Rialto Police Chief Defends Marijuana Users over Non Marijuana Users

In the past Law Enforcement acted as the buffer between the drug users and non drug users. Nationwide that has changed no matter what the laws are in a given state police are giving up on protecting people from the effects of others using drugs. We as adults are causing our youth to see marijuana as safe.

In Rialto this has come as somewhat of a shock as residents expected more on both side of the issue. Those who consume Marijuana for fun and “medicine” expected the hammer to drop or at least more blow back in an effort to hold users accountable to whatever law they could. The same expectation was had on the non user side of things. People not consuming Marijuana had an expectation that the laws over recreational use would be enforced and their exposure would be minimal. You may ask why would Rialto residents on both side have the same fear/expectation. Well both sides thought this for the same reasons:

  • Rialto has fought hard to break the stigma of becoming a drug and gang haven.
  • Rialto worked hard to keep the problems from San Bernardino’s bankruptcy from spilling over the boarders of Rialto.
  • Rialto has one of the toughest gang injunctions in the county.
  • Rialto wrote the most effective local ordnance in dealing with SPICE (synthetic Marijuana) in the nation.
  • Rialto police hit smoke shops hard making sure they followed all the rules of the SPICE ordnance as well as laws on the taxation of cigarettes.
  • Rialto police officers are multiple year award winning DUI officers with hundreds of DUI convictions under their belt.
  • Rialto City Council and Mayor all appear to support keeping Marijuana under wraps by continuing to ban its sale and cultivation in Rialto.

Chief Kling is showing us why we are in the place we are today with Law Enforcement. Mark Kling left law enforcement to teach at Cal Baptist University. It seems clear that students in the career of law enforcement have been getting a very sad view of policing and keeping law abiding people safe. Yes Marijuana is legal for recreational use but there are laws and rules around that use and Chief Kling seems to care less about making sure those laws are enforced. If Marijuana smoke and its harmful effects on others are not a big deal then why do we have laws limiting smoking cigarettes in your apartment, Alcohol in public and loud parties?

Needless to say the Chief Kling that once worked in Rialto and the one we have now are two totally different people. What are your thoughts on the way the Police Chief is dealing with Marijuana Policy and Laws?

Below are links to articles used in the video above:






5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Terry B. Thompson
    Apr 01, 2018 @ 04:26:44

    Today, I became aware of the above posting on this Facebook Page by David Phillips. The post concerns a conversation at the Rialto P.D. Coffee with the Chief held on January 9, 2018 at Coco’s Restaurant. In the posting is a video of the opening of the meeting with audible and text over wording. I am the person seen immediately to the right of Chief Mark Kling. I watched the video, read the post, and afterward felt corrections and clarifications were necessary.

    First some history:
    When my wife Kathy and I moved to Rialto from the San Gabriel Valley thirty-eight years ago, we had no expectation of becoming employed in Law Enforcement; however, time carries on and sooner than later, we found ourselves doing just that for nearly a combined sixty years. I say this because the casual reader should know that I speak from experience, both as a former law enforcement officer, but also as a citizen of this city.

    In the General Election of November 2016, more than 57% of Californians passed Proposition 64 by a two million vote margin. This legalized (succinctly) the recreational use of marijuana for adults aged 21 years or older, permitting smoking in a private home or at a business licensed for on-site marijuana consumption. Smoking marijuana was to remain illegal while driving a vehicle, anywhere smoking tobacco is, and in all public places. Up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and 8 grams of concentrated marijuana are legal to possess under this measure. However, possession of marijuana on the grounds of a school, daycare center, or youth center while children are present remains illegal. An individual is permitted to grow up to six marijuana plants within a private home as long as the area is locked and not visible from a public place.

    It’s difficult today to be a cop, any type of cop, in any place, and especially in California. The social mores of our society are ever changing, and law enforcement has to continually adjust to the acceptable standards of society. Those acceptable standards are presented as laws passed by state and federal legislative processes that usually become effective on or about January 1st of each year. There is no questioning a clear majority of Californians wanted to change pre-existing laws to allow the recreational use of marijuana. I say this because the Rialto Police Department is charged under the California Constitution with enforcing the law as it is written, regardless of how an individual officer or the department may feel about it.

    This brings me to the meeting and the Facebook post. I listened to Chief Kling as he answered the questions every Chief and Officer in California knew were going to be asked as soon as the calendar read January 2018. What about the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana, how do you feel about it, and how will you enforce it. Chief Kling and his staff answered the questions with clarity by outlining the new law, what the department’s training and staffing is with drug recognition experts, and what constitutes a violation of the new law. He also asked if there were any questions, and he and or staff answered them. I understood it, and I believe any person in the room at the time either understood it, or had the opportunity to ask questions if they did not. It was a fair and impartial dialog about a difficult subject, and to say Chief Kling was defending any one side of the issue is disingenuous.

    Additionally, in reference to the seven bulleted statements in the post, I would agree that Rialto P.D. and the City of Rialto have been effectively tough on street gangs; illegal substances, including, when applicable, marijuana; and our Traffic Unit is second to none in the enforcement of the laws pertaining to the impaired driver, regardless of the intoxicant. However, to say or even imply, that Rialto was stigmatized as a drug and gang haven is an overreach in prose and also disingenuous.

    During the 1980s Rialto saw, as did every city in California, an uptick in gang based criminality. We faced it, and the incidents of gang activities, was severely reduced. At no time was Rialto considered by any reasonable person to be a haven for gangs or illicit drug activities. In facing this, then Chief Ray Farmer established the first single purpose street crime team in San Bernardino County. Rialto P.D.’s Street Crime Attack Team (SCAT) was formed with this single purpose: to remove from our streets and our community illegal street gangs, narcotic users and traffickers, and habitual offenders. I know because I served on the SCAT Team the first four years of its existence. Rialto P.D. SCAT continues to this day, and we are well served to have them. It serves no legitimate purpose to cast negative aspersions upon our Public Safety departments, safety personnel, and our community, and I am appalled anyone would do so.

    And lastly, it’s been said being a cop provides way too much responsibility and never enough authority. Humans being what they are, laws never always fit the occurrences, and to make the job palatable to the ones choosing to do it, while at the same time satisfying the intellect of those we serve, society has accepted there are the letter and the spirit of the law. You have to accept this or you’re in the wrong profession. We citizens need to reflect upon this when we complain that we detected the odor of burnt marijuana upon a person in a public place, or we can smell it coming from a person’s residence. In short, we need to move on from what our olfactory nerve tells us and instead listen to what our better sense tells us.

    Mark Kling is a good man, and more than that, he is a good chief. He leads by example, is fair minded, progressive yet a little old school, and has the best interests of the department, its personnel and our community at heart. He hasn’t changed one iota from when I first met him, and again… to say he has is just not true. Chief Kling did not leave Rialto to teach. He retired after a long and distinguished career, and he returned when we needed him. He deserves our support not derision.


  2. Dennis Hilton
    Apr 01, 2018 @ 08:13:47

    Why would you imply a relationship between gang activity and legal marijuana?

    Drug-dealing gangs rely upon prohibition for their income.


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