The Heroic Brad Jardis Kicked Out of LEAP!

Brad JardisA few days back on this blog we posted the news that longtime NH police officer Brad Jardis was no longer going to arrest medical cannabis users. Jardis has shown much courage – far more than the average cop – in first coming out verbally against the insane war on drugs, and now taking the first step into actually doing the right thing and refusing to enforce bad laws.

Despite the courage he has and the support he has earned in the community because of it, the organization known as Law Enforcement Against Prohibition has unceremoniously booted him from their ranks. Brad posted the email he received from LEAP’s head, Jack Cole, on the Free Keene Forum. In it, Cole takes position that while LEAP members are encouraged to speak out about the horrors of prohibition, as long as they are employed as LEOs, they must enforce bad laws, because to not do so would be “unethical and wrong”. It’s a sad statement that outs LEAP as an organization of nothing more than a bunch of talkers, rather than doers. Of course, Cole is incorrect. Enforcing laws that harm peaceful people is what is unethical and wrong.

Other law enforcement officers, who are members of LEAP, have announced they will be sending in their resignations. Many other supporters of LEAP are sending in revocations of their membership, and explaining why. Some of these messages can be found on this forum thread.

Here’s the message Jack Cole sent to Brad, with Cole’s full contact info at the bottom.

Dear Bradley Jardis,

I have tried but am unable to reach you by telephone.

It has come to LEAP’s attention from the below blog entry, that you have
chosen to violate the oath you took on joining the police department; to
enforce all the laws of the federal and state governments in which your
police department has jurisdiction. And worse, you are calling on other law
enforcement officials to violate their oaths of office.

This is the opposite of what LEAP requires of our representatives. We have
always said that we will in no way ask that any law enforcer decline to do
his or her duty by refusing to enforce the laws as they are currently
recorded. That would be unethical and wrong. What we do call on them for is
take action on their off-duty time to help us change those laws.

Because you have so blatantly stepped over that line, your actions have
caused people to lose respect for our organization, which leads to a loss of
our credibility within the public, the media and the policymakers; the very
people whom we are trying to convince to change these laws.

The Executive Board of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition was made aware of
your actions in their January 22, 2010 Board meeting. They were unanimous in
their decision that you must no longer represent Law Enforcement Against
Prohibition while espousing this belief.

As Executive Director of LEAP, I therefore am notifying you that,
effectively immediately, you are to stop referring to yourself as a speaker
for or member of LEAP in your publications, interviews, and public or
private addresses.

Sincerely,

Jack A. Cole
Executive Director
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
121 Mystic Avenue, Medford, MA 02155
(781) 393-6985 LEAP Office (781) 393 2964 FAX
(781) 396-0183 Home Office (617) 792-3877 Cell
jackacole@leap.cc www.leap.cc

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64 Comments

  1. Wow. Apparently all cops should be mindless automata, and ignore their own consciences. For shame, leap. We just celebrated MLK's birthday — I suppose they endorse his imprisonment, since he broke immoral segregation laws. I suppose they believe it was right to throw Rosa Parks in jail too. I wonder what they would have done with Harriet Tubman, who broke federal law when she helped escaped slaves (and was one herself)? I suppose they'd send her back to her "master" to probably be killed.

    We don't need mindless automata "protecting" us. We need men and women with consciences, and courage, who are connected to the community they serve. We need men and women who care about maintaining peace and protecting innocents in that community — not blindly enforcing whatever diktats a politician hands down.

    Bravo Brad Jardis! It looks like there's at least one true peace officer left.

  2. Brad, I stand on your side. LEAP is obviously worthless. Good riddance to representing them. I think they will find they lose support very fast.

  3. Damn, that really sucks. I was a big fan of LEAP, too. I was considering donating money to them. Oh well, as sad as it makes me, we all have our own way of fighting the good fight. I think LEAP is still a net positive. Not everybody has the guts to commit to or stand by acts of civil disobedience.

    It's like my hero, Ron Paul. He's never disobeyed. He still supports government. Yet, were it not for him, I may never have come to the Anarchist conclusion.

  4. I agree that as disappointing as this is, LEAP is probably still a net positive. I wouldn't put them on the same plane as Ron Paul, however. Ron Paul has specifically stated that he supports civil disobedience, he's simply chosen the political approach. I think he is more principled than LEAP by far — and has a much greater positive impact.

