Saturday, March 12, 2005

Looking at illegal drugs

I have never spoken to anyone who claims not to have personal knowledge of someone with a substance abuse problem. More often than not it is someone in the family. This is an issue that touches every family, everywhere. Because those who become disfunctional as the result of a drug habit are considered black sheep, we don't refer to them in polite company. Embarrassment prevents me from mentioning my family member to you, or referring to your family member in conversation with you.

The War on Drugs is shadow boxing. If it were not, we would be cheering the combatants with the patriotism and enthusiasm displayed supporting the troops in Iraq. What more can be said about that?

Enter LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

Founded on March 16, 2002, LEAP is made up of current and former members of law enforcement who believe the existing drug policies have failed in their intended goals of addressing the problems of crime, drug abuse, addiction, juvenile drug use, stopping the flow of illegal drugs into this country and the internal sale and use of illegal drugs. By fighting a war on drugs the government has increased the problems of society and made them far worse. A system of regulation rather than prohibition is a less harmful, more ethical and a more effective public policy.

The mission of LEAP is to reduce the multitude of unintended harmful consequences resulting from fighting the war on drugs and to lessen the incidence of death, disease, crime, and addiction by ultimately ending drug prohibition.

LEAP's goals are: (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 and (2) To restore the public's respect for law enforcement, which has been greatly diminished by its involvement in imposing drug prohibition.

LEAP's main strategy for accomplishing these goals is to create a constantly enlarging speakers bureau staffed with 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.

It remains to be seen how successful these people will be. I can't find that they have any heavy hitters from the ranks of politics, entertainment or philanthropy. (In the case of entertainment that may be good thing. Endorsements from Hollywood can be a kiss of death.) But their membership appears to be made up of professionals who have made a career of dealing with the consequences, if not the formulation, of drug policy.

I came by this link via M. Simon, another old-timer who started blogging about the time I did last year. He calls his blog Power and Control. I have no idea who he is, but the LEAP link is worth a look.

It would be wonderful if somebody with punch could get on board with these people and really get the ball rolling. LEAP needs to be a national organization with influence comparable to the Cato Institute.

1 comment:

M. Simon said...


Glenn Reynolds was linking to my posts a lot (about once a week) until I asked him to focus more on my drug war posts.

He probably didn't like the one I wrote criticicizing his look at the lack of property rights in Russia. He was correct about Russia. He just left out the Drug War in America which is notorious about taking property without due process. I pointed that out.

Besides Glenn I regularly send notices to the top blogs on the left and the right.

I get no response. Zip. Zero. Nada.

We are quick to see the evil in the heart of the enemy. The evils in our own heart are harder to see.

Yet they will do us in just as completely as the enemy without. Racism, in my opinion, lost us the Vietnam war. Drug prohibition and its evils may do the same for our war on Islamic fascism.

BTW you might wish to look at some of my other articles on drugs. (Check the list on the sidebar). Drug use in my opinion (backed by some research) is self medication for PTSD. In other words drug prohibition is a persecution of people in pain. The DEA recently put out a Pain FAQ saying two very important things:

1. Drugs do not cause addiction.
2. You cannot tell the difference between an "addict" and a pain patient by their drug seeking behavior.

Needless to say the DEA pulled the Pain FAQ once it got noticed by the lawyers trying to make cases against pain doctors.

DEA Pain FAQ [pdf]

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