Marijuana tonight: Premiere of ‘Pot Cops’ on Discovery Channel

WASHINGTON, April 3, 2013―On this particular hump day, TV offers a wonderful respite from the rigors of the work week. Funny sitcoms, great dramas, interesting documentaries, and some basic cable premieres offer up a tasty menu of choices for tonight’s viewing.

Given the current national debate over marijuana and states’ rights when determining its criminality, the show “Pot Cops” on Discovery Channel (tonight at 10 p.m.), could have provided some real insight into the ongoing issue. Unfortunately, all the show manages to do is cloud the issue even more.


SEE RELATED: TV tonight: Weed Country premieres on Discovery Channel


According to Discovery Channel promos for the show: “In the vast forests of Northern California, most would never imagine encountering gunfire, booby traps and cartel activity. But here in Humboldt County, an area with some of the most conducive growing conditions in the United States, the country side is overrun with armed Mexican drug cartels that are willing to use violence to protect their valuable marijuana crops.”

This is an intriguing press release designed to pull viewers in. But it is not even close to the truth. According to Tommy Lanier, director of the National Marijuana Initiative, which is part of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, there was scant evidence that the cartels exerted much control over marijuana growing in the national forests. “Based on our intelligence, which includes thousands of cell phone numbers and wiretaps, we haven’t been able to connect anyone to a major cartel,” he said.

“We’ve had undercover agents at the highest level of these groups, breaking bread and drinking tequila,” says Roy Giorgi, commander of the Mountain and Valley Marijuana Investigation Team, a multi-agency organization headquartered in Sacramento. “Even at their most comfortable, the leaders never said, ‘Hey, we’re working for the Zetas.’ “ 

Since the basic premise of the show hinges on busting up non-existent cartels, one has to question its credibility from the start. Discovery Channel is not above manufacturing story lines to sell their shows, so this should come as no surprise.

But “Pot Cops” isn’t about catching snow crab off the coast of Alaska or dredging gold out of the Bering Sea. It’s about law enforcement fighting an enemy that doesn’t exist in a “war on drugs” that has very little success to show for its efforts.

Discovery Channel’s disregard for the truth in pursuit of ratings is just another example of the network’s increasing propensity to make their programs less about “discovery” and more about profit. Given the questionable ethics of reality TV in general, this should come as no surprise. But, airing fictional shows like “Pot Cops” and selling them as fact is another thing all together.

 “Discovery Channel” should stick to the usual disposable nonsense it airs like “Moonshiners” and “Amish Mafia,” and leave hotbed issues like marijuana alone.

TV tonight:

All times are EDT:

8 p.m.

ABC: The Middle: (New) Disappointed with the finale of “The Bachelor,” Frankie mopes for days; when Sue joins the school’s tennis team, Mike tries to toughen her up by complimenting her opponents during matches; Cassidy and Axl consider the future of their relationship.

CBS: Survivor: Caramoan: Fans vs. Favorities: (New) The Bikal and Gota tribes merge. For individual immunity, the castaways eat exotic foods, including beetle larvae and brains.

FOX: American Idol: (New) The Top 7 finalists perform classic rock songs.

NBC: Dateline NBC: (New) The vanishing of a young husband and father of three is investigated, as social media and text messages shed light on the case.

CW: Arrow: (New) When a young woman meets a violent death after partying at Verdant, Detective Lance and his new partner, Detective Hilton (guest star Roger Cross) inform Oliver and Tommy that she was on the drug Vertigo. Oliver immediately pays a visit to the mental institution where The Count (guest star Gabel) is locked up, but finds he is in no condition to deal drugs.

PBS: Nature: (New) Ecologist J.C. Cahill leads this look at plants, which he contends are as busy and complex as humans. He explains how they “talk” to allies, eavesdrop on one another, call in insect mercenaries to protect them and nurture their young.

8:30 p.m.

ABC: Suburgatory: (New) George’s newfound obsession with his body image alienates Dallas; Lisa figures out why Dalia is being nice to Tessa.

