COLUMN: Let Burton, Columbia police do their job

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 | 11:22 a.m. CDT; updated 12:40 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Over time, Columbia has been the recipient of numerous accolades for being one of the best small cities in which to retire or reside with its cost of living, educational opportunities, health care facilities and the other amenities. Much of the allure is, of course, due to MU, Stephens and Columbia colleges and the city's location halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City on a major highway.

Not all publicity has been of the favorable variety — some of us remember when MU was thought to rank among the top "party schools" in the nation. Rumor had it that MU was not considered in the rating of beer-drinking colleges because "professionalism" forfeited amateur status. Nevertheless, Columbia and its facilities have continued to enjoy a superior reputation as a place to stop.


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However, into each idyllic setting, a little rain must fall.  MU's reputation took a hit with the unfortunate strewing of cotton balls on the Black Culture Center's lawn. A video of the flawed SWAT raid of Feb. 11 focused national attention on our fair city from politically and socially oriented groups, bloggers and the usual responsibility-challenged and information-lacking second guessers who emerge from the woodwork on cue.

The facts are not disputed — pursuant to an 8-day-old probable cause warrant alleging a sizable amount of marijuana, a SWAT raid was executed on a Columbia residence. Instead of the expected stash, a small amount of marijuana and some drug paraphernalia was seized — the ensuing uproar over the team's shooting of two dogs (one fatally) and the presence of a child during the raid intensified.

Thanks to YouTube, the video became a nationwide cause celebre. Animal rights groups, organizations for legalizing marijuana, civil libertarian activists and the always-present anti-police factions voiced objections loudly and clearly.

Urging calm and objectivity until the facts could be sorted out and presented, Police Chief Ken Burton and Mayor Bob McDavid put a professional and logical face on this volatile issue. Admitting upfront that the raid appeared to be executed as a result of a flawed process, Burton promised a quick and thorough investigation with subsequent corrective action.

This happened as promised. For example, except under the most exigent circumstances, SWAT and narcotics units are now limited to an eight-hour window in executing search warrants — the residence or facility must also remain under constant surveillance prior to execution of the warrant.

Equally significant, the decision authorizing the search is no longer delegated to the narcotics or SWAT leader but rather is elevated to the responsibility of a police captain. The presence of children will, in most cases, obviate dynamic entry; nevertheless, for the safety of the officers concerned, the policy for dealing with dogs has not changed.

Policemen, like the rest of us, are subject to "Murphy's Law" — whatever can go wrong will. Officers are not perfect, being subject to human frailties, and some will lack the temperament and judgment necessary to be members of SWAT units. Nevertheless, and particularly now with the leadership shown by Burton, we may be confident that the Police Department's training will continue to evaluate performance to put the best-qualified on our streets to preserve and protect.

I believe the decision to convene a meeting of the Citizens Police Review Board for residents to voice opinions on this incident and police policies in general was terrible. While right of assembly is not questioned, providing an open forum for individuals and groups to second guess and criticize the police force is about as reasonable as serving alcoholic beverages at an ALANON meeting. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, and Burton was spared appearance.

When the responsible official — in this case Burton — observes flawed procedures and takes immediate corrective action, should not the revisions be given a chance to succeed or fail before those with a particular ax to grind are assembled to vent over perceived or imagined injustices by the police? History and human nature being constant, the opinions offered will, for the most part, be of a negative rather than objective bent.

The Citizens Police Review Board's charter does not include the making of policy but rather the assembling to determine culpability and adjudicating complaints filed. The review board should so adhere.

J. Karl Miller retired as a colonel in the Marine Corps. He is a Columbia resident and can be reached via e-mail at


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John Schultz May 18, 2010 | 11:58 a.m.

Mr. Miller, you are absolutely incorrect when you say that the CPRB is not involved in policy. From the city's website (

(b) The board shall meet monthly. When requested by the board the police chief or the chief’s designee shall attend board meetings to serve as an informational resource for the board. The board shall provide an opportunity for public comment at each monthly meeting. The board shall meet semi-annually with the chief of police to discuss issues of concern and to recommend ways that the police can improve their relationship with citizens. The board may also make recommendations regarding policies, rules, hiring, training and the complaint process.