    I'd donate money to Ron Paul, and am happy to be a member of his organization. After this, I would not do the same for LEAP.

  5. "We have always said that we will in no way condone that any law enforcer decline to do his or her duty by refusing to enforce the laws as they are currently recorded. That would be unethical and wrong."

    Wow. they are saying that cops must all violate their oath's of office. It's unethical and wrong, if cops keep true to their promises or oaths.

    It looks like LEAP is really about getting cops to violate their oath of office. Enforce every unconstitutional law, because you have a badge – you have to?

  6. Seth, how is it an act of civil disobedience? Cops choose which laws to enforce or not enforce all the time. LEAPs stance is akin to saying cops should pull over anyone ever seen breaking a traffic law, no matter how minor the infraction (like 1 mile an hour over the speed limit) or any other ridiculous law on the books. Marc mentioned some of the ones in NH on the radio show a couple of weeks back. One I think is you can't drive on Sunday's or some such nonsense. LEAPs leader's are obviously just a bunch of spineless pieces of crap.

  7. Now you know why I never got excited about having LEAP "on my side" nor did I ever trust them. Been there, done that. Seen the Neocon false flag ops in operation too many times. Suck it up and learn form this lesson. You found a real peace officer. Screw the rest.

  8. If we want to really split hairs we could demonize Brad Jardis for still collecting a government paycheck. I've yet to meet a perfect person or a perfect organization. So I'm not surprised LEAP isn't perfect either.

  9. It's true, nothing and nobody is perfect.

    I think I'd rather have Brad doing what he's doing, than quitting in protest. Even if we note that tax money really is stolen property — which it is — the virtue in refusing stolen property is in helping the victim.

    That is, the reason we would normally refuse to receive stolen property, is that we would instead try to return the property to the victim, and hold the perpetrator accountable. Neither is possible in this case. If Jardis quit, just as money tax money will be taken, but a powerful force for sanity and conscience in what is a rapidly worsening Police culture would be lost. We need more examples of police officers with consciences, willing to take a stand for what's right.

    I think the best way for Brad to help the victim, in this case, is to stay a police officer.

  10. Jack Cole from LEAP alleges that Brad is "calling for other law enforcement to violate their oaths of office." This is absurd reasoning.

    First of all, this is not a violation of an oath in which one swears to uphold the constitution, which is the case with the NH police oath (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXDpwm0SncM#t=3m0s)

    Second, Ian is correct in that there is no honor in swearing an oath to engage in activity which initiates violence on peaceful and honest people.

    Shame on you Jack Cole.

  11. Actually he *is* enforcing the law: the supreme law of the land: The ***Constitution!!!***

    He swore to uphold the Constitution, and he is.

  12. "He swore to uphold the Constitution, and he is."

    … unless he's arresting recreational drug users. His statement leads me to believe he probably is or will at some point. If so, he'll still be a thug, albeit a noticeably less dangerous one.

  13. I must disagree with most of your comments. LEAP are having to defend their position in public agaisnt a tide of sceptics. The drug reform movemnt – is just that. And it will take some convincing for the rest of the public to understand this issue.

    LEAPs message is still the same – and we shouldnt allow this to split us.

    One policeman not arresting drug offenders will not change the law. LEAP are playing a longer game than that. From where I see it in the UK – where we are not even debating the issues – LEAP are a fine organisation giving credibility to our cause of drug reform.

  14. The longer game IS policemen and women with consciences.

    If we allow the police and ourselves to be indoctrinated into the idea that politicians own the world, ourselves, and our finances, and we must blindly obey their arbitrary whim, that's game over for liberty.

    If the law changes, it will to a large degree be because of the efforts of Jaris, and other activists. Do you think the repeal of Jim Crow was helped or hindered by the civil disobedience of MLK, and rosa parks.

    If a police officer refused to arrest rosa parks, on the grounds that jim crow law was immoral and unconstitutional, do you think that would have hastened the end of Jim Crow, or perpetuated it?

    You are arguing, effectively, that somehow refusing to arrest Rosa Parks would have slowed the stop of Jim Crow, and so she should have been arrested!? It's absurdity.

    If immoral drug laws are ended, it will be to a large degree BECAUSE of men like Jardis, and civil disobedience activists, who have the courage of their convictions — just as the fall of Jim Crow was to a large degree because of MLK and Rosa Parks.

