Retired Cop Lobbies for Legalizing Drugs

Retired Cop Lobbies for Legalizing Drugs
Posted by CN Staff on September 08, 2004 at 08:33:26 PT
By Zach Church, Staff Writer
Source: Bennington Banner 
Manchester -- Of the many drug arrests he's made in more than 20 years as a police captain, none appeared to have made a difference, says Peter Christ. "Nothing," said Christ. "It was like I wasn't even there."That is Christ's front-line analysis of how America's war on drugs is not working. Now retired from the Tonawanda Police Department, near Buffalo, N.Y., he spends his time touring and speaking about legalization. An end to "prohibition" is how he describes it.
He spoke twice in the county on Tuesday. An early morning meeting with the Bennington Catamount Rotary Club was attended by more than 40 people, he said. An afternoon meeting with the Manchester and the Mountains Kiwanis Club was smaller - eight people attended - but Christ's message was the same. The nation's drug policy, he said, is making matters worse, not better. "We come together on the concept that prohibition doesn't work," he said about Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a nonprofit group that he helped found.People within the organization have differing views on how to best enact legalization, Christ acknowledged. But the need for regulation is clear, he said."I know who sets the purity for heroin in America and it isn't the Food and Drug Administration," he said. "I know who decides where the profits are sent, some of which, I am sure, goes to terrorist organizations."Other government regulation of vice has made the best of a bad situation, he told the Manchester group, citing control of alcohol and the lottery."I am not pro-drug," he said. "I am extremely anti-drug and that's why I want to take control of it. I am trying to change fundamental policy in America and that's a difficult thing to do. You have to educate, educate, educate."And Christ has set out to educate the public en masse. He said he has done roughly 1,000 speeches on the topic, mostly at Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis clubs, but also at high schools - where he only talks to seniors - colleges and conferences.He founded LEAP two and a half years ago with the help of a $50,000 grant from the Marijuana Policy Project. That group later kicked in another $60,000. LEAP is now looking for a major financial backer. Executive Director Jack Cole is talking to some celebrities and known philanthropists who may be interested, Christ said. Cole is a former undercover narcotics agent."You gotta have a gimmick," Christ said after speaking in Manchester. "Our gimmick is cops talking about legalizing drugs."It is a gimmick that Christ brings from his youth. He was inspired by the action of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, a group of frontliners taking an unlikely stance."I felt that voice, that type of voice, was needed in the drug policy debate in this country," he said.Audience response has been generally good, he said, noting that at the very least he stimulates conversation."My attitude is that I appear at each club twice," he said. Once, that is, when he actually shows up. The second time, he said, is at the next meeting, when members recap his appearance.Christ hopes to eventually expand LEAP into a lobbying organization. Until then, he will continue to tour, running a routine off the top of his head and trying to change drug policy, one voter at a time. It is part of his "five-minute rule.""If I talk to another person for five minutes," he said, "I talk to them about the drug prohibition problem." Source: Bennington Banner (VT)Author: Zach Church, Staff WriterPublished: Wednesday, September 08, 2004Copyright: 2004 by MediaNews Group Inc. Contact: shaskell benningtonbanner.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:LEAP Policy Project Drug War is Lost, Says Ex-Trooper Cop Rides for Drug Legalization
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Comment #3 posted by Jose Melendez on September 08, 2004 at 20:44:07 PT
I won't be done in time
Sorry, guys. Funding and other things, including two hurricanes, kept me from doing the tape in time for my own deadline. All in good time.
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Comment #2 posted by ekim on September 08, 2004 at 18:58:40 PT
Jose how is your movie doing 23, 2004, Kalamazoo, MI. 9:00 AM: Western Michigan University Drug
Policy Symposium. LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) Member and
Sheriff Bill Masters will participate in an all day drug policy symposium
with numerous guest speakers. Featuring Nora Callahan of the November
Coalition. For more info, contact info or see; also Ben Lando at (269) 760-5107
or mrbenlando yahoo.comSeptember 24-25, 2004, Vancouver, BC, Canada. 3rd Annual Drug War Vigil Film
Festival and Contest. Sponsored by The Drug War Vigil Memorial Group. To
enter, send the Group your films or 30 minutes or less on any topic related
to cannabis, drugs and the drug war or harm reduction, in VHS tape or Hi-8
or digital-8 format. The films will be screened and judged by participants
in the Festival as well as by viewed of Pot-TV (
Grand prize award is $2,000 US, 2nd place award $1,000, 3rd place $500, new
special $500 prize for best short. To entry, you must register your film for
entry. To do so, send an e-mail ASAP to film to let the
Group know your intention to enter the contest. Include the projected length
of your work. Registration is free. The Group must receive your finished
film by September 10. Send it to: D.W.V. c/o BCMP Bookshop, 307 W. Hastings,
Vancouver, BC V6B 1H6, CANADA
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Comment #1 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on September 08, 2004 at 08:52:54 PT
AP headline: Marijuana Found Growing In Planter Outside Courthouse
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