While I was unable to attend the meeting, my understanding is that several people offered suggestions for the board and CPD to consider for future SWAT actions. This is what the board was designed for (among other purposes). You'll also see from the language above that the board meets monthly and was not called for the sole purpose of whipping the police as you might think.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz May 18, 2010 | 12:05 p.m.

Ack, missed my edit, that should be Colonel Miller of course.

(Report Comment)
shannon morris May 18, 2010 | 12:54 p.m.

"responsibility-challenged and information-lacking second guessers" - Really? Would this nation even exist if we never questioned the authority of the British? I suppose you think Watergate should have been ignored because, after all, "if the president does it, it's not illegal." And all those damn hippies protesting Vietnam must have just lacked information. As pointed out by John Schultz, you seem to be the one who is "information-lacking", Mr Miller.

"Admitting upfront that the raid appeared to be executed as a result of a flawed process" - A flawed process that would have remained flawed had it not been for the reaction to the video. The grinding of this axe was long overdue, Mr Miller.

"some of us remember when MU was thought to rank among the top "party schools" in the nation" - Every school that didn't make Playboy's list was told that the reason they were excluded is because they didn't want to include professionals. It was nothing more than a regional marketing ploy. This is a perfect example of why you should be careful what you believe, whether it comes from the pages of Playboy, or the mouth of a police chief.

"we may be confident that the police department's training will continue to evaluate performance to put the best-qualified on our streets to preserve and protect." - May we? I feel so reassured, thank you Mr Miller.

"the opinions offered will, for the most part, be of a negative rather than objective bent." - Thank you Captain Obvious, your cape is in the mail. Can you think of a single reason why anyone would offer a positive opinion concerning this and many similar injustices across the nation? I suppose you think we should all be standing up and applauding as our country plummets into a police state?

As Einstein once said - “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” ...but what did he know?

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush May 18, 2010 | 1:55 p.m.

Being second-guessed is part of any job in the civilian world where most of us live and work. in additon, having the ability to project lethal force in the purpose of The State (law enforcement) is the behavior that I want most counter-balanced by second guessing by those being policed. Furthermore, it is both mean spirited and spiteful to compare the voter authorized CRB with a 12 step program that has literally helped millions beat a deadly and treatable disease like alcoholism. Your attempt at humor(?) or satire (?) or moral equivolence (?) or cleverness (?) is utterly distasteful. I would hope you would have more sense in the future.

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Ellis Smith May 18, 2010 | 2:15 p.m.

The folks at the Kansas City, Rolla and St. Louis campuses of University of Missouri System, their alumni included, would like a description of what a "party school" looks like, so that we'll recognize one should we ever find one. Your help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

(Report Comment)
Eric Cox May 18, 2010 | 3:24 p.m.

If they don't like my opinion they can stop taking my tax money, the citizens of Columbia are not required to have a police force. We choose to have a police force, we pay for that with our own money and having input is entirely reasonable.

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Carl Kabler May 18, 2010 | 3:38 p.m.

Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, all agree, questioning authority should be highly 'discouraged' if not downright illegal. Besides, just ask the exterminated millions, "If you're not doing something *wrong* what do you have to worry about". Right?

I'm much more concerned however about the inevitable 'bootlickers' that 'respond on cue' always there willing and able to lick the latest boot of 'authority' regardless it seems of the circumstances. Some of us I guess just prefer the ideals this country was founded on as expressed by Jefferson, Franklin, and Henry. Remember them?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro May 18, 2010 | 4:53 p.m.

Colonel Miller:
May I recommend the following, with a beer chaser, to cure all that woes ya.

(Report Comment)
Greg Williams May 18, 2010 | 5:24 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
J Karl Miller May 18, 2010 | 6:50 p.m.

Not unexpectedly, most of the commentary evoked made my point re negativity and lack of objectivity. Unfortunately, few of the critics are of a mind to offer Chief Burton and his fixes the benefit of the doubt--fortunately, I am certain they speak for only a small part of the city's residents.

Mr Williams--For your edification, I am not a reporter--I write an opinion column. And, I doubt your mother would be proud of your vocabulary choices in your critique.

(Report Comment)
Carl Kabler May 18, 2010 | 11:39 p.m.

Mr. Miller I don't disagree with your general opinion on the matter, I simply disagree with the following:"

"I believe the decision to convene a meeting of the Citizens Police Review Board for residents to voice opinions on this incident and police policies in general was terrible."

I disagree. I also disagree with what I perceived to be a general "don't question authority", type outlook, as I feel other commenters may have as well (by reading their comments). I also think trying to label certain 'groups' as stereotyped "responders" is entirely inaccurate and a miscalculation of just how much of the *general public* is simply getting fed up with being used and in some cases attacked for UNJUST reasons. And I don't mean this incident specifically, I mean nation wide (and perhaps worldwide)

I don't know where you get your news but I would suggest if it's from the Mockingbird press to turn it off and try seeing what's really going on out there in the world and on the net. No offense, But I'm not sure you really understand. LOTS of people are getting fed up. I have no idea where it all goes for sure, but some people are simply saying enough already!

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 19, 2010 | 3:48 a.m.

Well, if you don't like the Colonel's opinion on public comment on the CPRB, you're just gonna love SCOTUS nominee's position on political free speech:

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Carl Kabler May 19, 2010 | 7:58 a.m.

Sure Don, so many very disturbing and troubling ATTACKS daily on citizens Liberty and Independence, people are REALLY getting angry and ACTIVE and quite tired of it all. As I said I don't disagree with Karl's suggestion of giving things time to be worked out, rather I abhor his implied? (as I see it) suggestion that people best leave things to certain 'authority' figures. That type of thinking, IMHO is why this country is sinking faster and faster every day into totalitarianism and why it appears to me we are attempting to become clone's of Red China or perhaps Stalinist Russia rather than the Free Republic our Founders worked so hard to create.

Every day a new law taking away sovereignty or Liberty or Independence appears, and the tactics and methods come closer to resembling Nazi Germany than the America our predecessors lived in. The Bill of Rights which IMO makes this country what it is, takes another bullet every day, it doesn't matter what 'party' people claim they are a part of BOTH 'sides' are simply getting bought off and are under the thumb or GLOBALISTS who are working to DESTROY a free America and reshape America as part of this so called "New (NAZI) World Order." It's really like organized crime has taken over the reigns and has wrapped it's tenacles into the highest offices of the land. That's why I think people see this event in Columbia as simply a small part of a growing ABUSIVE trend that puts REGULAR American's in the cross hairs. Where will it end? With 24/7 cradle to grave Verichip surveillance chips under everyone's skin and 'indefinate detention' with kangeroo court trials ( or no trials) for ever the growing list of 'crimes'? And that looks to be just getting warmed up. People ARE saying enough!!! Look and see:

(Report Comment)
R. Whitfield Smith May 19, 2010 | 1:30 p.m.

Mr. Schultz:

Col Miller didn't say the CPRB "is not involved in policy." He said the CPRB's "charter does not include the making of policy." There is a distinction -- often unrecognized, I may add -- between making policy and offering a public forum for the discussion of policy and the making of recommendations for policy. Col. Miller is correct. You misunderstood the distinction and owe him an apology.

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R. Whitfield Smith May 19, 2010 | 1:55 p.m.

Mr. Kabler,

I find offensive your over-the-top comments about fascist or communist dictatorships descending upon the United States. I'm not a huge fan of the current administration, but you go too far in your implications. The fact that the Tea Party movement is as formidable and successful to date as it has been argues powerfully against your assertions. So, in fact, is our ability to comment back on Col Miller's column.

There's an old saying I remember from my days in military service that goes something like, "loosen your pack straps." That means relax a bit.

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Don Milsop May 19, 2010 | 3:37 p.m.

Mr. Smith,

Before you take too much offense to Mr. Kabler's remarks, I would suggest you do some serious research on the background and writings of President Obama's political appointees/czars. Once you have accomplished this, you may come to the opinion that Mr. Kabler's statement was wimpish in nature, and should have been stated much more forcefully.

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Don Milsop May 19, 2010 | 3:41 p.m.

It does amaze me how the liberals in the crowd have virtually nothing to say when the repression of free speech seems aimed at conservatives or business. Mr. Smith, would you care to comment on things like Kagan's views, or McCain Feingold (now mostly struck down by SCOTUS), or the "Fairness Doctrine"?

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Carl Kabler May 19, 2010 | 10:18 p.m.

R. Whitfield Smith, My comments aren't intended to offend or inflame, only to provide a 2c that maybe someone might find interesting or of value and maybe I can receive the same in return.

I would suggest possibly though you take into consideration Don's suggestion of looking into the very writings of many people who are directly shaping policy, if you find it of interest to see where things are headed. I would suggest too to go further and perhaps starting with family dynasty names like Rockefeller, or Rothchild, etc. look up current members of CFR, or TLC, or Bilderberg, look into who funnels money into what non-pfofit foundations, observe the flow of dollars, observe Israeli influence and dual citizenship in key posts, definately research Nazi Germany's use of applied propaganda and false flags in order to stir up the herd against their fellow citizens. Check out Project Mockingbird in the media, look into how the last several presidents have been implicated in drug running, research Mena Arkansas, when Clinton was govenor there, check out the official records, look into EUGENICS (thats a big one), understand the critical factor of "The Great Downsizing" perhaps even read Revelation (The more I learm the more I wonder), but yes as Don suggests, I just scratch the surface. But don't find what I say offensive.

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John Schultz May 20, 2010 | 1:18 a.m.

Mr. Smith, I do not feel I owe the Colonel an apology. The last paragraph of his opinion piece gives the impression that the review board should only be involved in appealed cases, whereas the ordinance behind its creation shows it has a broader purpose that he apparently felt was not worth recognizing.

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J Karl Miller May 20, 2010 | 8:45 a.m.

Mr Cabler, I find your offering "My comments aren't intended to offend or inflame" amusing to say the least. Before that post and having a relatively thick hide, I was inclined to let your lumping me with "Hitler, Stalin, and Mao" and the "inevitable bootlickers" drift into ignominy where it rightly belongs. I don't ask an apology as none is necessary; however, perhaps you might consider in the future that words transcribed in the heat of passion do not play as well when posted in public view.

(Report Comment)
Carl Kabler May 20, 2010 | 7:04 p.m.

Karl, sorry you took it that way, that was NOT at all what I meant to infer, and I imagine most other commenters here who REALLY take the time to read my meager comments know where I'm coming from. I'm speaking the BIG picture. This country is headed over a proverbial CLIFF, many AWAKE (and NO offense here) citizens are jumping up and down, waving their arms, and saying good lord please take the time and energy to view and respond to the locomotive barreling down the tracks headed for a massive ravine. It's not out of wanting to offend anyone I comment here, its out of concern.

You may think my comments range of the sky is falling type to Nostrodamus, well maybe in a way they DO, I don't apologize for that in some places the sky IS starting to fall, large cracks are emerging and many many people see it coming. But many still don't. And many more do nothing but chirp along as if it's just another day.

But I realize I'm straying from the original content of this story, so I'll just let this go, but again my comments are NOT aimed usually specifically people, if they are I say so (and certainly Not at you when I speak of dictators) it's to the bigger picture, the macroview, it's what happens when the locomotive hits the ravine or better yet when the Titanic hits the proverbial iceberg. We ALL go in the water and it seems silly many of the things I see going on, like children bickering about a window seat on the sinking shiprather than at the iceberg just waiting below the water. (Again NOT aimed at you or anyone specific just to be clear on that)

(Report Comment)
Carl Kabler May 21, 2010 | 6:54 a.m.

".... bloggers and the usual responsibility-challenged and information-lacking second guessers who emerge from the woodwork on cue."--Karl

Just one followup thought Karl, when columnists use such demeaning terms as the above to denigrate citizens that like to also voice their conerns, they really shouldn't be surprised anyone would come back with the term 'inevitable bootlickers'. Is that really any more or less offensive than 'informaton lacking second guessers' or 'responsibility-challenged'? No, it really isn't. They're both just groups of words that we use to try and convey our viewpoint, perhaps one group of words is simply more sugar coated but basically no difference.

To see someone dish it out and then run away crying foul when another responds in kind is kinda hypocritical don't you think or at least naive. Not to beat a dead horse but I just want to be sure we're clear on this. I already said my comments about Stalin etc. have to do with how THEY would be happy to have citizens who simply get in line and rarely if ever question 'authority' no matter how much needed, it's what dictatorships run and thrive on, it's not a direct attack on anyone specific including you. And my 'bootlicker' comment wasn't anymore specifically directed than your 'responsibility challenged' comment I assume you spoke it in 'general' (right?) just like I did with mine. We are 'attacking' ideas and sterotypes and trying to get at the bigger picture, at least I am, and I will just take it that your comments are as well, and not directed specifically at anyone who comments here unless directly stated.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith May 21, 2010 | 12:35 p.m.

You say that the sky IS falling, or at least some portion of it?

Damn and double damn! I accidentally left my personal hard hat at US Steel's Edgar Thompson Works in Pittsburgh; now I'm without any OSHA-approved head covering.

Guess I'd best stay indoors - and hope my roof holds up. :)

(Report Comment)
Clyde Barrow May 21, 2010 | 2:11 p.m.

It is too bad that a former Marine Colonel would back "over-the-top" police actions on American citizens.

(Report Comment)
Carl Kabler May 21, 2010 | 7:19 p.m.

LOL Ellis, but perhaps funnier than you could even imagine, I don't know if your hard hat will help you though (double LOL.) I don't know for sure how things shake out, but it is always possible when the dust settles (as the good book cautions) even the very proud may be brought to their knees. Not saying this is necessarily you, as I don't know you (always have to make this disclaimer)but I'm saying IF (again IF) this is you?, it is possible you may be unprepared. Make sure you have your lucky rabbits foot, secret spy compass(don't forget the decoder ring)oh yeah and where geoengineering is being practiced (I know that's crazy talk) don't forget your PPE (that's personal protection equipment)make sure it includes an air filter mask, in some places the sky IS really falling, Hah...

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 21, 2010 | 10:27 p.m.

So colonel, what do I do now. Call in Rodney King to ask if we can all get along, or call in SgtMaj Johnson for some restructuring in critical thinking abilities?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith May 22, 2010 | 12:34 a.m.

Don't know what is meant by "geoengineering" but Geological Engineering is a degree program at UM System - although not at MU. This is a relatively new discipline but there appears to be a demand, and recent graduates with only a Bachelor of Science degree have started work at $60K per year. Makes it easier to pay off those educational loans!

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance May 22, 2010 | 2:11 a.m.

I am a free citizen in a free country. It is my job to question authority, So Colonel get out of my darn way and let me do my job.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 22, 2010 | 4:52 a.m.

Tim, it is good to question authority. But try to follow some guidelines:

A. Did I vote? Did I make an informed vote?
B. Do I have a solution? Have I researched the problem?
C. Have I attended any meetings on the problem?
D. Can I render a reasonable opinion as either a lay person
or a person with professional knowledge of the problem?
E. If we know the solution, what is the cost vs. benefit?

I'm looking at the situation as presented by Col. Miller.
1. A judge issued a warrant.
2. The police executed the warrant, albeit late.
3. Two dogs attacked the officers. They didn't want to be
bitten by dogs.
4. A small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia were
seized. If this finding were the same had the warrant
been executed an hour after it was issued, what
difference would it make?
5. Clearly the people in the bust were violating drug laws.
6. Darn few of us are willing to take the risk officers
take for the amount of money they make. How many
officers have died or been shot in the line of duty in
just the last five months nationwide? It's been less
than 48 hours since two West Memphis police officers
were killed by people running drugs who also shot two
other officers.

Easy for us to sleep comfortably and second guess them. But a judge issued a warrant and the warrant was lawfully executed on criminals. No harm, no foul.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 22, 2010 | 5:42 a.m.

Perhaps the rest of you can help me if I missed it. Appears neither I nor anybody else seems to have laid any responsibility on the parents of children who are involved in drug activity? Aren't they the ones ultimately responsible for all of this?

(Report Comment)
Carl Kabler May 22, 2010 | 8:44 a.m.

What exactly are they responsible for Don? If your child acts up and you decide to take a baseball bat and fracture his or skull was he responsible for the reaction that was chosen? While *A* reaction might have been called for, the list of possible responses is long. I personally think the reaction enacted in this circumstance was WAY beyond reasonable and appropriate. Apparently from what I see so far, so do a MAJORITY of responders coming from virtually ALL circles (with the notable exception of a few).

This doesn't mean I 'hate' police' or hate'authority' or promote 'drug use' or have any special axe to grind, in fact many of the things I comment on don't directly have to do with me, and I comment on a huge range of topics on many blogs and discussion boards around the world. But my main concern is simply the harm I see in situations like this one, it seems to me the reactions we are seeing in this WAR on cannibas are a hundred times worse than any problems that might be being encounted from the 'problem' itself. How is that 'justice'? How is that reasonable? How is that based in science or even logic? I just don't see it.

