Next up on the I-502 reaction train comes the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington and LEAP - otherwise known as Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Not surprisingly, their views are differing.
Emily Langlie, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office, notes that on a federal level nothing has changed in terms of the legality of smoking hella weed. Meanwhile, LEAP, including former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper, is calling the passage of marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado a huge win for all of us.
Here's the statement from Emily Langlie, Spokesperson U.S. Attorney's Office:
The Department of Justice's enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged. In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. The Department is reviewing the ballot initiative here and in other states and has no additional comment at this time.
While the Feds may not be jazzed by the passage of I-502 in Washington, the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition certainly is. Here's their press release:
In a historic night for drug law reformers, on Tuesday Colorado and Washington passed measures legalizing and regulating marijuana, Massachusetts became the 18th state to allow medical marijuana and six localities voted to modernize policies on marijuana. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of cops, judges, prosecutors and other law enforcement officials advocating for the legalization of drugs, has speakers on hand to comment.
Norm Stamper, former Seattle police chief, had this to say: "I cannot tell you how happy I am that after forty years of the racist, destructive exercise in futility that is the war on drugs, my home state of Washington has now put us on a different path. There are people who have lost today: drug cartels, street gangs, those who profit from keeping American incarceration rates the highest in the world. For the rest of us, however, this is a win. It's a win for taxpayers. It's a win for police. It's a win for all those who care about social justice. This is indeed a wonderful day."
Reformers are now focused on successfully implementing the new marijuana legalization laws in Colorado and Washington, and on determining which states are most likely to enact legalization in the near future.
"Because of the victories in all of these places, we awakened this morning in a slightly better country. It's a little safer, a little bit more just," said Neill Franklin, Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and 34-year veteran of the Baltimore and Maryland State police departments. "And when the rest of the country follows the lead pioneered by the voters of Colorado and Washington, we'll be closer to living in a country with a drug policy that is truly about public safety."