DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier complained yesterday at a press conference that her 3,830 sworn police officers are insufficient. “We’re going to have trouble,” Lanier predicted, without more officers.

What about using the officers we do have more effectively?  What about following New York, Massachusetts, Colorado and 13 other states by treating possession of marijuana as a civil offense?

Instead of wasting limited police resources arresting suspects, officers could instead issue a ticket. The bottom line is with declining violent crime, MPD’s 4,000 annual marijuana arrests have become the bread and butter of her department’s duties.

In fairness, it’s not Lanier’s fault. A do-nothing City Council is more concerned about preserving its perks and lining its pockets than updating our laws. As long as the Council criminalizes possession of pot, police officers will make arrests, and Lanier will clamor for more cops.

Categories: Marijuana Laws

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