Wednesday, August 24, 2011


By Leo E. Laurence, J.D.

It was a dark and stormy night as I was parking on a side street near downtown headed to a fancy party and dressed to kill.

While I was unbuckling my seat belt, suddenly a scared teenager approached my open, driver’s-side door and pointed a handgun at me. He seemed so nervous, like it might have been his first attempt to rob someone at gunpoint.

“Hand me your money,” he demanded, in a shaky voice, pointing his revolver at my head.

In police training, law-enforcement officers learn that it is extremely important to stay calm when being threatened with a weapon, particularly a gun.

“O.K., let me get out (of my vehicle) to get to my wallet,” I quietly told my would-be robber.

“Actually this will be easier if I go over to the sidewalk,” I said to the guy as I literally walked around him, crossed in front of my vehicle and stood on the nearby sidewalk.

The fellow quickly followed me and shouted: “I mean it. I’ll shoot if you don’t give me money,” he nervously said while sticking his arm straight towards me with his gun.

Facing him, with the guy’s weapon only inches from my face, I noticed that the bore of the barrel was really small, like a .22 caliber; but the cylinder with the bullets was quite large, more like a .38 revolver.

Now I knew that the “gun” was a toy.

Spreading my legs wide and bending at the waist, I put my fists into the basic, defensive Karate position and firmly told my would-be robber: “My wallet is in my back left pocket. If you want it, come and get it.”

Then I focused on his groin where I intended to hit him if he attacked me physically.

“Oh, forget it,” the kid said and he abruptly turned around and ran off.

What L.E.A.P. does

As one of L.E.A.P.’s 129 speakers nationwide, all current and former law-enforcement officers, we educate widely diverse audiences that by eliminating prohibition of all drugs, police offices can focus more on crimes of violence.

We are partners with many community organizations in the cannabis community. Anyone can be a member, not just officers.

L.E.A.P. has over 50,000 members in 80 countries, including Brazil and Canada; and are working on branches in the U-K and Australia.

Readers have called me to report personal experiences of help these monthly NUG articles are providing.

We want to reach even more local, law-enforcement officers, and “we don’t require that they identify themselves as a law-enforcement person,” explains Major Neill Franklin (ret) of the Maryland State Police, our L.E.A.P. executive director headquartered in Medford, MA.

Local Update

Alex Scherer, 28, made the major presentation for the coalition of dispensary owners, the Patient’s Care Association, who ran the successful referendum campaign to kill the draconian ordinances that existed and were de facto bans on dispensaries throughout the city. Scherer made a dramatic speech and few noticed he was dressed casually in shorts.

Photo caption:

Wearing shorts in his city council appearance, Alex Scherer, 28, spoke for the Patients’ Care Association and the coalition of cannabis organizations successfully getting the ordinances re-pealed. Photo by Leo E. Laurence.