I don't know if anyone has considered the likely fallout to legalizing marijuana: making Portland police somewhat more accountable. Until I read a WSJ article this week, I had no idea that seizure of assets after arrest for marijuana possession amounts to millions of dollars every year for urban police departments. For Indy-media readers who may not have noticed this article in the Wall Street Journal (1), I hope you will take the time to read it: Pot Legalization Crimps Funding of Drug Task Forces -
Revenue From Seizing Marijuana Growers' Assets Dries Up
No wonder Portland police oppose legalizing marijuana - if marijuana were legalized, in such a future, the police probably couldn't consider buying their own drone without informing the City Council. I tend to think that if the police had to rely solely on the largesse of the long suffering Portland taxpayer, they might recognize the need to be more accountable. I have two wishes for the new year. I can't think of a better future for Portland residents than first seeing Portland's police destitute of funding and then seeing more abusive officers in an unemployment line - even if it would be more appropriate to see some of them behind bars. Here in Portland, as many of us are aware there are officers who still draw a pay check even though some are known to: have been caught drinking behind the wheel of a cop car while on duty, been convicted of an off duty road rage incident in a nearby state, or to have a citation for such "careless driving" that if it had involved a citizen, I strongly suspect the charge would have been reckless driving, if not vehicular assault.-(2) (I laughed out loud when I heard the police speak about their law enforcement problems at Hempfest last year at a recent City Council meeting. I thought, "Shucks, I doubt anyone at the Hempstalk Festival last year had a rap sheet to compare with some officers in our police department!"
I hadn't thought of another possible benefit to legalizing maryjane, perhaps a medical marijuana prescription for some Portland cops might help mellow them out. Portland taxpayers wouldn't have to pay so many millions in tort claims for cops who lose in civil court when sued for use of excessive force or false arrest.
BTW, for those of you who may not be aware of the fact that the Portland police have sought an exemption to testing positive for steroid use - not marijuan use mind you; they want to be able to plead ignorance if they should test positive for steroid use if they innocently ingested the substance in a food supplement. Now I wouldn't have a problem with such an exemption for cops if the police would allow a civilian the right to plead ignorance to avoid arrest for testing positive to marijuana in their system.
(1) link to online.wsj.com