Columbia, SC Police Chief: DrugWar WrongThink Creates Reasonable Suspicion To "Find You"

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122 Responses

  1. Brad Hutchings (@BradHutchings) says:

    Ken, Little correction, the OP stoner's name is Brandon. I really don't need Chief No Fun Allowed coming to look for *me*.

  2. Kilroy says:

    popehat? more like dopehat!

    see what I did there? and yeah, dope isn't really the MJ anymore, but i'm old enough to not be cool like that.

  3. Onlooker says:

    They're not even being coy about it anymore. The war is on; police vs. the people.

  4. Shane says:

    Keep talking Interim Chief Santiago so everyone can see what the Drug War brings, people of your ilk.

    Maybe after they see the horror of what you are, we can end the Drug War forever.

  5. tmitsss says:

    I first smelled marijuana while going to a Grand Funk concert in Columbia, Saw my first drug raid at the University of South Carolina, Some things never change, Now get off my lawn.

  6. Blah says:

    I just love the smell of jack-booted thuggery in the morning.

  7. Zack says:

    At least I can do something (however little) this time. I'm in the coastal part of the state, not the middle where Columbia is, but hell- at least I can email people and there's a (miniscule) chance they'll listen to me as a resident of the state.

  8. Xenocles says:

    In some ways it would be great if he replied with something like "123 Fake Street. Bring a warrant." I realize this is very easy for someone thousands of miles away to say, and I completely understand why one would not do that. I would cheer for him, though – not that I'm not already.

  9. Jim Salter says:

    God damn it. I'm a Columbia, SC resident and I love my town.

    It ain't much, but I'm all over FB with this, right now.

  10. The scary thing is the original deleted pushback had more likes than the complaint.

    Sobering.

  11. Ken White says:

    See update with response from Public Information Officer.

  12. Mike says:

    Gotta love those public relations people who think they can effectively tell you that you are misinterpreting a straightforward, unambiguous statement.

    Thank you for sharing your views and giving us reasonable suspicion to believe you might be a criminal, we will work on finding you.

    Chief was trying to say that he puts would-be-criminals on notice — if you commit a crime or plan to commit one, CPD will work hard to investigate and press charges according to the law.

    Yeah, those are the same thing.

  13. Hoare says:

    @tmitsss

    I saw Grand Funk in Columbia, too….

    crap …. now the NSA will know we have a connection

  14. C. S. P. Schofield says:

    The innocent only have nothing to fear if they can trust the government. I suppose that's a possible situation; just because no government in recorded history has been trustworthy doesn't mean it can't happen.

  15. Xenocles says:

    I'll admit that the chief might have misspoke (though I suspect it was actually a case of mask slippage), but it's well beyond the realm of possibility that anyone objecting to the statement misunderstood it.

  16. Blah says:

    WAR IS PEACE
    FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
    IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
    "WE WILL FIND YOU" IS NOT A THREAT ABOUT FINDING YOU

  17. JP says:

    if you commit a crime or plan to commit one, CPD will work hard to investigate and press charges according to the law

    [emphasis mine]

    OOOOO! Thought crime! #precogs

  18. Dion starfire says:

    I have to take disagree with the "doper that's not harming anyone" meme.

    I've known and seen quite a few potheads, and they are a walking annoyance and an accident waiting to happen. Maybe if you're in the middle of nowhere with nobody expecting anything of you, your mental capacity might be irrelevant (provided there are also no motorized vehicles traveling by, or available to the pothead).

    When you're high, considering other peoples' reactions to what you're doing is tricky at best (and nobody wants to ruin their high by getting bummed out worrying about stuff like that). And "sorry bro" just doesn't cut it when you cause an accident because you didn't check all the lanes you're merging across.

    I consider the all-too-common (among potheads) phrase "it's all good" as offensive and annoying as Ken finds Santiago's first post. Of course, that could be because I live in a pot legal state and not in Santiago's jurisdiction.

  19. ZTNRA says:

    There is no WrongThink only Un-RightThink.

  20. Peter H says:

    Dion,

    While I too find stoners annoying, I do not think the mere fact of being high is morally equivalent to forcibly taking a person and throwing them in a jail cell, which is clearly what was threatened in Santiago's first post. Driving under the influence of any mind-altering substance is and should be illegal. But the fact that some people commit that crime does not mean that we should throw people in jail for advocating changing law enforcement priorities with respect to a different, albeit related, crime.

  21. Xenocles says:

    @Dion Starfire-

    So hit them for DUI or some other offense that actually requires harming or endangering someone. Ingesting a chemical does not harm others by itself.

