Former Assistant Attorney General, state of Colorado
“The drug war has devastating impacts on the environment.”
Sean McAllister was an assistant attorney general with the state of Colorado, where he prosecuted environmental crimes, from 2000 to 2003. After leaving the Colorado Attorney General’s office, he opened his own practice and founded the nonprofit drug policy reform organization Sensible Colorado. Recently, Sean was appointed to the Governor’s Drug Policy Task Force, which is working on reducing drug sentencing laws to save the state money while maintaining public safety.
As an environmentalist, Sean brings a unique perspective to the drug war debate. “Many people don’t realize that the drug war, in addition to causing violence and wasting limited law enforcement resources, also has devastating impacts on the environment,” he says. “When we legalize and regulate marijuana, for example, there will no longer be drug cartels polluting our national parks with the dirty chemicals they use in illicit grow ops.”
From Sean’s perspective, arresting adults for drug use and prosecuting them is a waste of valuable time and resources. “We have started a dialogue about how to move beyond the failed policies of prohibition and begin finding a way that society can benefit from legalization instead of continuing to stick our heads in the sand,” he says. Sean has seen much progress in his own state. He notes, “After an overwhelming vote to decriminalize marijuana in Breckenridge, the police chief stated that he would take the vote as the direction that our citizens want to go in. It’s time to talk about what a rational system will look like, locally and on a larger level.”
Sean is founding partner of the law firm McAllister, Darnell & Associates, with offices in Denver and the central mountains of Colorado.