9 p.m.

ABC: Modern Family: (New) While at the hospital, Claire and Phil see an older version of their family; Manny and Jay visit a private school; Mitch and Cam organize a day for Gloria and Lily.

CBS: Criminal Minds: (New) The BAU goes to Morgan’s old neighborhood in urban Chicago in search of an UnSub targeting middle-aged men, and a clue leads Morgan to believe that they are after someone connected to the man who molested him as a child.

NBC: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: (New) The SVU detectives investigate a 9-year-old boy with dangerous psychopathic tendencies.

CW: Supernatural: (New) Sam and Dean respond to a call from Kevin (guest star Osric Chau), who is terrified after hearing Crowley’s (guest star Mark Sheppard) voice in his head. After hearing Kevin’s news, Sam and Dean team up with reaper named Ajay (guest star Assaf Cohen), who helps them deal with the second trial from the Tablet.

PBS: Nova: (New) Examining an ancient Greek astronomical calculator and eclipse predictor that is believed to be from the workshop of Archimedes. 

9:30 p.m.

ABC: How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life): (New) Polly leaves her husband and takes her daughter with her to move back in with her parents; Polly’s parents baby-sit while she goes on a date.

10 p.m.

ABC: Nashville: (New) Rayna brings her kids and sister on tour, but doesn’t like the effect Juliette is having on her girls; Juliette starts to look at Dante differently; Deacon reconsiders life on the road; a handsome new neighbor befriends Gunnar and Scarlett.

CBS: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: (New) When the CSIs find a body near a forest reserve, they discover what might be a serial killer and his bizarre lair.

NBC: Chicago Fire: (New) Mills’ ambition to join Squad creates riffs in Firehouse 51.

PBS: Eat, Fast and Live Longer with Michael Mosley: (New) Science writer Michael Mosley sets out to become healthier and lose weight without making many changes to his life. To that end, he learns about the benefits of fasting, which can reduce the risks of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

Basic cable:

New episodes of:

Spies of Warsaw at 9 p.m. on BBC

The Rachel Zoe Project at 9 p.m. on BRAVO

Weed Country at 9 p.m. on DSC

Hoarding: Buried Alive at 9 p.m. on TLC

Boston’s Finest at 9 p.m. on TNT

Haunted Collector on Syfy

Duck Dynasty at 10 p.m. on A&E

Pot Cops at 10 p.m. on DSC

Restaurant Stakeout at 10 p.m. on Food Channel

The Americans at 10 p.m. on FX

House Hunters at 10 p.m. on HGTV

The Real World: Portland at 10 p.m. on MTV

Rise of the Continents at 10 p.m. on SCI

Southland at 10 p.m. on TNT

Food Paradise at 10 p.m. on Travel Channel

Forever Young at 10 p.m. on TVLAND

Psych at 10 p.m. on USA

For movie lovers:

8 p.m.

The Transporter on AMC

An Unfinished Life on ENC

Dark Blue on FLIX

Fall to Grace on HBO

Elizabeth on SHO

Adaptation on SUND

Henry V on TCM

Liberal Arts on TMC

9 p.m.

Men in Black 3 on STARZ

A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas on STARZ

One Day on HBO

Battleship on HBO

Jennifer’s Body on FMC

E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial on ION

Later tonight:

Peace, Love & Misunderstanding at 9:40 p.m. on TMC

Practical Magic at 9:50 p.m. on ENC

True Lies at 10 p.m. on AMC

From Dusk Till Dawn at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX

Transporter 3 at 10:15 p.m. on IFC


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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

I come from a long line of story tellers, and will shamelessly exploit a family tree resplendent with colorful and unique characters, both past and present.

In short my perspective will reflect the pride and familiarity I have of my Appalachian heritage. My stories will be a reflection of the values I believe we hold dearest here, all embellished with a healthy dose of Southern Appalachian flare.

 

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