Saturday, March 21, 2015

Once again police target pot use before legalization stops them





Once again and despite the will of voters, Alaska authorities show they are not going to go along with the legalization of marijuana in the state.

Friday March 20, Anchorage police served warrants at the Alaska Cannabis Club supposedly searching for evidence of "misconduct involving a controlled substance."  One of the operators of the club, Charlo Greene has been an outspoken advocate of legalized pot.

Short video of Charlo Greene telling what's going on during the police raid.

According to a report in the Alaska Dispatch News, officers found nine marijuana plants in one side of a duplex and 17 on the other side. Greene told reporters there were 10 to 12 medical marijuana cardholders in the building at the time.

Along with plants and boxes and paper bags of other “evidence" police towed away two vehicles. That seizure may have been illegal. Attorney General Eric Holder recently issued new federal regulations regarding forfeiture of civil assets in drug busts limiting how those assets can be used by law enforcement. Often those assets have been kept even when the persons charged were acquitted. In one notorious case police seized a suspect's parents' house in such a forfeiture.

A police spokesman told the News Dispatch the department had received reports of illegal marijuana sales at the club house.  Received reports? The target of this raid is a known supporter of legal pot and a defendant of the use of medical marijuana who apparently everyone but the police knew was selling pot to legal medical-marijuana card holders. So they sent 12 officers to serve the warrant for a fourth degree misdemeanor.

Now, given that the legalization vote last fall did not make sales legal until details have been worked out, to the letter of the law, sale is still illegal. As to the sprit of the referendum, well, not so much.

The first day pot was legal police targeted and arrested three persons for smoking in public. Now, again they target what seems to be a simple outlet of medical marijuana. It seems like the police want to get as many people arrested and charged on pot offenses as they can before they can't do it any more.

Taken together they indicate police are targeting simple marijuana use in an effort to intimidate, and discourage as many people as possible before marijuana truly becomes legal, if it ever does. What threat to the public does this club constitute? None, it just offends authorities that people sell and use pot despite what a majority of voters say.

Meanwhile the Legislature chips away at the legalization process, adding more and more restrictions rather than looking for ways to streamline the legalization process. And the police are feeding more nonviolent simple possessers into the court and penal systems as quickly as they can before they can't any more. And they are picking on the easy targets.

There are far more serious drug problems in Anchorage and Alaska than a few stoned marijuana users. How many meth labs are there? When was the last time we read about a lab raided? Recently the news reported an increase in heroin use in Alaska. But, oh boy, we caught a woman who sells marijuana right out in the open. That took a lot of detective work. Public inebriation is still a problem as far as I know and that goes on unabated, but by god we shut down that woman selling pot.

The folks who initiated the referendum along with the rest of us need to pay attention here before the Legislature enacts such a tangle of regulatory obstacles that the idea of legalization will be lost in the red tape while police again and again will target pot users for simple possession and use along with sale of small amounts.

There is a broader issue here is of elected officials not following the will of the people they represent and that lesson needs to be brought home. Instead of looking at the many benefits of legalized pot, everyone in authority has taken a negative view toward it and continues to look for ways to keep it from happening. That sort of subversion is very obvious in the malfunctions of  Congress and now we have a spotlighted example in our own state government. It would be an excellent masters thesis for some graduate student to document and interpret how legislators subvert the will of the people to promote their own beliefs and purposes.

Take a lesson from Colorado and Washington, states that worked in a positive direction to make the will of the people the law of the land.

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"In the final analysis your life is only as good as the background music you dance to." – that was me

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"You want to feel alive until the day you croak" – Frank Gallagher Shameless

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"Give someone a book and they'll read all day. Teach someone to write a book and they'll spend a lifetime mired in paralyzing self doubt." – internet meme

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Like most writers, I feel like a reprobate who does not deserve to live on any day that I do not write, but I also feel that four or five hours is enough to earn my stay on the planet for one more day. – anon

"Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool." – Mark Twain

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A real writer doesn't just want to write, a real writer has to write. – Internet meme

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The non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. – Franz Kafka

If the muse is late, start without her – Peter S. Beagle

We never comprehend how heavy the things are we insist on carrying until we set them down. jd

Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain Actually you could do the same thing with the word "really" as in "really cold."

If you are looking for an experience that will temper your vanity, this is it. There's no one to impress when you're alone on the trap line. – Michael Carey quoting his father's journal

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

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So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence -- Bertrand Russell

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Swiss General: “Well, I suppose every one of my soldiers would need to fire twice.”

Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.—Gloria Steinem

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Hunting is a “critical element for the long-term conservation of wood bison.”—a state department of Fish and Game official explaining why the state would not go along with a federal plan to reintroduce wood bison in Alaska because the agreement did not specifically allow hunting

Each day do something that won’t compute – anon

I can’t belive I still have to protest this shit – a sign carriend by an elderly woman at an Occupy demonstration

Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stared at walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing. – Meg Chittenden

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You’re just a wanker whipping up fear —Irish President Michael D. Higgins to a tea party radio talk show host

Being president doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are—Michelle Obama

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"… there's a fearlessment about him …"

"He's got to have the lead if he's going to win this race."

"Kansas has always had the ability to score with the basketball."

"NFL to put computer chips in balls." Oh, that's gotta hurt.

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"It's very important for both sides that they stay on their feet."

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