Before Judiciary Hearing, Law Enforcement Leaders Counter DEA Heads’ Letter to Holder

Cops Who Fought the War on Drugs Ask AG to Respect Local Marijuana Legalization Laws

WASHINGTON, DC -- A group of cops, judges, prosecutors and other law enforcement officials are offering advice of their own to Attorney General Eric Holder hours after eight former heads of the DEA asked him to disregard voter-approved laws in Colorado and Washington legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana.

Holder is scheduled to testify on Wednesday before a US Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Department of Justice oversight, during which it is possible that senators may question him on the matter. Previously, Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Judiciary Committee chairman, said he’d like to hold hearings looking at how to change federal law to accommodate the new marijuana legalization laws in Colorado and Washington.

“The war on drugs has been a failure by every measure,” said 34-year veteran of Baltimore policing Neill Franklin. “After more than a trillion dollars spent over the last forty years, we have nothing to show for it except more violence on our streets, the fracturing of community trust in the police and overflowing prison populations. Still, use has not significantly declined. It’s unfortunate the DEA heads can’t admit this failure. As someone who gave three decades of his life fighting this ‘war’ on the ground, I can tell you that from that perspective, this policy was dead on arrival.”

Franklin is executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of cops, judges, border officials and other law enforcement officers who, after being on the front lines of the war on drugs, now advocate for its end. Seventy-three members of the group, representing more than 1,100 years of law enforcement experience between them, sent a letter to Holder this past November asking him to respect the wishes of voters in Colorado and Washington. That letter is online at

A recent Gallup poll showed that 64 percent of voters want the federal government to respect state marijuana laws.

Please contact Tom Angell (202) 557-4979 or to arrange an interview.


Tom Angell, Media Relations Consultant
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
phone: (202) 557-4979

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Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents police, prosecutors, judges, FBI/DEA agents and others who want to legalize and regulate drugs after fighting on the front lines of the "war on drugs" and learning firsthand that prohibition only serves to worsen addiction and violence.