Spread the good news.

I contacted LEAP asking what I could do to help our cause from Nicaragua and received this response full of good news:

Dear Supporter, My name is Jack Cole. I am the executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). I am also a retired detective lieutenant—26 years with the New Jersey State Police and 14 in their Narcotic Bureau, mostly undercover. I bear witness to the abject failure of the U.S. war on drugs and to the horrors produced by its unintended consequences. Thank you for your email, and for your interest in LEAP. LEAP is an international organization, and we would certainly like to reach out in Nicaragua. Are you a law enforcement professional there? I am attaching my bio and the essay from which I draw the talk I have given over 850 times around the world in the last six years. That paper was selected by The International Harm Reduction Association as one of the "50 documents worldwide, which provides the best information on the subject of policing and harm reduction." You might also find it interesting to view the 12-minute LEAP promo at http://www.leap.cc/cms/index.php?name=Content&pid=28, or "Cops Say Legalize Drugs" Part 1 and Part 2. In the videos police, judges, and prosecutors give powerful reasons why prohibition will never work. After looking them over please feel free to contact me at any of the below locations with questions or comments. If you think we are on the right track, please join LEAP and help us in this struggle. LEAP is an international nonprofit educational organization created to give voice to law-enforcers who believe the US war on drugs has failed and who wish to support alternative policies that will lower the incidence of death, disease, crime, and addiction, without destroying generations of our young by arrest and imprisonment. As our name implies Law Enforcement Against Prohibition wants to end drug prohibition just as we ended alcohol prohibition in the United States in 1933. When we ended that nasty law we put Al Capone and his smuggling buddies out of business overnight and we can do the same to the drug lords and terrorist who today make over 500 billion dollars a year selling illegal drugs around the world. Legalized regulation of drugs will end the violence and property crimes that are a result of prohibition of those drugs. That means drug dealers will no longer be shooting each other to protect their turf, no longer killing cops charged with fighting this useless war, no longer killing children caught in crossfire or drive-by shootings. Legalization will also allow us to provide clean needles for injection drug users, which, in the US, will prevent half of all potential cases of AIDS and Hepatitis. Regulation with standardized measurement of the drugs purity will virtually end unintended overdose deaths. People die because they don’t know how much of the tiny package of powder they purchase on the illegal market is really the drug and how much is the cutting agent. Too much drug and the user is dead. We can then treat drug abuse as a health problem instead of a crime problem and save the lives of our children, which we are now sacrificing at the altar of this terrible war. In five years LEAP increased from the five founding police officers to a membership of over 11,000, across the United States and in 90 other countries, which is fitting since U.S. drug policy has ramifications that affect the entire world. All 65 LEAP speakers are former drug-warriors; police, judges, prosecutors, parole, probation, and corrections officers, DEA and FBI agents. LEAP presents to civic, professional, educational, and religious organizations, as well as at public forums but we target civic groups; Chambers of Commerce, Rotaries, Lions and Kiwanis Clubs, etc. The people in these organizations are conservative folks who mostly agree with the drug-warriors that we must continue the war on drugs at any cost. They are also very solid members of their communities; people who belong to civic organizations because they want the best for their locales. Every one of them will be voting in every election. Many are policy-makers and if they are not, they are the people who can pull the coat tails of policy-makers and say, "We have someone you must hear talk about drug policy." We believe the vast majority of these audience members agree with the goals of LEAP by the end of our presentation. Even more amazing is that we are now attending national and international law-enforcement conventions where we keep track of all those we speak with at our educational exhibit booth; After we talk with them on a one-on-one basis, we find that only 6% want to continue the war on drugs, 14% are undecided, and an astounding 80% agree with LEAP that we must end drug prohibition. The most interesting thing about those who agreed with us is that before LEAP came along only a small number of that 80% realized anyone else in law enforcement felt the same. Officers are so frightened of being labeled "soft on drugs" that are afraid to tell each other their real feelings about the war on drugs. This also holds true for policymakers. LEAP speakers staffed an educational booth at the last three National Conferences for State Legislators in Seattle, Nashville, and Boston. We spoke with 1,942 of the attendees on a one-on-one basis and 83% of them agreed that we should legalize drugs—only 6% wanted to continue the war and the other 11% were undecided. This means, if we can show these legislators that they won’t lose one more vote than they will gain by backing drug policy reform, they will end drug prohibition. The way show them is to create a grassroots organization of a MILLION private citizens who agree ending prohibition is the correct policy. On January 22, 2007 LEAP debated United States Attorney for Kansas, Eric Melgren at Wichita State University (see video at http://mattelrod.org/video/leap/cole-melgren_070123.wmv). With a show of hands at the end of the debate over 80 percent of the audience agreed with us. On April 30, 2007 LEAP debated Thomas Carr, the Director of High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) in the Washington, DC and Baltimore area, an organization funded by the Office of National Drug Policy Control (ONDCP). The LEAP-HIDTA debate on whether prohibition of drugs should continue was held at the Greater Baltimore Leadership Council annual seminar, which had 46 attendees and included upper level law-enforcers, public health workers and others. After the 90-minute debate, the moderator ask for a show of hands to indicate those who think we should legalize all drugs, those who think we should continue the war, and those who wish to abstain. The moderator estimated that 70 percent agreed with ending drug prohibition, about 15 percent wanted to continue prohibition and the other 15 percent abstained. On April 28, 2008 I again debated Thomas Carr in the same setting; this time winning by 80 percent to 10 percent. Mr. Carr told the moderator he doesn’t think he will be back next year.

