Stance on Marijuana Initiative Stirs the Pot

Stance on Marijuana Initiative Stirs the Pot
Posted by CN Staff on August 11, 2002 at 08:28:20 PT
By John L. Smith
Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal 
One can only guess what Nevada Conference of Police and Sheriffs president Andy Anderson was smoking last week when he announced his group's endorsement of the controversial marijuana initiative without a vote of the board. Some quietly speculated he'd started shilling for proponents of the "reeferendum." Others thought it possible Anderson mistakenly thought NCOPS stood for "No Cops Oppose Pot Smoking." 
Alas, dudes, it turns out he was politically dazed and confused. His announcement did, however, focus national media attention on Nevada's controversial Question 9. Too much attention. By Friday afternoon, Anderson had resigned and NCOPS had cut its hair and traded its Doobie Brothers albums for the theme from "Dragnet." Bummer, Andy. It's an even bigger bummer for advocates of marijuana decriminalization. Anderson's announcement had the effect of rallying troops who otherwise might have passed on the issue. Now the 3,000-member police organization officially has come out against Question 9, which proposes to amend the Nevada Constitution to decriminalize private possession by adults of under 3 ounces of marijuana. Although the NCOPS debacle badly damaged the initiative's chances, Anderson had made a valid point: Most nickel pot pinches have wasted the cops' time and resulted in no jail time. But that's one reason the past session of the Legislature, acting in part on behalf of "medical marijuana" advocates, reduced possession of up to an ounce of pot from a felony to a glorified traffic citation. Such changes were in line with the state Supreme Court's study of the issue. Question 9 effectively forces the issue by stripping away the "medicinal use" veneer. Billy Rogers leads the Question 9 drive from the office of Nevadans for Responsible Law Enforcement (perhaps "Silver State Stoners" was taken). Not surprisingly, he calls Anderson's earlier announcement courageous and believes a "silent majority" of cops agree with the effort to decriminalize small-scale marijuana possession. But if he dreamed of a silent opposition, he dreamed in vain. "For this (resignation) to happen is just outrageous," Rogers says. Maybe. But it was political suicide for Anderson to go public with such a controversial announcement without nailing down the votes. Even a Keystone Kop would know a police organization's backing of marijuana decriminalization would be hugely controversial. Rogers says the board succumbed to "tremendous pressure" from the district attorney's office and sheriff's office. "Ultimately, the NCOPS board could not withstand that pressure," he says. But who would expect less? Truth is, Anderson is responsible for his mess and his fate. Now Rogers appears to be panicking. On Friday, he said police and prosecutorial officials might have violated state and federal law by removing 6 ounces of marijuana from evidence to use as props in a political campaign against Question 9. Oh, please. Fact is, according to a recent Review-Journal poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Research, Nevadans are split on the issue. They might be known for hard living and free thinking, but they don't want to be labeled as morally lax. Like most zealots, Rogers has mistaken his own philosophy for those of the crowd. The Question 9 controversy begs a compelling political question: Will it do for Democrats what Question 2 might do for Republicans? Namely, get out the vote? Some observers think so. While Question 2, the no-gay-marriage initiative, has rallied conservative voters, Question 9 probably will find a constituency with Nevada liberals (several were recently found hiding in '50s bomb shelters) and libertarians (aka "pot-smoking conservatives"). The prospect of decriminalizing up to 3 ounces of weed ought to get the old hippies to dust off their "McGovern in '72" buttons. Who knows, perhaps history will note that Campaign 2002 was decided by the potheads and homophobes. The fact that those groups are being courted says plenty about the state of this union. Talk about reefer madness. John L. Smith's column appears Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Complete Title: Dispute Over Police Group's Stance on Marijuana Initiative Stirs the Pot Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal (NV)Author: John L. SmithPublished: Sunday, August 11, 2002Copyright: 2002 Las Vegas Review-JournalContact: letters lvrj.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:NRLE Policy Project Group Retracts Support of Marijuana Police Group Changes Pot Stance Union Leader Rebukes Support of Marijuana Ballot Issue: Police Back Legalization
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Comment #12 posted by dddd on August 11, 2002 at 23:40:55 PT
..Right on Canaman....
.achtung!......Kay was born in the Rhineland..if my memory serves me well,,John Kays first band was Bluebird,,(?)..or something like that,,and they were indeed "Canadian"...........
 ..I'm just glad you didnt accuse me of Canadian bashing....
