Newshawk: California NORML www.canorml.org
Pubdate: Sat, 3 Jul 2010
Source: Wall Street Journal (US)
Page: A1, Front Page
Copyright: 2010 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Author: Justin Scheck
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/find?115 (Cannabis – California)
STRAPPED POLICE RUN ON FUMES, AND FEDERAL POT-FIGHTING CASH
IGO, Calif.-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.