Although the Medical Marijuana Assistance Program of America (MMAPA) is a serious organization, the group recently sent out an apparently silly release -- a suggestion that marijuana advocates adopt as their mascot a photo illustration of incoming Denver Police Chief Robert White as pot superhero Captain Cannabis. But the MMAPA's Vincent Palazzotto insists that this lighthearted notion illustrates a serious point.
The inspiration for the illustration can be found in news reports about White registering positive for marijuana after a preliminary blood test back in 1985. Turns out the reading was a false positive, and according to the Denver Post , White sued the police union in Washington, D.C. for making the info public, and won.
Given this reaction, is Palazzotto at all concerned White will be more prone to crack down on marijuana users if only to prove that he's not Captain Cannabis? He says no. "The chief's an intelligent man, rooted in law enforcement. So we think he'll probably take it as an opportunity to focus on more important things than cannabis."
At the same time, though, he thinks the Captain Cannabis concept offers a good opportunity to engage White on behalf of MMJ users. "It's all about the patients," he stresses, "and we would encourage the department to develop a process, standards and procedures to work with them. That way, patients will know what to expect when they encounter law enforcement.
"It sucks to be a patient and fear that every time an administration changes, they'll be subject to a new policy," he continues. "When patients in the city of Denver hear a knock on their door, they don't know how the Denver Police Department intends to deal with them -- and that's the real problem in all of this.
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"We don't know what stance and interpretation the chief will take toward the medical marijuana industry. Does he think it's a joke? Or does he respect it as the law, and respect the choices of patients who have MS or cancer and who choose to treat their conditions with this. That's why we need to know where he stands when it comes to working with and dealing with patients."
And if there's any chance of him really becoming Captain Cannabis. Here's a larger version of the illustration.
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More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division's Dan Hartman reassigned in favor of Laura Harris."