Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Media Goes Nuts for Cops Supporting Marijuana Legalization

Yesterday's pro-legalization law enforcement press conferences and sign-on letter rolled out by LEAP is garnering extensive media coverage.

Take a look at just a few examples:

Fox News Channel:



KTTV Fox-11:

Los Angeles Times:
On-the-job experience demonstrated the futility of trying to enforce laws prohibiting the possession and use of small amounts of cannabis, Gray said at a news conference held by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a nonprofit organization supporting Proposition 19.

"I was a drug warrior until I saw what was happening in my own courtroom,'' said Gray, a former federal prosecutor.

Associated Press (picked up by over 200 news websites):
Supporters said keeping pot illegal props up drug cartels and overburdens the state's court system. Stephen Downing, former deputy chief for the Los Angeles Police Department, said the nation's drug policy has failed, likening it to cutting off the leg of a spider to cripple it.

"The drug organizations are more like starfish," Downing said during a press conference at a West Hollywood park where children were playing with their parents behind him. "You cut a leg off, it regenerates. We are dealing with a sea of starfish. The only way you kill a starfish is to remove its nutrient. And that nutrient is money."

New York Times Caucus blog:
“This November, Californians finally have a chance to flip the equation and put drug cartels out of business, while restoring public respect for the criminal laws and their enforcement,” said William John Cox, a former sergeant in the Los Angeles Police Department and a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney.

KQED radio:


Ventura County Star:
A former police chief of California’s third-largest city said Monday that state voters will have the opportunity “to strike more of a blow than law enforcement ever could against drug cartels” by approving Proposition 19, the measure that would legalize the possession and regulated sales of marijuana.

Joseph McNamara, who headed the San Jose Police Department for 15 years, called the ballot measure a potential “game-changer” that would allow police agencies to devote more resources to fighting other crimes and undercut criminal syndicates that are largely funded by illegal marijuana sales.

“Opponents say we should do more of the same of what has not worked for more than a century,” McNamara said in a phone call with reporters. “I think we should return some common sense to law enforcement by protecting people from crimes they are concerned about. People are not terrified by pot smokers.”

The letter, addressed to California voters and signed mostly by retired law enforcement officials, called the country's current drug policy on marijuana an “abysmal failure.”

”As criminal justice professionals, we have seen with our own eyes that keeping cannabis illegal damages public safety -- for cannabis consumers and non-consumers alike. We've also seen that prohibition sometimes has tragic consequences for the law enforcers charged with putting their lives on the line to enforce it,” the letter said. “The only groups that benefit from continuing to keep marijuana illegal are the violent gangs and cartels that control its distribution and reap immense profits from it through the black market.” 

Drug War Chronicle:
It was a law enforcement trifecta in support of California's Proposition 19 Monday, with a phalanx of police, prosecutors, and judges coming out in support of the marijuana legalization initiative in a pair of early morning press conferences in Oakland and Los Angeles and a teleconference later in the day for those unable to attend the live events. The endorsements come with Prop 19 in a very tight race and Election Day just seven weeks away.

While, unsurprisingly, a large number of California law enforcement officials have come out in opposition to Prop 19, Monday's events were designed to show that law enforcement opposition to marijuana legalization is by no means monolithic. Organizers of the events also released a letter endorsing Prop 19 signed by dozens of current and former law enforcement officials.

TIME Magazine blog:
Pot proponents usually highlight medical reasons to argue for the removal of the illegal tag. Several ex-officials in California turned to a different lens in their support for Proposition 19.

The AP reports that a group of former law enforcement professionals pushed their support for state's marijuana ballot measure on Monday. Largely comprised of former/retired police officers, judges and prosecutors, their endorsement for Prop 19 centers on its ability to aid congestion in the state's courts. Less backlog from petty marijuana cases could lead to more efficient processing for larger-scale crimes.

Again, this is only a small sampling of the extensive print, TV, radio and online coverage we got yesterday.  Please sign the petition to Stand with LEAP and our law enforcers in supporting sensible changes to our marijuana laws.


  1. Alcohol is a much more dangerous drug and everyone knows what happened when the government tried prohibition on it. Well, that same issue has been happening for way too long with marijuana.

  2. Marijuana prohibition IS NECESSARILY deficit spending. What's worse than deficit spending? When NONE of that spending pays off IN ANY WAY. (current situation).

    Let legitimate business people and responsible users produce, sell, and buy it SAFELY- while sales and income tax revenues get put into schools, public safety, and community projects.

