Home » Crime » Recent Articles:

Opinion: St. Louis Should Legalize Marijuana

November 1, 2017 Board of Aldermen, Crime, Drug Policy, Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Opinion: St. Louis Should Legalize Marijuana

Marijuana never should have been classified as am illegal drug to begin with. So why was it? A top bureaucrat didn’t want to be out of a job!

In 1929, a man called Harry Anslinger was put in charge of the Department of Prohibition in Washington, D.C. But alcohol prohibition had been a disaster. Gangsters had taken over whole neighborhoods. Alcohol — controlled by criminals — had become even more poisonous.

So alcohol prohibition finally ended — and Harry Anslinger was afraid. He found himself in charge of a huge government department, with nothing for it to do. Up until then, he had said that cannabis was not a problem. It doesn’t harm people, he explained, and “there is no more absurd fallacy” than the idea it makes people violent.

But then — suddenly, when his department needed a new purpose — he announced he had changed his mind. (Huffington Post)

He sold the public on the idea smoking weed caused “reefer madness.”

See the full propaganda film here. The madness has been decades of prohibition on a plant with remarkable medicinal qualities.

Poster for the 1930s propaganda film ‘Reefer Madness’

From Board Bill 180 introduced last week:

WHEREAS, in 2013, Board of Aldermen addressed marijuana possession in the City of St. Louis by passing Ordinance 69429, as codified in Part IV, Chapter 11.60, Title 11 of the Revised Code of the City of St. Louis;

WHEREAS, at least five cities, including Breckenridge, Colorado; Denver, Colorado; Portland, Maine; South Portland, Maine; Washington, D.C., and eight states, including Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada have legalized and regulated marijuana under state and local laws;

WHEREAS, cities and states have not seen significant increases in crime since legalization and regulation of marijuana, and many have seen slight decreases in crime;

WHEREAS, the Drug Enforcement Agency found that, overall, research does not support a direct causal relationship between regular marijuana use and other illicit drug use;

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Police Department has contended that it is understaffed by over 110 officers;

WHEREAS, federal law prohibition makes enforcement of state laws on marijuana by the City of St. Louis, including by the Metropolitan Police Department, redundant and wasteful of city resources;

WHEREAS, arresting, citing, and prosecuting marijuana offenders diverts police time away from crimes with victims. Nationally, 87% of all motor vehicle thefts and over 70% of robberies go unsolved, while law enforcement pursues over half a million arrests for marijuana possession. Regulating marijuana would free up law enforcement time and resources to focus on real crime;

WHEREAS, it is in the best interests of the City of Saint Louis that City resources only be devoted to issues of priority in ensuring public safety and protecting the quality of life for its residents;

WHEREAS, eliminating marijuana enforcement by local police may separate the market for marijuana from the market for more harmful substances, reducing the likelihood that marijuana consumers will be exposed to opiates or other dangerous drugs when they purchase marijuana;

WHEREAS, studies have found that a 48% reduction in patients’ opioid use after three months of medical marijuana treatment, 39% reduction in their opioid dosage, and 39% stopped using opioids altogether;

WHEREAS, researchers at Columbia University’s School of Public Health found that, in states that passed medical marijuana laws, fewer drivers killed in car crashes tested positive for opioids after the laws went into effect

Yes, this should be addressed at state & federal levels, but it’s not. We can’t afford to just sit around waiting for the pushes of old myths to admit they were wrong.

This bill is sponsored by Megan E. Green (15) and co-spomsored by the following:

I urge you to thank each of these six aldermen and for you to contact the other 22 to get BB180 passed.

In the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll I used the word “pot” because it’s an old term generally used only by those who oppose legalization.

Q: Agree or disagree: Pot is a dangerous drug, St. Louis Police should continue enforcing state & federal pot laws!

  • Strongly agree 8 [17.02%]
  • Agree 4 [8.51%]
  • Somewhat agree 1 [2.13%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 1 [2.13%]
  • Somewhat disagree 1 [2.13%]
  • Disagree 7 [14.89%]
  • Strongly disagree 23 [48.94%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 2 [4.26%]

Clearly, many of those who responded still believe the propaganda.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Should the City of St. Louis Legalize Marijuana?

October 29, 2017 Crime, Drug Policy, Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should the City of St. Louis Legalize Marijuana?
Please vote below

One of four new board bills introduced on Friday

The bill, sponsored by Alderman Megan Green, 15th Ward, would stop enforcement of any laws that permit “the civil or criminal punishment for the use or possession of marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia against any individual or entity,” except under certain circumstances.

