How Marijuana Prohibition Hurts Us All

The Mud Report has a number of entries concerning California's Prop 19, all written from a differnt perspective, all in support of its winning. This one, my last before the big vote on Nov. 2nd, focuses on the law enforcement angle. i've never been big on cops, but cops are people too and they have a tough job sometimes.

For instance, Robert Hamilton of the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office who patrols Shelter Cove a little coastal town at the end of a long winding road. There's about 600 homes in Shelter Cove, half of them are, and have been for many years, occupied by retirees, fishermen and seasonal folks escaping from the city. The other half, now-a-days, are occupied by pot growers. Everyday Robert Hamilton gets phone calls from irate residents of one half of the town demanding that he go arrest the other half.

He does go out everyday and look around. What he finds are hundreds of people and their pot plants, indoors and out, in different stages of growth and with Medical Marijuana Certificates. Sure he knows that many of these, often young, unemployed, folks driving $50,000 pickups probably aren't smoking all this weed to cure their glaucoma but what can he do. He's in a bind, even when he does check all their cards, measure the square footage of their garden and press charges he knows nothing is going too happen. The law as it stands now, pre-Prop 19 vote, is unenforcable unless the operation he finds is huge and 99% of them aren't. He, like everybody there grower or not, knows that private planes fly in and out of the little airport in town in the dark and they aren't there to haul home the smoked salmon. He, and undoubtedly many other rural cops, are so frustrated by the predicament they're in that the majority of them will probably vote yes on Prop 19 next tuesday.

If it passes the police could focus on serious crime instead. And there are serious crimes that everybody in Shelter Cove, and everywhere else, agrees must be focused on. Imagine somebody's child goes missing and the cops need basic bits of information that may seem unimportant but are critical to finding the kid. They start driving up driveways, knocking on doors asking folks if they saw, for example, a red pickup yesterday. Odds are 50-50 there's a grow show of some sort going on and that it's probably to big to really qualify under the law. The residents there are likely gonna answer, "no, i didn't see nothin" or whatever answer they think will get the cops outta the driveway, and keep them out, quickest. That bit of info about the red truck might be the key to finding a lost or kidnapped child. My child or your child. Marijuana prohibition, the turning of basically honest people into criminals because of how they want to get high, hurts us all.

VOTE YES on PROP 19, please