Marijuana: Law enforcers join legislators in asking feds to back off Amendment 64

neill franklin department of justice leap.JPG
Courtesy of LEAP
LEAP executive director Neill Franklin delivering the letter to Eric Holder at the Justice Department this morning.
"In my mind, the purpose of the letter is to simply ask and suggest to the federal enforcement people what we've been saying in Colorado -- that local police have better things to do," Ryan maintains. "We're saying that considering the number of states with medical marijuana laws, and these two states that want to find ways of controlling marijuana instead of using federal statutes, perhaps they should concentrate their efforts on other things and wait to see how these things turn out."

Not that he thinks the march toward marijuana policy change nationwide is at an end.

"This is how the beginning of the end of alcohol prohibition started -- individual states said, 'This doesn't work. It costs too much and is more damaging than the problem it was trying to solve.'

"The constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol led to the birth of the mobs, and the violence and the fighting over who's going to control the black market and make huge profits off it. A whole new generation of crime was created, and people finally decided, 'Enough of this.' And so, state by state, they said, 'We're not going to do this anymore.'"

Here's the LEAP letter to Attorney General Holder.

November 20, 2012

The Honorable Eric Holder
Attorney General of the United States
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Dear Mr. Attorney General and Our Colleagues in the Department of Justice,

As fellow law enforcement and criminal justice professionals we respectfully call upon you to respect and abide by the democratically enacted laws to regulate marijuana in Colorado and Washington. This is not a challenge to you, but an invitation -- an invitation to help return our profession to the principles that made us enter law enforcement in the first place.

We went into law enforcement, despite its long hours and constant frustrations, because we wanted to serve our communities. We wanted to save people, to protect them, and there are few more selfless and noble callings on this earth. But the second we overthrow the will of the people, we fail to live up to the promise of that calling.

The great American political writings upon which this country was founded were based in John Locke's concept of the social contract, which recognizes that the authority of police, and of all government, is derived from the people. And the people have spoken. To disregard the fact is to undermine the legitimacy of the ideas for which our forefathers fought and died.

This is not merely an academic argument. August Vollmer, father of professional policing and primary author of the Wickersham Commission report that served to bring an end to the prohibition of alcohol, opposed the enforcement of drug laws, saying that they "engender disrespect both for law and for the agents of law enforcement." His words ring as true today as they did in 1929. After 40 years of the drug war, people no longer look upon law enforcement as heroes but as people to be feared. This is particularly true in poor neighborhoods and in those of people of color, and it impacts our ability to fight real crime.

One day the decision you are about to make about whether or not to respect the people's will may well come to be the one for which you are known. The war on marijuana has contributed to tens of thousands of deaths both here and south of the border, it has empowered and expanded criminal networks and it has destroyed the mutual feeling of respect once enjoyed between citizens and police. It has not, however, reduced the supply or the demand of the drug and has only served to further alienate - through arrest and imprisonment -- those who consume it.

At every crucial moment in history, there comes a time when those who derive their power from the public trust forge a new path by disavowing their expected function in the name of the greater good. This is your moment. As fellow officers who have seen the destruction the war on marijuana has wrought on our communities, on our police forces, on our lives, we hope that you will join us in seeking a better world.


Executive Director Stanford "Neill" Franklin, Baltimore, MD
Retired State Police Major (34 years law enforcement experience)

Board and Advisory Board Members

Jack A. Cole, Medford, MA
Retired Police Detective Lieutenant, New Jersey State (26 years)

Peter Christ, Syracuse, NY
Retired Police Captain (20 years)

Stephen Downing, Los Angeles, CA
Retired Deputy Chief of Police (20 years)

James E. Gierach, Chicago, IL
Former Drug Prosecutor (12 years)

Leigh Maddox, Esq., Baltimore, MD
Retired Police Captain (17 years)

Joseph McNamara, Stanford, CA
Retired Chief of Police, Kansas City, MO and San Jose, CA (35 years)

Terry Nelson, Granbury, TX
Retired Customs and Border Protection Aviation/Marine Group Supervisor in Texas, Florida and Latin America (32 years)

Tony Ryan, Sioux Falls, SD
Retired Lieutenant Police Officer, Denver PD (36 years)

