Cops Fume Over Pot Remark

Cops Fume Over Pot Remark
Posted by CN Staff on October 05, 2003 at 07:02:34 PT
By Melissa Ridgen, Calgary Sun
Source: Calgary Sun
Prime Minister Jean Chretien might think he's funny making jokes about trying pot when he retires, but cops aren't laughing. Calgary Police Association president Al Koenig called Chretien's recent remarks "a slap in the face to law enforcement" because marijuana use remains a criminal offence.
"For the prime minister, the leader of our country, to show such a lack of knowledge and high degree of insensitivity towards victims of crime is very disappointing," Koenig said. He said marijuana is big business for organized crime, and those involved in the drug trade are usually involved in other illegal activities, from property crimes to violent offences. "We see the devastating effects of the drug trade," Koenig said. "It just goes to show how out of touch some politicians are." Staff Sgt. Trevor Daroux, head of the Calgary Police Service's drug unit, said Chretien's comments send the wrong message. "It's important we convey a clear and constant message that illicit drugs are harmful -- especially to our youth," he said. During a recent interview, the soon-to-retire PM quipped, "perhaps I will try (marijuana) when it will no longer be criminal. "I will have my money for my fine and a joint in the other hand." Richard Garlick, spokesman for the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, shrugged it off. "It was an off-hand comment," Garlick said. "What's more important is what his government has done in terms of effort to dissuade kids from starting to smoke (marijuana) ... I think the efforts his government has made in funding prevention, education and treatment speaks a lot louder than some off-hand comment." It's doubtful kids will start toking because of the statement, he said, and he doubts decriminalizing pot will increase use. "Young people don't make decisions about cannabis use based on the law," Garlick said. "It has really become normalized in youth population -- it's not looked down on." He said police will likely punish more pot users if the drug is decriminalized, because it means simply writing a ticket as opposed to the paperwork involved with laying criminal charges for simple possession. Chretien is trying to pass his government's marijuana bill this fall in what is expected to be his last parliamentary session. He said replacing criminal sentences with simple fines is a more realistic punishment. "The decriminalization of marijuana is making normal what is the practice," Chretien said. Note: Local police association president calls prime minister's 'joke' a slap in the face.Source: Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)Author: Melissa Ridgen, Calgary SunPublished:  Sunday, October 5, 2003 Copyright: 2003 The Calgary SunContact: callet sunpub.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Links Inflames Marijuana Opponentsétien Jokes About Trying Pot Jokes He'll Try Pot Once It's Decriminalized
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Comment #16 posted by Jose Melendez on October 06, 2003 at 05:57:21 PT
can you say, hypocrisy?
from: police officers will continue to arrest people for possessing
 marijuana. but are receptive to both sides of the decriminalization debate.
 "We concur with the Canadian Police Association's decision, however, we're
 are(sic) also cognizant of the parallels between marijuana laws and
 prohibition laws in the 1930s," said Calgary Police Association president
 Al Koenig, a former undercover drug cop.
 "I guess maybe the irony is having alcohol as legal but marijuana is
 illegal, and the effects of alcohol are far more devastating than effects
 of cannabis."
 Koening says anyone caught manufacturing or trafficking cannabis should be
 prosecuted, but questioned why authorities spend thousands of dollars
 prosecuting people for simple possession charges which net only minor fines.
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Comment #15 posted by Jose Melendez on October 06, 2003 at 05:56:06 PT
note that Koenig is for LOOSENING firearm rules
from:  "Rank and file police officers in Calgary and Edmonton will withdraw their backing of Ottawa's gun control registry today -- a move they hope will spark opposition to the controversial law from departments across Canada.  Alberta is putting a resolution forward that is to withdraw support for Bill C-68," said Calgary Police Association president Al Koenig.  "The Alberta federation feels that the gun legislation promises made by the federal government have not been kept."  The provincial association will vote against the controversial registration at the Canadian Police Association's annual meeting being held in Halifax until Saturday.  "When we find that nothing is being done as far as protecting citizens and protecting officers then the focus of this legislation is going the wrong way," he said. "The focus should be for stricter penalties for criminals, not targeted against average Canadians without criminal records, that will become criminals if they don't register their weapons by January 1, 2003." Source: Quote from an article in The Calgary Herald – September 1, 2000 
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Comment #14 posted by Jose Melendez on October 06, 2003 at 05:46:24 PT
contact calgary police association
from:             UsCalgary             Police Association
             428-6th Avenue
             Calgary, Alberta
             T2G 0G7
            Phone:(403)               269-2466
               Fax: (403) 233-9417
               Email: cpa
                                   We welcome your                     feedback on all issues relating to the                     CPA. Please use the form below or the                     email address shown above to contact us.                     Fields denoted by a *                     must be filled out.
