Sequester stops Philly cops from arresting pot smokers (video)

Oh the humanity!  It’s an odd video, taken a few days ago on April 20 in Philadelphia, otherwise known was 4/20 – or 420, which is code/slang for smoking marijuana. At the exact hour of 4:20pm, the crowd lit up marijuana joints, as a protest against anti-pot laws.

Some police in Pennsylvania are asked to get involved when some protesters are smoking pot in a federal park. The guy is quite incensed about it – the cops, not so much. His particular concern is that they’re doing it around small kids.

Somehow, I think the kids will be just fine passing by a group of protesters just as the kids are just fine passing by anyone who may be drinking a beer. It’s not the end of the world, except for one whiny guy.

pot-smoking-phillyInterestingly, the cops, or whoever they are, seem oddly disinterested in doing anything about the pot smoking. They keep telling the guy that the pot smokers have a protest permit. He keeps responding, they have a permit to smoke pot? LOL

But the best part is that the apparently-federal cops seem to suggest that the reason they can’t intervene is the sequester budget cuts, though the sequester actually forced the Park Police to start furloughing employees on April 21, this past Sunday. Having said that, I know our local park here in DC, which is a federal park (it’s like that in DC), had to cut services weeks ago because of the sequester, so clearly the Park Service was already hit).

Read some of the transcript, then the video below:

They’re smoking marijuana over here.

Right.

You’re letting them do that?

It’s on federal property, they have a permit.

Right, but they don’t have a permit to smoke marijuana.

They have a permit with the parks.

Did the park give them a permit to smoke marijuana?

I can’t talk to you about the permit. If you want, I can get you a contact with our permit…

They’re smoking marijuana.

I’m aware sir.

Then he talks to another cop – here’s where the sequester comes into play:

Sir, are you aware they’re smoking marijuana over here?

Yes, we know that there’s some activity going on.

Are you gonna enforce the law?

We don’t have the resources to do that right now.

Well you can disperse, revoke their permit.

We don’t have the resources to do that.

Anyone else guessing that before the protest, the whiner was in full support of all the budget cuts?

Some of the comments left on the video are priceless:

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An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • Whitewitch

    It would be replaced by the farms and manufacturing jobs (I hope)

  • Whitewitch

    Hmmm – I am thinking that will all the “union busting” and bad talk about police, firefighters and teachers that we might begin to see a lot of “sorry can’t help you”. Once we again see the value of these jobs maybe they will see the value in us. I am hoping same will happen when all believers are raptured and world is a better place.

  • http://twitter.com/BillFromDover Bill from Dover

    “Are you gonna enforce the law?”

    “We don’t have the resources to do that right now..”

    “BTW what a glorious day, dontcha think… you wouldn’t have any Cracker Jacks on you would ya?

  • Glenn Ewen

    All I’d like to know is who the j.o. is that’s doing the video recording!?!

  • Butch1

    Perhaps this will free them up to go do real police work and arrest real criminals committing crimes against innocent people. Eventually the marijuana prohibition laws in this country will be lifted in all of the states denying the DEA their little senseless raids on Medical Marijuana facilities and eventually leaving recreational users alone as well.

    If the republicans really want less government intrusion then perhaps they should start by dissolving this one branch of the government. It would save millions of dollars. It is a useless department and has caused the deaths of innocent people by these agents breaking down the doors of the wrong address and murdering a home owner defending their property. Of course, they always get off because they were “defending themselves.” They shouldn’t have been in the wrong home in the first place but that doesn’t matter to them only to the family and the lives that have been lost because of their incompetence. The DEA needs to be shut down along with the “War on Drugs” program that has been a total failure in my opinion.

  • goulo

    But think of the terrible damage to the US economy! The privatized prison industry would collapse! All those prison guards out of work! There would be a drastic fall in ridiculously cheap prisoner labor! The damage to the cigarette and tobacco industries!

    For the good of the economy, the US must clearly remain #1 in percentage and absolute number of its citizens in prison! :)

    http://www.republicreport.org/2012/marijuana-lobby-illegal/

  • suzie420

    Officer, people out here are enjoying themselves. Aren’t you going to do something about it?

  • http://blogvader.tumblr.com/ Blogvader

    I hadn’t considered that, Nicho.

    Probably a fair point.

  • nicho

    I was the editorial page editor for the newspaper and wrote a weekly column, so the media was well informed. (And email was only in an experimental stage in 1980. Regular people didn’t have it.) The cop involved soon realized the error of his ways. It also didn’t hurt that the mayor was my second cousin.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    *channeling Carl Sagan* “Billions and billions…of dollars.”

    Of course all the people who get that money, from politicians on down to the capitalist gulag* operators, aren’t crazy about giving it up…

    * = my newly adopted term for all the for-profit prisons, essentially working hand-in-hand with the states and localities to ensure there’s a steady supply of slave convict labor — most of them, non-violent drug offenders.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eve.condon Eve Wartenberg Condon

    wow. I hope you reported that cop and emailed local media about it. What city were you in? That makes a big difference in the culture of law enforcement.

  • nicho

    We can focus on the pot angle — and it’s fun — but what’s really going on in an “up yours” attitude from cops to taxpayers. I’ve seen it before. This won’t be so funny when you call the cops about a real threat or situation and you get the same response. This happened to me after Mass. passed Prop 2 1/2, the tax-limiting bill. The cop I talked to said they wouldn’t respond and then added, “Maybe if you hadn’t voted for Prop 2 1/2, we could come.”

  • http://blogvader.tumblr.com/ Blogvader

    Wait.

    Are you telling me it actually costs money to arrest and prosecute non-violent pot smokers!?!?!

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    And also potentially new tax revenue streams for state and local governments.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eve.condon Eve Wartenberg Condon

    another bonus: legalization would create jobs!

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Just imagine how much more resources would be saved if the entire Prohibition regime was scrapped in favor of full legalization.

    Hundreds of thousands of prison cells no longer needed. Police freed up to go after actual violent criminals. No more helicopter searches and eradication campaigns. National forests no longer being decimated by illicit growers, and no more wildfires being started accidentally by those growers — reducing the load on the forest and fire services. Reduced drug-related violence. Those who find grass a more effective medical treatment than expensive and often dangerous pharmaceutical drugs free to use it without fear of prosecution…

    It was kind of funny, how that peevish fellow simply could not comprehend that it really does cost money to have lots of police and park service personnel on duty, especially if overtime is needed in order to arrest, process, incarcerate, and prosecute a bunch of non-violent, harmless stoners.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eve.condon Eve Wartenberg Condon

    focus on the positive: police not caring about people ingesting a drug proven to be not even a fraction as dangerous as alcohol. National legalization, here we come.

  • Indigo

    Oh, my! Ain’t Prohibition fun?

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    That guy really needs a joint. At least a couple of tokes should have a calming affect on him.

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