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by Peter Moskos

May 22, 2010

Police Chief Endorses Marijuana Legalization

Sometimes, as our drug war continues unabated, it's easy to forget just how much progress has been made in fighting prohibition.

Just a few years ago this kind of talk from an active police chief was inconceivable. It's the kind of talk that encourages honest debate. Which is just what we need because advocates of the drug war will not win an honest debate.

Meanwhile, a much more typical law-enforcement attitude can be seen in Texas: “We can’t just pull out... we are in it too deep to quit.” Too deep to quit. The logic is underwhelming. I'd prefer to stop digging.


Cleanville Tziabatz said...

You are missing some important context:


That is something that cretin did and does support. This video is the behavior of fascist pigs. I don't use that kind of language lightly, but it applies here.

PCM said...

My impression is that you do use that language pretty lightly. Especially in light of that video. Tactically I see nothing wrong with the raid. That's what we get when we fight the drug war.

I haven't posted on the vido (despite all the comments on this blog) because I don't have much to say. There was nothing special about it. Just another raid. Though perhaps that's the problem.

The good news is that all the officers whet home safely and no person got hurt.

Here's what bother me. Do people really care more the dogs of white folk than they care about all people, usually black people, who are looking up the barrel of guns?

The only time such raids seem to get much press is when some poor white person's dog gets killed. Boo fucking hoo.

Let's talk about people. What about Eleanor Bumpurs, Alberta Spruill, Patrick Dorismond, Kathryn Johnson, and Cory Maye (And I do not mean to demean the death of Officer Ron Jones--I just wish it hadn't happened)?

I have the feeling the you, Mr. Taziabatz, are very familiar with the above mentioned names. Good. But to other readers, I urge you all, if those names don't ring a bell, to learn about them and their untimely deaths before shedding any tear over a dead dog.

Collateral damage in not acceptable in policing the drug war!

So back to the main point: A police chief who sees the bigger picture--or at least one who is willing to ask question about what led to a police raid in the first place--that's pretty remarkable chief.

PCM said...

How about this? I only want SWAT-style raids done in situations where we wouldn't care if a dog is killed.

If a dead dog can outweigh the potential good of such a raid, then it shouldn't be done.

Marc said...

Seems logical to me. If pot was legal his officers wouldn't be terrorizing their community over what amounts to misdemeanor possession and wind up publicly embarrassed on an international scale.

Cleanville Tziabatz said...

no person got hurt

Oh, I think that seven year old boy is pretty damaged by what the police did. Not quite as damaged as Aiyana or Sincere, but damaged nonetheless. I think the arrestee was hurt, too. You can see his anguish in the video.

As far as my language, I have posted here before, several times even, and I don't think you have seen me use that sort of language before (save perhaps for Chance or Charles "Joe" Key -- and I don't think either of them are actually policemen). Arrest warrants for violent criminals is one thing, but police executing search warrants so that they end up firing their weapons is pure evil and it has nothing to do with officer safety and everything to do with bloodlust and sadism.

CPM said...

After reading your book and blog, I have been looking drug addicts differently and believe drug addicts need rehab and not jail. It's no differant than alcohol. Alcoholics need treatment too. There needs to be some debate about the drug laws

You save the jail space for the real bad crimnals. Although, here in VT, we just had guy released afer 20 years for a DUI with death resulting, stealing the car and suspended license. 31 days after release he stole a car, was DUI (9th offense) and suspended license sill. He refused treatment in prison. He needs to be locked up. He wont get treament.

Your doing a good job with your blogs Peter...

Jay Livingston said...

"Too deep to quit" -- for those of us of a certain age, that sounds a lot like Vietnam. But as this cop's statement shows, things are chaning. You link to an article that rants about Krauthammer, in the TV appearnce mentioned, even Krauthammer is open to legalization of marijuana. "Look, I could live, I think, with a test of the marijuana issue. On the others, I'm a fundamentalist."

Johnny Law said...

"Arrest warrants for violent criminals is one thing, but police executing search warrants so that they end up firing their weapons is pure evil and it has nothing to do with officer safety and everything to do with bloodlust and sadism."

Wow you really sound unhinged in this comment.

Pure evil, bloodlust, and sadism huh? If you think that police run the warrants so they can shoot something, then you are even stupider than I thought. It has EVERYTHING to do with officer safety. You may not value our lives very highly but we are not going to get injured just because you love puppies.

As for the Chief, I am glad to see that it is starting to be acceptable to talk about the problems with the drug war. I hope we can eventually change the laws so that we have a better use of police resources. I just don't know what all us bloodthirsty sadist police will do with ourselves when that happens.

Cleanville Tziabatz said...

One of those bullets could easily have gone into the 7yo.

About a week later an "accidental discharge" did go into a 7yo in a diffo city.

A week after the shooting, tow popos got shot by "friendly fire" in AR (so far, they have lived).

To ignore the risk of shooting 7 bullets within a dwelling is mucho stupido (as our Mexican bros and sisses say).

Cleanville Tziabatz said...


--week earlier--

Johnny Law said...

I've had this conversation on this site but I can't resist. Do you expect the police to take a bite from a dog while doing a warrant? If a dog charges you and you shoot it, odds are you are shooting downwards. Any stray rounds are going to go into the ground. It is not spray and pray like you are trying to make it out to be.

Of course you probably don't know this because you have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to police matters.

It is horrible that 7yr old got killed but it wasn't because the police were bloodthirsty killers. It was because the people in that residence decided to shelter a murder suspect. This wasn't a weed warrant, it was for a MURDER suspect.

IrishPirate said...

No matter what cops do they are going to be criticized. Sometimes fairly, sometimes unfairly.

If you give people guns and authority sometimes bad things are going to happen. The only thing that can be done is to improve training and tactics and try to limit the "bad things".

Two years ago a cougar was running around a Chicago neighborhood. By cougar I mean the four legged variety not Demi Moore.

Anyway the po po shot said cougar. Which seemed a reasonable response to me in a neighborhood where kids were getting out of school and the police were having a hard time "cougar wrangling". Not having any experience with cougars I was unaware that they could easily hop over 8 foot fences.

Many people flooded the internet with comments condemning the police response. How dare the evil fascist po po shoot this beautiful animal. Why couldn't they have tasered it? To which I would reply who the hell is going to "pawcuff" a tasered cougar? Why didn't they wait for animal control and a dart gun? To which I would respond "from the videos it seemed likely the cougar could escape at any moment and menance another neighborhood".


My point?

Hell if I know.

Just end the drug war and go from there. That will drastically cut back on the number of warrants and SWAT raids.

That should reduce the number of tragic incidents out there.

PCM said...

That video is hilarious, Pirate. Reminds me of why I like Mayor Daley (and your comments)! That humane society women sounds like she's auditioning for the Onion.

Makes me think of that gorilla that ripped off that poor woman's face. She lived. And the officer, still trying to get over seeing that woman shredded to bits, got tons of hate mail saying, "why'd you have to kill that animal!?"

As a cop I never saw a cougar but I did once come across a runaway horse. Hell if I knew what to do (though I was thrilled to put it out over the radio). I'm not a horsey boy.

Luckily one of the locals of the Eastern District was a pretty good at horse wrangler or whisper or something and managed to get the horse under control. "Frank-no" [call abated] that, baby.

I don't know what it is about animals that evokes more sympathy than people get. I mean, I saw cops go into a homes where young kids sleeping on filth had mice and roaches running over them and the officers would feel sad for some chained-up dog. "What did the dog every to do deserve this?"

Say what?

Clearly, in a previous life, the kids must have done something bad... very very bad... to deserve being reincarnated into the ghetto home of a dysfunctional crack-whore mom.

I wrote this about dog fighting a few years ago.

IrishPirate said...

The whole "la affaire Cougar" was ridiculous. Some idiot tried to burn down Mayor Daley's vacation home in SW Michigan in retaliation. He managed to burn down two neighbor's homes and some Daley shrubbery.


I encountered a pit bull menacing a woman and her toddler one time when I was riding my bike. Scared the hell out of me. Some male motorists stopped and took out lug wrenches while I stood by with my Gatorade bottle squirting the beastie until the cops arrived. Outside wetting my shorts I can't imagine what we would have done had it been a 150 pound cougar.

It would be just my luck to be killed by some cougar while trying to pick up a transvestite hooker. Said hooker would use her cellphone to capture the horrific video and sell it to CNN for $50,000 and then becoming the viral video of the year.

Then I would forever be known as tranny/cougar man and Werner Herzog would make some movie about me.

Sometimes life just sucks for cougar and human alike.

PCM said...

"Und here ze Iris Pirate is cruising an area known for tranny-hookers und vild coogars. He is heading for... certain death!"

Once when I was kid biking down Lake Shore Drive with my dad, a doberman was going bizerk and trying to attack people just south of the old skeet shooting place. People were frantic and running around and away (adding to the confusion was some gay guy frantically trying to get the dog under control--I don't know if it was his dog or not).

At the south end of a bridge I saw the dog and stopped. Then the dog came at me. When I put the bike between me and the dog, the dog made a serious tactical error in deciding to leap over the fence to his left... into the path of a north-bound car doing about 50.

I still remember the wave of dog sweat that hit me a few seconds after car-on-dog impact. And the strange relief I felt--despite my love on animals--at seeing that dog get killed. I think I was like 10 or 11. We biked on. My stomach felt a little funny afterward.

I also had a bad experience with some neighbor's dobermans when I was 9. Those mean dogs would escape from their back yard and then sit on our stoop and not let me get in the house after school. I hated those dogs (and may still hold a bit of grudge against dobermans). And the neighbors, too.

PCM said...

I always wear one of these when I'm biking around the city. You really never can be too safe!

IrishPirate said...

If you haven't seen it check out Werner Herzog on 'Where's Waldo'.


"Perhaps they are experiencing a collective nightmare of impending disaster".