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Former New Jersey Cop Speaks Out for Marijuana Legalization


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OTTAWA (CP) -- A retired drug cop found an attentive crowd gathered on Parliament Hill on Saturday to protest marijuana prohibition and advocate regulation.

Jack Cole is not the type of person you would expect to see at a rally to legalize pot.

During his 26-year career with the New Jersey state police, Cole spent 12 years as an undercover narcotics officer.

His investigations ran the gamut from street drug dealers to international drug trafficking organizations.

Now retired, Cole has taken a decidedly different stance on the role of illegal drugs in society.

Cole is a founding member and executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, an international, drug-policy-reform organization consisting of current and former members of law enforcement.

``I believe in legalizing all drugs,'' Cole said, explaining that legalization would allow the government to regulate and control the distribution, consumption and production of drug _ therefore forcing criminals out of the equation.

``When I speak to police officers on a one-to-one basis, they almost always agree with me that the war on drugs is a dismal failure,'' he said.

The Fill the Hill rally drew an estimated crowd of 1,500 people.

Later, a man was arrested nearby with a hockey bag full of marijuana.

Source: Ottowa Sun
Author: AP
Published: June 6th, 2004
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