Pubdate: Thu, 16 Nov 2006
Source: San Francisco Bay Times (CA)
Contact:  2006 San Francisco Bay Times
Author: Bruce Mirken


Arthur Evans need not be so fearful of Tom Ammiano's proposal to
make enforcement of private marijuana offenses the lowest priority for
San Francisco law enforcement ("Regulate Pot," Letters, Nov. 9).
Similar measures have been in force for some time in Oakland and
Seattle without any of the problems Evans imagines. In Seattle, whose
lowest-priority ordinance, Initiative 75, was passed by a 58%-42% vote
of the people in 2003, the most vocal opponent was City Attorney Tom
Carr. During the campaign, Carr voiced the same objections as Evans,
alleging that police would be hamstrung. Two years later, he told the
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "It hasn't been a problem."

Recently, former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper summed up the
impact of I-75: "The result? Far fewer [marijuana] arrests, less
damage to the lives of otherwise law-abiding citizens, and more time
for police officers to concentrate on predatory street crimes."

We certainly have a problem with predatory street crimes in San
Francisco, including the Castro. That's where our police should be
putting their time and resources.

Bruce Mirken

Director of Communications

Marijuana Policy Project

San Francisco
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