If Someone Robbed Your House Would You Call Your Doctor? So Why Do Cops Keep Talking About Medical Cannabis?

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 4, 2009

    It’s hard to imagine that anyone in Minnesota still believes that the cops are a credible source of information regarding SF 97 and HF 292 — the state’s pending medical marijuana measures.

    After all, it was only a few weeks ago when state lawmakers and the local media ‘outed’ law enforcement for continually lying about the bills during their public testimony.

    Nevertheless, in the interest of ‘balance’ (and I use that term euphemistically here), state newspapers apparently feel the need to give these tainted folks a platform to spew their lies and propaganda — even though it appears that no one aside from Gov. Tim Pawlenty is listening.

    Of course, it’s arguable that by giving law enforcement a forum, editors are actually, if inadvertently, promoting marijuana law reform. After all, the prejudice, fabrications, and misplaced logic exhibited by those who favor prohibition clearly does more to undermine the policy than NORML could ever hope to.

    A case in point. Writing in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, local sheriff Richard Stanek goes off on a tirade about marijuana. But if one reads between the lines, it becomes readily obvious (to anyone but the sheriff), that his gripe is really with cannabis prohibition.

    Lighten up on marijuana?

    … The connection between marijuana and violent crime should not be underestimated. The violence related to marijuana isn’t a result of the effects on the user but rather stems from the money people can make selling and growing the drug. Violence is part of the trade. By legalizing marijuana-growing operations and drug traffic, we would invite violence into our communities.

    We should never lose focus on the immediate connection between guns, gangs, kids and drugs — and marijuana is frequently the connection. I have been in law enforcement for 25 years and have seen this firsthand. When I was captain of the Criminal Investigations Division with the Minneapolis Police Department, we investigated a case involving a man from out-of-state who tried to buy marijuana for personal use. He unwittingly approached a gang-connected dealer. The man was shot and killed so gang members could keep his money and the marijuana.

    Read about any gang-related violence surrounding the sale of alcohol lately? How about vicodin or paxil? Didn’t think so. The irony, of course, is that the very ramifications that Sheriff Stanek claims to lament are, in fact, direct consequences of the public policy he reflexively endorses.

    Of course, Sheriff Stanek isn’t alone is his twisted thinking (another euphemism). In a pro/con piece published today in the Rochester Post-Bulletin, Dennis J. Flaherty, executive director and chief lobbyist of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, also predictably plays the ‘violence’ card (among others).

    The facts are that marijuana is a drug that is associated with violent crimes such as robberies and assaults. Many have and will resort to almost anything to get their hands on it.

    And here I thought cops believed that pot smoking made people unmotivated.

    The cop lobbyist goes on to make a number of other false accusations as well. You are free to read them here. (Have a strong anti-emetic handy.)

    Fortunately, despite this deluge of deliberately false information, most Minnesota politicians — former sheriff and current Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen notwithstanding — are voting on the side of truth. Will Gov. Pawlenty do likewise? If you live in Minnesota, now might be a good time to ask him.

    PS: Think that Minnesota is the only state whose cops blatently lie about medical marijuana? Think again!

    74 responses to “If Someone Robbed Your House Would You Call Your Doctor? So Why Do Cops Keep Talking About Medical Cannabis?”

    1. bigdave says:

      Well does’nt that sound like ur typical pig pot brings gangs and murder and if we legalize it, it will bring more of the same.But u know what the fact that its illegal is the only reason why that man was killed.If it was legal people wouldn’t have to go to dealers and risk gettin killed over it.God cops r Fn dumb

    2. Lately I’ve been seeing people argue such nonsense as “If we legalize and take money from the cartels, they’ll start doing something new and we don’t want that”. Seriously, people are arguing that we should maintain the status quo for the benefit of the cartels.

      Certain people are apparently worried and spewing garbage. We should make sure not to try to shout those who disagree down, they currently seem to be just furthering the case for legalization even if they don’t realize it.

    3. pedro says:

      pssh i personally went up 2 a cop here in south FL and asked him his opinion on medical mj.. and he simply replied “get the fuck away from me”

    4. The Oracle says:

      This is the same argument (or list of talking points) the prohibitionists are using here in Pennsylvania. It’s the rose is still a rose by any other name argument, too. Medical cannabis is cannabis, hemp is cannabis, and recreational cannabis is cannabis, so cannabis is still cannabis by any other name: legalization of one is legalization of the other, as if one would be the loophole for the others to harm the children and innocent bystanders alike. You just don’t have the violence with tobacco or alcohol sales as you do when something is kept illegal. When was the last time you heard of people raiding some farmer’s tobacco field to roll some cigars or cigarettes? They just buy them at the store.

