Calvina Fay, the unofficial “Queen of the Drug War”, has an article titled “America Needs Leaders, Not Labels” in the Spring 2011 edition of “The Coalition” (the official publication of the National Narcotics Officers Association). In it, she says this about the major drug policy reform groups (page 18):
Everyone who works on drug related issues knows the names of the major organizations fighting to legalize and normalize drug use: Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML), the Open Society Institute (OSI) and the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). Their money and their vast numbers of supporters enable their voices to be heard above all others.
Another legalization group gaining momentum is Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). According to their mission statement, LEAP is made up of current and former members of law enforcement who believe current drug polices fail to address the problems of crime, drug abuse, and addiction. However, membership is not actually limited to those currently or formerly associated with law enforcement so even criminals can become one of their members. By continuing to fight a war on drugs, according to LEAP, the government has only increased the societal problems associated with drug use. Their idea of effective drug policy is to legalize and regulate illicit drugs.
Grassroots community efforts to battle legalization initiatives and legislation depend upon and turn to law enforcement for support in keeping illegal drugs off the street and out of the hands of our youth. With this in mind, one can only imagine the mixed message the community receives from a group like LEAP that claims to represent the mindset of law enforcement.
LEAP does not release information on its members, so it is impossible to determine how many current or past members of law enforcement their alleged 15,000 membership actually represents. what is clear is that they exploit the integrity, commitment of service, and community protection that law enforcement represents while pushing their agenda to “end prohibition” and “legalize all drugs so we can control and regulate them”.
It is imperative that we remain united to counter any and all pro-drug messages coming from groups like LEAP. Law enforcement has always been the natural ally in fighting drug use and abuse, and more importantly, law enforcement provides valuable insight into what is really happening on the streets of America’s communities. Law enforcement bears witness on a daily basis to the dangers illegal drugs impose on our nation’s youth, and law enforcement’s experiences and voices must be heard in this battle.
All things considered, high praise for LEAP! And I am struck by the fact that Fay is willing to characterize drug policy reform groups and their constituencies as the enemy, in a war that is frighteningly real. I encourage you to support all the groups listed above, and you should really consider donating to LEAP.