Drug Policy Reform

January 18, 2009

About Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Filed under: Organizations — kmkprophet @ 2:49 pm

About LEAP — The Summary

Founded on March 16, 2002, LEAP is made up of current and former
members of the law enforcement and criminal justice communities who are
speaking out about the failures of our existing drug policies. Those
policies have failed, and continue to fail, to effectively address the
problems of drug abuse, especially the problems of juvenile drug use,
the problems of addiction, and the problems of crime caused by the
existence of a criminal black market in drugs.

Although those who speak publicly for LEAP are people from the law
enforcement and criminal justice communities, a large number of our
supporting members do not have such experience. You don’t have to have
law enforcement experience to join us.

By continuing to fight the so-called "War on Drugs", the US government
has worsened these problems of society instead of alleviating them. A
system of regulation and control of these substances (by the
government, replacing the current system of control by the black
market) would be a less harmful, less costly, more ethical and more
effective public policy.

Please consider joining us and helping us to achieve our goals: 1) to
educate the public, the media and policy makers about the failure of
current policies, and 2) to restore the public’s respect for police,
which respect has been greatly diminished by law enforcement’s
involvement in enforcing drug prohibition.

LEAP’s Board of Directors

Jack A. Cole
Executive Director

John Gayder

Tony Ryan

Peter Christ
Vice Director

James Anthony
Director Projects

Terry Nelson
Director of Training

Jerry Paradis
Director Media

LEAP’s Advisory Board

Senator Larry Campbell
Vancouver, BC, Canada

Libby Davies, Member Parliament
Vancouver, BC, Canada

General Gustavo de Greiff
Colombia, South America

Judge Warren W. Eginton
Connecticut, USA

Honorable Gary E. Johnson
New Mexico, USA

Honorable John L. Kane
Denver, Colorado

Sheriff Bill Masters
Telluride, Colorado

Dr. Joseph D. McNamara
San Francisco, California

Chief Norm Stamper
San Juan Islands, Washington

Eric Sterling, Esq.
Washington, DC

Honorable Robert W. Sweet

New York, New York

Chief Constable Francis Wilkinson
Gwent, South Wales, UK

Updated March 25, 2008

About LEAP — The Full Text

During nearly four decades the U.S. has fueled its
policy of a war on drugs with over a trillion tax dollars and
increasingly punitive policies. We have made more than 38 million
arrests for nonviolent drug offenses. Our incarcerated population
quadrupled over a 20-year period making building prisons this nation’s
fastest growing industry. More than 2.3 million of our citizens are
currently in prison or jail far more per capita than any country in the
world. The United States has 4.6 percent of the population of the world
but 22.5 percent of the worlds prisoners. Every year we choose to
continue this war will cost the United States another 69 billion
dollars. Despite all the lives we have destroyed and all the money so
ill spent, today illicit drugs are cheaper, more potent, and much
easier to access than they were 37 years ago at the beginning of the
war on drugs. Meanwhile, people continue dying in our streets while
drug barons and terrorists continue to grow richer than ever before.

Not one of the stated U.S. drug policy goals of
lessening the incidents of crime, drug addiction, and juvenile drug
use, while stemming the flow of illegal drugs into this country, has
been achieved. Fighting a war on drugs has magnified our problems many
fold creating a self-perpetuating, ever-expanding policy of destruction
but the U.S. still insists on continuing the war and pressuring other
governments to perpetuate these same unworkable policies. This scenario
is the very definition of a failed public policy. This madness must

With this in mind, current and former members of law
enforcement have created a drug-policy-reform group called LEAP. The
membership of LEAP believe that to save lives and lower the rates of
disease, crime and addiction, as well as to conserve tax dollars, we
must end drug prohibition. LEAP believes a system of regulation and
control is far more effective than one of prohibition.

The mission of LEAP is to
reduce the multitude of harms resulting from fighting the war on drugs
and to lessen the incidence of death, disease, crime, and addiction by
ultimately ending drug prohibition.

LEAP’s goals are: (1) To educate the public, the
media, and policy makers about the failure of current drug policy by
presenting a true picture of the history, causes and effects of drug
use and the elevated crime rates more properly related to drug
prohibition than to drug pharmacology and (2) To restore the publics
respect for police, which has been greatly diminished by law
enforcements involvement in imposing drug prohibition.

