Police Officers on Legal Cannabis: Yes or No?

police officers

In a time when people chant “ACAB” on the streets like it’s the mantra of 2020, you may not give a hoot about what police officers think about cannabis laws. With that in mind, we looked into whether police officers support cannabis legalization in the first place, and if they do, it might help future elections and policy changes.

Think about it—if police officers stand by our side of pro-cannabis legalization, it could immensely help us move forward as a nation toward federal legalization in all 50 states. The more people who band together with similar beliefs and future goals, the better.

A Change Of Heart And Mind

According to a Rolling Stone article, more and more police officers claim that the War on Drugs is a mistake. This may sound shocking since we often associate police with drug busts and arrests, even when it’s just cannabis we’re dealing with. It’s disturbing how many people get arrested each and every day for a small baggie of weed. Still, there’s proof that some police officers pose as the “good guys” who want to break the stigma of cannabis, legalize it, and keep users out of jail. These are the top five reasons police are in support of legal cannabis.

Public Safety

Once legal cannabis becomes mainstream and public knowledge, it decreases the likelihood of people turning to the black market. Wouldn’t we all feel more comfortable and safe shopping at a licensed cannabis dispensary than the black market or a crime-driven part of town to source cannabis illegally? Legal cannabis also decreases trafficking and drug cartels.

Generally speaking, neighborhoods become safer once citizens have a reliable, safe, and secure place to source their cannabis. This reduces crime, theft, and illegal drug busts. It also allows the chance for new businesses to open up around town, which boosts employment rates and helps the economy. In fact, states like Pennsylvania are now considering legal recreational cannabis to aid the economic downfall of COVID-19. We may not be ready to dine out at restaurants yet but we sure need cannabis dispensaries during these stressful times. That’s where the majority of money is going these days.

Time Efficiency

We have to take their word for it on some level: police officers would much rather spend their time on serious crime than petty cannabis busts. According to Rolling Stone, “In the past decade, police made more than 7 million marijuana arrests, 88 percent of them for possession alone. In 2010, states spent $3.6 billion enforcing the war on pot, with blacks nearly four times as likely as whites to be arrested.” Wouldn’t you agree that’s a lot of time wasted on cannabis “crime” when police could be solving murders and catching the real bad guys?

Better Relationships

Again, we know it’s hard to believe during a time like this but police officers say they wish to build stronger, more positive, and trusting relationships with the communities they serve. “Baltimore narcotics veteran Neil Franklin says the prevalence of marijuana arrests, especially among communities of color, creates a “hostile environment” between police and the communities they serve.” Agreed. Especially when you look at the news and see what’s happening in politics.

Lawful Police Acts

We know this all too well by now. Even though police officers claim to protect and serve, there are bad apples who practice unlawful acts simply because they can. Who polices the police? Nobody. Police get away with things that the average person cannot. According to Franklin, cannabis busts “encourage an attitude where police will make drug arrests by any means necessary, from militarized SWAT raids to paid informants who admit to lying.”

Stop Kids From Abusing Drugs

Education is key. Education is power. Education is a conversation about the pros and cons of legal cannabis. With legal cannabis, kids see that it’s not something to abuse or hide from their parents. The more openly we showcase cannabis, the further we normalize it for future generations. They see it’s not something to hide or sneak into the house.

All that said, do you believe police officers when they say they support cannabis legalization? COVID-19 might also be the turning point for cannabis laws, as many states see how legalization helps the economy when all other businesses shut down for months.

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