Thursday, September 19, 2013

Retired Cop Endorses San Leandro Medical Cannabis Dispensaries, Blasts Drug War

By David Downs
Thu, Sep 19, 2013 at 10:42 AM

When former police officer Gregg Daly stood up to speak at the San Leandro City Council meeting this week regarding medical cannabis dispensaries, many pro-marijuana activists feared the worst. Instead, Daly resoundingly endorsed dispensaries in San Leandro and blasted - nay, nuked - the ongoing prohibition of marijuana in this country.

"I am a 16 year resident of San Leandro, a small business owner running an IT consultancy, and I live with my wife and three children in Bay-O-Vista. ... I have extensive law enforcement experience. I was a US Army Military Police sergeant with duties which included working with MPI and the Criminal Investigation Division Command (CIDC) and working undercover in anti-narcotics, anti-terror, and firearm/explosives/weapon investigations. I am also a retired California peace officer, retiring from the Monterey Police Department in 1996. I worked street patrols and was the department’s subject-matter-expert on intoxication and DUIs, not just with alcohol but with pharmaceuticals and recreational drugs as well. ...

"I am a medical marijuana patient and have been for more than five years. Since the city can’t be bothered constructing a properly lit and visible crosswalk, a car ran me down in front of Starbucks on MacArthur. The injuries and subsequent problems are too vast to list, but I’m sure some of you have noticed a large portion of my forehead is missing and horribly scarred. That’s from the accident along with a crushed rib cage, injured spine and neck, and various serious tissue damage. How I survived the accident is unknown to my doctor or my surgeon. I died after emergency surgery and had to be revived. I live in severe pain from this accident. Medical marijuana has been a savior for me. ...

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"My position is a strong and clear one: End the troubled law enforcement experiment which has failed so miserably. Legalize, regulate, and tax.

"As a citizen, a parent, a former undercover investigator and a police officer for many years, my expert opinion on the entire New Prohibition (known as “The War on Drugs”) is that it has been a total failure. ...

"But even more today than several years ago, the police are worried (even panicked) about marijuana?!? WHY?!? There is no supporting evidence for their stance, NONE WHATSOEVER. I believe their panic is more around the issues of department funding, budget dollars, than the drug’s actual harm. It is their cash cow, and they do not want to let it go, seemingly with disregard to the impact to society at large and 'the will of the people.' ...

"Asset seizures have become corrupt and out-of-control. Every investigation now needs to be an 'asset seizure revenue stream,' and that puts law enforcement in a corrupt and failing position every time. ...

"Asset seizures have 'gone off the reservation' as we used to say entire investigations are being launched not because of the crime and its impact to the community, but how much property can be seized.

"Did you know 'asset seizure' includes having all your cash and property taken from you at a traffic stop even though no drugs were found??? It happens every day in this country, more so if you are a non-white driver. ...

"Being Black (or Latino) while driving with cash is now a quasi-crime, and it is a disgusting and racist revenue practice of far too many law enforcement agencies. ...

"The City of San Leonardo is broke, has three bonds due, roads are deteriorating, and we are constantly being told the chief does not have enough police officers. We need revenue!!! Where does the “magic money” come from??? Red light cameras? Another sales tax increase? ... The potential revenue from managed cannabis as a local industry is amazing."

Read Daly's entire open letter at his Patch blog.

According to Bay Area News Group, "Council members voted 5-2, with council members Diana Souza and Benny Lee opposed, to proceed with a draft city ordinance and zoning code changes that would allow up to two regulated medical marijuana dispensaries in the city's industrial and commercial zoning districts."

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