WASHINGTON, DC - The first-ever Congressional bill to let states legalize marijuana will be introduced in the U.S. House by a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers on Thursday, and a group of police and judges who fought on the front lines of the failed "war on drugs" is announcing its support.
Neill Franklin, a former Baltimore narcotics cop and executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, said, "Clearly the 'war on drugs' has failed, and nowhere is that more clear than with respect to marijuana. It baffles me that we arrest nearly 800,000 people on marijuana charges in this country each and every year at taxpayer expense when we could instead be taking in new tax revenue from legal and regulated marijuana sales. Making marijuana illegal hasn't prevented anyone from using it, but it has created a huge funding source that funnels billions of dollars in tax-free profits to violent drug cartels and gangs. More and more cops now agree: Legalizing marijuana will improve public safety."
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), would essentially end the federal government's bullying of states when it comes to marijuana policy reform. Initial co-sponsors include Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO).
The bill's introduction comes in the wake of last week's 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon declaring the "war on drugs," which the group of pro-legalization police officers commemorated by releasing a new report that they attempted to hand-deliver to Obama administration drug czar Gil Kerlikowske: http://www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com/40years.
There are expected to be marijuana legalization initiatives on next year's ballots in at least three states: California, Colorado and Washington.
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents police, prosecutors, judges, federal agents and others who want to legalize and regulate drugs after fighting on the front lines of the "war on drugs" and learning firsthand that prohibition only serves to worsen addiction and violence. More info at http://www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 22, 2011
CONTACT: Tom Angell - (202) 557-4979 or firstname.lastname@example.org