Cops opposed to marijuana legalization are true profiteers of pot and other illegal drugs.
In an article of The Intercept, “Police and Prison Guard Groups Fight Marijuana Legalization in California,“ published May 18, 2016 the author, Lee Fang, points out how opposition to Marijuana legalization in California is coming from certain law enforcement and prison guard organizations who fear a significant loss in revenue due to losing federal grants from the Justice Department which has financially incentivized drug arrests at the local level in addition to the asset forfeiture laws which allows police agencies to confiscate money and property from citizens as a result of those drug busts for their own personal use; no conviction is required.
Paul Curry, a lobbyist for the California Correctional Supervisor’s Association, told The Intercept. “The membership of the CCSO opposes the full-blown legalization of marijuana,”
Curry said prison guard supervisors do not want to see a society that encourages pot use and said many of his members are grandparents who are concerned about their children. “If marijuana is not a dangerous drug, the federal government would have made a change, but the fact remains that it’s a federal crime,” he added.
First of all if these grandparents who don’t want their kids and grand-kids smoking pot then they should teach them not to which no doubt they are already doing for it is well known that criminalization has very little impact on whether kids smoke pot or not.
By asserting that they want the law to teach their kids what is right and wrong regarding self-destructive behavior they are abdicating their responsibility of raising their children and foisting it onto the state which is antithetical to Republican-Conservative and even Evangelical-Christian values.
Secondarily if the federal government says something is bad it must bad because the federal government says so right? The government would never lie to the people, right?
If the federal government says something is good then it must be good because the federal government knows everything and therefore knows what is good and what is bad so we should always believe what the federal government tells us, right?
At one time the federal government, the United States Supreme Court, stated that African Americans could not become U.S. citizens because they were either slaves or the descendants of slaves: Dred Scott v. Sandford
Forty years later the federal government stated that segregation was morally good and that desegregation was morally bad: Plessy v. Ferguson
It took another 58 years for the federal government to change it fickle mind and decide that segregation was bad: Brown v. Board of Education The federal government is no different than any other person in the nation.
The federal government is made up of fallible and prejudiced human beings who come to every issue with subjective goals and agendas in mind and this includes the final arbitrators of American morality, the members of the U.S. Supreme Court who consistently disagree with one another based upon political and personal ideological lines.
“The Constitution on this hypothesis is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.” Thomas Jefferson
Another long time law enforcement lobbyist representing the law enforcement and prison guard groups is John Lovell. In 2010 Lovell, just as he is attempting to do this year, successfully organized a campaign to defeat a marijuana legalization measure. Lovell not only raised funds from police unions and local prosecutors but the California Beer and Beverage Distributors Association.
The damage that alcohol does to families and society needs no statistical support, hence when it comes to prohibition of marijuana it’s not about morality or the safety and well being of society; it is about power, control and making money evidenced by Lovell’s and his supporters’ hypocritical actions.
Asset Forfeiture’s roots reside all the way back to the Papal and Spanish Inquisitions. A person accused his neighbor of being a heretic or a pagan which in turn allowed the Church/State to confiscate the accused’s property whether guilty or innocent. Regardless of the outcome of the proceedings the accused would most likely never regain his property.
Asset Forfeiture is antithetical to the Protestant Reformers; to the creators of democratic principles such as those found in the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, precisely the 5th and 14th Amendments. Asset Forfeiture is a complete contradiction of the inalienable right to, “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness/property.”
There was a story in the local paper the, Daily Post, on May 21, 2016 pages 4 & 70, “Pot dealer goes berserk,” in the courtroom as he is led to jail. This man is due to be sentenced up to 5 years and 8 months in state prison for possession of two pounds of marijuana. According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office it costs $19,663 a year to pay for security for one prison inmate. The total cost to house an inmate in a California prison for one year is $47,102.
This man is going to cost California citizens up to $114,045 dollars over 5.8 years to pay prison guards alone. The citizens of California will have to spend a total of $273,191 on housing, feeding, clothing and babysitting this grown man for 5.8 years because he wanted to sell a little weed.
Who is actually being punished here, the man with two pounds of pot or the California citizens who are being forced to pay for his living expenses?
In 2010 there were approximately 26,600 people in prison on drug offenses. 26,600 times $19,663 = $523 million dollars to prison guards for one year. The total cost for housing, feeding, clothing and babysitting these grown men and women for one year amounts to $1.25 billion. That is one billion, two-hundred and fifty million dollars spent on people who did not steal dime or harm anyone.
Who is being punished here, modern day moonshiners or taxpayers? Whose making out like a bandit; pot pushers or prison guards?
If $500 million a year were spent on treating drug addiction perhaps there would be significantly less people using drugs in the first place and therefore a corresponding drop of those same people in prison. It truly comes down to where you want to spend your money, on health care professionals or prison guards.
By spending it on prison guards you not only lose the costs due to incarceration but also the loss of income and sales tax revenue that those incarcerated would potentially be generating if living on their own and or with their families while working at a job. Additionally the families whose bread winner is incarcerated are often forced to go on public assistance to survive further depleting the State’s financial reserves.
A recent scientific study concluded that the sale and use of medical marijuana did not exacerbate any other criminal activity countering those unsubstantiated arguments that suggest legalization poses a danger to public health in terms of exposure to violent crime and property crimes.
Ultimately the fight over marijuana legalization has little to do with the morality of pot use and the safety of society and in actuality has much to do with special interest groups attempting to monopolize a revenue stream.
If there were no financial incentive to law enforcement agencies and prison guards to criminalize pot then they would not be clamoring for it to be so, just like they are not clamoring for the criminalization of beer and wine.
Related Article: Cops For Pot