Lately law enforcement agencies have made waves campaigning against legalization in places like Michigan and Ohio. In some cases, police have even arrested medical marijuana patients for possessing so-called “synthesized THC.”
So cops are usually the folks looking to crack down on marijuana possession. That’s why it’s big news when a group of current and former law enforcement officers get together to push for people’s right to recreational (and of course medical) marijuana.
Predictably, however, not all of the officers in Naples, FL, where the group is speaking out, are on board. As GRD has already reported, recreational marijuana advocates could not gather enough signatures to put legalization on the ballot in 2016.
The group, calling itself “Law Enforcement Against Prohibition,” or LEAP, is pushing for legalization to reduce taxpayer cost and put police resources to better use.
“Sixty-thousand people get arrested every year for marijuana possession. That’s a waste of law-enforcement resources,” said Ray Strack of LEAP.
The Florida Sheriff’s Association, however, is opposing LEAP. Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummel had this to say:
“No, I don’t want to see that in Florida. We want to be known for our sunshine, our beaches, and Mickey Mouse. We don’t want to be known for marijuana. I’m just kind of surprised that fellow law enforcement are ‘pro’ this.”
Sheriff Prummel said catching pot smokers usually leads to other crimes.
“I don’t see it as a waste of time because, like I stated before, they’re likely involved in something else, or they’re going to expand into something.”
But that didn’t stop LEAP from holding their first meeting yesterday in Naples, FL. Thursday’s agenda focused on promoting initiatives to legalize recreational marijuana.
“We believe strongly in a regulated market. That’s what we have alcohol and tobacco,” said Strack.
The meeting was free and open to the public Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Collier County Library Headquarters in Naples. Those in attendance learned about three amendments focused on the decriminalization of marijuana.