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August 2003
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*Cops Against the Drug War*

Cops Against the Drug War

The news story is not that the war on drugs has failed, it’s who’s saying it now. It’s not like it’s a front for fringy, pony-tailed pot smokers.

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You need to read the excellent article: “Cops Against the Drug War” by Nina Shapiro, in the current issue of Seattle Weekly. This is a feature about the wonderful organization called LEAP: Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, which has done an great job of drawing together some of the real front line warriors who have come to realize that the war doesn’t work, and that drug policies must be changed.
Here are a few quotes from law enforcement personnel (from the article and elsewhere):

  • “I’m tired of putting myself in harm’s way for a losing cause.” (Jonathan Wender, a Mountlake Terrace police officer)
  • “If we put 50-gallon drums out on every street corner in America filled with drugs, we wouldn’t have the problems we have today,” (Peter Christ, a former police officer in New York state who came up with the idea for LEAP)
  • “You can get over an addiction, but you can never get over a conviction,” (Jack Cole, retired from 26 years with the New Jersey Police, board member of LEAP)
  • “After a while, I saw that we spend more and more money and arrest more and more people and have more and more drugs. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this policy is not working. People need to look at this rationally and ask if this is effective. Do we have a healthier society because of drug prohibition? Drug dealers are certainly wealthy because of it. The reason drugs have expanded so much is there is a profit to be made in drug dealing. We need to eliminate that profit motive. ” (Sheriff Bill Masters, author of Drug War Addiction, from an interview with Alternet)

Check out the article, and also stop by LEAP’s website and support their activities.

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