A law enforcement view on marijuana
As a former law enforcement officer, I wholeheartedly support ballot issue 2F, the proposal to establish a sensible marijuana policy in the Town of Breckenridge.
In May of 1964, I pinned a badge on my shirt in the City of New York. Six years later I became one of the first Lakewood Police Agents and served for three years. I later went to Jefferson County Schools and in 1974 moved to the mountains where I became the Summit County Undersheriff and the very first director of public safety. All told, I have more than 31 years active duty as a police officer and have held a commission for over 44 years.
In my many years as a police officer, I never saw anyone hurt or killed from the use of marijuana. The only thing ever destroyed was an expedient bag of potato chips. In my experience, the greatest behavioral threat from an adult using marijuana is that the user fall asleep.
At polls starting on October 19, voters will consider whether to remove criminal penalties for the adult private possession of small amounts of marijuana under the Breckenridge Town Code. I encourage citizens to vote “yes” on this ballot question. Based on my experiences in law enforcement and at the state Legislature, I believe we need to stop criminalizing responsible adults who choose to relax at night with marijuana – a safer drug then alcohol.
Marijuana should be regulated for adult use and taxed to the maximum. This new tax revenue could benefit education and health care. The money saved by eliminating law enforcement efforts to enforce these broken laws would amount to many billions more.
Marijuana is not a gateway drug. I worked with large groups of heroin users in New York City and they did not start with marijuana. Most started with alcohol. Several people have died in our towns and county from the use of alcohol in the past year, but there have been no such problems with marijuana. Let’s stop punishing adults for making a safer choice when recreating.
Summit County and Breckenridge have long been leaders on important social issues. Frisco and Breckenridge were two of the first towns in Colorado to legalize medical marijuana. Please join me in voting for sensible marijuana reform by voting early – from October 19 until the 30 – or on Election Day Nov. 3.
In addition to his years in law enforcement, Gary Lindstrom is also a former Summit County commissioner and Colorado House Rep.
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