As President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), I wanted to take a moment to congratulate all the individuals and organizations that devoted so much time and energy into opposing Proposition 19 in California. As you know Proposition 19, which would have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, was soundly rejected by California voters in Tuesday’s election.
In particular, I would like to praise the hard work of the California Police Chiefs Association, its President Susan Manheimer, and its members for their tireless efforts to ensure that the citizens of California understood the dangers that legalized marijuana posed to them, their families and their communities. The California Chiefs were at the forefront of this effort and helped drive home the simple truth that legalizing narcotics will not make life better for the citizens of California, ease the level of crime and violence in its communities nor reduce the threat faced by its law enforcement officers.
The message of the California Police Chiefs was also strongly reinforced by Gil Kerlikowske, the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, who was steadfast in his opposition to Proposition 19 and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder who made it clear that the federal government would continue to enforce our nation’s drug laws and continue to fight legalization efforts. They were joined by a broad coalition of drug policy experts that included both former DEA Administrators and former Directors of the Office of National Drug Control Policy who strongly opposed drug legalization.
I would also like to thank IACP’s Immediate Past President, Michael Carroll, for his leadership in our efforts to ensure that the public understood that law enforcement community was strongly opposed to Proposition 19 and other legalization initiatives.
However, despite the defeat of Proposition 19, the issue of marijuana legalization is not going away. Legalization proponents have vowed to bring the issue forward in California and other states in the weeks, months and years ahead. That it why we, as law enforcement leaders, can not sit idly by – we must continue to speak out on the threat that drug legalization poses to our communities.
That is why I encourage all IACP members to visit the special section of the IACP web site devoted to drug legalization. Please download and review "Speaking Out Against Drug Legalization", prepared by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the IACP. This publication is an invaluable resource which provides law enforcement executives and officers, elected officials, community leaders, teachers, parents and all those who are concerned about community safety with the information and resources they need in order to accurately inform the public of the dangers of drug legalization. The IACP will continue to update this special section of the web site so that our membership can continued to be informed on the latest developments on drug legalization efforts.
Once again, I congratulate all those who played a role in defeating this dangerous proposition.