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Missouri Cop Accepts Challenge To Debate Show-Me Cannabis Director On Marijuana Prohibition

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missouri show me cannabis marijuana debateI recently published an article asking for people to sign a petition asking for the resignation of a Missouri police officer (Kevin Glaser) that suggested marijuana activists are stupid welfare-sucking potheads who probably can’t read. The officer’s comments were posted on his Facebook page after he attended a marijuana town hall meeting hosted by the Show-Me Cannabis campaign. How a sworn officer can make such insensitive, inaccurate statements and keep his job is beyond me.

The comments resulted in a debate challenge by the Executive Director of the Show-Me Cannabis campaign John Payne. I wasn’t holding out hope for a response from Officer Kevin Glaser, because usually marijuana opponents try to make those type of comments then hide behind the status-quo. It appears that the challenge has been accepted, but not by Officer Glaser. Per the River Front Times:

Jason Grellner, a top member of the Missouri Narcotics Officers Association, tells Daily RFT, “I would be more than happy to meet John from Show-Me Cannabis down in Poplar Bluff to debate the issue or anywhere else he would like to. We believe that we have more than enough science and economics on our side to prove our point.”

I will make sure to post an article once the details are worked out. Below is more information about the Facebook controversy, posted earlier on The Weed Blog:

The following is an open letter to Vice President of the Missouri Narcotics Officers Association Kevin Glaser. It was published on our blog on Tuesday and circulated to the media. As of this writing, it has been covered by the Riverfront Times in Saint Louis and in a front page story in the Southeast Missourian in Cape Girardeau on Thursday. So far, Glaser has not responded to me, despite the fact that I emailed him personally.

Sgt. Glaser,

I was pleased that you attended Show-Me Cannabis’ town hall meeting in Cape Girardeau last Monday, October 21. Believe it or not, we really are attempting to create a rational dialogue between the most ardent cannabis law reformers and prohibitionists and everyone in between. Despite our deep and passionate disagreements about how the law should treat those who use cannabis, I thought the discussion at the meeting remained civil and in good faith.

That is why I was deeply disappointed when I saw this on your public Facebook page on Wednesday:

kevin glaser marijuana comments missouri officer

First, I believe it is completely inappropriate for a man who has supposedly dedicated his life to public service to treat a broad swath of the public with such disdain. Just a few days after the meeting in Cape Girardeau, Gallup reported that 58 percent of the American public believes that cannabis should be legalized for adult use. Do you really mean to imply that 58 percent of the country has never visited a library, lives off welfare, and should be discouraged from voting?

Such comments are thoroughly unprofessional and unbecoming of a government employee, and I believe you owe the people who attended the meeting and Missouri taxpayers generally an apology.

Moreover, I worry what the sentiment expressed in your post says about your motivations for enforcing the laws prohibiting cannabis. You seem to be motivated primarily by sheer personal animus against a group of people whom you obviously find distasteful. As a private citizen, you are of course free to dislike or even hate anyone you so choose, but as a public servant, you are supposed to be held to a higher standard — one that treats all citizens as equals before the law. Given your stated feelings towards those who advocate reforming our cannabis laws, I question your ability to enforce the law equitably and to respect these reformers’ Constitutional right to freedom of speech.

This post also raises questions about the sincerity of your statements at the meeting. I distinctly remember you saying that some of the laws are too heavy-handed, that there is a distinction between marijuana and industrial hemp, and agreeing with me that our laws have been ineffective at stopping people from using cannabis. For my part, I agree with you that any sensible cannabis policy needs to keep cannabis away from kids and keep impaired drivers off the road — I simply don’t think a legal prohibition on responsible, adult use accomplishes either of those goals. I do not expect to fully convince you of my position, and I’m sure you feel the same about me, but I thought we had found some points of mutual agreement that could form the basis of a meaningful dialogue. It now appears to me that you are more interested in disparaging your opponents than taking part in a rational discussion.

