Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Marijuana: Shane Cohn Says Police Sergeant's Pro-Reform Lobbying is a Conflict of Interest

Posted By on Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Page 2 of 2

"This is not a freedom of speech issue," Cohn says. "He's getting paid.... As a police officer, there's a certain set of expectations you have with your employer."

Cohn argues that other city employees aren't allowed to do this kind of lobbying based on Civil Service Commission rules and that eventually, employees of the police department, via local control, will be banned as well.

He says he has no problem with Wiegert speaking out -- but not in a paid position that creates this kind of conflict.

click to enlarge VIA

If he "wants to go out on his own time and dime as a private citizen," then it would be acceptable to advocate for these reforms, Cohn says.

As both a formal lobbyist and city police officer, "I don't think it's appropriate," he adds.

Wiegert was hired for Show-Me Cannabis to promote statewide legislative proposals for reform. (There are no legalization proposals on the table at this time, though one poll says a majority of Missourians support full-on regulation).

Check out our previous interviews with Show-Me Cannabis and Wiegert's attorney, who both argue that the sergeant has a right to do this lobbying work and that the department is illegally blocking his free-speech.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

Tags: , ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 15th, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation