Two zealously anti-pot Los Angeles police officers on Wednesday warned Hawaii it could “see an increase in crime” if it legalizes medical marijuana dispensaries and softens its marijuana laws.
“It’s so bad in L.A.,” claimed Sgt. Eric Bixler of the Narcotics Division of Los Angeles Police Department. Bixler said law enforcement officers there “deal daily with the effects” of California’s Proposition 215, which allows patients and caregivers to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal medical use, reports Melissa Tanji at The Maui News.
People driving while smoking, and teens buying marijuana at dispensaries to resell on the street are just some of the problems caused by California’s medical marijuana law, the officers claimed.
Of course, since they’re good honest cops, we have to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they really believe nobody in California history ever drove a car while high until the medical marijuana law passed in 1996. Maybe they’re just a little slow in getting around to actually reading the language of the law, which prohibits sales to anyone without a doctor’s recommendation to use pot.
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|Drew Barrymore, left, passes a joint to Cameron Diaz in Hawaii|
And, as much as it strains credulity to believe so, maybe these pathetic clowns really and truly believe they live in a world where, if it weren’t for those darn legal dispensaries, teenagers would have no idea where to get pot. Because everybody knows teenagers never used marijuana until sick people were allowed to use it medically! No, sir!
Bixler and another clueless Los Angeles cop, Detective Glenn Walsh, were among the presenters at an anti-pot “Hawaii Medical Marijuana Summit” presented Wednesday for law enforcement and “other community members” at Baldwin High School in Wailuku.
Hawaii’s Legislature is considering several proposals this year which could loosen the restrictions on marijuana, including proposals that would allow the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries.
Sen. J. Kalani English, among the lawmakers to introduce bills to loosen marijuana restrictions, said his bills were different than California’s medical marijuana law because he was aware of some of the “problems” blamed on Prop 215.
English said he took the best features of medical marijuana legislation across the country the craft proposals that would have tighter controls and avoid the perceived pitfalls seen in other states.
English’s bills, one of which would legalize and tax dispensaries as a way of generating revenue for the state, and the other of which would decriminalize the adult possession of small amounts of marijuana, have passed from the Senate to the House for discussion.
English objected to the sham “Summit,” saying the meeting only represented the views of medical marijuana opponents and was based only on the views of the Los Angeles Police Department. English said he felt organizers should have invited people with a variety of opinions for a real dialogue.
“This whole thing is repugnant,” he said. “What they are trying to do is skew what we are trying to do here.”
English said he met with representatives from all four Hawaii county police departments this week, and that all of them agreed patients with serious illnesses should have access to marijuana, if they need it. The cops added they didn’t want others to abuse medical marijuana laws.
Meanwhile, at the anti-medical marijuana summit, the two L.A. cops were selling lies and fear.
Bixler claimed Prop 215 didn’t allow marijuana sales, and said dispensaries are actually “storefront marijuana dealers.” Walsh dismissed advocates’ claims that legalizing and taxing pot could be a source of tax revenue, claiming that other “vice” taxes, such as those levied on alcohol and cigarettes, do not offset the greater cost of social problems to the community.
Let’s give Detective Walsh the benefit of the doubt. We’ll charitably assume this badge-wearing buffoon is too ignorant to know that pot, unlike alcohol, doesn’t cause car crashes, liver failure, and domestic violence. We’ll further assume he’s just been too busy to learn that pot, unlike tobacco, doesn’t kill thousands of people every year.
Sen. English counters that, since there are already around 6,000 medical marijuana patients in Hawaii, taxing pot at the rate of $30 per ounce as he proposes could net the state around $60 million in new revenues each year. English proposes splitting the take between the state and counties.
Asked to respond to the charge that products like cigarettes and alcohol cause more costs and negative social impacts that they generate revenue in vice taxes, English said most of the studies he’s seen found that “it’s neutral.”
English, who said he used information from the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii and its studies for crafting his bill.
The report, by Lawrence W. Boyd, an economist at University of Hawaii West Oahu, said there is either no relationship of a weak positive relationship between decriminalization and drug use. According to Boyd, it’s doubtful that decrim would have much effect on marijuana use in Hawaii.
English said he didn’t see much difference between marijuana and legal drugs, such as oxycodone and codeine in Tylenol. “There is abuse of that, too,” he said. “There is social cost with that, too.”