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LEAP’s Top Five Moments Of 2011

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Law Enforcement Against ProhibitionIt Was Another Big Year For Marijuana

2011 has been a monumental year for drug policy reformers. As we marked the 40th anniversary of the war on drugs, we saw legislation introduced that if passed will end the federal government’s interference in state marijuana laws. We supported the continued advancement of drug policy reform efforts in many states, and expect to see even more progress in 2012. All of us, as drug policy reformers, play a role in this progress by standing up and fighting for more ethical and effective drug laws.

Here at Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, 2011 was a year full of incredible achievements that would not have been possible without YOUR support. You make it possible for our courageous speakers and dedicated staff to work as hard as they do. You allow LEAP to provide the voice of law enforcement for legalization, and that voice is finally being heard loud and clear. As we look forward to a busy and exciting 2012, we’d like to present you with LEAP’s Top 5 moments speaking out for legalization in 2011:

5. LEAP Executive Board member and active duty police officer David Bratzer, along with LEAP Advisory Board members former Supreme Court Justice Ross Lander and former Chief Coroner Vince Cain, joined together with British Columbia’s Stop the Violence coalition for a high profile political campaign calling for the legalization and regulation of marijuana. David explained, “I’ve investigated situations where people have been stabbed in drug deals gone bad over something as small as a simple [$10] bag of marijuana, so it’s very much based on my personal experiences that I think a public health approach to this issue would be more effective than a criminal justice approach.”

4. LEAP Board Chair Lieutenant Jack Cole and I addressed a meeting of the 50 largest police unions at Harvard University. I also had the opportunity to address the NAACP’s annual conference in July — one day later, the NAACP adopted a historic resolution calling for an end to the war on drugs.

3. LEAP Executive Board member Captain Leigh Maddox and LEAP speaker Lieutenant Commander Diane Goldstein addressed the International Association of Women Police. In Leigh’s words, “this has the potential to change the world. Female leaders have always been on the forward end of reform.”

2. LEAP released a report commemorating the 40th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s declaration of the drug war, titled “Ending the Drug War: A Dream Deferred.” Following a press conference to release the report, a group of prominent LEAP speakers marched to the office of drug czar, who refused to receive the report.

1. YOU got the word “legalization” into the president’s vocabulary! LEAP’s question to President Obama during an online forum, as presented by retired Deputy Sheriff MacKenzie Allen, marked the first time an American president has admitted that legalization is “a legitimate topic for debate.”

LEAP was recently featured prominently in a New York Times article about two law enforcers who lost their jobs for speaking out in favor of ending drug prohibition. While LEAP will continue to give our support to active duty officers speaking out for legalization, it is beyond disappointing that these brave law enforcers are forced to choose between keeping their jobs and doing what they know is right. LEAP’s speakers and law enforcement supporters, whether former or active duty, are among the bravest and most ethical people I know. LEAP will keep moving forward, keep fighting to end drug prohibition, and keep speaking out. We will have a stellar year in 2012, but we need your help: we are doing everything we can to win the debate on the legalized regulation of drugs. Please donate as much as you can to support our efforts.

To show our appreciation for your contribution, every donation over $50 will receive a signed copy of LEAP speaker and retired narcotics detective Russ Jones’s new book Honorable Intentions, and every donation over $100 will receive a signed copy of Honorable Intentions with a personalized message from Russ. The book is Russ’s memoir of the time he served in Vietnam, Iran Contra and the War on Drugs while constantly questioning the policies that were taking the lives of those honorably serving. His story is a great example of the importance of law enforcers speaking out.

Please make your contribution today and help position us for an even more successful year in 2012.

– sent to me by Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

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Johnny Green

2 Comments

  1. It’s good to see commonsense talk,with solid definitive answers by law enforcement officials. I believe a copy of this should go on evry elected officials desks,and they should be made to read it.

    It would not take even a week to gather and compile all of the evidence of the gross waste of tax payer money that happens each day in the U.S simply for the prosecution of cannabis,and its users.The last 40 years has provided ample time for researchers to find the “Magic No-No” to keep Cannabis banned and to continue incarcerating peole for even ridiccculously small amounts (a roach). All this waste abounds daily at the same time that most states are claiming to be on th everge of bankruptcy,yet they find money to spend on jailing people for minor cannabis offenses. It MUST STOP!!

    Indeed,keep up pressure on the dealers and makers of harder drugs (Meth,Heroin,Crack,etc) But seeing a cop on the TV show C.O.P.s “bust a guy for a thumbnails worth of pot makes me laugh,as they talk like the streets are once again safe,Enforcement must change. The public must be made aware of the lies,mistruths,and myths that have dogged cannabis for decades, It is not the “Devil’s Drug” and it does have medicinal puroses,undeniably,

    This is the 21st century,and its time cannabis be allowed to step into it. Not talking about anyother drug.Even though we do tolerate the absolute mayhen caused by alcoholism. No presentation on the facts of what alcohol costs taxpayers all total. Pretty hush-hush actually.

  2. Thanks to Prohibition we now have far more people locked in cages than would normally be the case. Apart from the fact that these extra prisoners are not contributing economically to society, it also costs 50,000 dollars per annum to incarcerate them. Additionally their families often go on government assistance, and it’s again the average tax payer who has to pick up the bill. Their kids may be taken into care or raised by foster parents, again with tax payer money. Now add to all this the court costs, jail costs, and the salaries of all those people that have to deal with the enforcement of prohibition, like police officers, judges and public defenders and you’ll start to get a fair idea of why “Black Thursday”, October 24, 1929 happened during the period of another of our great experiments – Alcohol Prohibition.

    * The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world.
    * 743 adults incarcerated per 100,000 population at year-end 2009.
    * 2,292,133 adults were incarcerated federal and state prisons, and county jails at year-end 2009, that’s approx. 1% of US adults.
    * Additionally, 4,933,667 adults at year-end 2009 were on probation or parole.
    * In total, 7,225,800 adults were under correctional supervision (probation,parole, or incarcerated) in 2009 – about 3.1% of adults in the U.S. resident population.

    Prohibition has helped fill our Prisons and Jails to capacity. Violent criminals, murderers, rapists and child molesters are released early to create space for so called ‘drug offenders’. Half of court trial time and also a huge chunk of police officers time is pointlessly wasted. Enormous untaxed profits from illegal drugs fund multi-national criminal empires which bribe law enforcement authorities and spread corruption faster than a raging bush fire. Prohibition takes violent criminals and turns them into multi-billionaires whilst corrupting even entire countries, including our own. Our drug laws are also funding the Taliban and al-Qaeda whose illegal opium profits allow them to buy weapons and pay it’s fighters more than $300 a month, compared with the $14 paid to an Afghan policemen.

    Maybe many of the early Prohibitionists did not really intend to kill hundreds of thousands worldwide, or put 1 in every 30 American adults under supervision of the correctional system. But similar to our “Great Experiment” of the 1920s, the prohibition of various other drugs has once again spawned rampant off-the-scale criminality & corruption, a bust economy, mass unemployment, a mind-boggling incarceration rate, a civil war in Mexico, an un-winnable war in Afghanistan and an even higher rate of drug-use (both legal & illegal) than in all other countries that have far more sensible policies.

    Prohibition is nothing less than a grotesque dystopian nightmare; if you support it you must be either ignorant, stupid, brainwashed, insane or corrupt.

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