Monday, January 11, 2010

Press Release: Calif. Assembly Votes on Marijuana Legalization

UPDATE: The Assembly's Public Safety Committee has passed the marijuana legalization bill by a vote of 4 - 3!

Below is LEAP's press release about the historic marijuana legalization votes happening in the California Assembly this week. If you live in California, please contact your legislators in support of ending prohibition at http://www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com/california


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 11, 2010
CONTACT:
Tom Angell -- (202) 557-4979 or media //at// leap //dot// cc

Cops & Judges Support Calif. Assembly Marijuana Legalization Votes on Tuesday


Law Enforcers Say Ending Prohibition Will Improve Public Safety

On Tuesday, California state legislators will take historic votes on legalizing, regulating and taxing the sale of marijuana. A group of cops and judges who previously sent people to jail for marijuana offenses is supporting the legalization bill.

Sacramento, CA -- A group of police officers, judges and prosecutors who fought in the failed "war on drugs" is cheering this Tuesday's upcoming marijuana legalization votes in the California Assembly's Public Safety and Health committees as a sign of increasing public frustration with the harms caused by prohibition and the widespread desire for a new approach.

Judge Jim Gray, who retired last year from the California Superior Court in Orange County and is a speaker for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) said, "The mere fact that there will be votes in the Assembly to regulate and control the sale and distribution of marijuana would have been unthinkable even one year ago. And if the bill doesn't pass this year, it will soon. Or, the bill will be irrelevant because the voters will have passed the measure to regulate and tax marijuana that will be on the ballot this November."

Judge Gray testified at an informational hearing on marijuana legalization in the Assembly's Public Safety Committee last October. The video is here:



On Tuesday, January 12, the Public Safety Committee will conduct a formal hearing on Assemblyman Tom Ammiano's marijuana legalization bill, AB 390. Following the hearing the committee will vote and, if the bill is approved, there will then be a second hearing and vote in the Health Committee.

Separately, marijuana legalization advocates recently announced that they have collected enough signatures to place an initiative on the ballot this November that will allow California voters to end marijuana prohibition. Elsewhere, legislators in Washington State are also holding a hearing on marijuana legalization this week and the Rhode Island Senate is currently conducting a blue ribbon commission overview of that state's marijuana laws.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) is a 15,000-member organization representing police, prosecutors, judges, FBI/DEA agents and others from around the world who want to legalize and regulate all drugs after fighting on the front lines of the "war on drugs" and learning firsthand that prohibition only serves to worsen addiction and violence. More info available at http://www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com.

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29 comments:

  1. Thank God there our people who have the sense to realise PROBITION is one of the main reason why we have to live with so much crime , and misery , some of our children in the western world are living in third word conditions because of the now lost , (parents addict to unclean prohibited drugs) . " War on Drugs." Time to relgalise all prohibited drug , control and supply in order to improve the present system of oppression and the stragle-hold of the dealers and Drug Barons that are making our lives hell.

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  2. thank god for the first comment! Yeah, the war on drugs has been a total failure. I know people who died early deaths from overdosing on hard drugs, that fact is these kind of drugs need to be kept in a pharmacy where they belong! This is just a start, this country we live in is in need for a reality check, our system is nearly broken.

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  3. Let's digg this! Please click the "digg" button below, and also the Reddit button if you have an account! Thanks.

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  4. Praise Odin for common sense in government!

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  5. Anonymous #2,

    You don't know much about the movement, do you? The drugs you talk about are not in any pharmacy. They are in the hands of drug dealers that don't card. That means it is easier for kids to buy drugs at schools than it is for them to get cigarettes or alcohol. Making the drugs legal, would be the only way to put them in a pharmacy! Right now, there is no control of those drugs you refer to. And, so far as people dieing from overdose, there would be fewer overdose deaths if the system was changed to harm reduction approach,instead of the present punitive one. (Naloxone being kept from distribution to addicts to take when they overdose, in some states; clean needle distribution blocked by politicans that would prevent the spread of hepatitis and HIV) And the prohibition of the deadliest drug of all, alcohol, failed, too. See any similarities. Many, of us, here do!

    The system, as it is, could have been responsible for those overdose deaths you talk about! Doing the same thing, over and over again, expecting different results, is insanity!

    You say that our system is nearly broken, but do you realize what is going on along our southern border and in Mexico? We are going to destroy Mexico, because of our lust for drugs! We live in the same reality, that you do. You just refuse to understand the motives that LEAP has. It, actaully, is into saving the kids and ending the prohibition on drugs, as did with alcohol. The drug war, ran by the DEA, has had forty years to be successful, and has score a great big "0", according to the GAO, a few year ago! Drugs are more potent and easier to come by, after 30 years of tyranny!

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  6. i understand wat ur sayin i jus dont care about mexico in all honesty i think we should let it fall apart its not america -free the weed-
    AMERICA

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  7. Mexicos better than AMERICA fuck america and the corruption!!!!

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  8. Ahem the article was about marijuana and not the other drugs. It's about time for this to be legalized it's no different than alcohol in many cases.

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  9. next they need to bring in to jersey i never heard or seein weed hurting or killing anybody just make it legal its better than liqur or beer it makes me have a chance to eat after a stress i deal wit and sleep

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  10. This headline is somewhat misleading. True, LEAP is made up of FORMER LE, judges, etc, but none that are currently employed in the field.