    And, even if drug prohibition is ended, if we as a populace, and if the police officers, adopt the idea of blind, unthinking submission, the loss would be far greater than any gain.

    The goal is a population full of individuals with consciences, who obey them, instead of doing evil at someone else's say so — THAT's the long game, and it's the foundation of any decent society.

  15. In fact, LEOs routinely exercise discretion in enforcing the laws. Every day, thousands of people caught in minor violations are "let off with a warning" by police who decide that arresting or citing someone in a particular situation is inappropriate.

    This move by Cole is all about public relations, not about any vital principle of law enforcement.

  16. Yes, and sadly this public relations move panders to the most damaging attitude among LEOs and citizens today — perhaps the most damaging attitude possible in any civilized society — the notion that one should ignore one's own conscience, and knowingly do what one believes to be evil — simply because one is ordered to do it. Talk about setting up the pins for some real tyranny …

  17. What a surprise.. a compromising political organization.

    Wouldn't a statement saying that Jardis doesn't speak for the organization have sufficed? It would be one thing to give Jardis the boot.. that would be normal, cowardly, pathetic, politics. However, saying that what he is doing is unethical is unnecessary, and revealing of just how worthless LEAP is.

    Is it possible that the LEAP's "executive board" is just being childish, and jealous, as Brad's courageous action is showing up their pathetic talk? That would be sad, but not as bad as them being another corrupted organization that neuters efforts toward liberty, and distorts understanding.

    Another example of how supporting groups, using labels, and collectivist thinking, is used to sabotage an individual's freedom.

  18. Fuck off, LEAP, and Fuck off, Jack Cole. You are no friend of liberty.

    My association with and endorsement of LEAP is at its end.

    Maybe you should try knowing what the damn oath says. Constitution first, then the laws. Because if the law is unconstitutional, then you shan't enforce it, ok stupid?

    And whoever the bunch of assholes is on your board, they suck too.

  19. I thought readers might be interested to know that LEAP's executive director, Jack Cole, posted an official response today to the concerns raised by some supporters at I thought readers might be interested to know that LEAP's executive director, Jack Cole, posted an official response today to the concerns raised by some of our supporters at: http://www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com/cms/index.php

  20. In it, Cole takes position that while LEAP members are encouraged to speak out about the horrors of prohibition, as long as they are employed as LEOs, they must enforce bad laws, because to not do so would be “unethical and wrong”.

    Does this mean we should put presidents Bush and Obama in prison because they write signing statements stating why they are not going to enforce the laws that Congress passes?

  21. lpviper wrote to the leap guy: "Maybe you should try knowing what the damn oath says. Constitution first, then the laws. Because if the law is unconstitutional, then you shan’t enforce it, ok stupid?"

    I love to explain to the government mafia's hitmen that they are sworn first to uphold the federal and states' bills of rights and then–secondly therefore–only statutes that are not in violation of those bills of rights.

    Often they are trained to respond by saying that they are actually sworn to uphold court opinions concerning the bills of rights and not their own understanding of the bills of rights.

    But I call them liars. Their oaths are directly to the constitutions. There is no intermediary. That means that the difference between living in Nazi Germany and a constitutional republic like this–where the government's executive officers must swear oaths directly to the constitutions–is that when they come for me to murder me or load me on the train bound for the camps, they must tell me how according to their own understanding their actions don't violate the bills of rights.

    That's all. That's the only difference between the American constitutional republics and a nazi-style dictatorship. So don't forget: Before you're robbed, maimed, or murdered by a government officer in the U.S., you are entitled to hear the wheels turn inside the head of the government officer and hear from the officer himself his exact reasoning of how he is not in violation of your 9th Amendment protection against infringement of all non-enumerated rights.

    If the government officer doesn't do this for you before he robs, maims, or murders you, you might as well be robbed, maimed, or murdered by a German Nazi and you're missing out on all the benefits of living in a free constitutional republic!

  22. To TOM and the other members of law enforcement .

    A year ago I may have laughed at Brad .. calling him silly or stupid .. I would have definitely suggested any one comparing his opinions to the cops who dealt with Rosa Parks or even those who rounded up people and dragged them to concentration camps as idiotic …. as America is far from Nazi Germany , but police who enforce laws that are in reality detrimentally to society as a whole are remiss in their duties. He just says the cops have a duty to ignore unjust laws , as we would as jurors , if we were told we had that right during deliberations (fija).

