Police Union Says No One in Law Enforcement Supports Legalizing Pot

Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, claims in a recent ABC News story that "the law enforcement community is universally consistent in its opposition to legalizing pot." Which is true, if you don't count Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell, former San Jose Police Chief Joe McNamara, U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet, former Orange County, California, Superior Court Judge James P. Gray, or the members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. You'd also have to overlook King County Sheriff Steve Strachan, former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper, former Seattle FBI Special Agent in Charge Charles Mandigo, and former U.S. attorneys John McKay and Katrina C. Pflaumer, all of whom publicly supported legalizing pot in Washington. Plus former Colorado Assistant Attorney General Sean McAllister, former Denver police Lt. Tony Ryan, former  Deputy Town Marshal Jason Thomas, former Polk County Sheriff's Deputy Lynda Carter, former Travis County Senior Patrol Deputy Griffin Lott, former Municipal Judge Leonard Frieling, former Denver Senior Deputy District Attorney Lauren Davis, and former deputy district attorneys Ann Toney, Titus Peterson, and Robert Knepel, all of whom publicly supported legalizing pot in Colorado. Not to mention the National Black Police Organization and the National Latino Officers Association, both of which endorsed legalizing pot in California, Colorado, and Washington.

It's true there are a lot of former law enforcement officials on those lists, and maybe Jim Pasco does not consider them members of "the law enforcement community." But criticizing the drug laws can be risky for judges, prosecutors, and police officers whose jobs still include enforcing those laws, and it is safe to assume that for every open dissenter there are many other quiet ones.

How many? In a 2011 online survey by Police One, more than two-fifths of the 1,700 respondents said pot should be legal. The sample is not necessarily representative, but active-duty cops who support marijuana legalization clearly do exist in significant numbers. Even among top police officials, there are dissenters, as a 2005 survey of police chiefs and sheriffs indicates. Sixty-two percent of the respondents opposed legalizing marijuana for medical use, while 69 percent did not think that "the decriminalization of 'soft drugs' would allow more resources for violent and property crime management." Assuming that "no opinion" does not account for all of the rest (the survey report does not say), that suggests significant minorities of people running police departments support medical marijuana and think pot busts are a waste of resources. Furthermore, 82 percent of the sheriffs and police chiefs said the war on drugs has not been "successful in reducing the use of illegal drugs," which makes you wonder what the point is. It seems like there may be a bit more diversity of opinion about drug policy within the law enforcement community than Jim Pasco allows.

[Thanks to Richard Cowan for the tip.]

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  • Doctor Whom||

    Drug warriors lie? Who'd ha' thunk it?

  • Ted S.||

    Furthermore, 82 percent of the sheriffs and police chiefs said the war on drugs has not been "successful in reducing the use of illegal drugs," which makes you wonder what the point is.

    Asset forfeiture is the point.

  • RBS||

    Beat me to it.

  • John||

    Off topic. Anyone else watch Duck Dynasty? My dad turned me onto it over Thanksgiving. It is the greatest reality show ever done and really quite libertarian.

  • Almanian.||

    Nope. My fave these days is "Alaska: The Last Frontier". Those people are incredible. They also seem really cool (HAAHAHAHA - ALASKA....REALLY COOL...HAHAHAHA!) and I'd look forward to having a beer with them.

  • John||

    Duck Dynesty is better. These people are hysterical. And the sons have smoking hot wives despite having beards that put the cast of Gettysburg to shame.

  • Almanian.||

    Since there a no new "South Parks" for awhile, I'll definitely need to check this out!

    Also - "Amish Mafia". Hell. YES.

  • T||

    If I want to watch a bunch of coonass rednecks gallivant about and blow shit up, I'll go visit my wife's relatives.

    Admittedly, the wife's people are the broke kind of redneck, not the rich kind, but the principle still holds.

  • RBS||

    My wife and I love it. This season seems a little more scripted than the the first but it's still great. Did you know Terry Bradshaw was Phil's backup at LA Tech?

  • John||

    Yeah left his senior year because it was interfering with his hunting. That is what I like about the show. They are not just freak losers who got a show because they are freaks.

  • RBS||

    The one were Jase gets in trouble with the HOA is pretty funny and the one from last season where Si and Phil go to career day is great. Si talks about Nam and Phil dresses a duck.

