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Former Drug War Leader Demands Michigan Cops Respect Pot Law Reform

Christopher Furlong, Getty Images

Medical marijuana is now legal in Michigan and many municipalities have even decriminalized marijuana for recreational use. Yet, despite the progressive pot policies approved by the state’s registered voters, some law enforcement agencies are refusing to respect reformed drug laws.

However, Major Neil Franklin, who is now the executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, is in Detroit this week to demand the police force stop using borderline illegal tactics to fight the drug war. This is in response to allegation that Detroit’s narcotics division has been employing the use of criminal standards.

“After speaking with Detroit residents, it’s clear that ‘temptations for officers in settings where loose cash and narcotics are to be found,’ an issue acknowledged as a problem in Item 5 of page 45 of Police Chief Craig’s 2014 Crime Plan, still exist and are still creating problems for the community,” said Major Franklin.

Not surprisingly, Chief Craig has not agreed to meet with Franklin to discuss the allegations, nor has he offered any response.

“I’ve traveled the world from city to city, talking about the harms of the drug war but Detroit is really ground zero. Here we are in one of the most violent cities in the country and police are spending their time conducting militarized raids on medical marijuana providers. Good cops don’t want to do that. They go into law enforcement because they want to stop violent criminals. But asset forfeiture laws and federal grants incentivize low-level drug arrests that destroy people’s lives and can lead to bad behavior on the part of individual officers who sully the name of the rest. Our police are being held hostage by the drug war,” said Franklin.

He says police who claim they want to improve upon community relations and then disregard the will of the people are not serving the interest of the community.

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