FLORIDA: Ray Strack worked as a U.S. Customs special agent on JFK International Airport’s drug squad in New York during his 27-year career. He constantly busted people — two per day on average — who were attempting to smuggle narcotics into the country. But today, the now-retired Strack is working to get drugs legalized.
As a spokesperson for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a nonprofit organization founded in 2002, Strack is part of a movement of police officers and government agents who decry the country’s failed drug policies. Prohibition, they say, only increases the value of illicit substances and creates incentive for dealers to profit.
It does nothing to stop drug use, yet criminalization sends too many people to jail and destroys families. Permitting drugs while closely regulating them, LEAP posits, would free up resources for officers to instead tackle violent crime. As Florida grapples with the possibility of legalizing marijuana in the coming year, LEAP is looking to get into the conversation.