Jack A. Cole
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Jack A. Cole is an American drug policy reform activist and retired police officer. On March 16, 2002, along with four other police officers, Cole founded Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (or LEAP), a non-profit organization composed of former and current police officers, government agents and other law enforcement agents who oppose the current War on Drugs.
Cole retired as a Detective Lieutenant after a 26-year career with the New Jersey State Police—fourteen in narcotics, mostly as an undercover officer. His investigations spanned cases from street drug users to international “billion-dollar” drug trafficking organizations. Cole ended his undercover career living nearly two years in Boston and New York City, posing as a fugitive drug dealer wanted for murder, while he tracked members of a terrorist organization that robbed banks, planted bombs in corporate headquarters, court-houses, police stations, and airplanes and ultimately murdered a New Jersey State Trooper.
Cole is a founding member and for eight years was executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, an organization representing more than a hundred-thousand police, judges, prosecutors, prison officials, and supporters from 120 countries. LEAP members know a system of legalized regulation of all drugs will remove the violence which is the result of drug prohibition. Cole remains the organization's Board Chair.
After retiring, Cole moved to Boston to continue his education. He holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice and a Master's degree in Public Policy. During the seven years he spent in the Public Policy Ph.D. Program at the University of Massachusetts, his major focus was on the issues of race and gender bias, brutality and corruption in law enforcement. Cole believed ending drug prohibition would go a long way toward correcting those problems, so in 2002, when the Marijuana Police Project offered $50,000 start up money for an organization of police who would call for the decriminalization of one ounce of marijuana, he dropped out of his Ph.D. program to found LEAP.