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Former drug enforcement officers voice support for recreational marijuana in Arizona

Finn Selander, former DEA agent, talks to students on ASU's Tempe campus (Photo by Mike Sackley/KTAR News).

TEMPE, Ariz. — The push to legalize recreational pot in Arizona is being joined by some unexpected members.

Two former drug enforcement agents, both with years of experience fighting the distribution of illegal drugs, said it makes sense for Arizona to regulate marijuana like alcohol.

Finn Selander and Mike Capasso talked with Arizona State University students on the Tempe campus Wednesday about supporting Proposition 205, with early voting in Arizona already underway. Selander, an 18-year veteran of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), said marijuana’s legalization in Arizona would hurt the cartels.

“Sixty percent of the cartels’ revenues come from marijuana alone,” Selander said. “Prop. 205 is going to actually take that money that would normally go the cartels, so to say, and it’s going to put it into the communities.”

Capasso, a 23-year DEA veteran, said there are other drugs with more devastating effects on individuals than marijuana.

“It doesn’t have the collateral damage these other drugs have,” Capasso said. “It doesn’t destroy people [and] doesn’t destroy individuals, as say methamphetamine.”

Selander and Capasso are hopeful students will research and study the measure before casting ballots. On the other side, several members of the Arizona State Board of Education have voiced their opposition to legalized marijuana.

A recent poll from OH Predictive Insights showed 47 percent of Arizona voters oppose Prop. 205, with 43 percent supporting the measure.

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