A 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
Jack A. Cole
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