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DPF Florida Speaker Biographies:

Richard Amos - From Drug War Soldier to Anti-Prohibitionist

Mr. Amos worked for the United States government for 30 years, wearing the uniforms of the Marine Corps, the Army and later as a DEA pilot. He has been involved with drug prohibition from the beginning. Amos had seen U.S. soldiers become addicted to drugs in Vietnam and witnessed the early use of government drug tests on soldiers returning home.

The travels of Richard Amos are a chronological atlas of DEA history. His career stretched from the jungles of Southeast Asia, Central and South America, to the jungles of New York City, Houston, and Los Angeles. From the rain forest of Hawaii to the Far East, he was involved in major drug interdiction operations. Since the DEA's origin in 1973 the U.S. DEA's original 40 million dollar budget exploded over the years into a burgeoning 1.7 BILLION dollars per year. However, the mantra from DEA and the Drug Czars never varied, "Give us more money and we will win this war!"

Mr. Amos joined LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) an organization of people in the criminal justice system that understand the failure of the War on Drugs and call for an end to drug prohibition in 2002. Richard's explanation of his transformation from drug war-warrior to drug-war-reformer takes his audience on a mesmerizing tour of America's headlines over the past 30 years. Mr. Amos currently resides in Melbourne, FL.

Contact Ethel Rowland, LEAP Speaker Coordinator to arrange interviews or schedule speaking dates:

727-460-0802 Voice

Ft. Pierce, FL 34981

Kevin Aplin- Civil Liberties and the slippery slope known as the War on Drugs


Mr. Aplin is well versed in a wide variety of topics related to the Drug War and its effects on Civil Liberties. As the co-founder of the Cannabis Action Network (1990), Mr. Aplin is part of a long tradition of grassroots education efforts that have taken him across the United States. Mr. Aplin is a lay expert on First Amendment actions, Fourth Amendment protection and the inner workings of the legal system.

Mr. Aplin serves on the steering committee of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, an advocacy group interested in automatic civil rights restoration for ex-offenders and manages their Rights Restoration Center in downtown Melbourne, Florida. Mr. Aplin is also a State Board member of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida and chairs its voting rights committee; he holds the position of Vice Chair for the Brevard ACLU Chapter.

His recent work includes public education on the Patriot Act and challenging local police "watch lists" concerning peaceful protestors who have come under undue scrutiny because of their political views.

Contact Kevin Aplin to arrange interviews or schedule speaking dates

321-726-6656 Voice,

Melbourne, FL 32902

Jerry Cameron- Former Police Chief just says "No" to the War on Drugs

Jerry Cameron spent a considerable part of his seventeen-year law enforcement career in the "war on drugs." Not only was he Chief of two small town departments for a total of eleven years, he is also a graduate of the 150th Session of the FBI National Academy, the DEA Basic Drug Enforcement Course, and two DEA Advanced Drug Enforcement Professional Institutes. Cameron participated as a front line warrior in street enforcement and consequently was recognized nationally for developing a street-enforcement-technique known as "Operation Pressure Point." He has been published in The Police Chief, The Florida Police Chief, and Law & Order magazines. He was a full time faculty member of the Institute of Police Technology and Management at the University of North Florida where he taught drug interdiction, roadside interrogation techniques, police ethics, and management.

Toward the end of his career Cameron began to question the efficacy as well as the morality of the "war on drugs." When he began doing serious research on this subject, he concluded that the "war on drugs" was a not only a total failure but that it had caused tremendous damage to society. The simple truth was that not one benefit could be identified and a myriad of unintended destructive consequences were evident. In fact, the war proved counterproductive to every one of its stated goals.

