A group of police officers, prosecutors, judges and other criminal justice professionals - including Seattle's former chief of police - is endorsing I-502, the Washington initiative to regulate and tax marijuana that voters will decide on this November.
Norm Stamper, the former Seattle chief and a spokesman for the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), said, "Everyone knows that marijuana prohibition has failed. When even those who once worked to enforce these laws are saying this, the only logical next step is to enact a system that legalizes, regulates and controls marijuana. "Doing so will not only take money away from the gangs and cartels that sell marijuana now, but will generate new, much-needed revenue that can be used to pay the salaries of police officers and teachers and for substance abuse prevention and education," Stamper said.
"Replacing the criminalization of the marijuana trade with a public health approach grounded in science will allow our criminal justice system to fully focus on stopping and solving violent crimes and crimes against property," added David Nichols, a retired judge in Bellingham. "We don't need the backs of our police cars, our courtrooms or our jails filled with people caught on marijuana charges."