Officer Testifies in Favor of Decriminalization

Officer Testifies in Favor of Decriminalization
Posted by CN Staff on January 18, 2007 at 10:00:01 PT
By Kevin Landrigan, Telegraph Staff 
Source: Nashua Telegraph
Concord -- A New Hampshire police officer said Wednesday that decriminalizing marijuana would help those addicted get treatment and make it more difficult for young people to obtain it.“I can tell you the current system we have is allowing our kids to easily get it,” said Brad Jardis, a Hooksett resident who has served in recent years as a patrolman in Epping and Plaistow.
The Jardis testimony broke up a predictable band of speakers from both sides one would expect to hear from about legislation (HB 92) dealing with putting an end to criminal penalties for the possession and sale of marijuana.The bill’s authors insist police are wasting time and taxpayer money going after those who sell marijuana.“This is truly a victimless a crime, a victimless crime,” said Manchester Republican Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, a co-sponsor of the bill.Opponents warned lawmakers the bill would put New Hampshire in conflict with federal laws against marijuana and that drug-related deaths are on the rise.“People want something done about this problem, and this sends the wrong message,” said Merrimack Republican Rep. Peyton Hinkle.The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee took nearly three hours of testimony on the measure Wednesday before sending it to a working group for more review.Jardis said he still believes marijuana is a dangerous drug but that making it legal would allow government to better restrict it from being sold to minors.“I think we should concentrate on telling people they should not be using drugs and regulating them will help along with an education program,” he said.“They are too dangerous to be put in the hands of criminal people.”Keene Democratic Rep. Delmar Burridge said Jardis showed a lot of courage showing up in public to oppose the prevailing view from local, state and federal public safety officials.“I think this patrolman’s testimony is wonderful, and he’s a brave man to be doing it,” Burridge said.Retired New Jersey State Trooper Jack Cole said he believes most in law enforcement don’t talk with one another about their views on whether the war against drugs is worth fighting.Cole suspects many of them believe as Jardis does. That’s why he is now executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group dedicated to passing such laws.“I suggest to you that whole armies of police officers will never be able to arrest our way out of this problem,” he said.But other state and local police officers and prosecutors said marijuana should remain an illegal drug because it can lead some users to become violent or use more addictive drugs such as heroin or cocaine.“This does open the door to other drug use,” said state police Maj. David Kelley.“I’m not here to say every single individual who uses pot goes on to other drugs, but there are a number of people who do.”Nashua Democratic Rep. Jeffrey Fontas, a 19-year-old freshman lawmaker, said there’s no question in his mind that getting marijuana is easier than getting alcohol.“It is very difficult to buy alcohol because I am underage,” he said. “When you go to a drug dealer, they don’t ask you for an ID. If you go to a liquor store, they do.” NH citizens in support of HB 92, decriminalizing marijuana in the state of NH: Telegraph, The (Nashua, NH)Author: Kevin Landrigan, Telegraph Staff Published: Thursday, January 18, 2007Copyright: 2007 Telegraph Publishing CompanyContact: letters nashuatelegraph.comWebsite: http://www.nashuatelegraph.comRelated Articles & Web Sites:LEAP Sense Marijuana Policy Would Allow Marijuana Sales Aiming To Legalize Pot 
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Comment #2 posted by Toker00 on January 18, 2007 at 15:46:05 PT
That's it, Richard.
Let's bash them once they finally have the guts to go public with their objections to the Drug War. You are really on a tear tonight.Toke.
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Comment #1 posted by Richard Zuckerman on January 18, 2007 at 15:06:49 PT:
Another street grunt cop voicing his opinion on something he knows little about! His idea of obtaining treatment for "addiction" would be to attend government sponsored pharmaceutical addiction "treatment" programs which have much less success rate than Ibogaine,! How does he know Marijuana is "dangerous", anyway? Because he has seen youth intoxicated on who knows how many other substances? Police are not hired because they are intelligent. Police are hired because they are deemed capable enough to follow directions of the government they work for and with a minimal amount of intelligence. In fact, police departments do not hire people considered too intelligent because they would become bored too soon on the job.
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