"It turned my stomach to watch people lose custody of their children, simply for using or being in possession of illicit drugs."
Joe Miller is a former police officer. His law enforcement background primarily revolved around patrol duties and narcotics investigations. He worked as a police officer for eight years in the southern California communities of Calipatria, Westmorland, and Needles, ultimately retiring from police work on industrial disability after having been shot in the line of duty. After that, he served for approximately four years as a probation officer for the Superior Court of the State of Arizona, where his caseload consisted mostly of convicted felons.
“After enthusiastically helping to enforce our nation’s drug laws, I began to realize that the so-called ‘war on drugs’ was harming our communities,” Joe explains. “It harms both drug users and non-users alike, more than the actual use or abuse of legal or illegal drugs could ever cause. It turned my stomach to watch people lose custody of their children simply for using or being in possession of illicit drugs. So did watching people get incarcerated for addiction when what they needed was medical treatment.”
Joe says that today, if he met someone he arrested for drugs, he would apologize for participating in a process that likely negatively impacted their lives and the lives of their family members more than their drug use.
Joe has been a supporter of LEAP since its inception, and he became a public speaker in 2013. “Through prohibitionist policies, we create a tremendous financial incentive for violent criminal predators to produce and distribute these substances as well as to protect their enterprises at all costs. We need to end prohibition to end these incentives,” he says.
Currently, Joe is working on a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology. He holds an A.S. in Criminal Justice from Miramar College and a B.A.S. in Public Agency Service from Northern Arizona University.