MPD Chief Cathy Lanier Responds to Today’s Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

From MPD:

“Today, proposed legislation to decriminalize possession of an ounce or less of marijuana was introduced in Council. This is a significant issue that merits robust discussion on a broad spectrum of issues, including concerns about the risk to children with increased access, the health impact of increasingly potent plants, and conflict with federal laws. In the meantime, it is important for the community to recognize that some of the information being used as an argument for decriminalization is flawed. As I believe our community members know, MPD has not prioritized marijuana arrests. Since day one, my priority has been combatting violent crime, and the District is safer as a result. Marijuana users are simply not being targeted in the manner suggested by a recent report from the ACLU and by many advocates for decriminalization.”

19 Comment

  • Wow. Says the person who once compared a minority group to Iphones saying that ” One wouldnt be able to complain if they flaunted their iphone and it was stolen, that should be kept in mind when you all (referring to said minority group) are out in public”….jeez this chief never ceases to amaze…

  • So if they haven’t been prioritizing marijuana arrests, it seems Lanier clearly doesn’t think it’ a (comparatively) big deal, certainly not enough of a public risk to crack down on. So why should she be against decriminalization which would only continue her trend of diverting attention away from pot and towards violent crime?

    • They don’t want their gravy train to stop. Petty drug arrests are big moneymakers for police – fines, asset & property seizures, more people in prison = bigger budgets, more overtime pay for the foot soldiers, feel good stats to trot out in front of “concerned parents”, etc. Lanier wants to protect her bureaucratic turf.

      This is just the beginning of the fight. The citizenry is increasingly turning against the drug war everyday. But the people who rely on the government teat for their jobs (cops, military) and their wealth (contracting company owners) are going to put up a HUGE fight.

      The Citizens vs. Big Money, once again.

  • If the information from the ACLU study is being used as an argument for decriminalization is flawed. Shouldn’t the MPD respond with why it’s flawed and the General facts behind her/MPD’s position. lol where ever it stands.

    “MPD has not prioritized marijuana arrests” , “Marijuana users are simply not being targeted in the manner suggested by a recent report from the ACLU”

  • “…concerns about the risk to children with increased access, the health impact of increasingly potent plants, and conflict with federal laws.”

    FACT: States with medical marijuana programs have lower rates of teen usage than states without medical programs.

    FACT: Prohibition, not decriminalization, encourages more potent marijuana, because when you’re trying to conceal and transport something illegal, you want the most value possible in the smallest package possible. This is why jewelry is stolen more often than cars.

    FACT: None of the states that have decriminalized marijuana have been retaliated against by the feds, primarily because there’s no target to attack/arrest when a criminal law is simply removed from the books. This isn’t a medical or full legalization program that has state officials, businesses, or property owners involved who could be targeted by the feds.

  • Why is this “official” statement not on MPD’s website?

  • “MPD has not prioritized marijuana arrests” I Call Bullsh+t. Tell that to the two head shops in Adams Morgan that were raided and forced to close.

    • if i remember correctly they weren’t even selling mj but industrial hemp, correct?

      • They did have industrial hemp products but importing them is 100% legal. The police actually targeted them and mentioned heavily in their report that they recovered literature on “Dealing with the police” and “knowing your rights” on top of glass pipes. They ended up returning all the merchandise and dropping the charges if they promised to close within 30 days. The police returned hundreds of thousands of dollars in glass pipes broken.

  • Fuck Lanier.

  • I don’t care what Cathy Lanier says or what DC does. It is still illegal as a federal law so you aren’t getting a free pass even if the city passes a law de-criminalizing it. You can still get busted and put in a federal prison. It is against the law so this is really easy, don’t do till it is legal with the feds. Don’t be stupid

    • The feds have fewer officers patrolling the streets of DC (or any other given locality) than there are local cops. Your chances of being stopped for a traffic violation by a federal officer, or stopped and frisked on the street by a federal officer (the two most common ways that marijuana is found on a person) are exponentially lower than being stopped by a state or local officer. State and local level decrim go a long way towards reducing the individual user’s chances of being arrested and charged.

      The federal government is always behind the curve on these things.

  • Sounds like this would allow MPD to focus on more important issues like people being attacked while biking to and from work.

  • What a load of crap. MPD doesn’t prioritize weed offenses but, oops! , they happen to arrest thousands each year on weed offenses. I’ll believe her when the number of marijuana offenses drop to something even approaching the national average.

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