Minnesota law enforcement's last word on pot: "We do not support legalization for any purpose"

cops weed.jpeg
Image by Tatiana Craine
The police don't like pot in any way, shape or form, and in Dayton's Minnesota, that's what matters.
Mark Dayton says he won't sign a bill relaxing Minnesota's marijuana laws unless it has the support of law enforcement.

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That raises the question -- could law enforcement leaders ever be persuaded to support something like that? According to a new report in The Daily Chronic, the answer to that question, at least for now, is a resounding no.

Dennis Flaherty, executive director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, told the Chronic, "Our position is unchanged. We do not support the legalization of marijuana for any purpose."

"It's illegal on the federal level and we're not going to support any legislation that would put us in conflict with... federal law," he added.

Why are cops so intent to make sure Minnesota passes on medicine and recreational grass? From the Chronic's report:
Law enforcement leaders say marijuana is an addictive gateway drug that is associated with violent crime and can lead to use of other illicit drugs. They also say states that have legalized marijuana have enforcement problems. They point to California, where federal authorities are cracking down on dispensaries. Flaherty says anyone there can get a buyer's card for just about any reason.
Given that Dayton has no interest in flouting law enforcement's recommendation when it comes to pot (he's shown a propensity to agree with cops' view about other controversial issues as well), it looks like the only hope for legal medical or recreational marijuana in Minnesota in the short-term is for the feds to take action -- and that ain't happening anytime soon.

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33 comments
TC4L
TC4L

I'll think about you Mark when I'm smoking a bowl on the patio of a restaurant with a beer in my hand.  All you're doing is giving a "criminal" a reason to overprice my weed and make a profit.  Get it through your head.  Drugs have always been around and literally are impossible to get rid of.

Mike Ciresi
Mike Ciresi

I think that alcohol should be illegal then too, with all of the problems it causes, c'mon think about it. Drunk Driving, Alcoholism, Spousal abuse, fights, not mention the physical toll it takes on a body. I get a kick out of law makers, who think that some one who is dying from Cancer should be told he or she can't have Marijuana but they can pump themselves with Morphine which is worse for you. If you have pain and it helps I say "Screw You" lawman. You see I can see why liquor has to stay legal, it sponsors sports, which is funny because you can drink it while you play. It's legal because it brings in a ton of tax money which the government needs. It pays for television, magazines and is publicly accepted. I get a kick out of people who think that if it becomes legal, surgeons, pilots and teachers will use it at work....duh, they could do that anyway and most people aren't going to do something just because it is legal. I wouldn't mind so much if it wasn't for the hypocrites. If a hippie smokes Marijuana (like you all think) and it's wrong, then what about all of the Rednecks who drink and cause the taxpayers to pay more to house the people with DUI's, Domestic disturbances and Vehicular manslaughter? Why are cigarettes legal, again, tax money. Figure out a way to make Marijuana a "tax fountain" like the other crap that's legal and get on with it.

MikeW
MikeW

Their logic and stance has also been a major impediment to the introduction of industrial hemp, which is about as much of a gateway drug as corn stalks or switch grass.

Michael A. Neitzel
Michael A. Neitzel

Law enforcement has a vested interest in continuing the War on Drugs. They use Civil Asset Forfeiture as a money making operation and eviscerate the 5th Amendment.

webcelt
webcelt

I've come around on legalization, but I see a reasonable argument that we don't want state laws in conflict with federal laws. However, I see a reasonable argument that states acting on their own to the degree they can will push the federal government.

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

If we did what cops wanted we would have 90% of the force picking up speeders so they can generate more income to buy faster cars, stronger firepower, and higher salaries. The cops are just an extension of the government, and this country was founded on freedom not oppression.

Ok cops, we will try it your way. Oh whats that, we have been. Its only made the cartels richer, isolated addicts, and increased costs while not generating any revenue from it.

If we did everything cops wanted we would have ZERO personal freedoms in this country. IF cops were smart they would realize kids now a days get their drugs from their friends and parents medicine cabinets. Weed is so 1992.

