Police group that opposed medical cannabis still struggling to find its place in politics

policetape_crime.jpg
jayneandd via Flickr
The state's Violent Crimes Coordinating Council is having a hard time obeying the rules.

You may remember that these were the guys who, in January, jumped unexpectedly into the medical cannabis debate by sending a letter of "strong opposition" to key legislators. The problem was that no one asked for the council's opinion, and by providing one, its members overstepped their boundaries.

See also:
Does a police advisory council have any business in the medical marijuana debate?

The council rose, back in 2010, out of the ashes of the disgraced Metro Gang Strike Force, as advisers to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. It was tasked with finding ways to lessen the influence of gangs and drugs. There was nothing in the law prohibiting the council from lobbying legislators, but then again lobbying had never been the point.

So in response to the letter, State Rep. Michael Paymar (D-St. Paul) the chairman of the public safety finance and policy committee who oversaw the creation of the council, expressed frustration, as did State Rep. Carly Melin (D-Hibbing). In April, Paymar countered by attaching an amendment to a public safety bill that would have made it clear: the VCCC could not lobby any government figures except the commissioner of public safety.

Paymar's amendment did not make it into the final public safety bill. However, at a June 11 meeting, the VCCC acknowledged the complaint and agreed that it would be best to limit its own power, so that members could approach the legislature only when asked for an opinion.

Hardly had the air cleared, though, before Dodge County Sheriff Jim Jensen dropped this curious line: "It seems like the legislature wants to take the freedom of speech away from the committee, but we still have our own freedom of speech." Instead of taking out a group policy position, he suggested, "we can formulate and send individual letters" from "inside our (law enforcement) associations."

Ken Reed, executive commander of St. Paul police, assured the sheriff, "There's a way to do it, and I think we're on that path without being challenging, and that's what we have to take into account."

In one minute, members went from approving a new rule to considering a way to get around it. You can hear the conversation for yourself in the video on the next page. A data practice activist -- practivist? -- sent it along with the request that we not name our source.



Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
15 comments
catherinealamar
catherinealamar

   I quit working at shoprite to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $45 to 85 per/h. Without a doubt, this is the easiest and most financially rewarding job I've ever had. I actually started 6 months ago and this has totally changed my life. For more info visit my user name link.......................




➨➨➨➨➨➨➨➨➨➨➨➨➨➨➨  http://www.Jobs75.com

➨➨➨➨➨➨➨➨➨➨➨➨➨➨➨  http://www.Jobs75.com

GO TO THE SITE AND CLICK NEXT TAB FOR MORE INFO AND HELP.

Matt Opsahl
Matt Opsahl

Colorado crime is down substantially...

Jeremy Deysach
Jeremy Deysach

Actually they really are Rick. Not to mention all the violence involved in the trade, smuggling and distribution of it. It doesn't pay to speculate, simply google it.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

Follow the dirty dollar train and you'll find dirty cops and drug dealers working together to maintain their dirty dollar trail leading to their pockets.

k2yeb
k2yeb

Funding is being reduced at a federal level for enforcement of marijuana prosecution. Its only a matter of time. 

ron.fresquez
ron.fresquez topcommenter

If you legalize pot you eliminate a revenue stream from the police. Police can sieze the perpetrators personal property and sell it to fund their projects.  These VCCC guys are the same bunch that were paart of the disgraced Gang Strike force that was disbanded. 

Rick Miller
Rick Miller

But he changed his position At least he wasn't rigid and unwilling to listen to reason

Mel UgoFurst
Mel UgoFurst

But Dayton sure jumped on and used police opposition to marijuana to influence his decisions... OVER the will of the people.

Rick Miller
Rick Miller

Here's something to ponder-How many violent crimes involve pot? Of course there are some but let's compare pot crimes to assaults, armed robberies, crimes involving other drugs, etc I bet violent pot crimes are not that numerous

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

Dayton has done more to legalize marijuana than any one.  He changed his mind.  That's what an adult does.  Your dumb tantrum will result in Republicans being in charge.  Then it will be gay bashing and corporate welfare.  

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

How about violent crimes committed by the POLICE?

Now Trending

Minnesota Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...