  • John||

    The rant he gives to the HOA and the look on his wife's face during it is priceless. So is his wife talking about him skinning the deer in the driveway just as the school bus pulled up.

  • sarcasmic||

    That reminds me of a funny story.

    My wife's parents had a hobby-farm. Chickens. A pig here, a cow there.

    Anyway, one day the Jehovas came by and she directed them to where her father was butchering a pig. They never came back.

  • ||

    Small Town Security. That shits hilarious.

  • tarran||

    Last night the boy and I watched an episode of a show called Air Repo - basically about a guy who runs a business reposessing airplanes for banks and leasing companies. I didn't even know such a profession existed.

  • The Other Kevin||

    Not too long ago there was an article in the local paper about one of these businesses in our area. The guy employs moms who come in and work part time, working the phones to try to find the planes. Apparently business is good enough for him to pay them very well.

  • T||

    Yeah, I watched an episode or two of that. You'd have to have balls of steel to be one of his pilots. Half the time, they snag planes out of maintenance and shit's wrong with the planes.

  • robc||

    My favorite silly reality show is "Vacuuming the Bering Sea".

    Okay, it has some other name, but that is the basic idea.

    So, apparently, there is lots of gold just sitting on the bottom of the Bering Sea, and you scuba* dive down with a giant vacuum and suck it up.

    *not technically scuba, as its the diving with the tubes to the surface.

  • sarcasmic||

    I watched a few on a marathon, but haven't watched it since.

  • T||

    In a 2011 online survey by Police One, more than two-fifths of the 1,700 respondents said pot should be legal.

    That way they can beat up on people for other, more important things.

  • SugarFree||

    Yes, but the magical force of THE LAW compels them to continue to harass and arrest marijuana users. They are powerless--POWERLESS I SAY--to resist it!

  • SIV||

    In a 2011 online survey by Police One, more than two-fifths of the 1,700 respondents said pot should be legal.

    They were just trolling sloppyinca's dog.

  • ||

    What would we do if we couldn't round up marijuana users?

    Guess we'll just need to shoot more dogs and write more speeding tickets.

    /XXPD

  • Almanian.||

    No, fuck you, cut spending.

  • ||

    Also, fried chicken.

  • nicole||

    Are you saying "No, fuck you, cut fried chicken" or "No, fuck you, give me some fried chicken"? Because...this is very important.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Nikki Diamond, Book Slut - cut spending so there will be more money for fried chicken.

  • nicole||

    I endorse this message.

  • ||

    OT

    For your Star Trek Christmas...

  • R C Dean||

    Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police major cog in the Democratic union machine, claims in a recent ABC News story that "the law enforcement community is universally consistent in its opposition to legalizing pot."

    In case you were wondering why TEAM BLUE is cowering in the corner on this issue.

  • Dweebston||

    Even if this weren't obviously the case, why should I care what LEO think whether two-fifths or four-fifths or no-fifths support decriminalization? It's swell that some are willing to cross over, but either way their wagon is hitched to prohibition. I wouldn't trust a consensus of defense attorneys, either.

  • aelhues||

    The ex-cop I sit next to at work, wants MJ legalized. His reasoning is that we should tax the shit out of it, and make money off of those druggies, instead of wasting time putting them in prison.

    When I pointed out that taxing it to the level he was suggesting, would get everyone buying it illegally, and arrestable for buying illegal weed. He seemed to think this might be a perk.

    On a more positive note, the ex-cop I carpool with also thinks MJ should be legalized, but just because it's a ridiculous reason to arrest a person. Of course, he's a genuinely nice guy with a libertarian bent.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Talking in the car pool is as bad as pissing in the swimming pool. Eating is like taking a shit.

  • BakedPenguin||

    ...former Seattle FBI Special Agent in Charge Charles Mandigo...

    'Where the white women at?'

  • Zeb||

    Even if what this guy was saying wasn't obviously a lie, why should we care what police think the law should be? Their job is to take people to court who are breaking the law. Not to determine what the law should be. And letting them have a significant voice in what the law should be seems like a bit of a conflict of interest.

  • R C Dean||

    Their job is to take people to court who are breaking the law.

    Ze maintenance of public ORDER!

    Not to be confused with "protect and serve".

