Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP)

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Law Enforce­ment Against Pro­hib­i­tion (LEAP).

Pro­hib­i­tion has nev­er worked, as proven through­out his­tory. 

Around the world many judges, law­yers, officers from the police, cus­toms, and intel­li­gence organ­isa­tions, as well as many oth­er experts, are chal­len­ging the failed concept of the “war on drugs”.   This policy, in place for dec­ades now in many coun­tries des­pite its mani­fest, abject and repeated fail­ure, crim­in­al­ises great swathes of our pop­u­la­tions, causes health prob­lems, social prob­lems and untold suf­fer­ing, and funds organ­ised crime and ter­ror­ist groups, rather than provid­ing poten­tially enorm­ous tax rev­en­ue to the state. 

It is time for a mature, calm debate about the issue, rather than hys­ter­ic­al, tabloid head­lines.

I am hon­oured to be one of this group speak­ing out.


 

LEAP State­ment of Prin­ciples

1. LEAP does not pro­mote the use of drugs and is deeply con­cerned about the extent of drug abuse world­wide. LEAP is also deeply con­cerned with the destruct­ive impact of viol­ent drug gangs and car­tels every­where in the world. Neither prob­lem is remedied by the cur­rent policy of drug pro­hib­i­tion. Indeed, drug abuse and gang viol­ence flour­ish in a drug pro­hib­i­tion envir­on­ment, just as they did dur­ing alco­hol pro­hib­i­tion.

2. LEAP advoc­ates the elim­in­a­tion of the policy of drug pro­hib­i­tion and the inaug­ur­a­tion of a replace­ment policy of drug con­trol and reg­u­la­tion, includ­ing reg­u­la­tions impos­ing appro­pri­ate age restric­tions on drug sales and use, just as there are age restric­tions on mar­riage, sign­ing con­tracts, alco­hol, tobacco, oper­at­ing vehicles and heavy equip­ment, vot­ing and so on.

3. LEAP believes that adult drug abuse is a health prob­lem and not a law-enforce­ment mat­ter, provided that the abuse does not harm oth­er people or the prop­erty of oth­ers.

4. LEAP believes that adult drug use, how­ever dan­ger­ous, is a mat­ter of per­son­al free­dom as long as it does not impinge on the free­dom or safety of oth­ers.

5. LEAP speak­ers come from a wide diver­gence of polit­ic­al thought and social con­science and recog­nize that in a post-pro­hib­i­tion world it will take time to strike a prop­er reg­u­lat­ory bal­ance, blend­ing private, pub­lic and med­ic­al mod­els to best con­trol and reg­u­late “illi­cit drugs.” LEAP speak­ers are free to advoc­ate their view of bet­ter post-pro­hib­i­tion stratagems without toe­ing a LEAP “party line.”

6. LEAP recog­nizes that even in a post-pro­hib­i­tion world, still, drugs can be dan­ger­ous and poten­tially addict­ive, requir­ing appro­pri­ate reg­u­la­tion and con­trol. Even in a free-mar­ket eco­nomy, reas­on­able reg­u­la­tion for the pur­poses of pub­lic health is a long-stand­ing, accep­ted prin­ciple. Such reg­u­la­tion must not allow cas­u­al, unfettered or indis­crim­in­ate drug sales.

7. LEAP believes that gov­ern­ment has a pub­lic health oblig­a­tion to accur­ately ascer­tain the risks asso­ci­ated with the use of each “illi­cit drug” and a duty to clearly com­mu­nic­ate that inform­a­tion to the pub­lic by means of labeling and warn­ings sim­il­ar to what is done regard­ing food, tobacco, alco­hol and medi­cine.

8. LEAP believes that an inor­din­ate num­ber of people have been mis­guidedly incar­cer­ated for viol­a­tion of zero-tol­er­ant, non­vi­ol­ent, con­sen­su­al “drug crimes.” The end of drug pro­hib­i­tion will allow those per­sons to be promptly released, to have their record of con­vic­tion expunged, and their civil rights com­pletely restored. How­ever, the repeal of drug pro­hib­i­tion does not imply the exon­er­a­tion from charges for con­nec­ted offenses, such as viol­ent crimes, gun crimes, theft, or driv­ing under the influ­ence of drugs. Fur­ther­more, LEAP believes that people using alco­hol or oth­er drugs must be held account­able for any mis­be­ha­vi­or, which harms oth­er people or prop­erty of oth­ers, while under the influ­ence of mind-alter­ing sub­stances.

9. LEAP believes that per­sons suf­fer­ing from drug abuse afflic­tions and addic­tion, who want help, should be provided with a vari­ety of help, includ­ing drug treat­ment and drug main­ten­ance, even for unin­sured addicts. LEAP believes that with an end to drug pro­hib­i­tion and regained con­trol of crim­in­al justice expendit­ures, a frac­tion of those sav­ings would be more than suf­fi­cient to pay for expan­ded addic­tion ser­vices.

10. LEAP recog­nizes that dif­fer­ent “illi­cit drugs” pose dif­fer­ing risks of harm. As such, in a post-pro­hib­i­tion world, LEAP recog­nizes that an appro­pri­ate set of reg­u­la­tions and con­trol for one sub­stance may not be a suit­able or suf­fi­cient reg­u­la­tion and con­trol for anoth­er sub­stance. LEAP believes that the nation states of the world and vari­ous states with­in the United States must be giv­en the reg­u­lat­ory lat­it­ude to try new mod­els that wisely bal­ance the notions of free­dom over one’s own body with the need for com­mon sense reg­u­la­tion of drugs to reduce death, dis­ease, addic­tion and harm.

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