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Fifth columnists? (Updated)

March 6, 2014
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California cities, police chiefs support pot regulation for the first time

Yep. After years of actively and criminally resisting the will of the voters, these groups are asking for a seat at the table of regulating marijuana. Because they’ve finally seen the light? No, because they’re afraid of becoming irrelevant.

California cities and police were long considered obstructionists to regulatory legislation they said would legitimize marijuana businesses. But now they are jumping into the marijuana-regulation effort out of fear that the state is inevitably moving toward a sanctioned cannabis industry with or without their input. [...]

“Our two organizations independently came to realize that although we remain strongly opposed to marijuana use, it is increasingly likely that in the near future some statewide regulatory structure for medical marijuana could be enacted,” Chris McKenzie, executive director of the League of California Cities, and Covina Police Chief Kim Raney, president of the chiefs association, declared in a recent joint letter.

“We also realized that without our proactive intervention, it could take a form that was severely damaging to our interests.”

No, they haven’t really changed. But it’s nice to know we’ve come so far that our opponents have to try to infiltrate reform in order to get what they want.

Update:

For more of the sense historically how these organizations have opposed working in a reasonable manner and how they have really not been interested in being a real part of the solution, check out this article from January: California police have no interest in setting pot rules

In 2010, as Colorado lawmakers were creating America’s first state-licensed and regulated medical marijuana industry, fellow police officers at a Colorado Drug Investigators Association conference jeered a state law enforcement official assigned to draft the legislation.

Some of the sharpest barbs came from visiting narcotics officers from California. […]

Training seminars offered for police by the California Narcotic Officers’ Association suggest there is no such thing as medical marijuana and that state voters were hoodwinked into approving its use so people could legally get stoned.

“The general feeling in the law enforcement community is that California’s medical marijuana law is a giant con job,” said John Lovell, a lobbyist for narcotics officers, police chiefs and correctional supervisors. Lovell has led opposition to medical marijuana regulations, saying existing dispensaries in California are “a corrosive presence in the community” and authorities are unwilling to legitimize “free-standing pot shops” that he says attract crime and expand neighborhood availability of marijuana.[…]

But instructional materials for a certified police officer training program offered by the California Narcotic Officers’ Association declare that “this ‘medical marijuana thing’ ” is “an epidemic that is infecting our society.” […]

[Chief Raney] charges that cannabis advocates are unwilling to consider law enforcement’s concerns.

“I have not found those people credible to sit and talk with,” he said. [emphasis added]

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Pete Guither is the editor of drugwarrant.com

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