This spring I watched the television debut of the cop fantasy about the Humboldt County Drug Task Force called “Pot Cops.” Now that it is summer the Pot Cops are out in force saving us from the evils of marijuana.

What a fun job those guys have. They get to play Green Berets carrying around military weapons and dress up like they are fighting in the streets of Ramadi, Iraq.

The only difference is the battle for Ramadi was real with real bullets flying and real death and destruction. It was not created in the minds of a bunch of boys playing PlayStation stars.

This is what the Humboldt County Drug task force is doing. Play all you want boys but don’t spend my money. When grown men play paint ball with my tax dollars I get edgy. I get edgy when cops play Pot Cops instead of Meth Cops. Every day in Humboldt County we watch many of our young people fall further and further into the addiction of methamphetamine. Ask any ER doctor or teacher where the real death and destruction is in Humboldt County.

At the end of the day are we better off after the Pot Cop gamers have taken down a 30,000 plant grow—no arrests. Are you suffering from a shortage of marijuana? Imagine what that “Mexican cartel” operation cost us taxpayers (imagine because it will be next to impossible to get the real figures). Dozens of officers on overtime, decked out like Bruce Willis in what was nothing more than a really expensive paint ball fight between task force agents and a mythical band of cartel soldiers.

Was this display of cop machismo a battle between them and the Mexican cartel? You bet. One of the deputies confirmed it. He said, “…we found a jar of salsa and a tortilla wrapper.”

Don’t get me wrong. There are police officers in real danger dealing with drug cases every day. Their job is admirable and takes a lot of courage. Take a look at the great job Eureka police is doing with their Problem Orient Police unit, known as POP, reactivated in 2007, during Chief Garr Nielsen’s tenure as police chief. (He’s since been fired, unjustly I might add.) POP is cleaning up meth dealers, heroin dealers, illegal firearms and domestic violence. That is real police work where the courage and danger is authentic. Give me POP Cops over POT cops any time.

Ask any cop (including a Pot Cop) what’s more dangerous, responding to a domestic dispute or swinging on a rope from a helicopter about to land in an abandoned marijuana field. It is so ludicrous we allow these guys to spend that kind of money on marijuana eradication like the money flows from a fountain while meth, heroin and child molestation are destroying our children. Stopping those real crimes just is not that much fun.

—Jeffrey Schwartz