Things are already changing

LEAP has created an atmosphere legitimizing the discussion of legalized regulation of drugs nationally to where some politicians feel it is safe to raise the issue. In New York State the prosecutor for Albany County and the Executive for Erie County both said the failed war on drugs must be replaced. On Good Friday in April 2006, Sister Karen Klimczak was murdered in Buffalo, New York by a self-confessed crack-addict who said he killed the nun to get her cell phone which he wanted to sell to buy more crack. The next morning reporters descended on Erie County Executive Joel A. Giambra demanding to know what he was going to do about the drug problem that was wreaking havoc on the county. Mr. Giambra took a deep breath and replied, "It’s time to start talking about legalizing drugs." The amazed reporters immediately set out to demonize him; how could someone with views such as this have ever been elected to office? The following Monday Mr. Giambra called another press conference, where he was joined at the podium by Peter Christ, founding Board member and speaker for LEAP, who explained to the media why Mr. Giambra was correct in his assessment. Peter then appeared on many talk-radio and television shows in the Buffalo area supporting Giambra’s call for legalized regulation of drugs. Within two weeks the Buffalo News decided to allow Mr. Giambra to publish an Op Ed titled "DRUG LAWS DON'T WORK; IT'S TIME TO TRY LEGALIZING THEM." The next day the paper published its own article, "GIAMBRA A PIONEER ON DRUGS?" suggesting in the lead paragraph, "Years from now, they may look at him in the same way we see Susan B. Anthony and other pioneers for women's rights." This amazing media turnaround was a direct result of the credibility that LEAP brought to Mr. Giambra’s courageous statement. In November 2006, the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators passed a resolution condemning the failed war on drugs and calling for treatment rather than incarceration. That resolution was echoed by a similar resolution passed unanimously by the 225 Mayors attending the National Mayors Conference in June 2007. That month Newark, New Jersey’s Mayor Cory Booker said the war on drugs is destroying his city and he intends to stop it if it means taking the issue to the streets and going to jail, as was done by civil rights protestors. Three campaigners for the 2008 Presidential race, former Senator Mike Gravel (D-Alaska), Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), and Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) have called for an end to the war on drugs; something never before done. The very conservative The McLaughlin Group television talk show has even broached the subject by discussing Dr. Ethan Nadelmann’s article in Foreign Policy, "Legalize It." On October 4, 2007, San Francisco’s Mayor Gavin Newsom told television reporters, "If you want to get serious, if you want to reduce crime by 70% in this country overnight, end this war on drugs. You want to get serious, seriously serious about crime and violence end this war on drugs."

