Cops Say Legalize Drugs. One Tells Why.

Tony Ryan, a member of the board of directors of LEAP - Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (, will speak on the effects of Drug Prohibition, at a 7:00 p.m., Wednesday August 1 forum at Central Perk Coffee House located at 226 West Third Street in downtown Davenport, Iowa.

LEAP is a 10-year-old organization, with 50,000 members, ranging from current and former law-enforcement officers to prosecutors to judges. Ryan served 36 years in Denver, Colorado's police department before retiring as a lieutenant, in 2003.

Ryan was interviewed for a story in the Davenport based River Cities' Reader newspaper published on July 19, 2012. The full story is available online at:

The article asserts that the price of the drug war has been undeniably high.  From a law-enforcement perspective, Ryan states police also pay a price beyond the actual costs of drug-enforcement programs. Narcotics officers have low morale, he stated in the interview. And "in law enforcement in general, the greatest source of complaints ... has to do with narcotics enforcement." Further, the effort has failed in two key areas: supply and demand. Illegal-drug use now is at roughly the same level as it was 20 years ago, while prices have dropped for nearly all illegal drugs except marijuana, Ryan noted to the Reader.

The forum organizer, Mark Nelson, is hopeful to confirm the attendance and participation of area prosecutors, drug-court officials and potentially judges from Iowa's seventh judicial district.

The forum will begin at 7pm on Wednesday, August 1st at the Central Perk Coffee House in downtown Davenport and is free and open to the public.  

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The Davenport aldermen's and mayor's "hold the line" position is at best typically disingenuous political spin. More accurately, especially to residential taxpayers, it is simply dishonest. Even if they "hold the line" on the city's tax rate, the residential taxpayers will have a 3.41-percent increase in their property-tax bills. In the current economy, with no inflation, no reasonable basis exists for Davenport to impose a tax increase on its citizens. Adding an insult to this tax increase, the city will use the increase to pay $3 million more for public-employee costs when private-sector income is dropping. Every (non-union-sponsored) study comparing private-sector to public-sector pay shows our public employees are considerably overpaid. If the city truly wants to "hold the line," then follow the private sector's lead - start aggressively outsourcing the overpaid city jobs.

Mark Nelson