  22. Blah says:

    @Dion

    "Sorry bro" doesn't cut it when idiots cause an accident while driving drunk, either. Let's outlaw alcohol too! What could go wrong?

  23. faludi says:

    Here's what the former sheriff of Columbia bought from the Pentagon… a freaking tank.

  24. Irk says:

    @Dion The problem with pot's back-and-forth legal status is that the majority of common knowledge on it is "street knowledge" picked up from casual self-experimenters. Many people react differently to alcohol and to prescription drugs – many people also react differently to pot. Some people don't get high at all because they're using it to treat, say, chronic pain. When marijuana is acting to dampen chronic pain, it often doesn't have the mind-altering effects. It's like 'normal' people using marijuana and getting high are getting the side-effects of using a drug when you're not sick.

    I've dealt with my share of extremely annoying "420 4 life!" potheads and I've noticed that, when not on pot, they're still somewhat annoying and lame. Almost as if some people are letting themselves be responsibility-avoidant, and they're just looking for a crutch to blame that on.

  25. Marconi Darwin says:

    Protip: threatening to "come find" citizens who criticize the War on Drugs and advocate marijuana legalization, and suggesting that their political views give you "reasonable suspicion" against them, is not the optimal way to protect your reputation or the reputation of the department.

    Protecting your reputation is overrated. If only it was related to protecting your employment.

    They need a new Public Information Officer for the notpology

  26. ZarroTsu says:

    If the officer has reason to believe a concerned citizen is a suspect for offering concern, then I have reason to believe the officer is a suspect for offering concern himself.

    Or maybe he's just a hypocrite.

  27. Marconi Darwin says:

    I have to take disagree with the "doper that's not harming anyone" meme.

    Disagreeing with a meme is the patriotic thing to do. More so than disagreeing with a mime.

    I've known and seen quite a few potheads, and they are a walking annoyance and an accident waiting to happen.

    I disagree with anecdotes, because while anecdotes are data, do you have statistics that show these numerous accidents caused by the potheads walking annoyingly?

    On second thoughts don't say where you live or Santiago may find you.

  28. LTMG says:

    I'd love to be a fly on the wall at CPD headquarters and listen to the conversations after people there read Ken's post and the comments. Well, one can dream.

  29. d8uv says:

    It’s easy for social media posts to be misunderstood. The man who was so-called threatened openly admitted that he was not offended and appreciated the work of CPD.

    You… You didn't threaten me, sir. You were just telling the citizenry to mind what they say. I understand. I… I appreciate what you do in keeping us safe. Please don't search my house. I have a family.

  30. Erik Carlseen says:

    But is he libel? If he'd stick to governing himself accordingly that'd be one thing, but he seems hell-bent on governing others. With guns and clubs.

  31. Steven H. says:

    @Faludi:

    That's not a tank, it's an old APC. Very thin side armor, you could probably punch through it with a .375 H&H Magnum rifle. Possibly even a .338 magnum.

    Note that this is not to be construed as a suggestion that you (or anyone else) try to do so. I wouldn't want the CPD to come after me for suggesting ways to (literally) shoot holes in their neat new toy.

  32. En Passant says:

    Dion starfire Nov 1, 2013 @9:12 am:

    I've known and seen quite a few potheads, and they are a walking annoyance and an accident waiting to happen.

    Marconi Darwin Nov 1, 2013 @10:00 am:

    I disagree with anecdotes, because while anecdotes are data, do you have statistics that show these numerous accidents caused by the potheads walking annoyingly?

    Here's a documentary on the tragic consequences of those "walking annoyances".

  33. Luke G says:

    @ En Passant-

    Damn, I was hoping for the link to be Reefer Madness.

  34. melK says:

    @Blah: Been there, done that, got the T-shirt…

    DARE: I turned in my parents, and all I got was this crappy T-shirt.

  35. Shelby says:

    as a young prosecutor I once put people in jail for marijuana distribution. It was the wrong thing to do.

    This is the main reason I never gave serious consideration to being a prosecutor. As with many regimes (whose common characteristics may be derived by the reader), entry-level enforcers are broken in by being required to enforce morally wrong but fairly low-level "crimes". (For some non-state regimes, "crimes" can mean anything disapproved by the powers that be.)

    Then, after the moral compass is thoroughly warped, you can be trusted to do higher-profile things that may or may not be even ickier. The warping is the point. And I didn't want to do that crap, despite many other appealing things about being a prosecutor.

  36. En Passant says:

    Luke G Nov 1, 2013 @10:53 am:

    Damn, I was hoping for the link to be Reefer Madness.

    My people follow the ancient tradition of continental drift.