Richard Van Wickler, Stoddard, NH
Superintendent, Department of Corrections (25 years)


MacKenzie Allen, Santa Fe, NM
Former Master Police Officer and Drug Detective in Seattle and Los Angeles (15 years)

Daniel-Paul Alva, Philadelphia, PA
Former Assistant District Attorney (2 years)

John Amabile, Brockton, MA
Former Massachusetts Assistant Attorney General (4 years)

James Anthony, Oakland, CA
Former Community Prosecutor (3 years)

Dean Becker, Houston, TX
Former Air Force Security Police Officer (3 years)

Nate Bradley, Sheridan, CA
Former Deputy Sheriff, Wheatland PD (5 years)

Arnold J. "Jim" Byron, Burlington, WA
Retired United States Customs Inspector in Minnesota and Washington State (31 years)

Jerry Cameron, Saint Augustine, FL
Retired Chief of Police (17 years)

George T. Cole, Chicago, IL
Retired Senior Special Agent (26 years)

Beth Comery, Providence, RI
Former Police Officer (5 years)

William John Cox, Long Beach, CA
Retired Police Officer and Prosecutor in Los Angeles and San Diego (40 years)

Richard F. Craig, Travelers Rest, SC
Former Lieutenant Police Officer, Rockland, MA PD (33 years)

Tim Datig, Egg Harbor, NJ
Retired Police Chief, St. Aldans Police Department, Vermont (28 years)

John Delaney, Bryan, TX
Retired District Court Judge, State of Texas (29 years)

Det. David Doddridge, St. George, UT
Retired Military Police Officer and Narcotics Detective, LAPD (21 years)

James A. Doherty, Seattle, WA
Former Corrections Officer and Prosecutor (7 years)

Sean Dunagan, Washington, DC
Former DEA Senior Intelligence Research Specialist (13 years)

Richard E. Erickson, Lakeport, CA
Retired Patrolman (22 years)

Jay Fleming, Mohave Valley, AZ
Former Narcotics Investigator, Spokane, WA (15 years)

Shelley Fox-Loken, Portland, OR
Retired Probation & Parole Officer (19 years)

Leonard I. Frieling, Boulder, CO
Former Judge (8 years)

Michael J. Gilbert, Ph. D., San Antonio, TX
Former Corrections Practitioner (12 years)

Diane M. Goldstein, Santa Ana, CA
Retired Lieutenant Police Officer (21 years)

Judge James P. Gray, Santa Ana, CA
Retired Superior Court Judge (32 years)

Jamie Haase, Greenville, SC
Former Special Agent and Customs Inspector, Baltimore and Laredo (10 years)

Karen E. Hawkes, Boston, MA
Retired State Trooper, First Class (13 years)

Patrick Heintz, Agawam, MA
Retired Correctional Officer/Counselor (20 years)

Wesley E. Johnson, J.D., Tulsa, OK
Former Police Officer (5 years)

Russell Jones, New Braunfels, TX
Former Narcotics Detective (10 years)

Jeff Kaufman, New York, NY
Former Police Officer, Special Assignment (8 years)

Kyle Kazan, Long Beach, CA
Retired Police Officer (5 years)

Leo E. Laurence, J.D., San Diego, CA
Former Deputy Sheriff

David M. Long, J.D., San Francisco, CA
Former Special Agent in Florida and California (9 years)

John Lorenzo, Southbury, CT
Retired Chief of Marine Police (20 years)

Paul R. MacLean, Concord, NH
Retired State Trooper (20 years)

Sean McAllister, Denver, CO
Former Assistant Attorney General of Colorado (3 years)

M. P. McCally, Renton, WA
Former Probation Counselor (7 years)

James W.F.E. Mooney, Washington County, UT
Retired Former Narcotics Undercover Agent and Corrections Official (10 Years)

Peter Moskos, New York, NY
Former Baltimore City Police Officer (2 years)

Richard D. Newton, Aviation Interdiction Agent, El Paso, TX
Retired US Customs & Border Protection in Florida, Puerto Rico and elsewhere (30 years)

Patrick K. Nightingale, Esquire, Pittsburgh, PA
Former Assistant District Attorney (6 years)

