Cannabis and Georgia Law Enforcement

Georgia Law Enforcement Executives have drawn their “line in the sand”.  They are against in-State cultivation of cannabis, in any form.

Georgia Agencies Against Cannabis

Cannabis Opposition No Surprise

No big surprise here, really.  Their position is, Cannabis is illegal and they are enforcers of the law.  It’s that simple for them.  Or is it?  If their only interest is in enforcing the law, why are they so adamantly opposed to the law being changed?  If they are purely unbiased and only enforce the Law, why are they trying to influence Legislators?

Having a Law Enforcement background, in a top Command Staff position, I think I have a few answers.

  1.  A completely biased view on cannabis.  Cannabis has been illegal at the Federal level since circa 1937.  Cannabis is a Schedule I substance, touted as having no known medicinal value.  Law Enforcement is incapable of getting past that.  They are creatures of the Law and will not begin to change until cannabis is rescheduled.
  2. Fear of downsizing.  Law Enforcement agencies constantly fight budget battles.  City Councils, County Commissions and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget want to save as much as they can.  These budgeting authorities look hard at LE Agencies.  LE Execs use the War on Cannabis as rational for retaining positions.
  3. Loss of revenue.  They will deny this until the bitter end, but a primary concern is revenue.  The ACLU performed a nationwide analysis for marijuana arrests based on the years 2001 to 2010 (ACLU Analysis).  52% of all “drug” arrests in 2010 were for marijuana.  88% of the marijuana arrests during that time span were for simple possession.  The trend in Georgia over the past several years has been just over 34,000 arrests for marijuana annually.  Apply that 88% and you have 29,920 possession arrests.  The max fine for < oz possession is $1000.  $29,920,000 will disappear from the coffers of the 159 counties and 535 incorporated towns and cities of Georgia if cannabis is legalized.

The Cannabis Bills

Law Enforcement opposition is now focused on HB722, which would expand access to CBD Oil in Georgia through highly regulated in-State cultivation of cannabis.  They see the direction that leads and they fear it.

Their next opposition will be to HB704, OUR BILL.  As far as they are concerned, there is no difference in Marijuana and Industrial Hemp.  They will have the same arguments about not being able to control it, and the same fears that someone will deviate from the path and turn a Hemp grow into a Marijuana grow.  They obviously haven’t studied the science and don’t want to bother to see the difference in the two, even though that difference is evident.

This is an Industrial Hemp grow.  Tall, straight plants sown thickly.
Big Hemp

This is a Marijuana grow.  Short, bushy plants set far apart.
Pot Field

IRONY

Georgia Law Enforcement Executives have opined that any in-State grows of cannabis for medical use under HB722 should be conducted by the University System.  HB704 follows the USDA Guidelines set forth under the 2014 Federal Farm Bill for experimental cultivation of Industrial Hemp conducted by the University System.  I wonder how they will defend an opposition to Industrial Hemp cultivation when it echoes their own advice?

I won’t address social use of Cannabis.  That’s not our focus here.  I’ll just mention that all the LE fear comes from the “recreational” aspect.

Comments

  1. Kevin

    It behooves me as to why our Legislators are unwilling to put it to a peoples vote. None of them are willing to do that? That’s screwed up!

    1. Tom McCain

      Thanks Kevin

  2. Teri Colone

    The fight is real. I for one am not going to give up. I’m in it.
    Cannabis is the one and only Medical Miracle. Until my dying breath I will not stop. I’m Committed.
    I’m from Wisconsin…but I am routin for ALL OF US!! XOXO

    1. Tom McCain

      Thanks for taking the time to reply from cold country. Press the Fight.

  3. Arthur Mayer

    It’s all about the money not the enforcement or any ill that cannabis legislation will have on the State. In fact moving forward has such positive effects for the well being of the citizen on so many levels that it’s actually a crime not to legalize. It’s plain and simple that Law Enforcement and governments are addicted to the money that prohibition generates for the black hole of their coffers. They all need to go to prison or seek medical treatment for that addiction.

    1. Tom McCain

      Well Arthur, I doubt we’ll ever see them in prison, but maybe we’ll see them out-of-office. These folks have no clue how many people support full legalization, much less medical and Industrial Hemp. Find a cannabis-friendly candidate and help ’em get elected!

  4. Bill Harrison

    Funny, there is more money to be made from industrial hemp than marajunia . Lowest cost per acre and high yeld. The government will make more by way of taxes and having close to zero enforcement costs. A simple flyover is adequate.

    1. Tom McCain

      I dunno Bill, The Governor’s Marijuana Eradication Task Force literally dropped in on a fella along with some Bartow County Deputies because they had mistaken OKRA for marijuana on a flyover. http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/07/us/georgia-okra-marijuana-raid/

  5. The Cannabis Cowboy (yes....Michael)

    Hemp is the larger money-maker over medicinal and recreational combined. It would create more jobs and bring more money into our state.

    Further…processing of this plant isn’t done on wide-scale. We don’t have the plants to make the extra bio-diesel we could put in our trucks and cars, the manufacture of paper is different than from wood and we don’t currently have a bunch of factories making plastic from hemp.

    Other states around us are already legalizing industrial hemp. Which means they will have these plants and factories.

    When we finally get smart we will be able to plant our first crop instantly and harvest it in a year or less. But we won’t have the infrastructure to process it. We will have to send it to states bordering us and will be giving them the bulk of the jobs to be gained from industrial hemp.

    We need to be leaders in this….not followers. We need the states around us to send US their crops so WE can get the jobs processing it and making the goods from it.

    Being a follower means you are behind. At the end. Last.

    These are not descriptors of a great state.

    1. Tom McCain

      We can already USE marijuana for fiber, oil, cake and sterilized seed. It’s a little known fact that possession of the stalks and stems of “marijuana” is not a crime in Georgia. There’s actually no reason why some enterprising souls couldn’t get a head start on those businesses. The infrastructure could be legally established prior to the first seed ever being put into Georgia soil.

      From OCGA 16-13-21: (16) “Marijuana” means all parts of the plant of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not, the seeds thereof, the resin extracted from any part of such plant, and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds, or resin;

        but shall not include samples as described in subparagraph (P) of paragraph (3) of Code Section 16-13-25 and shall not include the completely defoliated mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil, or cake, or the completely sterilized samples of seeds of the plant which are incapable of germination.
      1. The Cannabis Cowboy (yes....Michael)

        That is a valid point but I believe in today’s environment anyone who tried that and actually had only stalks would still be harassed by the cops, anyway.

        While I would do it….I don’t know that many have the same rebellious spirit as I do. I would do it just to tick the cops off…as my entertainment!!

        1. Tom McCain

          My friend …. lol!

  6. What really baffles me is the lack of common Sense on all of this. If they truly want to make money, Legalizing hemp will free up man power to go after the big time criminals and really impact this world to be a better place.
    I understand all of the conglomerates and companies in competition with hemp but they could easily make paper out of hemp instead of trees Etc…
    Not to mention this is why our land is so toxic; when they criminalized hemp, our Land stopped getting nourished.

    These people that are against it are not thinking straight, they are being controlled and brainwashed. They are not thinking about their children and their grandchildren in the right way. Money is not going to save the children and their futures. However, nourshing our land and detoxing it will!

    #SMH@ignorance!

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