Allocation of JAG (Justice Assistance Grant) funding has been drawn into the national spotlight with Sen. Claire McCaskill holding a subcommittee hearing on the matter in D.C. last week. This hearing generated bipartisan outrage toward the questionable use of law enforcement funding. Each year, the Department of Justice grants Missouri (and most other states) a lump sum of money as part of the JAG program. In Missouri, this money is largely allocated to highly militarized multi-jurisdictional drug task forces that embody the very worst of the war on drugs. Missouri could just as easily choose to allocate the funding to drug treatment, prevention, and education — as many states do.
As I have written about many times, Missouri’s drug task forces are completely out of control. They show no regard for the law themselves, and many make more arrests for marijuana than for any other drug. On the heels of the conversation advanced by the McCaskill hearing, we have a unique opportunity to force a change in the way Missouri allocates JAG funding. Please contact your state legislators today and tell them to end funding to Missouri’s multi-jurisdictional drug task forces.
Aaron Malin is the Director of Research for Show-Me Cannabis. You can email him with questions or comments at Aaron@ShowMeCannabis.com. This article appeared in the September 15, 2014, edition of the Show-Me Cannabis email newsletter.