LEAP – Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

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LEAP - Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is an international 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization of criminal justice professionals who bear personal witness to the wasteful futility and harms of our current drug policies.

Our experience on the front lines of the “war on drugs” has led us to call for a repeal of prohibition and its replacement with a tight system of legalized regulation, which will effectively cripple the violent cartels and street dealers who control the current illegal market.



LEAP is very fortunate to have an ever increasing number of allies in our fight against the drug war and all the harms it causes. We are proud to work with the following organizations.

American Civil Liberties Union – LEAP has long worked closely with the ACLU to uphold the civil liberties of law enforcers to speak out against unjust laws, of victims of excessive force used by law enforcement during drug searches, and of drug users whose rights are violated in the course of the “war on drugs.”

Americans for Safe Access – LEAP works with ASA to support medical marijuana initiatives that bring relief to people in pain.

Amnesty International – LEAP is collaborating with Amnesty on a campaign to raise awareness of the death penalty as applied to “drug trafficking” – which in one case involved the exchange of three joints of marijuana.

Beckley Foundation – LEAP has been asked to take the lead in providing outreach in the US regarding the Global Initiative for Drug Policy Reform, which calls for a reconsideration of the UN conventions.

Blacks in Government – When LEAP speaker Matthew Fogg presented a resolution calling for an end to the drug war, it passed and was delivered to President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.

Break the Chains – Executive Director Deborah Small is a crucial ally in calling for an end to the “war on drugs.” LEAP and Break the Chains worked together on a petition signed by former Freedom Riders that is now available for signature on the Break the Chains web site.

Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy – LEAP’s Canadian branch frequently provides speakers for CSSDP events.

CATO Institute – LEAP and CATO work together to promote drug policy reform.

Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Harvard Law School – The institute has been an important ally in arranging presentations by LEAP at Harvard. This includes a spring 2011 presentation to leaders of the 50 largest US police unions, as well as a presentation by LEAP’s executive director Neill Franklin to a class by Prof. Charles Ogletree on “The Wire.”

Christians Against Prohibition – LEAP member Drew Bairnsfather created Christians Against Prohibition and is helping LEAP with our Cops and Clergy initiative.

Committee for Compassionate Medicine – LEAP is working with the committee to support a 2012 Massachusetts ballot initiative offering patients suffering from debilitating diseases the same treatment available in seventeen others states by regulating access to medical marijuana.

Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy – LEAP worked with the committee to raise awareness of the advantages of marijuana decriminalization prior to a successful 2008 referendum in Massachusetts, and are working together to educate local legislators and the public about a medical marijuana initiative.

Count the Costs campaign – LEAP is one of the organizations involved in the Count the Costs campaign, which is calling for a full accounting of the international toll of the drug war and an honest exploration of alternatives.

Crack the Disparity – LEAP is working with our allies to end the disparity in sentencing between crack and powder cocaine. This was reduced from 100:1 to 18:1 by the US Congress in 2010, but we want to end any distinction and have those who were sentenced very harshly under the previous guidelines to be pardoned.

Criminal Justice Policy Foundation – CJPF’s president, Eric Sterling, is on LEAP’s advisory board and is a LEAP speaker. The foundation supported our Repeat Repeal campaign and a study by Harvard economics professor Jeffrey Miron of the financial impact of the drug war.

Drug Policy Alliance – DPA has long supported LEAP, most recently our report on the 40th anniversary of the US drug war. LEAP agrees with DPA that there should be “No More Drug War.” We are working together to legalize marijuana and raise awareness of unnecessary overdose deaths caused by the prohibition. We are also working to expand a campaign to end the discriminatory application of police stop-and-frisks, which saw success in New York City, to other places. LEAP co-hosts the biennial international DPA conference.

Drug Reform Coordination Network – DRC puts out the Drug War Chronicle, for which they frequently seek the opinions of LEAP speakers.

Drug Sense – For many years, Drug Sense hosted the LEAP web site. Media Awareness Project, Inc.  is a continual source of information for everyone working on drug policy.

Efficacy – Cliff Thornton, the founder of Efficacy, is a true visionary who has been speaking out against prohibition for decades. Cliff speaks regularly alongside LEAP speaker Joe Brooks.

Families Against Mandatory Minimums – LEAP supports FAMM’s important work in putting an end to mandatory minimums for drug possession, one of the central reasons the drug war has been so devastating.

Hungarian Civil Liberties Union – The HCLU has generously supported LEAP’s work in Central Europe.

Interfaith Drug Policy Initiative – LEAP is working with the IDPI on our Cops and Clergy initiative.

International Drug Policy Consortium – An international network of harm reduction organizations, the IDPC has asked LEAP to lead outreach to and training of law enforcement personnel internationally regarding drug policy related enforcement strategies.

Justice Roundtable – LEAP is a member of this Washington-based advocacy network advancing federal criminal justice policy reforms.

Marijuana Policy Project – An MPP grant got LEAP started, and we have worked closely together ever since to reform the US’s marijuana laws and support medical marijuana initiatives all across the country. For instance, LEAP and MPP worked hard to educate the public in Massachusetts about the benefits of marijuana decriminalization in 2008.

Moms United to End the Drug War – LEAP speakers and volunteers in several states are supporting Moms United in presenting a unique perspective on the “war on drugs.” LEAP knows that once moms came out against alcohol prohibition its days were numbered.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People – LEAP immediately supported Alice Huffman, president of the California state conference of the NAACP, when she came out in support of Proposition 19. We also work with the NAACP’s  Criminal Justice Program. We were thrilled when, the day after a LEAP presentation at the 2011 national convention, the NAACP passed a historic resolution calling for the end of the drug war.

National Association for Pregnant Women – LEAP works with NAPW to protest against laws related to the “war on drugs” that would penalize pregnant women.

National Black Police Association – Encouraged by LEAP, the NBPA endorsed Proposition 19.

National Latino Officers Association – The NLOA has declared its support for LEAP and for ending the drug war and worked with LEAP in California to educate the Latino population about Proposition 19.

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws – LEAP works with NORML to bring about reform of marijuana laws.

New Approach Washington – LEAP is working with New Approach Washington to raise awareness of a marijuana legalization initiative.

Open Society Institute – LEAP works with OSI to promote harm reduction and more humane policies toward drugs in general.

Reason Foundation –LEAP works with Reason to raise awareness of the harms caused by the “war on drugs” and the need to end it.

Release – When the Global Commission on Drugs report was released in spring of 2011, several LEAP speakers signed an open letter by Release to David Cameron that was published in the major UK dailies. The letter called on the government to undertake a swift and transparent review of the effectiveness of current drug policies.

Right on Crime – LEAP reached out to this new conservative organization that is calling for reform of the US’s criminal justice system, including a rethink of harsh drug sentences.

Street Lawyers – This Danish organization has supported LEAP’s work in the Scandinavian countries.

Students for Liberty – LEAP speakers frequently appear on college campuses at the invitation of SFL chapters.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy – SSDP chapters constantly bring LEAP speakers to college campuses across the country and they consistently support LEAP initiatives by supplying volunteers.

Transform Drug Policy Foundation – Transform is LEAP’s sister organization, calling like us for legalized regulation of all drugs. Based in the UK, Transform does major work in spreading the message in Europe in particular, and LEAP is proud to work together.

UFCW5 – LEAP began its work with the UFCW5 in California during the Proposition 19 campaign. More to come in 2012 and beyond..