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Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Drug Cop Is in The Stranger Office

Posted by on Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 9:58 AM


Pat Slack, commander of the Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force, is here with Alison Holcomb, the director of a campaign to legalize marijuana.

"I don’t know if we are making a dent," says Slack, referring to law enforcement's work to make pot arrests in Washington State. Still, Slack thinks marijuana should remain illegal and wants voters to reject Initiative 502. He explains why: "Our job is to keep a lid on the garbage can and chase it around the parking lot." What's that strange analogy mean? Arresting people for marijuana users, he says, "is one of the keys" to public safety.


Comments (33) RSS

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AH is the garbage can threat to the public regarding cannabis..
Posted by SamWayneSmith on September 27, 2012 at 10:09 AM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 2
Um...what is he smoking?
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on September 27, 2012 at 10:10 AM · Report this
pfffter 3
he's old as dirt. grind him up and put him in with the rest of the shake.
Posted by pfffter on September 27, 2012 at 10:17 AM · Report this
Hernandez 4
The analogy means that his job is to waste untold amounts of taxpayer money locking up kids for smoking joints.
Posted by Hernandez on September 27, 2012 at 10:20 AM · Report this
He is one football analogy away from total irrelevance. Although picturing a garbage can with little legs, scurrying around in a parking lot with the keystone kops chasing was entertaining. He guy has a real sense for cartoon comic visuals. I'll give him that.
Posted by nullbull on September 27, 2012 at 10:22 AM · Report this
Chelydra_serpentina 6
So now he's bringing Oscar the Grouch into this?
Posted by Chelydra_serpentina on September 27, 2012 at 10:25 AM · Report this
So... reject 502 or else this sad bastard will be out of a job?
Posted by suddenlyorcas on September 27, 2012 at 10:27 AM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 8
"Pat Slack, commander of the Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force"

In other words, it's against his interests to legalize because then he's out a job.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi on September 27, 2012 at 10:27 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 9
The old dude is trying desperately to keep his job until he can retire with pension. He'll come up with whatever crazy analogy he can pull out of his ass.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on September 27, 2012 at 10:27 AM · Report this
That's funny about the garbage can because when I think of human garbage I don't think pothead, I think narc.
Posted by Rhizome on September 27, 2012 at 10:32 AM · Report this
hans millionaire 11
screw this dude, he knows the police will be out of business once they stop arresting pot heads
Posted by hans millionaire on September 27, 2012 at 10:32 AM · Report this
Odd statements like that are usually made when someone doesn't want to say what he's thinking. If he could say what he was thinking he'd say: "Pot is one of the primary tools we use to harass people... how else are we going to pick on people we don't like who otherwise haven't done anything wrong?"
Posted by pheeeew!crack!boom! on September 27, 2012 at 10:41 AM · Report this
The same research which says a 5 ng/ml limt might be reasonable for occasional Cannabis users (though not daily consumers or med patients as outlined in the report) also explicitly says a zero tolerance policy for people under 21 is absolutely the wrong way to go and will discourage designated drivers for people consuming alcohol as well as Cannabis.

Dominic the real reason you have no concerns about the DUI limit is that you never drive so it won't affect you directly. But countless 20 year old adults will be screwed by I-502. Plenty of daily med patients as well.

The same minorities you claim you're saving from arrest will be instead be getting DUI's. How do you think the 10,000 Cannabis arrests occur each year? Almost 50% are people under 21 and the vast majority of these are initiated during traffic stops.

The limit should be a very minimum of 10 ng/ml, people would still have voted for it. Almost no one in the general public knows the difference between this and 5 ng/ml. Hell they would've voted for 25 ng/ml because obviously people don't understand this science enough to know the difference. It's bullshit this wasn't addressed as I-502 was being drafted and just proves I-502 is about control of personal rights as much as it is controlled decriminalization. Cannabis is more excepted than ever, here's a new tool to perform profile based arrests.

I-502 could very well win, but it's really a bad law and just goes to show how the public can be swayed by media dollars to do what ever the status quo wants, regardless.

Saying everyone who opposes I-502 has a financial interest is ignorant or a lie. Some of us are just concerned about having to be more paranoid when dealing with basic traffic stops and the fear of a DUI because we consumed the night before.

It won't be surprising if your accusations and dirty tactics get you and your ego what it wants.

But you will still be a failure as a compassionate being for imposing laws of consequence on others that don't affect you directly.

Posted by Very Concerned !!! ???? on September 27, 2012 at 10:57 AM · Report this
Posted by D_to_the_Light on September 27, 2012 at 11:31 AM · Report this
Westlake, son! 15
Public Safety hasn't been a problem for Portugal.
Posted by Westlake, son! on September 27, 2012 at 11:31 AM · Report this
Not so nuts. Even in Seattle, where the city won't prosecute possession of less than 40 grams, the police still get to exploit the arrest. It's still illegal, the law says odor=probable cause, if police find a smidgen on the person they can arrest and search incident to arrest and who knows what else they'll find? If in a car and there's an odor, police can get a warrant to search the car. So, arresting for marijuana really is of value in busting for other crimes. Not saying that's good or right, but it's a fact. A lot of guns are found because a cop smelled (or said s/he smelled) marijuana.
Posted by Algernon on September 27, 2012 at 12:10 PM · Report this
Dougsf 17
@16 - That's my my first thought as well. There's going to be people in law enforcement that will see it as the loss of another tool at their disposal and might expect their low-hanging fruit getting a little higher on the tree. I don't agree with that stance, but it's not a surprising argument.

