Of the two American localities to recently implement the full-on legalization of recreational marijuana — Washington D.C. and Alaska — the nation’s capital has had the bumpier road. And now the police chief of the District of Columbia is boldly coming out saying that “alcohol is a much bigger problem” than marijuana.
Going online with legalization
D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier stood by district mayor Muriel Bowser in the last few weeks as members of Congress threatened jail time to Bowser and others should they implement the voter-approved marijuana legalization. Bowser didn’t back down to the threats of Congress, which has final say over the district’s laws. And today Bowser is working from the mayor’s office, not jail, while D.C. finds itself in the early days of legal weed.
And what about district police chief Lanier? She said alcohol is a bigger concern to public safety and the well-being of her officers than cannabis.
“Marijuana smokers are not going to attack and kill a cop,” Lanier said while speaking at the American News Women’s Club, per The Daily Beast. “They just want to get a bag of chips and relax. Alcohol is a much bigger problem.”
Lanier did mention her concerns about the possible health issues of smoking pot, as opposed to vaporizing and edibles.
“But I’m not policing the city as a mom,” she said, “I’m policing it as the police chief — and 70 percent of the public supported this.”
Lanier went on to talk about how D.C. cops weren’t fans of pot arrests. From The Daily Beast article:
The police hate marijuana possession arrests, Lanier said, they’d just as soon dump the stuff down the sewer than handle all the paperwork and the court appearance, knowing it won’t stop anyone from smoking marijuana. “All those arrests do is make people hate us,” she said. After last year’s relaxing of the law, marijuana arrests are way down, and according to a study by The Washington Times, 70 percent of those slapped with the $25 fine for public smoking or possession ignore the citation.
Lanier isn’t alone. President Barack Obama famously told The New Yorker in 2014: “I don’t think (pot) is more dangerous than alcohol.” An important recent study in Scientific Reports showed that cannabis is 114 times less deadly than alcohol. A Washington Post analysis of federal drug and hospital data proved that, on a per-user basis, marijuana causes fewer ER trips than alcohol, pharmaceuticals and other drugs.