If Passed, Would Prop 19 Snuff-out Elk Grove’s Likely Ban on Grass Joints

Cooper disagrees with major law enforcement group’s endorsement of Prop 19 On Wednesday night, the Elk Grove City council will consider pa...

Cooper disagrees with major law enforcement group’s endorsement of Prop 19

On Wednesday night, the Elk Grove City council will consider passing an ordinance that would effectively banned the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits. Although the vote will not take place until then, its passage is fairly certain as a majority of council member have already voiced opposition to their establishment in Elk Grove.
Jim Cooper does not support
NBPA's endorsement of Prop 19

While the city votes to keep medical marijuana joints out of Elk Grove, that might not be the end of the matter. In November voters will be asked to vote on Proposition 19 which would legalize various marijuana activities as well as give local authorities to collect sales taxes.

While it is not certain if Prop 19 passed what effect it would have on the distribution of medical marijuana, at some point it will likely permit the free flow of marijuana within Elk Grove.

According to variety of recent polls, results show the proposition is within striking distance of passing. The well regarded Field Poll show in its recent July survey 44 percent in favor, 48 percent against and 8 percent undecided. A Survey USA poll found 50 percent in favor, 40 percent opposed and 11 percent undecided.

Among the many politicians and organizations endorsing Prop 19, perhaps the most impressive and substantial endorsement came last week from a prominent professional law enforcement group - The National Black Police Association.

The NBPA cited the disproportionate arrest and incarnation of black youth on marijuana charges as the basis of their endorsement of Prop 19. They also said the funds used to enforce marijuana laws could be better used to fund education and drug prevention programs.

In a LA Times story, the NBPA executive director said:

“It means that we will be locking up less African American men and women and children who are using drugs,” said Ron Hampton, a retired Washington, D.C., police officer with 25 years experience. “We’ve got more people in prison. We’ve got more young people in prison. Blacks go to jail more than whites for doing the same thing.”
One of the speakers at last week’s NBPA nation conference held in Sacramento was Elk Grove Council Member and candidate for Sacramento Sheriff, Jim Cooper. Although not a member of the NBPA, as one of the county’s highest ranking African-American law enforcement officials, Cooper took a different stance on the topic.

Cooper: Marijuana as a gateway

Cooper, who is a captain with the Sacramento County Sheriffs Department said in an interview with EGN that he does not agree the NBPA’s Prop 19 endorsement “I defiantly disagree with it,” Cooper said.

Citing his nine years of narcotics undercover work, Cooper said he saw first hand the devastating effects of alcohol and drug use. Cooper said that to often marijuana and alcohol acts as a gateway to more dangerous drug use.

Although Cooper said he understands the medical use of marijuana for terminally ill patients, he said the original intent of Prop 215 passed in 1996 has gone astray. Cooper said anyone who is has $200 can get a medical marijuana prescription.

“I don’t think this what voters envisioned when they passed it,” he said.

“Marijuana is drug anyway you slice it,” Cooper concluded.

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