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February 2008
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Jack Cole in Canada

Beyond 2008 conference is underway in Vancouver and LEAP’s Jack Cole is getting some good press:
U.S.-style war on drugs a dismal failure and Canada shouldn’t try it, says former cop

As long as the U.S-style “war on drugs” continues, criminals will control what drugs are sold, how much they cost, how deadly those drugs are, and how young their customers will be.
That was the message delivered yesterday by Jack Cole, a retired New Jersey police officer who spent 26 years making arrests in connection with “billions of dollars in cocaine and heroin” as well as other drugs

U.S. cities have taken note of Vancouver safe-injection site: conference

“We know that if we legalize drugs we can take the violence out of the equation,” said Cole, who helped found Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

Drug legalization proposed at conference on drug use

The 10,000-member organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, among groups attending the conference, is made up of judges and police officers who want drugs legalized.
“I decided this didn’t work three years into my undercover work,” said former police lieutenant Jack Cole, executive director of the organization. “I started working undercover in 1970. That was the beginning of the war on drugs.
“Cops are so concerned about being labelled soft on drugs, soft on crime, and that next promotion, that we don’t even talk to our peers about what we believe.”

News 1130 apparently decided to help Cole out a little with an extra phrase that I’m guessing he wouldn’t have approved…

Jack Cole, a retired police officer from the US, tells Global TV, it’s time to wave the white flag, and decriminalize drugs. He says the more dangerous the drug, the more reason to legalize it. He says we can’t control it as long as it’s illegal.

My understanding is that “Beyond 2008” is part of the United Nation’s 10-year re-evaluation of drug policy (their 10-year plan in 1998, if you recall, involved becoming a drug-free world). This particular conference in Vancouver has been sanctioned by the U.N. and elements of the conference may affect U.N. deliberations this summer. It is unprecedented for the United Nations to consider such input, especially considering that the Vancouver conference is fairly heavily weighted in harm reduction representation over enforcement.

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