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Law enforcement group supports legalizing marijuana

September 13, 2010 |  8:46 am

Police, judges and prosecutors backing Proposition 19, the marijuana legalization initiative, will hold simultaneous news conferences Monday to talk about why they support making the drug legal.

Members of the nonprofit organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition say that on-the-job experience has shown them the futility of trying to enforce laws prohibiting the possession and use of cannabis.

"I was with the LAPD when Nixon declared the 'war on drugs' over 40 years ago and was one of the 'generals' on the front lines who helped implement that same failed drug policy that is still in effect today,'' said Stephen Downing, a retired LAPD deputy chief of police.

"By keeping marijuana illegal, we aren't preventing anyone from using it," he continued. "The only results are billions of tax-free dollars being funneled into the pockets of bloodthirsty drug cartels and gangs who control the illegal market."

LEAP members are mostly retired from their professions. Active law enforcements groups and police chiefs are overwhelmingly opposed to Prop. 19's passage.

The 10 a.m. news conferences will take place at Oakland City Hall and at West Hollywood Park, 672 N. Robertson Blvd.

-- Catherine Saillant