A group of retired officers led by a former deputy chief of the Los Angeles Police Department said they support California's Nov. 2 ballot measure legalizing marijuana for personal use during a press conference earlier this week.
The members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) voiced their support for Proposition 19 at a press conference in West Hollywood on Monday.
The retired officers said they support the measure due to their experience with the futility of enforcing laws banning the possession and use of cannibas.
"I was with the LAPD when Nixon declared the 'war on drugs' over 40 years ago and was one of the 'generals' on the front lines who helped implement that same failed drug policy that is still in effect today,'' retired LAPD deputy chief Stephen Downing told the Los Angeles Times.
Enforcement action against medical dispensaries has fallen to a local level, as cities and counties have been attempting to limit the spread of these operations, while the Obama administration in late 2009 announced it would no longer conduct federal raids of dispensaries.
The "No on 19" campaign's website includes a lengthy list of active police chiefs, sheriffs and law enforcement organziations who oppose the measure.
"If Proposition 19 passes, our workplaces and roadways will be in danger, we will not benefit economically, and a huge burden will be placed on law enforcement representatives as enforcement of the law will be confusing and in some cases, out of their control," according to the Pleasant Hill Police Department's Chief Pete Dunbar.