Cops Fired For Beliefs About Marijuana

Now that a majority of Americans support full legalization of marijuana, one would think that it’s safe to voice that support without having to fear for one’s job. Well, not if you’re a cop. In fact, several cops have been fired for voicing their opinion on the failed “War on Drugs,” some privately.

One of them, named Byron Gonzalez, was a border guard. The New York Times reports that he said that if marijuana was legalized, “the drug-related violence across the border in Mexico would cease. He then brought up an organization called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition that favors ending the war on drugs.” And he got fired for stating something that is empirically true.

Another particularly jarring example goes back to 2005, when a Washington state policeman named Jonathan Wender also voiced support for marijuana legalization. When he was fired, he sued the police department and got an almost million dollar settlement – rightfully so. It’s boggling that departments keep on firing people for political reasons, especially when there’s such a large price to pay.

Perhaps the most inexplicable thing about this is that policy continues to trend the opposite direction from public opinion. Even though at least half of Americans support full legalization and 70% support legalized medical marijuana, politicians continue to fight any kind of drug law liberalization. The Obama DOJ has threatened to shut down dispensaries, the only safe place where patients can get their medicine, and many governors are stalling the processes in their own states. This report just shows that opposition to compassionate medicine and reason isn’t just confined to policy elites, but to all levels of the decision making chain.

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Photo credit: USFS Region 5's Flickr stream.

34 comments

Prentise W.
pre,tpse w.4 years ago

In the 60s in San Francisco, a cop that knew the truth about the innocence and benefits of marijuana, and who spoke openly about how people should have the right to make their own health and social choices, was put into a mental hospital "for observation." We never heard anything else about him again. Anybody remember that?

Tanja Z.
Tanja Zilker4 years ago

thank you for info

Richard B.
Richard B.4 years ago

The law enforcement keep their wrong-headed policies and get sued for them. Who pays the bill? The sucker taxpayer. The law enforcement people doesn't feel obligated. It's JUST taxpayers' money. That's right. Bring on the lawsuits. Keep paying, suckers. YOU are the ones who elected us, law enforcement, after all. You brought this on yourselves. Does this feel right?

Rebecca W.
Rebecca W.4 years ago

I believe that a person should be able to do anything they want to their own body. Cannabis is virtually harmless. Alcohol does far more damage.

Elaine A.
Elaine Al Meqdad4 years ago

Now that a majority of Americans support full legalization of marijuana,

This statement is absolutely NOT TRUE in fact it is the opposite!

Christina Carlson

No big surprise and hopefully these individuals will all receive justice for being fired on political grounds. Not likely, but hopefully. It just goes to show that our government is so deeply and firmly mired in the war on drugs that there's no way they can legalize even something as harmless as marijuana without exposing fraud against the American people.

sherry l.
sherry luciano4 years ago

Taking away freedom of speech is happening every day. This person only stayed his opinion.(Nothing More.) Obama administration is standing by this decision.The 99% have shown what is happening. Look how they been treated.

Justin G.
Justin G.4 years ago

Whenever you're reading history you're bound to come across a period where something kept people from thinking or acting rationally, such as slavery. I never use to understand how that many people could have their rational so twisted as to believe and support something like that. And then I grew up and saw the war on drugs. Laughable. How does that saying go? ''People always believe what they want to or what they are afraid might be true.'' Our war on drugs will be something looked back on with puzzlement.

Basic translation of prohibition: The power to tell free men and women what they can and cannot do with their most personal possessions, their mind and body. If you do not relinquish this freedom to the government, they claim the right to forcefully remove almost all other freedoms for your display of defiance even if your actions caused no harm. We are told this is Justice.

Sorry that is not the way freedom works.

Mike P.
Mike P.4 years ago

The Drug War has been a failure over the past 40 yrs at the taxpayers cost of a trillion dollars. Yet the Feds and other Prohibitionists want more time and more money! Talk about convoluted logic.

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola4 years ago

Thanks for posting.