Last week the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) said passing Proposition 19, which aims to legalize marijuana in the state of California, would enable police to focus on more pressing issues.
LEAP is a Massachusetts-based non-profit organization consisting of current and former police officers and other government and law enforcement agents opposed to the “War on Drugs.”
The group’s support of the measure stems from arguments claiming that existing drug laws actually facilitate availability of marijuana to youth and that government regulation and taxation, if implemented, would prove more effective means of reducing said availability.
Additionally, some 60 percent of the money going directly to violent drug cartels is from the illegal selling of marijuana, San Jose Police Chief Joseph McNamara said to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Support for the legalization of drugs is not commonly found in the realm of law enforcement.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the California Police Chiefs Association does not support Proposition 19. The association believes legalization would encourage marijuana use and subsequent criminal activity.
Fortunately for California’s voting population, these competing interests hold minimal influence come November 2, 2010. Passage of Proposition 19 depends only on a simple majority by California voters.
The Service Employees International Union also endorsed the marijuiana measure.