Archive for the ‘marijuana legalization’ category

Police raid pot club owned by Alaska TV reporter who had infamous ‘I quit’

March 23rd, 2015

Anchorage police served search warrants at marijuana activist Charlo Greene's Alaska Cannabis Club after receiving reports of illegal marijuana sales.

The post Police raid pot club owned by Alaska TV reporter who had infamous ‘I quit’ appeared first on The Cannabist.

Opinion: Global illicit drug economy is adapting to pot legalization

March 13th, 2015

With multiple state marijuana initiatives winning voter approval in the 2014 midterm elections, legalization proponents are already hard at work in states like California, where passage of a comprehensive initiative in 2016 could provide the policy "legitimacy" reformers are seeking.

The post Opinion: Global illicit drug economy is adapting to pot legalization appeared first on The Cannabist.

Authoritative national survey shows majority favor marijuana legalization

March 4th, 2015

For the first time, the General Social Survey — a large, national survey conducted every two years and widely considered to represent the gold standard for public opinion research — shows a majority of Americans favoring the legalization of marijuana.

The post Authoritative national survey shows majority favor marijuana legalization appeared first on The Cannabist.

Cops and Judges Support Colorado’s Marijuana Regulation Ballot Measure

September 20th, 2012
 National Black and Latino Police Groups Announce Endorsements for Amendment 64

 Reporters Can Ask Cops Questions on 3:30 PM ET Teleconference Today

DENVER, CO -- A group of police officers, judges and prosecutors who support Amendment 64, the Colorado ballot measure to regulate marijuana like alcohol, held a press conference on Thursday to release a letter of endorsement signed by law enforcers from across the state and to announce the endorsement of the national police organizations Blacks in Law Enforcement of America and the National Latino Officers Association.

For journalists who couldn’t physically attend the press conference, the Yes on 64 campaign is holding a conference call on Thursday at 3:30 PM ET, featuring several anti-prohibition law enforcers. For dial-in info, please contact Tom Angell at 202-557-4979 or

"After spending many, many years trying in good faith to enforce these marijuana prohibition laws, I can report unequivocally that they just don't work," said Tony Ryan, a 36-year veteran Denver police lieutenant, now a board member for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). "But it's worse than that. Beyond just being ineffective, these laws waste important law enforcement resources that could instead be going to things that actually protect public safety, like solving and preventing murders, rapes and robberies."

The sign-on letter from the law enforcers can be read online at

Ron Hampton, a former police officer who is executive director of Blacks in Law Enforcement of America, which has endorsed Amendment 64, added, "Keeping these outdated prohibition laws on the books accomplishes nothing to reduce marijuana use, but it does cause incredible damage to our communities of color. Even though African Americans use marijuana at a rate virtually identical to that of whites, people from our community are arrested, sentenced and jailed at a much higher rate. Passing Amendment 64, while it won't solve all our problems, is a great step toward ensuring equality for all under the law."

Anthony Miranda of the National Latino Officers Association added, “Right now, communities of color see the police as aggressors rather than as protectors. People are unwilling to come to us, to give us information, even to report crimes, because they see us as the enemy. When Amendment 64 passes, we’ll be one step closer to rebuilding that community trust that allows us to effectively perform our jobs."

In the sign-on letter released at the press conference, law enforcers outline their reasons for supporting Amendment 64, detailing how legalizing and regulating marijuana will:

* Put our police priorities where they belong, by ending the arrests of non-violent marijuana users and enabling police to focus instead on preventing violent crime

* Cut off funding to violent gangs and drug cartels, who generate the majority of their revenue from illegal marijuana sales

* Protect the lives of police officers now in the line of fire in the "drug war"

* Reduce marijuana access to children by instituting strict age-limits and public safety controls

* Restore mutual respect and good relations between law enforcement and communities bearing the brunt of the current marijuana laws

Mr. Ryan, the former Denver police officer, added, "This November, Coloradans have the opportunity to take millions of dollars away from the gangs and cartels that currently control the illegal marijuana trade and put that money into our tax coffers, where it will be used to improve schools, pay police officers and protect our environment."

These law enforcement leaders join other leaders who support Amendment 64, such as the Colorado/Montana/Wyoming NAACP Conference, the Colorado Democratic Party, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, college professors, doctors, Latino community leaders, faith leaders, labor leaders, business leaders, elected officials and more. For a full list of endorsements, please visit:

The Colorado Center on Law and Policy estimates that marijuana taxes could generate $60 million in tax revenue and savings each year. Under the initiative, the first $40 million raised each year will be earmarked for school improvement, while the rest will be available to fund law enforcement, healthcare and other critical needs.

