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I had dinner tonight with a U.S. Marshall

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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 10:07 PM
Original message
I had dinner tonight with a U.S. Marshall
(in North Carolina). This guy is no liberal and he assured me that most of the cops he knew were frustrated that marijuana was still illegal. The biggest concern he had was for safety and lack of abilty to test for DWSP (driving while smoking pot). The tide is turning.
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Grand Taurean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 10:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. kick
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lib2DaBone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 10:25 PM
Response to Original message
2. That is good news.. we can Hope for Change....
I wonder.. why isn't the Obama Justice Department easing up on the the War on Drugs? I thought Obama said that he wasn't going to prosecute Cancer patients for medical Marijuana?

However.. I have seen no change..
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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. seeds are being planted
in more ways than one... we hope and we act when we can
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 10:26 PM
Response to Original message
3. A lot of law enforcement energy is wasted on pot arrests (if you'll pardon the pun.)
:evilgrin:
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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. this guy
said he (and those he work with) always lets people with personal stash go... we talked about the harm that unenforceable laws do to society and the numerous benefits that would result in legalization.
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DefenseLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. This guy was bullshitting you.
U.S. Marshals aren't "cops" exactly, and they don't make pot arrests. U.S. Marshals provide security in federal courts, transport federal prisoners, serve arrest warrants and track down fugitives. And no, actual cops do not "always" or even routinely let people with a personal stash go. Over 800,000 people are arrested for possession of marijuana ever year.
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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. no
I know what US Marshalls are and do... it was an honest discussion
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DefenseLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. It may have been an honest discussion of the issue
but U.S. Marshals are not in a job where they can arrest (or as he claims, not arrest) people for misdemeanor pot possession. Perhaps he had come to the job from some prior law enforcement experience and was speaking of his prior job. Otherwise he's full of it.
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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #12
20. non sequitur
My daughter is a cop, I have been a correctional officer, my friend is an army veteran, cop and U. S. Marshall and I am not ignorant of the system. The point is that the tide is turning and we all need to do what we can to keep it going
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DefenseLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #20
25. Congratulations on your family and friends' experience in law enforcement
Edited on Fri Apr-09-10 11:32 PM by DefenseLawyer
I've been a major felony criminal defense lawyer for 15 years and I can tell you that neither my experience or the statistics show that the tide is turning when it comes to marijuana enforcement. Among the public at large? yes. Are there individual cops who know that the drug war is a waste? Absolutely. LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, is a great group, for example. But... The fact is one of the lies used by proponents of the drug war is that "no one gets arrested for pot" and "there is no one in prison for pot", so when I hear a LEO make that claim it annoys me. Whatever your point is, U.S. Marshals have zero to do with the enforcement of marijuana laws and cops DO NOT let everyone go who just has a small amount of pot. If you are basing your conclusions about the tide turning on those statements, they are simply not accurate. That's all I'm saying. We can absolutely agree that we need to keep the public moving toward an end to prohibition.
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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #25
30. no congratulations necessary
your information is informative and interesting and I understand your frustration. My present job has me moving every three weeks into different areas throughout the United States; large cities and isolated rural townships. I see and hear a lot. No, I would never want to give anyone the impression that they can't get busted and/or imprisoned for pot. I work with statistics and numbers, and I am old enough to feel something going on...
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JonLP24 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #9
34. DLawyer is right
I even had a book that gets you ready for the tests you take to become one and had all kinds of information on places where you train. They described their job description and that is exactly what they do. Also there are shows on TV that show them chasing fugitives.
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Nailzberg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #34
37. Handmade and DLawyer are both correct.
It is correct that it does not fall under the scope of the Marshals service to make drug arrests.

However that does not rule out the story in the OP. A Marshal could easily be placed in a situation to make a decision whether or not to arrest someone on a marijuana charge, because most federal law enforcement task forces are made up of federal agents and local LEO's assigned to the agency as task force officers.

In a very probable scenario off the top of my head, a Marshals task force runs into known associate of a fugitive they are seeking, and find an ounce of marijuana on the guy. They could bring him in because the TFO has the authority to make that arrest. However, the Marshal heading up the task force would make the call whether to arrest him or cut him loose.

