Posted on July 09, 2013 by News Admin
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Sergeant Gary Wiegert will finally be allowed to lobby for marijuana reforms, more than three months after his legal battle with the department first began.
Wiegert and his attorneys have alleged that his bosses refused to let him work on the side as a paid marijuana lobbyist because they did not want one of their employees associated with the cause. Wiegert -- who claims the lobbying gig was initially approved, then revoked -- accused the department of violating his First Amendment rights.
Last month, a federal court ordered Wiegert to resubmit his application (and ordered the department to review it quickly). And yesterday, Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson sent Wiegert a letter letting him know that he approves of his "secondary employment as a lobbyist" -- within certain parameters.
Wiegert has been hoping to moonlight as a lobbyist for Show-Me Cannabis, the statewide advocacy group that has advocated for pot reforms at the legislature and in local municipalities.
Wiegert specifically supports decriminalization efforts, similar to the ordinance the city of St. Louis has signed into law, which aims to reduce the punishments for low-level offenses. At the capitol's most recent legislative session -- had the dispute not barred him from lobbying -- he would've been promoting a bill that would reduce fines across the state, with the intent of saving limited law enforcement resources.
The police department has typically not commented on the dispute, citing ongoing litigation, but in correspondences reviewed by Daily RFT, police officials have argued that Wiegert's application was denied because of technical reasons unrelated to the marijuana cause.
In his new letter, full document on view below, Dotson writes:
On the condition that you are off duty and not in uniform and do not hold yourself out as representing the views of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department when so engaged, your proposed request for secondary employment as a lobbyist will be allowed.
Interestingly, Dotson's letter also references House Bill 307, a bill that Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed into law last week which says that no political subdivision of the state can prohibit any first responder from engaging in any political activity while off duty and not in uniform (unless that activity is otherwise banned by state or federal law).
Dotson says in the letter that he reserves the right to revoke Wiegert's approval for lobbying work if HB 307 were to be declared invalid by a court.
In the meantime, Wiegert is "ramping up his lobbying talents," says his attorney Al Watkins, in an e-mail to Daily RFT.
Watkins adds, "The world can sleep a little easier knowing those in charge at the SLMPD have the good sense to listen to Sgt. Wiegert's attorney."
A police spokeswoman declined to comment beyond the letter, saying it speaks for itself.
We've helped thousands of happy customers start & run their medicinal & recreational businesses in all legal states. Whether you're serious, curious or just looking to gather information, GreenZipp can help.
Primarily through word-of-mouth alone, GreenZipp has become the company people trust to help start and run their legal marijuana businesses. For the last 4 years, people have been using GreenZipp because it's famously easy, straight forward, with no hidden costs. Combine that with our best-in-the-biz customer service, and you've got a unique and delightful offering of products and services.
We've been in business for 5 years, so you can depend on us to alleviate the anxieties and pressures of starting and running your business. Not once, has a single customer ever been in trouble with the law - ever. We're extremely proud of that number. Our job is to keep you safe and compliant with regulations and allow you to run your company without fear or anxiety. We've gone and will continue to go to the ends of the earth for our customers. Learn more about our company.
Many customers come to us saying that they've been told they need a lawyer to start their businesses. Sure, you can definitely use them, but you don't need them. Heck, you can even do it yourself if you don't mind putting in the time and making some costly mistakes from time to time. We take the complicated, confusing and time-consuming process of starting or running your marijuana business and boil it down to plain, detailed and easy-to-follow steps. Or, we can just do the whole process for you.
Here's the best part: We're so effective, lawyers and law firms hire us to service their marijuana industry clients for them.
Absolutely. You can see how our customers feel about us via an independently certified, 3rd party review website. We're extremely proud of our 5 out of 5 Star rating.
We offer a free Starter Package to help people understand the industry and us a little better. Check it out.
New business owners, seasoned entrepreneurs, investment groups and law firms all rely on GreenZipp. We've been fortunate to earn the repeat business of our customers, including some of the top lawyers and law firms in the country.
There's a lot of (mis)information out there. At best, it's usually speculation from non-professionals, old wive's tales or completely fabricated. It can be tough to navigate. With that in mind, here are a few things we've prepared for you:
GreenZipp is a medical & recreational marijuana consulting firm that's helped thousands of customers establish and run their marijuana businesses in all legal states since 2010. With industry-leading, streamlined and cost-effective products and services that abolish hourly & hidden fees, we'll be sure to make you happy.
We’ll send periodic news, new product releases and exclusive promotions.