Las Vegas, NV
"Utilizing law enforcement officers to enforce a flawed and failed agenda heightens the danger they are exposed to."
Michael Hansen has seen the drug war as a police officer, military police officer, and border patrol agent. He was a member of the Minnesota Army National Guard as a military police officer and then transitioned to the federal law enforcement community as a patrol agent for US Customs and Border Patrol, stationed in the east county of San Diego. He was cross designated with Title 21 DEA authority during his time as a patrol agent. Because of the high level of trafficking across the US-Mexico border, he was involved in many drug seizures in his area.
Michael remained a staunch supporter of prohibition throughout his law enforcement career, never questioning the approach. But in 1998, while apprehending a suspect in the high desert south of Palm Springs, CA, he sustained injuries so severe that he had to retire from law enforcement. While recovering, he was prescribed multiple pain killers which made him feel, as he can best describe it, “not present”. A friend who was also recovering from an injury advised him to try medical marijuana. After consulting with his doctor, Michael tried medical marijuana and was amazed by the relief it gave him and the lack of side effects compared to legal painkillers.
The experience led him to question what he had believed throughout his career. “My belief base had been shaken,” he explains. “I found it unconscionable that the people who were given responsibility for representing the best interests of our community – myself included – were fully ignorant on the topic of drugs and the illicit drug market. I realized that by taxing and regulating drugs, our overwhelmed legal resources could be used on real threats to society and our enforcement resources would be better focused. Enforcing laws is inherently dangerous, but utilizing law enforcement officers to enforce a flawed and failed agenda heightens the danger they are exposed to in the line of duty.”
Michael always knew he wanted to be a police officer. He began his law enforcement career as a deputy sheriff for the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Department, where he was assigned to the local jail. In 1994, he joined the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department in his home state of Minnesota, where he was signed to the Lake and Trail Unit due to his diving experience -- he had done a tour of duty as a diver in the US Navy. After retiring, Michael established one of the first private computer forensic labs in the country and now runs an investigation firm based in Los Angeles. He is an expert on computer security and has conducted training at agencies including the Department of Homeland Security, the New York Police Department, and with numerous law enforcement agencies in Mexico, China and around the world."