One of the groups that has emerged to promote drug enforcement reform may surprise many of you who read this because it is made up of current and ex-law enforcement personnel. The group is called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) and contrary to the stereotype of anti-drug prohibition activists, they are not just a bunch of hippies. The law enforcement professionals that have joined LEAP have done so for a number of logical reasons, they may not necessarily support the use of drugs, but they have seen first-hand the failures of the current war on drugs. I have managed to get a copy of a LEAP pamphlet and decided to read it in order to see what this organization was about. In the pamphlet, they describe why they believe that a system of regulation and control is far more ethical and effective than one of prohibition. For example, they state that "the membership of LEAP believe that to save lives, lower the rates of disease, crime, and addiction, as well as to conserve tax dollars, we must end drug prohibition". To be more in-depth about their reasoning, they explain how the above-mentioned changes would come about from drug-enforcement reform.
One of the main reasons that LEAP gives for ending the war on drugs is that it has created an underground market which is free from quality regulations, which would be enforced through the Pure Food and Drug Act to keep out harmful cutting agents, as well as artificially inflates the street price of the drugs by 17,000 percent to make up for the risks of producing and transporting the drugs. While the price of drugs is not important to the members of LEAP, the effects of that price on the community are what matters. The LEAP pamphlet says that "as long as marijuana is worth more than gold and heroine more than uranium, we will continue to have people willing to kill each other to control the market; willing to kill police charged with fighting these useless wars; and willing to kill children caught in the crossfire". No matter what your opinion of drug use is, that statement is a rational description of the current negative effects on the communities and people who get caught up in the turf wars and cops who are in danger when they encounter these individuals.
Increased crime and violence were not the only negative side-effects from prohibition; gangs which wanted to increase their already massively inflated profits would also cut the alcohol with different additives such as wood alcohol which caused many people to go blind from consuming it. This practice can be seen today with drugs being cut with different additives varying from less-harmful things such as caffeine in cocaine to dipping low-quality marijuana in embalming fluid to provide a greater high for an inferior product. These cutting agents are extremely dangerous since the people using these drugs are completely unaware of their use in the drugs they ingest. This causes accidental overdoses, unpredictable reactions which lead to increased violence levels in the users, and many other harmful things. It has been almost 80 years since alcohol has been legalized and we now have a fairly effective system of preventing underage individuals from getting it. While they may still be able to have someone else buy the booze for them, there are no longer any turf wars associated with alcohol anymore, police corruption has gone down, and the quality of the product is ensured because, since it is no longer produced in bath tubs and other black market ways, production falls under the jurisdiction of the Pure Food and Drug Act which keeps people from cutting their product with a cheaper but more dangerous ingredient.
This video is a little long, but it brings up a lot of great points which explain why, regardless of your opinions of drugs and drug use, LEAP is a great organization which could save us billions of tax dollars and many lives. For some more perspective, check out this war on drugs clock at http://www.drugsense.org/cms/wodclock
If you would like to learn more about LEAP and what they stand for, visit www.leap.cc where there is plenty of content which may cause you to be reassured or even change your beliefs. It's time that we began to focus our resources on crimes that matter instead of blowing billions of dollars on failed policy.