From the Los Angeles Times opinion page:
Stephen Downing speaks fondly of his 20 years with the Los Angeles Police Department, saying he misses the camaraderie and the integrity of the people he worked with in a career that took him from street cop to deputy chief. Along the way, as commander of the Bureau of Investigations, he oversaw the Administrative Narcotics Division.
And so when we had lunch at a sidewalk cafe in Long Beach the other day, it was more than a little strange to hear this life-long Republican insist that for the sake of cops, and in the interest of logic and public safety, the United States ought to legalize drugs....
The way he sees it, the war on drugs hasn't reduced drug use and the violence that accompanies it; it's made matters worse. Law enforcement and the drug lords have been in an arms race for more than 40 years, perpetuating their own existence in a never-ending escalation that has bloated prison budgets and robbed us of funding for education and basic human services. The killing fields hold the bodies of cops, dealers and innocent victims. And still, after incalculable costs in blood and money, neither the supply nor the demand has abated.
Read the whole thing.