Pubdate: Sun, 09 Jul 2006
Source: Langley Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 Langley Times
Author: Tony Smith
Bookmark: (LEAP)


Editor: LEAP is an organization of serving and retired law 
enforcement personnel, who believe that not only are present drug 
policies ineffective, but they lead to extensive criminal activities 
by addicts to support their addictions.

These policies also make criminal gangs very rich and powerful, and 
have led to easy availability of drugs to even primary school 
students. Today it is much easier for children to obtain drugs than 
to obtain alcohol.

These same dealers are entirely motivated by profit, and often rather 
than only selling the less harmful soft drugs to their clients, they 
will offer them highly-addictive substances in order to up their profits.

LEAP does not support drug use, but we do oppose the present 
enforcement policies which have shown themselves to be part of the 
problem, not part of the solution.

Members include a number of former police chiefs, retired judges and 
many other law enforcement personnel. I myself was a member of the 
Vancouver Police Dept. for 28 years and have never used any illegal substances.

It is of note that, one month ago, Scottish police held a 
demonstration to cease the war on drugs which has resulted in the 
present unhelpful state of affairs.

All of the substances we today refer to as controlled and restricted 
drugs were freely available and uncontrolled until the early 20th 
Century, and had been so throughout history.When controls were first 
introduced, it was estimated that between one and two percent of  the 
population were unable to function normally due to their addictions.

Today, after pouring trillions of dollars down the drain, the 
percentage is unchanged, and as social and medical assistance is 
available today, we probably identify a higher percentage of those 
serious addicts.

Another interesting note is the war the British and Americans 
declared and fought in China in the 1850s to protect their rights to 
trade and sell opium to the Chinese when their emperor, who thought 
it harmful to his subjects, tried to stop it. Is it any wonder that 
our relations were poor with the Chinese for so long?

In all my years as a policeman, the drug which caused the most 
fights, riots, murders and all other forms of detestable behaviour 
was alcohol. If we look at the recent local murders before the 
courts, the drug is alcohol.

Certainly in some cases, the participants may have used other drugs 
as well as alcohol, but booze was always involved. The incidents of 
bad behaviour where amphetamines or crack cocaine were the sole drugs 
were few and far between.

Those drugs created more of a general paranoia than the hatred and 
desire to fight caused by alcohol. That is why in the U.K., soccer 
hooligans are generally referred to as lager louts, not pot louts, 
coke louts etc.

At LEAP, we believe the war on drugs must end to stop shovelling 
money to the bad guys, to stop creating more victims and to open 
sensible debate.

When the First Nations children from the northern communities who 
were addicted to gasoline were brought south for treatment, it was 
not because our cars didn't run on gas.Crystal meth is not a new 
drug. Ritalin, which we dispense freely to behaviour problem kids, is 
virtually the same drug.

It is the method of ingestion, by smoking, that gives the enormous 
rush and makes crystal meth so addictive.Many over the counter drugs, 
if smoked or injected, would have the same effects.

If you are interested in learning more check I can be 
contacted through the website.

Tony Smith

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