South Carolina Sheriff Buffoonery Just More Ammunition for Reformers

Feb 11, 2009

drug warriors, law enforcement, Michael Phelps

One of the purposes of this blog is to highlight the insanity of our war on marijuana users. So I have to admit I'm a little resentful that in such a short time Sheriff Leon Lott has done such an effective job illustrating that point in his hot pursuit of Michael Phelps.

The Richland County, S.C., sheriff had announced earlier he would investigate and – god willing – arrest the Olympic champion after he was photographed smoking from a bong at a college party.

As if he hadn't already done enough to advance the arguments of marijuana policy reformers, Lott has now arrested eight people in connection with his investigation. I guess he believes Phelps couldn't have pulled off the crime of possessing less than a thimbleful of what may or may not have been marijuana without help.

But then, this is probably just business as usual for a sheriff who thinks he needs an M113A1 armored personnel carrier to maintain order in a town of about 350,000 people, as Reason's Radley Balko has reported. That's him in the necktie below with his ridiculous toy, oblivious to his new role as exhibit A in the argument that the war on marijuana users has gone WAY too far.