Seattle's Former Police Chief Talks About the Drug War and Policing Large Scale Demonstrations

03/12/12 Robert Lorei
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Good morning, welcome to Radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei. Coming up today we’ll speak with the former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper. He has some interesting views on the war on drugs. Plus He’s had the experience of overseeing the Seattle police department during the widespread protests in 1999 over the World Trade Organization.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the outlaw of marijuana in the US. Back in 1937 politicians sounded the alarm over what they called the emerging "menace" of marijuana — that if left unchecked, could have "far-reaching, poisonous and demoralizing effects" on the country's youth. One newspaper article from the time said the "narcotic evil" had the potential to cause insanity and turn "quiet, respectable youths into raving murderers."

Last week in Central America Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. repeated US opposition to legalization of outlawed drugs such as marijuana.

Biden told reporters that he welcomed a debate over legalization, but then he knocked down the arguments in favor of it.

More and more Latin American leaders are calling for an end to the drug war. The new President of Guatemala is calling for the legalization of drugs. The leaders of Costa Rica and Colombia say the issue of possible legalization should at least be discussed.

Our guest today has some experience in the war on drugs. He is Norm Stamper who was chief of the Seattle Police from 1994 to 200. He is now with a group called LEAP- Law Enforcement Officers Against prohibition. FMI Norm Stamper LEAP

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