Pubdate: Wed, 31 Aug 2005
Source: Lawrence Journal-World (KS)
Copyright: 2005 The Lawrence Journal-World
Author: Mark Larson
Bookmark: (LEAP)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


To the editor:

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (of marijuana), or LEAP, has more
than 2,000 members. Members include prison wardens, judges, mayors and
former cops. California judge James Gray advocates decriminalizing
marijuana. "That would generate $2 billion annually in tax revenues
that could be spent on education and drug treatment," he says
(Progressive, August 2005).

Jack Cole, former policeman and co-founder of LEAP, believes that by
legalizing drugs and having them supplied by the government,
"organized criminals and world terrorists would be monetarily crippled
for many years to come."

This is similar to the Swiss approach. Drug users, including users of
heroin and cocaine, are not subject to legal penalties. Rather, they
are invited to participate in drug treatment programs. Users who
initially refuse treatment are directed to obtain drugs in
government-operated facilities. Most of these users eventually enter
treatment programs.

This compassionate approach certainly differs from that of "Old
Testament Christians," brought up with the dictum, "spare the rod and
spoil the child!" Being immersed in the punishment model for shaping
human behavior they, including many in the Bush administration, are
unlikely to understand why or how to try LEAP's alternatives.

Mark Larson

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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin