Federal Drug Agency Bans Pro-Legalization Police Group From Conference

A group of police officers, judges and prosecutors who support legalizing and regulating drugs is crying foul after a federal agency reneged on a contract that gave the law enforcers a booth to share their anti-prohibition views at a government-sponsored treatment conference in Chicago next week.

After accepting registration payment from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration initially told the police group that it was canceling its booth at the National Conference on Women, Addiction and Recovery because of overbooking and space concerns. However, Sharon Amatetti of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment later informed LEAP that, in a decision rising all the way to SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde’s office, the group was actually being disinvited for its viewpoint.

“It’s alarming that the federal government is trying to silence the voices of front-line police officers who just want to network and collaborate with treatment professionals to achieve our shared goal of preventing substance abuse through effective public policy,” said Neill Franklin, a former narcotics cop with the Maryland State Police and Baltimore Police Department who is now executive director of LEAP. “Perhaps the administration was most concerned that LEAP’s law enforcers planned to shine a spotlight on the fact that under President Obama, the White House’s drug control budget maintains the same two-to-one funding ratio in favor of harsh enforcement tactics over effective public health approaches.”

On a phone call with LEAP, Pamela Rodriguez of conference co-host TASC, Inc. of Illinois said that the police group wasn’t welcome at the event because “our policy perspective and our policy objectives are different from you guys.” She added, “It is the emphasis on prohibition vs. legalization that, for me at least, is the glaring dissonance with regard to our agenda.”

SAMHSA has since refunded LEAP’s money. The conference takes place July 26-28 at Chicago’s Downtown Magnificent Mile Marriott Hotel.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) and its 30,000 supporters represent police, prosecutors, judges, FBI/DEA 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. Info at http://www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com.

– Press release from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition on July 22, 2010.

Comments

6 Comments

  1. MOTFA on

    Paychecks slashed? Not going to happen.
    The same cops that are doing all of this can be trained for other police work.
    If they refuse, then out comes the pink slips.
    There is always going to be a demand for the police and besides, legalization could pay their salaries.

  2. matt on

    SAMSHA is just a patsy of the drug testing companies. + SAMSHA knows if the massacres stop in Mexico and cannabis becomes legalized, their little fiefdom will become shrunken and irrelevant. Power, $$$, and control– same $hi?, different day. They are running scared tho, obviously. They can see the writing on the wall.

  3. gstlab3 on

    ANY AND ALL OPPOSITION IS TREATED THE SAME IN AN OLIGARCHY OR FROM A TYRANICAL GOVERNMENT.,
    IT IS LIED ABOUT AND MANIPULATED INTO EXHAUSTION AND FINANCIAL RUIN!!!

    IT IS THEN SILENCED PERMANATELY AND PUT UNDER LOCK AND KEY UNTIL THE PEOPLE SUBMIT TO THE POWERS THAT BE.

    THE TRUTH DOES NOT MATTER TO THESE TYRANTS.

    ONLY SUBJUGATION AND ENSLAVEMENT OF THE POPULACE IS GUARANTEED!!!!!!!!!!

  4. David762 on

    Our new government, based upon transparency and (finally) science-based policies continues to promulgate a plethora of mischaracterizations, half-truths, falsehoods, and blatantly outright lies in support of a 75 year experiment in crony corporatist fascism in the form of Prohibition 2.0.

    Consider that each and every government-funded study regarding cannabis and other illicit drugs over the course of the past 40+ years has recommended either decriminalization or re-legalization of these drugs, in order to reestablish regulatory control, and yet each commission report has been ignored and buried.

    Meanwhile, the march of the jack-booted police state fascists continues onward, while additional civilian rights and liberties are stripped away. The treatment of LEAP at this government sponsored conference belies the claims of the Obama regime’s claims of liberalism, democracy, hope, and change we can believe in. Welcome to the new boss, just like the old boss …

  5. Anonymous on

    …and provide a large segment of law enforcement a nice FAT paycheque. Would you lobby to have your paycheque slashed??

  6. Anonymous on

    It seems like the feds just don’t like the competition.
    The feds use billions of taxpayers money to spread their hate and propaganda, and also use the tax payers dollars to suppress any point of view that discredits their blatant claims of fallacy and distorted perspective about Cannabis.
    The Federal Government has no real justification for wasting taxpayers money on a failed war on drugs, they have not made any significant progress after trying to eradicate drugs, drugs are more prevalent and in the hands of the criminal element, they just use drugs as an excuse to strip us from our freedom.