James J. Nolan - Morgantown, WV
Former Police Lieutenant and FBI Unit Chief, Wilmington, DE (13 years)

Nick Novello, Dallas, TX
Police Officer (30 years)

John O' Brien, Fullerton, CA
Former Sheriff, Genessee County, MI (12 years)

Chad Padgett, Walton, IN
Former Correctional Officer (6 years)

James S. Peet, Ph.D., CFE, Sumner, WA
Former National Park Service Ranger, Police Officer, Alexandria, VA (6 years)

Titus Peterson, Denver, CO
Former Deputy District Attorney (5 years)

Howard L. Rahtz, Cincinnatti, OH
Retired Police Captain (30 years)

Richard Renfro, Detroit, MI
Retired Special Agent/Financial Criminal Investigator/Supervisor (25 years)

Charles M. Rowland II, Beavercreek, OH
Former Special Prosecutor (3 years)

Bob Scott, Franklin, NC
Retired Executive Officer (15 years)

Dwayne Sessom, Lawton, OK
Former Deputy Sheriff (3 years)

Carol Ruth Silver, San Francisco, CA
Retired Sheriff's Department Prisoner Legal Services Director (1 year)

Ethan Simon, Albuquerque, NM
Former Assistant District Attorney (6 years)

Norm Stamper, Seattle, WA
Retired Chief of Police, San Diego and Seattle (34 years)

Eric E. Sterling, Washington, DC
Former Counsel to the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary (10 years)

Thomas P. Sullivan, Chicago, IL
Former U.S. Attorney (4 years)

Betty Taylor, St. Louis, MO
Former Police Chief, Winfield PD (7 years)

Jason Thomas, Denver, CO
Former Detention Officer and Deputy Marshall (2 years)

John Tommasi, Durham, NH
Retired Police Sergeant (37 years)

Kyle Vogt, Port St. Lucie, FL
Former Military Police Officer (4 years)

Richard K. Watkins, Ed. D., Huntsville, TX
Retired Senior Prison Warden (20 years)

Rusty White, Bridgeport, TX
Former Correctional Officer, Arizona State (7 years)

More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana: Eighteen legislators ask feds to respect Colorado's Amendment 64."

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What a well thought out and respectful letter, the body provides Mr Holder with plenty of food for thought. Just the signatures alone and their many years of service in law enforcement should give Holder a feast of logic difficult to ignore.

Eric Peterson
Eric Peterson

Fuck the police. Somebody smarter than me said that.

Ann Hartman
Ann Hartman

Seriously - what about the whole "states' rights" thing I've heard so much about?

Matt Leising
Matt Leising

You mean DonkeyHotay's most viewed site. Westword is a troll factory

Lisa Johnson
Lisa Johnson

They should honor it. Don't they have more important "crime" to fight?

Drew Schaefer
Drew Schaefer

I think the nexus, regarding whether Holder goes 'Gestapo' or 'Dutch' on enforcement, unfortunately, lies in that connection between tobacco and alcohol lobbyists. Means: if Lobbyists for Tobacco (a rumour I heard was that 'Big Cig' has already registered hundreds of trademarks for 'marijuana cigarette brands' (!!)) are in favour, then Holder may not attack us in Colorado. If Big Cig is against... watch out! Either way, I'm guessing Big Booze isn't in favour of this form of 'competition'.


Hey all . I'm posting here for the lack of a better place .

I'm sure we have all noticed & MISSED Robert Chase in these blogs over the past month or so .

I am not alone when stating I have picked up on a great deal of info received via his blogs. His mainstay has enlightened many !

Anyawy, he has been absent while searching for a new home. If anyone has any ideas, please email me & I'll pass it along to Robert in hopes of getting him back in here quickly before Hotay takes these blogs over for good !

Intelligent variety !

Robbie Ratay
Robbie Ratay

It's the will of the people.. back the fuck off!!

Mar Marcia
Mar Marcia

Umm just surrender your drivers license and it will all be good.

Matt Leising
Matt Leising

Charles- Can't the state under the Colorado Open Records act with hold that information legally to protect the free flow of opinions?

