Pubdate: Tue, 14 Sep 2010 Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Page: AA4 Copyright: 2010 Los Angeles Times Contact: http://mapinc.org/url/bc7El3Yo Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/248 Author: Catherine Saillant Cited: Proposition 19 http://yeson19.com/ Bookmark: http://mapinc.org/find?272 (Proposition 19) LAW ENFORCERS BACK LEGAL POT Legalizing marijuana would put a big dent in drug cartels and free up police, prosecutors and judges to go after violent crimes, a law enforcement group said Monday in endorsing Proposition 19, the marijuana legalization measure. Proposition 19's passage in November would decriminalize an estimated 60,000 drug arrests made in California each year, said former Orange County Superior Court Judge James Gray. Officers would have more time to go after burglars, robbers and those committing violent assaults, he said. On-the-job experience demonstrated the futility of trying to enforce laws prohibiting the possession and use of small amounts of cannabis, Gray said at a news conference held by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a nonprofit organization supporting Proposition 19. Gray was joined by former San Jose Police Chief Joseph McNamara in arguing that much of the money flowing to violent drug cartels comes from the illegal sale of marijuana. Those who argue that a black market would remain aren't paying attention to history, McNamara said. After the prohibition on alcohol was repealed, bootleggers disappeared, said McNamara, now a research fellow in drug policy at Stanford University. Proposition 19 would make it legal to grow, possess and use up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use. It would also permit state and local governments to regulate and tax retail sales for adults 21 and older. State officials estimate passage could generate up to $1.4 billion in new tax revenue per year. Active law enforcement groups, including the California Police Chiefs Assn., are opposed to the measure, saying it would increase usage and promote crime.