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Why Do American Sheriffs Want Armored Trucks To Help Fight Against Marijuana?

Police Shooting Missouri

(via time.com)

Anyone who has watched the news lately, or has driven past some police stations in America, knows that law enforcement in America is very militarized. I think that Ferguson was a real eye opener for Americans who saw cops on TV that looked more like they were going to war rather than trying to keep the peace. For obvious reasons that hasn’t been sitting well with a growing number of Americans who don’t want to see cops looking more like military members than they do local police.

Law enforcement agencies can put in requests to the Pentagon to receive surplus military gear, and agencies have been doing it more and more lately. Documents were recently obtained by members of the media that found that an alarming number of requests for armored vehicles specifically cited marijuana and the war on drugs as the reason for needing war grade armored vehicles. Per the Huffington Post:

The Mother Jones investigation focuses on requests for armored combat vehicles, arguably the most iconic piece of police military equipment in the post-Ferguson era. Among the requests Mother Jones obtained, the most frequently cited rationale for needing an armored vehicle was drugs: “Fully a quarter of the 465 requests projected using the vehicles for drug enforcement,” the investigation found. By contrast, police departments rarely cited hostage situations, terrorist attacks or armed gunmen as rationale for obtaining the trucks.

At least seven departments explicitly cited marijuana in their vehicle requests, tying pot with methamphetamines for the drug that shows up most often in the documents. In 2012, Sheriff Tom Bosenko of Shasta County, Calif., requested two armored tactical vehicles to be “used during apprehension of suspects in both Marijuana eradications and during high risk search warrant service for drug offenders.”

In 2013, the Sheriff of Sumter County, Fla., requested one armored vehicle partly because his office had located “several marijuana grows both indoors and outdoors” in Sumter County.

Again, police departments applying for these military surplus vehicles rarely say it’s for hostage situations, terrorist attacks, or to combat armed gunmen. Often times they say it’s to go after people that are growing marijuana, a substance that is 114 times safer than alcohol. The proliferation of militarized police agencies has to stop. I’m all for law enforcement having what they need to perform their duties, but showing up with equipment that is designed for war instead of being designed to keep the peace is something that I find unacceptable, and it’s something that should alarm all Americans.


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Johnny Green


  1. Huntsman smoker on

    These people who are in control of the military assets are American citizens with families. If we mistrust them and fear that they would hurt their own communities then THAT is the scary issue. Even dumbasses with a potato cannon will misuse it , but that doesn’t scare me because they will most likely not intentionally hurt any one. The mistrust is the issue.

  2. “…law enforcement in America is very militarized” – This is very true.

    However, the militarization of the police force has nothing to do with the drug war. The stat’s importance is very much so hindered by the sample size of the investigation. Not your fault, HuffPo is just very good at getting ‘views’.

    Finally, let’s remember that the ‘anti-marijuana police’ notion certainly does not apply to all P.O.’s.

    Just my $0.02.


  3. The new “militarized” police state happens when uneducated bullies have access to ‘over the top’ equipment so they can feel safe in mildly dangerous situations.(bullies are frightened about getting beat up!)

    Since when did bullet proof vests become part of the uniform of the day?

    In our county there has never been an instance of police getting shot at…..EVER. Yet, the deputies wear flak jackets while they are out on patrol.

    Realize most cops only have a 3-6 month schooling on being a cop before they go to work. I wouldn’t call that ‘highly trained’, I would call that a basic understanding.

    They get indoctrinated about “the war on drugs” to the point where they feel every traffic stop can lead to a bust, every person out there is their enemy in this war.

    They have turned it into “The War On The People”

    Take all the military junk out of the hands of local law enforcement, they are not trained to use this stuff, they just get it so they can “PLAY ARMY GUYS” and act like bigger bullies.

    If the situation is dangerous, call the FBI, Feds, etc. and let trained professionals deal with the situation not uneducated bullies trying to show off.

    It is not the local law enforcements job to do “military style” raids and rightly so. Most of their big doughnut guts would get in the way of any tactical exercise anyway.

    I know the fat bastards in my county couldn’t out maneuver a sloth in a ground battle. There is no way they deserve dangerous equipment that they are untrained for.

  4. Boys toys
    I got some buddy’s over at the Brooklyn armory. They have tanks will travel!
    “Reserve ” soldiers ready to pounce.
    PTSD and tanks don’t mix well

  5. passionate cannabinoid on

    Technology Innovation – Brookings Institution

    Navigating a Web where “nothing to hide” doesn’t help you or democracy be safe

  6. You’re a clueless moron who most likely never felt the urge to serve his country…you’re welcome!

  7. My Sheriff PERFECTED the art of Military Surplus equipment in the 90’s when he created his now infamous “Tent City Jail”. Back in the 90’s he also had a light TANK that he used. NOW he’s got 2-3 MRAPS. I ask you… When is the last time IED’s were a problem on the streets of Phoenix AZ? Hell, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office LOT, looks like a surplus store itself!

  8. Jordan Shorette on

    well I live about 45 min north of the Adirondacks and I don’t want a militarized police force…that’s you too border patrol. they are supposed to be peace keepers not soldiers at most police should have a baton maybe some form of less lethal tranquilizer gun, but then again where I’m from they just like to use their fists feet or Tasers

  9. Lawrence Goodwin on

    In my area, the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in New York, this “growing number of Americans who don’t want to see cops looking more like military members than they do local police” is nowhere to be found. People don’t really seem to care either way about events in Ferguson, MO. They just go about their shopping, driving in the manner of maniacs with their damned phones in hand, and entertaining themselves, as usual, like there’s no tomorrow. No one seems to care at all about the absolute tyranny encroaching upon us (watch the sky for signs of it, too, the geoengineering activities). This tyranny ahs allegedly been using the War on Marihuana/Drugs as a mere training exercise for what’s to come. We’re certainly ground zero in New York for this militarized training, where every autumn ‘officials’ are perfecting the practice of spotting cannabis plants from police helicopters (and now drones eerily similar to those in the fictional Star Wars). Private property invasions and cannabis seizures follow, and local media rarely show the courage to ask: Why? The indoor growers of New York are being spied on and busted all year ’round. Time will tell. I remain a firm believer in the innate goodness of my fellow citizens. Someone has to see us through to better days.

  10. Jordan Shorette on

    honestly I was being sarcastic about the army comment I don’t want armed people of any kind on our streets

  11. Lets look at what the billionaires have…Like they aren’t pimping armored vehicles..oooh, but the billionaires are “legal” aren’t they, or what?

  12. Military boots tend to be people who couldn’t otherwise find employment…recruiting is always down in a good economy.

    It seems like rand paulers would like cops with guns…protecting their property rights

  13. Any emergency where the establishment is threatened with loss of power seems to be a likely reason for the asset.

  14. our little town of Nyssa Oregon, pop 3250, has one of these armored vehicles. Last night, at the City council meeting, the City Manager said she was comfortable having one, you never know if a drug raid or something else might come up????? You tell me what big emergency requires a little town of 3250 to have one of these??? None that I can think of… maybe rioting hispanics or zombie potheads????? but that is not likely… Traffic control at the annual kids bike parade??? Nope, no reason whatsoever…..

  15. Jordan Shorette on

    we’d almost be better off with the army on the streets better trained and they know what self discipline is rather then just discipline. cops with tanks is beyond stupid they shouldn’t even have guns, they just released footage of UK police officers peacefully disarming and arresting a man wielding a butcher knife. there was also footage just released of an American police officer gunning down a woman with a tiny steak knife (luckily she survived). which one sounds like a hero and which one sounds like a coward?

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