Civil or criminal penalties could be enforced on anyone using marijuana under the age of 21, selling to someone under 21, or possessing more than 2 ounces of marijuana or more than 10 marijuana plants for cultivation. Under the measure, consumption of marijuana anywhere but on private residential property would be limited.

The plan would allow the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to focus on violent, more serious crime at a time when police resources are limited, Green said. (Post-Dispatch)

This is the subject of today’s poll.

This poll will close at 8pm.

— Steve Pattreson

 

Sunday Poll: Was Justice Served In The Stockley Verdict?

September 17, 2017 Crime, Featured Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Was Justice Served In The Stockley Verdict?
Please vote below

On Friday a judge finally issued his ruling on the murder trial of a former St. Louis police officer.

Stockley, then a St. Louis officer, fatally shot Smith, 24, after a police chase in December 2011 over a suspected drug deal. After he pleaded not guilty to a murder charge, he waived his right to a jury trial, meaning the ruling was left to the judge.
On Friday, a judge found him not guilty. (CNN)

Here’s a little more detail:

What happened: In December 2011, Stockley, a 31-year-old officer, shot and killed Smith following a suspected drug transaction and high-speed chase, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Stockley first shot at Smith’s car in a Church’s Chicken parking lot at Thekla Avenue and Riverview Boulevard after, police said, Smith reached for something in his car and drove toward the officers. Smith sped away and the chase began, ending in a crash about a mile away. Stockley then shot Smith five times after, Stockley contends, he again saw Smith reach for something. Police said they found heroin and a gun in Smith’s vehicle. Smith was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Why now: When Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce charged Stockley with first-degree murder, in May 2016, it had been more than five years since the shooting. In the interim, the Board of Police Commissioners settled a federal wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of Smith’s daughter for $900,000, according to the Post. Stockley resigned and moved to Houston. The case again captured public attention in April 2016, when activists gathered in front of City Hall and claimed that the police had covered up the truth in the shooting and demanded charges against Stockley. Activist Anthony Shahid told the Post that Smith’s mother, who was at the gathering, had thought Stockley was in jail. (St. Louis Magazine)

This case is the subject of today’s poll:

This poll closes at 8pm tonight.

— Steve Patterson

 

Readers: Metro Right To Highlight County Police Covering Cameras

August 2, 2017 Crime, Featured, Public Transit Comments Off on Readers: Metro Right To Highlight County Police Covering Cameras
North Hanley parking garage

In the recent Sunday Poll nearly seventy percent of those who voted don’t by the statement frim St. Louis County police chief Belmer.

Q: Agree or disagree: Media coverage of County police @ MetroLink is a ploy by Metro to get police powers.

  • Strongly agree 1 [2.78%]
  • Agree 1 [2.78%]
  • Somewhat agree 4 [11.11%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 1 [2.78%]
  • Somewhat disagree 4 [11.11%]
  • Disagree 9 [25%]
  • Strongly disagree 12 [33.33%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 4 [11.11%]

I do think Metro would like to its own police force, I also think the officers caught spending hours in a substation, rather than be out on platforms, need to face discipline. Belmer too.

What I’m not sure of is of Metro should have police powers. The security guards on platforms and in trains are pretty useless, an argument for them getting police power. On the other hand, abuse of power can come with police powers. The St. Louis region is already highly fragmented. Missouri & Illinois granting Metro, aka Bi-State Development, police powers increases fragmentation.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Does The World Naked Bike Ride Encourage Indecent Exposure?

July 16, 2017 Crime, Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Does The World Naked Bike Ride Encourage Indecent Exposure?
Please vote below

The annual World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) rolled through St. Louis last night.  Organizers use the phrase “bare as you dare.” Some riders were completely nude, except for shoes.

Although you can be as bare as you dare during the ride, the City of St. Louis requests that we cover our privates at the pre/post party. (WNBRSTL.org)

The St. Louis police allow privates to be exposed in public during the ride.

In most states around the country, there are indecent exposure laws which may prevent men and women from legally exposing their genitals in public.

Some states, however, only apply their indecency laws to those who show their man or lady parts for the purpose of sexual arousal or to shock others, allowing well-intentioned nudists to avoid prosecution. (FindLaw)

The above source indicates topless is ok in most states thanks to lawsuits on the equality of indecent exposure laws. For today’s poll you get to weigh in on the subject.

The poll will close at 8pm tonight.

– Steve Patterson

 

Advertisement



FACEBOOK POSTS

Archives

Categories

Advertisement


Subscribe