  37. CJK Fossman says:

    The Columbia, SC police department has a web page. On that page is a link for filing police reports. One of the report types is "Information Report."

    An information report is a report that is used for documentation of a non-criminal act.

    Leaving aside the question of why the PD is interested in "non-criminal" acts, would it not be appropriate for some person to post information about the Chief's cyber-bullying?

    Wouldn't it be great if dozens of thousands of people did it?

  38. Richard says:

    Marconi Darwin wrote:

    Disagreeing with a meme is the patriotic thing to do. More so than disagreeing with a mime.

    As a habit, I tend to agree with anything a mime says.

  39. Dan Weber says:

    I'll agree with Dion that stoners aren't just harmless little flowers in the community.

    But disagreeing with my opinion isn't reasonable suspicion of any crime. And the First Amendment guarantees our right to petition the government.

  40. Keith says:

    That was the most tone-deaf attempt at spin that I have ever read. Good going, Columbia PD!

  41. Clark says:

    What I particularly love is that the chief has gone on record as declaring exactly how he interprets the phrase "reasonable suspicion".

    If I were a defense lawyer in any case any of his men were testifying in, I'd want to ask

    "Now, you apprenticed under Chief Santiago, right? Now, when you say that you had 'reasonable suspicion' that my client was carrying a knife, you mean that you used the same heuristic as your boss and primary instructor uses – one that includes political advocacy, free speech, and other protected first amendment activities, right?"

    Of course, IANAL, so I don't know if this would work …but it's a lot more fun to think about than my day job right now.

  42. Clark says:

    @Dion starfire

    I have to take disagree with the "doper that's not harming anyone" meme.

    I've known and seen quite a few potheads, and they are a walking annoyance and an accident waiting to happen.

    "a walking annoyance and an accident waiting to happen"?

    So are

    * new mothers who've had too little sleep
    * adults who have had a sibling just diagnosed with cancer
    * house hunters not sure if their offer on the beachfront bungalow will be accepted or not
    * teenagers
    * 50 Shades of Grey readers
    * etc

    The concept of freedom does not say "you are free to do whatever you want, as long as it doesn't annoy me".

  43. Shiro says:

    @Dion

    When has being an annoyance ever been grounds for arrest?
    If that were the case, all my users who call me because their caps lock is on would be imprisoned.

    Annoyances are part of life- you cannot legislate them out of existence, or criminalize them. Just shows that you do not know how to deal with them properly. So perhaps you're the problem, not the pothead.

  44. Were you walking in front of me smoking a joint? No don't answer that. The concert I saw was in 69 or 70, but I can't find a record of it on the interweb. Do you remenber when you saw them. If you remember the 60s…

  45. Blah says:

    The other thing that bears mentioning is that for every "pothead" that Dion sees that is a "walking annoyance and an accident waiting to happen", there's almost certainly half a dozen people he knows who use it regularly without his knowledge because they don't act like utter jackasses. It's not like you can tell just from looking at someone, unless they're decked out in one of those awful knit hoodies with a bunch of Phish patches safety-pinned on.

    Or if they post on the Columbia, SC Facebook page, I suppose.

  46. CJK Fossman says:

    It's not like you can tell just from looking at someone

    Unless you see them in the convenience store at 2:00 AM buying a big bag of Doritos.

  47. Sinij says:

    The concept of freedom does not say "you are free to do whatever you want, as long as it doesn't annoy me".

    One day masses will raise against the oppressive yoke of annoying Clark comments. I will be there, on the barricades, spilling my blood so future generations can live free of this annoyance.

  48. Lizard says:

    I find being around people with diminished mental capacity to be very annoying. It's a reason I don't go to many parties; I don't enjoy not thinking and I don't enjoy being around people who enjoy not thinking.

    I find lots and lots of things annoying. Smarmy pro-life billboards. Protesters tying up traffic. Football and basketball pre-empting my favorite shows. Traffic jams around the local megachurch on Sunday.

    However, being annoying to me isn't a criminal offense. It's hard to argue being stoned is worse than being drunk, and we all know how well the last attempt to outlaw alcohol worked.

    Leaving all that aside, the argument that "If you oppose a law, it must be because you want to break it" is infuriatingly stupid and offensive. I support drug legalization, despite not using any recreational drugs, legal or otherwise. I support the right of people to do all sorts of things I don't want to do, things I consider immoral, dangerous, or stupid, or all of the above. Certainly, there is an element of self-interest to my stance, in two ways. First, I have a self-interest in being the person I believe myself to be, in acting in a way I consider moral. That means taking stands in accordance with my principals, whether or not I am personally affected. Second, I know too well that any system empowered to act against things I might not care about is also empowered to act against things I do care about, and that my ideas of what's annoying, improper, or wrong aren't everyone's, and sooner or later, usually sooner, someone who opposes my lifestyle choices, hobbies, and preferences will get into power.