Finally, I believe you are correct that the overwhelming majority of the participants at the meeting have made up their minds about this issue. I would have preferred it if more undecided voters had attended, as they are the group Show-Me Cannabis most wants to reach. Regardless, your criticism cuts both ways: Your mind appears to be just as closed — if not more so — to pro-reform arguments than the reformers’ minds are to your arguments.

For instance, right off the bat, you boldly asserted that no country in the world has legalized marijuana. Many in the crowd said you were wrong, but you persisted until I stated that, as a simple point of fact, Uruguay had just launched a program legalizing and regulating the cannabis market in the country. Legalization in Uruguay has been a major topic in cannabis policy circles for the past year, and the fact that you were unaware of it strongly suggests to me that you do not know the facts on this subject as well as you think you do.

I fully believe that the more people know about this issue, the more they will be convinced that a system of legalization and regulation is a superior policy for dealing with cannabis than prohibition. I presume that you believe the inverse. If that’s the case, then let us both put our convictions to the test in an open public debate.

Show-Me Cannabis just booked the Tinnin Center at Three Rivers College in Poplar Bluff for a town hall meeting on December 12 at 6:30 p.m., and, if you are agreeable, we can hold the debate there. However, I am open to your suggestions regarding date and venue. You can contact me at john@show-mecannabis.com, and I look forward to your response.

Let Glaser and the Missouri Narcotics Officers Association know that Glaser’s libelous comments will not be tolerated by signing our petition demanding that he either apologize or step down as Vice President of the organization and then share it with others! Help spread the message of reform to the most conservative parts of the state, by making an online contribution now!

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34 Comments

  1. Hello bearcat, it looks like you’re stuck with me today, although I’m having a hard time figuring out where to start…

    You don’t want to legalize weed. I assume you mean marijuana, the smokeable kind, only, as you do not mention anything about edibles or extracts. Of course, the two go hand-in-hand, so you can’t keep one legal and the other illegal. Actually, your argument mentions nothing about medical marijuana, which is curious to me. You are also of the opinion, because of anecdotal evidence, that marijuana is addictive.

    In fact, I could take apart your no-stomach-punches argument with no problem, and have done so to similar unsupportable arguments on this website. You don’t have to just look at my opinions, I would never suggest that, but surely if you had the time to post here, you have the time to do the research that would show your arguments don’t hold weight. And so, when you say this is your honest and straight-forward argument, I’m having trouble believing that.

    It is exactly because I “care enough” that I post on this blog, and why I am responding to you. So, let’s have it. Do you want to argue about the merits of anecdotal evidence over scientific evidence, or is there a primary reason that you think legalization is a bad idea?

  2. All right, no stomach punches here. In looking at the facts as a country, we are almost making the use of tobacco illegal. In most US cities, you can not smoke a cigarette in a bar anymore. I do not go into a bar to be healthy in the first place. So If this is what we are doing to tobacco right now, does it make any sense to legalize weed? Think of all the lawsuits against big tobacco and all the talks of the dangers of second hand smoke. Now imagine the future of second hand weed smoke, (COME ON!). I know research shows that weed is not addictive, but if that were true, would there be such a big push to legalize it? It seems like there is a lot of people who would like to continue to use it with out the threat of arrest. I am not a therapist, but that sounds like addiction. I know that all people who use weed are not unproductive, however, you can not tell me we don’t not all know a few people who have straight up dropped out of school/college and continued their low paying jobs, just so they could buy their video games and get high. My last argument is that I have never spoken with a weed user who would love for his children to use weed in the future. So why are we pushing for this? What I would love is if we started to care enough about each other to say stop it. My honest straight forward argument. Thanks for reading and I hope you all stay safe.

  3. Fu@k. That uppity cop! HE is the idiot and being in Missouri I’m sure he has relatives that are meth or coke heads if not potheads. If pot is so horrible why have other states legalized it? All we can hope for in the bible thumping show-me state is for the Feds recatorgorize it, make it legal. Like beer. Dam did my none educated a$$. Just spell recatorgorized?

