MacKenzie Allen
Retired Deputy Sheriff; Member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

MacKenzie Allen made hundreds of drug arrests in the course of his law enforcement career and has been an eyewitness to the violence between drug dealers fighting over the lucrative illegal drug market. His law enforcement career began in California with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. As a newly-minted deputy, Mac worked his required time in the L.A. County jail system. He then became a “patrol” deputy, working for a time in South Central L.A. in the area adjacent to the notorious Watts district, infamous for gang violence, riots and citizen-police conflict. In 1989 Mac and his wife moved to Washington State where he began work as a deputy for the King County Sheriff’s Office in Seattle. MacKenzie worked a variety of assignments at KCSO. He trained new deputies, became a Master Police Officer (MPO), and was the first in the King County Sheriff’s Department to become a community police officer, tasked with building better community relations and suppressing crime in the County’s most difficult neighborhood. He also spent some time as an undercover narcotics detective for the Street Crimes Unit. Disguised as a middle-aged, burnt-out “cluck head” (cocaine smoker), he made hand-to-hand drug buys and worked with informants. Mac never pursued promotion because he preferred to continue working “the streets”.

While working in the LA County jail system early in his career, MacKenzie witnessed what he refers to as “a totally futile policy.” He explains, “The jail population was huge. Our claim to fame was that Men’s Central Jail (downtown L.A.) was the largest jail in the free world. All week long we’d pop people for small amounts of heroin or cocaine or for ‘being under the influence of a controlled substance’, a misdemeanor in California. We filled the jails with these people to the point of severe overcrowding. To this day we don’t have the ‘hard cells’ to lock down serous criminals because the jails are jammed with low-level offenders.” He believes legalizing and regulating all drugs will bring an end to much of the harm done to society - and law enforcers - caused by the drug war.

During his time as an undercover narcotics detective, MacKenzie came to see his informants and other addicts as people in need of health care, not jail time. “Some people are dealt cards in life that, for them, are insurmountable. For many of them, the only escape is self-medication. Yes, they commit crimes to support their illicit drug habit. But incarceration is not going to change them.” Mac feels a national commitment to approaching drug abuse as a health problem, with heavy emphasis on education, is far more likely to produce a positive result than the revolving door of the criminal justice system. He attributes the escalating violence and its attendant dangers for law enforcers, as well as the inherent likelihood of governmental corruption, to the futile “war on drugs” and the staggering amounts of money involved.

MacKenzie’s law enforcement experience, coupled with acting in soap opera and TV commercials as well as performing voiceover work for radio and television, make him an engaging and expert speaker.

Until recently, he had an antiques and auction business. He still works as an auctioneer, specializing in fundraising for various charities and organizations. Mac holds a B.S. degree from Cornell University and is an alumnus of the Missouri Auction School, the oldest auction school in the country. He and his wife, Jesse, have two children and are expecting their fourth grandchild.