California Narcotics Officers to President: Stop Telling the Truth

The California Narcotics Officers Association sent this bizarre letter to President Obama, asking him to retract his statements comparing marijuana and alcohol.

They start out by establishing their bona fides – for most people that would be showing that they are experts in a particular field through their study or knowledge in some way… but not the CNOA…

It’s dangerous work, as evidenced by the fact that 90 of the names on the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Wall were members of CNOA. Included among those 90 men and women are two of our past CNOA Presidents.

That’s right, we should believe them on marijuana policy discussions because some of their members have died at some point.

But lets get to the heart of their concern:

The California Narcotic Officers’ Association takes strong issue with your comparison of marijuana and alcohol. […] we would suggest that you reevaluate your comparison of alcohol and marijuana, keeping in mind the words of the late South African President Nelson Mandela:

“We should never underestimate the dangers of the drug problem and the high price that it exacts from many countries, including our own. It is a serious threat not only to the moral and intellectual integrity of our nation and other nations. It is a serious threat to the health and well-being of our people.”

What? Talk about a non-sequitur. What do those words of Mandela have to do with the relative dangers of marijuana and alcohol?

They go on to list the standard reefer madness litany of claimed harms, without any mention of the harms of alcohol.

But then we learn that they don’t actually care what the truth is.

Your comments in THE NEW YORKER minimize the dangers of drug use, and by doing so, lessen the impression that drugs are harmful. […] I would never condone or make reference to any substance that could diminish my children’s future success as being “less harmful.”

It doesn’t matter what the facts are. You’re not allowed to say that one thing is less harmful than another, even if it is.

We’re seeing this kind of rhetoric used a lot more as the prohibitionists realize that truthful comparisons don’t work for them. (You also often see a refusal to compare the relative dangers of driving impaired by alcohol and marijuana.)

It makes me wonder if all such comparisons should be considered inappropriate….

– It’s wrong to say that slapping someone is less harmful than shooting them in the head
– It’s wrong to say that taxing people is less harmful than genocide
– It’s wrong to say that eating sugar is less harmful than eating drain cleaner

Life is about comparisons. We make them constantly in the process of everyday choices. Knowledge helps us make better choices (although we still sometimes make bad ones). Labeling a group of choices as “bad” and therefore not comparable is not good policy, does not make our children safer, and is anathema to a free society.

The California Narcotics Officers should be ashamed of their leadership.

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21 Responses to California Narcotics Officers to President: Stop Telling the Truth

  1. allan says:

    Wow… let ’em run I say. Amazing how so many feet can get stuffed into so many mouths and all done with heads up asses… incredible!

    We applaud you, as a President who has historically championed rigorous science, for reaching out to the scientific community for their input regarding the harms of marijuana use on individuals and communities

    ooh… that’s impressive rhetoric, not.

    Try this on Steve-O, I’ll raise you one physicist (Dr. John Schwartz, one of the fathers of string theory):


    the federal government takes the official position of the Drug Enforcement Administration that marijuana belongs in the Schedule I category of controlled substances as a deadly narcotic on par with heroin, far too dangerous to be prescribed by doctors for medical use.

    This enormous gap between what the public accepts as true and what the government insists is true has a long, unfortunate history. It reminds me of the great divide that developed between the then-ruling Catholic Church and the European public over the order of the cosmos in the 17th century. In 1633, the Church sentenced Galileo Galilei to lifetime house arrest for claiming that the earth revolves around the Sun rather than the other way around.

    By 1686, Newton and Kepler had put heliocentrism on a firm mathematical footing, and literate Europeans were devouring the first generation of popular science books on the subject. Despite the widespread public acceptance of heliocentrism, the Church did not end its ban on the sale of such books in Rome until 1822.


    The acceptance of science has come a long way since Galileo was arrested as a heretic for questioning the order of the Universe. Yet today, the federal government ignores scientific facts accepted around the globe — not to mention the will of the American people — to cling to outdated ideological policies and restrict marijuana research. This is hardly the “free and open scientific inquiry” President Obama touted in 2009.

    The rest of Stevie’s letter is middle school level hogwash and doesn’t deserve further comment.

  2. Frank W says:

    Larry Lacey of Oregon is in jail right now for contempt after losing a pot trial that has six kinds of bullshit on it. Those CA cops can rest easy, there’s no jury nullification going on here. But when the local paper leads with “notorious Grants Pass businessman” in the story there’s no doubt which way the wind blows in this region.

