Joe Miller, Probation Officer Fired for Statement in Support of Marijuana Legalization, Launches Lawsuit With ACLU's Help

probation officer 1.jpg
Image: Huffington Post
Joe Miller

Maybe one reason marijuana prohibition is still in effect is this:

Law officers face being fired merely for stating publicly their views on legalization.

That was the case for Joe Miller, a former Mohave County probation officer whose supervisors terminated him after his name appeared on a letter -- with 31 other law officers -- in support of the 2010 California ballot proposal that would have made pot as legal as booze and cigarettes.

Now Miller is suing for damages in a federal complaint with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona. They claim the county's action violated Miller's First Amendment right to free speech, caused emotional distress and damaged his reputation.

Miller's boss at the time of his firing, Friend Walker, the county's former chief probation officer, learned that Miller's name was on the September 13, 2010, letter by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition sometime that November. When Walker asked Miller about it, Miller told his boss he didn't know what he was talking about, says the lawsuit.

Miller soon found out that his wife had submitted his name to LEAP, (though he didn't mind one bit,) the suit states.

On December 10, 2010, he was fired for "failure to maintain neutrality" and dishonesty, even though the LEAP letter clearly states that the signatories' agency affiliation is only listed "for identification purposes."

The government simply can't have law officers who believe in legalization running around, it seems.

And no wonder: If those officers succeed in ending marijuana prohibition, just think of all the probation and police officers, federal agents and prison guards that might be put out of work.
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32 comments
Glenda
Glenda

Well Joe, since you have plenty of time, take it to the top!!!  I guess they wanted you to have plenty of time to pursue it!!!  I am not sure if Im for it or not, but to have an opinion is our right as Americians!!!  that is crap!!!

Patuzza_11
Patuzza_11

I'd sign a petition to keep him in! If they legalized it, the drug war would not be as bad, plus it would bring in money....It's far safer than alchol! Plus proven for medical....which btw, how many pharmacuticals killed ppl!!! The pharmacutical comp's a joke. big bucks for big men.

B-Leathers
B-Leathers

And think......the none violent, non-theft related arrest portion of arrests made would be non-existent. Meaning literally hundreds of millions of tax dollars not spent on prosectuion, housing, etc.

debhay
debhay

Politicians, police and leaders who support criminalizing Prohibition of Cannabis support organized crime.  Too many Americans are living in fear of telling the truth.  Fascist political leaders are making their fortunes on the hate propaganda of prohibition.  Too many people admit their mistakes of enforcing prohibition when they retire from the force.  More people need to stand up and speak.  Too many stories of profit within A.T.F., C.I.A., D.E.A. and F.B.I. setting people up for death, imprisonment and failure in the name of plants like coca, cannabis and poppy.  Who is to blame?  Drug companies?  Racist lobbyists?  Greed?  When will this evil crusade of ridding the world of drug users end?  Then there are the 'conspiracy' charges.  And the D.E.A. setting people up for 'conspiracy' charges.  WTF!  Get the profit out of government and politics and give the people some peace!!

Albert
Albert

Yeah... a bit off topic here. But I did see a video with Woddy Harrelson about hemp, and the government said that law enforcement couldn't tell the difference between real marijuanna and hemp. They did show the differenece between the two plants and even I could tell they look, and grow completley different. Just more lies......

Guest
Guest

Are you kidding me?! This is total bullshit! It's not like he was encouraging his probationers / parolees to break the law. He was protesting the law.

...Oh shit am I allowed to say that or am I going to lose my job now?

Bnbk
Bnbk

What the hell was this Joe Miller thinking, trying to exercise his constitutional rights ? What the shit.did he think he lived in the US or something ? This is Arizona for Christ's sakes !

savatage
savatage

I have 2 brothers who have smoked since 1962. That's freaking 50 years, come next year! They are both healthy, happy, successful and have families and kids that are smart as whips. If ever there was a long term study, they are it. I also have family members and friends who only drink. Guess which drug has ruined more lives? Alcohol is completely legal and pushed on TV like there is no tomorrow. Drink responsibly... what a crock. I know from personal experience what substance is safer, and what plant I will partake of till the day I die. Cannabis FTW!

Follower_of_the_ONE
Follower_of_the_ONE

My name is Hemp, please don't call me Marijuana....I am a wonderful plant, I can make ropes to moor your ships, I can provide the clothes on your back. My fiber when properly treated and woven is 10x stronger than steel... Henry Ford built his first car to run on HEMP FUEL and the side panels were made out of HEMP as well. You can use my fiber to make paper and save trees, I only take a short period to reach maturity and my fiber is up to 4x the density of trees. MOST of the chemical products manufactured today can be created naturally using my oils and fibers... PLASTIC and it's byproducts can be created using ME! And unlike the plastics created from petroleum process... I'M BIODEGRADABLE! Just think about it, if industry used me we WOULD not have an island, the size of Texas, of plastic sluge floating around in the North Pacific.And for healthcare.... the list is long! Do you know that the oils and organic chemicals in my seeds make them THE HEALTHIEST FOOD in the WORLD! I can kill certain cancer cells, in fact studies have shown smoking ME decreases your chances of lung cancer below that of NON-SMOKERS!. If you combine me with some of my brethern garlic, oil pressed from the olive and honey produced by the bees among them (nature's own healers and lubricators)... you might live forever (as long as you don't breath the foul air). But alas, there is no money in finding cures, only prolonging illness and misery ... I have been used for milenia in a wide variety of applications, I AM part of the grand design. The "Gods" you choose to worship put me here as a constant staple for your health, well being and convenience. Yet you chose to demonize me on the word of those who control you, you ingest their poisons, you pay your precious dollars for water they sell you because they have polluted and you breath the poison in the air they produce. So look to the captains of industry, Hearst, Dupont ...etc along with the medical industry and you will see why I have been demonized. I do understand why these people hate me so much, and it has nothing to do with my ability to offer relief to the sick, nothing that I do to the mind or body... it's PURE GREED AND PROFIT!

