“A group of former law enforcement officials is urging the U.S. Department of Justice to respect the recent votes in Colorado and Washington where recreational marijuana legalization was passed. The advocacy group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition recently delivered a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and the DOJ, and it was signed by 73 former law enforcement officials. “As fellow law enforcement and criminal justice professionals we respectfully call upon you to respect and abide by the democratically enacted laws to regulate marijuana in Colorado and Washington,” the letter says. “This is not a challenge to you, but an invitation — an invitation to help return our profession to the principles that made us enter law enforcement in the first place. “We went into law enforcement, despite its long hours and constant frustrations, because we wanted to serve our communities. We wanted to save people, to protect them, and there are few more selfless and noble callings on this earth. But the second we overthrow the will of the people, we fail to live up to the promise of that calling.” So far there has been relative silence from the DOJ when it comes to the votes in Colorado and Washington, despite urging from many quarters to make their position known. “One day the decision you are about to make about whether or not to respect the people’s will may well come to be the one for which you are known,” it says later in the letter. “The war on marijuana has contributed to tens of thousands of deaths both here and south of the border, it has empowered and expanded criminal networks and it has destroyed the mutual feeling of respect once enjoyed between citizens and police. It has not, however, reduced the supply or the demand of the drug and has only served to further alienate – through arrest and imprisonment — those who consume it.” Indeed, among the few accomplishments of the drug war are richer criminals and less trusted police officers. This is why organizations like LEAP exist; these men and women see their colleagues becoming less safe and less respected everyday. How long will we force police officers to enforce these ridiculous laws? When did it become the job of police to regulate what people do in their own homes when they are not infringing on the rights of anyone else? More importantly, how many violent crimes are going unnoticed because police are busy with drug busts and are not getting the cooperation of a populace that distrusts them for doing their job? The time has long since passed to try a different way. We will soon know whether or not the Department of Justice will let that happen. – Joe Klare   http://www.drugpossessionlaws.com/former-law-enforcers-urge-department-of-justice-to-respect-legalization-in-co-and-wa/