Pubdate: Tue, 22 Nov 2011
Source: Manteca Bulletin (CA)
Copyright: 2011 Tom Angell
Author: Tom Angell

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,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:

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:

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:

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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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom