Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cops and Judges Support Colorado's Marijuana Regulation Ballot Measure

 National Black and Latino Police Groups Announce Endorsements for Amendment 64

 Reporters Can Ask Cops Questions on 3:30 PM ET Teleconference Today

DENVER, CO -- A group of police officers, judges and prosecutors who support Amendment 64, the Colorado ballot measure to regulate marijuana like alcohol, held a press conference on Thursday to release a letter of endorsement signed by law enforcers from across the state and to announce the endorsement of the national police organizations Blacks in Law Enforcement of America and the National Latino Officers Association.

For journalists who couldn’t physically attend the press conference, the Yes on 64 campaign is holding a conference call on Thursday at 3:30 PM ET, featuring several anti-prohibition law enforcers. For dial-in info, please contact Tom Angell at 202-557-4979 or media@leap.cc.

"After spending many, many years trying in good faith to enforce these marijuana prohibition laws, I can report unequivocally that they just don't work," said Tony Ryan, a 36-year veteran Denver police lieutenant, now a board member for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). "But it's worse than that. Beyond just being ineffective, these laws waste important law enforcement resources that could instead be going to things that actually protect public safety, like solving and preventing murders, rapes and robberies."

The sign-on letter from the law enforcers can be read online at http://www.regulatemarijuana.org/law-enforcement

Ron Hampton, a former police officer who is executive director of Blacks in Law Enforcement of America, which has endorsed Amendment 64, added, "Keeping these outdated prohibition laws on the books accomplishes nothing to reduce marijuana use, but it does cause incredible damage to our communities of color. Even though African Americans use marijuana at a rate virtually identical to that of whites, people from our community are arrested, sentenced and jailed at a much higher rate. Passing Amendment 64, while it won't solve all our problems, is a great step toward ensuring equality for all under the law."

Anthony Miranda of the National Latino Officers Association added, “Right now, communities of color see the police as aggressors rather than as protectors. People are unwilling to come to us, to give us information, even to report crimes, because they see us as the enemy. When Amendment 64 passes, we’ll be one step closer to rebuilding that community trust that allows us to effectively perform our jobs."

In the sign-on letter released at the press conference, law enforcers outline their reasons for supporting Amendment 64, detailing how legalizing and regulating marijuana will:

* Put our police priorities where they belong, by ending the arrests of non-violent marijuana users and enabling police to focus instead on preventing violent crime

* Cut off funding to violent gangs and drug cartels, who generate the majority of their revenue from illegal marijuana sales

* Protect the lives of police officers now in the line of fire in the "drug war"

* Reduce marijuana access to children by instituting strict age-limits and public safety controls

* Restore mutual respect and good relations between law enforcement and communities bearing the brunt of the current marijuana laws

Mr. Ryan, the former Denver police officer, added, "This November, Coloradans have the opportunity to take millions of dollars away from the gangs and cartels that currently control the illegal marijuana trade and put that money into our tax coffers, where it will be used to improve schools, pay police officers and protect our environment."

These law enforcement leaders join other leaders who support Amendment 64, such as the Colorado/Montana/Wyoming NAACP Conference, the Colorado Democratic Party, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, college professors, doctors, Latino community leaders, faith leaders, labor leaders, business leaders, elected officials and more. For a full list of endorsements, please visit: http://www.regulatemarijuana.org/endorsements


The Colorado Center on Law and Policy estimates that marijuana taxes could generate $60 million in tax revenue and savings each year. Under the initiative, the first $40 million raised each year will be earmarked for school improvement, while the rest will be available to fund law enforcement, healthcare and other critical needs. http://www.cclponline.org/publication_library/pub/single/1188/amendment-64-study

Similar to current alcohol laws, Amendment 64 will give state and local governments the ability to control and tax the sale of small amounts of marijuana to adults age 21 and older. The measure includes significant safeguards and controls: It maintains strict criminal penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana, allows employers to maintain their current employment policies and does not change existing medical marijuana laws.

Multiple polls reveal that Colorado voters support Amendment 64, including a Denver Post/Survey USA poll released this week showing the measure ahead 51-40. http://www.denverpost.com/news/marijuana/ci_21548398/colorado-marijuana-legalization-initiative-leads-new-poll

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents police, prosecutors, judges, corrections officials and others who, after fighting on the front lines of the "war on drugs," came to believe that prohibition only serves to worsen substance abuse and violence. More info at http://www.CopsSayLegalizeMarijuana.com.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 20, 2012
CONTACT: Tom Angell - (202) 557-4979 or media@leap.cc

3 comments:

  1. "Reduce access to children by instituting strict age-limits..."

    I am concerned that the above-cited viewpoint does not acknowledge the difference between "reducing access" (abstinence and its unintended consequence: ignorance) and reducing dosage, i.e. children should learn the concept of moderate use, vaporization instead of combustion, there should be no discouragement of an adult family member allowing any child to sample and experience a single 25-mg toke as opposed to what otherwise happens on the sly, the child being introduced to cannabis by way of a crony offering puffs from a hot burning carbon monoxide 500-mg joint (or blunt laced with addictive nicotine from the cigar skin).

    Law enforcement should look on cannabis as a godsend-- it can serve as something for a youngster to experiment with INSTEAD of addictive $igarette tobacco when self-image among tough schoolmates is at stake and there is a social need to "smoke something".

    I saw a statistic some years ago that over 2/3 of all inmates in the New York state prison system were nicotine $igarette smokers. Cause/effect, tobacco and criminality?-- to be determined when researchers have the guts to pursue it.

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  2. You people make me ill ! Oh the poor addict need to be treated not as a criminal , but someone that needs help . Well if you were really in law enforcement and did your job to stop the people selling this crap and if you people stop telling lies and saying this is helpful , then there would be less addicts out there. Dont addicts have some responsible as well ?

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