    I do not use drugs , I do not like the way I feel under their influence . I do think what some one wants to put into their own body is their choice. If privacy is good enough for a lady who wants to abort my child then under equal protection under the law it says the same about ingesting what ever I choose to .

    Please tell me how prohibition has ever had any positive effect. How do you begin to tell an adult what they can do ? Do you ever think we can be stopped from doing what we WANT ?

    I want one single LEO to prove the war on drugs had shown any real benefit to society as a whole .

    Brad is just telling the truth .. the war on drugs is an abject failure .. always has been and always will be. It serves no purpose but to enrich the Industrial prison complex and I dare you to try and prove me wrong . Please tell me how jailing over 500,000 non violent citizens for possessing a god damn plant does a single thing to make our streets safer . Please.

    It boils done to this .. the powers that be feel they have a right to tell me what I can do with my own body .. and I say FUCK OFF !! I own my body .. and if I choose to waste the time I have here so be it.. leave me the hell alone!!

  23. One hundred and forty years years ago LEAS – Law Enforcement Against Slavery – kicked out Sam Jardis for daring to declare that he would no longer chase down and arrest run away slaves. He should be obeying the law of course!

  24. <blockquote cite="WALLACE J. HILLIARD">

    Before you’re robbed, maimed, or murdered by a government officer in the U.S., you are entitled to hear the wheels turn inside the head of the government officer and hear from the officer himself his exact reasoning of how he is not in violation of your 9th Amendment protection against infringement of all non-enumerated rights.

    I'd rather have the wheels turn inside his head, questioning the morality of his actions as well, but constitutionality is certainly better than nothing.

  25. Sam Jardis should join the Oath Keepers, especially since LEAP has abandoned him, the Oath Keepers will support his determination to not enforce unconstitutional laws. I will be withdrawing my membership in LEAP over this, as well. LEAP will lose far more support because of this action than they ever would over their members who are still on the job refusing to enforce laws that violate their oaths and the Constitution.

  26. I read the LEAP comment. I can see where they are coming from. Mr. Jardis, according to the LEAP statement, posted his intentions on the net. He went public rather loudly rather than just going about his LEO business of not arresting non violent folks for drugs.

    To me it would be better for Mr. J to have kept a lower profile. If he loses his job because he was to blatant, we who love the Constitution will have lost a good friend and patriot in a position to do a lot of people a lot of good. I do not think Sam J acted wisely by his loud proclamation. Hope his boss is not mad at him and takes action to cull the Sam J's from the force. Sam may have put a lot of others who share his view in the spotlight and cause them to lose their jobs or be warned not to follow Sam's example. Especially if this goes national via the net & other news outlets.

    From the LEAP statement I gathered that they had no problem with his intent to stand for the Constitution by not arresting certain people. LEAP, as far as I can tell, only made their statement and took their action because Sam J was TOO public. It must be noted that LEAP, because of Reefer Madness type propaganda, is in a rather precarious position before the uneducated part of the public and those in power.

    Sam J is to be highly commended for his stand. But he should have been a bit more wise in his approach and just go about his job on the QT.

    SamFox

  27. FYI, the name's "Brad Jardis", not "Sam".

    I think the public announcement is the most important part of this. It is unlikely that Brad would have run into many medical cannabis users anyway. The most important point is to take the stand that police should be men and women of conscience, who think for themselves — not mindless automata. Police used to be more connected to the community than to the bureacurats and politicians, and they used to care more about maintaining peace and protecting innocents, than blindly enforcing obedience.

    These are the kinds of cops we need — this point is larger than just the war on drugs. Effecting real change requires just this kind of courage.

  28. Ok – again anti-LEAP comments here are unjustified.

    They want to end PROHIBITION of drugs. All of them.

    Turning your back to them is exactly what the Prohibitionists want you to do.

    They want the Drug Reform Movement to split so they can maintain the War on Drugs.

    You want the War on Drugs and Prohibition to stop?

    Then it can only be done by changing the laws of the USA, and I want my country the UK, to change our stupid drug laws too.

    How do we change the laws?

    We need to convince more of our fellow citizens to get on board and demand that change of our politicians. Politicians work for US, the people. And if they dont do what we say, then we elect someone else.

    Turn your back on LEAP – and you make the day that Prohibition ends that much further away.

  29. I've pondered over this intensely, every waking hour of the last 24. I have spent the last 20 years researching every aspect of drug prohibition and the last 4 years actively blogging (daily) and writing LTEs (not often enough) against it. The only sense I can make of this is that Jack Cole has lost his grasp on reality.

    I shall no longer promote or have anything further to do with LEAP, as I now consider them to be part of this very grave problem.

  30. Anti-LEAP comments here are justified.

    Turn your back on LEAP – and support an organization that is truly against prohibition.

    If LEAP was an anti-segregation organization, they would have kicked Rosa Parks out for sitting at the front of the bus.

    What sane organization makes it a requirement that their members arrest people dying of cancer that use a safe and natural medication to ease their pain? — That's not an organization I am going to support.

    Kicking people like Brad out of LEAP for refusing to arrest sick people was a stupid move.

    To me LEAP stands for: LEAP over the cliff of stupidity like a mindless lemming.

  31. Brad Jardis swore an Oath to support uphold and defend the Constitution and he's honoring his Oath.

    Unconstitutional laws are not laws, like, Shall Not Be Infringed. Start standing up and protecting all of your "in a lien able" Rights, support and defend the greatest document our Founding Father's could possibly leave for us. Read it, learn it and protect it. Thank you for honoring your Oath Brad, you're a hero!

  32. "We need to convince more of our fellow citizens to get on board and demand that change of our politicians. Politicians work for US, the people. And if they dont do what we say, then we elect someone else."

    Unsuprisingly, Rory turns out to be a sniveling collectivist.

  33. Ok – dont support LEAP – your call, your freedom of choice.

    You may even join or create another group if you so wish. I am going to stick with them because they, and the other drug reform groups are the best chance we have of getting rid of our insane drug laws.

    Dont stick with them if you want – but it just brings us further away from the day when prohibition has finally ended.

    What remains is that the conversation will continue as will the debate on the drug laws of my country, and in the USA.

    I for one believe in democracy despite all its faults. As Churchill said, it is the worst system of all, apart from from all of the others.

  34. On what grounds do you believe in democracy? It hasn't turned out any better than some of the old monarchies. But beyond that, on what grounds do you believe in the state? Why all the faith?

  35. Democracy is the greatest thing we have.

    It is not a question of faith to suggest so – more analysis of comparisons between conditions for people that live in a democracy and those people that dont.

    Without it – what else is there? This may not be a forum for a discussion on international politics – or maybe it is – but where else would you want to live?

    LEAP want to change the drug laws, and I am with them in this.

  36. The adage is right: democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on dinner.

    What do I prefer? A society in which individual rights are respected, free of the delusion that if you use government to do your theft (or other abuse) for you, it's somehow "legitimate".

    Slavery was once ubiquitous, and universally protected, but is now not tolerated. We need to have a similar ethical awakening. If a behavior would be immoral for you as an individual, it's immoral for a government. Aggressive violence is not acceptable behavior, and popular opinion does not determine morality.

  37. Freedom is the greatest thing we have. Not democracy.

    When democracy gets in the way of liberty and freedom, then it's not good anymore, like an apple that has rotted: It may have been good when it was fresh, but it stinks now. There is no way to make a rotten apple fresh again. Just like failing and corrupt governments have never been fix to a previous "glorious" state.

    Without democracy there is still freedom and voluntary association. Democracy is not freedom. You do not get freedom from democracy.

    I want to live in a place where I am not forced to pay for other people's wars through mandatory taxation.

    This includes wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the war on drugs.

    Centralized federal governments are a horrible experiment from the 1700's, it's time to put those old barbaric ideas to rest. Mandatory taxation will be looked back upon as a black mark in human history, it's no different than slave trading.

  38. I agree; "If LEAP was an anti-segregation organization, they would have kicked Rosa Parks out for sitting at the front of the bus."

    Or if LEAP was around in 1939-45 they would have happily condoned herding Jews into freight cars, while falsely claiming to campaign for a different outcome.

    I'm done with them!

  39. I remember hearing on Free Talk Live, that the NH Police's oath specified the officer's ability to use their own disgression. Perhaps I am mistaken…but if LEAP is going to call Brad out as having chosen to "violate the oath" he took; show me the oath, in its entirety, and show me exactly which portion is supposed to have been violated. I know; it was probably intended to have been a private correspondence, and I'm just being nosy, but I suspect LEAPs claims would fail to hold up to scrutiny.

