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Voters Should Remember Officials' Reaction to Medical Marijuana Decriminalization

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard and Prosecutor Jessica Cooper wasted taxpayers' resources on raids and prosecution, Oakland County Commissioner Craig Covey says in a letter to Berkley Patch.

As residents prepare to make their choices and cast their ballots for the upcoming elections, they would do well to remember how certain county elected officials reacted these past couple of years to the decriminalization of medical marijuana which was passed by overwhelming majorities of Michigan voters.  Instead of a mindful and accommodating attempt to follow the wishes of residents, Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard decided to devote huge amounts of effort and resources into investigations, entrapments, raids, and arrests of local residents who attempted to follow the newly passed laws in an open and law-abiding manner.

Mayors, council members, city commissioners, local police, and planning and zoning officials in several cities had painstakingly developed methods to enable patients and caregivers to begin to provide for the use of marijuana as medicine. But our sheriff decided to use his office, time, and efforts to use every known force of law to shut down these efforts. He used helicopters, undercover narcotics agents, snarling dogs, and swat officers in full riot gear and facemasks, carrying automatic weapons to make raids. They arrested owners, nurses, receptionists, and even grandmothers who were trying to follow the new medical marijuana laws.

Lest anyone believe this criticism is partisan, Republican Sheriff Bouchard could not have carried out such raids without support from Democratic County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper. Her 1970’s era “nixonian” beliefs about marijuana enabled this huge waste of law and order resources, against the wishes of people who live in our county.

Thousands of hours of law enforcement, prosecutorial, and court system hours, costing Oakland County taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, have been wasted these past couple of years, while thousands of burglaries, assaults, and car thefts go unsolved. Voters should remember this when they get their ballots in the coming election and vote accordingly.

Craig Covey serves as Oakland County Commissioner representing the 25th District, which includes Ferndale, Hazel Park and Royal Oak. He can be reached at 248-721-6434 or craig@coveyforoakland.com.

Send letters to the editor to Leslie Ellis at leslie.ellis@patch.com. Letters may be edited for clarity. Please include a phone number with your submission for verification purposes.

FlyingTooLow October 29, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Well said, Mr. Covey... Law enforcement needs to re-direct its focus on crime...to those that are REAL crimes. I was in Federal Prison for 5 years for a marijuana offense. No, it was not for simple possession. I was arrested aboard a Lockheed PV2 in Marianna, Florida...charged and convicted for conspiracy to import and distribute 12,000 pounds of marijuana. At the time, I really had no idea what I had gotten myself into...mine was an offense involving pot...the thought never occurred to me that I may actually spend years in prison for that 'indiscretion.' As my years in prison rolled by, what I did see were armed bank robbers, coming and going...while I still sat there for marijuana. Most of the bank robbers only spent 17 to 24 months. But, I and my fellow 'drug offenders,'...we stayed for YEARS. I wrote about the escapades that led to my incarceration. I admit, I had a great time. No one was injured, no one was killed, firearms were not involved...there were no victims. We were Americans...doing what Americans do best...living free. Truly, it is time for this lunacy to end...it never should have begun. My book: Shoulda Robbed a Bank It is about living free. I would be honored by your review.
Electrified November 01, 2012 at 09:54 AM
How refreshing it is to hear Mr. Covey call out Bouchard and Cooper - two big-government statists - for their actions. They both need the boot to send a clear message that "We, the People" are in charge, and not them. Does my disgust for politicians that don't listen to us resonate with anyone else? You have the opportunity to do something about it: get out and vote.
Mike Parent November 03, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Dems and Reps, different pages from the same bad book! Prohibitionists come in both blue and red.

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