Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Tag: Medical Marijuana


Hempfest arrests not surprising–pot is still illegal

In all the smoky confusion coming out of Olympia’s chronic attempt legislate medical marijuana, one basic fact seemed to escape the attention of many attending this year’s Hempfest at Wright Park.

It’s still illegal to smoke marijuana.

According to the Trib article describing police arrests at Tacoma’s Hempfest several people were cited for marijuana possession as well as possession of drug paraphernalia, including pot pipes. Not surprisingly, some of those given citations were also people deeply involved in (pardon the pun) grassroots effort to legalize pot. People with such current information on marijuana legalization efforts should not have ben surprised by police enforcement, yet one individual was quoted, “I was dumbfounded” after being cited for having drug pipes.

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Medical marijuana legislation is dazed and confused

“Congress should definitely consider decriminalizing possession of marijuana….We should concentrate on prosecuting the rapists and burglars who are a menace to society.” -U.S. Representative Dan Quayle, March 1977

If you are old enough to recall some of Dan Quayle’s head-scratching remarks (such as “For NASA, space is still a high priority”) the above comment might explain a lot. What it fails to explain is the rigid stance against marijuana by federal politicians both then and now.

The fact is that some form of every hard core drug from heroin to cocaine to methamphetamine is available by prescription at your local pharmacy. Though possession of even trace amounts of these controlled substances amounts to a felony crime, a small amount of marijuana equates to a simple misdemeanor. Whether we accept that marijuana is the smoking version of alcohol or a narcotic that should remain on the list of controlled substances, overwhelming evidence suggests it also has a part to play as a prescribed drug.

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