Friday, September 5, 2014

Medical Marijuana and Law Enforcement

The recent public outcry against Florida's Medical Marijuana Amendment by law enforcement may have caught some by surprise.

Since the medical benefits of marijuana have been well documented, why would law enforcement put one of its most visible symbols, Grady Judd, at the forefront of their opposition?

It is also worthy to note that Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri has also expressed his opposition.

The argument is that Amendment 2 is just the beginning and ultimately marijuana in all forms will become legal.

I believe it is the full legalization that is the real problem for law enforcement.

Marijuana is big business for the growers, distributors and street dealers.

 It is also big business for law enforcement.

From forfeiture and seizure to public funding for the war on drugs from local taxes and federal grants for everything from prisons, equipment and personnel, law enforcement is a major beneficiary of the marijuana industry.  

In St. Petersburg, forfeiture and seizure revenue is a tracked attribute of the Police department.

Make marijuana legal and most of that money simply goes away.

The problem is after years of indoctrination; law enforcement has convinced itself that marijuana is the scourge of society justifying arrests, forfeiture and seizure.

Take away all of those incarcerated for minor marijuana offenses and the laws that allow their arrest and every level of law enforcement from cops, to prosecutors, public defenders and prisons loose "customers" and potentially a massive flow of revenue.

It is way past time to stop ruining the lives of young people before they even get a chance with marijuana arrests and convictions.

Our prison system has become the "crime college" where kids go and get an education in the only work option left after "drug" arrest: crime.

Don't be swayed by what I believe is a self serving effort on the part of those who oppose Amendment 2.

They have no real case so they try to scare you.

You can find out more about Amendment 2 the Medical Marijuana Initiative by clicking the link.

Amendment 2 is the right thing to do.

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