That being said, in fugitive recovery the goal is to bring in the fugitive. Regardless of the Marshals personal position on drug policy, the best tactic would be cut that person loose if they pose no threat to the public; building the trust of that associate may mean getting a tip one day.
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JonLP24 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 02:54 AM
Response to Reply #37
39. I have no doubt that's correct
as cannabis is below their level compared to what their dealing with on a day to day basis. It reminds me of an episode of The First 48 where a homicide detective talking to a person trying to figure out who did what on a case told someone involved in the drug trade, "I don't give a shit about drugs."--Which addresses your point, "...building the trust of that associate may mean getting a tip one day."

I just thought he/she was disagreeing with their job description which I'm very familiar with because I wanted be one but at the time I was unqualified and lost interest ever since.

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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 10:58 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. 800K marijuana arrests?
Now there's a waste.
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DefenseLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. 872,721
in 2007; 847,864 in 2008.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 11:57 PM
Response to Reply #14
32. Good lord.
It seems like such a waste. How many of these, if you know off the top of your head, were serious offenses like possession for purposes of sale.
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DefenseLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #32
33. In 2007 89% were for simple possession
775,138 people.
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Nikki Stone1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 12:43 AM
Response to Reply #33
36. That's insane.
Absolutely insane. And a waste of taxpayer dollars.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 12:29 AM
Response to Reply #7
35. thank you for what you do
the last protection against tyranny -- a defense attorney
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proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 10:27 PM
Response to Original message
4. I have relatives who are LEOs.
They aren't fond of pot laws either. They both would rather see it legalized and focus on real crimes.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
8. When I stopped running calls down in Mexico
well before the war on drugs got rally hot, the tide had turned.

Most people I knew in law enforcement in both sides of the border, off the record, were for legalization. They saw it back then as a racket.

Me... I saw it as organized murder... and I do not quite mean the users ok.

Oh and I have been for legalization for twenty years or so. Hell, when I took a SPEECH class in College I gave a speech for it. You should have seen the Young Republican get hot under the collar...

I told that kid, when he took care of a few casualties, then he could talk.

Oh and I got an A in that assignment!
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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. thanks for speaking out
I have been advocating for 40 years... I do not smoke but I understand the great harm we are doing to society by continuing the farce and double standards...

prescription drug abuse and alcohol far outstrip marijuana as drug of choice for most people these days
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. It's funny my hubby and I had this same discussion
with a very hard right asshole at a local game store, well before we even married, this is oh fifteen years ago. This guy was going over how much this is a moral hazard.

So I asked him what he did.

Lawyer.

He asked me what I thought. So I told him exactly how much this was like prohibition.

So he asked me what do you do?

Well I used to scrape the casualties from the road, and I don't mean the users, those when they bothered to call us, our prescription was some brownies. I mean the high level distributors. You'll see, this war is gonna get really hot. So perhaps then you'll get it.

I got out at year ten. Year seven we had a Christmas when we had 25 suicides, by hanging... all young, all male... at the time we all thought... WTF? I am betting those were the first killings of the Cartels. After that the shootings started. They haven't stopped... and now that violence is a-moving north. Ask your friend. He might regale you with some stories. off course off the damn record.
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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. one of the issues where irrational thought
supercedes facts and reality... there are a number of reasons why marijuana became illegal in the 30's and one that bothers me is the corporate greed motive

the "...Dupont chemical company and various pharmaceutical companies (worked) to outlaw cannabis. Dupont had patented nylon, and wanted hemp removed as competition. The pharmaceutical companies could neither identify nor standardize cannabis dosages, and besides, with cannabis, folks could grow their own medicine and not have to purchase it from large companies..."
from http://www.drugwarrant.com/

we could benefit tremendously from hemp production in this country
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. And use a little racism for that
and fully agreed. Hemp is great, and it is also a different plant, but hey, them are facts (same family, but not good for a reefer, but great for rope)
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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 11:43 PM
Response to Reply #11
28. I've heard some
and experienced others... and besides the drugs, my friend was one of the Marshalls that protected the doctors at George Tillers funeral and will be up in DC for the big April 19 event.

