Texas is not a friendly place when it comes to marijuana laws. That's why the recent words of Houston's Police Chief are very important. Below is a summary sent to me by my friends at Law Enforcement Against Prohibition:
In an interview with Cultural Baggage, a radio show hosted by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) speaker and former Air Force Security Policeman, Dean Becker, Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland said marijuana prohibition is a failed public policy. During the interview, Chief McClelland highlighted pilot programs within his department and others in the state to reduce marijuana possession penalties for first-time offenders. He also discussed the necessary role of the federal government in changing national drug laws. Because many state-legal marijuana businesses cannot safely use banks and because illegal markets still exist in most states, those markets can still flourish by undercutting the dispensaries, said the Chief. McClelland also acknowledged the racism inherent in drug enforcement practices which results in the incarceration of a disproportionate number of young black men.
The thirty-minute interview covering a variety of law enforcement issues including the rights of protestors, the immense power of drug cartels and why so many Americans use substances will air this Friday, at 4:30 pm CT, on KPFT 90.1 FM in Houston and streaming online.
"It's not uncommon to hear these sorts of comments from police on the street," said Maj. Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of law enforcement officers opposed to the war on drugs. "What is less common is to see a top administrator choose to speak out about what's right despite major financial incentives - in the form of federal grants and asset forfeiture proceeds - to protect the status quo. I salute Chief McClelland for standing up for social justice. He exemplifies the best of American policing today."
LEAP is a nonprofit of criminal justice professionals who know the drug war has failed to reduce drug abuse while creating a public safety nightmare of increased gang violence, police militarization and the fueling of dangerous underground markets.