When a bad plan backfires…
Huh. So during the 2008 presidential election, Massachusetts voters choose to have small amounts of marijuana decriminalized, meaning that if you’re caught with a specific amount or less, you’ll just be given a ticket and sent on your way. Now, however, police officers are refusing to even hand out citations, essentially going on strike concerning this one specific law because in their view, it’s “unenforceable.”
Let me just say, I completely support the decriminalization of marijuana; it’s a non-lethal, natural drug whose side affects are less than thoses of alcohol, drugs or even excessively caffinated drinks. So if the cops want to say, “We don’t like this law, so we’re not going to enforce even the mildest aspect of it”, that’s totally fine as far as I’m concerned.
But I feel like this could go bad in a number of ways. If this becomes a story that the national media picks up on, MA officials might become paranoid about public image, to the point that they push too far in the other direction, invading people’s privacy in order to ticket everyone with any amount of weed. Also, anytime that police officers even tangentially attempt to take the legs out from under a law that was passed by the will of the majority of the people, bad times are sure to follow.
On the other hand, how awesome would it be if this revealed the whole “War on Weed” to be an answer looking for a problem? I mean, if you have cops saying they’re not going to throw people in jail and saddle them with ridiculous fines for casually smoking weed, and the rise in crime and other negative things that politicians have been predicting for years doesn’t come, wouldn’t that logically imply that weed and violent crime are essentially unrelated? Either way, the less people are jailed or fined for marijuana usage, the better.
I’d like to end this post with these two clips: the first, a quick C-Span report about what people consider the number one issue for President-Elect Obama. The second is a radio interview with California Superior Court Judge Jim Gray about the state of drug laws, and specifically cannabis laws in the US.