  4. There is nothing more scary than a blind man allowed to carry a gun. I know this as fact. I used to be married to one.

  5. I was keeping watch of the news websites that carried the New Mexico story and I’ve been seeing your Avatar. Just wanted to say, you give good argument. :)

  6. If he tries these lies, here’s the science that will refute them.
    Lie #1 Gateway Drug.
    FACT Marijuana is NOT a Gateway Drug. Here’s a 12 Yr Univ Study that says so;.
    http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=97496
    Media overview; http://www.pitt.edu/~ugr/Hrych2.pdf

    Lie #2 Marijuana is very addictive and dangerous.
    FACT Marijuana is less addictive and less harmful than Caffeine, let alone Alcohol and Tobacco; (3 Scientific Studies)
    BTW, Dr Henningfield is a former NIDA Staffer;.
    Addictiveness of Marijuana – ProCon.org.
    http://www.procon.org/view.background-resource.php?resourceID=1492

    Lie #’s 3 & 4, Marijuana has no Medicinal Use and is Dangerous.

    FACT In 1988, DEA Administrative Judge Francis Young wrote in his ruling
    “Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of
    the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any
    measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a
    supervised routine of medical care.”
    http://www.ccguide.org/young88.php

  7. The great thing about cannabis is a person can just debate based on fact that is nothing but good for people. No embellishment necessary. Saved my life from cancer and several people that I personally know. No, not going to look up my spelling for the English majors out there! :-)

  8. He’s going to waltz into the debate with 15 nonsense prop-pieces from the NIDA, and attempt to masquerade them as science.

    DO NOT LET HIM.

    The NIDA has absolutely no credibility as a cannabis authority. None. 94% of their cannabis research is intended to correlate cannabis use to dangerous and harmful variables. Research into the safety and medical efficacy of cannabis is never permitted to proceed — not if you need the actual plant to conduct that research.

    The NIDA has a vested interest in keeping cannabis illegal. Their funding is appropriated through the ONDCP’s annual budget of $26 billion. The Office of National Drug Control Policy has no budget if there is no drug war to fight. Any research that starts out with the answer they like (cannabis is dangerous) and works backwards from that answer to a plausible justification is NOT scientific research.

    Cannabis does not cause drops in IQ or graduation rates. The ignored 3rd variable in that equation is POVERTY. Kids from wealthy families who use cannabis perform just as well academically as their non-smoking peers, and the same is true about kids from families from the other side of the tracks. Put simply, poor kids perform worse than rich kids, and any cannabis use is incidental.

    Cannabis does not cause mental illness. While rates of cannabis use have risen steadily, instance rates of specific psychoses have *not* risen steadily. In fact, we’re only starting to understand how cannabinoids *relieve* the symptoms of mental illness. Medical cannabis states see their suicide rates DROP.

    Cannabis does not cause car accidents. Empirical research shows that using cannabis increases the risk of an auto accident as much as using antihistamines do. States with medical cannabis see, on average, a 9% drop in DUI-fatalities (not an increase).

    These are just a few of the cannabis myths the Narc is going to push. DO NOT LET HIM.

  9. A point John Payne could bring up in the debate is how biased the war on drugs have been for minorities, then use arrest data from officer Grellner’s own department as proof. Also let the cop dig his own hole by countering every false point with facts. I mean EVERY false point. I see this so often with activists on TV (Jason Tvert) having a chance to counter old reefer madness myths being stated by the other side, and doesn’t say a thing! Good god I wood have been all over it!

  10. Anytime. I don’t recall where I heard the pigeon analogy, but It’s been repeated too many times by too many sources for me to provide a reference to the author.

