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Cops Cry Foul Over Holder Marijuana Policy Move

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eric-holder-marijuana copsBy Phillip Smith

Organized law enforcement has some problems with Attorney General Holder’s announcement last week that the Justice Department would not seek to block Colorado and Washington from implementing their marijuana legalization laws. In a joint letter last Friday, the leaders of seven major law enforcement groups expressed “extreme disappointment” with the move.

Those law enforcement groups are the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Major County Sheriff’s Association, the National Sheriff’s Association, the Major Cities Chief’s Association, the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies, the National Narcotics Officers’ Associations Coalition, and the Police Executive Review Foundation.

While law enforcement has long argued that its role is to enforce the law, not set policy, the police associations clearly felt they should have had input in the Justice Department’s decision-making process.

“It is unacceptable that the Department of Justice did not consult our organizations — whose members will be directly impacted — for meaningful input ahead of this important decision,” the cops wrote. “Our organizations were given notice just thirty minutes before the official announcement was made public and were not given the adequate forum ahead of time to express our concerns with the Department’s conclusion on this matter. Simply ‘checking the box’ by alerting law enforcement officials right before a decision is announced is not enough and certainly does not show an understanding of the value the Federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement partnerships bring to the Department of Justice and the public safety discussion.”

Beyond their issues with process, the law enforcement groups made it clear that they did not agree with the policy decision. The sky would fall if people could buy and smoke pot legally, the cops warned.

“The decision by the Department ignores the connections between marijuana use and violent crime, the potential trafficking problems that could be created across state and local boundaries as a result of legalization, and the potential economic and social costs that could be incurred,” they wrote. “Communities have been crippled by drug abuse and addiction, stifling economic productivity. Specifically, marijuana’s harmful effects can include episodes of depression, suicidal thoughts, attention deficit issues, and marijuana has also been documented as a gateway to other drugs of abuse.”

As if that were not enough, the cops also warned of “grave unintended consequences, including a reversal of the declining crime rates” of the past decades. But they didn’t explain how allowing for legal marijuana sales in Colorado and Washington would cause crime to increase.

For the cops, though, the bottom line was not enforcing the law, but setting policy.

“Marijuana is illegal under Federal law and should remain that way,” they wrote. “While we certainly understand that discretion plays a role in decisions to prosecute individual cases, the failure of the Department of Justice to challenge state policies that clearly contradict Federal law is both unacceptable and unprecedented. The failure of the Federal government to act in this matter is an open invitation to other states to legalize marijuana in defiance of federal law.”

Maybe law enforcement should just go back to enforcing the laws, not trying to write them.

Article From StoptheDrugWar.org - Creative Commons Licensing - Donate

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57 Comments

  1. I live in Florida, where smoking marijuana is still illegal. I have RA, Osteo-arthritis, and Fibromyalgia and have been given about 7-8 different drugs to attempt to put my symptoms in remission, i.e., Methotrexate, Embrel, Humira, etc.. Since I am now disabled at the age of 51, and no longer drive, nor do I have to worry about random drug screening on the job, I decided to smoke about a week ago. Unfortunately, I did not receive the relief that I was seeking. After speaking to a few people about it and asking for advice, I was told that I should try baking the weed into brownies, muffins, etc. Apparently, the THC is contained in the baked items more efficiently and when absorbed, can give the pain relief that I am seeking.
    I have feared the law for years, and therefore resisted trying this. However, I am taking 6-8 Vicodan and 6-8 Toradol daily. In addition I am taking Tramadol, a sleeping pill, and 2 meds for restless leg syndrome, and am scheduled to start Remicaide transfusions next week. I am in bed an average of 20 hours a day, on a full body, vibrating, heating pad, and I still receive very little relief throughout the day. When I take my evening meds, I can usually fall asleep within 15 minutes. Unfortunately, staying asleep in a huge problem because any time that I move or turn, the pain immediately wakes me up. Unless I remedicate before it’s time, I am up for 3-4 hours before being able to ball back to sleep.
    At this point, I am desperate, and open to suggestions. I am not opening talking about this, ramdomly, simply because I do not want any legal charges brought against me. I have written to our Congresswomen, and been told that they are “strongly consisdering” making ammendments to the laws in regard to these medical cases. I remain hopefull that someone will come up with some answers soon. I’d life to think that I have a lot of years left to live, but my quality of life SUCKS!.
    I welcome any suggestions. Thank you very much.

