In California, where a ballot measure to legalize pot was recently approved, close to half of the money raised to oppose the initiative has come from police and prison guard groups, according to a disclosure filed earlier this year.
These civil servants are obviously concerned about losing a huge revenue stream that they’ve come to rely upon and, probably, dearly love.
But not all cops, prison guards and law enforcement officials agree with our government’s punitive policies that have seen our prison population quadruple over a 20-year period—making building prisons, which currently house more than 2.3 million people, the nation’s fastest growing industry. Not to mention the 39 million arrests for nonviolent drug offenses.
Thankfully, there’s LEAP.
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is a nonprofit organization, which describes itself as “a group of police, judges, prosecutors and other criminal justice professionals advocating for marijuana legalization,” who bear witness to the wasteful futility of our country’s current drug policies, according to LEAP’s website.
Yes, you read that right.
LEAP, founded in 2002, has 150,000 members and supporters worldwide and functions in 21 countries, so far.
LEAP believes the U.S. government’s War on Drugs has worsened rather than alleviated our society’s problems and that legalization will “help keep the justice system focused on more serious matters.”
A LEAP representative* told HIGH TIMES that in addition to playing a pivotal role in successful legalization campaigns in Colorado, Washington State and now California (and other states), it also has a speakers panel and does educational work, addiction treatment and outreach to improve relations between the police and the community—a critical effort considering the current tension across the land.
This week, LEAP endorsed California’s Proposition 64, joining the California Democratic Party, the California NAACP, the ACLU of California, the Drug Policy Alliance, the Marijuana Policy Project of California and the California Medical Association.
LEAP recently declared support for legalization in Maine, which, along with seven other states, has legalization initiatives or amendments on the ballot this coming November.
So, if you’re not yet registered, run—don’t walk—and register to vote, so we can all enjoy the largest boost in cannabis expansion ever.
* LEAP does not release names or contact information of any supporter, with the exception of board members, speakers, staff and public volunteers helping with the administration of the organization.