Sheriff Judd, Let’s Talk About Weed

The Sheriff’s Office has raided a few more marijuana grow houses. The Ledger has the obligatory splash in today’s metro page, noting how the numbers of such grow houses are surging past last years numbers, which in turn, surged past the numbers of the year before. No one wants a criminal enterprise operating next door, and the Sheriff’s Office is doing its job in aggressively pursuing these houses. Yet, as I see it, there’s only one way to do away with them or even halt their growth in a world of cheap foreclosure homes crying for use: end the absurd prohibition on marijuana. It is beyond time for this to become a very serious issue, discussed on its econmic and social merits – not in some goofy Cheech and Chong idiom. President Obama’s dismissive response to a serious question about this is one of the low moments of his presidency thus far, if you ask me. (And I’m not a user, by the way.)

Anyway, I like Sheriff Judd. Sure he’s, ahem, media savvy, but I genuinely enjoy talking to him and find him smart and generally forthright. I think, in his heart of hearts, Judd probably recognizes the wasted expense and active harm caused by the prohibition of a substance far less harmful than wine. So, I’m asking him to have a conversation with me about marijuana and the strategic advantages and disadvantages to treating it as a criminal substance. I’d love to podcast it, if I can figure how to do that. So email me sheriff, or sheriff’s reps, and we’ll set it up. It’s bitown1@gmail.com. In the meantime, feel free to weigh in folks.

18 thoughts on “Sheriff Judd, Let’s Talk About Weed

  1. First of all let me say that your words carry a lot of sensibility and elequence. Unfortunately neither the Feds or the State and Local governments will ever consider them. Since when has government done anything that made any common sense.

    Since the inception of the property confiscation laws, illicit drugs fund a good portion of local and county policing programs. Fact of the matter is, that with the faltering economy and no signs of its recovery anytime soon. The county governments are using property forfeiture/sales, and federal matching funds as a cash cow to maintain their jobs, or at least some of them.

    Furthermore big pharma will lobby the feds to keep weed illegal since they were the ones that done it originally. Any doctor worth his salt will admit privately (at least to his patients) that marijuana has a better medicinal effectiveness, and less harmful side effect(s) than a lot of videly prescribed pain and tranquilizer medications. It’s use and effectiveness in cancer patients has already been thoroughly documented, and at this time is just starting to be tested and compared to other drugs used for the bi-polar and manically depressed. Compared to other legal drugs such as Lexipro/Wellbutrin/Prozac/etc. Marijuana has no side effects of discontinued use such as psychotic behavior, or suicidal tendancies like a lot of the afore mentioned mental health drugs do if you stop taking them abruptly.

    The way I see it, the pharmicutical companies and law enforcement are the biggest co-conspirators of it’s continued illegal nature. Neither one can be bent or moved on the subject, collectively they make it nearly impossible.

  2. First of all let me say that your words carry a lot of sensibility and elequence. Unfortunately neither the Feds or the State and Local governments will ever consider them. Since when has government done anything that made any common sense.

    Since the inception of the property confiscation laws, illicit drugs fund a good portion of local and county policing programs. Fact of the matter is, that with the faltering economy and no signs of its recovery anytime soon. The county governments are using property forfeiture/sales, and federal matching funds as a cash cow to maintain their jobs, or at least some of them.

    Furthermore big pharma will lobby the feds to keep weed illegal since they were the ones that done it originally. Any doctor worth his salt will admit privately (at least to his patients) that marijuana has a better medicinal effectiveness, and less harmful side effect(s) than a lot of videly prescribed pain and tranquilizer medications. It’s use and effectiveness in cancer patients has already been thoroughly documented, and at this time is just starting to be tested and compared to other drugs used for the bi-polar and manically depressed. Compared to other legal drugs such as Lexipro/Wellbutrin/Prozac/etc. Marijuana has no side effects of discontinued use such as psychotic behavior, or suicidal tendancies like a lot of the afore mentioned mental health drugs do if you stop taking them abruptly.

