Police Chief to Marijuana Law Reformers: “I’m with you” (Columbia, MO)

Earlier this month on the HeadCount blog, we posted a disturbing video of a SWAT Team raid on a family's home in Colombia, MO that left the family dog dead and only turned up a small amount of marijuana. At a press conference last week, the city's police chief made it clear that he wishes his officers didn't have to enforce marijuana laws.

“I applaud your efforts,” he told a reporter who asked about campaigns to change marijuana laws. “If we could get out of the business [of going after marijuana offenders], I think there would be a lot of police officers that would be happy to do that.”

“Crimes do occur because of marijuana and you may make the argument that it’s because it’s not legal, and you may be right," he said. "I don't have anything against it except that it's against the law."

He stated that the officers who conducted the raid acted appropriately but also explained that policy changes in how raids are carried out will happen, including the purchase of more helmet cameras to make sure all raids can be reviewed. "We are trying to go above and beyond to make sure this doesn't happen again."

Columbia passed an ordinance making marijuana offenses the lowest law enforcement priority back in 2004 but the Chief is says it's a change in state law that needs to happen to create significant changes in law enforcement.