Drew Fuelling
Drew Fuelling

Burn one for julie as you help her cross the street


I do not mean to disrespect this retired officer in any way, he wants things to change and so do I. When alcohol prohibition ended state by state, did they regulate the sale and manufacturing of it, or did they just stop enforcing federal laws? I also wonder how many man hours police gained from the so-called end of prohibition, if any. It would seem that after regulations, police spend more time dealing with alcohol related crimes than they did during prohibition. I don't think any police officer out there today would claim alcohol regulations free up their time to fight real crime. I'm glad local cops can't write tickets anymore for 1oz/6plants, but wont they still be spending time verifying those amounts, and conducting investigations of suspects who might be over that amount? I know it has decreased the penalties for some here in Colorado, but I'm curios to see if A64 will increases or decreases police time related to marijuana crimes.

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

Who don´t we ask our government about the convesation, that should have been recorded according to Colorado Open Records Act, between the federal government and the Governor about the implementation on A64. Please for the sake of journilism, Westword, find some real reporters. Colorado just passed legalized marijuana wouldn´t any reporter worth his or her salt want to hear the conversation between the governor and the feds? Or is that just real journilism that I am thinking of, the Denver Westword only is in the black becasue of cannabis advertisments, why would they want to report the truth it hurts their bottom line.

Tracy Strode
Tracy Strode

Can we get a pool going for how long the Feds and the rest of the nation will remain in the stone age, blindingly convincing themselves that a plant that grows naturally from the ground is deserving of ALL the resources that get WASTED every single day from the joke known as the war on drugs?


Who don´t we ask our government about the convesation, that should have been recorded according to Colorado Open Records Act, between the federal government and the Governor about the implementation on A64.  Please for the sake of journilism, Westword, find some real reporters.  Colorado just passed legalized marijuana wouldn´t any reporter worth his or her salt want to hear the conversation between the governor and the feds?  Or is that just real journilism that I am thinking of, the Denver Westword only is in the black becasue of cannabis advertisments, why would they want to report the truth it hurts their bottom line.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Pathetic Pandering from A64's Rent-a-Whore.


A64 does NOT legalize marijuana, even the Authors admit that fact.


A64 will NOT REDUCE a SINGLE ARREST for Marijuana Crimes in Colorado.


A64 = an Epic FRAUD.



After some research, I found this. "While the Eighteenth Amendment prohibited the manufacture, sale and transportation of intoxicating beverages, it did not outlaw the possession or consumption of alcohol in the United States." So even during prohibition, personal use and possession was not illegal. A64 on the other hand is actually worse for marijuana users than alcohol users during prohibition, I find that funny, especially when so many refer to it as ending marijuana prohibition.


 @CoreyDonahue Corey - Have you sexually assaulted anyone, or beast, down in Mexico, yet? Or is that just a "when I am in Colorado" thing for ya???


 @DonkeyHotay You are the fraud, Corey "Nut job" Donahue, aka DonkeyHotay (Say Don Quixote).You wracked up six+ criminal charges in Colorado, in one year, and then fled like a coward to another country.Now, as a coward hiding in a far off land, you seem to feel it your duty to chime in on the affairs of Colorado. Haha.... hahahaha.... You are one delusional puppy....




baby steps donkeyhotay.. baby steps..


Of course A64 people want full legalization.. but the problem is.. that will never pass.

MJ legalization needs to be eased into. (there is still a lot of fear in the public)


What you are trying to do is equivalent to trying to go to the moon without a rocket ship....trying to cross a harsh river without a bridge...


It won't work, we need to build a foundation that legitimizes cannabis..

So with this being said, you are very counter productive to the "full cannabis legalization" movement that you are preaching about. 


Full legalization comes after a successful 64 implementation.


DonkeyHotay topcommenter



Ignorant Retards -- aka Stupid Stoners -- actually Modified the Colorado Constitution to RESTRICT and DENY rights to citizens, marijuana users and growers via A64.


Using the Constitution to EXCLUDE and DENY citizens rights!


Stalin is laughing in his grave.


Fucking retards DESERVE to suffer the just deserts of their own Depraved Imbecilities.


