OMAHA, Neb. -- A group visiting Omaha has called for the legalization of drugs, saying the government’s current efforts to control the problem has failed.“While we definitely have a problem with drugs in this country, we definitely have to have a change in the policy,” said Tony Ryan.
The retired Denver police officer is a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a national group, made up mostly of current and former police, which favors repealing laws that make drugs against the law.“The only way to have control is to legalize it, regulate it and perhaps, tax it,” Ryan said. He spoke in Omaha Thursday night.
During the course of his career, Ryan had been shot and stabbed in the line of duty. He said violence would drop dramatically if drugs were legal.
“Nobody (would be) outside the school yard at the elementary school saying, ‘Come here, I want you to try something.’ We put that stuff out of business because we don’t have the profit motive anymore.”
LEAP claims legalizing drugs would save taxpayer dollars, reduce jail overcrowding and lower the number of medical emergencies due to tainted drugs. But not everyone favors the group’s solution.
“I’m not sure the Mexican cartels will buy licenses and open up Quik Shops to sell their marijuana,” said Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov. He said Ryan’s arguments are misleading, often contradictory and the benefits he claims are unlikely.
“He and I live in different worlds,” Polikov said.