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Comment #13 posted by Petard on October 05, 2003 at 18:15:28 PT
Prohibition is Big Business
For the prison-industrial complex there is no other cash cow like CP. Find the cops a replacement for CP money's that's as easy as busting pacificistic stoners and invalids using herb for medicine and they'll be happy to cooperate with legalization of MJ. Until then, they'll fight for their livliehoods just like the UAW fights against auto plant closings and textile workers fight against sweatshops overseas. Follow the money trail, it leads to legalization.
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Comment #12 posted by kaptinemo on October 05, 2003 at 15:21:57 PT:
You have to ask the question:
How many of those cops would have dared open their biscuit traps if they knew M. Chretien *wasn't* on the way out of office? Such 'courage'.They're great against harmless cannabists, but unaccountably inneffective in catching serial murderers of prostitutes, rapists-at-large, etc. They should work on that, instead of making statements to the press about the suitability of cannabis legal reform. Might make one think they aren't doing much on the job...
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Comment #11 posted by The GCW on October 05, 2003 at 14:48:00 PT
Police don't know cannabis is a plant.
 Police don't get it.By oath, the "spirit of truth" (John 14-16 & 1 John) is separated from police.What they do get is: the deluding influence (2 Thessalonians 2:11), the spirit of error (1 John 4:6), and carry themselves as the self condemned (Titus 3:9).To know cannabis is a plant 1st and foremost, requires that You have access to basic levels of truth.Think of it as a litmus test.
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Comment #10 posted by global_warming on October 05, 2003 at 13:43:13 PT
Our Growing Awareness
"He said marijuana is big business for organized crime, and those involved in the drug trade are usually involved in other illegal activities, from property crimes to violent offences. "Calgary Police Association president Al Koenig will someday awaken to the facts that it his, and other prohibitionists, that perpetrate this unholy campaign, a campaign that horribly treats the drugged up Frankenstien babies that they have created, the violence and cruelty that they have fostered will someday demand that they answer to this insane behavior, and when that day comes, there will not be enough prayers to stop their damned souls from escaping eternal hell.I hope they wake up before it is too late, for the time will come, when it will be too late, too late to say I'm sorry, too late to say forgive me, as your darkened soul is dragged into that unholy abyss, the abyss that no one returns from.
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Comment #9 posted by Jose Melendez on October 05, 2003 at 13:23:03 PT
at least he's consistently hypocritical
Note the Koenig complains he won't be able to pick and choose whether the law applies to all citizens. AFFAIRS PROBE A police internal affairs probe was launched after allegations were made
against veteran Constables El Cartwright and Tom Kusche. It's alleged two women staff members in the Calgary Crown prosecutors'
office took a traffic ticket to one officer, related to one of the women. It's also alleged the ticket was passed to a second officer and was
destroyed, and a bottle of booze arrived at the police station. Both officers are currently suspended on full pay while the investigation
continues. Crown lawyers in Edmonton will review the case and decide if criminal
charges are warranted or not. "If they decide they are, they'll be advising the Calgary Police Service to
lay the appropriate charge," said Cenaiko. "On the other hand, they may say the charges are not warranted." In that case, the internal affairs probe would continue to investigate
whether the officers had contravened any departmental policy. There was no legal problem in sending the file to the Calgary Crown
prosecutors' office -- where it's alleged the controversial ticket
originated -- as that was routine process, said Cenaiko. "It will be the Crown prosecutors' office in Edmonton that reviews the case
and makes the decision," he said. Calgary Police Association President Al Koenig claimed yesterday the issue
had been blown out of proportion by the media. FULL REVIEW ORDERED "This is not a New York City style police scandal that alleges widespread
police corruption and cover- up," he said. Chief Christine Silverberg has ordered a full review of how traffic tickets
are handled by city cops. Koenig said he thought officers who now exercise their discretion not to
ticket motorists under certain circumstances, might not have the discretion
in future, as a result of this case. That could more than double the number of traffic tickets given daily in
the city, which would clog up the court system, Koenig said. 