 @DonkeyKicker Down in Mexico it´s call a punta verga, that´s Spánish for Nut Tap.  Hijo de siete vergas


 @DonkeyKicker  @DonkeyHotay I can´t comment on Colorado affairs?  I know more about what I am talking about then you do you moron, where is your Open record request to the Governor for the conversation between him and the feds?  You are a moron and the bet you can do is be a hatter on line.  Good Job, I am sure DonkeyKicker will go down in history as someone who struggled for freedom and not someone who sides with the state on every issue, like a good slave.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @DonkeyKicker  says the ignorant fuckwit who claims I'm Corey Donahue.


You = Epic Fail!


KathleenChippi topcommenter

 @anons1234  @DonkeyHotay


So why did the SCAMpaign collect signatures and market their language as "Legalizing like alcohol" and "ending marijuana prohibition"?  They PROMISED EVERYTHING and PEOPLE NOT ONLY SIGNED, they passed it--with thousands of pro pot people like me voting no--everyone knew the state was ready for REAL LEGALIZATION and they gave us decrim possession of less than an ounce.  sad day. 

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @anons1234  "..but the problem is.. that will never pass."

 @anons1234  "It won't work"


Surrender Early, Surrender Often -- it's the Slackers' Credo


So marijuana proponents are lying when they claim that 50% of Americans support LEGALIZATION of marijuana, eh?




 @CoreyDonahue  @DonkeyHotay Yeah, if you knew what you were talking about, why prey tell, do you have some many criminal convictions? And, tellingly, most of those convictions are by juries of your peers.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @KathleenChippi  @anons1234 


Without the Blatant and Abject LIES, A64 would NOT have passed.


A64 = almost as embarrassing as Colorado's Amendment 2





 @DonkeyHotay  @ASawyersMom  @ccapra Also, you didn't respond to ASawyersMom's point, which is - 2 oz is still as decriminalized as it was, only now 1oz is legal.  What is denied because of A64?  How is it not a step in the right direction?  Please answer these questions without the childish fanaticism.  Fanatics see no moderation.  I sure hope you're the 15ish year-old I thought you were in the post above and not the 29-year-old people are saying you are.  If you are the 29-year-old, enjoy your irrelevance.


 Oh, I see, you're a pissed off little kid.  That makes much more sense, given your immaturity and the self-righteous, self-important garbage you keep spewing.  Age restrictions aren't "arbitrary" when you consider the sensitivity of brain development to interference by drugs prior to age 21 relative to after 21.  Stop being such a little bitch and let the adults do the talking and the toking.  If you're smarter than you're currently making yourself (and the legalization movement) look, one day you'll realize that you don't know shit about shit and you may as well respect others. @DonkeyHotay  @ASawyersMom  @ccapra 

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @ASawyersMom  @ccapra 


What ignorant fuckwit would -- via citizens initiative -- request HALF of what was already granted by the Legislature?


And then deliberately exclude and deny 50% of those arrested for marijuana offenses from ANY protection via arbitrary age restrictions that even the Legislature did not apply ??


You = fucking idiot.


 @DonkeyHotay  @ccapraAnd how did that change?  One ounce is now legal, no fines and the 2nd is still decriminalized.  You're arguements are very poor and the excessiveness of them pretty well makes you a certified loon.


DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @ccapra  "Meanwhile, the rest of us will move on and watch the dominoes fall."


Your "dominoes" are falling ... backwards!


Colorado had already decriminalized 2 (two) ounces of marijuana -- for EVERYONE without arbitrary age discrimination.


You baby-stepping retards surrendered TOTAL CONTROL of marijuana to Big Government Regulators and the insatiable Dept. of Revenue ... all for a pathetic ounce for SOME citizens, leaving the rest to suffer under all existing State Criminal Laws against marijuana.






 @DonkeyHotay  People tried your way and it didn't work or in your words "not even close".  So since the passage of this it's opened up talk througout the country and put legalization in the most positive light.  So, I mean be bitter and whine, complain and threaten lawsuits about what it doesn't do and how it's not perfect....for YOU.  Meanwhile, the rest of us will move on and watch the dominoes fall.  And I'll wonder then, what you'll complain about?  I'm sure you'll find something.  Life's way too short for you to be that angry.

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