A while back I wrote about the upcoming 2012 election and what marijuana reform measures would be on the ballot in the various States. In that piece I mentioned that Missouri would have a ballot initiative for full legalization. Every one expected states like California, Colorado, or Washington to go for full legalization but surprisingly Missouri, a Midwestern state, is in that group. Now I know why.
There is a You Tube video, obtained by a Freedom Of Information Act request, of a police swat raid conducted in 2010. Officers dressed as though they were on a military commando raid break down the door of a young family, shoot the two dogs, and in a ham handed fashion arrest the homeowner over some pipe residue, on , I presume, a no knock warrant to "destroy the dirty drug dealers who are ruining our country!' You can view the video at this link.
The man was eventually charged with possession of paraphernalia and they dropped the charges of misdemeanor marijuana possession and second degree child endangerment. They should have charged the cops with first degree child endangerment for firing their guns in the first place. I was in tears before the video was finished. Then I got angry. This type of paramilitary police action happens to 100 to 150 families a day across this nation and it must be stopped. I challenge the President, or any legislator currently in office or running for office to watch the video with his or her family and not be moved as I and my family were.
Needless to say, this video is a gift to drug policy reformers everywhere. It is, and should be, shown every chance supporters of reform get to show it. This is a perfect example of the ineffective and totalitarian nature of our prohibitionist policies. We now have a police force not looking out for and helping the citizens, but a paramilitary force imposing the will of the government and corporations on the citizens to keep them in line.
The image of this is all around us. The black uniforms, facemasks, automatic weapons, dogs, clubs, battering rams, and in some cases armored personnel carriers and helicopters are all proof of the militarization of the police as a result of our failed prohibitionist drug policy.
Now I understand why Missouri will have full legalization on the ballot. All they have to do is keep playing that video every day till the election. Should full legalization pass, what's the authorities gonna do, arrest the whole state?