(617) 792-3877"This is Not a War on Drugs - it's a War on People."
Jack Cole knows about the “war on drugs” from several perspectives. He retired as a Detective Lieutenant after a 26-year career with the New Jersey State Police—fourteen in narcotics, mostly as an undercover officer. His investigations spanned cases from street drug users to international “billion-dollar” drug trafficking organizations.
Jack ended his undercover career living nearly two years in Boston and New York City, posing as a fugitive drug dealer wanted for murder, while tracking members of a terrorist organization that robbed banks, planted bombs in corporate headquarters, court-houses, police stations, and airplanes and ultimately murdered a New Jersey State Trooper. Jack is a founding member and for eight years was executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, an international organization representing cops, judges, prosecutors, prison wardens, and supporters from 86 countries, who know a system of legalized regulation of all drugs will remove the violence which is the result of drug prohibition. He is now their Board Chair and international speaker.
After retiring, Jack dealt with the emotional residue left from his participation in this failed and destructive war on drugs by working to reform current drug policy. He moved to Boston to continue his education. Jack holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice and a Masters degree in Public Policy. His major focus is on the issues of race and gender bias, brutality and corruption in law enforcement. Jack believes ending drug prohibition will go a long way toward correcting those problems.
Jack has taught courses to police recruits and veteran officers on ethics, integrity, moral decision-making, and the detrimental effects of racial profiling. As Executive Director of LEAP, he has presented papers at international conferences and spoken on drug policy reform in the Parliaments of Canada, Denmark, the European Union and New Zealand, as well as presenting 1300 times to law-enforcement, professional, civic, educational, political, and religious organizations in 26 countries, including Australia, North, Central and South America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and across the United States.
Jack is passionate in his belief that the drug war is steeped in racism, that it is needlessly destroying the lives of young people, and that it is corrupting our police. His discussions give his audience an alternative prospective of the US war on drugs from the view of a veteran drug-warrior turned against the war.
Details of the LinkedIn Recommendation: "Jack Cole was an esteemed speaker at my 2010 Canada-US Gang Summit, and blew me - and my 500 delegates - away with the depth of his research and underlying logic in respect to his position on drug legalization. As a fellow proponent of the legalization and control of all illicit drugs (Chapter 9, Young Thugs), I know it takes courage and a willingness to be vulnerable to the criticisms and barbs of others, who are committed to the ridiculous proposition that our North American "War on Drugs" is somehow working, when indeed it has created an epidemic of gangsterism, as if a repeat of alcohol prohibition in the 1920's. Thankfully, the edifice that is the worst piece of U.S. public policy invented since slavery - drug prohibition - is beginning to crumble, as people realize that we can no more arrest our way out of the drug problem that we can wish or pray our way out. Jack Cole, in my view, has been the most effective advocate in America on this issue, and for that we must wish him a heartfelt thanks and hand of support. To be sure, our grandchildren will look back 50 years from now and wonder what the fuss was all about, and this will be Jack's lasting legacy I am sure."
Service Category: Professional Speaker and Gang Expert
Year first hired: 2010
Top Qualities: Great Results, Expert, Creative
July 11, 2003
Jack, thanks so much for a great talk - one of the best in my nearly 20
years of holding these programs. I knew before your talk that I supported
lifting prohibition and now I know why I support it! It really was a great
presentation from a very credible and effective messenger. Your talk has
already elicited quite a buzz in our group.
Paul Y. Watanabe
Inst. for Asian Am. Studies and Dept. of Political Science
University of Massachusetts,
Summer Institute Lecture
John F. Kennedy Library
JACK ROCKED!!!!!!!! The faculty told me that he was the best presenter that the department has ever sponsored. My house is always open for people like you and Jack. It was our pleasure. - Jeff
Southwest Missouri State University
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Crime and Society Program