      I mean, you got the same shit going on in the U.S. southwest on the Navajo reservation that has alcohol prohibition because the people who have vehicles bring it in from off reservation. (Most people there do not have vehicles.) Off reservation legally regulated, no violence. Good. On reservation prohibited alcohol, violence. Bad. Now, let’s apply that George Herbert Walker Bush style: legally regulated cannabis leads to no violence. Good. Keeping cannabis illegal, continued violence. Bad. Alcohol Prohibition, lots of violence. Bad. Repeal of Prohibition, no violence. Good.

      Why ask the cops about medical issues is right. What kinds of crime will they have to concentrate on if they are freed up from cannabis delicts? Real crimes and not non-crimes.

      And as for Katie True-R (Politician in PA) anyone would be eternally sorry her innocent son got caught in the gunfire and got mowed down in a dispute over drugs. It was the lack of separation of soft drugs, cannabis products in other words, from the hard drugs market that led to an impossible prohibition situation and the violence. You have basically said that every time the issue of drug legalization comes up that you will always think of that and never vote for legaliztion. The dispute wasn’t over any kind of cannabis, yet the prohibitionists bring out people in this situation to convince the public to vote against it. They don’t care about the scientific literature, how many doctors and nurses and other professional associates representing tens upon tens of thousands of people there are for legalization of some sort, and last of all do they want to show any compassion for anybody it could help medically or therapeutically. It really shows their bitterness and vengeance is misplaced. Hopefully the scales will fall from their eyes soon.

    5. Jeff says:


      COP= Constantly On PatroL


    6. Mike says:

      The first pig, I mean cop that wrote an article is obviously an idiot, no need to state the reason why as norml already did. Pigs are mad because I bet if marijuana was legalized, a lot of pigs would be laid off, then these idiots wouldn’t know what to do because obvioulsy, most pigs are too dumb to barely graduate, example would be the character on “That 70’s Show” Michael Kelso, he’s a big dumbass, but any idiot, such as him, can become a cop (although most of us realize being a pig isn’t the thing to be once you get out of Kindergarten, maybe past 2nd grade)

    7. cherrin says:

      I’m shocked to see how many addicts we have here. I am a police officer, with the majority of my family in the pharmaceutical industry. Needless to say, I know more about this issue than any civilian, scientist, doctor, or judge.

      Legalizing marijuana is COMPLETELY ABSURD. Here are the facts about legalizing marijuana and the impacts it has.
      1) Marijuana these days is so potent that it can kill you.
      2) Marijuana already causes enough violence for Law Enforcement, making it legal would increase the violence tenfold as more and more cartels would move into our schools, churches, daycare centers, and force everyone around them in take a ”drag” of this terrible, life destroying, drug.
      3) If marijuana were to be legalized the DEA and the War on Drugs would receive significantly less funding. The vast majority (80%) of our hundred billion dollar federal budget is spent on fighting this killer drug, marijuana. Without marijuana, there would be no drug problem in America, thus we would have to cut back instead of growing our agencies. We need marijuana to be illegal so the federal and state governments will continue to support us.
      4) Prohibition works.
      5) Marijuana as a medicine is flat out ABSURD. Marijuana is tenfold more dangerous than opiates or methamphetamine (all of which you can safely obtain from your doctor at anytime), as my family and research tells me. Having opiates or methamphetamines in pill form gives you all the comfort you need to know that it is safe. If it wasn’t, then a pharmaceutical company would never make it because they value their customers and only want what’s best for them. The pharmaceutical companies are caring and compassionate. If marijuana actually helped anyone they would stop pushing their pills on people and give them marijuana. But the truth is, marijuana is much more dangerous than anything they create.


      As you can see, legalizing marijuana is the worst possible thing you can do for the welfare needs of the DEA and the War on Drugs. Also, medical marijuana is a pure joke. Marijuana is clearly more dangerous than what the pharmaceutical industry manufactures.

      Remember, think of our children.

      Thank you,

      -Law Enforcement

    8. cherrin says:

      I got that from another website those are not my opinions! Just how crazy some people actually think

    9. R.O.E. says:

      Dennis J. Flaherty stated “The facts are that marijuana is a drug that is associated with violent crimes such as robberies and assaults. Many have and will resort to almost anything to get their hands on it.”

      Well, if marijuana is ‘associated’ with violent crimes ,then marijuana needs too be ‘DISASSOCIATED’ from violent crime by changing the law.Marijuana doesn’t create crime ,PEOPLE Do! If people could grow their own they wouldn’t have to get it from bad influences!There by removing the violent crime marijuana supposedly creates.

      The way I see it it’s law that provides the means and breeding ground for violence.

    10. Kyle says:

      It would be of no surprise to me if Tim Pawlenty vetoed this medical cannabis bill to his grave. His veto makes sense because ever since 2003 when Pawlenty took office the deficits of Minnesota has risin quite significantly and is estimated to be 2.2 billion next year. My Point.. Pawlenty is not very intelligent, he is a bush era republican who does not know the meaning of less government = better government.

      Ron Paul 2012.