Does Law Enforcement Need Stronger Chain Of Command
Why is cannabis still illegal?
February 18, 2016
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February 24, 2016

The Miami Fraternal Order of Police have decided to boycott the security detail of an upcoming Beyonce concert within a city they swore to protect and paid by the stadium contractually in advance. The official press release encourages fellow officers nationwide to do the same. In case you forgot about Beyonce’s Super Bowl appearance, the artist spoke out against the sharp increase of officer involved shootings against unarmed black men while singing from atop a patrol car during the halftime show.

“That upper class raised and now multi-millionaire, Beyonce is not ‘black’ enough to bring awareness or really understand.”


While serving our Armed Forces as a military police officer, not once did I use the typical police response, ‘I am just doing my job’ during my patrols. Then again I was never subjected to participate in cash grabs, medical marijuana raids, bogus warrant executions or other directed actions that question an officer’s own morality and a clear violation of citizen rights.

Military personnel have an obligation and a duty to only obey lawful orders and indeed have an obligation to disobey unlawful orders, including orders by the president that do not comply with the Uniform Code of Military Justice. I would have a moral and legal obligation to the U.S. Constitution and not to those who would issue unlawful orders like ignoring public safety, the mission, had I been assigned to the concert security detail.

Do civilian law enforcement have the same rights as military personnel?

Throughout history societies have raised social injustice awareness through the arts. Beyonce leveraged an entire Super Bowl audience to share her message. No different than my steering off topic with this article, or a county Sheriffs use of press releases and media appearances to change public policy. It happens.

After becoming involved in my state’s legal medical marijuana program the privilege that comes with being a white, American male ended. A few people (in government) had a vested interest in limiting medical marijuana laws and leveraged their power to attack. Attack they did.

My home and offices have been raided and often without warrant or arrest. Our local sheriff shared lies about my friends and I through televised press releases. Competent and otherwise fair judges have ignored rule of law and denied legal medical patients basic rights and protections. It is simple to conclude that society must be against me.

Two things that I have learned:

  1. TGIW – Thank God I’m White. Had I been discriminated for my skin color instead, well, it would be very difficult to first understand, and then be forced to accept. The racism that exists within civilian law enforcement culture is undeniable. Local policies, without real oversite allow this.
  2. I can accept a racist family member or a neighbor that may not agree with my advancement of marijuana as a medicine. However, when a member of government abuses their power to make you feel less, or in some instances, hide a murder as Beyonce pointed out, it really is a blow to the psyche.

Government oppression is a depression filled cage that few escape. The Fraternal Order of Police reinforced that oppression which African Americans are subjected. These pen toting, rogue officers were clearly frustrated, but ultimately lacked a chain of command and centralized communications, effectively insulting an entire class of people (and not just Beyonce).

Civilian law enforcement have an extremely difficult job, probably the toughest. Remember your oath, officers.

To those white friends of mine that do not believe me or Beyonce, unfortunately you will ‘see the light’ and society can begin an honest dialogue, only after somebody within the government abuses your rights too.

Lon Swanson
Lon Swanson
Working to end cannabis prohibition through action.


  1. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Beyonce is scum and the cops were correct.

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