Whenever there is even a hint of marijuana reform in the air, marijuana opponents come out and try to spread reefer madness in opposition. Almost always, members of law enforcement are leading the charge. That has pretty much always been the case in Oregon (specifically the Oregon Sheriffs Association), and I've seen it happen in just about every other state as well. What do they have to fear? Marijuana reform would allow them to do their jobs better by allowing them to focus on real crime instead of being tied up trying to go after someone for a joint.
Recently Obama announced a nominee for the United States Justice Department, who in the past has expressed support for marijuana legalization. That does not sit well with Sheriffs across the nation apparently, because they have come out publicly opposing the nomination. Per an article that Tom Angell wrote for Marijuana.Com:
The National Sheriffs' Association, in an email obtained by Marijuana.com, announced to its members that that it wrote to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) to raise "strong concerns" over Vanita Gupta, acting head of the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division.
Gupta, who formerly headed up the ACLU's criminal justice reform efforts, is expected to be formally nominated for the position of assistant attorney general, which would require Senate confirmation and hearings before Grassley's committee.
The sheriffs wrote that she is "ill-suited for this important post," saying that policies like decriminalization "would have disastrous effects on our communities and our citizens."
You can click on the link to Tom's article to read the full e-mail that was sent to Senator Grassley. Something that I find disturbing is that sheriffs are tied to counties, which are creations of the states they are located in. So why are they lobbying the federal government to deny a nominee for a federal position that oversees civil rights? Sheriffs are supposed to work for the citizens in their counties, they are not paid to lobby D.C.. Am I missing something here?