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Mo. Agency Silences Pot-Lobbying Sergeant

March 18, 2013  | 

Photo via Jaypeg21/Flickr.
Photo via Jaypeg21/Flickr.

A St. Louis Metro Police sergeant has sued his department, after commanders revoked his permission to work as a lobbyist supporting the legalization of marijuana.

Sgt. Gary Watkins moonlights as a lobbyist for Show-Me Cannabis. Last week, Chief Sam Dotson denounced Wiegert's views as his alone and "not what is expected of our officers," reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Watkins maintains the agency approved his application Feb. 25 and now contends he needs a businesss license to continue. He filed a lawsuit in federal court Wednesday seeking an injunction to prevent officials from silencing his efforts.

Comments (7)

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

Jim A @ 3/18/2013 7:24 PM

Sgt. Watkins can likely expect to be officer Watkins. Or less if his allegations about the application for outside employment. Idiot.

Officers are fired for writing this type of crap on Facebook and he throws it right in the department's face? Not smart.

Sgt. Mike @ 3/18/2013 8:28 PM

If he is attempting to pursue this as a private citizen in his own time, I support his freedom of speech. If however, he uses his position with the agency as a platform to gain attention for his cause, the agency has every right to silence that part of his message IMHO.

CB @ 3/19/2013 1:43 AM

Good job Sarge. As a LEO, who believes that this rediculous "drug war" is a waste of time, waste of money, and waste of lives; we are pioneers who cannot back down from the narrow-minded scrutiny of uneducated and warped mentality of our fellow blue bloods. Someday, the LE community will accept that drug abuse for a disease and abusers need help, not criminal penalties. Only when we let go of our ignorance and denial, and look for new solutions will we begin to make a dent in the drug problem. And then, perhaps, LEO's will have no choice but to become public servants once again, and abandon their role as rabid sheepdogs who prey on the sickly sheep.

Mike @ 3/19/2013 3:41 AM

CB your right we need to focus on more liberal agendas like locking up individuals who purchase a 16+ ounce soda. Now, they are the real "bad Guys".

Arby @ 3/19/2013 6:01 AM

You think legalization/treatment like a disease is educated? After all, we're doing such a great job with alcoholism, schizophrenia, bi-polar, even legal prescription drug abuse. I mean really, none of these folks are much of a problem are they? How much will legalization magnify the DUI (drugs) problem, workplace efficiency and accuracy? (Think of your Boeing production line person putting your plane together in Washington State with their legalized marijuana). The hop-heads in Colorado passed it and now they're scrambling around trying to figure out how to regulate it, tax it, whatever since they couldn't think far enough ahead to actually have a plan in place before they legalized it. If they're so well educated, why couldn't any of them think of that - or at least have something on the shelf just in case their legalized dream came true? Look at DUI (alcohol). Why is it a crime if there is no accident and no one is hurt? Because it MIGHT cause damage or hurt/kill someone. But wait, we agree alcoholism is a disease and we treat it like one, why not just send them to alcohol treatment instead of jail as long as they haven't ACTUALLY hurt anyone? Well I'm sure the average SUCCESSFUL rehab rate might have something to do with that. Movie stars aren't the only ones caught in the revolving door of treatment, they're just the ones we hear about the most because of who they are. CB, "here's your sign."

Sky @ 3/19/2013 7:12 AM

Very interesting discussion by all but I totally agree with Arby. There was time when quality candidates, free of alcohol and drug were the stuff real lawmen and women were made of. Believe it or not there are some of us out there that have NEVER used marijuana or pills or any other drug just to have fun or submitted to peer pressure and experimented or used at all. Most LEO's know exactly what Arby is talking about. Almost every call for service or OBS involves someone who has over indulged and is a chronic source of radio calls or some mentally ill dual diagnosis person who has added drugs and alcohol to their already mentally ill condition. If drunks would stay home and not kill someone instead of driving drunk I could live w/ that. If drug addicts don't want to be sober and could stay home and not be thieving burglars or rain domestic violence on their children and/or families, I probably can live w/ that too. If someone has a serious medical condition that the use of medicinal marijuana or drugs will alleviate, they SHOULD be able to get a prescription, but what I see instead are users claiming bad backs, stress or bad feet w/ prescriptions. Enough already. I don't know what would motivate a crime fighter to lobby for drugs but that's his perogative. Let the Legislaters and non LEO's do that stuff. I don't want to ride the river with a partner who can't think straight next to me because they need alcohol or marijuana to make it through the day. And if they do it off duty that's not good either, after all I think the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics should kick in. I chose to be behind the badge, not IFO. Nuff said.

Rob @ 3/20/2013 6:33 AM

I can't say that I think highly of the war on drugs as it has been fought with civilian law enforcement rather than the military - and foreign drug sources and terror organizations are a big threat to our sovereignty. Pharmacological science already synthesized the THC. From weed to use to treat various illnesses- its called Marinol. The problem is that you just can't get high with it. Colorado and California "medicinal" marijuana trafficking has become a big problem for law enforcement and for communities all over the rest of the country. Legalizing weed will have no positive effects. Among other things, if its legal it will be taxed, and ain't no pothead going to be willing to pay taxes on their cash crop. Just as the end of Prohibition did not end bootlegging.

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