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Majority of Law Enforcement Officers Want to Reform Marijuana Laws

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director April 5, 2014

    A survey released this week by the publication Law Officer revealed that a majority of law enforcement officers want to see our country’s marijuana laws reformed.

    The poll, which questioned over 11,000 law enforcement officers regarding their opinions on drug policy, revealed that just over 64% believed our marijuana laws needed to be relaxed in some form. When asked “Do you believe possession of marijuana for personal use should…” and presented with several options, 35.68% of respondents stated that marijuana be legalized, regulated and taxed, 10.84% chose that it should be be legalized for medical reasons and with a doctor’s prescription only, 14.24% said it should continue to be illegal but only punished via fines (no incarceration), and 3.68% said marijuana should simply be decriminalized. Only 34.7% believed marijuana should continue to be illegal with the criminal penalties that are currently in place.

    “This poll reveals that support for marijuana prohibition is eroding even amongst those who are serving on the front lines enforcing it,” stated NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, “When a majority of the American people and most of those tasked with implementing a law disagree with it in principle, it is time to change that law.”

    You can view the full results of this survey here.

    “Prohibition cannot be enforced for the simple reason that the majority of the American people do not want it enforced and are resisting its enforcement. That being so, the orderly thing to do under our form of government is to abolish a law that cannot be enforced, a law which the people of the country do not want enforced.” – New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia on alcohol prohibition.

    24 Responses to “Majority of Law Enforcement Officers Want to Reform Marijuana Laws”

    1. Anonymous says:

      The dominos are falling. TIM-BER!!!

    2. Justin Bell says:

      This was great to come across today. The statistics though on a small scale, can easily be compared to many states right down to districts with many of their own reasons, behind their answers on such a well put simple question. I cannot donate but will continue to be outspoken on a level of the obvious common sense but also the history of this gluttoned funded prohibition. Again thank you

    3. Galileo Galilei says:

      I wonder how much money we’ve spent to re-learn the lesson of prohibition. I wonder how much more we’ll spend in the future. I wonder who’s wallet the money will come from before we finally learn the lesson.

    4. Ray says:

      Finally, even the police are waking up to the fact you cant arrest yourself out of marijuana use. People still use it and get arrested and ruined there records for a substance possibly less harmful than sugar and less addictive than caffiene. I cant wait till its legalized.

    5. Truth MC weeds says:

      Look at this hells hey babies, now dhtat be with I bees talking about. We be needings the fuzz to comes into the lights with clear thinkings about this subjects. Be thing all that time in the joint if it be all that seriousnesses about the laws they be inforcing I could be saving 3 years of my life..ha ha right my yo know. Hey baby stuff happen but I be cool now but I digress I just hopes they reaaly be seriousness abouts all dis chages would be a much beatter place.

    6. Bob Constantine says:

      “Taxed and regulated” is the same thing as “must have permission” by somebody other than me to own my own body. No thank you. I have always owned myself and no others, therefore nobody owns me or you.

      The best thing people can do is leave other peaceful people alone. Going from prohibition to permission is still not freedom.

    7. mexweed says:

      I regret that the survey did not address “Paraphernalia Laws” which make it “legally” hazardous for a person to possess HARM REDUCTION equipment such as a vaporizer or a single-toke utensil, whereas “cigarette papers” are easier to HIDE therefore less dangerous to own.

      Some years ago when I was arrested for possession of cannabis a one-hitter device was confiscated. At a police station where I was held for some hours I saw, in cabinets along the top of the walls in the office, an exhibit of toking utensils which had been seized, like trophies at a hunting lodge. One of the arresting officers also smoked two $igarettes during the time I was in their custody.

      I suggest everyone wake up to the central issue in law enforcement against cannabis– that it is a well-rewarded gift to the tobacco industry (which donates twice as much money to the Republican Party as to the Democrat, same goes largely for individual legislature candidates) because

      (A) cannabis could SUBSTITUTE for tobacco, and (B) vaporization/one-hit technology could SUBSTITUTE for the all-time high-profit $igarette format.

    8. bummer oklahoma says:

      don’t think these hillbillies will arrive at any goodness in paradise any time soon

    9. grandma3d says:

      “Hallelujah! Hallelujah”
      I can taste it, FREEDOM is Near!!!!
      I told you all, this was going to happen.This is going to be a record breaking year for Marijuana. It is coming soon! We are going to have a Hemp and Marijuana Boom!
      $3.5 million in taxes, way over what they estimated for the first month of Colorado’s taxes paid. Money Talks!!

    10. Weed The People says:

      Law Enforcement only can follow the orders of the law.
      Politicans Make the laws. The Politicans have no Compassion for the people they represent. It’s time to Vote Out all Politicans who show little or no compassion. New York State Politicans have No Compassion & would rather the sick get their medicine from a dirty police evidence locker. Shame on you New York Policitans !

    11. dudpud says:

      Trust me on this one because not all of them are bad. Most would rather spend their time worrying about other stuff like drunk drivers. And on the other hand, some only care about “stats” those are are the ones who will go to any length to get an arrest and do not want it legalized.

