Retired Police Detective Cites Reasons Why Law Enforcement is Against Proposal One

Police Earn $18 Billion Annually Through Prohibition

    icon Oct 26, 2018
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Last evening on  Oct. 25th retired Texas police detective, drug policy specialist, and lobbyist Howard Wooldridge of Citizens Opposing Prohibition spoke at Bourbon & Co. in Downtown Saginaw about the travesty of the War on Drugs and the many reasons why Michigan voters should support Proposal 1 during the general election on November 6th.

He began by citing the top three reasons Police Officers and Law Enforcement do not want marijuana legalized:

1. Money. Nationwide the police earn via wages and overtime between $11-13 billion dollars per year due to marijuana being illegal.  Even more onerous are the Draconian property seizure laws. Police earn approximately $5 billion each year from civil asset forfeiture. Marijuana arrests consistently constitute half of all drug arrests, thus half the money.                                                                                        

2. Ability to Search. Using marijuana smell as a lawful ‘excuse’ to establish probably cause, officers are able to search essentially any vehicle or      person they come in contact with. With legalization this ability will be severely restrained, as we’ve already seen in Colorado.

3. Career Advancement. In order to be promoted, street cops know they need high arrest numbers. Marijuana arrests can be numerous, easy to find, and easy to execute with minor personal risk.

Woolridge also cogently addressed the question of why more than 900,000 teenagers sell drugs, but not alcohol or cigarettes.  “Because alcohol and tobacco are regulated and sold through stores,” he noted. “In 2003 nearly 9 milllion (36.1% youths) aged 12-17 engaged in at least one delinquent behavior during the past year. Almost 6 million (23.8%) took part in a serious fight at school or work, 4.5 million (18.1%) took part in a group-against group fight, 2.1 million (8.3%) attached someone with intent to seriously hurt them, 1.1 million (4.5%) stole or tried to steal anything worth more than $50.  If Proposal One passes, I guarantee you these figures will go down in the State of Michigan.”

He went on to point out how Switzerland conducted a study through The Swiss Federal Office of Public health that showed after they shifted their approach to serious drug addiction from one of criminalization to treating it as a medical problem, they witnessed an  80% drop in felony crimes one year after commencing the program.

Woolridge also noted that apart from the law enforcement entities that profit from prohibition, the biggest lobbyists against Proposal One and opponents to decriminalizing marijuana is the Pharmaceutical Industry that is threatened by the proven medicinal properties of marijuana. 

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