TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF

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TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF Powered By Docstoc
					By Rebecca Kanable




California chiefs, others aim to keep the country from going to pot


P       lanning for the inau-
        gural “Summit on the
Impact of California’s Medical
                                           ences. With a dozen other states
                                           following their lead and passing
                                           medical marijuana laws, and more
                                                                                  National Drug Threat Assessment
                                                                                  2009, is abused more than any
                                                                                  other drug.
Marijuana Laws,” organizers wor-           states looking to do the same, eyes       “California is a great example of
ried no one would show up. But             remain focused on The Golden           what not to do,” says Kirkland, a
when the summit took place this            State.                                 member of CPCA’s board of direc-
spring, there were more than 400              El Cerrito Chief Scott Kirkland,    tors and a veteran of El Cerrito law
attendees. The law enforcement-            who helped organize the summit         enforcement since 1979.
only event was sponsored by the            and found CPCA’s Medical                  As a police chief, he accepts
California Department of Justice,          Marijuana Dispensary Task              some of the blame. “We’ve done
the California Police Chiefs               Force, says law enforcement must       a poor job getting the word out
Association (CPCA), the California         acknowledge that marijuana             about the dangers associated with
Peace Officers’ Association and            decriminalization is a growing issue   marijuana use,” he explains.
the California State Sheriffs’             nationwide. Kirkland says there
Association.                               are issues law enforcement must        Today’s marijuana
   California, the first state to          take a stand on, and one of them is       Politicians are suggesting
legalize medical marijuana in 1996,        marijuana, which, according to the     decriminalization should be up
continues to learn from its experi-        National Drug Intelligence Center      for debate, but often they have

10    Law Enforcement Technology   ■   August 2009   ■   www.officer.com
little knowledge of the topic, says
little nowled
little nowl d          th topic say  y
                                ic, ays             “We never know if we’re                   for Drug Abuse (NIDA).
                                                                                              for rug
                                                                                              fo Drug buse (NIDA).IDA
Kirkland. oday’ olit cian alo g
    rkla d
      land
Kirkland. Today s politicians, along
                          ti ans long
                          tici                                                                   Ac o di g to IDA hea
                                                                                                 According to NIDA, heavy mar-     r
with others in positions of re pon-
            s          i      f resp                   going to win or not.                   ijuana use impairs a person’s ability
                                                                                               j           mpp                      y
sibility, may have smoked marijua-
sibility may have smoked marijua                                                                 form memories recall events and
                                                                                              to f
				
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