LEAP has a worldwide impact

In addition to the 4,000 presentations we have made in the United States, LEAP is also affecting policies in other countries. LEAP started its international work in 2003 with a presentation at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. Since then we have made hundreds of presentations in Albania, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand and the United Kingdom. For each of the last three years LEAP presented in Cambridge, England to 900 law-enforcers and bankers from 90 countries, who participate in the International Symposium on Economic Crime. When they learned that legalized regulation of drugs would mean the 500 billion dollars spent on illegal drugs each year would no longer be laundered by investing in corporations, with which honest business people cannot possibly compete, the majority of attendees agreed that we should end drug prohibition. In July 2008 LEAP was one of the 300 NGOs from around the world to participate in the event the UN conference Beyond 2008 in Vienna. The product of that conference was a declaration presented to the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs in March 2009, which suggested policy for world drug control over the next ten years. The suggestions included: • Recognizing "the human rights abuses against people who use drugs" • "Evidence-based" drug policy focused on "mitigation of short-term and long-term harms" and "full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms" • The U.N. to report on the collateral consequences of the current criminal justice-based approach to drugs and to provide an "analysis of the unintended consequences of the drug control system" • Comprehensive "reviews of the application of criminal sanctions as a drug control measure" • Recognizing harm reduction as a necessary and worthwhile response to drug abuse (harm reduction is a set of practical strategies that reduce negative consequences of drug use, incorporating a spectrum of strategies from safer use, to managed use, to abstinence; harm reduction strategies meet drug users "where they’re at," addressing conditions of use along with the use itself) • A shift in primary emphasis from interdiction to treatment and prevention • Alternatives to incarceration • Provision of development aid to farmers before eradication of coca or opium crops

On December 5, 2009, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of alcohol prohibition, LEAP released a report by Harvard Economist Jeffrey Myron, which concluded by legalizing and regulating all drugs the United States treasury could realize an additional 76.8 Billion dollars each year. For the report see www.WeCanDoItAgain.com. With the US economy tanking and prohibition’s causalities in Mexico now numbering more than 7,500 since the beginning of last year, many policymakers are willing to talk about legalizing drugs. In February 2009 the Latin American commission headed by former presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil, Ernest Zedillo of Mexico and Cesar Gaviria of Colombia condemned harsh U.S. drug prohibition policies that are based, in Gaviria’s words, "on prejudices and fears and not on results." They charge, the drug war is imperiling Latin America’s democratic institutions and corrupting "judicial systems, governments, the political system and especially the police forces." If you, your family, friends, or associates want to be involved creating positive change around the entire world, click on www.leap.cc and join us now. Membership is open to anyone and there is no membership fee. The more members we get the sooner we will end this self-perpetuating and ever-expanding disastrous policy of a war on drugs. We are looking forward to working with you to end the agonies created by the war on drugs and to renew and deepen respect for the honorable profession of policing that has been severely weakened by the role police have been required to play in enforcing drug prohibition laws. Together we can make a better and safer society by serving it in a more efficient and ethical manner.

“Cops Say Legalize Drugs” Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEdzZaXwf8o, and Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E48guWoQGa4&mode=related&search=.

Contact me or contact Jack Cole for his bio and the essay from which he draws the talk he has given over 850 times around the world in the last six years.

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Drugs in Portugal:

Did Decriminalization Work?

The U.S. has long championed a hard-line drug policy, supporting only international agreements that enforce drug prohibition and imposing on its citizens some of the world's harshest penalties for drug possession and sales. Yet America has the highest rates of cocaine and marijuana use in the world, and while most of the E.U. (including Holland) has more liberal drug laws than the U.S., it also has less drug use.

Recently, Senators Jim Webb and Arlen Specter proposed that Congress create a national commission, not unlike Portugal's, to deal with prison reform and overhaul drug-sentencing policy. As Webb noted, the U.S. is home to 5% of the global population but 25% of its prisoners.

"The impact in the life of families and our society is much lower than it was before decriminalization," says Joao Castel-Branco Goulao, Portugual's "drug czar" and president of the Institute on Drugs and Drug Addiction, adding that police are now able to re-focus on tracking much higher level dealers and larger quantities of drugs.

The Cato report's author, Greenwald, hews to the first point: that the data shows that decriminalization does not result in increased drug use. Since that is what concerns the public and policymakers most about decriminalization, he says, "that is the central concession that will transform the debate."

Mexican War on drugs

Mexican Senate has approved an initiative of law to decriminalize, for personal use, the following drugs:

Drug---------------Max. amount

Mariguana--------------5gr.

