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.