South Carolina Sheriff Buffoonery Just More Ammunition for Reformers

Feb 11, 2009 , ,


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.


29 responses to “South Carolina Sheriff Buffoonery Just More Ammunition for Reformers”

  1. ha, Maybe next time he can have his guys goose step down a neighborhood block… Great for Mr. Lott, keep making an ass out of law enforcement. Effective for showing what a joke the drug war is.

  2. It’s a shame these guys are so scared of a plant; Were the Hell were these sacks of shit during 911??? GET YOUR PRIORITIES STREIGHT!!!! They are the real terrorist!!

  3. Obviously, the sheriff needs to justify his expanding budget. That APC probably gets about 3 mpg, but as long as people are stupid enough to keep giving him cash for new toys, he’s gotta show “results” — even if the only real result is to show what a fascist clown he is, while he is suppressing the rights of Americans.

  4. I’ve visited S. Carolina – I’ve even partied right there on the same campus that that Phleps photo was taken. – anyways, that whole state is a sad, ignorant place – I mean; they flew the confederate flag at the capital building until about 10 years ago …when they were finally forced to take it down. S. Carolina exists just to show the world how backwards ass people can be – It’s too bad because it has beautiful beaches & one of the oldest American cities there.

  5. I must agree with the Bloody Yank.
    You would think the people of South Carolina would pull their heads out of their butts which would be a very intelligent choice down there for a change and tell the sheriff that is chasing down the fastest, multi – gold medal Olympian swimmer and 8 other of his dangerous criminal gang, that if that is all he has to do with TAX payers money, I’d fire his dumbass in the morning….Only the upper class of stupidity could match that kind of choice or decision on the part of this totally incompetent sheriff.
    It is actually the people of South Carolina that are ultimately responsible for this ignorant decision. They seem to have lost their ability to think for themselves. Why educate people about drugs or anything else if you are going to continue to support laws based on absolute lies and misdirection. 750,000 users are jailed every year. That is immoral with out question its immoral Not to mention that because of the color of most of the men that are being institutionalized for marijuana use it is institutioal al racism supported by lobbyist in Washington D.C. who are trying to make sure there are mandatory minimums for marijuana use… Thats what private prisons do for your country. Your own countrymen start lobbying to put you in jail for meaningless acts of liberty so they can keep their greedy, immoral, treasonous pockets lined at all our expense.. Way to Go South Carolina, as an American it is nice to know that we really cant count on you people. Stand up, or get out of the damn way…
    p.s. Hemp would grow well in South Carolina. Might make some decent agriculture products. You have to be smart to take advantage of it though, guess we’ll see…Please feel free to pass this on to all South Carolinians

  6. Lott is a BACKWARDS IDIOT…..I believe that he just wants to make a name for himself……..I just stated what that name should be.

  7. It never ceases to amaze me that after all the research and proof that hemp is less dangerous than cigarettes, these redneck jerks pat themselves on the back for a war they just want to profit from, when there are people dying of hunger and plight in the US. Get your head out of your butt and STOP with a program that costs what it would cost to feed all of the homeless in N and S Carolina at least. The rest of America doesn’t care about the pictures taken for your study wall. The money you spend on salaries to fight pot could give 100 people jobs dummy, in the force shown only in the picture. Scrap that heap, it likens you to the big money CEO’s that brought private jets to the hearing to plead for money to bail out American made auto’s and we are so over that. Make pot legal, tax it and get on with life you could use the money for inside toilets. out

  8. Hey it’s COBRA and Destro…we definitely live in a Police State. Makes me want to move to the Middle East, maybe Palestine.

    There is no way this can continue, this is America…oh yeah I forgot this IS America.

    I wonder what New Hampshire would do?

  9. Who does pot hurt? No one. How do they justify this heavy artillery? Its like using a shotgun to defend yourself from a fly.
    They say weed makes you paranoid, but these anti-weed crusaders are the ones who look it.

  10. Stevo: Ever wonder why stoners are paranoid? Look at that picture, I sure wouldn’t want to be caught and face that kind of army. Is it paranoia or trying to survive a war waged upon us by our government? With the kind of bull where cops get tanks, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to be scared.

  11. what would nh do? nh definitely needs to get its head out of its ass and follow massachusetts lead. live free or die…my ass.
    last year when they were trying to pass hb1623, our idiot governor lynch(dem too…go figure) said he would veto the bill if it came across his desk…what a collosal douchebag.
    sc is even worse from what i gather. i have such disgust for our government….bunch of fukin crooks.

  12. Some things to consider regarding this episode:

    Sheriffs are elected by the people, and can be re-called by the people. Unfortunately it appears he is doing the will of an ignorant majority in his county.

    In the current economic climate, bureaucrats-including Sheriffs-are terrified of budget cuts. They need the appearance of being busy-making arrests, no matter how ridiculous, in order to justify their existence and protect their bureaucratic turf.

    That Phelps photo doesn’t really provide real evidence of criminal activity, beyond the possession of ‘drug’ paraphernalia. What possible probable cause supports those search warrants???

    It appears that search warrants in Richland County-as nearly everywhere in America-are merely rubber stamped by judges/magistrates with minimal or no consideration for rule of law.

