A Letter of Support From the Law Enforcement Community

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A Letter of Support From the Law Enforcement Community

A growing list of law enforcement officials have signed on to the following letter endorsing Amendment 64. These cops, prosecutors, and judges all agree: marijuana prohibition has failed, and the initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Colorado presents a sensible alternative.

Read the letter and view the signatories below. Then use the sharing features at the top of the page to let your family friends know about this impressive endorsement.

To the Voters of Colorado:

As police officers, judges, prosecutors, corrections officials and others who have labored to enforce the laws that seek to prohibit marijuana use, and who have witnessed the abysmal failure of this current criminalization approach, we stand together in calling for new laws that will effectively regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.

As criminal justice professionals, we have seen with our own eyes that keeping marijuana illegal damages public safety for marijuana consumers and non-consumers alike. We’ve also seen that prohibition sometimes has tragic consequences for the law enforcers charged with putting their lives on the line to enforce it. The only groups that benefit from continuing to keep marijuana illegal are the violent gangs and cartels that control its distribution and reap immense profits from it through the black market.

If Colorado’s voters make the sensible decision to effectively regulate marijuana for adults 21 and over in November 2012, it will eliminate illegal marijuana distribution networks just as ending alcohol prohibition put a stop to violent and corrupting gangsters' control of beer, wine and liquor sales.

As law enforcement professionals, we especially want voters to understand that responsible regulation will allow us to do our jobs more effectively and safely. When we change our marijuana laws, police officers will no longer have to waste time on low-level marijuana arrests. As public safety is our primary concern, we look forward to the passage of this initiative, which will allow our criminal justice system to focus on protecting the public from violent crime.

Because of all the overhead and administrative savings that marijuana regulation will generate, our criminal justice apparatus will have more resources to keep law enforcers employed serving the public in this time of fiscal turmoil. Ending prohibition will also put a stop to other crimes and problems caused by the illegal marijuana market, such as robberies, gang violence, gun-running and ecological damage caused by illegal grow farms.

Controlling marijuana through a regulated system will fundamentally assist in keeping the substance away from juveniles. Illegal dealers have no incentive to check IDs or avoid selling to juveniles, but under state regulation for adult use, licensed marijuana entities will face penalties and consequences that will effectively deter underage sales. Indeed, a recent study from Columbia University shows that teens currently find it easier to purchase illegal marijuana than age-regulated alcohol.

Simply put, law enforcers understand that every drug has the potential for abuse. However, our experience has shown us that prohibition not only makes marijuana more dangerous than it otherwise would be, but creates new harms that simply would not exist under a legal and regulated framework.

Please join us in supporting the sensible solution to Colorado’s failed marijuana policies. Let’s vote to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol in November 2012 – for safety’s sake.

Sincerely,

Timothy D. Allport
Former Correctional Officer and Drug Treatment Specialist, Federal Bureau of Prisons, State of Colorado
Arvada, Colorado

Lynda Carter
Former Police Officer, Polk County (FL) Sheriff’s Department and Eagle Lake (FL) Police Department
Pagosa Springs, Colorado

Lauren Davis
Former Senior Deputy District Attorney, Denver District Attorney's Office
Denver, Colorado

Leonard Frieling
Former Municipal Judge, City of Lafayette
Lafayette, Colorado

Robert Knepel
Former Deputy District Attorney, Colorado's Nineteenth Judicial District
Greeley, Colorado

Gary Lindstrom
Former Police Officer, City of Lakewood and
Summit County Sheriff's Office; former Director of Public Safety, Summit County; former County Coroner, Summit County; Colorado State Representative (2004-2007)
Breckenridge, Colorado

Griffin Lott
Former Senior Patrol Deputy and Field Training Officer, Travis County (TX) Sheriff’s Office
Denver, Colorado

Sean T. McAllister
Former Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Colorado Attorney General
Denver, Colorado

Titus Peterson
Former Deputy District Attorney, Colorado's Fifth Judicial District
Denver, Colorado

Tony Ryan
Former Police Lieutenant, Denver Police Department
Lakewood, Colorado

Ann Toney
Former Deputy District Attorney in Colorado’s Seventh, Ninth and Eighteenth Judicial Districts
Denver, Colorado

Jason Thomas
Former Deputy Town Marshal, Town of Holly (CO); former Detention Officer, Prowers County Jail (CO)
Aurora, Colorado

All agency affiliations are listed for identification purposes only.