    Of course, we could just increase spending on prohibition (which we've done every year since it's inception)- and NOT fund important things like these... (which actually produce positive results from their expenditure).

    Also: anyone that thinks children are somehow SAFER because marijuana is illegal- needs to spend five minutes reading about alcohol prohibition, and explain in detail why marijuana prohibition is in ANY WAY different.

  3. Big Up's to LEAP from down here in New Zealand.
    Following the emerging Californian debate as its passing will ring in the hallowed halls of democratic nations globally.

  4. I hope they also emphasize the cannabis simply isn't nearly truly dangerous enough to require bringing this enormous amount of state power to bear on it. The prohibition is not only a huge and needless cost, but it was a fraud to begin with. It was mean self interested racist bureaucrats seeking to create mechanisms to enhance their power and to reduce competition to synthetic fibers on behalf of rich powerful corporate friends.

    Having been arrested, jailed and my life savings stolen by the state was far far more harmful to me than my daily cannabis consumption ever was or could have been.

  5. You see what they keep coming back with? The issue of drug abuse. LEAP has to have a better answer for that. Marijuana doesn´t lead to any more abuse than alcohol, and there wouldn´t be more abuse in society if it was legal, because drug abuse is something people do when they can´t cope with their problems. It has nothing to do with the availability of a drug. If all drugs were legal, the particular things people get addicted to might change somewhat, but addiction would not increase.
    There is a closer look at that here: www.briligg.com/frailty.html
    And keep banging home that countries with lax drug laws have LESS drug use than the States, not more.

  6. Cannabis prohibition has never been, and is not based on science. Passage of the CA Proposition 19 will deal a serious blow to the Mexican drug cartels and to the "drug war" in general. It will also restore sanity to the California State budget by collecting sizable Cannabis revenues and eliminating the wasteful spending on the so-called anti-Cannabis "enforcement". It is established by the science of addiction medicine that the so-called "gateway drug" theory, advanced by the opponents of the measure is a complete fantasy, as is the assertion that Cannabis is "physically addictive". Cannabis is NOT physically addictive, as there is no clearly definable and reproducible PHYSICAL withdrawal syndrome, associated with its use, as opposed to truly physically addictive substances such as opiates or alcohol. In fact, the latest addiction medicine research reveals that Cannabis may serve as an "exit" substance with the potential of helping former alcoholics or hard drug users to abstain from alcohol, hard drugs, or even dangerous and physically addictive prescription drugs! It is also being established that Cannabis use may help prevent such serious illnesses as cancer and Alzheimer's disease! Cannabis use also suppresses violent urges and behaviors. Let's not be intimidated by the scare-tactics of the "opponents", but be motivated instead by science, reason and understanding of these issues, and this means voting YES on California Proposition 19 on November 2!

  7. I appreciate what you guys are doing for not only Cali, but the whole nation. Keep it up!

  8. A.R.Torsone author of "HERB TRADER"

    The spin-offs, due to the war on drugs, have caused more human suffering and waste of economic resources then the illegal items that were demonized could have ever caused.
    Better to have therapists,doctors and clinics then prison guards and jails. Prohibition has created crime and street gangs,and a cash cow for the politically connected. The rulers of our land are not stupid they know it's wrong to continue this criminal farce.

  9. I love it!! It is really unbelievable that this has been such a big event! Now, if only a few more people can understand that the best vote is a Yes vote for Proposition 19!!! It could put it over the top!

  10. I used to be a drug and alcohol counselor, at a state funded halfway house/rehab. I am floored when I see video of active duty law enforcement and politicians stating that marijuana is a "gateway drug". They could not be further from the truth. I'm embarrassed that We, the People voted these ignorant puppets into office to run OUR government. It's time we take charge. Government interference has gotten us no where. And our economy is shot to hell. These people are living in the past. Ronald Regan is dead. The war on drugs has failed. Get over it.

    I also come from a law enforcement/military family. And I was also one of those people who believed that marijuana was bad news many years ago. Let's just say that I had a rude awakening after working in the criminal justice field for several years. I am very much against prohibition and I am a proud Prop 19 supporter!!

  11. Bravo to all the supporters of Prop 19!!! I think the prohibition of marijuana is insane. The benefits of legalizing marijuana outweighs the reason it was prohibited in the first place. Alcohol and a lot of regular prescription drugs do more harm to the human body than pot...the most you'd get from pot is bronchitis and a bad case of the munchies...alcohol and other harder drugs can lead to hate, violence...even murder/death/kill. All I want to do after smoking a bowl of pot is eat a few donuts and go to bed. Vote for Prop 19 and Free Marc Emery!!!