  49. Owen says:

    I hope I'm not the only one who is a bit bothered by that lackluster response from the Columbia Police Department. "I believe the original comment was misconstrued." Oh? Well, let's look at the original comment:

    Thank you for sharing your views and giving us reasonable suspicion to believe you might be a criminal, we will work on finding you.

    Now, how, exactly, do you think that that comment was misconstrued?

    It really doesn't seem like the PR officer was even trying.

  50. Lizard says:

    Unless you see them in the convenience store at 2:00 AM buying a big bag of Doritos.

    Heh. Back when I lived in NYC and worked from home, my natural clock tended to have me working late. I often was wandering into the innumerable all-night delis for snacks at 2 AM, no drugs required. Got to see an interesting cross-section of humanity. (Lived at 44th between 8th and 9th in the early 90's.)

  51. Dave says:

    The other thing that bears mentioning is that for every "pothead" that Dion sees that is a "walking annoyance and an accident waiting to happen", there's almost certainly half a dozen people he knows who use it regularly without his knowledge because they don't act like utter jackasses.

    This is why I like to list some of the regular pot users I know: In addition to the ones you might suspect such as the Off-Broadway directors and Broadway Sound Designer, there are also: A sucessful day trader, a CEO of an insurance company, a commercial real estate broker, a couple of I-Bankers, several lawyers, etc.

    I often was wandering into the innumerable all-night delis for snacks at 2 AM, no drugs required. Got to see an interesting cross-section of humanity.

    I miss those days. NYC, and Manhattan in particular, has gotten too damn Disney-ified.

  52. Luke G says:

    Besides late workers, that Doritos sting operation is going to catch up a lot of WoW players and D&D'ers who found themselves caught short. Now, those people may well be undesirables who should be separated from society, but they're not NECESSARILY pot heads…

  53. grouch says:

    What this country needs is a good wrongthink cleansing campaign! It could start right here, in this nest of criminal loving commie liberal libertarian blaspheming hippies. Not one of you has stepped up to do your Patriotic Duty and report this "Ken White" (obviously a criminal alias) for advocating thinking and speaking against Our Heroic First Responder Warriors Against Drug Dealing Terrorists.

    Wrongthink cleansing is justified by ethnic cleansing elsewhere. Think of the children.

    P.S.: Think of the profits if we expand our war to wrongthink! It will also provide good opportunity to finally remove the remnants of those quaint old activist judges who still think the Bill of Suggestions is somehow supposed to trump our Patriotic Wars tactics.

  54. mkultrakool says:

    Another loser with a badge and a big mouth… go figure. Bring it, wannabe fascist clown.

  55. Clark says:

    @Sinij

    annoying Clark comments. I will be there, on the barricades, spilling my blood so future generations can live free of this annoyance.

    For the record, @Sinij, if Patrick suggests banning you for poor manners, I will argue in your defense. But I won't be very upset if I lose.

  56. Ryan says:

    I honestly have to ask what the hell kind of hiring practices various local/state/federal law enforcement in the US use that result in the hiring of such blatantly ignorant jackasses.

    I've been highly critical of Clark's "police departments are predominantly made up of bad apples and good ones are the exception to the rule" (paraphrased) routine, but I have to admit that the anecdotal evidence that various PopeHat authors bring out of the US situation support his assertions with terrifying frequency.

  57. Carl says:

    I guess the rental chief follows the Mel Gibson school of thinking. "You don't like antisemitism? What are you a Jew?" (Gibson basically said that in an interview about his famous anti-Jewish remarks, responding with "do you have a dog in this fight?")

  58. Hoare says:

    @Louis Nettles (@tmitsss)

    it was 1974 or 75 for mine

    guess it wasn't me in front of you

    anyhoo … recreational weed is legal here (washington state) ….
    and I am very annoying

  59. babaganusz says:

    I've been highly critical of Clark's "police departments are predominantly made up of bad apples and good ones are the exception to the rule" (paraphrased) routine, but I have to admit that the anecdotal evidence that various PopeHat authors bring out of the US situation support his assertions with terrifying frequency.

    in any particular neck of the global woods, there may or may not be a majority of citizens who prefer to defer to an exemplar, a leader, even if only symbolically, for "peace of mind", if one is (e.g.) confident one "has nothing to hide"…
    and critical assessment of [even a paraphrased] blanket statement is all well and good, but how do you accumulate substantial evidence that the pool of those who seek (let alone achieve, let alone manage to reach retirement while occupying) these positions of leadership are actually, constitutionally (see what i did there?) worthy of, say, legal enforcement powers?
    (if you've already been nibbling on such ideo-fodder for decades – or even months – please forgive the flirtation.)