    The way I see it, the pharmicutical companies and law enforcement are the biggest co-conspirators of it’s continued illegal nature. Neither one can be bent or moved on the subject, collectively they make it nearly impossible.

  3. I would love to see/read/hear this discussion, if done seriously. I agree that Mr. Judd is a forward thinker, and has a realistic view of the world we live in. I would be very interested to hear his take on this issue.

  4. I would love to see/read/hear this discussion, if done seriously. I agree that Mr. Judd is a forward thinker, and has a realistic view of the world we live in. I would be very interested to hear his take on this issue.

  5. I promise you, Jay. This would be an entirely serious conversation. The “weed” headline is just shameless effort to get people to notice.

  6. I promise you, Jay. This would be an entirely serious conversation. The “weed” headline is just shameless effort to get people to notice.

  7. I agree that legalizing and taxing weed would bring money in to the coffers. It may even cut some of the drug violence that plagues the country and Mexican border. However, there are points to legalization that you miss.
    -there is no standardized roadside sobriety testing that all law enforcement can use. the current standard is the drug recognition expert and those are very few and very far between. Legalizing marijuana means impaired driving.
    -smoking marijuana does kill brain cells and hurt the lungs more than typical tobacco. There will be second hand smoke inhaled by children and others who don’t want to get a contact high
    -legalizing weed and putting a tax on it does not prevent its illegal importation and sale. We obviously don’t have a good system for preventing its illegal sale now,so why would people buy legal weed with an extra tax on it? An ounce of weed is hard to serialize, or trace once its taken out of its original sale container. Tax revenue “studies” on legal weed are grossly overstated because they assume all current illegal drug sales would end.
    -all current drug detection dogs used by law enforcement would likely need to retire. One of the odors they are trained to alert to is weed. Once weed is legal,there’s no way to tell if the dog is alerting to legal weed or illegal meth.
    -many people assume that legalizing weed means we can all smoke it. Drug free workplaces are drug free because it’s better for the company plain and simple. Just because its legal doesn’t mean your employer will let you smoke it. I just can’t imagine a bunch of cops,teachers and nurses getting together for a bong party after a long day of work.
    Anyway, I think everyone needs to think hard on this before jumping on the 420 bandwagon

  8. I agree that legalizing and taxing weed would bring money in to the coffers. It may even cut some of the drug violence that plagues the country and Mexican border. However, there are points to legalization that you miss.
    -there is no standardized roadside sobriety testing that all law enforcement can use. the current standard is the drug recognition expert and those are very few and very far between. Legalizing marijuana means impaired driving.
    -smoking marijuana does kill brain cells and hurt the lungs more than typical tobacco. There will be second hand smoke inhaled by children and others who don’t want to get a contact high
    -legalizing weed and putting a tax on it does not prevent its illegal importation and sale. We obviously don’t have a good system for preventing its illegal sale now,so why would people buy legal weed with an extra tax on it? An ounce of weed is hard to serialize, or trace once its taken out of its original sale container. Tax revenue “studies” on legal weed are grossly overstated because they assume all current illegal drug sales would end.
    -all current drug detection dogs used by law enforcement would likely need to retire. One of the odors they are trained to alert to is weed. Once weed is legal,there’s no way to tell if the dog is alerting to legal weed or illegal meth.
    -many people assume that legalizing weed means we can all smoke it. Drug free workplaces are drug free because it’s better for the company plain and simple. Just because its legal doesn’t mean your employer will let you smoke it. I just can’t imagine a bunch of cops,teachers and nurses getting together for a bong party after a long day of work.
    Anyway, I think everyone needs to think hard on this before jumping on the 420 bandwagon

  9. I want to be clear that I don’t advocate legalization based on either my desire to use it or its potential tax value. I think the value in legalizing it comes in cost savings for law enforcement (jails, courts, special units, which equals tax units) and the general benefit of destroying it as a moneymaker for crime syndicates. All of your arguments could be made about wine, but organized crime doesn’t buy vineyards. Legalize weed and you end marijuana cartels an you take away some of the infrastructure and capital for their other drug operations.

