Following wins for marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado on Tuesday night, a former Seattle police chief and a former Denver police officer sat down with Raw Story to discuss what the laws will actually do and how they think things will change.
“Today is a great day for America!” exclaimed Tony Ryan, a 36-year veteran of the Denver police force. “It’s real reform. Marijuana legalization is the biggie in terms of changing our drug policy to something that actually helps reduce the problem.”
“When people understand that marijuana prohibition is the cause of violence [instead of the drug itself], they get onboard and that’s exactly what’s happened in both of our states,” Norm Stamper, a former Seattle police chief, told Raw Story. “I for one could not be happier or more proud of what [activists] have done to help advance that conversation and secure these victories.”
“We’ve already seen some of those changes in states with medical marijuana laws,” Ryan said. “We’ve seen a reduction in teen use of marijuana in states that have marijuana laws. Studies have shown that drunk driving also goes down — some people prefer to relax with marijuana instead of alcohol, which leads to the rate of drunk driving traffic fatalities going down. There are a lot of significant things that happen, as far as we know.”
Stamper seconded the sentiment: “I think as far as effects on law enforcement, the [Washington] law goes into effect on December 6… but not for a full year will we see the evolving definitions and refinements to the regulatory system,” he said.
“Come December 6, it will be legal for an adult 21 or over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana,” Stamper continued. “That does go into effect in a month…” read more