The Drug War Caught On Surveillance

Radley Balko sums up the videos (and the drug war in general) perfectly:

This wasn’t an underground criminal enterprise. This was a business. There may be some question about its legality at the moment, but it was operating openly. Its owners posed no threat to these cops. They even had asked their own attorneys to be on site to observe.

No, the commando tactics here are nothing more than violence for the sake of violence. This was about intimidation. It was about making an example of the dispensary’s owners and employees. This has always been the case, going back to the first federal raids on pot dispensaries in California in the 1990s. The owners, employees and customers of medical marijuana growers, dispensaries and treatment centers have never been a threat to the safety of drug agents. But the culture of drug cops has been dehumanizing pot users for decades. And once you no longer believe the suspects you’re dealing with are human beings, you’ll feel no qualms about raiding these businesses as if they were Islamic States operatives, about wearing masks to ramp up the intimidation, about needlessly destroying property, and, in this case, about mocking an amputee like some schoolyard bully.


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