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Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

27 Austin Road, Medford, MA 02155
[emailprotected](781) 393-6985
http://www.leap.cc
LEAP
Board of Directors
Jack A. Cole
Executive Director – Massachusetts
Peter Christ
Treasurer – New York
Edward Ellison
Director – The United Kingdom
John A. Gayder
Secretary – Ontario
Walter McKay
Director – Canada
Judge Eleanor Schockett
Director – Recruiting, Florida
Howard J. Wooldridge
Director – Media, Colorado
Advisory Board
Hon. Larry Campbell
Mayor of Vancouver, British Colombia, Former Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Hon. Warren W. Eginton
Judge, US District Court, Connecticut
Hon. Gustavo de Greiff
Former Attorney General of Colombia, South America
Hon. Gary E. Johnson
Former Governor of the State of New Mexico
Hon. John L. Kane
Judge, US District Court, Colorado
Hon. Whitman Knapp
Judge, US District Court, New York
Sheriff Bill Masters
Sheriff, San Miguel County, CO
Dr. Joseph McNamara
Former Chief, San Jose PD, California
Mr. Patrick V. Murphy
Former Commissioner, NYPD, New York
Mr. Robert P. Owens
Former chief, Oxnard PD, California
Hon. Robert Sweet
Judge, US District Court, New York
Mr. Francis Wilkinson
Former Chief Constable, Gwent Police Force, South Wales, UK
About LEAP
After three decades of fueling the U.S. war on drugs with over half a
trillion tax dollars and increasingly punitive policies, our court system
is choked with ever-increasing prosecutions of nonviolent drug violations
and our quadrupled prison population has made building prisons this
nation’s fastest growing industry. We have imprisoned more than 2.2 million
of our citizens and every year we arrest an additional 1.6 million for
nonviolent drug offenses-more per capita than any country in the world. The
United States has 5 percent of the population of the world but 25 percent
of the world’s prisoners. Despite all that, illicit drugs are cheaper, more
potent, and easier to get than they were 30 years ago. Meanwhile people are
still dying in our streets and drug barons continue to grow richer than
ever before. This scenario must be the very definition of a failed policy.


Current and former members of law enforcement have recently created a new
and important 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 mustenddrug
prohibition.

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The stated U.S. drug policy goals of lessening the incidents of crime, drug
addiction, juvenile drug use and stemming the flow of illegal drugs into
this country have not been achieved. The failed policy of fighting a war on
drugs has only magnified our problems but the U.S. still insists on
continuing this war and also pressuring governments of other countries to
perpetuate these unworkable policies. LEAP believes a system of regulation
and control is more effective than one of prohibition.


LEAP is a tax exempt, international, nonprofit, educational entity based in
the United States.


The mission of LEAP is (1) To educate the public, the media, and policy
makers, to the failure of current drug policy by presenting a true picture
of the history, causes and effects of drug abuse and the crimes related to
drug prohibition; (2) To createaspeakersbureaustaffedwith
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 financial and human costs associated with current drug policies; (3) To
restore the public’s respect for law enforcement, which has been greatly
diminished by its involvement in imposing drug prohibition; (4) 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.


The idea of an organization made up of former drug warriors speaking out
about the excesses and abuses of current drug policy and the utter failure
of the war on drugs originated with Peter Christ, a retired police captain
living in New York. Peter believed that an organization modeled after
“Vietnam Veterans Against the War” would both catch the attention of the
media and ring true to many other drug warriors who are questioning current
U.S. drug policies. In 1998, Peter worked with Mark Greer, director of
Drugsense, to create a secure email listserv restricted to current and
former police officers interested in changing U.S. drug policy. It was
called Drug Policy Forum for Law-Enforcement Officers (DPFLEO). Peter was
joined in that endeavor by Jack Cole, a retired New Jersey state police
lieutenant, living in Massachusetts. At the beginning of 2002 Peter and
Jack enlisted the help of three others, two former police officers, Howard
Wooldridge living in Texas and Daniel Solano living in Michigan, and a
currently serving police officer, John Gayder living in Ontario, Canada.

Together we became the founding members and directors of LEAP. In December
2002, we were joined by Board Member Edward Ellison, a retired Detective
Chief Inspector in the London Metropolitan Police Department in England,
who was the operational head of drug task forces for Scotland Yard. In May
2003 Walter McKay, a retired Constable in the Vancouver Police Department,
became a LEAP board Member.