      I’ve worked with many over the years and I’ve trained many and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get them out of that mentality. Everything to them is black and white.

    12. Ray says:

      This is because law enforcement knows that the gateway theory is bull shit. The gateway drug to cocaine is caffeine and the gateway drug to heroin is prescription opiates.

      Let the cops go after violent crime and bad drivers. Every officer filling out a stupid marijuana arrest is time they could be on the street making a real difference.

      Put cannabis back into the food supply and let’s try and stop some of these diseases like cancer and autism. People with MS and Parkensons would benefit greatly as well. For the love of our children give them safe legal access to a medicine that will stop their seizures NOW!

      Why are we still even discussing this? Change the stupid, racist, non scientific prohibition today.

      Jobs, jobs, jobs, food.

    13. jimmy says:

      that 14.xx % of them that chose monetary fines as a form of punishment…

      come on, they want to give out tickets for cannabis just like they give out tickets for speeding. It gives them job security and sense of doing something worthwhile.

      LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) has made some of the strongest statements against the status quo.

      Appreciated as it is, to hear from other law enforcement against a war on drugs specifically to keep cannabis illegal, I don’t believe them unless they are LEAP

    14. chris says:

      Good cop/ Bad cop…..doesnt mean that they dont have to uphold the law, which states cannabis is illegal………these men and women arent here to be our friends or stand up for what they tink is right or wrong, I mean sure its nice that the LEAP organazation wants to speak out that there is a better mouse trap, but still at the end of the day they clock in and out on to do what is ……their jobs…….The President created the CSA and he needs to be the one who exposes it for its real truth…..to control of the masses…..cannabis is almost as common as hot sauce in the fridge…..not for everyone but those who enjoy it should have the right to enjoy it, not because they want to dis obey a law that was only created by those who dont want others having hot sauce….
      And to those who think our Federal government is broke and looking for a way to gain popularity and more power,…..they dont need cannabis to do this ,,,,,the only thing they are doing is like the president said” we have bigger fish to fry” meaning well , when you fry anything it is no longer a problem then its consumed…….
      but to our police men and women , they were hired to uphold the law , even if it is a law that destroys more then it helps…thats our presidents fault.

      As always
      thanks for reading
      chris

    15. Julian says:

      We need to stop incentivizing and empowering law enforcement and the DOJ with BAD LAWS, and start rewarding and training GOOD cops with GOOD LAWS!
      Bad Laws include:
      1). The Controlled Substance Act. Drug legislation is the Constitutional job of Congress, doctors and patients not law enforcement, the DEA or the attorney general.
      The C.S.Act must be repealed, including amendments on asset forfeitures, or funding for N.I.D.A. that prevents research on the failed drug scheduling system.
      2). State laws that relieve officers or members of the government from sanction or just punishments for criminal offenses. Giving law enforcement, district attorneys and politicians immunity for criminal activity is not only immoral, this lack of accountability Constitutes a blatant breach in the balance of powers that compromises our Democracy every day. (CIA scandal, Sen. Feinstein)
      3). Executive privilege. The “get out of jail free” card for every president since Andrew Jackson took office must be reformed and diluted by the Supreme Court.
      4). “Clear and Present Danger.” The president of the United States, whether under influence from contrived CIA briefings or not, must not have the authority to declare wars without Congressional approval. This includes drug wars, cyber wars, drone expeditions and domestic terrorism policies.
      5). End prohibition of medicinal marijuana for PTSD in the VA and the DOJ. Our veterans deserve better.

      And here’s a concept; if we are going to reward law enforcement for closing rape and murder cases over drug enforcement cases, we must allow that same law enforcement the right to consume marijuana to treat potential PTSD for tracking and ending violent crimes.

      For a list of Good marijuana reform Laws visit the top right hand corner of this web page and click on “action.”
      As for law enforcement corrections, there is a petition on Change.org, and visit L.E.A.P.cc for national policy. Otherwise the only way to reform bad laws that protect criminal law enforcement from due prosecutio is at the state and local level. Read your state civil procedures; never trust a lawyer against the DA.

    16. Dave Evans says:

      “but to our police men and women , they were hired to uphold the law , even if it is a law that destroys more then it helps…thats our presidents fault.”

      No Chris, it is their fault. They have sworn an oath to uphold the constitution from all enemies including native enemies. Therefore, they cannot uphold anti-cannabis laws without breaking their oath. The police are supposed to reduce crime, not enhance it which is exactly what anti-cannabis laws do. Everytime they arrest someone for marijuana, they lie and tell the judge and anyone else their victims were in poccession of a “dangerous material”, which is a lie. Chris, the police are required not to lie. If they do, all the cases they ever touched have to be re-openned because if they lied in one case, how do we know they didn’t lie in all their cases??? Do you see what a horrible mess they have created, just on that end of things (in the courts)???

    17. John Kurzeja jr says:

      Hi I am John Kurzeja jr..

