The Executive Director of LEAP – Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Retired Maryland State Trooper Major Neill Franklin (click this link for additional information about Major Franklin) spoke with Mike Vasalinda on a television show. They spoke about the need for a full repeal of prohibition in order to promote public safety and personal freedom. A video of the conversation has been posted with this article.
LEAP has been working the front lines of the failed “War on Drugs” for 11 years and members of LEAP have made a goal of keeping drugs out of the community, reducing crime and addiction rates.
Unfortunately, none of those goals have been accomplished and in many cases, they have become more dangerous in the community.
Major Franklin recalled his personal experience working undercover and sending many people to prison for drugs in the early 1980’s. He also commanded several task forces throughout the eastern half of Maryland. Another undercover agent being assassinated by a drug dealer changed Major Franklin’s belief that the “War on Drugs” has indeed been a colossal failure.
He stated that “bringing regulation and control of drugs is the answer to ending prohibition” and that “managing drugs in the community is a health issue, not a criminal justice issue” and that “there exists a big issue directly related to organized crime, neighborhood gangs and cartels south of the border”.
$320 billion dollars are put into the hands of criminals globally every year. The vast majority of people in the drug industry are mere opportunists, according to Franklin. He believes they are in the business of dealing drugs for the easy money.
He noted that nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs known to man and cigarette consumption has been cut in half over the past few decades through education. “Education and treatment is the way to go. No one has gone to prison and there are no drive by shootings for cigarettes”.
Major Franklin stated that the key to reducing drug abuse and associated crimes is through viable treatment programs.
“Education is the key”, Franklin reiterated. By educating the people, politicians and their constituents’, prohibition can be changed and lives can be saved.
Utah is not immune to it’s fair share of drugs and crime. By communicating and working with LEAP officials, members of Legalize Utah (a grassroots organization aimed at the decriminalization/legalization of medicinal cannabis) aim to become directly involved with the movement to end prohibition.