Prattville, AL — Here at the Free Thought Project, we’ve brought you case after case of police officers harassing, beating and even killing innocent people, and not only escaping charges — but keeping their jobs. We’ve seen cops accused of horrific crimes against children only to be reinstated with back pay. Yet when a cop gets caught with a plant deemed illegal by the state, they are quickly made into an example and immediately removed from the force — and there is no victim.
An Autauga County deputy sheriff was fired this week after a supervisor allegedly caught him smoking weed while on-duty. The deputy was in his patrol car at the time.
As the Montgomery Advertiser reports:
The incident occurred Monday. The deputy was assigned to night shift, the sheriff said, and had been with the office about two years. The deputy’s shift supervisor discovered the situation.
The deputy was fired after he refused to take a drug test, Sedinger said.
Sedinger is a seasoned officer, serving almost 30 years with the sheriff’s office. He is in his second term as sheriff.
Sedinger declined to release the deputy’s name, saying currently it is a personnel matter and no criminal charges have been filed. The sheriff’s office is conducting an internal investigation. Sedinger also declined to give specifics about the case, citing the ongoing investigation.
“We won’t tolerate this type of behavior,” he said. “In all my years of law enforcement I never thought I would be facing a situation like this.”
According to the department, if they file any criminal charges, it will be misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
Here at the Free Thought Project we certainly do not condone nor support those who drive while intoxicated on any substance. However, as TFTP reported, there have been studies showing that driving while smoking weed is far safer than drinking.
The first study to analyze the effects of cannabis on driving performance found that it caused almost no impairment. The impairment that it did cause was similar to that observed under the influence of a legal alcohol limit.
Researchers at the University of Iowa’s National Advanced Driving Simulator carried out the study, sponsored by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Institute of Drug Abuse, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy:
“Once in the simulator—a 1996 Malibu sedan mounted in a 24-feet diameter dome—the drivers were assessed on weaving within the lane, how often the car left the lane, and the speed of the weaving. Drivers with only alcohol in their systems showed impairment in all three areas while those strictly under the influence of vaporized cannabis only demonstrated problems weaving within the lane.
Drivers with blood concentrations of 13.1 ug/L THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana, showed increased weaving that was similar to those with a .08 breath alcohol concentration, the legal limit in most states. The legal limit for THC in Washington and Colorado is 5 ug/L, the same amount other states have considered.”
As expected, there was impairment in all areas when alcohol and cannabis were mixed. But cannabis itself, when taken in moderate amounts, seems to cause no significant driving impairment.
What’s more is the fact that cops are caught drunk driving all the time and almost never get fired — including while they are on duty and found passed out drunk in their patrol car.
In March of 2019, Aurora police officer Nate Meier was found wasted and unresponsive behind the wheel of his police cruiser. Since the release of the body camera footage earlier this year, the command staff at the Aurora Police Department (APD) have come under fire for not only not charging Meier with a DUI but allowing him to keep his job with APD.
In December, APD Chief Nick Metz began pointing the finger of the blame at the media, instead of his failed leadership, and insists his officer didn’t cross the line into criminality. His proactive blue privilege approach worked and there is nothing anyone can do about it — not even the DA.
Even when cops kill other people while drunk in their patrol cars, they can keep their law enforcement license. As the late Will Grigg wrote for the Free Thought Project back in 2016, a St. Louis Police Officer previously involved in a controversial fatal shooting “was high on cocaine as well as drunk when he smashed his police vehicle into a parked car” on December 19, 2015, killing an innocent teenager.
On January 27, 2016, the Missouri State Highway Patrol released lab results from a blood sample taken from Officer Jason Flanery the day of the accident. His Blood Alcohol Concentration at the time was .117, more than twice the legal limit. The test also found that Flanery had recently used cocaine. On January 25, Flanery was charged with two misdemeanors – Driving While Intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident. He was not fired and instead was allowed to resign.
Although he resigned following his December 19 accident, Flanery retains his “class A” peace officer license and remains eligible for employment with another department.
There you have it. Cops can get drunk, pass out while on duty, and even kill innocent teenagers and face very little backlash but if they smoke a plant that makes them happy — they are out of here!