Cops Fired for Opposing War on Drugs

New York Times examines case of border patrol agent
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2011 3:33 PM CST
Cops Fired for Opposing War on Drugs
Members of the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) hold a news conference supporting a ballot measure to legalize and tax cannabis in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(Newser) – Bryan Gonzalez was working as a Border Patrol agent in New Mexico when he made the fatal mistake of musing to a colleague that legalizing marijuana would end Mexico’s violent drug war. He was fired soon afterwards; his termination letter said he held “personal views that were contrary to the core characteristics of Border Patrol Agents, which are patriotism, dedication and esprit de corps.” He’s not alone either, the New York Times observes. Law enforcement officials nationwide have been fired for questioning drug laws.

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Arizona probation officer Joe Miler, for instance, was dismissed after signing a letter supporting the decriminalization of Marijuana from the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. “More and more members of the law enforcement community are speaking out against failed drug policies,” says the Arizona ACLU, which has filed a lawsuit for Miller. “They don’t give up their right to share their insight … simply because they receive government paychecks.” There’s reason to believe the lawsuit will succeed; a Washington police sergeant fired in 2005 for supporting decriminalization was awarded an $815,000 settlement. (Read more ACLU stories.)

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