Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Press Release: Congress Acts to Protect Medical Marijuana Patients!

Contact: Darby Beck                                                          For Immediate Release:                                                           December 10, 2014


Spending Bill Defunds Department of Justice Operations Undermining State Medical Marijuana Laws

Future of Initiative 71 in DC Remains Unclear

Washington DC–In a stunning victory for medical marijuana advocates, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have included provisions in the omnibus spending bill prohibiting the Department of Justice from using federal funds to interfere with state-legal medical marijuana operations and protecting hemp cultivation for academic and research purposes. Opinions are mixed on what effect the bill might have on the implementation of DC’s Initiative 71, however, which would legalize the adult possession of small amounts of marijuana in the District. Some believe if the bill passes the initiative will remain in place, decriminalizing use but preventing the DC Council from regulating sales, while others think it could overturn the initiative entirely. Congress is set to vote on the bill later this week.

This is a great day for patients and for public safety,” said Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. “Congress has finally listened to the vast majority of Americans who believe the federal government has no right to interfere in the personal decision to use medical marijuana made by a patient in consultation with his or her doctor. Law enforcement never should have been a part of that decision and if this amendment passes, they no longer will.”

The medical marijuana provision was adopted from a bipartisan amendment sponsored by Dana Rohrabacher (R, CA) that passed the House in May 219-189. A similar amendment was proposed in the Senate by Senators Rand Paul (R, KY) and Senator Cory Booker (D, NJ) but never received a vote. If passed, it will impact the ability of the DEA to enforce federal laws in the 23 states and DC where medical marijuana is legal and reduce the use of asset forfeiture laws that allow law enforcement to seize assets without ever charging a person with a crime.

The bill now goes to the full Senate and House for approval, then to President Obama’s desk to be signed into law.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is a 501(c)3 nonprofit group of law enforcement officials who want to end the war on drugs.


Press Release: Congress May Override DC Home Rule, Block Marijuana Legalization

Contact: Darby Beck                                                          For Immediate Release:                                                           December 9, 2014


Law Enforcement Against Prohibition Concerned Congress is Undermining Democratic Process

Washington DC–The Washington Post is reporting that Congressional efforts may undermine DC home rule and block Initiative 71, despite 70% of District voters casting ballots in favor of the new law. If Congress approves the initiative, adults in DC would legally be able to cultivate and possess marijuana. But some Congressmembers, realizing their colleagues wouldn’t support blocking the initiative directly, undermining home rule and the will of a majority of Americans, have instead included language blocking the measure in the spending bill, which can limit the federal funds DC receives.

“Those who fight sensible marijuana reform risk losing a tremendous amount of political support, even within their own party,” said Major Neill Franklin (Ret.) executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. “But those who encourage these new policy changes that are already being demanded by a majority of Americans, will be vindicated as pioneers of intelligent public safety improvements. If democracy still matters to our leaders, they have to listen to the voters.”

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) is concerned that blocking marijuana legalization will continue to promote a public safety nightmare of increased gang violence, police militarization and the fueling of dangerous underground markets. Decriminalization does not go far enough because marijuana is still not regulated by any measure of quality of safety standards and drug dealers don't ask for IDs, making the drug far more dangerous and easier for children to obtain.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is a 501(c)3 nonprofit of law enforcement officials who want to end the war on drugs.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Alaska Follows Oregon's Footsteps to Become 3rd and 4th States to Legalize and Regulate Marijuana!

ANCHORAGE–Alaska passed Measure 2, an initiative to allow adults 21 and over to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and up to six plants by a slim margin early this morning. This measure will establish, license and regulate retail stores, cultivation facilities, product manufacturers and testing facilities so consumers will always know that what they're getting is safe, will allow police to focus on violent crime and will ensure that profits benefit the government, not drug cartels. Driving under the influence and public consumption will remain illegal and employers may restrict their employees’ use and localities can ban marijuana establishments though not private possession or cultivation.
The other measure to legalize, regulate and control marijuana on the ballot tonight, Measure 91 in Oregon, passed easily earlier tonight. This makes Oregon and Alaska the third and fourth states to legalize marijuana, after Colorado and Washington and caps off a wonderful night for drug policy reformists that included DC legalizing possession of marijuana and California defelonizing low-level nonviolent drug possession.
“This is a historic day for public safety and for civil rights,” said Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper (Ret.). “Clearly, the people demand change, and their leaders would be wise to follow.”
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is a 501(c)3 nonprofit of cops, prosecutors, judges and other law enforcement officials who want to end the war on drugs.


California Defelonizes Minor Drug Possession!

SACRAMENTO–Proposition 47, the ballot measure to defelonize minor drug possession and other low-level nonviolent crimes passed easily tonight, with the San Francisco Chronice calling the race within an hour of the polls closing, despite dismal voter turnout in the state. The initiative will treat certain crimes as simple misdemeanors, reducing the future prison population and authorizing resentencing for those currently incarcerated for these offenses if they prove they are no longer a threat to public safety. The exemption is a limited one, and will not apply to registered sex offenders or anyone with prior convictions for child molestation, rape or murder. Savings are projected to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars and will be redirected to K-12 programs, victim services and mental health and drug treatment.

“This is a win for everyone in California,” said Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Stephen Downing (Ret.). “We’ll save millions keeping nonviolent drug offenders out of state prison, and those resources will be redirected toward public education, victim services, and mental health treatment programs that actually address the problems of addiction.”
For media interviews, please contact 
Darby Beck

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Oregon Becomes the Third State to Legalize Marijuana!!!

Oregon’s Measure 91, to legalize, regulate and control marijuana, though predicted to be a tight race, won by a handy margin in a race called by the Oregonian early in the night. The new regulatory system will be overseen by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, in consultation with the State Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Health Authority and will allow adults over 21 to possess up to eight ounces of marijuana and grow up to four plants. DUI and public consumption will still be illegal and localities may ban marijuana businesses through ballot measures. Revenue from the measure will first go to oversight of the industry and then to schools, mental health and drug treatment services, and local and state law enforcement.
Results for Measure 2 in Alaska, the other initiative to legalize, regulate and control marijuana have yet to come in.
“Having spent years as a prosecutor, I know that Oregon will benefit greatly from regulating marijuana, and that the example set here will influence future states in 2015 and beyond,” said Former Assistant State’s Attorney and Oregon resident Inge Fryklund.
For media interviews, contact Darby Beck


DC Legalizes Adult Marijuana Possession!


Washington DC – Ballot Initiative 71, which will legalize the adult possession of 2 ounces of marijuana and allow for home-cultivation of up to 6 plants, but not legalize sales, passed today by a wide margin. Additions to DC tax code cannot come from a ballot initiative, meaning that retail sales will still not be permitted. However, the D.C. Council held a public hearing last Thursday to discuss passage of a separate bill, the Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2013, which would implement a retail system for marijuana sales. The passage of this bill may delay activation of Initiative 71.

“Today the people have spoken, and right in the shadow of the Capitol, they have stated unequivocally that they want drug policy reform,” said Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. “Tomorrow each Congressperson must choose how he or she wants to be remembered in history: as someone who respected the people’s wishes and worked to end one of the most pernicious problems of the 21st Century, or as an anachronism, like those prohibitionists who refused to see the writing on the wall in the 1930s.”

The measure will now undergo a 60-day Congressional review period before it becomes law. This article summarizes the possibilities for what happens from here.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is a 501(c)3 nonprofit of cops, prosecutors, judges and other law enforcement officials who want to end the war on drugs.

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