A screening of the new documentary Legalize It drew people from different quarters to hear the tale of a social movement and drug-law reform efforts. The screening was hosted by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a group of law-enforcement officials opposed to the war on drugs.
Several LEAP speakers appear in the documentary, which covered the 2010 campaign to legalize marijuana in California that failed to pass. Members of LEAP were also on hand after the screening to discuss issues that were raised in the film.
“It boggles my mind that marijuana is still illegal,” said former police officer Kyle Kazan. “Few policy changes would do more to end budget deficits, increase public safety, restore community trust in the police and improve racial relations in this country than ending the prohibition of marijuana.”
He added that, while the Prop. 19 campaign may not have succeeded in changing the law, it changed a lot of minds. “It set the stage for reform in places like Washington, Oregon and Colorado, where voters are now poised to make history by ending these ridiculous laws once and for all,” Kazan said.
A panel discussion featuring law-enforcement, clergy and others followed the film. There was also an awards ceremony honoring medical-cannabis educators from Oaksterdam University.
Many in the room remarked on the parallels with initiative campaigns to legalize marijuana currently on the ballot in three states and several localities. “The fact that we sold out this theater is indicative of a growing belief in the failure of current marijuana policy,” said LEAP speaker and retired Redondo Beach Lieutenant Commander Diane Goldstein. “Public support has never been higher. Cities and states all across the nation are instituting reforms, and, at this point, change is inevitable. When that change comes, we will all be indebted to those on the Prop. 19 campaign, who first forged the path toward ending prohibition.”