  11. Take a minute and watch and listen to the dying pleading for a medical cannabis program and share this with your friends and then let this man spout his drivel..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4el6EGqcUw

    Blessings for your efforts in educating those that profiteer off of others suffering with cannabis prohibition…

  12. I bet my paycheck this dude will be a NO SHOW. Once he starts doing research in preparation for the debate, he’ll quickly realize that he is on the wrong side of the issue. By the way…His Facebook post was grammatically incorrect. Just sayin.

  13. Thank you, kind sir or madam. My faith in humanity has been restored, at least for today. After spending the morning with some callous guys over at Bloomberg discussing Obamacare and poverty, it’s really nice to come over to The Weed Blog and run into some kindness.
    p.s. The pigeon analogy was awesome.

  14. I agree with you, Ignorance is thrown around as a harsh word. In my opinion, the reason it has harsh connotations is because we all like to feel intelligent, and when our intellect is questioned our ego kicks into defend itself. I feel that the ego is responsible for all the religious nuts that “know better” as well as those that think that they are responsible for governing every action that occurs around them. I find it hilarious when someone uses the very book that we are questioning to defend their religion. But you are right, I have no business trashing someones religion when they aren’t even effecting me in any direct way at the moment. My apologies to any of those who I may offend with my words.

  15. The problem with the term “ignorant” is that it’s current usage is very negative. I’d like to think it means something closer to uninformed.

    People who still believe in religion have a right to do so, and you should let them do it. It’s only when religion and government intersect that creates such a huge problem.

    I have spent an awful lot of time and energy debating with Christians who are anti-choice. I really thought I could create some sort of bridge between the two sides. But it’s impossible when all I get in response is bible quotes. I tried, I really did, but as I told my adversary, “I can’t argue with someone about Santa Clause.”

  16. I never said anything about Christians. I said religion….it could be Islam or Scientology or Christianity or Buddhism or Pastafarianism. Although I’m sure the aliens have told the Scientologists that the earth is a sphere.

  17. I think rob was making reference to blind faith. I’m not going to debate
    religion, much like I wouldn’t play chess with a pigeon. The pigeon
    would just shit all over the board, and fly away claiming victory,
    unable to see that he hasn’t even the slightest clue of what chess is
    actually about. Anyone who founds their life on things that are not
    actually backed by evidence are ignorant. People who believe that
    Christianity is correct because it was written down in a book almost
    2000 years ago, or because “the evidence is all around us” are equally
    as foolish as people who would believe the world to be flat. I find it
    interesting how religious people can spend all day denouncing other
    religions for their incongruence, while simultaneously using faith to
    continue to believe the stupid bullshit that they believe themselves. You’ve simply made yourself look ignorant while accusing others of ignorance for actually questioning the world around them.

  18. Most people don’t really remember the minutia of a debate. If it were me, I would hammer home one or two facts, with as much minutia as I wanted. At the end of the day, people usually only remember the highlights.
    But you know, if this moron really starts thinking, he would have no choice but to back out of this challenge.

    – minutia; the small, precise, or trivial details of something

  19. he just upset because if cannabis becomes legal he going to out of a job because all narcotics officers seem to do is bust weed smokers for less than an 8th at a time whats he going to do if it becomes legal they’ll probably slash half his work force of the day :L

  20. rob if you are saying that Christians think that the earth is flat and marijuanas evil, then you are an ignorant fool. Almost as shameful as Glaser. Afterall the bible does state that god gave every herb that beareth seed to mankind. For you Glaser, how can you think that you or anyone else including the us government say whether or not a plant that the good lord put on earth and gave to mankind, cannot grow on a planet that he created and gave to us as well? You about as closed minded and ignorant as they come. I have smoked it and I have never been on welfare and I raised my 3 daughter’s on my own with no help from the state nor their mother. Wha do you think about that? Kinda of pokes holes in your theory, huh.

  21. we’re talking about weed not religion use a better analogy preferably one with was controversy than our current situation Thanks

  22. Sadly, this kind if debate is like debating religion. One side won’t falter because he has “faith and belief” in his position and no matter how many facts you throw at him he’ll continue to proclaim the earth is flat and marijuana is evil.