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News (Media Awareness Project) - US CA: Column: Border Patrol Agents, Cops Declare War Against
Title:US CA: Column: Border Patrol Agents, Cops Declare War Against
Published On:2012-01-29
Source:Times-Standard (Eureka, CA)
Fetched On:2012-01-30 06:02:32

If life was a movie.

Opening Scene for "A LEAP of Faith"

A green-and-white Border Patrol vehicle is cruising a primitive road
along the international border between Mexico and California. It
throws up plumes of dust as the occupants scan the horizon. The sun
at high noon is an angry ball in a clear azure sky. Stretches of dirt
turn into occasional strips of blacktop melting in the extreme heat.
The patrol car disappears in a cloud of dust.

Dialogue inside the car:

1st Agent: "I wonder how long we'll have to enforce this useless
prohibition of pot? We know it's a farce, and the public knows it, too."

2nd Agent: "Better watch who is around when you say things like that, Pete."

1st Agent: "I know ... it makes me sick. Last month they called
Charlie into Border Patrol Headquarters in Washington and fired him
because of his personal views on this losing war against marijuana."

2nd Agent: "How did they hear about Charlie's views anyway?"

1st Agent: "He was talking about LEAP during lunch with some guys
from the night shift. Someone probably passed his words along to his

2nd Agent: "LEAP?"

1st Agent: "That's right. It stands for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition."

2nd Agent: "Tell me more about them..."

Next scene, a week later:

People fill the streets from Los Angeles to New York in support of
members of LEAP. New demonstrations pop up daily across the nation as
the common man demands justice. The media is filled with promises of
support from politicians who see the writing on the wall. Law
enforcement agencies countrywide rally to end prohibition against
marijuana. Pot is decriminalized!

Agents and officers who lost their jobs while supporting LEAP have
their jobs restored with raises for their bravery. News stories and
talking heads publicly thank those who stood up for their rights as
Americans and protested a bad policy.

Strains of "America" play as the movie comes to a close with a long
shot of fields of amber grain swaying in a gentle breeze.

Back to the real world.

There is an organization called LEAP. Too many people don't know who
they are and what they represent. They are current and former law
enforcement officials who are against the prohibition of marijuana.
People who have seen its ramifications firsthand and know they are
waging a losing war.

Border patrol agents like Bryan Gonzalez, who was fired for speaking
in support of LEAP, do exist. Real people standing up for what's
right. Law enforcement officials who lose their jobs for questioning
the war on drugs and fighting back in the courts.

In Arizona, Joe Miller, a probation officer in Mohave County near the
California border, filed suit recently in federal district court. He
was dismissed for adding his name to a letter by LEAP, which is based
in Medford, Mass., and known for its support of the decriminalization
of marijuana.

Miller was one of 32 members of LEAP who signed the letter in support
of a California ballot measure that would have permitted recreational
marijuana use. The measure failed.

Most of the signers were retired members of law enforcement agencies
who could speak their minds without fear of action by their bosses.
Miller and a handful of others are still on the job -- including Paul
Gallegos, district attorney for Humboldt County. He signed, too.

How can this support from the very people who have to enforce the
draconian pot laws be ignored? They certainly know more about what's
going on behind the scenes than most Americans. They see the futility
and the deaths.

The war against marijuana persists like an old prizefighter unwilling
to retire. It continues to take lives and taxpayers' hard-earned
money and to stifle the free speech of those charged with enforcing
laws they believe are wrong.

LEAP's views must be heard. If you would, take a moment and go to
their website at www.leap.cc/ and read up on the group. Hopefully,
you'll consider supporting these officers of the law and their
freedom of speech.

As It Stands, I want to thank Tom Angell, LEAP media relations
director, for always keeping me informed on the organization's
actions. If you'd like to contact him, phone 415-488-6615 or
202-557-4979. You can also email him at tom@leap.cc.
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