Last night’s Long Beach screening of the new documentary Legalize It was a smashing success, drawing crowds from many quarters to hear the tale of a pioneering social movement and the future of drug law reform. The screening was hosted by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a group of law enforcement officials opposed to the war on drugs. A number of LEAP speakers appear in the documentary, which followed the narrowly defeated 2010 campaign to legalize marijuana in California, and were on hand afterward to discuss the issues raised in the film.
“It boggles my mind that marijuana is still illegal,” said former police officer Kyle Kazan, “Few policy changes would do more to end budget deficits, increase public safety, restore community trust in the police and improve racial relations in this country than ending the prohibition of marijuana. The Prop. 19 campaign may not have succeeded in changing the law, but it did change a lot of minds. It set the stage for reform in places like Washington, Oregon and Colorado, where voters are now poised to make history by ending these ridiculous laws once and for all.”
A panel discussion featuring law enforcement, clergy and others followed the film. There was also an awards ceremony honoring the pioneering medical cannabis educators at Oaksterdam University. Many in the room remarked on the parallels with initiative campaigns to legalize marijuana currently on the ballot in three states and several localities.
LEAP speaker and retired Redondo Beach Lieutenant Commander Diane Goldstein commented, “The fact that we sold out this theater is indicative of a growing belief in the failure of current marijuana policy. Public support has never been higher. Cities and states all across the nation are instituting reforms and at this point, change is inevitable. When that change comes, we will all be indebted to those on the Prop. 19 campaign who first forged the path toward ending prohibition.”