Cameron has seen first hand the devastation of neighborhoods, perversion of the law enforcement mission, and the squandering of resources that are the result of prohibition. Today he speaks out against decades of failed policy and encourages the "re-legalization" of drugs. He believes that this is the only way to decrease the amount of drugs falling into the hands of our children, to make room for violent offenders to serve their full terms in our prisons, and to return law enforcement to its legitimate function of protecting our citizens. Cameron provides audiences with a look at the failed "war on drugs" through the eyes of a front line veteran. Mr. Cameron currently resides in St Augustine Florida

Contact Ethel Rowland, LEAP Speaker Coordinator to arrange interviews or schedule speaking dates:

727-460-0802 Voice

Ft. Pierce, FL 34981

John Chase- Prohibition Twice Failed: Alcohol and now Drugs


After years of discomfort with U.S. anti-drug policies, Chase finally came off the sidelines in early 1998 to try to make a difference. Since neither he nor any of his family had been affected by illegal drugs or the drug war, he started essentially from zero and studied for over two years before becoming convinced that the drug war is simply a rerun of the failed attempt at alcohol prohibition of the 1920s, that the drug war causes far more societal damage than it prevents; that it must be scaled back radically or it will destroy the respect for government and legal institutions which has characterized the United States for most of its first 200 years.

Mr. Chase has had numerous letters printed in various publications, and has spoken at various business, civic and student organizations. He is active also with www.painreliefnetwork.org (Pain Relief Network) and www.mapinc.org (Media Awareness Project). Mr. Chase serves as a Regional Volunteer in the Tampa Bay area for The November Coalition, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the family of the incarcerated and as an Advisor to the Board. He is also a Board Member and Secretary, for the Unitarian-Universalists for Drug Policy Reform.

John Chase is a former lifelong Republican, civil libertarian, mechanical engineer by education at Rice University, then 3 years on a Navy destroyer, from 1957-60. Mr. Chase retired after 32 years with a major aerospace company. He has been married for 47 years, with 3 children and 8 grandchildren.

Contact John Chase to arrange interviews or schedule speaking dates

727-784-1234 Voice,

Palm Harbor, FL 34684

Marshall Frank - When Drug Laws Fail, There is An Answer

Marshall Frank retired as a Captain from the Metro-Dade Police Department in Miami, Florida, where he spent the majority of his thirty years investigating murders or commanding those who did. Mr. Frank's career covered the gamut of high stress police assignments, including Internal Affairs, Criminal Intelligence and sixteen years in Homicide - seven as a detective and nine more in a command status.

Mr. Frank headed over one thousand homicide investigations; testified in over one hundred murder trials; was shot in the line of duty in 1965; initiated a department program for developing methods to lift fingerprints from human skin. In May of 1980, Mr. Franks was invited to testify before the United States Congress about violent crime in America.

As his career progressed in drug-saturated Miami, Florida, Mr. Frank concluded that the greatest hindrance to reducing violent crime in America is rooted in the black market, which thrives at the behest of political pandering to folks who wrongly believe that anything immoral ought to be illegal. He has written a number of essays pointing out the reasons why drug laws are in serious need of revision, and how the so-called war on drugs is a colossal failure costing taxpayers 69 billion dollars every year. He feels the answer to drug abuse lies in treatment and education, not in warehousing human beings inside cages. Meanwhile, decriminalization of drugs would ultimately reduce violent crime and make streets and homes safer for everyone.

Now a respected author, novelist, and speaker, Mr. Frank currently lives in Rockledge, Florida.

Contact Ethel Rowland, LEAP Speaker Coordinator to arrange interviews or schedule speaking dates:

727-460-0802 Voice

Ft. Pierce, FL 34981

Steve Heath- Media Activism and Substance Abuse Recovery

As the Media Activism Facilitator for the Media Awareness Project, Mr. Heath helps individuals and groups that are actively working to reform current national and state drug policies by serving as a trainer, coach and liaison to the media for participating MAP, Inc partners.