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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 11:49 PM
Response to Reply #11
29. How do you think legalization would impact the cartels? I heard a spokesman
for LEAP the other day and he said Mexico is the largest supplier of pot to the U.S. (or it was Mexico's largest drug export - not sure which).

The stories we're hearing of the murders are horrifying, and not to sound separatist (but I guess I am in this case), the reports of the violence moving into the States really gets my knees shaking.

I'm SO hoping it gets legalized in California and then other states, realizing the financial gains, will follow suit.



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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #29
40. The end of prohibition did that, it stopped the violence
almost overnight.

In Mexico, very small amounts are now ignored by the cops by the way. Hell the Congress has enacted laws regarding this, so I'd say Mexico is moving in that direction too.
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #40
42. Thanks! nt
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Leftist Agitator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #8
21. I gave a speech on the legalization of marijuana in Com 101 myself.
It was so well-received that my professor insisted that I deliver it to all of the students who were enrolled in any section of Com 101, as well as the city council (for all the good that that did).

I got an A out of the deal, so I guess there's that.
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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. sometimes all we can do is offer the information to people
Edited on Fri Apr-09-10 11:44 PM by handmade34
your experience was better than an class in which I gave a presentation about prohibition and ended it with a short lesson on how easy it is to make your own beer... the instructor wasn't happy with me... no A for me that day
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Leftist Agitator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. "...the instructor wasn't happy with me..."
Your instructor sucks.

"sometimes all we can do is offer the information to people"

That's all anyone can ever do. It's up to the other party as to whether or not they choose to heed said information.
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Mopar151 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 11:07 PM
Response to Original message
15. We need to work out a reflex test
That will work for booze, pot, mixing medications and alcahol, tranquilizers, sedative hypnotics, opiates....
Maybe some sort of virtual reality helmet that measures reaction times, or neural response.
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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #15
22. they exist
Edited on Fri Apr-09-10 11:54 PM by handmade34
my daughter was explaining procedures used in house but they are too time consuming for routine stops, checks
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 11:10 PM
Response to Original message
17. Isn't that the same problem whether pot's legal or not?
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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. excellent point
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Tutankhamun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 11:13 PM
Response to Original message
18. I'm glad that at least marijuana legalization for non-medical use
will be on the ballot in November in CA. I'll be very surprised if it doesn't pass.
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galileoreloaded Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 11:39 PM
Response to Original message
27. Watch out for your dog. n/t
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Liquorice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 11:55 PM
Response to Original message
31. Cops and others in law enforcement have been saying that for many years. nt
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Nailzberg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 02:16 AM
Response to Original message
38. I know many in the LE community, and the majority do not think marijuana poses a threat.
On record, every single one of them will say marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug and they will make the arrest. Off record, the majority (and that includes about 30 DEA SA's) have the personal opinion that marijuana enforcement wastes too many of their resources, and believe the only danger it poses to the public is violence at the distribution level as a direct result of its prohibition.

As for the DEA agents, they don't make arrests for a personal stash because the quantity falls below the line for a federal charge. However, they may have a TFO charge them under the state's law, so they can flip them to inform on a supplier.



Right now I'm really intrigued by the proposition here in CA to fully legalize. President Obama may have asked the DOJ to lay off medical marijuana suppliers, but regardless the DEA is tasked to enforce the laws as they stand, and in several areas here in CA the DEA is still going after dispensaries. They'd rather be going after the hard drugs, but they don't make the laws, they just have to enforce them. If legalization goes through, it's gonna create one helluva legal firestorm. Buyers will be immune, but the federal enforcement will force a big state's rights battle in the courts, and Congress will be forced into addressing federal laws concerning marijuana. This prop will affect the pot laws for the entire country.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 07:49 PM
Response to Original message
41. Our State Patrol cars here in Georgia all have a "No Pot" sticker on them..
A pot leaf with the red circle with a slash across it on top of the leaf, the universal "no" sign..



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