  60. Marconi Darwin says:

    @Sinij

    One day masses will raise against the oppressive yoke of annoying Clark comments. I will be there, on the barricades, spilling my blood so future generations can live free of this annoyance.

    That annoys me immensely. No, not the thought of you spilling your own blood.

  61. Shane says:

    @Ryan

    I honestly have to ask what the hell kind of hiring practices various local/state/federal law enforcement in the US use that result in the hiring of such blatantly ignorant jackasses.

    It is called the law of large numbers. Hire enough and you get this. That is why we need to make the numbers small to help keep the jackasses at bay.

    EDIT

    And in some quarters it has been suggested that zero is a good number too. I am amenable to this.

  62. Rich says:

    The guys at pinac Carlos Millers website claim that the deletion of facebook posts on a sherifs publicly funded facebook page violates open records law, and deleting posts by the sheriff based on content is a violation of the first amendment. Whats the deal?

  63. luagha says:

    The worst part of it is, to my mind, that the original poster isn't even supporting drug use, stoners, or drug legalization.

    He's just echoing the damn common complaint of, "Don't you have some real crimes to go police at? Like the for realses mass murder down the street that's in the papers?"

  64. Trent says:

    I'll leave this here:

    The War on Drugs costs the US Federal Government $6 Billion dollars to support DEA enforcement activities and an estimated additional $6 Billion dollars housing non-violent drug offenders in expensive federal prison facilities under minimum mandatory sentences that frequently exceed a decade.

    It's been estimated that when combined with state expenditures the figure could be more than 10X higher. Of note this does not include the economic cost of property seizure which has sky rocketed since the DEA began giving back money from the sale of seized property to the police department that assisted in the seizure. The average small town police department sees in excess of $25K of revenue from this program with larger cities receiving millions. Many states allow this money to be spent providing gifts and bonuses to the officers involved in the seizure.

    Sigh.

  65. mcinsand says:

    I don't partake, and I have no interest in partaking, but I am offended at my tax dollars wasted on a material that is reliably documented as reasonably harmless. Shane raises an interesting point, though; if the war on marijuana bolsters people like Santiago, then that is the best argument so far in support of legalizing marijuana.

  66. David C says:

    I believe the original comment was misconstrued.

    This actually makes sense if you take this as meaning Brandon's comment was misconstrued.

  67. Richard says:

    Ken, on a completely unrelated free speech topic, what is your opinion on the line drawn by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals when it struck down the section of a law against sending "explicit" content to minors?
    http://www.chron.com/news/article/Texas-Court-OK-to-talk-dirty-to-minors-4939966.php?cmpid=hpts

  68. Dion Starfire says:

    However, being annoying to me isn't a criminal offense.

    I do not think the mere fact of being high is morally equivalent to forcibly taking a person and throwing them in a jail cell,

    My point wasn't that drugs should or shouldn't be illegal. It's simply that the idea "doing drugs doesn't hurt anybody" is a myth. At the very least, it's a diversity our society is not equipped to handle (you'd be amazed how many systems rely on minor irritation to discourage unwanted behavior). At worst, it gives mentally deficient folks all the priveleges and dangerous items available to a responsible adult (because the person WAS a responsible adult a little while ago and will be again soon).

  69. Ken White says:

    Oh wait, I'm talking about bad WrongThink that the proprietor of this blog thinks should be persecuted, rather than this kind of good WrongThink which the proprietor of this blog thinks shouldn't be persecuted.

    The owner of this blog is capable to distinguishing between law enforcement threatening to investigate you for speech, on the one hand, and reporters making fun of someone for being an unbalanced bigoted douche, on the other hand. The owner of this blog is also somewhat selective of using "persecuted" to refer to reporters asking mean questions of someone who gets paid millions of dollars to make movies.

  70. David C says:

    @Clark:

    "Now, you apprenticed under Chief Santiago, right? Now, when you say that you had 'reasonable suspicion' that my client was carrying a knife, you mean that you used the same heuristic as your boss and primary instructor uses – one that includes political advocacy, free speech, and other protected first amendment activities, right?"

    Of course, IANAL, so I don't know if this would work …but it's a lot more fun to think about than my day job right now.

    You COULD ask that, except you're not going to score any points if the officer responds with the exact reasons why he had reasonable suspicions. (Unless those reasons are shaky in the first place.)