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Comment #8 posted by Imprint on October 05, 2003 at 13:01:20 PT
slap in the face
So turn the other cheek.
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Comment #7 posted by E_Johnson on October 05, 2003 at 11:35:36 PT
Canadian law enforcement deserves to be slapped
If I were a violent crime victim in Canada I would be wanting to slap the police myself.Marijuana is linked to termites eating your attic, because marijuana is grown by organized crime, and organized crime promotes a lax social atmosphere that breeds termites.
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Comment #6 posted by OverwhelmSam on October 05, 2003 at 11:28:46 PT:
We're finally starting to investigate these prohibitionists, in order to make their tainted history public. Just like they did to Arnold. All's fair in love and drug war.
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Comment #5 posted by Arthropod on October 05, 2003 at 09:18:43 PT:
Mebbe what law enforcement needs is a good slap to the face.
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Comment #4 posted by Jose Melendez on October 05, 2003 at 09:00:04 PT
every once in a while I have to exhale, otherwise I wind up coughing a lot. (grin) I guess we really are all sinners.
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Comment #3 posted by BlakNo1 on October 05, 2003 at 08:56:43 PT:
Don't hold your breath
Well, Jose, since alcohol abuse + degrading women are not only socially acceptable but encouraged, don't expect the Mounties to take you up on your "hint".
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Comment #2 posted by Kegan on October 05, 2003 at 08:31:37 PT
Koenig Insane
Letter To The Editor.Calgary Police Association president Al Koenig has tried to make it sound like marijuana is the big problem in our society, when in fact, PROHIBITION is the big problem. Almost every study ever done shows that prohibition is ruining the lives of millions of people every year, and that cannabis is a safe and benign medicine. Where has Koenig been for the past 10 years, under a rock?This insane drug war has got to end immediately, and everyone knows it. 80% of Canadians favor medical access to cannabis, and 60% favor recreational access. The police favor increase prohibition because it gives them "power". Punishing people for using a safe and therapeutic plant sends a pretty clear message to youth: "Do as we say, you naughty, free-thinking kids, or we'll throw you in a cage!"Did Amsterdam burn to the ground when the Netherlands relaxed their prohibition laws? No. The their per-capita cannabis consumption is about one third that of North America.This ridiculous "RE-crim" bill (C-38) will not be the answer to Canada's prohibition woes. The only logical answer is to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis use, not "punish" people. But clearly, both Chretien and Koenig are so completely out of touch with reality, they can't see this.Russell BarthOttawa
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Comment #1 posted by Jose Melendez on October 05, 2003 at 08:08:46 PT
Got hypocrisy?
Check out how Al Koenig feels about freedom to party on your off time when it's his own staff under the microscope. Hint: Go fight real crime. from: RCMP internal probe into its officers boozing at the G-8 summit in Kananaskis last year has been expanded to include a criminal investigation of sexual misconduct and possibly sexual assault.   After receiving eight complaints from officers offended by some heavy drinking at the summit attended by the heads of the world's leading industrialized nations, the Mounties are considering an outright ban on alcohol during special events.   Insp. Andre Guertin said Mounties living in trailers on the Kananaskis site were given access to a cash bar before the event, something that probably won't happen again.   Guertin said four of the eight complaints filed following the June 2002 Alberta summit have been dismissed.   One officer was disciplined, and three internal investigations are ongoing, two of which involve one police officer accused of sexual misconduct. A criminal probe has been launched.   "We're not very happy with this at the RCMP," Guertin said. "We're taking this very seriously. We're held to a code of conduct. You can't conduct yourself in a manner that could bring discredit to the operation."   Canadian Alliance MP Kevin Sorenson warned the RCMP against trying to keep a lid on the complaints.   Calgary Police Association president Al Koenig said the investigation is "a tempest in a teapot."   He said it would be one thing if those under investigation were on standby for duty, meaning they were off shift but on call and required to be fit for duty.   But Koenig said he hasn't heard that's the case and while not working, police officers are "free to enjoy the rights and liberties of any other Canadian."   In addition, Koenig points out, the allegedly drunken off-duty cops weren't called into action.   "It's not even like something occurred and they had to respond but couldn't," he said.   snipped
badCop=true (aka Two Face, Red Face)
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