"Alcohol was legalized because it only took us 13 years to learn the lesson that alcohol did not create Al Capone. Prohibition of alcohol created Al Capone." These are the words of retired police captain Peter Christ. Christ says that banning the possession, sale and manufacture of drugs has not been any more successful than the prohibition of alcohol was between 1920 and 1933. Disappointed with the total failure of the War on Drugs, Christ founded Law Enforcement Against Prohibition [LEAP] in 2001. The group was modeled on the Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
Christ says, "Whether you agreed with them or not, you couldn't dismiss them because they were veterans who fought the war. I thought a group of people from law enforcement would have the same impact. You may not agree with me, but don't tell me I don't know what I am talking about."
The current executive director of LEAP [and former New Jersey State Police undercover narcotics officer], Jack A. Cole, puts it this way, "When I arrested a drug dealer, all I was doing was creating a job opening for hundreds of other people willing to take a chance for these obscene profits. We've spent over $1 trillion in 36 years, and all we have to show is that every year we arrest 1.7 million people for non-violent drug offenses. We currently have 2.2 million people in prisons and jails in this country, far more per capita than any other country in the world, and the majority of them are non-violent drug offenders. All we're doing is stirring the pot, and it costs us $69 billion to stir it. No wonder building prisons is the fastest growing industry in the United States."
LEAP believes all drugs from marijuana to herion must be government controlled. They believe this is this only way to control the crime and violence that comes with the prohibition of drugs. Christ says, "When you institute a blanket prohibition, you turn that regulation and control over to the gangsters and terrorists that roam the streets. They're the ones that set the purity, the age limits, the distribution points. What we want to see is a regulated and controlled marketplace. The only way you can do that is to have it be, in some form, legal."
LEAP is right about the drug war. We have already lost it. But it is an industry sucking up billions of our tax dollars every year. It doesn't matter that we are accomplishing nothing, the people receiving this money are not going to want to give it up. That is one reason it is going to be very difficult to stop it. With our ridiculous drug laws, we have created a whole class of drug super criminals, who are even more violent than the Capones spawned by the prior prohibition. Some form of legalization is the only way to do away with the obscene criminal profits, and put the government back in control of our streets.
Go check out their web site and read what they have to say. You may find that you agree with them more than you thought you would. They're just talking common sense.