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Former Police Officer Makes Case For Legalization Of Drugs

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
A retired police officer visited Bellevue and Omaha last week to speak about drugs to the Kiwanis clubs. But he wasn't talking about the evils of drugs or encouraging them to support the war on drugs.

In fact, he was speaking in favor of giving up the war altogether and legalizing all drugs.

Tony Ryan, who was a police officer in Denver for 36 years, came on behalf of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a nonprofit organization made up of retired officers, prosecutors and judges who travel the country and speak in favor of the legalization of drugs.

If you just left it at that - that LEAP seeks to legalize all drugs - they would have little support for their cause. But Ryan has some very convincing facts in his corner, and he's committed to his cause.

"I came to the conclusion about 10 years into my career that a lot of vice and narcotic work was basically futile because we could arrest a lot of people, we could grab a lot of drugs, but it was always there - - it's still there," Ryan said.

Over the next 26 years of his time on the force, Ryan watched narcotics officers make arrests and celebrate the "big busts." But it never seemed to make any difference.

He mentioned Jack Cole, the executive director of LEAP, who was an undercover narcotics officer for 14 years, and the futility he felt with each new arrest.

"He came to the realization whenever he arrested a drug dealer - which is always a low level dealer, we never get to the big guys - he realized all he was doing was creating a job opportunity for the next guy in line because there was always someone there to step in, and it was a safe opportunity because they didn't have to go against the guy who was there. The cops did it for him," Ryan said.

By keeping drugs legal, he says, drug dealers are kept in business and people end up committing crimes to support their habit.

It was stories like this that Ryan presented to the Bellevue Kiwanis and the Bellevue-Offutt Kiwanis clubs last week. While not everyone was convinced, several were intrigued.

Walt Kujawa, a retired Air Force officer who has lived in Bellevue for roughly 40 years, said Ryan brought up ideas he had never considered and he backed them up well. He admitted that the legalization of drugs was a new idea to him, but he would now be open to that idea and much more aware of the war on drugs.

"His idea has some merit based upon the facts," Kujawa said of Ryan. "Whatever we're doing, it's not working, so it's time for some rethinking. I do think that [legalizing] marijuana is a place to start and maybe see how that works."

Ryan frequently refers to the alcohol prohibition of the early 20th century as a parallel for the current war on drugs, saying that after prohibition was repealed, violence in the country dropped and the gangsters producing liquor illegally lost a lot of business.

He says a similar effect could be expected if drugs were legalized. It would put drug cartels in other countries out of business, take drug dealers off the streets, cut down on overdoses by allowing government regulation of drug content and decrease gang violence.

Frank Kumor, who owns Erwin's Jewelers in Olde Towne, said that while he was impressed by Ryan's talk and information, it would take a lot more to convince him.

"I'm still part of the old school where I'm kind of used to the old ways," Kumor said. "It would take a while for me to accept drugs off of prohibition."

But, Kumor added, he would like to see if it would work. "A guy can give it a try."

But Joe Fowler, who has lived in Bellevue for roughly 40 years, did not see any sense in Ryan's presentation.

"I just don't think it's a good idea to legalize something that's as dangerous as drugs are," Fowler said. "How do you tell your child that something is very dangerous when the government says it's legal?"

And beyond that, Fowler said he could never get behind government-subsidized drugs.

"I really object to having my tax money used for that," he said. "I don't think that's a legitimate function of government."

Ryan says he has not met very many people who are vehemently against LEAP's ideas because he lets the facts speak for themselves.

"We're claiming success in the war on drugs. We claim we're winning, but every time we turn around, it's a bigger, better bust and we've killed another drug ring or cartel. Look around you, because while you're trying to put this stuff in the evidence room, somebody else has started up."


News Hawk: User: 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: Bellevue Leader
Author: Zachary McDonald
Copyright: 2008 Suburban Newspapers Inc.
Contact: news@bellevueleader.com
Website: LEAP: US NE: Former Police Officer Makes Case for Legalization of Drugs
 

wordsworm

New Member
"I just don't think it's a good idea to legalize something that's as dangerous as drugs are," Fowler said. "How do you tell your child that something is very dangerous when the government says it's legal?"

Isn't there a right to bear arms, or is it bare arms? Anyways, arms are dangerous. I don't know about the hands and fingers. Cars are also extremely dangerous. They kill more people every year than drugs do. Get rid of bear arms/bare arms + cars, and that would take care of America's two deadliest objects, not to mention helping to take bears off the endangered list.


"I really object to having my tax money used for that," he said. "I don't think that's a legitimate function of government."

Well, it would be a lot cheaper for the government to deal with legalization issues than criminal issues. I estimated that in Canada alone, the court and prison costs would be reduced by billions.
 

hood1

New Member
Like most ignorant people they do not understand the issue. Drugs are taken by millions of people every day they are legal. Only the drugs you can grow and enjoy yourself are the ones that are illegal. Because the so called legal drug companies can't figure a way to monopolize profits from a weed so they want it kept illegal. While there drugs that kill thousands of people ever year and are stronger and more addictive are kept legal. Our government now spends 100 billion of this idiots tax money to keep a weed illegal for one reason to protect corporate profits. Why don't these people read and look at history and they to would be able to see beyond the lies they have been feed for years. These sheep people need to wake up and look at the facts and think for themselves for once. We are 71% and we are not happy!!
 

Shifty420

New Member
"I just don't think it's a good idea to legalize something that's as dangerous as drugs are," Fowler said. "How do you tell your child that something is very dangerous when the government says it's legal?"

Isn't there a right to bear arms, or is it bare arms? Anyways, arms are dangerous. I don't know about the hands and fingers. Cars are also extremely dangerous. They kill more people every year than drugs do. Get rid of bear arms/bare arms + cars, and that would take care of America's two deadliest objects, not to mention helping to take bears off the endangered list.


"I really object to having my tax money used for that," he said. "I don't think that's a legitimate function of government."

Well, it would be a lot cheaper for the government to deal with legalization issues than criminal issues. I estimated that in Canada alone, the court and prison costs would be reduced by billions.

dont forget about cigarrettes, they are the number one killer yet they are still legal, odd no?
 
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