Opio---------------------2gr.

Heroina-----------------50mg.

Cocaina-----------------500mg.

LSD----------------------0.015mg.

MDA Crystal------------40mg. or tablet under 200mg.

Metanfetamina----------40mg. or tablet of 200 mg.

www.milenio.com/node/204108

I admire mexican government

... this step will help to revive border economy in the its northern cities so much hurt by drug violence.Resort cities will also benefit as they are almost empty nowadays. ... also this step will ease burden on those poor drug smuglers as drug tourist from "del norte" will consume much safely and cheaper in Mexico.

A move in the right direction

It's not the law yet, but its certainly a step in the right direction.

Al

Even with this

she would have been way over the limit at 30 grams.ZZT

point being

the u.s. has a zero tolerance drug policy. not even mexico's decriminalized drug dosis apply

so what difference would 30 grams of marijuana or a kilo of cocaine make?

many

a idiot

a drug addict

a criminal

a bad father o mother

a cool guy... depending on who is watching him , or his pesonal opinion.

What is the "cause"

Last time you wrote about getting into the USA which was hindered by your deportation for drug use. So, this relates in some way, but I am afraid it is many miles (years) away from having an impact on that. Or is this something else. The last one was entertaining so this on will be a nice change from trying to decide the fate of Honduras.ZZT

Well,

first off the cause is MY interests :-) and getting into the USA was hindered by my deportation for drug possession and I have good news on that too. My drug convictions are actually federal misdemeanors that don't even amount to 30 grams of Marijuana - the limit for being able to obtain a waiver :-) - AND I may be able to have my crimes categorized as a lower category of deportable offense - for example warranting a 10 year ban instead of a lifetime ban with just a shot at a work visa - so I might be able to go home for good in another 5 years at the latest (I'm going into my fifth year in Nicaragua already). Considering the fact that mine was not originally an aggravated felony (I only received 5 years probation for it and was confined only after I violated my probation) and aggravated felony statutes do not apply to individuals who entered the country illegally anyway (remember, I was taken into the country illegally too) :-).

Besides, leap's made a lot of progress in five years and in order to succeed only need a million private citizens who agree ending prohibition is the correct policy. I wouldn't be surprised if they won't need another entire five years for that only. I'll be returning in time for a new start in a new U.S., God-willing. If that mass-murdering terrorist got to go home just because he was dying, which is as natural as being born I'm sure I can re-enter the U.S. with their permission to make amends.

Your interests are

fine to have as your priority and I wish you well. Looks like you have already made progress. My guess is that way before Leap or anything like that gets done you will be on the plane. After they get the million signatures, it then really begins and success is not likely.

A word of (maybe unwanted) advice: If you get involved with Leap or anything like that it may count heavily against you. Much of the process is left to the judgement of people on the enforcement side. You said it..."making amends" and admitting what you did was wrong...not saying the law needs to be changed.

Good luck. ZZT

Thanks for the positive thoughts.

My take on LEAP:

I've come to realize that drug consumption is actually done to fill a void in one's life. I've also come to realize that regardless of what that void is individuals seem to decide to consume drugs in addition to consuming alcohol and smoking cigarettes in order to buy time to face a personal issue. Does anyone feel cigarettes and alcohol shouldn't be the only allowed recreational drugs available and that other safe recreational drugs should be created for use by individuals, until they decide to seek professional help if they decide they need professional help and until they decide what exactly they want professional help for? Does anyone feel this approach would cut a lot of jail time and broken relationships for many too? I also discovered cultural forces try making people believe they need things that those people know they don't really need and that we limit and control each other to the point of almost going backward at times. Some people aren't ready for the things society tries to make them believe they need and those people buy time/take refuge from cultural forces in the effects of drugs (sort of like playing dead to avoid being hit lethally [in this case getting hit by regression when they're busy making headway in their personal life] in a shooting) - I believe it's called escapism, appropriately so - until they sort out their personal issue of having to face society's intrusive demands.