Ziggypop
Ziggypop

I can assure you, we do not give a rip what the law enforcement people want. With all the federal money they are taking from US taxpayers in grants, that keep them in new SUV's and pocketing additional money from those grants, they have personal interest in arresting us...a job, with extra benefits.

Law enforcement is us, the taxpayers. They are OUR hired hands.

Deejay St Joel
Deejay St Joel

I'm smoking while reading this, don't they have bigger shit to worry about like murder?

Scomat
Scomat

@ludwitr your logic is off. Driving while intoxicated under any substance is illegal. Police have ways to check your competence to drive already. This is about making a large part of the population not criminals anymore. Police want to keep people criminals because that is what their job is. USA has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. We need to stop making victimless behavior illegal. Why don't we ban cars, they kill lots of people everyday? And we could hire more cops to enforce that law and contractors to build more bigger jails, which would lower our unemployment rate. Or we could let people be FREE and focus on people who harm society.

Akiva Benavraham
Akiva Benavraham

The will of the people over ride a politicized Police Department on steroids and a drugged out (real drugs) and sold out Governor.The Prohibition on marijuana is ending in the USA just open your eyes and see how other states are making the legal transitions.Presently,marijuana is fully legal for recreational use in Washington State and Colorado and decriminalized in 16 other states an Washington DC.

Don Ball
Don Ball

I'm not a NORML supporter or anything, but I find it ludicrous that law enforcement should have any opinion about this. It's not their job to judge, only to enforce. I don't see how this is any different than before Prohibition was repealed. Don't care about their "moral" qualms. If the law gets changed, cops need to follow suit.

Blueskymgmt
Blueskymgmt

The will of the people over ride a politicized Police Department on steroids and a drugged out (real drugs) and sold out Governor.The Prohibition on marijuana is ending in the USA just open your eyes and see how other states are making the legal transitions.Presently,marijuana is fully legal for recreational use in Washington State and Colorado and decriminalized in 16 other states an Washington DC.

Dan Mason
Dan Mason

Total federal and state marijuana prisoners in 2004 = 44,816

Nick Glover
Nick Glover

Why are police making public policy? When did that become their job, again?

Noah Hanson
Noah Hanson

Who cares what they say, the legislature and governor enact laws and police follow and enforce them. Dayton is a worthless pandering ass hat on this issue just as he was when he vetoed the fireworks bill. Independence Party for me next gubernatorial election, Dayton just keeps pissing me off...

ludwitr
ludwitr

I think their reasoning is off, personally.  But I would agree that legalization before there is a quick and semi-accurate test that can be administered for those driving while under the influence, would be a mistake.  Something similar to a breathalyzer for alcohol.

Joseph Drizzle
Joseph Drizzle

why legalize weed when you can drink safe and healthy alcohol and snort zoloft

Microphone Skerschman
Microphone Skerschman

It's not their decision, and of course they don't support it's a profit for them to incarcerate innocent people.

Ross Levine
Ross Levine

I like how they cite California and how easy it is to get 'buyers cards' and indicting the system there, despite the fact that Colorado and Washington have systems that don't have the chance of such a corruption due to the fact that it's fully legal. Seems like the law enforcement guy they interviewed has a severe case of tunnel vision, but hey what else is new.

Evan Walde
Evan Walde

Ironic considering they were handing it out earlier this year....

Doug Thomas
Doug Thomas

Guess I shouldn't be rolling this...

Nathan David Teegarden
Nathan David Teegarden

Who cares what they think? Their job is to enforce the law, not write it. Their opinions on what the law should be should not matter any more than any other citizen's. Shame on Dayton for even consulting them.

Candi Olson
Candi Olson

its almost hard to say anything about this knowing someone will jump down your throat no matter what side you are on.

Maggie FitzGibbon
Maggie FitzGibbon

Because they'll have to start buying it for themselves instead of being able to just confiscate it.

TheConservativeJerk
TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

@webcelt Well there is the mistake in your thinking.  State law should always trump federal law, unless it's on something like murder or interstate commerce.

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