Michael Novak
Michael Novak

We're going to need to start a civil war aren't we. Now a day i can't tell if that is pushing it a little to far or entirely appropriate. Maybe we need to just have a day where a sht load of people just march to the white house and slap them into shape. We should either have all the pot smokers just come out to get arrested (even some non you don't have to smoke it just have it) and clog the system. or just protest a load. or have everyone in favor of legalization stop doing their jobs and buying stuff. or i don't know i barely know anything about politics, my forte is mystery genera

Seedy Ward
Seedy Ward

God speed, Mr. Miller. Take them for everything they're worth.

Royalphoenix2
Royalphoenix2

Hey Mohave County, settle out of court ! peace

jway
jway

"Failure to maintain neutrality"? Are you kidding?!! Police chiefs speak out all the time supporting the federal marijuana prohibition, but they're not fired for failing to maintain neutrality! Their support for the prohibition is used by legislators to prove that marijuana should be kept illegal. Nothing happens to those who *support* the prohibition but those who oppose it are fired? Where's the consistency?

The bottom line with marijuana is that half of Congress are millionaires and marijuana just doesn't fit into their elite perspective of society. It simply would not be "proper" for them to legalize adult marijuana sales even though the prohibition *doesn't* prevent people from buying, selling and using marijuana and it does draw drug dealers into our neighborhoods and around our children! Change Federal Law!

Mene Tekel
Mene Tekel

You know, it's often heard that prohibition is what led to the uprising of gangsters like Al Capone and that is true with marijuana prohibition as well. But it seems to me, the real gangsters are the police officers, DEA agents and politicians who have just as much to gain as the Mexican cartels.

B-Leathers
B-Leathers

It cost more than 40k to house a single federal prisoner. Prison guards make less than 28k a year. So by releasing the prisoner who is there on drug charges you are saving over 12k......Actually more, as there is a higher ratio of prisoners than guards. It is actually cheaper to send a prisoner to college than put them prison......SAD!!!

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

pot plants that are grown for recreational use are taller and have more leaves.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

if you are a cop in AZ you better watch it!

Seedy Ward
Seedy Ward

Main problem with that line of reason is that it accepts implicitly that cannabis prohibition is based upon its allegedly deleterious health effects. Sadly, this is not the case and never has been. The authorities don't care about the health effects of cannabis. Recall back in the 80s when they deliberately poisoned the cannabis supply by spraying paraquat on foreign farms? They knew that paraquat was a deadly poison and carcinogen when they did that. Some of the bastards involved even responded to questions from the news media by saying that they didn't care if criminals poisoned themselves. No, it never has been about public health. The war on weed is a war on disliked people -- the plant is merely a means toward their evil ends.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

basically from my limited studies of laws against marijuana I have found it funny that the main cause was not because of people smoking some weed, it was from paper manufacturing. Back in the day William Randolf Hearst bought up a bunch of timber lands in the Pacific Northwest and the Southeast. His holdings would have dropped to no value because hemp could be grown to make paper cheaper. Since it takes way less time for a hemp plant to reach maturity AND since it takes trees hundreds if not longer of years to mature it seems to make more sense in business sense to grow hemp plants for paper instead.

Follower_of_the_ONE
Follower_of_the_ONE

Thought this might be worth re-posting.  There is a definite disconnect concerning Hemp, people just do NOT get it... the benefits FAR outweigh the value of any prohibition put on the plant. 

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

we DO not need a civil war, what we need are stupid republicans to wake up and stop voting for people that are republicans.

Guest
Guest

By "them" you mean the taxpayers?

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

they would be smart too, because they violated the PO's civil rights.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

it's because they make lots of money on the criminal charges, housing, trials, etc and the war on drugs...

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

they keep their war on drugs going forever to keep making money off of the poor.

Albert
Albert

It's sad, we don't really have a complete FREEDOM OF SPEECH. When you have a an explicit instructions on not to make a law, and you do just the opposite. What the hell is this.....time, place manner bullsh*t?? And limited types of SPEECH??  The Supreme Court should rule on what the Constitution says... And not anything else. They're aren't given that LIBERTY to restrict our Constitutional Rights. Congress and the SCOTUS have side stepped the American People, by allowing Unconstitutional Laws to stand. If they really want to outlaw something, that the American People want, they have to pass an Amendment to the Constitution. Don't restrict our SPEECH, and our FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION. Until then, it still violates the Constitution. There is no exceptions in the Constitution for moral, safety types of Speech.. for limiting Free Speech in the United States America!

B-Leathers
B-Leathers

 Stupid Republicans? Maybe you should stop blaming the other side and look at your own. There are more Dems in Senate than Republicans, not to mention king Democrat the president. Yet he attacks California's Medical Marijuana industry, something Bush didn't even do. When it comes to government corruption you need to wake up and see there is no political split. Both sides are guilty. P.S. Gary Johnson & Ron Paul are the only candidates running who support legalization and they are???? Republican, just like Lincoln!!!!

Guest23
Guest23

Which will never happen. The best odds for change sure seems to be revolution.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

it isn't illegal for your employer to restrict your speech or fire you for saying something. The Government can't silence you but your employer legally can bar you from saying something, and fire you if you do.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

a few points. 1. Obama is as close to being a republican as you can get and still be a democrat. 2. Ron Paul would destroy our country if he got his way and create civil war 2. 3. Lincoln was technically a republican, but back in those days they held the values of the democrats.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

I dont really like those odds tho.

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