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    Post Law Enforcement Rallies Against Marijuana Bills

    Prosecutors, police chiefs and sheriffs gathered Tuesday in Annapolis to push back against the growing movement to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana or to legalize recreational use of the drug altogether.
    At a news conference and at a Senate hearing, law enforcement leaders warned that loosening marijuana laws would undermine drug enforcement across the board. They said it would be premature to pass a bill following in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington state, which recently legalized pot, and opposed a separate measure that would treat possession as a minor civil offense.
    “This legislation sends a horrible message,” said Riverdale Park Police Chief David Morris, speaking for the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association.
    Harford County State’s Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly, speaking on behalf of the Maryland State’s Attorneys Association, called the movement to legalize pot in Maryland “a rush to judgment.”
    Cassilly said the state should wait for legalization in Colorado and Washington to be thoroughly studied, instead of relying on “anecdotal evidence from a bunch of pot heads.”
    The otherwise solid show of support for the state’s existing marijuana laws was cracked by the testimony of Neill Franklin, a retired Baltimore police major who has emerged as a vocal opponent of the war on drugs in general and the prohibition of marijuana in particular.
    “It didn’t work back in the 1920s with alcohol prohibition,” he said. “We should have learned from history.”
    Franklin argued the effect of prohibiting marijuana has been to leave its regulation in the hands of drug cartels and street gangs.
    Most of the active law enforcement officers who attended took a hard line against legalizing marijuana for recreational use, though they were clear that their opposition did not extend to proposals making medical marijuana more readily available to those who need it.
    “Those lines should not be blurred,” said Anne Arundel County Police Chief Kevin Davis, speaking at a morning news conference.
    Some of the officers ran into trouble in the less-forgiving venue of the Senate hearing, where the sponsors of the legalization and decriminalization bills repeatedly sought proof of police assertions that law enforcement and public health would be hampered by their bills.
    Annapolis Police Chief Michael A. Pristoop asserted that 37 people had died of marijuana overdoses on the first day of legalization in Colorado last month.
    The claim drew groans from the packed hearing room. Sen. Jamie Raskin, a Montgomery County Democrat who sponsored the legalization bill, pointed out that Pristoop had fallen for a hoax that ran in the satirical publication the Daily Currant.
    Pristoop later issued an apology.
    “I believed the information I obtained was accurate but I now know the story is nothing more than an urban legend,” he said in a statement.
    Police warnings of the danger of marijuana overdoses aroused skepticism among senators of both parties.
    “The only people I’ve seen overdose on marijuana had a big snack and fell asleep,” said Sen. Nancy Jacobs, a Harford County Republican.
    Morris also took some heat from senators over his assertion that decriminalizing marijuana would lead to an increase in drug use.
    Sen. Robert A. Zirkin, a Baltimore County Democrat and author of the decriminalization bill, said he had “looked high and low” for evidence from 16 states that now treat marijuana possession as a civil offense. He said he found no evidence suggesting that usage had increased. When Zirkin pressed Morris to back up his assertion with studies, the chief could not.
    Public polls show growing support for loosening marijuana laws in Maryland and across the country. A recent Baltimore Sun Poll found that 58 percent of Maryland voters favor either legalization or decriminalization.
    Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
    Author: Michael Dresser and Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun
    Published: February 25, 2014
    Copyright: 2014 The Baltimore Sun
    Contact: letters@baltsun.com
    Website: http://www.baltimoresun.com/



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  2. #2
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    They are there to enforce the law. Not to create dissension with it. They want to protect all law enforcement jobs.

  3. #3
    Shadbot 4.20 Shadimar's Avatar

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    “I believed the information I obtained was accurate but I now know the story is nothing more than an urban legend,” he said in a statement.
    It wasn't an Urban Legend, it was published on a Satire News Site similar to The Onion.

    http://dailycurrant.com/2014/01/02/m...-legalization/

    Perhaps those not educated enough to know such things are not possible (particularly when it directly relates to their chosen professional field) should not be making absurd claims and demanding failed debacle$ remain in place or even expand.

    Generally people do a little fact checking before making public statements, unless of course they are jumping with excitement over something that agrees with their wildest ignorant fantasies.

    Simply contacting the State for an actual count would have been met with polite laughter, 2 seconds on google would have turned up the original article and the satire site it appeared on (note the Dr and Victim's names), calling any of the major hospitals for overdose deaths would have also been met with a zero count.

    But none of that was done in the rush to make a condemning "toldjaso" statement.

    [h=Marijuana Overdoses Kill 37 in Colorado On First Day of Legalization]2[/h] Jan 02, 2014


    Colorado is reconsidering its decision to legalize recreational pot following the deaths of dozens due to marijuana overdoses. According to a report in the Rocky Mountain News, 37 people were killed across the state on Jan. 1, the first day the drug became legal for all adults to purchase. Several more are clinging onto life in local emergency rooms and are not expected to survive.
    "It's complete chaos here," says Dr. Jack Shepard, chief of surgery at St. Luke's Medical Center in Denver. "I've put five college students in body bags since breakfast and more are arriving every minute.
    "We are seeing cardiac arrests, hypospadias, acquired trimethylaminuriaand multiple organ failures. By next week the death toll could go as high as 200, maybe 300. Someone needs to step in and stop this madness. My god, why did we legalize marijuana? What were we thinking?"
    [h=Rainin' Fire in the Sky]5[/h] Colorado and Washington state approved the sale of marijuana for recreational use in November though statewide ballot measures. Under the new policies pot is legal for adult use, regulated like alcohol and heavily taxed.

    One of the principal arguments of legalization advocates was that cannabis has long been considered safer than alcohol and tobacco and was not thought not to cause overdose. But a brave minority tried to warn Coloradans of the drug's dangers.
    "We told everyone this would happen," says Peter Swindon, president and CEO of local brewer MolsonCoors. "Marijuana is a deadly hardcore drug that causes addiction and destroys lives.


    "When was the last time you heard of someone overdosing on beer? All these pro-marijuana groups should be ashamed of themselves. The victims' blood is on their hands."
    One of the those victims was 29-year-old Jesse Bruce Pinkman, a former methamphetamine dealer from Albuquerque who had recently moved to Boulder to establish a legal marijuana dispensary.
    Pinkman was partying with friends when he suffered several seizures and a massive heart attack which ultimately proved to be fatal. Toxicology reports revealed that marijuana was the only drug present in his system.
    "This is just a terrible tragedy," says his friend Peter. "Jesse was trying to go legit and now this happens? I guess drugs really are as dangerous as they say."
    Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who opposed the ballot initiative that legalized the drug, says he will call a special legislative session to try and overturn the new law.
    "We can't sit idly by and allow this slaughter to continue," he said during a press conference Thursday
    .
    Last edited by Shadimar; 02-26-2014 at 03:13 PM.
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