Mr Heath relocated to Florida in 1998 from his home state of Texas. He began volunteering for drug reform efforts in 1999. Since 1999, Mr. Heath has donated over 5000 hours of his time assisting MAP, Inc in the creation of a massive archive of drug policy related news clippings. Mr. Heath has had over 200 published letters to the editor and Opinion columns in papers around North America, as well as Europe and Australia. His seven year investment in drug policy reform related topics allows him to answer questions on a range of drug policy related topics. Mr. Heath can help guide your organization in getting more on-air minutes with local radio and TV and guarantees his steps on writing letters to the Editor will get someone published within 21 days.

Mr. Heath is also qualified to speak on the topic of drug abuse recovery based on his personal experiences overcomong cocaine, amphetamine and alcohol abuse problems (straight since 1995).

Contact Steve Heath to arrange interviews or schedule speaking dates

(727) 797-1349 Voice,

Clearwater, FL 33759

Jodi James- Knowledge is Power; Individuals CAN Make a Difference

Ms. James serves as Executive Director of the Florida Cannabis Action Network (FLCAN), the leading cannabis reform group in Florida. Ms. James has worked aggressively on the issue of legal, safe access to medical cannabis for patients in Florida. Her work has taken her around the country speaking on the topics of medical marijuana, creating and organizing direct actions and educating the public on the value of cannabis/hemp.

Ms. James is an accomplished writer and speaker, project organizer and campaign strategist. She ran as the Democratic Candidate for Florida State House of Representatives District 31 in 2002, earning her a place in Marquis Who's Who of America. Under her leadership, Florida CAN's, 2000 Journey for Justice Project earned the "Critical Resistance Award".

A native of Ohio, Ms. James and her family moved to Florida in 1995. Since moving to Florida she has been involved in all aspects of public education regarding the harms associated with the War on Drugs. As a former drug felon, Ms. James has taken her experience and turned it into a full time passion for drug policy reform at every level. Ms. James is a wife and mother of two children who works from her home office in Melbourne, FL.

Contact Jodi James to arrange interviews or schedule speaking dates

321-253-3673 Voice,

Melbourne, FL 32935

Catherine Jordan- Medical Marijuana Miracle

Mrs. Jordan was well respected as a hair dresser in her Delaware home town in 1986 when she found she couldn't control her hands. A subsequent diagnosis of Lou Gerhigs Disease (ALS) was a death sentence. Told she had less than five years to live, Mrs. Jordan determined to die with dignity. She wintered in Florida hoping to save enough pain medicine to end her life when she returned to Delaware. On a beach near Bradenton Florida she smoked marijuana at a party and found the strain halted the progress of her disease.

Twenty years later, Mrs. Jordan and her husband are still outspoken advocates for the medical use of cannabis and its life saving properties. Modern science has now proven what she knew all along; Cannabis is an effective treatment for neuro-diseases like ALS, MS, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Now residents of the Bradenton area, the Jordan's are active members of the Brotherhood of Vietnam Vets and numerous drug policy reform groups. Mrs. Jordan has personally met with Governor Jeb Bush, led protests and demonstrations in Florida, Texas and Washington DC. She is also a seasoned lobbyist, having met with elected officials in their District, in Tallahassee and in DC.

Contact Catherine Jordan to arrange interviews or schedule speaking dates

941-776-9065 Voice

Parrish, FL 34219

Julia Onnie-Hay-Finding Healing in Psychedelics

Ms. Onnie-Hay first started working with the MAPS community in 2000 as a volunteer gardener while studying religions of the African Diaspora for a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from New College of Florida.

With roots in the Turks and Caicos Islands and Washington, DC, she considers herself a witness to the truth that conscious use of psychedelic plants in spiritual, psychotherapeutic, and medicinal work can facilitate both the healing of individuals and the r-evolutionary sustainable development of a healthy peaceful world.

Currently Ms. Onnie-Hay is the Director of Membership and Sales for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. Ms. Onnie-Hay lives and works in the MAPS house in Sarasota, Florida.

Contact Julia Onnie-Hay to arrange interviews or schedule speaking dates:

941-924-6277 voice

Sarasota, FL 34232

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