 .I must be very careful to craft my comments in a way that assures no one will misconstrue my intentions...............cheers...dddd
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Comment #11 posted by canaman on August 11, 2002 at 23:23:39 PT
actually , dddd.....
Looks like John Kay is German. Just migrated to Canada with his parents. I always heard "Canadian Band" from friends way back when, just took it for granted. Great music wherever it came from .....enjoy
official steppenwolf
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Comment #10 posted by dddd on August 11, 2002 at 22:35:26 PT
....indeed,,,John Kay was a Canadian,,,,and I dont mean to nit-pick....but I dont think Steppenwolf would be known as "Canadian".,,,but I dont mind if you want to call them that,,,after all,,John Kay made the whole band happen,, ..anyway,,,,I've always thought of Steppenwolf as an LA band......
...none the less.... It's good to know I'm not the only Steppenwolf we speak,,I am putting on the headphones...I think I'll start by listening to "Screaming Night Hog",,,"Hey Lawdy Mama",,,then maybe "Move Over",,or "Jaded Strumpet",(if I can find it)......cheers....dddd
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Comment #9 posted by canaman on August 11, 2002 at 21:55:41 PT
one of my favorite Canadian bands favorite song is evil, wicked, mean and nasty......don't step on the grass,Sam!
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Comment #8 posted by dddd on August 11, 2002 at 21:16:38 PT
...stirring the pot.....from Outer Space...
...I had a spooky feeling that this would happen....because right after the story broke about the cop endorsement,, ...the encouraging news was spread around quicker than Kenny Boy Lay spread the blame,and stole the cash!....There was big time jubilation,and excitement amongst those of us who are true patriots,,(and rightfully so..)...the big cheeses who run the drug war Racket went into full on 'condition red',,,emergency mode!....... This caused the anti cartel to sizzle...The rulers of the Empire went on full damage control,,with our money...Walters and Hutch all of a sudden appeared....hemming,and hawing was heard from politic spooks...... One can only imagine the shit that musta came down on the NCPS!!.. ...All the resources of the demockrattic Empire were used to threaten and intimidate the NCPS.......suggestive threats about fundings of police causes in Nevada??........ ..It seems to me,..,,that the Empire is starting to get really fuckin' scary!!!......
...........I've heard people try to say; that comparing the new US government with natzis,,is ridiculous....the only way it is "ridiculous",,is because the Empires brand of evil goes beyond the natzi nightmare!...The Evil Empire is world class,,,,,...hitlers natzi evil is dwarfed by the huge global resources for evil that exsists within the Corpo-Empire-Beast!!!....hitler only had a country,,,,the Empire is seeking the GLOBE....
..I was gonna mention,,the othernite,,,concerning the "drug users aid terrorists" thing....Yes..just watch!. it's going to happen!.. ."Drug offenders",,will soon be prosecuted with anti-terror laws,,[(..the truth is,,they already could prosecute a "drug offender",under the usa/patriot act!!!)]...........(((if EJ was president,,,qqqq would be in Camp X-ray,Cuba ..)))'s what's gonna happen;......We will see a creeping modification of the drug/terror war..."drug offenders",,will eventually be treated as "enemy combatants"...,,as the entire Earth begins to FRY!...... the weather will continue to get more and more radical.. ..droughts,,floods,,,,,,magnificent atmospheric anomoles!.......get ready,,,because if you're ready for it all,,it can be kind of fun!...after all,,there are alot of things that are going to happen in the near future,, ....
 .AND .........instead of being in some hopeful cloud of denial,,thinking that everything will work out and be fine;;;;;;;;Why not get real,,and face up to the fact that things are lookin' pretty fucked!.....Why not take an overall assessment of the whole picture of the situation of the World today,,and be honest about it!.. .. If you do,, you will agree,,that the situation of todays world,does not have many plausible,or easily recognizable possibilities for things to get better......So...Why not join me,,in imagining how dreadfully fucked things are gonna be..  Why not?.... things are gonna happen anyway,,,and if things go the other way,,and the world takes a turn for the better,,then we can celebrate,and admit we were wrong to be so negative,,,,no harm,,no foul.....
I'm sorry,,,but you dont even have to be out here in outer space to see the trends......."Expect the worst,, but hope for the best" ........................"...always keep on keepin' on".....
........I hope the EJ,and qqqq can forgive and forget...we gotta stick together.............."We cant fight alone against the Monster"......[name that band.(?)].....
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Comment #7 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on August 11, 2002 at 14:31:46 PT
Isnt it amazing...
