Pot Petitions Gaining Ground

Pot Petitions Gaining Ground
Posted by CN Staff on January 29, 2008 at 05:28:51 PT
By Dave Woods
Source: Joplin Globe
Missouri -- It might seem unlikely that an initiative petition aimed at decriminalizing possession of limited amounts of marijuana and the paraphernalia used to smoke it could make it onto the ballot in Joplin — let alone pass muster with voters.But similar efforts have passed in nearby cities such as Columbia and Eureka Springs, Ark.
“We weren’t sure what to anticipate,” said Columbia police Chief Randy Boehm. The 31-year law-enforcement veteran, who has spent the past eight years heading up Columbia’s police force, said he and most of his officers were against the initiative in the beginning and are against it now. But, he said: “We really haven’t seen any significant changes in the way we do business since its passage.“When we think marijuana arrests, it’s related to another arrest. It’s a negligible amount of time we spend on it, and we rarely make a misdemeanor marijuana case where that’s the only charge. We are usually investigating another crime, and it’s related to that charge.“The majority of us thought that it sent the wrong message. But, we live in a university community, and sometimes that means you have a different take on things than other parts of Missouri.” Soon after the measure passed in November 2004 with 61 percent of the vote, members of the Columbia Police Officers Association began circulating petitions aimed at putting the question before voters a second time, hoping for a different outcome. A compromise between Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Crane and Dan Viets, an advocate for the initiative’s original language, met with mixed reviews from petition supporters but was adopted by the Columbia City Council in February 2006.“Our job is to enforce the law, no matter what that is,” Boehm said. ‘A Bit Unfair’In Eureka Springs, Alderman Joyce Zeller, 76, said passage of a measure regarding marijuana possession in November 2006 was much ado about nothing. Passage there also followed a petition procedure.The petition sought to make arrests and prosecution for misdemeanor marijuana possession (1 ounce or less) a low priority.“It passed because no one wanted to debate it,” Zeller said. “I never took it seriously because it went against federal law. Local government can’t supersede federal law. That’s it.” Zeller, a self-described fiscal conservative, said that when it comes to issues of morality, “I’m really hard-core.” Source: Joplin Globe, The (MO)Author: Dave WoodsPublished: January 28, 2008 Copyright: 2008 The Joplin GlobeContact: letters joplinglobe.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on January 29, 2008 at 08:30:41 PT
Thank you. The article is posted now.
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Comment #2 posted by fight_4_freedom on January 29, 2008 at 08:24:38 PT:
As he's walking out with a 40 oz. in a paper bag
“It’s against the law,” he said. “It has no purpose. It just leads to the next step. ... All drug laws should be tougher than s---.”
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Comment #1 posted by dongenero on January 29, 2008 at 08:01:22 PT
anaother Joplin article gotta laugh at some of the quotes from the locals in these two articles.Hillbillies are just comical.
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