“It’s not just violence, I’m learning so many other things such as mass incarceration, corruption and what it’s costing us financially and socially in this country to support these policies of prohibition.”
Major Neill Franklin, the Executive Director of LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is a 34-year law enforcement veteran of the Maryland State Police and Baltimore Police Department. He has worked with the Bureau of Drug and Criminal Enforcement and early in his career, he served as a narcotics agent with the Maryland State police, focusing on everything from high-level drug dealers in the Washington suburbs to the guy growing one marijuana plant on his balcony. After a lifetime in law enforcement, Major Franklin says he came to realize that the prohibition on marijuana and the war on drugs have been misguided.
Despite states like Colorado, Washington DC and Alaska’s repealing of the prohibition on marijuana, Major Franklin says there is still racial disparity in drug arrests in these states.
“If you’re black, you’re still – even with the changes and the reduction in arrests, 2.4 times more likely to be arrested than if you’re white.”
A recent report by the Drug Policy Alliance showed that racial disparities in Colorado marijuana arrests persist and have not substantially changed after the passage of Amendment 64. While the number of arrests for marijuana offenses dropped dramatically in 2014, they are still characterized by higher arrest rates for black people than for white people.
Major Franklin will deliver the Plenary Address at a Cannabis Symposium which is happening April 15th at CU Boulder.