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Law Enforcement Action Partnership

Yesterday Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) ceased to exist. In its place is a new organization called Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP).

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition was narrow, focused, driven.  Its philosophy and its messaging was well thought out. It had intellectual rigour. It changed how the world viewed the War on Drugs.

Law Enforcement Action Partnership is more broad, tentative, searching. It is brand new. There is potential for it to become more political and less independent. But it could also accomplish great things. Only time will tell.

I am in the process of stepping down from LEAP. I say “in the process” because after eight years as a speaker, and six years as a board member, it is not easy to untangle myself. For the past year and a half, I was also the treasurer of LEAP. This involved a lot of behind the scenes work  and significant responsibility in terms of financial oversight and internal reform of the organization. Inge Fryklund – bless her heart – will now carry on these efforts.

Some of my proudest accomplishments with LEAP: Testifying before the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. Winning my human rights case. Helping LEAP obtain consultative status with the United Nations. Serving as the founding president of LEAP’s Canadian branch. There were many other great moments but those are a few that stand out.

I’m not against the idea of LEAP evolving. But this next step of the journey was not for me. These days I am more focused on my family, and my career.

My departure from LEAP is also about the need for me to be able to communicate with fierce independence. I have some things to say about the justice system. I don’t want anything I am saying or writing to be misconstrued as the official views of Law Enforcement Action Partnership.

I am grateful to many folks at LEAP for the past eight years. Jack Cole, Peter Christ, Steve Finlay, Neill Franklin, Leigh Maddox, Inge Fryklund, Steve Downing, Terry Nelson, Tony Ryan, Rick Van Wickler, Diane Goldstein, Norm Stamper, Randie Long, Dan Mulligan, John Anderson. Jerry Paradis (rest in peace). The current and past staff of LEAP, including Shaleen Title, Tom Angell, Kristen Daley, Antoinette O’Neil, Bill Fried, Darby Beck, Mikayla Hellwich, Lindsay Akin, Amos Irwin and Roshun Shah. Apologies if I missed anyone. Neil Woods replaced me on the Board of Directors – I am very happy about this and it made my decision to step down much easier.

I learned so much from the thousands of volunteer hours that I dedicated to LEAP.  And I wish the very best for LEAP 2.0 as it moves forward.

Narcos Season 2 coming to Netflix on September 2nd

Perseids meteor shower TOMORROW

The Perseids meteor shower will take place during the next two nights (Thursday and Friday):

“It is typically the second richest shower after the Geminids every December,” Slooh Astronomer and The Old Farmers Almanac Astronomy Editor Bob Berman said. “[The Perseids] offer very fast meteors, and about 30 percent of them leave behind lingering trains. The number of meteors increase quite a bit after 12 and 1 a.m. when the ‘radiant,’ or the place in the sky the meteors emanate from, rises in the northeast.”

The shower’s peak will occur on Thursday night, but Friday night will also offer a good opportunity for those looking to experience the Perseids, according to NASA.

Discovered during the American Civil War by astronomers Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle, debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet colliding with the planet and burning up in the atmosphere provides the spectacular light show, but cloudy skies might block the view for some stargazers.

“One of the best things about the Perseids meteor shower is the fact it occurs during the summer months across the Northern Hemisphere,” AccuWeather Meteorologist and astronomy blogger Dave Samuhel said. “Summer tends to feature more clear skies than the colder seasons.”

The Sound of Silence

Skeletons found in cars pulled from Oklahoma lake

In 2013, six skeletons were found in two different cars pulled from a lake in Oklahoma. Eventually it was determined the cars were from two different missing persons cases. The first car was linked to the disappearance of three adults in 1969 (ages 69, 58 and 42) . The occupants were last seen after asking for a “push” to get the car started. The second car was associated to three high school friends who disappeared without a trace in 1970. The driver was sixteen years old and his two friends were eighteen.

Oklahoma law enforcement accidentally found these vehicles as they were testing new sonar equipment. The cars were found in twelve feet of water. So one has to wonder: How many other cars with skeletons and decomposing bodies are at the bottom of lakes across North America?

This is a legitimate (if grim) question. In Canada, 977 adults and 151 children are listed on the National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains web site. These numbers are likely lower than the actual numbers of missing persons across Canada. First, the web site is only a year or two old. Second, the NCMPUR database relies (as it must) on submissions from investigating police agencies, coroners and medical examiners. No submission, no listing in the database.