Danny Maynard has 17 years of law enforcement experience with the Yolo County, CA, Sheriff's Office and Sacramento Port Police Department. He is the head of security for the Harborside Health Center in Oakland, a medical marijuana dispensary widely considered to be the ideal model for medical cannabis dispensaries.
Every day, Danny is directly involved in creating the regulatory model that our speakers describe as LEAP's goal and witnesses its benefits firsthand. He has seen proof that replacing our current drug prohibition policy with a system of legalization and regulation will both improve public safety and decrease crime.
A strong belief in justice and respect for his deputy sheriff brother-in-law, who raised him, is what steered Danny into a career in law enforcement. He moved up the ranks from jailer in the county jail, to jail supervisor, then out onto the streets as a patrol deputy before being appointed to what he considered the perfect job-a Yolo County Resident Deputy Sheriff.
Resident deputy sheriffs work out of their homes and live in the area they're assigned to patrol. Danny was in charge of almost half of rural Yolo County, including five rural towns. "It was kind of like Andy Griffith," he recalls. "People knocked on my door at 3am when they had a problem with a neighbor or a family member, so I turned out to be more of a problem solver most of the time rather than the type of law enforcement officer who just handed out tickets or hauled people to jail."
Today, as head of security for a medical marijuana dispensary, Danny continues to ensure that people's lives and property are protected. Harborside Health Center has a patient base approaching 40,000 members; on average 700 to 800 come in the door every day. But even with that massive flow of visitors, since its opening there have been no major incidents of violence or crime at the facility or in the surrounding neighborhood. It's a reversal of, and freedom from, the violence caused by an illegal, unregulated black drug market.
"Provide safe and reasonable access," Danny says, "and you'll eliminate the crime problem, if you're providing marijuana or any other drug. According to the federal government, marijuana is just as bad as heroin. So if we can do this with marijuana, we can do it with heroin. All drugs can be regulated. I have firsthand knowledge from working here on how regulation can work."
The biggest reason Danny speaks for LEAP is to put an end to the violence created by drug dealers fighting over this extremely profitable black market. "When you take away the illegal profits from drugs and regulate them, the violence will go away. If you haven't got a reason to fight, you won't have these turf and gang wars which are far more dangerous than the illegal drugs and far more dangerous to society as a whole."