      I live in Indiana and overdosed on lorazapam, because I had to way to get cannabis, Ive been hospitalized so many times, and they keep jamming pills down my throat which do not work at all, only cannabis works for me. Now I am going back to the hospital once again to get new pills never tried.

      Please legalize cannabis all states in America so victims like me don get beat down with these pills.

      Sincerely John Kurzeja jr.

    18. John Kurzeja jr says:

      I am so fed up with the pharmaceutical companies block legal rights to cannabis.

      See you guys in a couple months.

    19. chris says:

      @ dave…..
      I agree with you on the way things should be , but to run with what you say would not be right….ALl im saying is the police that enforce the laws on the book are not going to help because they are supossed to be upholding the law…..they didnt create the law , and just a guess id say most of them agree that cannabis should be legal when they see first hand what alcohol does to our youth and our responsible fellow americans……but the fact remains they have a job to uphold the laws, good laws and not so good laws ,,and we can jump all the way back to the slaves and anything else that has been bad on american soil , but those people who enacted the law are no longer alive only the ones who are left to defend democracy( when we both know its corrupted) it still remains ….they are upholding the laws…….in this day and age when it is slowly becoming a household term(medical cannabis)the laws will change and then when our police arrest those who want cannabis in their lives , well,,, then we can be upset with those police who are breaking the law, until then right or wrong ……..its a job , and like it or not ,,,, its not up to them to change it , its up to all of us to figure out how to get it released from our government all together……so i stand on what i said…..

      as always
      thanks for reading
      chris

    20. Julian says:

      Chris and Dave,
      This might blow your minds, but the Controlled Substances Act gives unconstitutional authority to law enforcement and the executive branch to unconstitutionally legislate U.S. Drug Policy.
      What that means:
      1). Bad drug enforcement is both the President AND law enforcement’s fault.
      2). Whenever you argue “either or” its likely “both and more.”
      3). Check out the Justice.gov website or google N.D.D.S. and S.O.D. if you really want to know how bad it is.
      4). Legislation is the job of Congress. Every time our Executive branch, specifically our top law enforcer, Attorney General at the DOJ writes drug policy our Democracy has a breach in the balance of powers.

      Our government is the world’s biggest drug cartel.

    21. mexweed says:

      “Gateway drug”? The gateway drug is not cannabis, but the paper roll “joint” (giant) which gets children used to the high-profit $igarette format, then all that’s needed is a little contact with nicotine… “Zap! hooked for life!”

      If cannabis prohibition wasn’t created by Big 2WackGo, it could have been, because it created the “easy to hide, quick to use up and be rid of” joint, otherwise every cannabis user would long since have been ONE-HIT LITERATE and even tobacco users would have learned HOW TO VAPE WITH A SINGLE TOKE UTENSIL.

    22. chris says:

      @

      Julian
      I have followed a lot of your writtings and respect your thoughts because of your research, and have went to these findings ,

      My thoughts are in these readings…….it claims that both are dependent on each other ( N.D.D.S.—-S.O.D.) , almost a goat on the lawn ….lawn mower…..im sure its a job and a half to catch the bad drug dealers but I was unaware that our Legal drug cartel(Government) was allowed to cover their own tracks as well as they are allowed with these goats……

      Maybe one day we can see this prohibition become only a word in our past , but untill its moved into a class that allows it ….we can only wait on the next sunrise to watch the spines sit up and the spineless lay down…..will we ever be …….

      I know its a little off topic….But can you tell me or lend me a direction to look , as to who is responsible for getting the fence on cannabis lowered to a resonable level …..and or get the
      C.S.A. where cannabis isnt at the top……..
      all I can find is a bunch of people pointing fingerssss…saying “Its not my job.”

      So if its no ones job then I believe its a stalemate?

      As always
      thanks for reading
      chris

    23. Dave Evans says:

      Chris, “just following orders” is and always will be nothing more than an EXCUSE! They aren’t following law, if they are enforcing statutes they know are not constitutional. You don’t need a judge to tell you what you already know. You need to stop being a dick, or be fired.

      If the police keep acting like dicks, they will keep loosing rights. For example, they are whining about loosing “Stop and Frisk”. But they abused the shit out of it!!!!!!!! Why didn’t they control themselves and focus on their mission????? Why add thousands of bogus arrests thereby ending the program thanks to all the abuse?????? The police say it is being taking away from them, but they never even tried to stop abusing the law. And now they can’t do it, because they acted like assholes, over and over tend of thousands of times!!!!!! No one ordered them to break the law, they volunteered while claiming, “We have no choice, the law is the law”. Fucking lairs.

    24. Dave Evans says:

      Chris, no kidding having millions of cases reopened wouldn’t be alright. But that is what we’ll get if people start to realize how much some officers do lie. It has already been happening. We are constantly hearing about this or that person in jail of rape or murder that served years and years, but turns out they were innocent. Where do you suppose the false evidence that was used to convict them the first time around came from? The police, that is who. The police who had to lie or manipulate evidence in order to place the innocent people at the rape/murder scenes; that is who.

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