  2. I live in Florida, where smoking marijuana is still illegal. I have RA, Osteo-arthritis, and Fibromyalgia and have been given about 7-8 different drugs to attempt to put my symptoms in remission, i.e., Methotrexate, Embrel, Humira, etc.. Since I am now disabled at the age of 51, and no longer drive, nor do I have to worry about random drug screening on the job, I decided to smoke about a week ago. Unfortunately, I did not receive the relief that I was seeking. After speaking to a few people about it and asking for advice, I was told that I should try baking the weed into brownies, muffins, etc. Apparently, the THC is contained in the baked items more efficiently and when absorbed, can give the pain relief that I am seeking.
    I have feared the law for years, and therefore resisted trying this. However, I am taking 6-8 Vicodan and 6-8 Toradol daily. In addition I am taking Tramadol, a sleeping pill, and 2 meds for restless leg syndrome, and am scheduled to start Remicaide transfusions next week. I am in bed an average of 20 hours a day, on a full body, vibrating, heating pad, and I still receive very little relief throughout the day. When I take my evening meds, I can usually fall asleep within 15 minutes. Unfortunately, staying asleep in a huge problem because any time that I move or turn, the pain immediately wakes me up. Unless I remedicate before it’s time, I am up for 3-4 hours before being able to ball back to sleep.
    At this point, I am desperate, and open to suggestions. I am not opening talking about this, ramdomly, simply because I do not want any legal charges brought against me. I have written to our Congresswomen, and been told that they are “strongly consisdering” making ammendments to the laws in regard to these medical cases. I remain hopefull that someone will come up with some answers soon. I’d life to think that I have a lot of years left to live, but my quality of life SUCKS!.
    I welcome any suggestions. Thank you very much.

  3. Herbert Chartley on

    Please somebody tell me who are local and state police paid by? Who pays their salaries? Last time I checked, we the people of this Great State of California, pay their salaries, and if marijuananis legal under state law then why aren’t they protecting the rights of all the citizens of this and other states, which have voter approved marijuana law’s? I don’t like a 25 mph speed limit in certain high school zones around town and across town the high school speed limits are 40 and 45. But if I don’t do that lower speed then the results could be expensive. But it’s the Law.

  4. If the cops are worried about losing the funding, why don’t they just come to KY and bust out all these meth heads, pill junkies, and heroine addicts. seriously. No real reason for such the “outrage” on pot.

  5. Michael Nevin Miller on

    I can only see two reasons why they may feel this way. One is that they are worried about losing funding from the government for the “war on drugs”. The other is that they are legitimately ignorant of marijuana’s effects on individuals and society. To make such egregious statements as “The decision by the Department ignores the connections between marijuana use and violent crime…” is an obvious sign. Those connection aren’t with marijuana, but something that has been made illegal that people still want; similar to the illegal activities undergone during the prohibition.

  6. How many of the ‘police’ organizations protesting A.G. Holders decision are on the list of scam charities?

  7. It seems the new cops nowadays are a bunch of pussies, back in the day the police were happy to be chasing the armed bank
    robbers as a ‘serve and protect’ thing, we all remember playing ‘cops
    and robbers’ not ‘cops and potheads’!

  8. Cops are just mad because it will no longer be a reason to bust in people’s doors, ruff them up, kill their dogs in front of their families. They want have money being thrown at them from the feds, and they will actually have to maybe deal with real crime now. They want be able to take away people’s possessions any longer , like a thief. Sure hating it for them , NOT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. What the police assosiations are really upset about is that they will receive far less money from the Feds to fight the war on drugs. Of course more states will change thier laws about marijuana with this new declaration by Mr. Holder.

  10. Yea, who would you rather go after – with your swat team – armed bank robbers and murderers with nothing left to loose or docile weedists busy contemplating the beauty and wonders of the universe in a sticky bowl of resin?

  11. We threaten to take the food off their tables – do away with their jobs/careers/livelihoods! How callus of us. They may need a bailout after this.

  12. Sick of Corruption on

    All it is is a bunch of corrupt people mad because they can’t take your weed anymore and make brownies trip out on them and call 911 anymore! If you have no clue as to what I am talking about google it! HAHA

  13. “Communities have been crippled by drug abuse and addiction, stifling economic productivity.”
    ————————————–
    Word. I’ve seen people smoke weed and decide that they really didn’t need to work 80 hours a week, have a big house, and 3 cars. Some even decided that they were quite happy with what they had and some started unloading a bunch of the stuff they were told they had to have to “keep up”. This is clearly dangerous and un-American!

  14. Depression and suicide thoughts?
    When I smoked back in the day, my mood was Always uplifted. Never heard of pot making people sad.

  15. These sheriff/police organizations are solely worried about losing the money they get from the federal/state governments for marijuana enforcement, and the money/assets they seize when they bust marijuana ‘offenders’.

    If they can’t ruin people’s lives and reap the spoils of fining/seizing assets for marijuana offenses, they might actually be forced to do police work.

    This has ZERO to do with protecting and serving the public; this has EVERYTHING to do with protecting the monies they pilfer from the public.

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