Public speaks out against Maui Police polliticking at Walmart.
Concerned citizens are speaking out and asking serious questions in reaction to Maui Police handing out incorrect and inflammatory pamphletts. The pamphlet states that "marijuana is not medicine" which directly contradicts Hawaii State law. Who authorized armed Maui Police officers in uniform to hand out government produced, polictical material? Why and how did this happen? These are important questions that must be answered. View Maui News article, "Police pan pot proposals" (The Maui News, Feb. 15, 2011.
Editorials from Maui News in reaction to mixing police and politics:
What is the real story behind pamphlets? Feb. 23, 2011
I saw a Maui police officer at Walmart handing out pamphlets and asking people to speak out against certain medical marijuana bills currently under consideration.
This Maui County employee, using a Maui Police Department cruiser, wearing a gun under color of authority, was handing out pamphlets funded by federal block grants and nonprofits. They included a message from Chief Gary Yabuta claiming that marijuana is not medicine despite state law and medical reports recognizing that marijuana is a legitimate medicine.
Are Maui police officers allowed to use county or federal funds to spread misinformation to their financial advantage? Do we want to allow our Police Department to intimidate us into creating a police state?
If you have ever complained to a police officer about a law, you almost certainly heard the cliche that the police do not make the laws, they only enforce them. What do we do now that they are trying to influence bills that protect and serve only the police?
What is the real story here? Is it all about MPD trying to protect its funding at the expense of Maui's medical community? Or is it about the millions of dollars in tax revenues that could save our schools and rescue our crippled economy?
We live in an ideal climate for cannabis cultivation, and that has given us this opportunity to create a model of both compassionate care and financial sustainability.
Brian J. Murphy
Police effort against marijuana raises questions. Feb. 22, 2011.
In response to "Police pan pot proposals" (The Maui News, Feb. 15):
Thank you for reporting this extraordinary situation. I am a widow, former registered member of Patients Without Time and a medical cannabis advocate, so I am afraid, intimidated and confused by Maui police handing out literature stating that marijuana is not medicine, which directly opposes Hawaii law which recognizes that cannabis is medicine.
My husband was a WWII veteran who was greatly helped by cannabis treatments before cancer claimed his life in 2007. I promised him that I would carry on his work to promote veterans rights and medical cannabis. How dare they call my husband a criminal? He was an American hero. Veterans stand up for freedom.
Armed Maui police officers giving out written requests to citizens asking them to oppose Hawaii law and legislative bills seems like it must break about a zillion laws. Who authorized these events at Walmart? Are they legal? Why were the officers armed? Why was the police car displayed? Who paid for it all?
Keep up the good work, The Maui News - there should be a full follow-up investigation.
Police should not try to influence the law. Feb. 23, 2011.
A Feb. 15 Maui News article said that the police were passing out pamphlets opposing marijuana-related legislation.
I think that it is inappropriate for on-duty public servants to try to influence legislation. Policemen certainly have the right to voice their individual opinions on their own time, when not in uniform. But telling people how to vote on the public nickel is not what they are being paid for.
The article said that the pamphlets were paid for by a grant. Who provided the grant? Giving money to the police for the purpose of influencing legislation seems dangerously close to bribery.
The police are paid to enforce the laws, not to make them. I'm afraid that the chief of police has overstepped the bounds of his job in this case.
Police effort has appearance of lobbying. Feb. 23, 2011.
I would like to comment on the Feb. 15 article "Police pan pot proposals." I have been told that the role of our police force is enforcement of the law and it is not their job to question the validity of a law but only to enforce it. It occurs to me that taking a "'proactive stance' to show the public its opposition to marijuana by reaching out to Maui residents at public places" is going beyond enforcement and entering the realm of politics.
Perhaps I am misunderstanding something here, but isn't passing out pamphlets a political act? Beside being outside of the role of enforcement, lobbying for or against any legislation that has a direct connection to the lobbyist's employment should be viewed as a conflict of interest at the least.
Are the police creating a political platform in order to influence the lawmakers and the public? Is this really part of their job? Just asking.
How was effort by Police Department legal? Feb. 23, 2011
Maui Police Chief Gary Yabuta is opposed to the use of marijuana because of his need for job security. He must have victims to arrest in order to perpetuate the police state. I can understand why he wants the public to support this extortion enterprise.
I can't understand how is it legal for our public Police Department to actively engage in promoting propaganda and lies in the color of law while on the public's pay role.
The most valuable natural resource, medicine and sacrament is illegal because our health and freedom threaten the government's tyranny. The USA has more political prisoners than any other nation.
It is true that free thinkers and pot smokers don't make good slaves.
"Let your voice be heard"
If you would like to voice your opinions on this extraordinary situation, you my write to your political representatives. We provide links to Maui politicians on our home page. You may also submit editorials to Maui News. Please, feel free to use any talking points presented here or add your perspective to the cry for justice and equality.