Is law enforcement incentivized against legalizing marijuana?

February 11, 2014

pot plantsAs Colorado was legalizing medical marijuana, law enforcement officials from California voiced their disapproval pointing at what they deemed failed medical marijuana laws in California. [McClatchy]

“I was told that we hadn’t learned anything from California – that you can’t do anything to regulate marijuana,” said Matt Cook, a retired Colorado Springs police officer who became the first director of Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division, to McClatchy.

In Colorado, where pot retailers sell recreational marijuana, the state tags marijuana plants, inspects dispensary books and requires video surveillance of regulated pot deliveries and sales.

In California, law enforcement officials have forcefully opposed any legislation seen as legitimizing a marijuana industry. Their opposition is supposedly based on the belief that medical marijuana businesses are profiteering shams that were never authorized by California voters.

Marijuana advocates contend that police are unwilling to support marijuana legalization because they are too invested in pot policing through drug enforcement grants and revenue from seized houses, cars and property in marijuana prosecutions. California took in $181.4 million in revenue from seized property and money in marijuana cases from 2002 to 2012.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that police in Washington were taking budget hits after marijuana was legalized for recreational use. Some police drug task forces lost 15 percent of funding due to decreased revenue from marijuana forfeiture cases.


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Personally, I believe ALL drugs should be legalized for ALL ages. If you do not have the common sense to teach your children (now adults) not to use them, then tough! I think all drug users get what they strive for. Stoned! Yes, I would include marijuana and alcohol in that statement. Toke on Stoners!

I think most officers are honest hard working people but there are always a few bad ones. I do think birds of a feather flock together so you have to wonder when one does something wrong who else knows. Incidentally I just read a retired Arroyo Grande police officer was just indicted by the Federal Government. I was really surprised because I saw his name, Larry Cooper, on the web site for Dan Dow for district attorney. I was thinking about maybe voting for Dow, but I might have to wait.

Of course LEA and governmental agencies oppose this. How else otherwise would SLOPD Officer Corey Pierce subsidize his retirement plans. By the way, how was he able for nearly a decade to steal drugs from the evidence locker without his supervisors knowledge – was that bozo asleep all the time, high all the time or on the take. I.E. someone had to be in on the deal with Officer Pierce, otherwise they would have dealt with the issue sooner. Well corruption runs deep in slo. Free lunches, kick backs from local developers, theft of City resources for personal gain, ordering up extra supplies to take home for one’s home remodel, dumping hazardous waste at the back of the corporation yard, growing pot at Whale Rock, consulting on city time, charging residents for services you are paid to do as a City employee, engaging in side construction projects on city time with city resources and materials and of course my favorite simply cooking the books to facilitate an illicit agenda.