Similar to current alcohol laws, Amendment 64 will give state and local governments the ability to control and tax the sale of small amounts of marijuana to adults age 21 and older. The measure includes significant safeguards and controls: It maintains strict criminal penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana, allows employers to maintain their current employment policies and does not change existing medical marijuana laws.

Multiple polls reveal that Colorado voters support Amendment 64, including a Denver Post/Survey USA poll released this week showing the measure ahead 51-40.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents police, prosecutors, judges, corrections officials and others who, after fighting on the front lines of the "war on drugs," came to believe that prohibition only serves to worsen substance abuse and violence. More info at


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 20, 2012
CONTACT: Tom Angell - (202) 557-4979 or

Eliot Spitzer Says Legalize Marijuana

February 19th, 2012
Former New York governor and attorney general Eliot Spitzer says he not only supports medical marijuana, but thinks we should replace marijuana prohibition with legalization.  Speaking on Friday night on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher," Spitzer said:
"To spend prosecutorial resources on pot is ridiculous...I'd be in favor of legalized pot. Legalizing pot is the right way to go."
Check out the entire marijuana discussion by Maher's panel of guests, starting at 4:22 in to this clip:

Ep. 238: February 17, 2012 - Overtime

It's nice to see a group of people with such different political leanings all agreeing that it's time to end prohibition. Still, the joke from Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal at the end of the discussion about how supporting legalization might somehow hurt Spitzer's future political aspirations is particularly unfortunate...and premised on a roundly absurd notion.

While supporting legalization himself, Moore doesn't seem to realize that marijuana legalization is one rare issue that he, Spitzer and -- oh yeah -- a majority of American voters all agree on.

Come to think of it... the idea that supporting legalization would harm any future aspirations at elected office Spitzer might have, or the political pursuits of most any office seeker in 21st century America, is becoming funnier all the time. Perhaps an appropriate joke for Maher's show after all.

In the clip, even Spitzer himself only reluctantly got around to stating that he'd favor ending marijuana prohibition across the board instead of just allowing medical marijuana. It's a strange thing, this tendency of political figures to act as if they should be afraid to say something that a rapidly growing majority of American voters agree with.

Corrections Superintendent and Police Chief Testify in NH for Marijuana Legalization

January 25th, 2012
 Bill to Tax and Regulate Marijuana Sales Could Raise Millions in New Revenue

 CONCORD, NH -- An active duty New Hampshire corrections superintendent will testify before a state House of Representatives committee today in favor of a bill that would allow the NH Department of Revenue Administration to license and tax the sale of marijuana to adults over 21. The bill, HB 1705, will be heard by the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee at 11:00 AM EST in Legislative Office Building Room 204.

Richard Van Wickler, the corrections superintendent for Cheshire County, NH, will appear in support of the bill. "As an active duty jail superintendent, I've seen how marijuana prohibition doesn't do anything to reduce marijuana use but does cause a host of other problems, from taking up space in already crowded jails to funding a violent black market controlled by gangs and cartels."

Van Wickler is a speaker for the organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), an international group of police officers, judges, corrections officials, border agents and other criminal justice professionals who have witnessed the failures of the so-called "war on drugs" firsthand.

At the hearing, Van Wickler, who was named "Corrections Superintendent of the Year" for 2011 by the New Hampshire Association of Counties, will also hand-deliver written testimony on behalf of fellow LEAP speaker and active Plainfield, Connecticut chief of police Robert Hoffman. "Of course LEAP, like other law enforcement organizations, does not endorse or condone marijuana use," Hoffman says in his testimony. "But that is not the issue here, because to regulate the manufacture and sale of marijuana is not an endorsement or condonation of its use. On the contrary, regulating the market for marijuana will take it out of the control of violent gangs and cartels."

New Hampshire spends over $17.2 million enforcing its marijuana prohibition laws every year, according to Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron. He says the state could take in an additional $12.6 million in new revenue through legal and taxed sales of marijuana.

The full text of the bill being heard today and other information can be found at

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents police, prosecutors, judges, prison wardens, federal agents and others who want to legalize and regulate drugs after fighting on the front lines of the "war on drugs" and learning firsthand that prohibition only serves to worsen addiction and violence. More info at

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CONTACT: Tom Angell - (202) 557-4979 or

Cops and Judges Applaud Canadian Liberal Party’s Marijuana Legalization Resolution

January 16th, 2012
Current and former law enforcement officers offer to meet with party officials

VANCOUVER, BC -- An international organization of police officers, judges, prosecutors and drug enforcement agents welcomes the approval of Resolution 117 at the Liberal Biennial Convention. Resolution 117 calls for the legalization and regulation of marijuana, as well as a pardon for those previously convicted of simple possession. Delegates to the convention passed Resolution 117 by an overwhelming vote of 77% to 23%.

