The age of legal marijuana has been good to almost everyone, including police officers, whose departments are getting new toys (and overtime to play with them) paid for by the very people who are the subsequent targets of enforcement.
Across the country, taxes and fees paid by medical marijuana patients are funding roads, schools and addiction programs. And in one Michigan county, medical cannabis patients are also paying for the overtime of police officers who show up at their doorsteps to enforce medical marijuana laws — armed with new stun guns also paid for by pot patients.
The Lansing State Journal reports that there’s about $3 million in medical marijuana patient fees available this year to police forces and other organizations throughout Michigan.
The cash is supposed to fund “education, communication and enforcement” of the state’s medical marijuana law, but there seems to be an unfortunate and counter-intuitive emphasis on the enforcement.
In Ingham County, which includes the campus of Michigan State University, cops will receive $113,000 out of the $3 million state cannabis kitty. Forget education and communication, unless pedagogical arguments are won at the end of a rhetorical Taser.
Cops are using the money to buy 23 of those name-brand stun guns, along with fancy new gear to identify if weed is weed and plenty of police overtime — time-and-a-half, the newspaper reported.
Michigan is known for having some of the meanest marijuana cops in the United States. In one conservative county in metro Detroit, a narcotics enforcement team recently had a big bust thrown out of court because the heavily armed, mask-wearing narcs failed to follow proper procedure during their raid.
But not only are police not publicly reconsidering tactics that result in wheelchair-confined patients being dragged into court for a few plants, they’ve vowed to stay the course.
Ironically, each county in Michigan is allotted money based on the number of marijuana patients who register there, meaning the harder cops make it for cannabis, the less money they get to make it hard for cannabis.
Other counties also bought cop gear, including stun guns, trailers, and “raid vests,” according to the newspaper, meaning that some patients will absolutely receive visits from police driving cars and wearing gear that they paid for.
TELL US, is police overtime a good use of medical marijuana revenue?