Major Neill Franklin, a retired Maryland State Police and Baltimore Police officer, one of the nation's biggest pro-marijuana advocates, is set to speak to the Broward Republican Executive Committee on Monday night.
Franklin, who is executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), will discuss Amendment 2 and why it should be passed in November.
Franklin -- who is a registered Republican -- and LEAP represent more than 150,000 former police, prosecutors, judges, and other supporters of drug policy reform.
Franklin has for years spoken of the financial and human cost of prohibition over the years and, as he says in an interview (video below), was initially motivated by the death of a fellow officer killed by a low-level drug dealer.
Prohibition, Franklin contends, simply does not work.
Franklin says there's a growing number of law enforcement officials who are coming around to the fact that the war on drugs has been a failure that has cost human lives and put a financial burden on local economies.
LEAP's focus is to move to implement a system that focuses more on treatment and education rather than the strong arm of the law putting millions of people in prison, most of whom are doing time for things like simple possession.
In the Broward County town of Sunrise, millions in soon-to-be-forfeited cash led narcotics officers to lure international drug buyers into suburban restaurants so the department could confiscate $6 million in just two years. Much of the money went for police overtime in coordinating the seizures, with one narcotics detective in 2012 bringing home a combined salary and overtime of $183,156 -- more than his chief of police earned.
The article also calls out Amendment 2's biggest opposition, the Florida Sheriffs Association, as one of the entities that stands to profit the most if weed remains illegal.
Florida Sheriffs Association to Amendment 2 has more to do with cash than public safety. The sheriffs have become so accustomed to federal anti-drug money and property forfeitures that they resist any change that might someday shut off their pipeline of cash, cars and property.
As for Franklin's appearance in front of the Broward Republicans, Franklin intends to talk about pushing Amendment 2 through so that those who need it aren't treated like criminals.
"Florida's Amendment 2 is a commonsense and compassionate change that will stop forcing sick people to become criminals," LEAP said via a press release. "People with cancer need safe, regulated medical marijuana -- not contraband -- and their money should not be going to support the criminal gangs that Major Franklin spent his life trying to put behind bars."
Franklin's speech at the Broward County Republicans will be going down at the Sheraton Suites Fort Lauderdale at Cypress Creek, 555 NW 62nd St., in Fort Lauderdale.
The event will begin at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.