    And as far impaired driving goes, it’s not like there’s a test now. The legal risk of driving a car for Marijuana users won’t change at all. You’re just assuming there will be some massive increase in use and accordingly driving while high. I don’t see any reason why that should happen.

  10. I want to be clear that I don’t advocate legalization based on either my desire to use it or its potential tax value. I think the value in legalizing it comes in cost savings for law enforcement (jails, courts, special units, which equals tax units) and the general benefit of destroying it as a moneymaker for crime syndicates. All of your arguments could be made about wine, but organized crime doesn’t buy vineyards. Legalize weed and you end marijuana cartels an you take away some of the infrastructure and capital for their other drug operations.

    And as far impaired driving goes, it’s not like there’s a test now. The legal risk of driving a car for Marijuana users won’t change at all. You’re just assuming there will be some massive increase in use and accordingly driving while high. I don’t see any reason why that should happen.

  11. I want to be clear that I don’t advocate legalization based on either a desire to use it or its potential tax value. I think the value in legalizing it comes in cost savings for law enforcement (jails, courts, special units, which equals tax savings) and the general benefit of destroying it as a moneymaker for crime syndicates. All of your arguments could be made about wine, but organized crime doesn’t buy vineyards. Legalize weed and you end marijuana cartels an you take away some of the infrastructure and capital for their other drug operations.

    And as far impaired driving goes, it’s not like there’s a test now. The legal risk of driving a car for Marijuana users won’t change at all. You’re just assuming there will be some massive increase in use and accordingly driving while high. I don’t see any reason why that should happen.

  12. I want to be clear that I don’t advocate legalization based on either a desire to use it or its potential tax value. I think the value in legalizing it comes in cost savings for law enforcement (jails, courts, special units, which equals tax savings) and the general benefit of destroying it as a moneymaker for crime syndicates. All of your arguments could be made about wine, but organized crime doesn’t buy vineyards. Legalize weed and you end marijuana cartels an you take away some of the infrastructure and capital for their other drug operations.

    And as far impaired driving goes, it’s not like there’s a test now. The legal risk of driving a car for Marijuana users won’t change at all. You’re just assuming there will be some massive increase in use and accordingly driving while high. I don’t see any reason why that should happen.

  13. Billy, you’re right. Legalizing it would cut costs for enforcement and punishment. Plus, it would be a boon for the economy and for people suffering from ills that would truly benefit from using. People would be surprised at who uses now! For those who freak out that it’s a “gateway drug,” join the real world. A worse threat are the legally prescibed drugs floating around out there in Mommy & Daddy’s medicine chests.

  14. Billy, you’re right. Legalizing it would cut costs for enforcement and punishment. Plus, it would be a boon for the economy and for people suffering from ills that would truly benefit from using. People would be surprised at who uses now! For those who freak out that it’s a “gateway drug,” join the real world. A worse threat are the legally prescibed drugs floating around out there in Mommy & Daddy’s medicine chests.

  15. I don’t see where i said or implied that weed should be legalized and taxed. Nor do i believe that someone has a right to be high at work. As for the rest of it. The same old tired arguments that could or should be applied to drinking/smoking cigarettes/cigars or any other abusive substance come up. My position is that it should be decriminalized. In case you guys haven’t been reading the paper, it’s as easy to grow in your house, as it is in your backyard. I mean it is a WEED after all. The transportation of marijuana would drop quickly, so the part about the drug dog keying on the pot as opposed to meth is also a silly argument. In fact if it were decriminalised people would probably volenteer the fact that they had a small amount in their possession and the need for a drug dog would be moot.

    There have been quite a few studies of pot and it’s effects, both long and short term. However i have yet to view report from a qualified medical study that confirms it kills brain cells at all. Certainly alchohol damages brain cells, that is proven and medically confirmed. But so far the only reports of physically damaging side effects of marijauna are related to smoking period, and not actually attributed to smoking pot itself.