(Report Comment)
Carl Kabler May 22, 2010 | 9:26 a.m.

A. Did I vote? (Yes) Did I make an informed vote? (Yes I voted 3rd party, instead of the 'least of two evils')
B. Do I have a solution?(Yes, end cannibas prohibition and have sales and regulation same as for alcohol) Have I researched the problem? (Yes for several decades, lots of info out there)
C. Have I attended any meetings on the problem? (only online, but there are many organizations available)
D. Can I render a reasonable opinion as either a lay person
or a person with professional knowledge of the problem? (yes, I work in the sciences, but specifically I speak as only a layman)
E. If we know the solution, what is the cost vs. benefit? (benefits, much lower violence, no more cops OR regular citizens shot or dying in the war, lower prison rates, less people getting sucked into the prision/industrial racket,vastly descreased black-market, less loss of privacy and liberty, maybe even no more executed pets------ Costs, much lowered both in terms of dollars spent and overall suffering.

(Report Comment)
Carl Kabler May 23, 2010 | 8:59 a.m.

If slavery were'legal' today I have to wonder how many would support it, while I'm sure some would find the idea ridiculous, and swear they wouldn't, I really have to wonder. How many would take the risk of going against an issue of the times, even one they saw was causing so much pain and suffering (to the benefit of a Few?). How many would risk possible retaliation by those special interests of the times whose livihoods were derived and maintained under that law? How many view their neighobors' liberty as important as their own and as your neighbors liberty is diminished how long until it's your own? The Founders' understood this. Do others?

How many REALLy take to heart the old adage "I may not agree with what you're saying but I will fully defend your right to say it" when talking about issues that affect our times? How many really can shake hands at the end of the day when discussing 'hot' topics and say ok, I disagree, but let's just agree to disagree. How many can really separate the message from the messenger? (a tough task for us ALL, I admit)? How many even try?

Not ONE person has seen fit to rebut the basic question why is cannibas law in the U.S. any different from alcohol law? Not one! In fact from what I gather many more American's are for this approach as it will over all REDUCE crime and suffering. Wasn't that the intent of this law in the first place? While many might belive that, I simply say look at what data is available and make your own conclusion. My consclusion is that this is NOT the case, this law is made for entirely OTHER reasons, mostly political and economical, and IMO those reasons do not justify this approach. Can ANYONE site credible and valid reasons why cannibas law would not be better served aligning with alcohol law and rebut the list of cost/vs benefit I answered back in reply to Don? Anyone? Or if some believe this is indeed a correct approach are you willing to speak your 'truth' even in the face of adversity? How about you Karl, I know you must have an opinion on this issue? As I said, I'm only speaking as a layman, I don't know it all, I'm willing to hear and respect differing views, even if heated and passionate.Can anyone speak to the message rather than the messenger?

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking May 23, 2010 | 4:38 p.m.

It's actually "cannabis", not "cannibas".

B-I-S spells Cannabis
Take a toke, it really blows your brains out
Take a toke, it shows you what life's all about
B-I-S you see
Get the cash, keep your stash
Synthesize it into hash
Cannabis, yippee!!

(A tune from my misguided youth)



(Report Comment)
Carl Kabler May 24, 2010 | 11:46 a.m.

LOL, thanks Mark for the correction I knew I should have just spelled it..... WEED. I think my point has been made quite well though, the absolutely glaring 'silence' after my 3 comments/questions is unmistakable and speaks volumes of it's own accord.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 25, 2010 | 4:47 a.m.

Carl, how could they possibly have known what was in the house until after the warrant was executed? Also Carl, what about other drugs?

As for slavery, I can only speak for myself. I would have been very outspoken against it. I would have been very outspoken about beating your wife...both of which were once completely legal. That being said, all you have to do is get an amendment passed to legalize weed and then you've solved the problem. Until then, it's against the law, and there is nothing immoral about it being against the law.

The baseball bat bit too is a completely unfair comparison. You nor I nor the cops had any idea what drugs were in the home. Again, it's the people with drugs in the house that are endangering children. And the raid was based on tips from two informants.

This is from the ABC 17 news:

They waited for the SWAT team, saying it was necessary due to Whitworth's past.