... what passes for journalism sometimes. This article has that smug sense of humor that pervades anti-journalism - "marijuana is funny as long as it's illegal". Actually, the response I remember from the cannabis community wasn't "what was NCOPS smoking?" but "Wow! Cops that see the failure of prohibition and are willing to say so in a public forum! Maybe they're not as stupid and mean as we say they can be. Maybe they have even heard of the Netherlands!" Well, maybe Andy Anderson is a Good Guy - one of the few, like Brian Paddick, who question authority even though he is in a position of authority. But John L. Smith certainly reveals his own hatreds in this editorial... and I know which one I'd rather walk down a dark deserted alley with. Andy! Andy!
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Comment #6 posted by Dan B on August 11, 2002 at 10:57:10 PT:
What's Next?
Rogers says the board succumbed to "tremendous pressure" from the district attorney's office and sheriff's office. "Ultimately, the NCOPS board could not withstand that pressure," he says. But who would expect less? Truth is, Anderson is responsible for his mess and his fate. This is exactly as I suggested in a comment when I first read that NCOPS was beginning to back out -- . This decision to reverse the endorsement came at the hands of the few. That is, a few guys (the DA, the sherriff, some other insiders) with power forced the majority to back down.So, this is the strategy that should be implemented: Use the commercial time you have to show what a vote against the initiative means. What does it mean? It means continued wasting of police time, sure, but that's the very tip of the iceberg. It also means turf wars, drive-by shootings, continued massive increases in hard drug casualties (almost always due to a lack of regulation), increased police brutality and corruption, decreased freedoms for everybody, no knock searches, outright murder of innocents. A vote against the initiative is a vote for continued prohibition, so let's show prohibition for the disgusting, horrific monster that it is.I'm tired of all this pussyfooting around. We have a great opportunity to get out the truth about prohibition (if they run ads against the amendment, they have to run ads for it as well, if they're paid for). Let's not waste time on whether or not some police organization agrees with the initiative, and lets instead focus on why we shouldn't give a rat's ass what the police think about it in the first place.The fact is that the vote was still 5-4 in favor of the initial vote until they forced Anderson out, which made it 4-5 (not exactly a wide margin of "victory," especially when you consider that they had to pull every dirty trick they had to achieve that result). If these cops don't have the balls to stand up for what is right, I say they are the ones who belong behind bars. And a great many of them do. Visit this site to see why I say that: B
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Comment #5 posted by crank on August 11, 2002 at 10:10:58 PT
Now Rogers appears to be panicking. On Friday, he said police and prosecutorial officials might have violated state and federal law by removing 6 ounces of marijuana from evidence to use as props in a political campaign against Question 9.
Why did Rogers make that accusation? Will the standard political tactic of barking at everything that moves help us?
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Comment #4 posted by Zero_G on August 11, 2002 at 09:34:54 PT
Not funny for the guy involved.Who was obviously carrying more than a personal supply, but it is only the prohibition that creates the financial incentives for such attempts.MDMA was once a valued therapeutic tool. LSD also, if you look at the history.The research possibilities of these substances have given rise to exploration into consciousness, and brain function studies.
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Comment #3 posted by BGreen on August 11, 2002 at 09:21:53 PT
OT, but incredibly funny
DRUGS HIDDEN IN PASSENGER'S BICYCLE SHORTSThe party in one man's shorts came to an end Monday when he touched down into Canada off a flight from Amsterdam.Customs officers at Pearson airport began frisking a 48-year-old passenger after they became suspicious he was concealing something.They found more than 21,000 ecstasy pills stuffed in the bicycle shorts he was wearing.Customs officials said the pills, valued at more than $750,000, were in two cylinders that were sewn into the shorts.
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Comment #2 posted by goneposthole on August 11, 2002 at 09:16:51 PT
historical perspective
thoughts from awhile ago.
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Comment #1 posted by p4me on August 11, 2002 at 08:49:52 PT
Nevadans are split on the issue. They might be known for hard living and free thinking, but they don't want to be labeled as morally lax.Is he saying that locking people up for smoking is the moral thing to do? Is he saying continuing the black market with all its other "controlled substances" and related corruption is moral? Is he saying taking someone's house and land is moral because it keeps them from trying to grow a plant? What is this self-appointed moralist leader trying to spit out?Well, the moralist are coming out from behind their stonewalls and trying to talk to the reformers. It won't work. Any debate calls for regulation of marijuana and on my trip that is the only destination I have scheduled.The measure is going to pass in Nevada and the proof will be here in less than 90 days when "The People Strike Back" against the empire and its lobbyist.1,2
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