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October 2005
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LEAP is on a roll

Another good article about prohibition — Law officers calling for end to ‘war against drugs’ by Lisa Hoffman with Scripps Howard News Service, which has been picked up by a few media outlets. Again, this features members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition who are doing an incredible job of getting the message out there.
This one shows, by contrast, just how bankrupt the arguments of the ONDCP are. After the article shows some very good points from LEAP about the failure of the drug war and noting that…

“This is not a tie-died group,” said Mike Smithson, who runs the group’s speakers bureau.

… the ONDCP sputters into the picture with the usual hand-picked manipulated statistics, emotional non-sequitors, and ad hominem attacks…

Perhaps not, but they are misguided and far out on the fringe of the drug issue, said a spokesman for the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy.

“It’s simply an irresponsible message to put out there,” said Rafael Lemaitire, deputy press secretary for the anti-drug office.

By any measure, Lemaitire said, the drug war – which employs police work, public education and treatment to attack the problem – has been effective in driving down drug use in America. In 1979, at the peak of the drug epidemic, 14 percent of the U.S. population said they had used drugs in the past 30 days. Now, that number is 6 percent.

And, he said, everyone knows at least one person whose life was ruined by drug use, and whole neighborhoods and communities besieged by drug-related crime. To give up on the battle would mean more misery, criminality and despair, he said.

“It’s ludicrous to think that any law enforcement person would want to put people and communities at greater risk,” Lemaitire said.

Hmmm…. imagine, in a democracy, a federal agency whose purpose is to lie to the people through both informal and coordinated media blitzes, to interfere with the election and lawmaking process by campaigning against local voting initiatives and state/local bills, to attempt to stifle and suppress contrary factual speech, and to promote and support policies that are contrary to the common good of the people. Meet the ONDCP.
Anyway, contrats to LEAP on all their recent coverage (Norm Stamper in the LA Times, Howard Woolridge’s ride, etc.). This is a very important organization to support, and they do great work with their speaker’s bureau. If you’ve got connections with a local Rotary Club or similar organization, why not try to arrange to get one of their speakers. It’s a great way to reach local leaders who may be more likely to open their minds to the subject when an ex-cop is talking.

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