“We do not endorse political parties or candidates,” says David Bratzer, president of the Canadian branch of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). “However, we do support actions that lead to good drug policy. The Liberal convention delegates have done this by calling for an end to the destructive and wasteful policy of marijuana prohibition.”

Bratzer emphasizes the importance of this policy initiative: “Some commentators have suggested that the delegates wasted their time on a side issue, but nothing could be further from the truth. Prohibition costs Canadian taxpayers well over $2 billion per year, and does nothing except make organized crime rich. The delegates have proven that they are serious about using tax money responsibly and intelligently.”

Bratzer is a serving police officer in British Columbia who participates in LEAP while off-duty. His personal views do not represent those of his employer, but they are shared by many other Canadians. According to an Angus Reid poll conducted in November 2010, 50% of Canadians support the legalization of marijuana, while 44% are opposed.

“LEAP is an educational organization. In this capacity, we extend an open invitation to elected officials and party members from across the political spectrum. Please contact us if you or your organization would like to meet and learn about the failure of drug prohibition,” says John Anderson, vice-president of LEAP Canada and a former correctional officer. Dr. Anderson is also a professor of Criminology at Vancouver Island University.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents police, prosecutors, judges, federal agents and others who want to legalize and regulate drugs after fighting on the front lines of the "war on drugs" and learning firsthand that prohibition only serves to worsen addiction and violence. LEAP does not endorse or support any political parties or candidates for public office. For more information, visit

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For immediate release: January 16, 2012
CONTACT:  Steve Finlay – (604) 315-5635 or

                       Tom Angell – (202) 557-4979 or

Congressman Dennis Kucinich speaks at Seattle Hempfest

August 21st, 2011 was in the crowd at the Main Stage as Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich addressed the 20th Anniversary Seattle Hempfest.

Colorado Cop and Judge Collect Signatures for 2012 Marijuana Legalization Initiative

August 2nd, 2011
 Former Law Enforcers Say Marijuana Prohibition Has Failed and Harms Public Safety

 DENVER, CO --  Police officers, judges and other criminal justice professionals who once enforced Colorado's marijuana prohibition laws are now helping to get an initiative to legalize and regulate marijuana onto the state's 2012 ballot. This Wednesday a former Denver cop and a former Lafayette judge will participate in a signature gathering drive to support the new initiative by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.

"During my 36 years as a Denver cop I arrested more people for marijuana than I care to remember, but it didn't amount to one bit of good for our citizens," said Tony Ryan, a former officer with the Denver Police Department and a board member for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. "Keeping marijuana illegal doesn't do anything to reduce marijuana use, but it does benefit the gangs and cartels who control the currently illegal marijuana trade."

WHO: Cop and judge who support legalizing marijuana
WHAT: Signature gathering effort for 2012 marijuana initiative
WHEN: Wednesday, August 3 at 1:00 PM MT
WHERE: In front of the Denver City and County building, 1437 Bannock St., Denver

Another member of LEAP, former Lafayette judge Leonard Frieling, added, "When so many murders, rapes and robberies go unsolved, it makes absolutely no sense to keep taking up space in our courtrooms and jails with people arrested for marijuana possession. And even on the distribution end, no matter how many drug cartels and gangs we bust, there are always more criminals willing to step up and risk their lives and freedom for a chance at lucrative black market profits. Our state's voters have the power to strike a bigger blow against organized crime with this initiative to treat marijuana like alcohol than any amount of skill and dedication in the criminal justice system ever can."

The anti-prohibition law enforcers are just a few members of a huge statewide effort to collect signatures to place the marijuana legalization initiative on next year's ballot. More information about the initiative and details about how to get involved in the signature gathering drive can be found at

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents police, prosecutors, judges, prison wardens, federal agents and others who want to legalize and regulate marijuana after fighting on the front lines of the "war on drugs" and learning firsthand that prohibition is not only ineffective but causes violence and crime. More info is available at

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NEWS ADVISORY: August 2, 2011
CONTACT: Tom Angell, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition - (202) 557-4979 or
                 Mason Tvert, initiative proponent  - (720) 255-4340 or