Police Group Retracts Support of Marijuana 

Police Group Retracts Support of Marijuana 
Posted by CN Staff on August 10, 2002 at 07:52:23 PT
By Jane Ann Morrison, Review-Journal
Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal 
A Nevada police organization responded to a three-day outcry against its support of a ballot question that would relax marijuana possession laws by yanking its endorsement Friday. Andy Anderson, the leading advocate of the endorsement, then resigned as president of the Nevada Conference of Police and Sheriffs, saying he didn't want to harm the credibility or integrity of the organization he helped found 23 years ago. 
"I don't want NCOPS' endorsements watered down," he said. "The bottom line is, I care for this organization." The controversy created by the support for Question 9 would have had a spillover effect into the group's highly sought candidate endorsements, Anderson said. But he insisted there is a silent majority, even within police, who believe that arresting people in possession of small amounts of marijuana is a waste of resources and detracts from more important crimes. After a formal board vote, NCOPS now opposes Question 9, which will ask voters in November to place in the Nevada Constitution language decriminalizing home use of less than 3 ounces of the drug. It would make Nevada's marijuana laws the most lenient in the United States. Anderson, who supports Question 9, conducted a phone survey on the question and announced Tuesday the endorsement was approved by a 9-0 vote. Afterward, law enforcement officials from police, the district attorney's office and unions objected to the highly publicized endorsement. Then it was revealed there was no board meeting and no formal vote. The endorsement had been a coup for Nevadans for Responsible Law Enforcement, the group formed to promote the ballot question, and its leader, Billy Rogers, predicted the endorsement would help them win the vote in the Nov. 5 general election. On Friday, Rogers said, "I don't think this means we will lose the election. We would have won the election without NCOPS endorsement or with it." But he challenged the veracity of the NCOPS board members, who said they were confused when Anderson called and asked them how they felt about Question 9. Four out of five NCOPS board members contacted Thursday said they hadn't thought it was a vote, nor had they understood the question. The four said they believed it was a question involving medical use of marijuana. There had been a Question 9 in 1998 and 2000 on permitting the medical use of the drug. "Either they were not telling the truth or they had their head in the sand the last month," a clearly angry Rogers said. Mick Gillins, the NCOPS vice president who became president upon Anderson's resignation; David Burns, president of the Henderson Police Officers Association; Mike Mcban of the North Las Vegas Police Officers Association; and Ron Cuzze of the State Peace Officers Council all told the Review-Journal they thought the question was related to medical marijuana, not the decriminalization of small amounts of the drug. In another move, Rogers said he believes two law enforcement officials might have violated state and federal law by appearing on television with bags of marijuana to show how much marijuana comprises 3 ounces. Chief Deputy District Attorney Gary Booker and Las Vegas police Detective Todd Raybuck both appeared on television with the bags of the drug. Rogers said he'll ask state and federal officials to investigate whether that broke any laws by using the marijuana as a prop in a political campaign. Booker's response: "Nonsense." Said Raybuck: "I did that under the direction of (Undersheriff) Dick Winget. The narcotics was checked out as evidence and used for the training and education of the public." ACLU of Nevada board member JoNell Thomas, a Las Vegas attorney, said if Booker and Raybuck "want to campaign against Question 9, they shouldn't do it with taxpayer dollars." David Kallas, executive director of the 2,100-member Las Vegas Police Protective Association, earlier said he was embarrassed by the endorsement. On Friday, he said he hoped the revocation of the endorsement, along with Anderson's resignation, puts the issue to rest. "Andy, to preserve the integrity of NCOPS, did something nobody expected him to do," Kallas said. "He took an extraordinary step, and it speaks to his character because he put his life into that organization." This wasn't the first time Anderson butted heads with other police union officials. He became president of NCOPS after he was ousted in April 2000 as president of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association. He opposed demands for an audit of the PPA's self-insured health plan, which cost him the support of scores of members.Complete Title: Police Group Retracts Support of Marijuana Ballot MeasureSource: Las Vegas Review-Journal (NV)Author: Jane Ann Morrison, Review-JournalPublished: Saturday, August 10, 2002Copyright: 2002 Las Vegas Review-JournalContact: letters lvrj.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:NRLE Policy Project Group Reverses Endorsement on Marijuana Police Group Changes Pot Stance Union Leader Rebukes Support of Marijuana Ballot Issue: Police Back Legalization
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Comment #7 posted by Phasetheory on August 12, 2002 at 23:35:38 PT
Poll the cops
Why should we care about what boards say anyway. We know their motives are driven by money. They couldn't imagine the cut backs in law enforcement if Nevda decriminalized. They need to poll the police officers themselves. The ones that have to deal with the insane laws. I bet most of them have to be getting really tired of arresting people they know cause no harm to society, or even themselves.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on August 10, 2002 at 18:20:50 PT
Just a Comment
Aside from pressure from the government to changed their mind the reasons go much deeper then that. I've heard where many cops get their personal stash from a bust. I can't confirm it but I've heard it more then one time and from different people. If a person has a choice between running into a burning building or taking a walk in the park the later would be the one that was picked. Busting easy going marijuana people is a walk in the park and with big benefits. It's risky and dangerous to go after a Meth Lab. We all know that. We are a look for an easy way out society and that was tolerable but it shouldn't be anymore. Since 9-11 our lives have changed and everyone is a little more serious. We need to pull together. We need to have faith in the police that we need to protect us from terrorists. The healing was started by Andy Anderson and he did the right thing. I hope the police do a little soul searching and try to figure out why what he supported was a bad idea. It was a compassionate and wise idea.
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Comment #5 posted by VitaminT on August 10, 2002 at 17:55:38 PT
Hey Nevada COPS!
Get off your ass and support Andy Anderson! He's doing the right thing and you know it, assuming of course YOU HAVE A BRAIN OF YOUR OWN. You can't ALL be just a bunch of BRAINWASHED DRONES?!!
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Comment #4 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on August 10, 2002 at 14:21:16 PT
>>Andy Anderson, the leading advocate of the endorsement, then resigned as president of the Nevada Conference of Police and Sheriffs, saying he didn't want to harm the credibility or integrity of the organization he helped found 23 years ago.  Sounds to me like he just did...
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Comment #3 posted by E_Johnson on August 10, 2002 at 10:59:32 PT
Crime victim groups need to start complaining
How in the heck can they justify going after potheads as long as they have one unsolved rape or murder case in the state?This is an outrage against all violent crime victims everywhere.
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Comment #2 posted by schmeff on August 10, 2002 at 10:27:36 PT
Kallas is correct: Andy has integrity.Unlike the spineless and vocal minority who profit from the status quo.Nevadans already passed a medical marijuana law by the initiative process...had to vote on it twice...was in all the papers. But wait! These 'credible' representatives of the law enforcement community, officers Mick Gillins, David Burns (but only off-duty), Mike McBan (who would McBan all illegal McDrugs) and Ron Cuzze (won't even go there) who are responsible for enforcing these laws, were "confused" and were really under the impression that the voters were...the medical thing...again...for practice?...or something-anyway-next question?Andy left to protect the integrity of these guys? 
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Comment #1 posted by Prime on August 10, 2002 at 09:45:56 PT
Poor Andy...
We should send him a big bag of green sticky hooch!! He's a hero.
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