LEAP Report to Dr. Bronner’s

Drug Policy

LEAP was asked to endorse and provide feedback on HR 4020, the Drug Policy Reform Act, removing criminal penalties for personal use drug possession at the federal level, shifting the regulatory authority of drugs from the A.G. to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), expunging records and providing resentencing, and investing in alternative health-centered approaches towards drug use and misuse.

Several LEAP speakers spoke on panels at the Global Law Enforcement and Public Health Conference: Lt. Diane Goldstein (Ret.), Chief Brendan Cox (Ret.), and Chief Brandon Del Pozo (Ret.) spoke concerning diversion programs and drug decriminalization. Major Neill Franklin (Ret.) spoke about addressing racial disparities in law enforcement and health care. Chief Tom Synan, Chief Paul Pazen, and Inspector Conor King delivered a presentation on holistic models for addressing drug use.

Major Neill Franklin (Ret.) spoke at a Congressional press conference announcing plans to file a federal drug decriminalization bill on the 50th Anniversary of the War on Drugs.

Lt. Diane Goldstein (Ret.) spoke on an ally’s roundtable about organizing law enforcement and veteran support for drug policy reform, and she published an OpEd in Filter Magazine that argues in favor of drug decriminalization.

Chief Tom Synan published an OpEd for Cincinnati.com arguing for treatment vs. punishment for Substance Use Disorder.

In MI, LEAP signed on to an ally’s letter calling on Congress to repeal the lifetime ban on individuals convicted of a drug felony from accessing SNAP and TANF assistance.

LEAP-UK member Det. Sgt. Neil Woods (Ret.) was quoted extensively in iNews arguing that a regulated heroin market could potentially have prevented the death of Michael K. Williams. Woods was also interviewed on Mentalpod, discussing the intersection of the War on Drugs and mental health.

Detective Nick Morrow (Fmr.) was interviewed by NJ.com, addressing problems with Drug Recognition Experts and drawbacks of field sobriety tests.

Lt. Diane Goldstein (Ret.) and Jillian Snider published an OpEd for Real Clear Policy arguing in favor of Rep. Mace’s efforts to decriminalize adult use of cannabis at the federal level.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles (Fmr.) published an OpEd for The State endorsing Rep. Nancy Mace’s (R-SC) States Reform Act federally decriminalizing adult use of cannabis.

Chief Brandon del Pozo (Fmr.) published an article in the International Journal of Drug Policy exposing the myths behind fentanyl exposure overdoses.

LEAP signed onto a public letter calling on Congressional leaders to oppose any extension of the Trump-era class-wide scheduling of fentanyl analogues, and Lt. Diane Goldstein (Ret.) and Patricia Richman published an article for Inquest urging Congress to allow the temporary classwide scheduling of fentanyl analogues to expire. Goldstein gave written testimony before the CA Senate in opposition of SB 75, adding mandatory minimums to people convicted of selling fentanyl.

LEAP submitted a letter confirming our support for CA SB 73 repealing mandatory jail sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.

Lt. Diane Goldstein (Ret.) sent a letter of opposition to the CA Senate Public Safety Subcommittee opposing SB 350, creating an easier pathway to charge people for manslaughter or homicide for selling drugs that cause a fatal overdose.

Decriminalization of Psychedelics (National and State)

Major Neill Franklin (Ret.) participated in a press conference in Washington state to support decriminalizing psychedelic drugs.

Lt. Diane Goldstein (Ret.), Sgt. Terry Blevins (Fmr.), Sgt. Carl Tennenbaum, and Det. Nick Morrow (Fmr.) gave oral testimony before the CA Senate Appropriations Committee in favor of decriminalizing psilocybin/psychedelics.

Sgt. Carl Tennenbaum (Ret.) and Judge James Gray (Ret.) called key local state senators to encourage them to support CA SB 519 decriminalizing possession of psychedelic drugs and LEAP wrote a letter in support of the bill.

Lt. Diane Goldstein (Ret.) published an OpEd in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune in favor of decriminalizing psychedelics in CA and it was picked up by the Southern California News Group. Lt. Goldstein (Ret.) also wrote a letter, and signed onto an ally’s letter, in support of decriminalizing psychedelics in Grand Rapids, MI.

LEAP endorsed the Seattle, WA campaign to decriminalize psychedelic drugs.

Chief Brendan Cox (Ret.) recorded video testimony in support of a New Paltz, NY city ordinance to decriminalize psychedelics.

In CO, Chief Paul Pazen participated in an ally’s training for officers on dealing with use of psychedelic drugs.

Marijuana Decriminalization/Legalization

LEAP continued its work on both the SAFE Banking Act, submitting a letter of support, and the MORE ACT, signing an ally’s letter of support.

LEAP speakers gave oral and written testimony addressing the decriminalization of marijuana possession and/or legalizing adult use of marijuana, to House and Senate committees in States nationwide, including MD, NH, VA, WA, CT, DE, TX, PA, RI, and LA.

Speakers also spoke at events in SC, GA, NY, and Lt. Diane Goldstein (Ret.) joined a virtual meeting with the Governor’s Advisory Council to support marijuana legalization in the state of WV.

Harm Reduction/Overdose Prevention Sites

LEAP speakers gave oral and written testimony, and signed onto letters and amicus briefs supporting overdose prevention sites/supervised consumption spaces/safe injection facilities nationally and in states including: MD, CA, IL, and MA.

Deputy Marshal Jason Thomas(Fmr.) published an OpEd in the Colorado Sun in support of authorizing Overdose Prevention Sites in CO.

For the second year in a row, LEAP worked with allies in the US House and Senate to pass the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency Act, to fund substance use disorder treatment, research and prevention.

LEAP signed on to a nationwide public letter supporting directly impacted people working in harm reduction nonprofit organizations.

Lt. Diane Goldstein (Ret.) published an OpEd for The Crime Report advocating for a harm reduction approach to combating the opioid crisis instead of LE-first tactics.

Chief Darrel Stephens (Ret.) and Sgt. Ron Martin (Ret.)  published an OpEd in the News & Observer in opposition to legislation effectively banning syringe access programs in NC.

LEAP signed on to a support letter to the DEA’s Administrator Anne Milgram asking her to support the complete removal of the buprenorphine X-Waiver, giving millions of Americans access to life-saving treatment for opioid use disorder.

Paraphernalia Decriminalization

LEAP joined an ally’s sign-on letter to the MD House Judiciary Committee in support of decriminalizing the possession of drug paraphernalia.

Major Mike Hilliard (Ret.) provided testimony to the committee in support of both the House and Senate bills. He also submitted letters to Lt. Governor Rutherford and Governor Hogan, and a key MD State Senator, urging them to vote in favor of SB 420. The bill passed the legislature.

LEAP submitted a letter to NY legislators in support of S2523/A868, decriminalizing the possession and sale of hypodermic needles and syringes.

Immigrant Rights

125 current and retired law enforcement professionals signed a letter addressed to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas urging the Biden administration to end ICE detainers and the 287(g) program. The letter was featured in an article in The Hill

LEAP signed on to an amicus brief in support of restoring immigrant trust in police by not requiring local police nationally to act as federal immigration agents.