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News (Media Awareness Project) - US CA: PUB LTE: Leap Wants Marijuana Treated Like Alcohol
Title:US CA: PUB LTE: Leap Wants Marijuana Treated Like Alcohol
Published On:2011-11-22
Source:Manteca Bulletin (CA)
Fetched On:2011-11-23 06:01:32
Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

Thanks so much for calling for marijuana to be classified like
alcohol in your latest column.

I hope you'll keep watching and covering this issue as the push for
legalization heats up, and I thought you might be interested in
hearing about a group of police, prosecutors and judges who are
pushing in favor of legalization.

These members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) fought on
the front lines of the war on drugs, witnessing how prohibition only
serves to make substance abuse and market violence problems worse.
Now, they are actively working to change the debate on drug policy
issues so that more voters understand that continuing to keep
marijuana illegal harms public safety, not protects it.

Just to give you an idea of some of the perspectives our speakers
bring to the debate in California:

There's Judge James Gray, who retired in 2009 from the Superior Court
in Orange County and has been calling for legalization for more than
a decade now. One of the main reasons he wants to end prohibition is
so we can better keep marijuana away from young people by enacting
age limits, which illegal drug dealers definitely don't do. Judge
Gray was profiled in the LA Times at
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-lopez29-2009mar29,0,88438.column

We've got Norm Stamper, who was a police officer in San Diego for 28
years before being hired as chief of police in Seattle, WA. With a
34-year policing career, he's seen how prohibition can corrupt and
endanger law enforcement from top to bottom. Chief Stamper was
featured in this Nicholas D. Kristof column in NYT:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/14/opinion/14kristof.html

Just one more example would be Joe McNamara, who served as San Jose's
chief of police for 15 of his 35 years in law enforcement. Currently
a fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institute, Joe knows that
legalizing marijuana in California will deal a strong blow to the
cartels and gangs that currently control its distribution through
violent illegal networks. Chief McNamara had this op-ed published in
the San Francisco Chronicle:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/07/25/IN1K1EGQRJ.DTL

We've also got prosecutors, narcotics detectives and corrections
officials, and we're actively recruiting more criminal justice
professionals across the state who agree that it's time to legalize marijuana.

During the Prop. 19 campaign, these pro-legalization law enforcers
held press conferences and released a sign-on letter to announce
their support for the ballot measure:
http://copssaylegalize.blogspot.com/2010/09/media-goes-nuts-for-cops-supporting.html

Beyond California, we have a robust network of pro-legalization law
enforcers active across the globe.

Tom Angell,

Media Relations Director

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Nov. 21, 2011
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