After attending a Show-Me Cannabis town hall meeting in Cape Girardeau last Monday, October 21, Kevin Glaser of the Southeast Missouri Drug Task Force posted a public status update to his Facebook page disparaging the other people who attended the meeting. In response, Show-Me Cannabis Regulation Executive Director John Payne has issued an open letter that requests Glaser apologize for his remarks and debate Payne in a public forum.
While at the meeting, Glaser engaged in debate with the panelists, including State Representative Paul Curtman, Sergeant Gary Wiegert, and Payne. However, the discussion remained civil.
Attendees were therefore surprised when Glaser posted an insulting Facebook status. “It scared the hell out of me that these people actually go to the polls and vote,” Glaser wrote. “Many [attendees] impressed me as having no minds at all. Or at least very slow functioning minds… Tomorrow I go back to fighting crime and serving the public and they go back to drawing their welfare check.”
Residents were angered after learning of the public attack by a local officer. Jennifer Glueck of New Hamburg said, “As one of the organizers of the event, I find Glaser’s comments both inaccurate and offensive. I do not draw a welfare check. My husband and I work full-time and raise two children. Frankly, I would like a public apology from Sergeant Glaser.”
Dustin Masterson of Cape Girardeau echoed those sentiments. “I’m disappointed in Glaser’s comments, as he seemed far more reasonable at the meeting. His prejudiced statement demonstrates the need for more rational discussion on this subject, which is why I started SEMO Cannabis Law Reform after the meeting last week. We hope to foster a more informed debate around both state and local cannabis laws.” The group will hold its first meeting Tuesday, October 29 at 6:00 p.m. in the Geraldine Hirsch Meeting Room of the Cape Girardeau Public Library.
In an open letter to Glaser, Payne called into question the officer’s ability to enforce the law appropriately. “You seem to be motivated primarily by sheer personal animus against a group of people whom you obviously find distasteful,” Payne writes. Payne ends the letter by requesting Glaser to join him in a public debate on the issue of marijuana legalization.
Payne’s open letter to Glaser and a screenshot of Glaser’s status update can be read in full here:
Show-Me Cannabis is an association of organizations and individuals, who believe that cannabis prohibition is a failed policy and regulating and taxing cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol would better control the production, distribution, and consumption of cannabis than the current criminal market system does. The group seeks to engage Missourians in a serious, public discussion about the issues associated with marijuana, including medical cannabis, industrial hemp, public safety, and financial analysis in order to address problems associated with the current, failed policy.