Don't Be A Dope About Dope (Cops in Favor of Legalization Edition)

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From the LA Times today:

SOMETIMES PEOPLE in law enforcement will hear it whispered that I'm a former cop who favors decriminalization of marijuana laws, and they'll approach me the way they might a traitor or snitch. So let me set the record straight.

Yes, I was a cop for 34 years, the last six of which I spent as chief of Seattle's police department.

But no, I don't favor decriminalization. I favor legalization, and not just of pot but of all drugs, including heroin, cocaine, meth, psychotropics, mushrooms and LSD.

The author is Norm Stamper, former chief of police in Seattle and author of the recent book Breaking Rank: A Top Cop's Expose of the Dark Side of American Policing put out by Nation Books.

Whole LA Times piece here.

Interesting side note: Stamper was head of the Seattle police during the 1999 World Trade Organization riots and is being boycotted by various lefties for his role in cracking skulls there. An example of the vitriol he inspires on that count here.

NEXT: Holy Toledo!

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  1. Well Nick, I have to admit, being a “dictionary” libertarian (the concept of personal liberty being much more important than the rights of government stormtroopers), I personally can understand someones hesitation to “embrace” former SS officers. I know I am.

    Now, if he came out against the police state, and not just against the drug war, that would be something.

    As a matter of fact, after I read the article in the LAT, I notice he seems to back ending the drug war specifically because the police state might be in danger. Just sounds like a Pro-Chinese Cop to me.

    I tend not to believe stormtroopers when the speak. Sounds like a politician? Must be then. But I know who trusting you dear souls at reason are, so….I hope this pol don’t burst your bubble.

    Yea police state.

  2. Amazon linkey brokey.

  3. A libertarian comic book hero? Does your heart beat faster at the mention of Lenin?

  4. Let us not miss the forest for the trees in this column. It is great news, and we all should disseminate it to the best of our abilities.
    I’m gonna roll it into a cone and jab it into the eye of an acquaintance in LA right now.

  5. “Not until we choose to frame responsible drug use ? not an oxymoron in my dictionary ? as a civil liberty will we be able to recognize the abuse of drugs, including alcohol, for what it is: a medical, not a criminal, matter.”

    hmm…

  6. Somewhat related: a new Canadian study suggests that smoking marijuana actually builds brain cells, contrary to what decades of anti-weed PSAs have told us:

    http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20051014/marijuana_study_051014/20051014?hub=Health

  7. If I recall correctly, the MPP privately polled Nevada sheriffs and police chiefs before the 2002 election with the legalization question on the ballot. A substantial majority were in favor. An uproar ensued. When polled publicly they were almost unanimously opposed.

    I wonder if that’s typical. Are many cops afraid to publicly oppose the drug war?

  8. As a Seattlite, this article almost makes up for the thirty-odd years of shitty police work.

    Almost.

  9. Hey don’t forget to check out Ms. Anderberg’s Vulva Museum, it’s a hit with all the kiddies!
    And don’t walk, run to her Anarchist Scavenger hunt! Do you know who the EZLN is? Viva Zappatista!

  10. Sounds like a libertarian comic book hero in the making.

    Superman: Red Son

  11. Thinking of cops and legalization: I wonder if legalization would be an easier sell if it were coupled with a law which would double the penalties for violent crimes if said crimes were committed under the influence. This would work as a modifier the way hate crime laws work.

    Not that this would be a good law, but this would be the lesser of two evils, if such a law could get middle america to accept the end of prohibition.

  12. Why can’t George Soros or some other rich sugar daddies who support legalization blanket the airwaves with PSAs of inner city families whose sons are dying and whose communities are rotting and gripped in fear because of the gang violence caused by the immoral drug war?

  13. This guy should be in the running for the 2008 libertarian nomination!

  14. In the article he states:

    How would “regulated legalization” work? It would:

    2) Create a new federal regulatory agency (with no apologies to libertarians or paleo-conservatives).

    I, for one, demand an apology anytime someone creates a new federal agency – even if is The Deparment of Good and Highly Taxed Weed.

  15. “I wonder if legalization would be an easier sell if it were coupled with a law which would double the penalties for violent crimes if said crimes were committed under the influence. This would work as a modifier the way hate crime laws work.”

    cs,
    You got me thinking.
    How ’bout if we got those coffee mugs that fit into the holders in road-raging monster SUV’s declared “drug paraphanalia”?

    Special friend, Herrick,
    I guess my sarcastic point, which applies to your comment as well, is that we make a mistake to sell the sizzle if we are the ones verifying we are talking Grade AAA choice beef.
    We don’t want folks saying we are guilty of conflict of interest.
    We must remain grave and circumspect like Jacob Sullum.

  16. I, for one, demand an apology anytime someone creates a new federal agency – even if is The Deparment of Good and Highly Taxed Weed.

    We already have a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. I called them before my bachelor party, hoping they could help me put together something really cool. But I found out that their primary job is to tax and regulate the stuff, not to help everybody have a good time.

    I was totally bummed.

    So I predict that a Department of Weed would totally suck.

    Anyway, I wound up spending my bachelor party doing paintball, then eating fried chicken and waffles, and then smoking Cuban cigars on the beach.

  17. thoreau,
    Sounds like you should have called the Martha Stewart division of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms. There would surely have been some helpful tips.
    If bureaucrats were to put out a magazine, its title would have to be, “Dying: The Bizarro Version of Martha’s.”

    The only comparable advisor available before the Little Woman and I tied the knot was Betty Furness.

  18. Thoreau, your comment reminds me of a t-shirt emblazoned with the caption “Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Who’s bringing the chips!”

    Also, while they may not be able to help out with a bachelor party, they can help the little ones have fun.

    Behold!

    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Kids’ Page

  19. That ATF for Kids is the most boring site I’ve ever seen. Only a government agency would think kids spend their spare time looking at government yearly report PDF’s.

    As for this Anderberg person, would someone be kind enough to send her a dictionary, a grammar book and a muzzle?

  20. Stamper was head of the Seattle police during the 1999 World Trade Organization riots and is being boycotted by various lefties for his role in cracking skulls there

    Which just goes to show that there is no political windfall that lefties can’t find some way to fuck up.

  21. That ATF for Kids is the most boring site I’ve ever seen.

    They should take a page from FreeVibe and get their own ringtone.

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