    We should maybe be thankful for such bold displays of absolute idiocy; they serve as proof that we continue to be enveloped in tyranny, a tyranny that makes one wonder what all the fuss was about in 1776. Such antics-as well as the myriad other injustices visited upon us-on the part of ‘our’ government indicate that another revolution may be inevitable; whether tyranny is to be thrown off peacefully…or by force, will be determined by the behavior of our rulers…AND that of the people!

    It appears that many of us are approaching the point of “having had enough”, regarding our varied Liberties.

    The real problem might be toleration, or more accurately, the lack of it. We wish our preferred freedoms to be respected, while applauding governmental crackdowns upon those freedoms we dislike or are indifferent to. Such attitudes only make the ongoing gradual enslavement of us all inevitable.

    The best example of this may be cannabis and firearms…

    Many in both camps are enthusiastic to hear of busts and crackdowns on the group they oppose, unaware that trampling either freedom works to suppress each of them…

    I find it curious-and disappointing-that many gun enthusiasts are not at all bashful to exclaim their love of Liberty, then turn and approve and even encourage cannabis prohibition, often while hypocritically swilling a Budweiser; that many of those in the cannabis culture appear to support the notion that firearms don’t belong in private hands, that only the government should possess guns-THIS thoroughly corrupt government???…how absurd.

    Notice that government often treats a mixture of the two as a greater criminal offense…carrying increased penalties.

    Notice that once due process procedures are shredded in regard to cannabis or firearms cases, the same corrupt practice is often soon accepted in regard to the other category of cases too. The erosion of probable cause standards as well as the relaxation of the exclusionary rule are good examples.

    We ALL need to recognize our individual right-as adults-to be left alone, to live our lives as we choose, so long as we don’t intrude upon the equal rights of others; otherwise we might as well become comfortable with totalitarianism.

    The rulers have always relied upon divisions among the ruled in order to impose a general oppression; sadly, modern Americans-through their ignorance-make it very easy to do so…

  13. No I meant good things about New Hampshire. They have that new resolution they are trying to pass, you might want to check it out, apparently they are really trying to do something about some of these Federal laws….The New Hampshire state legislature took an unbelievably bold step today by introducing a resolution to declare certain actions by the federal government to completely totally void and warning that certain future acts will be viewed as a “breach of peace” with the states themselves that risks “nullifying the Constitution.”
    http://www.oilforimmigration.org/facts/?p=965

    If you are from New Hampshire you might want to check it out.

    I went to college in SC, beautiful state. I still can’t believe this goes on in this country.

  14. Good point Smitty, it’s not about what you think is wrong or right or believe in on a personal level , it’s about liberty and freedom, and individuals right’s to pursue their freedom.

    America is not about taking things away from citizens, well in theory at least. Many people do not understand this. They are more than happy to push their beliefs on the majority.

  15. Isn’t there something better to fight against? Like actual crime. Or perhaps you could attempt an outreach program or better the community in some way. And ‘going after’ marijuana smokers will do more to tear apart a community (or family) than keeping the peace in some other fashion. This man should be ashamed of his immoral ways.!

  16. Good grief! What is wrong with this picture? If this isn’t proof enough that drug “task force” spending is out of control and a machismo “toy” of some weirdo sheriffs, I don’t know what is. How are these guys making children “safer?” Are they giving free tank rides at the D.A.R.E. rallies?

    Hopefully global pressures will force the U.S. to take a harm reduction approach to drug laws. This nonsense is frightening, -much more so than the drug dealers!

  17. I guess Sheriff Lott has solved all the other crimes in his county except for these meddling kids.

    Grow a pair, Sheriff. Get your priorities straight. Oh wait, his priorities are straight, pander to federal and state governments for tax dollars to buy toys that go boom.

  18. As long as law enforcement is going after people whose ‘crime’ is having smoked cannabis in the past — and Phelps’ activity is already in the past, perhaps there are others worth pursuing? Let’s see, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Michael Bloomberg, maybe even exhume William F. Buckley or Carl Sagan. There’s a few names to start bringing in right now. They, in fact, confessed — just like Michael did.

  19. OMG that is the funniest thing I’ve seen this year. That dudes oblivious pose in front that stupid tank is just priceless.

    Fire up the tank boys, we’ve got a 14-time gold medal winner to take down!!

  20. I just wrote the good Sheriff and begged for him to post more photos. I told him the image of him driving that tank around chasing Mr. Phelps has me in tears from laughter.

    What I wouldn’t give to see video of him driving around that giant contraption (maybe with like a Michael Dukakis helmet on!).

    Oh please post video, Sheriff.

  21. I totally agree with Smitty post 17.
    Sheriff Lott is a prime example of why the Constitution states that we have the right to bear arms for the purpose of arming and training Militias in order to protect ourselves from enemies foreign and DOMESTIC! This man is definitely our enemy! A TANK? – That guy and the people who support that wasteful tax-paid expenditure during relative peace in the USA are sick and ill-informed. That tank could be easily disabled during all out war and is complete overkill and inhuman to use on unarmed men women and children over any drug. I imagine a tank could cause unlimited collateral damage in an average American City. Those guys are very dangerous in that to them, the end really does justify the means. To me, it’s unbelievable it’s gone this far.

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