Police groups get knickers in twist over marijuana… because of course.

Eric Holder (AG, US DOJ) recently sent an open letter saying that the federal government would respect the decision of states like Colorado and Washington (my home state) to legalize marijuana for personal use.

This guy, in spite of appearances, is apparently pretty cool.
This guy, in spite of appearances, is apparently pretty cool.

This is a good thing, since (not to get sidetracked) the states have often been litmus tests for change on the federal level, especially when that change is deeply controversial. Now, the federal government DOES have the right to enforce federal law in states that don’t recognize it, via their own law enforcement agencies and via punitive measures directed at the out of line legislatures of the offending states. This is (partially) how the civil rights movement got equal rights for citizens of differing nationalities and such in all fifty states.

Including the right to vote and hold public office for guys like him. Huh. Who'da thunk it.
Including the right to vote and hold public office for guys like him. Huh. Who’d a thunk it? WOOT

However, when there is a populist movement to change or eradicate a law, the states often provide a good way to experiment with that change, and see if the results are more as predicted by the side requesting change, or the side asking for preservation of the status quo. In a nation as large as ours, a state can be the equivalent of an experimental group in a study. So I fully agree with and endorse Mr. Holder’s letter. I think that most people, if they approached the subject in that manner, would do the same. Even those against marijuana legalization might pause for thought when confronted with the fact that if legalization has more negative than positive outcomes in the states that have legalized it, that might very well lead to firmer strictures on drug possession and sales throughout the fifty states.

It's okay, Washington, we'd be freaked too if our gigantic balls were being cupped by a fed in green gloves.
It’s okay, Washington, we’d be freaked too if our gigantic balls were being cupped by a fed in green gloves.

After all, the war on drugs has engendered massive amounts of pain over the years, not to mention casualties – I’ll give one example.

That example isĀ Isaac Singletary. Isaac, an eighty year old man who was acting as caretaker for his sister and mother, saw undercover police, who were posing as dealers, attempting to make drug deals on his front lawn. Isaac first came out and yelled at them to leave. Of course they didn’t. So he went back inside, and returned with a gun in his hand, telling them to leave again. Without identifying themselves as police or in any way attempting to de-escalate the situation peaceably, one of the police officers opened fire, wounding Isaac.

I’ll say that again: A cop shot an innocent civilian; an eighty year old man who believed he was acting to protect his neighborhood from drug dealers.

Isaac tried to get away into his backyard, but the cops chased him down and shot him – again – this time in the back, killing him.

Five witnesses at the scene testified that the officers never identified themselves.

This is the inevitable result of the enforcement of laws making marijuana illegal. It’s horrific, unjust, and creates a well-deserved image of the policeman as a killer and a bully mad on power.

This is the person the police shot. This is Isaac SIngletary. Jesus. (Click for link to source article.)
This is the person the police shot and killed. This is Isaac Singletary. Jesus. (Click for link to source article.)

So the logical, informed people in the USA want to see if maybe legalization might result in less death and mayhem than the current state of affairs. Of course they would. And trial states like Washington and Colorado are perfect to find that out. Not everyone approaches things from a detached, impersonal, and clinical perspective, though. Not everyone is rational. And not everyone stops to think before they open their mouths and insert their collective feet.

And what a list of foot-breathers it is. Read more after the jump.

Continue reading “Police groups get knickers in twist over marijuana… because of course.”

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This is possibly the most important video on marijuana legalization I have ever seen, or will ever see (outside of the notification that marijuana has been legalized – if that day comes in my lifetime).
I don’t care if you link back to my site, I don’t care if you tell people whose blog you found this on, just show people this video.
Lawrence O’Donnell, former chief of Staff for the Senate Finance Committee, on MSNBC, has something to say. I urge you to listen.

D.A.R.E. – the new Hitler Youth?

 

D.A.R.E. promotional image - included under Fair Use
D.A.R.E. promotional image - included under Fair Use

I happened upon a good article recently – you can, too, if you go here – written by Radley Balko, a senior editor at Reason Magazine and at Reason.com. For the record, Balko was previously a policy analyst for the Cato Institute specializing in civil liberties issues. You can visit his personal blog, The Agitator, here.

So we assume he knows his stuff.

The article he wrote is on the widely-known failure of the D.A.R.E. program in its primary objective – that of teaching children drug abstinence. Further, the article mentions how the kids subjected to the program do things like turn their parents in for drug use.

Let me say that again. These poor brainwashed kids turn their own parents in to law enforcement officials for negligable crimes. These same well-meaning, innocent children are then (of course) ripped away from the parents who raised them well enough to respect the police in the first place, and tossed into the loving arms of CPS. A perfect reward for telling the truth and doing what you’re told.

This has happened more than just once, by the way.

I quote the Schaffer library of drug policy: “A mother and father in Caroline County, Md., were jailed for 30 days after their daughter informed a police DARE instructor that her parents had marijuana plants in their home, according to a story in The Washington Post in January 1993. The Wall Street Journal reported in 1992 that “In two recent cases in Boston, children who had tipped police stepped out of their homes carrying DARE diplomas as police arrived to arrest their parents.” In 1991, 10-year-old Joaquin Herrera of Englewood, Colo., phoned 911, announced, “I’m a DARE kid” and summoned police to his house to discover a couple of ounces of marijuana hidden in a bookshelf, according to the Rocky Mountain News. The boy sat outside his parents’ home in a police patrol car while the police searched the home and arrested the parents. The policeman assigned to the boy’s school commended the boy’s action. ”

And another: “Nine-year-old Darrin Davis of Douglasville, Ga., called 911 after he found a small amount of speed hidden in his parent’s bedroom because, as he told the Dallas Morning News, “At school, they told us that if we ever see drugs, call 911 because people who use drugs need help . . . . I thought the police would come get the drugs and tell them that drugs are wrong. They never said they would arrest them. . . . But in court, I heard them tell the judge that I wanted my mom and dad arrested. That is a lie. I did not tell them that.” The arrest wrecked his parents’ lives, said the Dallas newspaper; both parents lost their jobs, a bank threatened to foreclose on their homes and his father was kept in jail for three months. ”

I really can’t stress enough how much I despise the D.A.R.E. program at this point. *inarticulate rage*

The Flower: An Animated Allegory

I think pretty much everyone needs to see this video, as it sums up the truth of the situation pretty well. We may not all agree, and this video comes off a little biased, I will admit, but the objective truth agrees with the majority of the (allegorical) statements made in this cartoon.

TL: DR – Watch this. It’s Fawkin’ true, mate.