  3. Jean Valjean says:

    Oh I get it….Pete, it’s not a non-sequitor ….Nelson Mandela and Barry Obama are black men, and this other black president says “Drugs are baaaaad!”
    A fine piece of logic officer.

  4. John says:

    I don’t understand why Americans aren’t up in arms over the fact that people this stupid (the CNOA) have the power to destroy their lives.

    And I would think that if 90 of my co-workers had so needlessly died that I would be advocating for the abolishment of the laws that caused their deaths, not continuing the insanity.

    • claygooding says:

      We can’t be angry with them for being stupid,,the Supreme Court told LE they could limit IQ but only gave them a maximum level..tmk no low IQ limit was mentioned.

  5. Jean Valjean says:

    No wonder prohibitionists’ lies have lasted so long when this is an example of what purports to be news coverage in the US:

    • Crut says:

      Wow. Just another example of how comedy shows are in many ways more informative than the actual news shows.

      Would love to see Conan, Stewart, and Colbert have a joint show!

  6. Matthew Meyer says:


  7. Rick Steeb says:

    Narcotics officers’ modus operandi is dissimulation and betrayal. This memo is a perfect example.

  8. Tony Aroma says:

    They do have a point. That is, that the White House web site needs to be updated.

  9. DdC says:

    “Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.”
    declared at Nuremberg in 1945

    California Narcotics Officers Association
    Up shit creek without a CNOA paddle.

    Medical Marijuana Sponsor Says Police Are Addicted To Drug War Dollars

    PROPOSITION 005: Non-violent Drug Offenders Sentencing, Parole And Rehabilitation

    Policing for Profit
    * Got SqWAT?
    * Forfeiture $quads
    * Money Grubbing Dung Worriers
    * Kochroach & Aleech
    * DAREyl SWAT Gates, LAPDog Perversions.

    The Tribunal of US Drug War Crimes

    I’m sick and tired of hearing things. From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocritics. All I want is the truth. Just gimme some truth. I’ve had enough of reading things. By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians. All I want is the truth. Just gimme some truth. No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of tricky dicky, Is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me, With just a pocketful of hope, Money for dope, Money for rope, No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of tricky dicky, Is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me, With just a pocketful of soap, Money for dope, Money for rope. I’m sick to death of seeing things, From tight-lipped, condescending, mama’s little chauvinists, All I want is the truth, Just gimme some truth now,

    I’ve had enough of watching scenes, Of schizophrenic, ego-centric, paranoiac, prima-donnas, All I want is the truth now, Just gimme some truth, No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of tricky dicky Is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me, With just a pocketful of soap, It’s money for dope Money for rope, Ah, I’m sick and tired of hearing things, From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocrites, All I want is the truth now, Just gimme some truth now. I’ve had enough of reading things, By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians, All I want is the truth now, Just gimme some truth now,
    ~ John Lennon,
    Just Gimme Some Truth

    • Crut says:

      PROPOSITION 005: Non-violent Drug Offenders Sentencing, Parole And Rehabilitation

      Ooh, damn, I could get lost on that site for hours way too easily. I don’t want to be angry so early in the week, so I’m just going to read that one page…

  10. Contact: John Lovell

    Red, White, and Blue lobbyist John. This is only about money. Self serving money. They have a lot of nerve talking about children. These guys have no scruples in their quest for continued funding. This truly is the home of reefer madness. Vague, unreasoning madness. They have the nerve to quote Mandela about moral and intellectual integrity when they have none. They have pulled out every flawed study and innuendo to avoid the issue while silently playing their race card to make their point. Their depravity knows no bottom or bounds. They are not even smart enough to assess new facts that really are pertinent and relevant to the safety of the children they want the President to cry about. This is a new low.

    • DdC says:

      Canarks are still training recruits that there is no medicinal value in cannabis. Not only arbitrary enforcement, arbitrary legislation inturpretation and practicing medicine without a license.

      The California Narcotic Officers’ Association is a non-profit, corporation dedicated to providing high quality training for law enforcement professionals. Like this excretion…

      “Many well-intentioned leaders and members of the public have been misled by the well-financed and organized pro-drug legalization lobby into believing there is merit to their argument that smoking marijuana is a safe and effective medicine.

      A review of the scientific research, expert medical testimony, and government agency findings shows this to be erroneous. There is no justification for using marijuana as a medicine.”

      Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy … and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with ‘scientific support’ … fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others.”
      ~ William F. Buckley, Jr. Requiescat In Pace
      Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495

      California police have no interest in setting pot rules

      In 2010, as Colorado lawmakers were creating America’s first state-licensed and regulated medical marijuana industry, fellow police officers at a Colorado Drug Investigators Association conference jeered a state law enforcement official assigned to draft the legislation.

      Some of the sharpest barbs came from visiting narcotics officers from California.

      “I was told that we hadn’t learned anything from California – that you can’t do anything to regulate marijuana,” said Matt Cook, a retired Colorado Springs police officer who became the first director of Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division

      I have never seen a situation so dismal
      that a policeman couldn’t make it worse.
      — Brendan Behan (1923-1964)

      Changes perplex officials and users

      ‘Constant anxiety’
      California voters approved the cultivation and use of marijuana for chronically ill patients in 1996. But the loosely worded initiative failed to spell out terms for its production or distribution, or to specify the number of plants patients could grow. That left police and sheriff’s departments responsible for implementing the pesky details.

      This is the ignorance perpetuated by the profiteers, not reality. Prop 215 has no set limits leaving it to Feds, the point being that it is no concern of CA narkosluts. Feds and the CSA have set 100 plants as the standard for mandatory minimums and what is set for budgets. Less is a state issue unless a state law says differently. So it is still NO business of the CA cops, narko squads or rehabilitation racketeers… For anyone for any reason also by passes the cops intrusion into medical problems. Including stress cops actually cause. What is the penalty for making people sick?

      Note. Compassionate Use Act not the MMJ Act
      Catch 22²

  11. allan says:

    OT (not to take away from Steve-o’s thunder)… made me laugh tonight channel surfing and I saw the Netherlands ahead in the medal count. 🙂 That’s a subtle thud (barely detectable by seismologists) but with rainbows and dancing bears.

    Thank dog for the little things!

  12. Servetus says:

    The California Narcotics Officers Association gives labor unions a bad name, and that is unfortunate.

    Survival of the unions in the United States depends in part on how they’re perceived by the public. At the moment, the unions face a bleak task due to constant attacks by the business sector. Perhaps if the AFL-CIO or Teamsters were to provide the CNOA with some online courses in Public Relations 101 the CNOA would stop embarrassing itself, labor unions, and the rest of California.

    • Windy says:

      It is just plain wrong for public sector workers to form unions or expect pensions, if they want a union job or a pension let them work in the private sector, public sector work is supposed to be for the benefit of the public not the union or the employee. Public sector unions and pension funds are the reason so many communities (and their taxpayers) are going broke and don’t have the funds to maintain infrastructure and services.

      • primus says:

        Wow, mixed emotions on this one. Unions are necessary. Full stop. Employers are powerful, workers are totally at their mercy alone. It is only by unionising that there is any semblance of balance in the situation. Seeing as the government has the most power of any employer, it is even more important to their employees.

        As to pensions, they should be abolished. All they are is a ponzi scheme to get the public to pay a bunch of bureaucrats high salaries to pay us back part of what we paid in. No way to get it all back because the administration eats part of it. It also bonds us to employers, which they like, but it makes it impossible to move to a better job. When we retire, the benefits have been so eroded by inflation as to be meaningless. Everyone should fund their own retirement. If it means paying into a fund for their whole life, they get a pension. If they invest themselves, they get the return on the investment. If they spend it all, they get to work until they die.

        • Windy says:

          Primus, in the public sector, the employers are you and I — the taxpayers — NOT the government. Unions MAY be of benefit to employees in the private sector (though I think they have negotiated themselves into a position of negative value in most cases — hubby was a union worker for a very long time then his company went non-union and his pay and bennies actually went up more and remained higher than that of the union employees of other companies, and no more union dues) however I think employees should have the choice to join a union or not rather than being forced to join in order to keep one’s job; but when it comes to the public sector, unions are hazardous to taxpayers’ wallets.

  13. wannanah33 says:

    Wonder why the author of that letter to the president didn’t list the most dangerous quality of marijuana, which is that you might be arrested for possessing it.

    But he’s right about there being a moral component to drug use. It’s immoral that we punish users of recreational drugs, because we have no reason to do so, especially given that you can go to any corner store and buy the two most dangerous drugs legally: alcohol and tobacco.

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