Cops say legalize drugs

Jack A. Cole

26-year veteran police officer who spent 14 of those years as an undercover narcotics officer

I am the director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (HYPERLINK "", an international nonprofit educational organization created to give voice to law-enforcers around the world who believe the US policy of a war on drugs is a disaster and who wish to support alternative policies that will lower the incidence of death, disease, crime, and addiction, without destroying generations of our young by arrest and imprisonment. Despite the fact that the US has spent well over a trillion dollars on this 40-year-long drug war and made more than 39 million arrests for nonviolent drug offences - today drugs are cheaper, more potent, and far easier for our children to access than they were when we started this failed policy.
In six years LEAP increased from the five founding police officers to a membership of over 15,000, across the United States and in 76 other countries, which is fitting since U.S. drug policy has ramifications that affect the entire world. All 85 LEAP speakers are former drug-warriors; police, judges, prosecutors, corrections officers, DEA and FBI agents.
LEAP wants to end drug prohibition just as we ended alcohol prohibition in the United States in 1933. When we ended that nasty law we put Al Capone and his smuggling buddies out of business overnight and we can do the same to the drug lords and terrorist who today make over 500 billion dollars a year selling illegal drugs around the world.
Legalized regulation of drugs will end the violence and property crimes that are a result of drug prohibition not drug pharmacology. That means drug dealers will no longer shoot each other to protect their turf, no longer kill police charged with fighting this useless war, no longer kill children caught in crossfire or drive-by shootings.
Legalization will also allow us to provide clean needles for injection drug users, which, in the US alone, will prevent half of all potential cases of AIDS and Hepatitis.
Regulation with standardized measurement of the drugs purity will virtually end unintended overdose deaths. People die because they don’t know how much of the tiny package of powder they purchase on the illegal market is really the drug and how much is the cutting agent. Too much drug and the user is dead.
We can then treat drug use as a health problem instead of a crime problem and save the lives of our children, which we are now sacrificing on the altar of this terrible war.
LEAP members consider legalized regulation of drugs the ultimate in harm reduction and a policy that will allow police to concentrate on protecting citizens from violent criminals.
Even decriminalization of drugs, which has occurred in some counties and countries, has helped with harm reduction but only legalization will end the violence.
A May 2009 study by Glenn Greenwald compared the eight years since Portugal decriminalized all drugs in 2001 with the eight years before decriminalization. It revealed: a 25% decline in drug use among 13 to 15 year olds and a 22% decline in drug use among 16 to 18 year olds. More harms were reduced as Portugal reported a 52% decline in heroin overdose deaths and a 71% decline in new HIV infections of drug users. Portugal attributes this success to the fact that drug users are no longer treated as criminals and are more likely to ask for help. Overall use of every drug, with the exception of marijuana, was also reduced. And the slight increase in marijuana use in Portugal was quickly surpassed by an increase four to five times larger in the rest of the European Union where they had not decriminalized.

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Pat O’Hare , UK
professor and honorary president of IHRA, International Harm Reduction Association
Jack A. Cole , USA
26-year veteran police officer who spent 14 of those years as an undercover narcotics officer
Greg Denham , Australia
former police officer, now the Research and Program developer, Law Enforcement and Health, Nossal Institute for Global Health
the International Harm Reduction Association
Jørgen Kjær , DK
formand for BrugerForeningen, foreningen for aktive stofbrugere
Peter Ege , DK
Jørgen Jepsen , DK
jurist, fhv. lektor i kriminologi og fhv. leder af Center for Rusmiddelforskning
Nils Christie , NO
professor, kriminolog
Liese Recke , DK
Kjeld G. Christensen , DK
Hans Jørgen Engbo , DK
jurist og fængselsinspektør
Evy Frantzsen , NO
dr. jur., kriminolog
Preben Brandt , DK
dr. med., speciallæge i psykiatri
Tine M. Nielsen , DK
Henrik Thiesen , DK
Michael Jourdan , DK
Nanna W. Gotfredsen , DK
cand. jur. og gadejurist
Kristian Andenæs , NO
professor, dr. philos, jurist
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