    Frankly if you smoke a piece of tree bark or corn silk it can damage your lungs so i agree that you shouldn’t smoke….anything. If used in a smokeless vaporizer or cooked into food, there is no known long term side effects though (other than an attack of the killer munchies). I think that’s actually called obesity, and again cannot be connected to pot any easier than Wendy’s or McDonalds can be. Granted they definately may be contributory to each other. Personally I would say that a BigMac or 14 Pounder is just a harmful to the human body as a joint if not more so in the long term.

    It’s already been touched upon that the medicinal value of pot is a good substitution for a variety of dangerous legally prescribed drugs, so there is no reason to revisit that now.

    My whole position is to quit wasting the resources to incarcerate people for pot possession. Do like they do in Canada (where it erroniously percieved as a place where pot is legal),simple possession in Vancouver will get you a 25$ ticket similar in nature to a curfew violation on first offense. Second offense is 40$, etc.

    You would have to be busted like 5-6 times before you get any time in jail for misdermeaner possession which btw is 30-100 grams(5-10 days on an average for first jailible offense). Less than 20 grams is considered for personal use, and would only result in confiscation if used in a public area. I believe that a single potted plant is allowed for personal use in a private residence that doesn’t produce more than 8 net pounds a year. Not really sure how they determine that, but the real point is. They came to the conclusion a long time ago that chasing potheads is a ridiculous waste of policing and public financial resources.

    I think the visions of the great american smoke-out that supposedly comes with decriminalization are just pipe dreams. As for me and mine, were trying to cut back to one BigMac a week. :)

  16. I don’t see where i said or implied that weed should be legalized and taxed. Nor do i believe that someone has a right to be high at work. As for the rest of it. The same old tired arguments that could or should be applied to drinking/smoking cigarettes/cigars or any other abusive substance come up. My position is that it should be decriminalized. In case you guys haven’t been reading the paper, it’s as easy to grow in your house, as it is in your backyard. I mean it is a WEED after all. The transportation of marijuana would drop quickly, so the part about the drug dog keying on the pot as opposed to meth is also a silly argument. In fact if it were decriminalised people would probably volenteer the fact that they had a small amount in their possession and the need for a drug dog would be moot.

    There have been quite a few studies of pot and it’s effects, both long and short term. However i have yet to view report from a qualified medical study that confirms it kills brain cells at all. Certainly alchohol damages brain cells, that is proven and medically confirmed. But so far the only reports of physically damaging side effects of marijauna are related to smoking period, and not actually attributed to smoking pot itself.

    Frankly if you smoke a piece of tree bark or corn silk it can damage your lungs so i agree that you shouldn’t smoke….anything. If used in a smokeless vaporizer or cooked into food, there is no known long term side effects though (other than an attack of the killer munchies). I think that’s actually called obesity, and again cannot be connected to pot any easier than Wendy’s or McDonalds can be. Granted they definately may be contributory to each other. Personally I would say that a BigMac or 1\4 Pounder is just a harmful to the human body as a joint if not more so in the long term.

    It’s already been touched upon that the medicinal value of pot is a good substitution for a variety of dangerous legally prescribed drugs, so there is no reason to revisit that now.

    My whole position is to quit wasting the resources to incarcerate people for pot possession. Do like they do in Canada (where it erroniously percieved as a place where pot is legal),simple possession in Vancouver will get you a 25$ ticket similar in nature to a curfew violation on first offense. Second offense is 40$, etc.

    You would have to be busted like 5-6 times before you get any time in jail for misdermeaner possession which btw is 30-100 grams(5-10 days on an average for first jailible offense). Less than 20 grams is considered for personal use, and would only result in confiscation if used in a public area. I believe that a single potted plant is allowed for personal use in a private residence that doesn’t produce more than 8 net pounds a year. Not really sure how they determine that, but the real point is. They came to the conclusion a long time ago that chasing potheads is a ridiculous waste of policing and public financial resources.

    I think the visions of the great american smoke-out that supposedly comes with decriminalization are just pipe dreams. As for me and mine, were trying to cut back to one BigMac a week. :)

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