When cops break the law

Hypocrisy is always disruptive.
It destroys credibility and, when it involves government policy, it destroys
respect for government and the rule of law.

Among the hot button issues
where hypocrisy arises is prohibition, specifically the war on some drugs. The
position of ChaddsFordLive.com has always been that prohibition does more harm
than the drugs that are outlawed.

We have been critical of state
Rep. Stephen Barrar for his position on the issue. He has said he would never
vote for anyone who advocates the legalization of marijuana, all the while
promoting the state wine industry. He also closes his mind to religious and law
enforcement arguments that favor even decriminalization.

While we disagree strongly with
Mr. Barrar’s position and believe it to be hypocritical, it could be worse. Consider the group of
cops in Houston, Texas who executed a drug raid, then ate half the evidence and
joked about it on department computers.

The ABC TV affiliate in Houston
reported that three officers raided the home of Nicholas Hill for drug
possession. The officers found some marijuana and also some brownies that they
ate at the scene knowing, or at least assuming, they were pot brownies.

About an hour later, the
officers began typing on their in-car computers, “So HIGH...Good munchies.”

According to Mr. Hill’s attorney, “What
we're talking about is destruction of evidence. That's a felony. We're talking
about official misconduct. We're potentially talking about policeofficers driving around the city ofHouston high on drugs, conducting official police
business while high on drugs. It's a pretty big deal."

If a civilian without any political
connections were known to have eaten marijuana-laced brownies, then bragged
about on line and went tooling around town in a car, they would have been
arrested in a heartbeat. Not so in this case.

The incident happened in May, but so far
there has been no word on any charges being filed against the officers
involved. They are still on the job.

During the first age of prohibition — that
of alcohol — police departments, judges and politicians were corrupted by those
dealing illegal booze and beer. Corruption is rampant now, but this incident is
worse. Imagine Elliot Ness and his “Untouchables” getting drunk while raiding
Al Capone’s brewery, then bragging about it.

Treating vices as crimes does society no
good. It breeds disrespect for the law, not just by those who traffic in
illegal substances, but by those charged with enforcing the law. It turns law
enforcers into lawbreakers. One can hardly believe that the Houston case is the
only one of its kind. To paraphrase the street slang, cops have the best stuff.

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