War on Drugs

Drug Warriors Spend Money Training Cops to Be Able to Argue for the Drug War


Aaron Malin at the always interesting Show-MeCannabis site has some more great reporting on the feckless and pointless silliness of the police task forces fighting our hopeless and insane war on drugs.

I blogged last month on how Malin found them stonewalling him over petty terminological issues when he tries to use a sunshine law to get info on a drug "task force" that an official insists doesn't exist since its official name was "Metro Multi-jurisdictional Undercover Drug Program."

This new story by Malin is actually also from last month, but just digested by me today, and at any rate represents a timeless problem: government using its own power to propagandize for itself.

As Malin reports:

According to the Clay County Drug Task Force, at a taxpayer funded conference supposedly dedicated to law enforcement training, Missouri's narcotics officers were taught the latest anti-legalization talking points. What's more, they received training credit hours (POST Certification) for their attendance at the class — all to become well-versed in the latest drug war propaganda. ….

Taxpayers should be troubled by the notion that their money, allocated for the training of our law enforcement officers, is used to fund political propaganda. Missourians should be troubled by the notion that learning the latest anti-legalization talking points counts as training hours for law enforcement. Cannabis policy reform activists should be troubled by the fact that dismantling an 80-year-old marijuana-prohibition complex, already an uphill battle, becomes even harder when we are forced to fund political training for our opposition with tax dollars…

Malin, who does much of his reporting via rigorous public record requests, informs us that "the Department of Public Safety only began redacting the name of this conference from documents I requested on task force grant funding after I began asking specific questions about these conference expenditures."