Denver Admits That War On Drugs Wastes Police Resourcesby Doug Mataconis
There’s some interesting news coming out of Denver as the Democratic National Convention approaches.
DENVER – A city drug panel has voted to urge police to refrain from arresting adults for marijuana possession during next week’s Democratic National Convention, but the cops aren’t necessarily on board.
Lt. Ernie Martinez, the police department’s representative on the panel, said police, bracing for potentially tens of thousands of protesters during the Aug. 25-28 convention, would have more pressing duties than rounding up pot smokers.
At the same time, he said, authorities wouldn’t ignore blatant flouting of the law. “If something occurs in front of us, we’re going to act,” he said.
Mounted police patrol Civic Center Park in downtown Denver. Thousands of Democrats, protesters and media will attend the Democratic National Convention. (Associated Press)
A Democratic National Committee banner flies Thursday outside the Pepsi Center in Denver. Protesters will be fenced in at a designated protest area in the vicinity of the Pepsi Center. (Christian Fuchs/The Washington Times)
Mason Tvert, a panel member and pot-legalization activist, Thursday delivered a copy of the panel’s recommendation to Mr. Hickenlooper and police Chief Gerry Whitman, saying that “we expect police to abide by this very logical recommendation.”
“If police expect the taxpayers to cover their $1.2 million in overtime during the DNC, it is only fair that they respect the laws adopted by those taxpayers,” said Mr. Tvert, leader of Safer Alternatives for Enjoyable Recreation. “There will be plenty for police to do during the DNC aside from arresting or citing adults who are simply making the safer choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol.”
More importantly, the Denver Police will have enough on their hands dealing with a security situation unlike anything they’ve ever faced, why should they waste resources worrying about people who choose to injest a drug no more harmful than a bottle of alcohol ?