When police, undercover operatives, intelligence officers, military and legal professionals stand together with communities to demand an end to the ‘war on drugs’ you have to ask why.
Since our official launch in Parliament on leap day, 29th February 2016, LEAP UK’s membership has expanded rapidly with more and more former ‘drug warriors’ joining us to condemn the failed policy that is drug prohibition. In our mission to educate the public, the media and lawmakers to the damage these policies have caused and continue to cause, we have fielded speakers at events throughout the UK as well as farther afield including South Africa, Scandinavia and across Europe. We have appeared on debates and discussions on a number of national UK TV channels including BBC Breakfast and provided commentary on local news programming in the regions. We make regular press contributions including interviews in the Guardian, Huffington Post, Vice, Metro, Daily Mail and The Sun. We do not shy away from a challenge or closed minds because we believe it is only in speaking to and understanding the concerns and fears of prohibitionists that we will make real progress in bringing about reform. We have appeared on podcasts and vlogs (we didn’t even know what a vlog was!) including our very own Stop and Search podcast on the Distraction Pieces Network, Renegade Inc, Little Atoms and True Geordie.
So we have been busy and the LEAP UK message of reform is spreading far and wide. But the truth is none of this would be possible without the loyalty and support of a very generous public who believe in us and the work we do. Without your help LEAP UK would likely be little more than a few ex-cops sat behind a computer airing their disgruntled views to the void; swapping drug warrior for keyboard warrior but realistically achieving very little in the way of measurable progress. So what can you do to help us help end the war on drugs?
Speaking events are one of the most important aspects of the work we do. This is where we get out and meet people to share our experiences and challenge ingrained opinions. We need people to come forward with suggestions for events we can speak at. Are you running a university event? Do you host debates? Speaking evenings? Political rallies? Lectures? Forums? Concerts? Gigs? We will speak anywhere we have an audience to listen. Challenging and traditional viewpoints are very welcome so if Mum is a speaker down for her next WI event, let us know!
The LEAP UK team is made up entirely of volunteers who are passionate about reform and reducing the harms caused by bad drug policy. Unfortunately, however, travelling up and down the country, often speaking late in the evening which will include an overnight stay, producing resource material, all of this does cost money. We rely on your donations to carry on our work. If you would like to help and support us we would be very grateful if you could click on the link to our donations page here, or locate the donation button to the side of this page to contribute.
All donations over £5 will be rewarded with a shiny metal LEAP UK lapel badge you can wear proudly to show your support for drug law reform (so don’t forget to include your address for posting). Thank you all so much! We really could not do everything we do without your continued generosity.
Are you a serving or former police officer? Have you served with Her Majesty’s forces? Have you followed instruction to enforce our drugs laws and seen the damage these laws cause first-hand? All of our members started out in law enforcement with the worthy goal of doing the right thing, protecting our communities and bringing the bad guys to justice. When we put on a uniform we stood proudly with our brothers and sisters, knowing we were the front line in defending our country against the criminal element who were trying to destroy it, more often than not for the sole purpose of lining their own pockets. However, our drug laws have skewed this goal. These are laws that attack the most vulnerable and socially deprived members of our communities. They undermine the general public’s faith in our criminal justice system. They erode trust in our police. They allow Organised Crime to decide and control what substances our curious young people put in their bodies, all the while growing rich of their ill-gotten profits. Enforcing our drug laws has created a situation where increasingly vicious intimidation and violence is used to ensure the silence of communities under siege from drug-gangs. If we want to see real change that reduces harm and saves lives we need to take control back from Organised Crime. The only way to do this is through reform and the legal regulation of all drugs. Join us at LEAP UK and make a difference!
Contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Even if you are not law enforcement you can still help and support us in our reform mission. As we continue to grow we are always on the lookout for volunteers to join the well-oiled machine that sits behind our speakers. Do you have experience with social media? Are you a graphic designer? A writer? A sound engineer? Do you have funding ideas? Do you have contacts that could help us spread the word? Do you have any one of the hundreds of skills and expertise that we haven’t even thought of yet but could really, really use? If the answer is yes, please contact us via email at email@example.com
“I don’t run speaking events, I’m not a cop, I’m short on time and I’m totally broke. Can I still help?”
The answer, of course, is “YES!”
LEAP UK have social media accounts on Twitter (@UKLEAP), Facebook (@UKLeap.org) and Instagram (@UKLEAP). Like us, follow us, friend us, retweet us and share us. You can tag us into your debates, send us a tweet or even share a link to one of the blogs on this website (you are here, have you read any of our other posts yet? Please do!)
If you see an article on drugs and drug laws in your local press or in the nationals, add something in the comments section. Tell the writers, editors and other readers you are part of a social movement to end the failed war on drugs, and feel free to name-check us when you do! The same goes with politicians. Writing to your local MP can often feel like a fool’s errand. Maybe they don’t write back, or you receive a bog standard “The law is the law” response. We can assure you that writing to an MP is not a waste of your time. We work with a number of progressive MPs from across the UK who have been persuaded our drug laws are dangerous and are now standing up in front their colleagues in Parliament to demand change. They often cite LEAP UK and our allies in support of their viewpoint. Many more privately confess to a belief that our policies are not working but feel they don’t have public backing to instigate change. It is only by filling their inboxes and in-trays and constituent surgeries that we will let Members of Parliament know our social movement is growing and cannot be ignored.
Thank you again for your time and your donations and, just as importantly, thank you all for the multitude of praise and kind words we receive every day at events, on social media and via email. It is the knowledge that we are a community working together that inspires us at here LEAP UK to continue to draw attention to the failures of current drug policy. We aim to present a true picture of the history, causes and effects of drug use (sometimes problematic, sometimes not) and the crimes related to drug prohibition. We want to restore the public’s respect for law enforcement, which has been greatly diminished by its involvement in imposing drug prohibition. We want to help reduce harms and save lives instead of enforcing the dangerous laws that destroy those lives.