LEAP’s main strategy for accomplishing these goals
is to create a constantly growing speakers bureau staffed with
knowledgeable and articulate former drug-warriors who describe the
impact of current drug policies on: police/community relations; the
safety of law enforcement officers and suspects; police corruption and
misconduct; and the excessive financial and human costs associated with
current drug policies.

LEAP is a tax exempt, international, nonprofit,
educational entity based in the United States that was modeled on
Vietnam Veterans Against the War. They had an unassailable credibility
when speaking out to end that terrible war and LEAP has the same
credibility when its current and former drug-warriors speak out about
the horrors of the War on Drugs.

LEAP’s Board of Directors is made up of Jack Cole,
who retired as a lieutenant after 26 years in the New Jersey state
police–14 years in their narcotic bureau; Peter Christ a retired
police captain from Tonawanda, New York; John Gayder a currently
serving police officer with a department in Niagara Falls, Ontario,
Canada; Terry Nelson, who served in the US Border Patrol, the US
Customs Service, and the Department of Homeland Security; Tony Ryan, a
retired police officer from Denver, Colorado, Jerry Paradis, a retired
Provincial Court judge from British Columbia, Canada and James Anthony,
a prosecutor in Oakland, California.

The LEAP Advisory Board is composed of the esteemed
and respected, current and former members of law enforcement listed on
the LEAP masthead.

Membership in LEAP is open to anyone but only
current or former members of law enforcement can be board members or
public speakers for LEAP.

In five years we went from five founding police
officers to a membership of 10,000 people. We are no longer just
police. LEAP is now made up of police, judges, prosecutors, prison
wardens, FBI and DEA agents and others. LEAP has a bureau of 85
speakers and membership in 86 other countries.

LEAP presents to civic, professional, educational,
and religious organizations, as well as at public forums, but we target
civic groups; Chambers of Commerce, Rotaries, Lions and Kiwanis Clubs,
etc. The people in these organizations are conservative folks who
mostly agree with the drug-warriors that we must continue the war on
drugs at any cost. They are also very solid members of their
communities; people who belong to civic organizations because they want
the best for their locales. Every one of them will be voting in every
election. Many are policy-makers and if they are not, they are the
people who can pull the coat tails of policy-makers and say, We have
someone you must hear talk about drug policy.

After making more than 3,500 presentations where
LEAP calls for the government to end prohibition and legalize all drugs
legalize them so we can control and regulate them and keep them out of
the hands of our children, we have discovered that the vast majority of
participants in those audiences agree with us. Even more amazing is
that we are now attending national and international law-enforcement
conventions where we keep track of all those we speak with at our
exhibit booth. After we talk with them, only 6% want to continue the
war on drugs, 14% are undecided, and an astounding 80% agree with LEAP
that we must end drug prohibition. The most interesting thing about
this statistic is that only a small number of that 80% realized any
others in law enforcement felt the same.

This also holds true for policy makers. LEAP
speakers staffed educational booths at three national conferences for
state legislators. We spoke with 1,942 of the attendees on a one-on-one
basis and 83% of them agreed that we should legalize drugs only 6%
wanted to continue the war and the other 11% were undecided. If we can
show these legislators that they wont loose one more vote than they
will gain by backing drug policy reform, they will end drug prohibition.

The way to do that is to show them LEAP has a huge
membership. By 2010, we want to be able to say we have ten thousand
law-enforcers calling for an end to drug prohibition and a MILLION
private citizens who agree this is the correct policy.

LEAP does not release names or contact information
except for board members, speakers, staff or public volunteers helping
with the administration of the organization. Anonymity is guaranteed to
anyone who chooses to be a stealth member. If you wish to participate
actively and publicly in drug policy reform, we are in need of people
around the globe who will spread our message and help recruit more
members. If you choose to be a LEAP local representative, your name and
assigned LEAP email address may appear on our website and publications.
There is strength in numbers. By publicly declaring your advocacy for
using common sense in formulating drug policy, you will encourage
others to do the same. Before long, people who share our desire for
change will be contacting you to form local networks and alliances.

Please take time to view the new LEAP promo at Click Here

"Anyone concerned about the
failure of our $69 billion-a-year War on Drugs should watch this
12-minute program. You will meet front line, ranking police officers
who give us a devastating report on why it cannot work. It is a
must-see for any journalist or public official dealing with this

— Walter Cronkite


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