"California's prisons, ruled unconstitutionally overcrowded, are graduate schools in crime."
Leo E. Laurence, J.D. is a former deputy sheriff, and once served on the Biker Enforcement Task Force in the District Attorney's office in San Diego. He still has his badge. He holds a law degree and completed an unprecedented, four-year, post-doctoral study in appellate law at the California Court of Appeal in San Diego.
"We are sending more and more people into our already overcrowded prisons, but a panel of federal judges ruled that reducing prison crowding is the only way to change unconstitutional prison conditions. The prisons are serving as graduate schools in crime," Laurence said.
"People of all ages are smoking marijuana, and have been for decades. But all the billions involved have gone into illicit activities. If we regulate and tax it, the revenue would go a long way to resolving our chronic fiscal problems from state to local levels.
"There is no credible evidence that smoking marijuana inevitably leads to the abuse of heavy drugs, like cocaine and heroin.
"People in law enforcement are NOT universally opposed to regulating and taxing marijuana.
"As more young people are getting involved in election campaigns, the probability of passing marijuana reform now is stronger than ever," Laurence believes.
While Laurence continues to work on confidential law enforcement matters, he currently serves as editor of San Diego News Service, and is active on the National Committee on Diversity of the Society of Professional Journalists.