“As in the first prohibition, a lot of cops are getting killed working these cases.”
George Cole spent over 25 years in law enforcement, serving as a police officer, a correctional officer, and a federal agent. As an officer in Calumet Park and Hainesville, IL he witnessed large open drug markets. Later he was a correctional officer for the Federal Bureau of Prisons and a special agent for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
For George, who says he joined law enforcement because he wanted to be “the guy who rode to the rescue,” it is common knowledge to anyone paying attention that drug laws don’t work. “Many might find it surprising how many officers agree with me,” he says. “I knew since I was in high school, when it was easier to get drugs than beer, that the drug laws are not keeping anyone who wants drugs from obtaining them. Nothing has changed since then. Once, at a gang investigator meeting, I heard a former DARE officer admit that DARE only works for kids who would not have used drugs anyway; in other words, DARE doesn’t work.”
But there are far worse consequences of the drug war than mere ineffectiveness, which is why George has stepped up and called for a change. “When I was an INS agent and ICE agent I would work neighborhoods where drugs were rampant and I saw the extreme danger that the residents were in,” George recalls. “And as in the first prohibition, a lot of cops are getting killed working these cases. The rampant gang violence caused by the drug trade is not only our major cities but also in suburban areas. The violence on the border has also gone insane due to these laws. We need to end this.
George joined LEAP in 2011 when fellow Chicago native and LEAP speaker Jim Gierach spoke at the local Mensa meeting. George is retired and volunteers for the American Cancer Society in addition to LEAP.