KC Sheriff Urquhart Says War on Drugs Has Been ‘a Failure’; Will Spread the Message in DC

Next week, according to a press release from the King County Sheriff’s Office, the department’s top cop, John Urquhart, will travel to the other Washington to testify before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee at its hearing titled “Conflicts between State and Federal Marijuana Laws.” In light of Initiative 502 and Washington voters’ decision to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults, Urquhart is expected to tell lawmakers that law enforcement should “respect their decision.”

“I supported I-502 last year because as a former narcotics detective, I can say with full confidence that the War on Drugs as been a failure,” Urquhart is quoted as saying in the press release. “There has to be a better way. And as far as marijuana is concerned, the citizens of Washington have decided legalization for personal use appears to be that ‘better way’. Law enforcement needs to respect their decision.”

The hearing will go down next Tuesday, Sept. 10, with Deputy Attorney General James Cole from the Department of Justice, and Jack Finlaw, Chief Legal Counsel to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper also scheduled to appear. As the press release from the King County Sheriff’s Office notes, “Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) announced the hearing months after Washington and Colorado legalized small amounts of marijuana for personal use, and only days before the Department of Justice revealed that it will not intervene in the states’ implementation of their respective laws.”

 
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