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Introducing Police Officers for Drug Law Reform

Police Officers for Drug Law Reform is an organization composed of law enforcement officers both active and non-active who believe that their current role in the War on Drugs is inconsistent with an officer's duty to protect and serve. "Police officers have observed that the last 20 years of current drug policy has neither brought an end or reduction in demand for illegal drugs in our country," says Daniel J. Solano, a retired Detroit Police Officer and Founder of Police Officers for Drug Law Reform, as well as Director of Police Officers Want Marijuana Decriminalized.

"Since my retirement from the Detroit Police Department in 1993, I have observed the escalation in our government's War on Drugs and the continued reliance on police to solve this social issue. A consequence of our current drug policies is reduced public confidence and trust in the police to protect and serve," Solano emphasized in a press release.

Police drug-related corruption cases are now commonplace across the country. The US government has criminalized millions of American citizens, and America now has the dubious distinction of housing more prisoners than any other nation in the world. "We are working to restore public confidence and trust in law enforcement; we also are working to assist our legislators in reforming current drug laws," wrote Solano.

"It's time to think beyond drug prohibition and adopt a more logical and sustainable drug policy-one that is less reliant on police and imprisonment-a policy with greater emphasis on regulation, prevention and treatment,"

Police corruption, Solano argues, "has gone from a mutual agreement between cop and crook to one of personal gain for the officers' benefit and differs from 'traditional police corruption' usually involving a mutually beneficial arrangement between criminals and police officers; for example, the former offered the latter bribes in exchange for immunity from arrest."

By contrast, Solano points out, several current studies and investigations of drug related police corruption have found on-duty officers engaged in serious criminal activities, such as conducting unconstitutional searches and seizures; stealing money or drugs from drug dealers; selling stolen drugs; protecting drug operations; providing false testimony; and submitting false crime reports.

"Drug prohibition has made police corruption unavoidable and creates inherent incentives for police corruption. The economic incentive alone can make a good officer into a corrupt officer. Police credibility is another casualty of the War on Drugs; how can the police expect citizens to obey the law when the police themselves are partaking in illegal activities," asks Solano in an editorial.

Police officers from Philadelphia, for instance, "have been charged with planting drugs on suspects, shaking down drug dealers for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and breaking into homes to steal drugs and cash. The enormous number of police corruption cases makes clear that the current War on Drugs policies have created widespread and extensive police corruption. The War on Drugs has created and facilitates this new breed of corrupt cops who are wearing the badge to commit murder, steal, and terrorize those they swore to protect. These actions take place across the nation and are not confined to the big cities," wrote Solano.

"Only by ending the War on Drugs will we rid our police forces of drug-related corruption, and only then will the police regain some lost credibility," he insists.

Dan Solano had much more to add to the mushrooming charges being leveled at the obstinate policymaking drug warriors. Mr. Solano participated in a weekend (October 11-13) of public events and education in Detroit, Michigan as part of our Journey for Justice.

This was a major public education weekend bringing together Rep. John Conyers and other congressional leaders, Kevin Zeese and other national drug reform spokespeople, local activists, interested citizens, media and Nora Callahan with Chuck Armsbury of The November Coalition-all converging in Detroit to launch the first of many Coalition Journeys to end drug war injustice.

Dan J. Solano, President
Police Officers for Drug Law Reform
7092 Highland Rd, Box 265 · Waterford, MI 48327
Phone: (248) 674-9240
E-mail · Web:

Visit the Journey for Justice archive!

The Razor Wire is a publication of The November Coalition, a nonprofit organization that advocates drug law reform. Contact information:
795 South Cedar - Colville, Washington 99114 - (509) 684-1550


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