A powerful article at HuffPo by Radley Balko: Driven By Drug War Incentives, Cops Target Pot Smokers, Brush Off Victims Of Violent Crime
I can't cut and paste enough but:
MISPLACED PRIORITIESThe feds ruining something with too much money and unintended consequence; imagine that.
Arresting people for assaults, beatings and robberies doesn't bring money back to police departments, but drug cases do in a couple of ways. First, police departments across the country compete for a pool of federal anti-drug grants. The more arrests and drug seizures a department can claim, the stronger its application for those grants.
"The availability of huge federal anti-drug grants incentivizes departments to pay for SWAT team armor and weapons, and leads our police officers to abandon real crime victims in our communities in favor of ratcheting up their drug arrest stats," said former Los Angeles Deputy Chief of Police Stephen Downing. Downing is now a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, an advocacy group of cops and prosecutors who are calling for an end to the drug war.