cannabisnews.com: State Drops Fight to Fire Cop Who Used Marijuana 





State Drops Fight to Fire Cop Who Used Marijuana 
Posted by FoM on August 18, 2000 at 10:05:36 PT
By John O.Connor, The Associated Press
Source: Daily Southtown
State Police officials have dropped their fight to fire a trooper who admitted smoking marijuana. Police spokesman Capt. Dave Sanders said Thursday the agency is still working to reinstate Master Sgt. Mark Atchison, who has been on paid leave since completing a six-month suspension in November."We continue to have zero tolerance for illegal drug use by our officers and we will always seek termination in those circumstances," Sanders said, reading a prepared statement. 
"Our officers know this and we do not expect any relaxation of compliance with our rules."A Sangamon County judge ruled Aug. 9 that the State Police Merit Board was within its right to suspend, and not fire, Atchison, a 17-year state police veteran and agency pilot.The 42-year-old Pawnee resident admitted puffing twice on a marijuana cigarette at a family party in February 1999 and tested positive for the drug in a random check three days later.But the merit board, a five-member panel appointed by the governor to handle state police hiring and firing, suspended Atchison for six months, banned him from ever flying again and ordered continued random tests and counseling.The agency saw little hope of success in an appeal, Sander said, adding the agency continues studying whether to make its zero-tolerance policy stronger. It states discipline for drug use should be "up to and including" firing.Atchison could not be reached for comment.Atchison's lawyer, John Hosteny of Springfield, said his client "wants to get back to work and get on with his career."The Illinois Attorney General makes the final decision on whether to appeal, but spokesman Dan Curry said the attorney general takes clients' wishes into consideration.Springfield, IllinoisPublished: Friday, August 18, 2000 2000 Associated Press CannabisNews Police Archives:http://cannabisnews.com/news/list/police.shtml
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Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on August 18, 2000 at 13:08:17 PT:
A clarification
About the 'pigs'; I was referring to Orwell's porkers of Animal Farm. The ones who were 'more equal than others'. This certainly looks like a classic texbook case of Life imitating Art. This particular flatnose will get a chance to resume his career - which consists of prosecuting laws he has flaunted with impunity. Justice may be blind, but she has a finger on the scales, just the same. 
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Comment #2 posted by brewnash on August 18, 2000 at 12:38:40 PT:
But it gets better
Why wasn't this guy fired for dereliction of duty. Isn't marijuana illegal ??....Oh yeah, I forgot, the laws only apply to people the cops aren't related to, or friends with, or not paying them off, or politicians and their families....etc...etc...etc
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on August 18, 2000 at 10:32:36 PT:
Oh, the breathtaking hypocrisy of it!
'State Police officials have dropped their fight to fire a trooper who admitted smoking marijuana. Police spokesman Capt. Dave Sanders said Thursday the agency is still working to reinstate Master Sgt. Mark Atchison, who has been on paid leave since completing a six-month suspension inNovember.'When the Feds sacked me for medical use, they simply threw me out. No treatment programs, nothing. Zip! But the cop gets paid leave; does any of this sound the least bit hypocritical?But it gets better:'Atchison's lawyer, John Hosteny of Springfield, said his client "wants to get back to work and get on with his career."Ah, yes, his career. Of busting people and ruining their lives for doing something he does and gets paid leave for.And what's even sadder is that there is absolutely no mention of the terrible asymmetry between the treatment this cop gets for breaking the law and the treatment his victims got. Is it any wonder why the word 'pig' is creeping back into the lexicon of epithets for police?
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