Law enforcement is supposed to be unbiased. They are supposed to be there to enforce the law, not to try to influence it. There are laws in place that are aimed at keeping public employees, including members of law enforcement, from using their professional positions for political purposes. For some reason, there always seems to be exceptions made for when law enforcement wants to break those rules in order to campaign against marijuana reform.
These prohibition loving cops will be quick to offer up the explanation that they are not campaigning in any official capacity, that they are just merely offering up their opinions as subject matter experts. They can try to fluff it up all they want, if it walks like an anti-cannabis campaign, talks like an anti-cannabis campaign, and uses press conferences and other PR tactics like an anti-cannabis campaign, it’s an anti-cannabis campaign. Just because it involves cops (usually in uniform no less) talking about something that is prohibited doesn’t make it any different.
Police Chiefs in Maine recently came out in a passive aggressive attempt to no doubt try to influence some swing voters into voting against a marijuana legalization initiative that will be appearing on the ballot in Maine in November. The heads of law enforcement agencies in Maine stated that they were not ready for legalization, in addition to a bunch of other reefer madness nonsense. Per the Press Herald:
The Maine Association of Chiefs of Police came out strong against a marijuana legalization proposal during a news conference following the association’s annual fall meeting in Freeport. The association also announced it will launch a statewide education campaign about “the dangers of this poorly written bill and the problems of legalization,” said Falmouth Chief Ed Tolan, president of the association.
“Law enforcement and this state are not ready to manage the problems associated with the legalization of recreational marijuana,” Tolan said. “This plan will increase access to a harmful and addictive illegal drug, jeopardizing the healthy development of young people, and is not a smart plan for Maine.”
You can tell that the Maine Association of Chiefs of Police has an old prohibition playbook because a lot of their claims have been debunked by states that have already legalized marijuana. Marijuana is legal in four states now, and Washington D.C., and none of the doomsday predictions made by opponents in those states ever happened. What has happened is booming tax revenues, the creation of jobs (often in areas that desperately need them), and limited law enforcement resources going to where they really need to be focused in states that have legalized.
I read a comment on Reddit that really summed up just how ridiculous the position Maine law enforcement recently took actually is. Per someone named sdbear, “The police in Maine are among the nation’s best. They are certainly capable of doing nothing, which is what is required of them if pot becomes legal.” Well stated sdbear, well stated.