http://blogs.usatoday.com/gameon/2009/02/ex-police-chief.html The cops in the south are ridiculous about weed Norm Stamper is a retired cop. Retired after 34 years on the force, to be exact, including a 1994-2000 run as chief of police in Seattle. And he thinks the plan of Leon Lott, the sheriff of Richland County in South Carolina, to pursue marijuana charges against Michael Phelps is nuts. (Photo by Peter Dejong/AP) Writing for the Huffington Post, Stamper writes that: I'd be willing to bet your pension, Sheriff, that every police officer in the country knows you have no legal mandate to arrest Michael Phelps. Cops understand that without the discretion granted them in law they'd be paralyzed, unable to do their jobs. Unable to make intelligent decisions about who gets a ticket and who doesn't, who goes to jail and who gets a pass. Equally important, given the authority, how would you go about making the case? Did you or one of your deputies actually witness the offense (apart from a chance viewing of the ubiquitous photo)? Under South Carolina law, simple possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor. Absent witnesses and/or physical evidence, law enforcement officers must personally witness the misdemeanor . . . in order to make an arrest. Would you round up witnesses who were present during the "crime"? Take statements? Seek out and impound the bong for forensic testing? Would you honestly go to such lengths in order to bust this young man? Stamper's post also links to a photograph of Richland County's recently acquired personnel carrier. It has a belt-fed, .50-caliber, turreted machine gun, and is nicknamed "The Peacemaker," according to the post. We'll bogart one more Phelps-related item from Huffington Post, an alphabetical listing of famous (and alleged) pot smokers that begins with Louisa May Alcott, Jennifer Aniston and Bing Crosby.