Burton says, "Intelligence indicated to us that he was known to resist arrest, he has several arrests on his record, one of them a prior federal conviction for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana, so this was not a choir boy."

Carl, this seems to have been left out. Also, the dog wasn't just a cuddly puppy. It was a pit bull. They've got a 7-year-old child at home with a pit bull. The 1996 CDC report on fatal dog attacks attributes 40 or 109 fatal dog attacks to pit bulls and rottweilers. I guarantee you that if 40 out of every 109 traffic fatalities involved two car models, those cars wouldn't even be on the street.

So please, don't give me a line about the poor innocent guy just wanting to smoke his little doobey once in a while.

(Report Comment)
Carl Kabler May 25, 2010 | 7:14 a.m.

"You nor I nor the cops had any idea what drugs were in the home."-Don

Don, then don't you realize what your very words are saying? Why the warrent then in the first place if one has NO IDEA? Isn't the whole idea of a warrant being one is supposed to know (or have a GOOD concrete idea) what is in the house before one is issued? Or is it just a license for a fishing trip made on vague accusations, that could basically be aimed at anyone for any reason at any time, including possibly 'tips' from either non-existant people (again random fishing) or even perhaps from someone who had a grudge against the person. Our 4th amend. is being eroded to the point it no longer seems to offer protections that the Founders deemed absolutely necessary.

In any case my question remains, why should cannabis law not be in line with alcohol law, and is the current law based in good science and reason, or rather as I fully suspect politics and economics. If it is the latter then I would say that is not justification for any kind of a violent war of this sort.

I'll just add many of the abuses of this war ARE immoral IMO in a way,at least as far as the damage done to people and families seems grossly out of proportion with any harm done from cannabis itself. I asked anyone to compare the harm vs. benefit list I answered to YOUR question and nobody wanted to specifically address that apparently even yourself, because they know what I put there is correct. More states citizens and other countries are coming to this conclusion, that the war on cannabis just like it's predecessor the war on alcohol is multiple times more damaging overall than what it attempts to combat. And I think this is even MORE true with cannabis than it is with it's legal cousin alcohol.

(Report Comment)
Carl Kabler May 25, 2010 | 9:49 a.m.

One last thing, then I think I have rambled on about long enough on this and risk becoming redundant. I realize 90% of my concern in this issue really isn't even directed at anyone or any organization at or near the local level specifically. (though the shooting of the dog was hard to watch and I still think it didn't HAVE to be shot)

It simply stems from what I see as this case being ONE EXAMPLE in microcosm of what exists in the macrocosm as regards the U.S. (and perhaps other parts of the world). Simply put I just don't see how one can have a 'moral battle' no matter how 'well intentioned' in what I see as an overall immoral war. I am not 'anti-' anyone in this story specifically I am simply anti-violence and anti-human suffering as much as it is possible to find alternatives. In short I simply see the situation as the war on cannabis far excedes (IMO) any 'benefits' (of which I see very very few if any.) It is really this equation that fuels most all of my outlook and comments. Up until the day I can find enough data to support an alternative conslusion I probably won't be able to say much good about these types of things and will view them in a negative light. I simply think humanity can do better, and I bet(hope) we look back in a hundred years or less and view this (war) as little better than slavery, (hence my earlier comment) or perhaps a better comparison the now defunct alcohol prohibition.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 25, 2010 | 3:01 p.m.

Carl, okay, I should have added You nor I nor the cops had any idea what drugs were in the home FOR SURE UNTIL THEY WENT IN. Again, please read what I wrote....there were two separate informants that said he had a large amount of drugs in the house. A judge decided the informants were credible. Okay, he had plenty of time to move them out. But, the cops had a LEGAL WARRANT. What do they do? Ignore the warrant?

And you are still ignoring this guy is already a bad actor with a prior federal conviction for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana. Certainly that would tend to lend credence to the informants. As for weed, again, all you have to do get the law changed. If you can't then you just have to live within the parameters as
defined by law. I don't like the Firearms Acts of 1934 and 1968. But I certainly have to live within those laws and any other or face the consequences. The NRA has been very successful in overturning may firearms laws in the last 25 years because the public by and large didn't agree with them. If you can do the same with weed, more power to you. But as long as the majority of Americans oppose it, that won't change. The latest Gallup poll indicates that gap is closing though.

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