Monday, October 29, 2012

One Marijuana Arrest Every 42 Seconds in U.S.

New FBI Numbers Reveal Failure of "War on Drugs"

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Just over one week before voters in three states will decide on ballot measures to legalize and regulate marijuana, the FBI has released a new report today showing that police in the U.S. arrest someone for marijuana every 42 seconds and that 87% of those arrests are for possession alone. 

A group of police, judges and other law enforcement officials advocating for the legalization and regulation of marijuana and other drugs pointed to the figures showing more than 750,000 marijuana arrests in 2011 -- more than 40 years after the start of the "war on drugs" -- as evidence that this is a war that can never be won. With more than 1.5 million total drug arrests drug arrests being reported in the U.S. in 2011, that’s one drug arrest every 21 seconds. 

 "Even excluding the costs involved for later trying and then imprisoning these people, taxpayers are spending between one and a half to three billion dollars a year just on the police and court time involved in making these arrests," said Neill Franklin, a retired Baltimore narcotics cop who now heads the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). "That’s a lot of money to spend for a practice that four decades of unsuccessful policies have proved does nothing to reduce the consumption of drugs. Three states have measures on the ballot that would take the first step in ending this failed war by legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana. I hope they take this opportunity to guide the nation to a more sensible approach to drug use.” 

Today's FBI report, which can be found at, shows that 81.8% of drug arrests were for possession only, and just under half (49.5%) of all drug arrests were for marijuana. 

One hopeful sign is that these numbers have decreased slightly from those of the prior year. This is perhaps reflective of the growing number of communities across the country that have recognized the need for drug law reform and implemented new policies designed to alleviate the harms of the drug war, such as the deprioritization of marijuana enforcement. 

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents police, prosecutors, judges, corrections officials and others who, after witnessing the harms of the drug war firsthand, are now devoted to ending that war. More info at

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 29, 2012 

CONTACT: Tom Angell - (202) 557-4979 or

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Marijuana Legalization Films and the Cops Who Love Them (And the Donors Who Love Those Cops)

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.”

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Willie Nelson Marijuana Legalization Documentary Presented by Pro-Legalization Cops

Special Screening with Chance to Meet Film’s Stars at Pre-Film Wine & Appetizer Reception

Panel Discussion, Award Presentation to Follow

LONG BEACH, Calif. – Law Enforcement Against Prohibition presents a special preview screening of Willie Nelson’s Luck Films’ new documentary Legalize It on the Prop. 19 campaign to legalize marijuana in California in 2010. A discussion of the film, the campaign and similar measures currently on the ballot in Washington, Oregon and Colorado will follow the screening. Guests purchasing a Gold Status ticket will also have a chance to mingle with many of those portrayed in the film at a private reception beforehand.

What: Legalize It, a documentary about the Prop. 19 campaign
When: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 7-10pm
Where: Art Theatre of Long Beach, 2025 E. 4th Street, Long Beach
How: Tickets available online and start at $10; Reception starts at $50. Please see the website or contact Diane Goldstein ( or 714.232.3722) to learn more or for information on sponsorship packages.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) is a nonprofit organization of cops, judges, prosecutors and other law enforcement officials dedicated to ending the prohibition of marijuana. Several LEAP speakers who appear in the film, including former LAPD Deputy Chief Stephen Downing and Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate and former judge Jim Gray, will be on hand for interviews. Jeff and Dale Sky Jones and Richard Lee of Oaksterdam University will be on hand to receive a special award, and Rick Schlosser of the California Council of Churches, Producer Ravit Markus and other drug reform activists will attend the private reception and appear on the panel following the film.

Legalize It, a labor of love from award-winning filmmaker Dan Katzir and producers Ravit Markus and Lati Grobman of Campbell Grobman Films, is a sensitive and humorous behind-the-scenes look at a colorful campaign, the unlikely people running it and the disparate groups who both opposed and endorsed it. In the end, the passion and courage of the campaign leaders transformed a local ballot measure into a mainstream political topic and changed minds the world over.

“In any battle, the people who go in first are going to take one hell of a beating. In the fight to legalize marijuana, the Prop. 19 campaign folks were those people. If and when ballot measures in other states succeed, it will be because these folks cleared the way.” – LEAP Executive Director Neill Franklin

See more about the film and its Long Beach screening at or

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents law enforcement officials 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 

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