  71. Ed Pisko says:

    It's simply that the idea "doing drugs doesn't hurt anybody" is a myth.

    Reefer is odd substance, but it won't kill you no matter how much you do. It affects different people in different ways, but it's essentially non-toxic.

    Cocaine…now there's a drug. It turns some people into instant assholes with the added bonus of possibly killing them. Smack, meth, any of the pharmaceutical solutions…the same.

    What I'm trying to say is that weed ain't drugs. It's a multifunctional agricultural product with which some people have a cultural antipathy.

  72. En Passant says:

    Dion Starfire Nov 1, 2013 @2:03 pm:

    … (you'd be amazed how many systems rely on minor irritation to discourage unwanted behavior). …

    Here's one prohibition on irritating unwanted behavior that I could support fully.

  73. Shane says:

    @Dion Starfire

    At worst, it gives mentally deficient folks all the priveleges and dangerous items available to a responsible adult[s] …

    @Dion here is the problem, who will determine who is deficient and who is responsible. I see plenty of parents that make me cringe, but when we start down the slope determining with the loosest possible interpretation of deficient and responsible we see what is happening now, definitions as weapons. This is not a good place to be and it is my hope that people will see the result of this is caused by the desire to determine what is right or wrong for someone else.

  74. Erwin says:

    Chief Santiago has demonstrated that he shouldn't be employed in law enforcement, at least as a manager. If his career is ended, good job.

    For the war on drugs, outlawing marijuana doesn't pass the laugh test. The only real study i remember on weed found that the babies of weed smokers tended to be smarter. Albeit, funding was pulled because they got the 'wrong' answer. I am a bit dubious about heroin, as users tend to die rapidly from what I hear. Drugs that increase aggression are more problematic… I favor the…imprison them when they harm me approach…but…um…I can kind of understand a concern about allowing poor people a pleasant or destructive escape route.

    The reality is that our society is structured with people on the bottom and that the ability differentials are not so large that, in reality, losing the bottom 30% would not decrease output by a lot.

    –Erwin

  75. Al says:

    Mumble mumble an APC isn't a tank mumble.

  76. luagha says:

    By the by, for those of the "it's essentially non-toxic" mindset:

    Marijuana causes lung and other cancers at a rate seven times that of standard cigarettes – ie, smoking one joint is equivalent to smoking seven cigarettes in terms of cancer risk.

    There is insufficient study as of yet to know if this is caused by the style of smoking marijuana (inhale and hold) or the current strength of well-bred marijuana. But safe it is not.

    When they put the THC in an container like those electronic cigarettes, maybe things will be different. (But THC alone doesn't seem to provide 100 percent of the desired effects, say those who have taken pharmaceutical Marinol (THC) pills.)

  77. Mike Hunt says:

    Wow, the chief is an Internet tough guy!

  78. mikhael says:

    Eastasia has always been at war with Eurasia.

  79. barry says:

    Not saying that Santiago plants evidence, but there seems reason for suspicion that he does. eg. suing a policeman for saying he planned to plant evidence (" Why would someone feel threaten [sic] if you are not doing anything wrong?").

  80. Shane says:

    @luagha

    Marijuana causes lung and other cancers at a rate seven times that of standard cigarettes – ie, smoking one joint is equivalent to smoking seven cigarettes in terms of cancer risk.

    This assumes two things 1) People only smoke pot. 2) People who do smoke pot don't smoke cigarettes.

    Also you need to link the study that you referring too because I have seen studies that were called into question based on poor setup, bad data and poor statistical analysis.

  81. En Passant says:

    luagha Nov 1, 2013 @4:37 pm:

    Marijuana causes lung and other cancers at a rate seven times that of standard cigarettes – ie, smoking one joint is equivalent to smoking seven cigarettes in terms of cancer risk.

    Citation needed.

    Although I'm fairly certain I know the most likely citation would be the work of Dr. Donald Tashkin of UCLA circa 1987. Extra points if you get the publication and article title correct.

    The only difficulty is that Tashkin's published work in 1987 did not conclude that smoking one joint of marijuana is equivalent to smoking seven tobacco cigarettes in terms of risk for any type of cancer. Nor did he did offer any statistical evidence for such a conclusion.

    He did express to news reporters in 1987 that his physiological findings caused him "concern" that cancer risk might be greater. But that's as far as he went.

    The canard you state has never been demonstrated to be even remotely close to true. It was made up by political prohibition apologists who intentionally misquoted Pashkin and his scientific work in physiology.

