Why you should be able to buy heroin
Former narc Jack Cole isn't proud of having put young, sometimes college-bound people in prison for selling him a joint in the 1970s.
The worst, he told a UMKC audience Sunday, was a drug-free youth trying to escape the inner city but who helped a begging Cole "find a fix" - and drew seven years for conspiracy to distribute heroin.
So now Wichita native Cole, an ex-Marine and ex-New Jersey state trooper, wants to give heroin and other drugs away for free, under government sponsorship.
"We are being absolutely inundated with high-quality, hard drugs in this country, and with current policies there's no way to stop them," said Cole, a founder of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
Drugs are more available now and cheaper than ever, Cole said. The War on Drugs costs this country $69 billion a year, he said. Money that could more than offset the consequences of legalization, he said.
About 1.3% of the U.S. population was addicted to drugs in 1900, Cole said. The number's the same today, he said. Difference: 1.7 million drug arrests a year, nearly half for marijuana.
Five thousand cops, ex-cops, corrections/probation/parole officers have joined LEAP, he said. NCSL members liked it; 80%-plus of cops he talks to likes it.