Cops Caught Anti-Pot Crusader With Her Own Stash -- Then Let Her Off The Hook

As if there weren't enough examples of the drug war's rampant hypocrisy and double standards, the director of Tennessee's Alcoholic Beverage Commission was caught with pot, but never charged. Special Agents from the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission are  assigned to the Governor’s Task Force on Marijuana Eradication, and, according to their website,  "serve as one of the primary agencies in the investigation of illegally grown marijuana in the state." As director of Tennessee's ABC, Danielle Elks was therefore an anti-pot warrior -- at least by occupation. In a recent investigation, the Channel 4I-Team learned that Elks was let off the hook.

According to Channel 4-I Team, officers went to Elks' home on October 12th to inform her that her husband had been killed in a car accident. Then:

According to the police summaries, the officers found the back door open and entered, concerned there may have been an intruder and wanting to check on the welfare of the occupants. 

When the deputies and the state trooper went in, the deputies say they saw what they both suspected to be marijuana on the kitchen table, describing it as a "green, leafy substance."

The deputies also found rolling papers, and noted that there was a Governor's Marijuana Eradication Task Force sticker in the kitchen.

One of the deputies wrote, "It (the suspected marijuana) was brought to the attention of the THP officer."

One of Elks' business cards was also found in the home.

A source close to the investigation confirmed there was no attempt to collect the substance, and the THP trooper never launched an investigation.

A Channel 4 I-Team investigation found the drugs were never seized or investigated.

An ABC employee told the Channel 4-I Team, on the condition of anonymity,

"I grant you, if that had happened to any of us (ABC employees), we would have been made an example of. We would have been in headlines in the papers, the news, and everywhere else."

According to Channel 4-I, 

The ABC employee who spoke with the I-Team admits they have a very low tolerance for any type of marijuana, given that even small amounts of marijuana can lead them to a dealer.

Charging Elks with marijuana possession the day her husband died would have been cruelly harsh, but so are the pot laws that ABC enforced. In Tennessee, as little as a single gram  of marijuana can translate into a year-long prison sentence.

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at February 7, 2012, 11:55am

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