A Former District Attorney takes the LEAP

[symple_column size="two-third" position="first"]By Allison Watson, Former Assistant District Attorney

I became an attorney and eventually a prosecutor because I wanted to help people. Following this calling meant that I would strive to do my best to ensure that the legal system operated as it should - to deliver both protection and justice for everyone. Our system struggles and often fails to deliver when millions of people each year are arrested and incarcerated for marijuana offenses and probation drug testing. Most who fall victim to these laws are otherwise law-abiding citizens who work, pay taxes, take care of their families and do not harm or pose a threat to anyone. Yet, they will suffer lifelong consequences that can hinder their education, housing and employment opportunities, to name a few. I soon realized that my efforts could only go so far in the courtroom. There are plenty of good lawyers, but what our nation needs are good laws.

My work is now entirely devoted to advocating for smart and just laws, responsible policies and regulations and honest, effective education. This calling led me to join and become a speaker for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). In doing so, I have found myself in the good company of 150,000 other members and supporters – state and federal police officers, prosecutors, judges, probation officers, prison wardens - from all over the world who believe that marijuana prohibition must end for the sake and safety of our children, families, communities and society as a whole.

LEAP is home to a constantly growing speakers bureau staffed with knowledgeable and articulate current and former drug enforcers who educate the public, media and lawmakers about the financial, social and human costs associated with current drug policies. LEAP envisions replacing failed marijuana prohibition policies and practices with systems of legalization, regulation and education.  These systems have been proven to reduce crime and violence, generate and use tax dollars more efficiently, as well as restore the public’s respect and trust in law enforcement.

Joining or supporting LEAP is not taking a pro-marijuana or any kind of political stand; We are taking a stand for new approaches grounded in truth, science and compassion. We are taking a stand for good laws that work to protect our health and safety, our children and communities, and most importantly, the freedoms that we all hold so dear.