    I also find it sad that the most effective person on LEAP's staff was one of the initial founders, Howard Wooldridge, who actually coined the phrase "Cops say Legalize Drugs. Ask me why" slogan and brought it to LEAP. LEAP unceremonously dumped Howard last summer due to a petty political tiff on the LEAP Board.

    Howard now struggles to maintain his duty post on Capitol Hill, further cultivating relationships with members of Congress and their staff. His solo lobbying is doen under an effort called COP (Citizens Opposing Prohibition).

    So let's keep it real. Law Enforcement lobbists will be out in force (literally) to defeat this bill. False headlines may lead to false hope.

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  11. Is the above comment accurate? I was under the impression that LEAP includes both former and current law enforcement officials from all over the world. In fact, I remember a short time ago a story on this blog about an active member of a police force getting into some hot water over his LEAP advocacy. Could David or another LEAP'er please provide a little clarification on this?

    At any rate, the commenter's last point certainly rings true. As we're already seeing in California and other places, police departments -- from patrolmen right up to commissioners -- are, for the most part, going to be staunch defenders of the status quo.

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  12. It didn't pass. 4 were against while 3 were for. That is a big fat fail. Government is quite fond of control, hypocrisy and corruption and they're not about to let it all go now in favor of responsible use and logic. Such a shame.

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  13. Rhayader,

    I have trouble with anonymus' comments, too. Isn't Mr Bratzer, actually, still working? And,he catches a lot of hell for his stance! So far as outing a problem with Mr Wooldrige, the commenter should be willing to put his name on the post. I think he is just stirring up things without exposing himself to further scrutiny into his motivations for making such a claim.

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  14. The war on drugs is class warfare, ethnic cleansing and genocide by the richest people in this country against minorities, trailer park whites and the rest of the world:

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=black+ops+assassin+debriefed+1+of+12&search_type=&aq=0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhaJtklFhyM&feature=PlayList&p=B3C6053BE534DB86&index=0&playnext=1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZ-TSOpnauU&feature=PlayList&p=1B7CB5E97A7F673D&index=0&playnext=1

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  15. @Liberty Lady, whatever your smoking, it's not going to be passed on this bill. it won 4-3, read up a bit.

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  16. Liberty Lady, the bill actually passed, not failed. Silly.

    Oh, and LEAP is made up of CURRENT and former people in those respective fields. Not just former. That information given earlier is not accurate completely.

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  17. I know of at least one active duty law enforcement officer in New Hampshire who is a member of LEAP.

    Also, Liberty Lady, it PASSED 4-3.

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  18. Yeah the public safety committee passed AB 390, 4-3. Sincerest thanks and congratulations to the members of LEAP and other reform organizations, today was a major victory.

    This being government, it sounds like the bill won't be going much further for this session -- unless the health committee votes by Friday, it will have to be re-introduced to the full Assembly. Still though, this was an importand and historic vote that set a nice legislative precedent.

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  19. Let's home as America comes to its senses to end the war on marijuana that it doesn't replace it with a war on tobacco...it seems America is considering it.

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  20. The average price for an eighth of an ounce of marijuana from a dealer is about 60 bucks. Legalize it ,lower the price, tax it and the vulture pot dealer can get off his ass and find a real job. Also if this went nationwide the tax revenue would put a nice dent in the deficet.PPFFFFTTTTT........

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  21. Hi everyone, glad to see the update about the success in committee for this bill. I'm in Hawaii right now doing speaking engagements for LEAP, and a lot of the drug policy reformers here were excited about the news from California. Hawaii has a long way to get to where California is, but hopefully this visit from LEAP will help at least a little bit. Now, my next couple of days are jam packed with LEAP presentations so I might not be posting for a while.

    Anonymous at 10:28pm - LEAP is made up of serving and former cops. I am a currently employed police officer, although I participate in LEAP while off-duty of course.

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  22. Hey all, just wanted to point out another piece of good drug policy news that hit the wire yesterday. New Jersey is on its way to becoming the 14th state to legalize medicinal use of marijuana.

    I think this will end up having greater implications than the simple addition of another state that allows medical use of marijuana. I know there is a lot of debate about marijuana policy in states neighboring New Jersey, such as New York, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, etc. A good medical law in NJ will, I believe, help move opinion among both legislators and the public at large in neighboring, culturally similar states.

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  23. I saw where an officer was fired for being associated with LEAP, I was so glad the judge saw in his favor. He was awarded a settlement in that lawsuit. I can't wait to see Arkansas legislators start coming to their senses.

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  24. Great news. But it seems that it's not going any further any time soon. Was this mainly a symbolic vote? I am not exactly all that versed in Calif. or state legislative processes. Am I correct in assuming this bill passed approval of a committee or two and that is just one less hurdle to being voted on by the whole body of state legislators?

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  25. very good article. I would like to receive much more information about this topic

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  26. LEAP has at least a 100 odd active duty police, judges, etc who are members in 'stealth' mode. Going public like Brad Jardis of NH cost him his job. He was fired after 11 years of service.

    Yes, howard invented the phrase COPS SAY LEGALIZE DRUGS in 1999. It was adopted by LEAP in 2002. Howard is currently representing law enforcement in the Congress for COPs - Citizens Opposing Prohibition.org Being dumped by LEAP was a small speed bump in his/my journey to repeal all federal prohibition...howard

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  27. It's a long road, but at least we're moving in the right direction, if slowly.

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