I'm not familiar with DUI laws but I'm curious—is suspicion of driving intoxicated cause to search a vehicle in Washington? How would weed fit into this?

Legalizing weed isn't going to thin the ranks of any drug task force. They've got plenty to keep them busy.
Posted by Dougsf on September 27, 2012 at 12:27 PM · Report this
Doctor Memory 18
Please, he knows exactly what he's saying, and what he's saying is that brown people are inherently criminal, and pot busts let him put a constantly percentage of inherently criminal people in jail all of the time without having to wait for them to commit a crime or then go through the hard work of proving it.

This is what pot prohibition has always been about.
Posted by Doctor Memory on September 27, 2012 at 12:31 PM · Report this
Cute shirt.
Posted by HK0 on September 27, 2012 at 12:32 PM · Report this
DUI bust by itself isn't a basis to search a car but if it's parked in a bad place it may be impounded and then "inventoried" which means a search. Odor followed by a marijuana DUI bust (with or without the nanogram threshhold) is likely enough to get a warrant to search the car (ostensibly for marijuana) even if parked legally.
Posted by Algernon on September 27, 2012 at 12:43 PM · Report this
@20: Someone in uniform saying, "You don't mind if I search your trunk, do you?" is suffient in most cases. People have difficulty telling requests and suggestions from demands.
Posted by Phil M http:// on September 27, 2012 at 12:56 PM · Report this
I-502's DUI provision will make it so more cops who are prejudiced against Cannabis will attempt to bust people on DUI of Cannabis, cause the 'per se' amount will make it much easier for the prosecution to go through in the courts.
Posted by Still Concerned About 'per se' on September 27, 2012 at 1:00 PM · Report this
Fnarf 23
@16 has it, exactly. The pot bust is a tool for taking lowlifes off the street for a day or two, maybe longer if they find something fun in the search. No cop actually gives a crap about pot, but EVERY cop believes that people with pot are statistically likely to have other more serious things on their person. Because they are.
Posted by Fnarf on September 27, 2012 at 1:03 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 24
i got soooper high and realized that Pat Slack is an awesome name.
Posted by Max Solomon on September 27, 2012 at 1:20 PM · Report this
more like one of the keys to keeping him employed
Posted by Swearengen on September 27, 2012 at 1:31 PM · Report this
Fnarf 26
Also, anyone who thinks that legalizing marijuana means this guy or his Task Force will be out of a job doesn't understand how government works. Chances are, if 502 passes, the task force will triple in size as it transitions into a branch of the Washington State Marijuana Control Board.
Posted by Fnarf on September 27, 2012 at 2:45 PM · Report this
@13: "a zero tolerance policy for people under 21 is absolutely the wrong way to go"

it's the wrong way to go... if your goal is to prevent pot from being legalized.

Teenagers are shitty enough drivers as it is.
Posted by pro-pot doesn't mean pro-pot for minors to all on September 27, 2012 at 3:23 PM · Report this
@27 You don't get it. Zero tolerance in I-502 makes it so ANY whole blood THC amount, which can last at the most around 7 days in trace amounts will mean that any person under 21 will be under threat of a DUI for up to a week after consuming.

What makes this fucking stupid beyond belief is there will be no motivation for them to abstain the day of driving since they could very well be busted for the trace levels of THC in their blood from days prior.

Let's be realistic here. People under 21 consume pot.

So some reckless teens can think "fuck I could get a weed DUI from puffing yesterday, might as well puff today and drive since the risk is the same for me."

The same researches who I-502 cites for the 5 ng/ml limit (franjo grotenhermen) expressly makes this point. I-502 just ignored this cause, well it's a fucking sham and it's a greedy move by DUI lawyers and people looking for a new way to bust people for herb in light of greater public acceptance.

Do you not see how this is a bad concept? I'm against the 5 ng/ml amount period, but it would still be more of an incentive for young people who use cannabis to abstain the day of driving then have to worry about any trace amount from within the previous week.

Colorado and Oregon are doing things with much more sense than what is happening with I-502.

I-502 is terrible policy. But like all politics it's about money and media tie ins. This is why it might win.

Care to explain how zero tolerance is a good idea? Isn't this supposed to be about reasonable policy and harm reduction? No good logic to counter this point. Sorry.
Posted by Still way fuccckin concerned about zero t on September 27, 2012 at 4:31 PM · Report this
What a beast, wish I was that guy!!!
Posted by BSlack on September 27, 2012 at 6:54 PM · Report this
What a beast!!! :) an he won't be out a job it'll just make it a lot more tedious...
Posted by BSlack on September 27, 2012 at 7:00 PM · Report this
Get on his level
Posted by BSlack on September 27, 2012 at 7:03 PM · Report this
So obviously, you will be endorsing this guy, because his position is so perfectly in agreement with every column inch you've ever devoted to the subject of pot :P
Posted by I have always been... east coaster on September 30, 2012 at 10:04 PM · Report this
Circular logic and rationalization. "It should be our job because it's our job, and, um, because boilerplate!"
Posted by I have always been... east coaster on September 30, 2012 at 10:06 PM · Report this

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