Police officers often state that they do not make the laws, and that they merely enforce laws made by others. And, to an extent, this is true. What these officers are not telling you is that they employ lobbyists who do wield a great deal of influence over the legislative process.
In Kansas, that lobbyist is former Topeka Police Chief Ed Klumpp, and he is a frequent opponent of bills that deal with medicinal and recreational marijuana, including a bill that was presented to the Kansas Senate Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee, just this week.
Klumpp, a registered lobbyist, represents the Kansas Association of Police Chiefs, the Kansas Sheriff’s Association, and the Kansas Peace Officers Association, told state senators that “these [bills] tend to be a precursor to broader legalization of marijuana”. The bill, if passed, will reduce the penalty for possession of marijuana. Currently, the penalty is a maximum of one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Under the proposed law, the maximum would be six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. The bill would also make second offenses a misdemeanor, rather than a felony.
An amendment to that bill would also allow for the use of CBD oil, specifically for seizure patients.
You can view Klumpp’s testimony against that bill below:
Klumpp owns and operates this website which details Kansas legislation that is of interest to law enforcement, including drug laws, sentencing guidelines, and various other criminal code related issues. Klumpp also shares articles like this one, telling officers how to avoid affairs in their marriages.
Klumpp opposed legislation in 2015 session that would have mandated that all police officers in the state of Kansas be equipped with body cameras. That legislation failed, largely due to Klumpp and a myriad of other police officials from around the state testifying against the mandate.
So, while police do not make the laws, they are certainly wielding influence over those laws, and a lot of the stances their lobbyist takes appear to directly conflict with the interests of the public.