    In fact, Dr. Tashkin reported in 2006 that his previous concerns were now disproved by scientific evidence. From which public statement I quote:

    The largest study of its kind has unexpectedly concluded that smoking marijuana, even regularly and heavily, does not lead to lung cancer.

    The new findings "were against our expectations," said Donald Tashkin of the University of California at Los Angeles, a pulmonologist who has studied marijuana for 30 years.

    "We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use," he said. "What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect. …"

  82. AlphaCentauri says:

    Apparently, trolls like to smoke weed, cause there's one here that sure has the munchies ;)

    As far as marijuana and cancer, in the real world, no one smokes enough marijuana for that association to have come out. Before the cigarette rolling machine was invented, when people didn't smoke ten or twenty or more tobacco cigarettes a day, lung cancer was a rare condition. So once weed is legal and people start smoking it the way they smoke tobacco, we may learn something more about it.

    Any study that claims to precisely quantify the relative risk of tobacco and marijuana in causing any specific type of cancer is probably flaming bullshit, because tobacco has multiple carcinogenic effects that interact with one another and with other environmental and genetic factors.

  83. Ethan says:

    Yeah, this is who "protects" you, feel safe yet?

  84. Matt says:

    Even if pot did have 7 times greater chance of giving someone cancer than tobacco, when was the last time you heard about someone smoking 20 joints a day? Whereas pack a day smokers are common enough for it to be a phrase.

    That said, nobody should be doing it, it's all horrible smelling garbage.

  85. Dragonmum says:

    @luagha
    IANAL but I am an MD. This study and this article both describe some of the anti-cancer properties pot may have. It has also been known for over 150 years as a treatment for seizures and chronic pain. There is a strain that has been bred to maximize the cannabinoids (the mostly non-psychogenic components) and minimize the THC and related "get you high" parts, which can now be used with minimal brain-fogging. Even that CNN God of Medicine, Sanjay Gupta, is endorsing it.

    Plus, you don't have to smoke it. Oils, baked goods, and vaporization are all alternative methods; some make it easier to titrate the dose.

    Eventually even SC will get the message. Don't come after me, thought police… IANAL, but my daughter just passed the bar!! in NY state. I feel protected.

  86. Ken White says:

    Mike very dramatically crossed a line. He is gone. His posts are gone. Posts reacting to him are gone. He is not welcome in our living room. Let us not speak of him again.

  87. Shane says:

    @Matt

    That said, nobody should be doing it, it's all horrible smelling garbage.

    That is called ditch weed. Just sayin'.

  88. Ken White says:

    For the record, Mike was not banned for being a troll, or obtuse, or obnoxious, or for not understanding free speech.

    He was banned for a very over-the-line direct personal attack on a commenter.

  89. grouch says:

    Folks, the illegality of marijuana is easy to explain: Profits. Any blithering idiot can grow it; you can't patent it; late-night lawyers can't advertise for class action clients against it.

    Anyone ever watch some of the television programming available via satellite FTA? There's a steady stream of commercials for new drugs with increasingly weird brand names and increasingly long and scary side effects, interspersed with the aforementioned law office commercials seeking clients for cases against the makers of last year's wonder drugs. (Almost all of these drugs are designed for chronic ailments. The profits are just too puny by comparison if you go after curable things).

    Someone should do a doctoral thesis on how much of the U.S. economy is now dependent on the war on drugs and all its little tentacles.

  90. OngChotwI says:

    Here is a person that became a cop for the wrong reasons, and sounds way too willing to take shortcuts. Is there any hope that when he gets demoted/dismissed from this current position that he won't just move to another state and repeat the mistakes he's already made?

    As for the war on drugs – instead of declaring war on the suppliers of drugs – how about doing a better job of reducing demand. (Other than telling us all to "just say no.") Over a decade ago, one of the tv news programs did a 60 minute presentation on how the British dealt with drug addiction. They identified the main problems with drug addiction as: the illegal drugs are expensive. (to afford their habit, people often move to a life of crime or pushing drugs and creating more addicts.) illegal drugs are impure and of non standard strength. (the impurities often causing health problems much worse than any effects of being addicted to many of the drugs; non standard strength causing overdoses.) Of course, with our own experience with the prohibition, we know how prohibition increased the strength of organized crime that found ways of making big money off the built up demand.

    The British program required that addicts visit a doctor and would be prescribed appropriate drugs. They were also required to attend meetings to help them reduce their consumption. The drugs were standardized – so dosage was easy. Syringes were provided, if necessary (no sharing/reusing). The drugs were affordable so the users could maintain their jobs. The drugs were being sold through pharmacies, so it created jobs and tax revenue (instead of just creating a tax burden like our War seems to be doing). And they loved filming various neighborhoods and stating that they used to be crime ridden spots instead of the peaceful, scenic sites being filmed.