The human body produces several natural substances in the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, brain and other organs that can induce special sensations like strength, energy, self-assertion, focus, enhanced motivation, pain relief, euphoria, lust, love, etc.. These substances are called adrenaline, endorphins, dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin and many others. Normally these substances are only released in special circumstances like danger, fighting, sex, pain, or giving birth. No matter what, the human brain will always have these substance receptors and react on it by inducing special sensations. Thousands of years ago the human race was already aware, that oral use of special plant extracts or substances could induce these sensations as well in the human brain. All known ancient civilizations have used alcohol, the Maya's used cocaine, the Sumerians and Chinese were using opium, cocaine was found in Egyptian mummies. Almost all ancient civilizations used drugs for pleasure or for religious reasons. Unfortunately this ancient and modern knowledge of recreational drugs can not be erased. Therefore the necessity for recreational drugs, including marijuana in modern society can not be neglected, repressed or eliminated by law or by any other means. We need an overall comprehensive solution for all recreational drug related problems that really works for everybody. I think that only proven safe drugs, including marijuana should be allowed onto the market. Safe means that it is certified like a prescription medicine, tested for long term side effects and maximum safe dose and for many other properties. Safe means that recreational drugs are produced or grown in a controlled way. I also believe in continuous education on primary- and high schools and in all media. All people should be educated to use no drugs at all or if you must for whatever reason, only use safe drugs in a safe way and never use unsafe drugs. Leaflets and clear risk-indicators should go with the sales of these safe recreational drugs. I also think that safe drugs should only be sold through controlled outlets and manufactured in a controlled environment. Every drug that is not safe should be banned from the market and all designer drug inventors should receive the opportunity to patent, trademark and register their designer drug if it's proven safe. Does anyone else feel this way? Ofcourse drugs that are not safe shouldn't be allowed on the market and dealers and manufacturers of unsafe drugs should be prosecuted as felons, by this time though we'd be speaking of possible murderers when considering dealers and manufacturers of unsafe drugs.

Also, in my opinion any kid who performs child labor with or without his or her parents' consent is being subjected to child abuse, much more so if the parent in charge at the time doesn't know his or her kid is working selling illegal drugs. It's a clear indication of parental guidance neglect and the parent ought to lose parental rights for a probational period in such a case. Recreational drugs are not regulated by the government and are accesible to all to do as they please with them, I'm guessing it's why adults distribute them too. The "black market" is the actual free market of the world, it's where all government rejected/banned - therefore unregulated but requested products by the people go. The black market is also where the government's gone wrong - by creating it, government is supposed to be for the people yet it denies granting the people's demands and instead deposits the people's wishes into the "black market". There's probably enough money (to create jobs too) in the black market to erradicate world poverty if only government would get their lazy selves to work and regulate the products there called for by the people they're supposed to be serving. Children are the ones who suffer from any government's incompetence. I myself was born into the drug war, which was pronounced 4 years before I was even born and has affected my son too - a third generation. People still - thousands of years later - want their recreational drugs. I don't know that the fact can remain any clearer. All we've ever needed was an overall comprehensive solution for all recreational drug related problems that really works for everybody. People have been using drugs before Richard Nixon was born and Richard Nixon has been dead 15 years and people continue using drugs. I don't know what was Richard Nixon's case but obviously it was a personal one and he's left an impression on me like Hitler probably's left on the jews too. It's what the drug war is beginning to resemble, a genocide.

I know we in Nicaragua could benefit from more jobs. I'd say the world's come full circle on this matter - DRUGS. From taBOO to permissible. Now it's up to our governments to do their jobs and put the matter to work for the people. Prohibition is a horrid idea, prohibition allows harmless things to become harmful by labeling them as such. People simply ought to be warned of harmful effects and allowed to choose freely if they want to cause harm to themselves, this way would also weed out all of the true addicts, thieves and such. Making legal penalties more fair in the process when individuals admit guilt with their own actions. This way would probably cut down court processes entirely too save for liniency or parole pleas. Besides, there's always intensive drug treatments that promote transitional housing as the best choice for drug addicts, it provides a way out by addressing the underlying causes of addiction and repeated relapse, such as estrangement from family and friends, no support system, low employment skills, and living in a community united solely by drug use. Intensive drug treatments include halfway houses and community centers, where an addict acquires job skills, practical advice, and has enough time to completely remove themselves from old acquaintances. Such a facility often allows patients to stay for an extended period of time until they are confident they can function independently without returning to their addiction.

LEAP is going to succeed beyond anyone's imagination.