  40. Hey Rory, I'm with you on the "let's not over-react to the LEAP ordeal" stance. I still think LEAP is a huge net positive despite this last charade. However, it doesn't sound like you spent much time investigating Natural Order, or Anarcho-Capitalism as an alternative to Democracy. The truth is every "service" the government provides for us can be done more efficiently and qualitatively through the voluntary free-market.

    I don't know how much you've read on Austrian Economics, so I don't know if the book I am about to recommend is a good start or not, but the book that brought me around to the Anarchy camp and away from the Constitutional camp is titled "For A New Liberty" by Murray Rothbard. It can be purchased through mises.org. I highly recommend it.

  41. Yup. His name is Brad, not Sam. My mistake. My apologies.

    But I still think, given the public divide over the lost war on drugs & those who want to take a different approach, that Brad should have been more discrete.

    I think Brad put LEAP in a bad position. He gave the foes of reform a topic to attack us with, something along the lines of "Look at LEAP. They are just anarchists who do not respect the rule of law. They advocate breaking the law." You know the enemies of freedom & shills for the Rx industry will spin any thing they can to confuse the voters & scare them away from reforming big brother's attack on personal liberty via prohibition. We must remember that many are still misinformed by Reefer Madness style propaganda.

    If the establishment can scare the general public with more BS before they hear the points of view of drug law reformers before they hear our side they will. Don't forget the excesses of the '60's are still used to blame the substances rather than individuals who made choices. I was there. I know how big bro works. They will lie & deceive. In '68 I was framed by a local county sheriff before I had even seen any drugs just because I was growing my hair.

    Rather than dumping on LEAP, we should still support them. We should support Brad as well. I don't think LEAP wanted to lose Brad as a member. But I gather that they have to protect their public image in the midst of the currant unjust drug law atmosphere.

    If Brad had made his announcement independent of LEAP I think they would not have said any thing. It's hard to say. But he said he was making his stand as a LEAP member. Did he not know LEAP's position before he used the LEAP name in his E mail?

    Brad to me is a hero. He took a very courageous stand. But IMO he should not have been so provocative in doing so. Brad is taking a brave stand. But sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.

    LEAP has made inroads to many in positions of power & and authority in the US & and around the world. They have done a LOT of good for the drug law reform movement. Please, let us not throw out baby with the with water.

    SamFox

  42. It is the same at all the sites. Complaining. Ignorance. Ignorance of our history. (We were not founded as a Democracy which our founders despised with many stated reasons). Ignorance of human nature. If you do not understand the problem (go look in a mirror) you are doomed. You might as well try and stop the plague buy killing cats.

    I have some ideas on the subject. (But you need a long attention span since this runs to 6000+ words) And I have some ideas on how to address the current situation. Go to factotum666.livejournal.com and then go to orwell's boot.

    I have not posted any ideas for solutions since I do not want people just telling me why my ideas suck. I want to gather the thoughts of others.

  43. Hey, I'm still glad LEAP exists. It's just not something I'm going to spend a lot of time supporting. We've got enough tepidity and general lack of moral courage to go around already.

    Trying desperately not to offend people does not effect change. Standing on principle does. Ron Paul, for example, was considered crazy by many at the time of the campaign. They simply had not heard a clear statement of pro-liberty principles. Now, his issues he advanced are all over the political debate, and he has sparked a major movement.

    Beltway libertarians have been at it for years. They try to appear moderate, not offend anyone, etc, and they accomplish nothing.

    At some point, politely asking if at a plan might be made for slaves to have slightly better living conditions doesn't cut it. Engaging in that debate cedes the important point: Slavery is morally wrong. Instead, you've got to say, "enough!", and take a stand against evil.

    Suppose you are an abolitionist in 1820. Suppose a brave cop stated he would not arrest escaped slaves, or those who help them, because slavery is wrong. Now suppose a purportedly anti-slavery group put a statement out condemning that cop — and saying that it would be "immoral" not to arrest escaped slaves, and send them back to their "masters".

    Who would be advancing the cause of freedom in that case? Who would be thwarting it? Is that organization an organization you would support? Of course not.

    Perhaps these people need to be offended. Perhaps they need to begin to think about and address these issues, and realize that these are not parlor games, they are hurting real people. You win by taking a stand, not by making everyone like you.

