I’m not always aware of the various state-based or local-based reform groups, and sometimes forget that there are dedicated people working hard on changing state and local laws all the time whose efforts may not get national attention.
I just learned of Missouri’s Show-Me Cannabis Regulation group even though it looks like they’ve been around for a couple of years and I know some of the people involved.
What caught my attention was this news release:
On Thursday, Show-Me Cannabis Regulation announced that it has contracted with Gary Wiegert to lobby for the reform of Missouri’s marijuana laws in Jefferson City. Wiegert is a sergeant with the Saint Louis Police Department and has served on the city’s police force for over 32 years. He also represented his fellow officers as president of the Saint Louis Police Officer’s Association from 1999 to 2003 and again from 2007 to 2009.
In his political life, Wiegert has long advocated for a more limited government. He hosted WGNU radio shows Bad Boys from 1999 to 2006 and Constitutionally Correct in 2012. Most recently, Wiegert has put his conservative principles into action as a lobbyist for the Saint Louis Tea Party.
“Our marijuana policies are the perfect example of a wasteful, big government program,” Wiegert said. “Arresting people for marijuana is a waste of my time as a police officer, a waste of taxpayer dollars, and has done nothing to reduce the use of marijuana.”
“We are very excited to have Gary on the team,” said Show-Me Cannabis Regulation Executive Director John Payne. “He can speak firsthand to the failure of cannabis prohibition, demonstrates the strong bipartisan appeal of the issue, and will be taken seriously by the legislature.”
Fascinating. An active-duty police officer and tea-party enthusiast as a paid lobbyist for marijuana legelizationn. I like it.
I like it too, although it always grates me to see *gross injustice* described as “a waste of taxpayer dollars”!
Rick, it grates on me as well. But at the end of the day I just don’t give a shit why it gets re-legalized. One of the more amusing things that’s happened recently on the comments columns under stories about cannabis law reform is the sudden, very remarkable 180 degree turn that the foaming at the mouth former prohibitionists. I do mean former. They still spout hysterical rhetoric and foam at the mouth but have inexplicably started to end their diatribes with something similar to “oh go ahead and legalize, let all the druggies kill themselves. It’ll make it easier for me to get a job. Blah, blah, blah.”
I’ve heard people say that new tax revenues from sources that politicians don’t consider to be of any importance to the constituents who did or might vote for him and/or his sources of campaign funds is like crack to a crack addict.
Did you know that if you rent a car at the Phoenix Arizona airport then you get your pocket picked for an extra 3.5% to help pay for the goddamned stadium that was built for the Arizona Cardinals NFL team? That’s the kind of tax to which I refer. Just about everyone who rents a car at an airport is from somewhere else. The politicians get their revenue and no one who counts complains. The problem is that assertion is true of every airport rental car counter in the U.S. and every politician too. As a result everyone gets bent over at the airport car rental kiosk. But I digress.
Back to my original point, who ever came up with the idea to give the politicians free revenue to squander in exchange for regulated re-legalization is a mother lovin’ genius. The politicians are jonesing something fierce nowadays. Collecting the first penny in tax revenue is at least a year away but the politicians are already planning how to spend it:
State lawmakers already looking to tap marijuana revenue
Missourri will become a medical marijuana state….next election….bet you a dollar!
I hope you are right muggles. I have my doubts though. Remember a good portion of my home state voted for “legitimate rape”.
New Hampshire is next. The Legislature is working on the structure of the law as we speak. The NH Legislature has voted in two consecutive sessions to join the club. They even took a vote to override Gov. Lynch’s veto but the effort fell 2 votes short in the State Senate.
Governor Hassan has said she’ll sign the law if it gets to her desk. Previous to serving as government she was a member of the State Legislature and voted in favor of the vetoed laws.
During the I-1086 legalization campaign in 2010, I reached out to the Tea-Partiers, with little effect. These are socially-conservative people who really believe that “drugs are bad and bad people are involved with them”. They talk the freedom talk, but IMHO compartmentalize their love of the COnstitution from their hate for “bad people” who exercise freedom they don’t like.
That said, it’s good to see a tea-partier who recognizes that prohibition of cannabis is wrong. He is being paid to lobby for that view (on top of his police pension, I might add!), but it is a step in the right direction.
I find it morbidly amusing that “the LAW is the LAW” cohort takes its name from a criminal event perpetrated by felons. For some unknown reason I’m inclined to believe that if the tea party people had been around for the Boston Tea Party that they would have been calling for the arrest, conviction, and execution of the patriots that participated. The friends of freedom of that day had a name for people like that. They called them “loyalists.” Today we call them “hypocritical partisan hacks” but those names are practically interchangeable.
The Loyalists called themselves Loyalists. The rebels called them Tories, or worse.
Good point – Tea-Partiers do seem to be, despite their rhetoric, pretty much from the authoritarian wing of the Republican party. The kind of Christians who, if JC reappeared today, condemn him as a dirty hippy criminal and sic the SWAT’s on them!
Is that legal? An active duty cop being paid as a lobbyist?
Although Leahy did not say much his mention of budget cuts is most interesting,,as he is on the committee that holds the purse strings to the grants for marijuana arrests,,,if they cut marijuana bounty money the support for marijuana prohibition by law enforcement will narrow down to the crazy uncles,,when they stand alone screaming without the chorus of support they now have,,LEAP will gain many active duty officers.
New Jerseyâ€™s Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee has passed legislation (S-1220) to allow medical marijuana patients to receive new organ transplants:
S-1220 will be sent to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for his signature. Hopefully this action will spur other states to adopt similar legislation.
Irony of ironies, my buddy Earle was denied a liver for his medical cannabis use, but using medical cannabis and adopting a healthy lifestyle has allowed him to keep on going just fine. Two years ago they gave him just months. Now he’s laughing about it, says it’s the best damn thing they could have done for him.
My guess is this Officer will soon be unemployed…
I’m guessing after 32 years he’s ready to move on if that’s the way the cards play. It’s obvious he’s sensing a change in the wind.
Every incident like this is one less brick in the wall.
You should do an update.
The police department effectively put a gag order on him and he has just filed a lawsuit against them. You see, he previously lobbied for the Tea Party for two years with no grievances from the PD until he wanted to speak on this issue then they silenced him. Now it’s turning into a PR thorn for the STL PD and drawing more public attention to the decriminalization movement.