Reducing death, disease, crime and addiction by ending drug prohibition (abstract)

Speaker: Jack A. Cole (University of Massachusetts, Arts and Sciences, USA)

Presenting: Police, Judges and Prosecutors representing 30,000 members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) in 78 countries. Issue: The 40-year-long war on drugs instigated by the government of the United States has been one of the least successful policies in history, having yet to accomplish a single stated goal. However, it has managed to subsidise the criminal drug trade worldwide; led to devastating violence in our communities and mass corruption of our public officials; increased overdose deaths and the spread of deadly blood born diseases; inflated crime rates and quadrupled prison populations in many countries; it has drained national treasuries of huge amounts of revenue. And it has been used by certain countries as an excuse to destabilize other countries. The drug war must end! When the US ended alcohol prohibition in 1933, Al Capone and his smuggling buddies were out of business overnight and we can do the same to the drug lords and terrorist who today make over 320 billion dollars a year selling illegal drugs around the world; Legalized regulation of drugs will end the violence and property crimes that are a result of prohibition of those drugs. That means drug dealers will no longer be shooting each other to protect their turf, no longer killing cops charged with fighting this useless war, no longer killing our children caught in crossfire or drive-by shootings; Legalization will also allow us to provide clean needles for injection drug users, which, in the US, will prevent half of all potential cases of AIDS and Hepatitis. Regulation with standardized measurement of the drugs purity will virtually end unintended overdose deaths. People die because they don’t know how much of the tiny package of powder they purchase on the illegal market is really the drug and how much is the cutting agent. Too much drug and the user is dead; We can then treat drug abuse as a health problem instead of a crime problem and save the lives of our children, which we are now sacrificing at the altar of this terrible war and restore them as productive members of society; Workshop. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition will offer presentations by experienced drug law enforcers highlighting the extent of the disaster created by the drug war. This will be followed by a discussion with workshop participants of alternatives to that policy; alternatives which will lead to a reduction of death, disease, crime and addiction, while saving billions of dollars of revenue. How LEAP is going about making those changes, and what participants can do to help, will also be discussed; Key points. Discussion will include: World drug policy is driven by the United States; The drug policy the US insists upon has not worked.
Many countries have already acted to rescind some of their repressive drug laws and have experienced beneficial results in reduced drug use and increased quality of life for their citizens; Pressures can be applied to the US to cause them to change their drug policies.
Building a grassroots movement to achieve the goal of a system of legalized regulation of all drugs is possible and necessary.


CV: Jack Cole knows about the “war on drugs” from several perspectives. He retired as a Detective Lieutenant after a 26-year career with the New Jersey State Police—fourteen in narcotics, mostly as an undercover officer. His investigations spanned cases from street drug users to international “billion-dollar” drug trafficking organizations. Jack ended his undercover career living nearly two years in Boston and New York City, posing as a fugitive drug dealer wanted for murder, while tracking members of a terrorist organization that robbed banks, planted bombs in corporate headquarters, court-houses, police stations, and airplanes and ultimately murdered a New Jersey State Trooper. Jack is a founding member and for eight years was executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, an organization representing 30,000 cops, judges, prosecutors, prison wardens, and others, who know a system of legalized regulation of all drugs will remove the violence which is the result of drug prohibition. He is not their Board Chair. After retiring, Jack dealt with the emotional residue left from his participation in this failed and destructive war on drugs by working to reform current drug policy. He moved to Boston to continue his education. Jack holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice and a Masters degree in Public Policy. Currently writing his dissertation for the Public Policy Ph.D. Program at the University of Massachusetts, his major focus is on the issues of race and gender bias, brutality and corruption in law enforcement. Jack believes ending drug prohibition will go a long way toward correcting those problems. Jack has taught courses to police recruits and veteran officers on ethics, integrity, moral decision-making, and the detrimental effects of racial profiling. He has presented papers at international conferences and spoken on drug policy reform in the European Parliament, as well as presenting over a thousand times to students, educators, professional, civic, benevolent, and religious groups across the United States and in 20 other countries. Jack is passionate in his belief that the drug war is steeped in racism, that it is needlessly destroying the lives of young people, and that it is corrupting our police. His discussions give his audience an alternative prospective of the US war on drugs from the view of a veteran drug-warrior turned against the war.