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