Pubdate: Fri, 09 Jul 2010
Source: Wall Street Journal (US)
Copyright: 2010 Norm Stamper
Author: Norm Stamper


The article "Strapped Police Run on Fumes, and Federal Pot-Fighting Cash" 
(page one, July 3)
reveals the extent to which our nation's failed marijuana laws skew
police priorities. As a 34-year veteran cop, I personally arrested or
oversaw the arrests of more people for marijuana possession than I
care to remember. Not once did I see a single positive effect on
either the individual or the community.

Setting aside federal and state grant money for marijuana eradication
has done nothing to reduce the use of the drug. Instead, it has
squandered scarce public resources and fueled violence.

If federal and state governments legalized, regulated and taxed
marijuana, we would be able to raise revenue for drug-abuse prevention
and treatment. Instead of vying for antimarijuana grants that distract
us from real police work, our law enforcement agencies would be able
to focus on improving public safety.

Norm Stamper

Eastsound, Wash.

Mr. Stamper served as Seattle's police chief from 1994-2000.
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