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Ex-Officers, Judges Support CA Legalization of Pot

Ex-Officers, Judges Support CA Legalization of Pot

DALY CITY, CA - APRIL 18: Marijuana related merchandise is displayed at a booth at The International Cannabis and Hemp Expo April 18, 2010 at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California. [AP]

Associated Press

September 14, 2010

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — A group of former law enforcement officials on Monday endorsed a November ballot measure that would legalize marijuana in California, saying it would unclog court dockets and allow police to focus on more serious crime.

The group supporting Proposition 19 is largely comprised of former or retired police officers, judges and prosecutors. Among them are former San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan and ex-San Jose police Chief Joseph McNamara.

Supporters said keeping pot illegal props up drug cartels and overburdens the state’s court system. Stephen Downing, former deputy chief for the Los Angeles Police Department, said the nation’s drug policy has failed, likening it to cutting off the leg of a spider to cripple it.

“The drug organizations are more like starfish,” Downing said during a press conference at a West Hollywood park where children were playing with their parents behind him. “You cut a leg off, it regenerates. We are dealing with a sea of starfish. The only way you kill a starfish is to remove its nutrient. And that nutrient is money.”

If approved by voters, the proposition would allow adults to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. Local governments would be allowed to tax its sales.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca recently said he would lead efforts against Proposition 19. His counterpart, Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck, said he’s personally against the ballot measure, but his department has not taken a position.

All nine former Drug Enforcement Administration bosses recently said in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder that legalizing marijuana offered the same threat to federal authority as Arizona’s immigration crackdown. Obama’s drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, has said he opposes Proposition 19.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

  • Battering-ram-full_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Ah did we forget booze was once illegal in this country? Its all about money Cali. Government sees an opportunity to tax it take all the money from the drug dealers. Regardless if you oppose or support the bill. You must admit removing the "blackmarket"" of an item any item has to produce some kind of change now if that change is positive or negitive no one could say until it was done! Remeber prohibition is what made guys like Al Capone powerful n rich! just food for thought

  • Fake_sunset_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    At Gombino: Living in Ca I can say the majority are

  • Justice-400_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Marijuana, worse than alcohol? Illegal in the first place because it was dangerous? No and no. No more dangerous than alcohol. Illegal because of special interest groups decades ago. If pot is so dangerous, then we need to make alcohol illegal too. If it isn't, they both should be legal.

    If anyone has a good argument against legalization of it, I WANT to hear it. I have not heard a good one yet. And despite my stance, you may be surprised to hear I've never used it, and likely wouldn't if it was legalized.

  • Nado_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    hence former LEO's, maybe there is a reason for that

  • Badge__hat_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    What's the matter with these people? Unbelievable.

  • Thinker_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    I thought California already allowed marijuana with a "prescription" and it is sold in marijuana pharmacies throughout the state?

  • Policelinkbadge_max160_max50_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Is everyone in California crazy?

  • 2011_range_day_2-19-10_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    WTH?!?! people, y'all leave or retire from the job and make a 180 like this?
    If you want to go up on a hill and smoke pot, then keep it to yourself.
    The rest of us are in the fight. Remember pot dealers just shot at BP agents yesterday in Texas.
    Legalizing is not the solution.

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