Carrot Addiction

The Wall Street Journal has a really good piece of reporting on a way that the federal government actively encourages local police departments to waste money:

Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko, his budget under pressure in a weak economy, has laid off staff, reduced patrols and even released jail inmates. But there’s one mission on which he’s spending more than in recent years: pot busts.

The reason is simple: If he steps up his pursuit of marijuana growers, his department is eligible for roughly half a million dollars a year in federal anti-drug funding, helping save some jobs. The majority of the funding would have to be used to fight pot. Marijuana may not be the county’s most pressing crime problem, the sheriff says, but “it’s where the money is.”

Washington has long allocated funds to help localities fight crime, influencing their priorities in the process. Today’s local budget squeezes are enhancing this effect, and the result is particularly striking in California, where many residents take a benign view of pot but federal dollars help keep law-enforcement focused on it.

Read the whole article here.

Comments

  1. 1

    Gman spews:

    And some would blame all of America’s problems on the hippies. Are they short sighted? Oh wait, maybe they are blind.

  2. 2

    proud leftist spews:

    I’ll bet this is one federal spending program that our wingies fully support.

  3. 3

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    These anti-decriminalization folks are barking mad and are wasting tons of money for no good purpose. How ridiculous can you get?!!

  4. 4

    Deathfrogg spews:

    Living in Willits back in the late 80s, the esteemed Governor Dukemejian stood at the foot of the road I lived on, with ABC, NBC, and CBS all crowded around with their cameras and shit. Pronouncing our road, the town, and the whole damn county a “marijuana growers paradise”, and promised a crackdown to eliminate the threat of marijuana and all the scourges and pestilences that came with it.

    The whole neighborhood was standing in the backround, and we all cheered rather boisterously when he made that pronouncement, much to the chagrin of his security team and the Sheriffs deputies that were around. We got on the national news over that.

    The sherrif, and the county government folks pretty much had already agreed that any such crackdown would result in a total collapse of the county services, including the city police and county sherrifs offices, not to mention the local schools. The local farmers paid taxes on what they produced, and the local economy was entirely dependant on the pot farmers after the mills had shut down.

    Things only got bad when the Eme got involved. It got real ugly there in the mid 90’s. Now, the biggest drug problem in the county there is methamphetamine, and the county is as poor as it was when the lumber mills collapsed after the last of the big trees had all been cut.

    But, they did eliminate the majority of the small pot farms.

    Success!

  5. 5

    Steve spews:

    “I’ll bet this is one federal spending program that our wingies fully support.”

    Well, there’s also that federal Department of the Uterus and its tens of thousands of very inquisitive womb inspectors that Pudge and Lost keep rambling on about. Hmm, I recall that it has something to do with protecting America’s littlest blastocyst and zygote citizens. heh- Small “l” Libertarians. Daffy folks, to be sure, but very, very funny.

  6. 6

    spews:

    @5
    A libertarian who’s anti-choice on abortion is like a vegetarian who eats bacon cheeseburgers every day.

  7. 7

    righton spews:

    I wish you lefties would learn that one of the results of pushing all power/laws/$$ up to the federal level (where they can deficit spend) is the massive waste all across the board.

    if the particular county or state were in charge of that spending (really , it being tied to local taxes), they might not waste that money.