    Change the profile of the crimes being committed in the USA.

  91. Ryan says:

    Disclaimer: I am firmly in the camp that believes all drugs should be at minimum decriminalized-if-not-legalized for personal production and use immediately.

    That said, for those playing the "weed doesn't have harmful effects" card in the thread, I am afraid you are wrong. There are a number of studies among recreational marijuana users that document harmful effects of marijuana use (predominantly from smoking, of course). Many of them are conveniently cited here: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/marihuana/med/infoprof-eng.php#chp70 (click the superscript numbers for the links to each study).

    I favour anti-War-on-Drugs advocacy, but let's be honest about the actual harms in that conversation. Marijuana is no better and somewhat worse than many other substances that humans consume; it isn't harmless, but it isn't totally toxic either.

  92. Mike Parent says:

    We'd all be better off if the Police focused on crimes that have actual victims. BTW, Not all Police Officers agree with that Chief;
    http://copssaylegalizedrugs.ning.com/

    "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. … The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents."
    – William F. Buckley,
    Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495

  93. Paul Hoiland says:

    It should already be legal if it was not for idiots like this Police Chief that long ago forgot they work for the People and want to be the next Hitler or Stalin on the block. His, local Citizens, he is supposed to work for are correct: Do your real job and go after the real Criminals. Well over 50% of America says it should be legal. Police Chiefs like this idiot need to be handed their pink slips by the Public they work for. He is a disgrace to his Uniform, as are many of those cops caught in recent beatings. While the degree of their disrespect for the People they work for varies, all of them do not belong working for the Public and do nothing but tarnish the image of real honest Police men and women every where. I personally think it is time public out cry threw these Bums out of office.

    By the way, not a Pot Smoker, nor a citizens of that Dark Town this Officer seems to see himself as living in. So, put that in your pipe and smoke it you useless Troll on Society of a Police Chief.

    My interest in this is I have a Wife, who cannot take Opiate based drugs for pain managment who would well benefit from it being legal. So Police Officers and Chiefs like this guy, who forgot that part about TO SERVE, really make me sick. Fire the Bums along with the same type of Bums in Washington is my advice.

  94. Orv says:

    Keep in mind this is SC – the state runs on corruption. Getting a warrant against someone he dislikes would not be hard for a police commissioner.

  95. Orv says:

    Most stoners I know use vaporizors these days. The e-cigarette folks are late to the party. ;)

  96. Orv says:

    At worst, it gives mentally deficient folks all the priveleges and dangerous items available to a responsible adult (because the person WAS a responsible adult a little while ago and will be again soon).

    You're talking about alcohol here, right? Because that *really* sounds like some beer drinkers I know…

  97. Al I. says:

    The issue is not really whether or not weed is harmful or not. The point is if you or I happen to disagree with the chief on his take on that, then he's seemingly going to threaten to come get you.

  98. Name says:

    I support catch limits on certain types of fish. Is it reasonable to suspect I am a Grouper?

  99. I was Anonymous says:

    @CJK Fossman,

    Someone should file an "Information Report" of a government official threatening to violate a citizen's First Amendment right.

  100. Rez says:

    Thank you, police chief, for giving the citizens of your jurisdiction reason to strongly suspect that you are likely to plant drugs on someone who pisses you off by having an opinion about drug laws.

  101. Brad says:

    Chief, as an exercise in free speech I am going to tell you to suck on deeze nuts and there is nothing you can do about it. Nothing. :)

  102. They were all from police followers.

  103. rochrist says:

    Since this is, at least somewhat, about the War on Drugs in a more general sense, I wonder what the reaction is to
    this:

    Not one, not two, but 3(!) enemas required, along with two digital exams, two x-ray exams and a colonoscopy.

    Oh, and they billed him for all the procedures. Because he 'clenched his buttocks' while leaving Walmart.

  104. Robert says:

    I am in my late 50s and a hardworking, responsible taxpaying adult. Your average, boring middle class white guy – basically the person the police assume just automatically supports them without question. I grew up at a time when we were told that the policeman is our friend and someone to go to in times of troubles. And I believed it. However, I think the old guard police officers – who knew and cared about your constitutionsl rights – are all retiring or retired. I think a new generation of psychopaths is taking over, aided and abetted by the police unions. They may be small in number, but even the decent cops don't speak up, either out of misplaced loyalty or fear. The point is that if they are starting to lose the support of "regular" middle-class people like me, they have a definite problem.

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