The Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police are hosting a conference this week to discuss the impact of legal marijuana on law enforcement and public safety one year after recreational dispensaries opened in the state. The conference offers recommendations for dealing with marijuana-related issues under a legal framework in which police are able to work with growers, distributors and others to ensure consumers are protected, that criminals do not profit from sales and that the drug is not available to children.
"This conference is the result of smart regulation," said Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. "Now that marijuana is sold in a visible, transparent market, enforcement and regulatory bodies can start making recommendations about how to further public safety surrounding the drug. Instead of arresting people for minor marijuana offenses, cops are now ensuring operations are running safely and legally."
The event lasts three days, beginning Wednesday of this week, and is expected to draw a crowd of almost 500 law enforcement professionals, including representatives form Alaska, which recently voted to legalize marijuana. U.S. Attorney in Colorado John Walsh and the Drug Enforcement Agency's top officer in the state will also be in attendance.
LEAP is a nonprofit of criminal justice professionals who know the war on drugs has created a public safety nightmare of increased gang violence, police militarization and the fueling of dangerous underground markets.