Jointly, the directors have a great deal of experience in first advancing
U.S. drug policy goals and then in trying to change those policies. That
experience includes many years of: working as police officers to arrest
drug-law violators and interdict drugs entering theourcountries;
disenchantment with and in depth reconsideration of those failed policies;
and finally speaking out to alert the public, media, and policy makers, to
the massive harms being perpetrated on the citizens of the U.S. and the
world as a direct result of the U.S. policy of drug prohibition. We have
jointly spoken at hundreds of universities and colleges, civic, business,
benevolent, and religious associations, and public events.Wehave
testified before government legislators in favor of drug-policy-reform
bills and written countless articles for newspapers and periodicals on drug-
policy reform. We have also been founding members of other social-
responsibility organizations that have remained viable for many years. We
have received post-graduate education in analyzing policy questions and
implementing changes in public policy.


The LEAP Advisory Board is composed of the following esteemed and respected
current and former members of law enforcement:
Hon. Larry Campbell, Mayor of Vancouver, British Colombia, Former Royal
Canadian Mounted Police
The Honorable Warren W. Eginton, Judge, U.S. District Court, Bridgeport,
Connecticut, U.S.A
The Honorable Gustavo de Greiff, former Attorney General of Colombia, and
Ambassador to Mexico, Bogot, Colombia
The Honorable Gary E. Johnson, former Governor of the State of New Mexico,
U.S.A
The Honorable John L. Kane, Judge, U.S. District Court, Denver, Colorado,
U.S.A
The Honorable Whitman Knapp, Judge, U.S. District Court, New York City, New
York, U.S.A
Sheriff Bill Masters, Sheriff of San Miguel County, Colorado, U.S.A
Dr. Joseph McNamara, former Chief of SanJose,CaliforniaPolice
Department, U.S.A
Mr. Patrick V. Murphy, former Police Commissioner, New York City Police
Department, U.S.A
Mr. Robert P. Owens, former Chief of Oxnard, California Police Department,
U.S.A
The Honorable Robert W. Sweet, Judge, U.S. District Court, New York City,
New York, U.S.A
Mr. Francis Wilkinson, Esq., former Chief Constable, Gwent Police Force,
South Wales, UK
Membership in LEAP is open to anyone who has been formerly trained in
methods of law enforcement, crime prevention or detection, and given the
authority to maintain the peace, safety, and order of the community by any
national, state, or local government agency (this includes but is not
limited to local, state, and federal police, prosecutors, and judges, as
well as corrections, probation, and parole officers),providedthe
prospective member believes the U.S. war on drugs is failed policy and
wishes to support alternatives to that policy aimed at reducing the
incidence of death, disease, crime, and addiction by ultimately ending drug
prohibition.


In addition, the category, “Friends of LEAP,” was created for those who
have never been part of law enforcement but who wish to support our work of
ending prohibition. However, only current and former members of law
enforcement can be speakers for LEAP.


We have members and supporters across the United States and in twelve other
countries, which is fitting since U.S. drug policy has ramifications that
affect the entire world. LEAP is made up of people who intimately
understand both the consequences of the war on drugs and the attitudes of
the drug-warriors who are fighting that war. The members of LEAP are in an
extraordinarilygoodpositiontoeducateotherlawenforcement
professionals, recruit new members, and affect change to current drug
policies because of their many years of living within the culture of law
enforcement.


LEAP’s immediate goal is to achieve a membership of thousands of law
enforcement officials representing all of the many countries detrimentally
affected by current drug policies. The impact on the media and policy
makers would be enormous if thousands of members of law enforcement banned
together to declare they were against the continuation of drug prohibition.


Drug-warriors prosecuting the U.S. war on drugs have effectively isolated
and demonized both those violating drug laws and anyonesuggesting
alternatives to current policies. Nearly all of the police spoken to by our
membership have privately said that the war on drugs is a failure but
getting them to say so publicly is often a different matter. Asking
existing members of law enforcement toparticipateopenlyinan
organization such as LEAP, puts a heavy burden on them. Speaking out
against the policies of one’s employer can be tantamount to becoming a
whistle-blower. Police officers have lost their jobs for lesser violations
of departmental policy. Because of this, recruiting new members among
current members of law enforcement is a delicate task. Therefore, we
emphasize the following privacy statement:
At LEAP, we understand that advocating changes to current drug laws
may expose you to social discomfort from your peers and possibly
discipline or other censure from your employer. When you choose to
support LEAP, you must also decide if you want others to know about
your support. If you wish to remain an anonymous supporter of LEAP,
rest assured that we will never “out” you to your employer or anybody
else. We will never make your name and address available to any
advertiser or other organization. We employ strict measures to ensure
your support of LEAP remains confidential.


On the other hand, 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 contact information will
appear on our website and publications. There is strength in numbers
and by publicly declaring your advocacy for common sense in drug
policy you will encourage others to do the same. Before long, people
who share desire for change will be contacting you to form local
networks and alliances.


Please consider “going public.”
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