By Jamie Haase, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
As a former criminal investigator for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Laredo, Texas, I witnessed firsthand the many horrors the drug war brings to communities on both sides of the border. Eventually, my sense of the drug war’s inability to end drug use and my knowledge of the harm it causes convinced me to resign from my post. I have since joined LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of current and former law enforcement officials who, knowing the war on drugs better than anybody, have dedicated their lives to ending it.
Radley has graciously allowed LEAP to blog about our work to end drug prohibition all this month. This week, I step in to fill the tremendous shoes of former DEA intelligence analyst Sean Dunagan, last week’s LEAP blogger, whose posts on how the DEA made the drug war worse rather than better, the government’s own admissions that the drug war creates violence and how the drug war has affected modern policing are definitely worth a read if you haven’t already checked them out.
We’ll also be sending updates about Mexican poet Javier Sicilia’s Caravan for Peace, a cross-country journey of drug war victims, their families and representatives of more than 100 domestic organizations that are currently traveling through the U.S. to draw attention to the violence the drug war creates in Mexico and here at home. There will be events in many cities between San Diego and Washington, D.C., and LEAP speakers will be on board the whole way, escorting the caravan in style in our own specially designed anti-prohibition LEAP-mobile, which is almost worth the trip in its own right:
It’s time we as a nation had a serious conversation about ending the drug war, and who better to get it started than people like myself and Dunagan who started out as believers? It took us years of seeing the violence, the injustice, the futility firsthand to be convinced of the failures of this war. If we can convince people to support ending prohibition without them having to personally see the carnage many of us law enforcers have witnessed first-hand, we’ll have done our job.
Stay tuned for more blog posts from me this week and other LEAPers throughout the month.