Earlier this week, a video made the rounds showing Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton forcefully grabbing Chip Paul – a leading medical marijuana advocate – by the neck and kicking him out of an anti-SQ 788 forum in Claremore.
Here’s the video:
Yikes. The video may look bad for Sheriff Walton, but before rushing to judgement, please remember Oklahoma sheriffs are tolerant, reputable people with high ethical and moral standards, so obviously Chip did something awful to justify that show of force. Right?
Here’s Chip’s side of the story as told to Non Doc:
“So I had my hand up. I leaned to my right, and a sheriff’s deputy was behind me, and I said, ‘Oh, this is very frustrating.’ Immediately, behind me to the left, I had someone in my face, and it was the Rogers County sheriff,” Paul said. “I don’t even know his name. Whatever the fuck his name is. I apologize, but whatever his name is. And he was in my face, and he said, ‘If you have something to say, you can get out.’ And I said, ‘OK, I’ll be quiet.’ He grabbed me by the throat, he kicked my chair out from under me. My wife began to video at that point. He and another sheriff deputy escorted me physically out of the premises.”
It sucks that Chip’s head was banged against the door, but on a positive note, at least Rogers County Deputy Betty Shelby wasn’t there to shoot him in the back because she was scared!
Non Doc also got a statement from Sheriff Walton:
Reached Tuesday morning, Walton also said he did nothing wrong, noting that his department co-hosted the event with Light of Hope, a Catoosa non-profit focused on addiction recovery. Walton said it was the second such forum the groups had hosted opposed to SQ 788, and he said Monday night’s meeting featured what he believed to be “an organized effort by the ‘Vote Yes’ people to be disruptive in the whole deal.”
“We announced more than once that there would be time for discussion at the end of it, but that had to be re-announced a couple times,” Walton said. “(We asked that they) please be respectful of those making the presentation, and certainly that was ignored. They would raise their hands, try to interrupt, try to turn it into a debate.”
Wow. People had the nerve to raise their hands and ask questions at a public forum?! The humanity!
I watched a video from the event, and it looks like the only person who appeared disruptive was Sheriff Walton. He was obviously on-edge. You can see that at the 17:45 mark of the video below when he interrupts a speaker to forcefully warn attendees not to interrupt speakers.
Yeah, Sheriff Walton may have overreacted, but in his defense, it has to be stressful to be an authoritarian asshat control freak on the wrong side of history, and watching one of your biggest cash cows – the prohibition of marijuana – being lit up like a blunt and turned to ash before your very eyes. Perhaps after SQ 788 passes, he can hit up a college dorm room for a 1.4, or visit a local veterinarian and get a medical marijuana license. He could use a good indica to help relieve the stress and disappointment.