  12. Over a trillion dollars have been spent on the war on drugs. It is no secret that over $500,000.00 a year goes to every police dept, sheriffs dept in the country that fills their quota on marijuana busts. For law enforcement they would rather collect government hand outs of blood money than to care about the people they swear to protect. I am glad to see representatives like LEAP who are speaking out and doing the right thing.

  13. Hi everyone, thanks so much for being supportive of all the great work LEAP is doing in California right now. Please keep visiting the blog - we usually have a couple of posts each week by a variety of LEAP speakers.

    Blair - Thanks for all the support you have for LEAP on your blog. Any thoughts on how we can get a LEAP speaker in New Zealand? Any law enforcement folks or judges we should approach?

    Briligg - I checked out your art gallery at briligg.com. I really liked your work. Do you sell your pieces online somewhere?

    Also, please join the LEAP Facebook page here.

  14. Sheriff Lee Baca's comment is amazingly immature and unprofessional. He claims no thought has gone into this and uses the lame stereotype that only morons use marijuana.

    When these people moan "the children" all I can think of is the Salem witch trials where adults coached kids to act possessed and stood around moaning "the children, the children."

    To say that LEAP has not thought this out shows how completely ignorant he is: he's not seen any of your copious amounts of presentations you make available on your website, he's not read any of the books LEAP members have published, he's not lifted a finger to read any of the LEAP website or visit the forums to ask questions. Frankly it's beyond ignorant, it's mean spirited to say such things because I am positive he knows such things exist!

    Aren't sheriff's elected? It's time to stop electing politicians and law enforcers who are so clearly on the side of the cartels and gangs!

    In related news, please keep up your frontal assault on this social injustice. Not only use all the logic you normally use, but co-opt the lies out of the prohibitionists mouths and use them to our advantage; like how legalizing will increase public safety, how legalizing will reduce access to kids by taking it out of the black market and putting it in the hands of entities we can realistically hold accountable, etc…

  15. Illicit drug use threatens to rupture the fragile container in which we've placed our hedonism.

  16. Federal marijuana prohibition is a fully unconstitutional religious prohibition based on Exodus 22:18, "thou shall not suffer a witch to live," and the papal Doctrine of Discovery.

    Here is a book on it as world religious history. I highly recommend reading it here for free,

    Marijuana - The First Twelve Thousand Years

    Marijuana is completely harmless and a very useful medicine. From FOXN,

    Are You Cannabis Deficient?

    It is a states rights issue. From our constitution,

    Amendment I

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF (growing and smoking pot); or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    From my church,

    Cultivation and enjoyment of Cannabis sacrament is a fundamental human right provided by God and protected by the first Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It is our opinion that Cannabis is the original sacrament of Hebrew, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Shinto, Buddhist, Rasta and more, and fulfills the prophesies to ‘raise up for them a plant of renown…’


    That sounds like a slam dunk constitutional law argument to me and, fortunately for us, we have a primo case heading to court,

    73 days in Detention: Roger Christie Sends THC Ministry Anniversary Greetings

    Blessed be.

    Reverend Lauren Unruh
    THC Ministry
    Pleasant Hill, Ca
    A Native American Church

  17. Good job, people. Maybe we can lock-in legal weed at $50. - $60./ounce *TAX*, then we can lock in weed at $300. / $400. /$500./$600. PER OUNCE!...Heaven forbid weed should sink to it's most likely *MARKET PRICE* of $20./$30./$40. PER OUNCE. Can't get no $50./ounce *$TAX$* off *THAT*...Way to go, guys...As a 30+year cannabis user, I honestly don't know whether I like this "legalize & tax" *SCAM* you lot are working on...Will I be able to *LEGALLY* grow all the weed I need, if Prop. 19 passes???...NO?...Well, who's gonna grow my *LEGAL WEED*???...

  18. Dear medicinehorse_2000_1999, your comment is hard for me to follow.

    But personally I do not consider Prop. 19 a scam.

    Frankly it goes without saying that people can come up with lots of opinions for improving it.

    How does Prop. 19 hurt you? It's not clear to me.

    One thought I am sure many will have after reading your comment is this, "you want to grow all you want? No one's stopping you from writing, funding, and pushing you own proposal."


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