  • Zeb||

    Who says the law necessarily maintains public order? Their job is to take people in who they believe to be breaking laws. I'm not making any value judgement here.

  • GILMORE||

    Stop resisting

  • Silly ol' Bear||

    Don't forget, the more pot busts create more revenue and job security.

  • Enough About Palin||

    "Police Union Says No One in Law Enforcement Supports Legalizing Pot"

    Proof positive Dunphy isn't in law enforcement.

  • crazyfingers||

    This is like when Obama claimed that "no economists" were against the bailouts.

  • erizzow||

    The FOP isn't a "police union". It is a fraternal brotherhood complete with oaths and handshakes. It's disgusting.

  • coma44||

    "Police Union Says No One in Law Enforcement Supports Legalizing Pot"

    What is the matter afraid to "loose" the over time pay?

  • sudon't||

    Well, the head of the union does need to be concerned with job security. And real crime is at historic lows. Ending the drug war would put a lot of cops out of work. Not that I think that's necessarily a bad thing.

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  • John Hendry||

    Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police said: "from our perspective, (pot) its a gateway drug and opinions to the contrary don't have the weight of fact behind them." Let me repeat that and then let's weigh it again: "don't have the weight of fact behind them".

    Ok let's look at the facts. Fact 1: For years worthless damaging drugs have by weight become worth more than gold and you don't have to be an alchemist to produce the gold/drugs. Pot in the 70's was selling by the ounce for twice the price of gold. It destroyed police departments. It is simple Hemp weed that ANYONE can grow that can grow weeds in a garden. Even George Washington. That fact alone CREATED MANY FREEWAYS WITH HUGE SIGNS TO MANY GATEWAYS of corruption and money wars with the poor (and rich) in the middle. And I am sure the corrupt cops seeking out large sums of money pulling over kids with cash that become hard core drug dealers in gangs or are involved directly with manufacturing and distribution are VERY UPSET as alcohol was never that valuable and prohibition which only lasted 13 years would require a book to cover the damage and corruption within the legal system it created.

  • John Hendry||

    Now let’s separate the facts: Pot is not alcohol. You can consume as much as you can of the strongest strain in an hour and walk home but with alcohol you wouldn't make to the door. Pot is not Cocaine or Meth, etc. that is grossly addictive. Pot is far easier to quit smoking than tobacco which is even more addicting than alcohol not that many notice it due to the damage and heart break alcohol causes. Pot is an herb and used for centuries as a medicine as well as clothing. Outside of its relative value to printing money it's nothing compared to the dangerous drugs. Most people who meditate and have better reflexes and emotional stability that the non-meditator started out smoking pot which opened the gateway to inner knowledge and peace, not corruption and greed. And they usually quit smoking the pot because its not desired anymore. And unlike some of the legal "Meds" being sought after more than illegal drugs it does not make people violent.

  • John Hendry||

    That brings us to Fact 2: If you put a drug on the same shelf as milk and say its the same and make it valuable mike drinkers will become wealthy drug users and the store manager will know all about it setting high prices by limiting supplies just like in prohibition only far worse. Pot is the same and putting it in the same felony class is all about making money one way or the other and buying/building fancy helicopters and boats with guns and surveillance toys. Things many people want for fun and sport activity but cannot afford.

  • John Hendry||

    So Mr. Pasco when you put the facts on the scale with logic you are wrong. Unless of course you are saying it is a gateway to police corruption. But is has to be illegal to turn it into gold like all the rest. People believe things just to support their OWN NEEDS and high paying jobs (with illegal benefits) that will be lost by legalizing pot due to a reduction in crime. Should you smoke pot? No IMO unless there is a medical need. But I don't drink and too many do so many will disagree with me on pot too. Should you legalize it? Yes and IMO anyone that says otherwise is acting out hating a stereotype, is ignorant, or has a hidden agenda such as losing a fun exciting job where you get to shoot people. Read what the Helicopter Pilot busting "hippies" on Maui said in his Maui News interview as he spit out hate about "the joy of war" and other sick statements how he missed the VN War to support hunting and killing humans for fun and playing with hate while flying a really nice (expensive) helicopter. Drugs are all about the money and IMO you should know that better than me and all the intelligent Americans waking up and changing the laws. If you really want to stop crime you will need to start at the top where the flow of money from it is.

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