I watch enough TV – probably too much, and I have seen interviews with law enforcement officers that go on and on about how dangerous pot is and it makes my blood boil. To be fair, I have also personally spoken with enough police officers to understand that a fair number of them consider current pot laws to be a nuisance to their real responsibilities, a pestilence on the prison system, and a detriment to taxpayers. I even know a few who would like to use cannabis now, but can’t, and intend on sparking it up on the day they retire. Good cops, bad cops. Bud cops too.
Who goes to jail for pot these days? Lots of people. Just the other day on the news I saw a story of an old man who had been arrested in South Carolina for growing weed. His wife was very ill and not expected to live very much longer. Her days were made easier by using cannabis. The police officers, acting on a tip from a neighbor, busted this man and boasted that they confiscated over 100 marijuana plants. The story went on to show the plants, which were grown in a few planters, and there were none over a few feet tall, and most of them were under 6” in height. This man wasn’t worried about going to jail or anything else. He was just trying to make his wife comfortable at the end of her life. This is a sad story. There is no legal marijuana in his state, his neighbor is uncaring and the police officers felt good about what they had done. How could they? After knowing the circumstance, how could anyone in South Carolina feel good about these actions?
People are still being persecuted in states where cannabis has been legalized for medicinal use. Here in New Mexico, soon after medical marijuana became legal, a patient’s home was raided. He was a paraplegic with very limited mobility, chronic pain from a spinal cord injury, and had a few other medical conditions that qualified him for the State of New Mexico’s Medical Marijuana Program. He was one of the state’s first registered medical cannabis patients, and what he was doing was legal, but the officers felt it necessary to make an example of him. These county sheriffs, as part of the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force ignored New Mexico law to promote their own feeling on the matter. They confiscated his small, live marijuana plants and three dead sprouts along with his growing equipment and turned everything over to the DEA, since marijuana was still in violation of federal law and they couldn’t prosecute him in the new Mexico courts. Although he was never arrested, nor was he ever charged with any offense by local, state or federal entities, his equipment was not returned and he was not compensated. He has filed suit against the Eddy County Sheriff Department. As he well should.
There are millions of stories on how marijuana laws have ruined lives and devastated families over the last several decades. I could write a post every day for years just on the people who are being harassed, arrested and incarcerated in this manner and for lack of government action on unjust laws created out of deception and lies, so many years ago. You can’t help but wonder how these police officers justified this in their own minds. Did they really think they were protecting anyone by what they did. I also wonder if they even want to get educated by the real facts? It doesn’t matter to some. They are upholding the law, they say, so the laws must be changed, and upheld. As was the case in New Mexico, the medical cannabis patient was within his rights, but overzealous officers still wanted to assert their power with federal backing. I’m so glad it backfired on them.
But the truth is, everyone needs to get educated, especially law enforcement. It isn’t that hard to do it yourself, but some people are so blinded by stigma they won’t go there. Some people simply don’t care about things that don’t appear to directly affect them. Reality is, you probably know someone who uses medical marijuana or other form of cannabis. Indifference can have serious consequences, for them and many other people in dire need. Would you really want to see a friend or loved one incarcerated in a jail cell, in a prison, with rapist and murderers and worse for possession of marijuana for personal use?
Our lawmakers are faced with “‘fessing up” that a mistake had been made by those who went before them in congress, and need only to take the offending laws off the books. Then everything could go back to the way it was prior to 1937; so doctors can recommend and prescribe cannabis, research can be done on it’s medical benefits, and citizens can once again grow it for profit or for themselves, and the drug cartels can go to hell.
The officers I spoke of earlier, along with other officers all over the US have incredible testimony to the affects of the failing War on Drugs, and they are the ones who have come from the front lines. They see the devastation of families and the success of the Drug Lords. They know better that any how the system is broke, and have solutions. There are enough of them to make a difference, and the formation of LEAP, (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition), whom I’ve spoken of before, has given me hope that our country will soon see the error of their ways. LEAP is an important ally to legalization efforts all over North America. If you ever have a chance to hear a member of LEAP speak on Prohibition, don’t pass it up because they are well informed, speak from experience, and are passionate about their message. I don’t know how we can move forward with the issue of Marijuana Prohibition without them. Right now you can see them all over the alternative media, and I pray the mainstream media will get in step real soon. LEAP’s message needs to be heard.
If you are interested in having a speaker from LEAP address an audience at your function, it can happen. On their website you can find a extensive list of LEAP members/speakers who volunteer their time to spread their truthful message. There is also a calendar of events where LEAP members will be speaking. Check it out!