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“It only stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there's service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master.”     Ayn Rand

August 22, 2008

Denver Admits That War On Drugs Wastes Police Resources

by Doug Mataconis

There’s some interesting news coming out of Denver as the Democratic National Convention approaches.

Apparently, the Denver Police are being urged to look the other way and not enforce the city’s law against marijuana possesion while the convention is taking place:

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 ?

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10 Comments

  1. I think drug use should be decriminalized but it is statements like this that just make me laugh.

    “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.”

    If one wanted to respect the laws passed by the taxpayers then one would NOT be choosing marijuana over alcohol. It makes it really difficult to take the legalization movement seriously.

    Comment by tkc — August 22, 2008 @ 11:21 am
  2. @tkc In the city of Denver marijuana has been explicitly decriminalized. The citizens voted on it in 2005. Then the police still decided that they would use the state and federal laws to prosecute pot smokers so the citizens passed another law in 2007… an “initiative making marijuana the city’s lowest law enforcement priority.” How is what’s beings asked not respecting the laws passed by taxpayers?

    Comment by lucid — August 22, 2008 @ 3:19 pm
  3. “one wanted to respect the laws passed by the taxpayers”

    There is no legal basis for the laws to be passed, meaning that even though the law is written and passed by our representatives, it’s still an invalid law and just an attempt for a majority to oppress a minority.

    Comment by chris gray — August 22, 2008 @ 3:54 pm
  4. “that even though the law is written and passed by our representatives”

    How is this not a valid law if it was passed by the peoples representatives? Isn’t that what we call the constitution?

    Comment by Mark — August 22, 2008 @ 7:38 pm
  5. “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 ?”

    Surely you mean much, much, much safer than a bottle of alcohol.

    Deaths from marijuana: 0 in recorded history. Deaths from alcohol poisoning, not counting drunk driving: Over 85,000 PER YEAR in the US ALONE.

    Comment by Bruno — August 23, 2008 @ 8:55 am
  6. “There is no legal basis for the laws to be passed, meaning that even though the law is written and passed by our representatives, it’s still an invalid law and just an attempt for a majority to oppress a minority.”

    Congratulations on winning my prize for “dumbest comment of the week”.

    When a law is passed, there’s your legal basis. Goddamn, man.

    Comment by Bruno — August 23, 2008 @ 8:57 am
  7. What the legislature says cannot make something just or unjust, just as the legislature cannot set the value of pi to 3.

    Comment by Joshua Holmes — August 23, 2008 @ 12:05 pm
  8. This is a very complex problem whose solution is social not political or legal. Through out history, addictive drug use has been largely minimal due to the rejection by society of what today is called recreational drugs.

    The one exception is the Opium War with China in the 1800′s. In essence, the vast majority of the Chinese population, including most of it’s government officials, were addicted to Opium. As a result, the Chinese barely knew who was attacking them, much less how to combat the invasion (they couldn’t). In addition, the merchants were so sotted that the British essentially waltzed in and took over.

    This is the real danger of addictive drug use and why we as a society and government must combat it. Quite a few years ago, I was listening to a doctor on a medical call in show. At the time, he said that people who are addicted to Heroin are able to function completely as normal people do provided that the addicts are able to receive sufficient and timely doses of the drug.

    I shudder at the mental picture of unscrupulous officials manipulating drug supplies to a significant part of a population addicted to and turn voters into essentially subservient slaves, never to know individuality or freedom again while they live: too destroyed by the drug(s) to even realize what they had lost.

    Comment by Harry Rossman — August 24, 2008 @ 8:46 pm
  9. I love your article i even quoted it on this new site my home boi started… Check it out the internet’s been needin a forum about this

    http://www.legalsomeday.com/forums/

    Comment by Ashley J — August 24, 2008 @ 9:52 pm
  10. “There is no legal basis for the laws to be passed, meaning that even though the law is written and passed by our representatives, it’s still an invalid law and just an attempt for a majority to oppress a minority.”

    Up front, my following questions are not intended to place you or anyone else in a pariah’s box. However, you raise some interesting questions which I would like you to clarify.

    1. Do you consider this practice a right: In that this is an inherent human practice whose limits must be very carefully examined before any restraint is placed?

    2. Do you have a basis in our legal system to believe that no law can be placed?

    3. Are you taking the position that this practice is important enough to deliberately take the steps of civil disobedience?

    Comment by Harry Rossman — August 25, 2008 @ 8:53 am

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