Texas a high ranking law enforcement officer is willing to buck the system, as it were.
    The fundamental shift in thought has come from a few different avenues.
    One, there is ample scientific evidence to prove that marijuana has medicinal value. Everyone [cops included] knows someone that could benefit from inexpensive, light side effects oriented, easy to access from their home, medicine.
    Two, law enforcement officers are tired of fighting victimless crimes. Changing laws would reduce the money lost in all that comes with processing a perp, while simultaneously limiting the funds going to cartels they are actively engaging. This is a win win for law enforcement, because less money to cartels = less money for local gang bangers which = makes law enforcement’s job a bit easier.
    Third, law enforcement are people too. They have the ability to reason, critically think about how to improve their job, and the lives of those they wish to protect, and the end result is always the same: A cop knows the difference between wrong and right and deep down knows that the war on marijuana is not only a failure, but was lost a long time ago.
    Unlike any other drug, currently on the underground market, everyone, willing to be honest about the subject, knows that there are very limited dangers in bringing the plant out of the darkness and a wealth of gains by bringing it back to the light.
    Hear, hear good sir. Another one on our side, because we have common sense prevailing over unfettered bias.

  • Jeff deutsch

    God Bless the brave officers of LEAP!!!

    Like the majority of Americans, I strongly support the immediate, complete legalization of Marijuana.

    But as a Scientist with a strong interest in Cancer research, I feel even more strongly about the need for its immediate legalization of it for Medical use, and the need to ensure that no Cancer patient is denied it than I’ve ever felt about any issue, because I’m so impressed with its benefits for Cancer patients.

    Dying of Cancer sucks, ask, anyone doing it.

    Cancer patients can’t wait.

    I urge everyone reading this to PLEASE call and email the Attorney General, the press, Congress and the President today.
    Its amazing what a few well written editorials and interviews on news programs can do.

    Medical Marijuana not only helps with Cancer therapy, seizures, PTSD and chronic pain, but has helped countless Americans, including countless veterans stop using Alcohol, and hard drugs, both legal and illegal ones.

    Every minute an American dies of Cancer.
    Every 19 minutes an American dies of a prescription drug overdose.
    Many vets become addicted to prescription opiates and die from them.

    NOBODY has ever died from smoking too much pot.
    Lots of people’s stage 4 Cancer has been cured by high dose Medical Marijuana oil, and every Cancer patient that uses Marijuana to ease their suffering benefits greatly from doing so.

    It is immoral to leave Marijuana illegal, for anyone, for even a second longer.
    But for Cancer patients, its a matter of life and death.
    Cancer patients can’t wait

    Medical Marijuana has an unmatched safety profile, and for people who suffer from so many diseases of so many kinds its a medical miracle, and the scientific evidence behind it is rock solid.

    For example, Medical Marijuana encourages apoptosis and autophagy of Cancer cells, while leaving normal cells untouched, is anti-angigogenic, anti-proliferative, and is anti-angiogenic.

    Its also synergistic with chemotherapy and radiation therapy, making both more effective.

    For many Cancer patients its meant the difference between life and death.

    For everyone else, its a far safe alternative to Alcohol, and infinitely safer than Cigarettes.

    Either take them off the market too, or legalize Marijuana right now.

    2016 is too far away, between now and then roughly 1 MILLION Americans will die of Cancer.

    Its too long to wait. Every year we lose more Americans to Cancer than died in WWII.

    Dying of cancer sucks — ask anyone doing it.

    Its a horrible way to die.

  • HmmmSaysDavidHume

    Agreed, Chief McClelland is a wonderful example of character and truth. While police tactics are rightfully in public focus, it’s important to recognize that there are good men and women in law enforcement who are serving and protecting us to the best of their ability, and with valor and courage to boot. Let’s hope more officers and leaders like Mr. McClelland and the good folks at LEAP are heard in this nation’s conversation about race, drugs, government, rights, freedom, and philosophy.

    We are at a defining moment in our nation’s history.

  • Susan

    It’s so nice to hear this from Chief McClelland and I agree with him. I live in Houston and wish that marijuana would be, at the very least, legal for medical purposes.

  • SimpleLiving

    I’ve been hanging out on on the LEAP site this week reading many of the comments by law enforcement and it is remarkable how many police men and women are against prohibition. Refreshing, let me tell you. The ones that are for, are usually pretty religious or have have swallowed the “marijuana is very dangerous” pill.

  • Healing Herb

    What those “religious” cops who are said to be anti-cannabis need to ask themselves is: “if our loving Creator is an “intelligent Designer”;i.e. “God”, who also presumably created Cannabis”, is it any surprise that there are no CB receptors in regions of the brain that control respiration and other vital functions and that cannabis is non-toxic and impossible to OD on (unlike opioids)? That’s a pretty smart Creator,folks!!!
    Think about that, Christians and other religious zealots!

    • Captain Obvious

      Also, “God saw that it was good,” and the Jewish people find nothing wrong with it.
      GENESIS 1:12
      And the earth brought forth grass, herb yielding seed after its kind, and tree bearing fruit, wherein is the seed thereof, after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

  • Captain Obvious

    Houston is a libertarian haven so this isnt a surprise but much welcome. I think they have pretty relaxed building codes too so it will be interesting to see new hemp buildings pop up without the bureaucratic red tape that plagues most other large cities. Texas also is a state that has the most to gain with hemp to restore that sandy soil to greatness.