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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chronic City: This Could Get Ugly -- Anti-Marijuana Machismo Is Latest California Cop Fad

Posted By on Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 1:30 PM

We got their Zig Zags, too!
​Pot-phobic law enforcement officers in California are trying out an unsettling new tactic. It's the latest iteration of their continued hissy fit about what should have been a settled issue for 13 years now (since Californians voted for Proposition 215, legalizing medical use of Marijuana with a doctor's recommendation). Many cops, still pissed off and in deep denial that medical pot is legal in the Golden State, are desperately clinging to the federal prohibition of Marijuana for threadbare justification of their irrational hatred of pot and its users.

This particularly unattractive phenomenon of "let's ignore the voters" increasingly involves strutting, macho displays of contempt for the law -- incredibly enough, by the cops themselves.

Long Beach Prosecutor Tom Reeves: "Dispensary owners = dope dealers" - SMARTVOTER.ORG
  • Long Beach Prosecutor Tom Reeves: "Dispensary owners = dope dealers"
​​Even as the Long Beach City Council tried to do something constructive by debating the regulation of businesses that provide medical Marijuana to patients under the auspices of Prop 215 and SB 420 (the Medical Marijuana Program Act, passed by the Legislature six years ago to clarify and expand the intent of the law), City Prosecutor Tom Reeves wrote an op-ed piece "that essentially amounts to kicking in the door with the guns blazing," according to the Long Beach Post.

Reeves' editorial, displaying an arrogantly stunning disdain for

both the law and the patients, asks "What's the difference" between a

medical Marijuana dispensary -- where qualified, legal patients get

their medicine -- and a "drug dealer standing on a corner." He

helpfully adds: "My answer -- No Difference! They are both dope


Not to be outdone in the

anti-Marijuana machismo phallic contest, Redding Police Chief

Peter Hansen, apparently confused about his job description, yesterday

sent letters to nine medical Marijuana dispensaries and their

landlords, reminding them "in no uncertain terms that Marijuana is

still illegal under federal law."

click to enlarge Chief Hansen: Confused about his job description? - REDDINGPOLICE.ORG
  • Chief Hansen: Confused about his job description?
​Chief Hansen is obviously still steamed about the Obama

Administration's stated intent to end federal medical Marijuana raids

in states where medical pot is legal. "The law has not changed because

of the whims of the Attorney General and President of the United

States," Hansen huffily told

His over-the-top letter threatened dispensary owners with potential

20-year federal prison terms and the possibility of having their

property seized, asserting that "federal law takes precedence over

State law."

"While the chief has every right

to dislike California's medical Marijuana law, it is his job to enforce

state law, not attack it," said Bruce Mirken of the Marijuana Policy Project. The courts have made this quite clear, most notably in the case Garden Grove v. Superior Court (PDF),

where city police had improperly seized medical Marijuana from patient

Felix Kha. Police insisted they couldn't return Kha's medicine because

federal law takes precedence over state law. The state appellate court

ordered the immediate return of Kha's Marijuana, saying "it is not the

job of the local police to enforce the federal drug laws as such."


Redding so completely free of robberies, rapes, murders, auto thefts,

and other actual crimes that you have nothing else better do do?"

Mirken asks Chief Hansen.

But what's so fun

about doing actual police work when you can instead strut grandly about

on a bully pulpit, flaunting your anti-Marijuana machismo?

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Steve Elliott


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