This post, authored by LEAP speaker Jay Fleming, is cross-posted from his blog at The Daily Miner.
As a cop I spent 12 years as a narcotics investigator and three years working uniform patrol. I worked a year on an advanced life support ambulance, and trained as a mobile intensive care unit paramedic in LA during the 1984 Olympics.
Today I speak out against our nation's failed drug policy for LEAP, or Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. LEAP gives a voice to current and former law enforcement and criminal justice professionals who disagree with our nation's current drug policy.
In November, Arizona voters will have the chance to correct our state's medical marijuana law. It's time Arizona stops arresting people with a serious medical condition for using medical marijuana.
Several times Arizona voters have tried to allow sick people access to medical marijuana, but the Legislature has fought its citizens at every turn.
In 1996, Arizona voters approved Proposition 200, the Drug Medicalization, Prevention and Control Act of 1996.
The Arizona Supreme Court found that Proposition 200 in its first year saved Arizona taxpayers $2.56 million. Over three-fourths of the offenders tested drug-free after completing the program. A follow-up Supreme Court study in 2001 found that Proposition 200 saved taxpayers over $6 million in prison costs in its second year.
Despite that two out of three Arizona voters voted for Proposition 200, the Arizona Legislature gutted the legislation, overturning most of the initiative. In 1998, voters approved an initiative making it more difficult for legislators to tamper with voter-approved initiatives in the future.
It's time we tell the Legislature again that the seriously ill have access to medical marijuana.
I hope to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of medical marijuana.