    I think the broader, even more vital issue, is of personal responsibility for one's actions.

    If I could either have the legalization of all drugs by the legislature, or a police force full of men and women who understand that they are morally responsible for their own actions, and who obey healthy consciences, I would choose the latter.

    The true threat to liberty is blind, rote, unthinking obedience, and lack of principle on an individual level.

  44. Comment by SamFox
    January 26, 2010 @ 2:12 pm
    I think Brad put LEAP in a bad position. He gave the foes of reform a topic to attack us with, something along the lines of “Look at LEAP. They are just anarchists who do not respect the rule of law."

    I wrote a piece addressing just that issue. While I still think it needs some polishing, I stand totally behind the basic sentiment:

    I BELIEVE IN THE RULE OF LAW

    He's no cheap politician — he costs us plenty of dough!
    He does the work of three men — Curly, Larry, and Moe!
    When it's time to choose,
    Too bad both sides can't lose.
    Anyone can be President — this election proves it's so!

    Don't say he's not responsible — he's responsible for every disaster.
    You call him a public servant, but he's really a private master.
    There's no difficulty proving
    When he lies: his lips are moving.
    He may run for office, but he runs for the border faster!

    And with the federal, state, and local law,
    I'm perfectly content.
    It's the best damn country you ever saw
    Because of the government.

    Sure, there're plenty of troubles —
    We can solve them if we vote.
    The ease of the journey doubles
    When everyone rows the boat.

    [Music]

    An honest politician stays bought when he's paid.
    He keeps on running — he's got special interests to evade.
    People who love saus-
    Ages and federal laws
    Should never watch while either's being made.

    But the rule of law in the USA
    Has worked year after year.
    Don't like it? You can move away.
    I'll bet you stay right here!

    Bad-mouth it, and I'll give you
    A good sock in the jaw
    To preserve the way we live, you
    Better respect the rule of law.

    They can count upon our laughter.
    Proceeding merrily,
    We give them what they're after
    Voluntarily.

    Our early education
    Made us much too sentimental.
    If we want to heal the nation,
    We'll have to be less gentle.

  45. I'm smoking a bowl right now, and I still can understand LEAP's position. While I may not agree with this decision, I understand LEAP not want to encourage officers to ignore laws at their own discretion. In theory the law is the will of the people, and so should be followed by the officer. I can't help but be a bit disappointed at this action by one of my favorite groups for marijuana law reform, but I understand their actions.

  46. "In theory the law is the will of the people, and so should be followed by the officer."

    That worked out great for the Nazis, it was the will of the people to kill Jews.

    Just like it's the American Taliban's will to have men with guns kidnap cancer victims for using a natural and safe medication to ease their pain and cure their vomiting. They hire cops to do their dirty work; most of them will do that dirty work for money. (They won't do it for free, it's pure greed on their part.)

    Your Nuremberg Defense is a failed theory:

    "The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility" see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_Defense

    Cops are responsible for the things that they do, even if it's "the will of the people."

  47. Hey Seth thanks for the tip on the book – I will look into it.

    and thanks to some of the positive comments.

    Look we all want the laws changed. Currently there is a tyranny of the majority (of non drug takers) using law enforcement to impose their will on a minority (drug takers)

    LEAP understands this and wants this changed. Allowing one cop to, noble his motives undoubtedly are, to pick and choose, is good news for a few people that would otherwise have been arrested by him.

    I am concerned by all the rest of society as well.

    If we want the majority to respect the laws once we end prohibition and the war on drugs then we have a lot of wok to do to persuade them.

    LEAP are crucial in this.

    Plus – can you imagine Fox News? Instead of talking about the injustivce of the war on drugs, Fox News will just bang on about cops breaking the law the next time a LEAP speaker is invited to speak on their channel.

    For those of you withdrawing your support from LEAP – I wish you all the best, but I would like to remind you that we are all wanting to end prohibition. We should move forward on that agenda, even if you are supporting another group.

    Then we will be that much closer to getting these insane laws changed.

    ps – i am so jealous that in the USA this subject is being debated. Here in the UK the silence is deafening.

  48. Do local cops really swear to uphold all federal and state laws? Do they have to read them or are they just told which ones to enforce?

  49. I will no longer be giving money or other support to leap. I am upset by the way they treated Barry Cooper, and now Brad.

    These officers took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution first and foremost, not enforcing those laws is the heart of that idea.

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