COP is Your Voice in the United States Congress
A Lone Ranger goes to Washington to repeal Drug Prohibition and end the War on Drugs: Ask Him Why*
by Mary Ann Akers of the Washington Post
Howard Wooldridge has one of the craziest jobs: trying to convince 535 of the most uptight people in Washington – the entire membership of Congress – to repeal drug prohibition. That means everything from marijuana to cocaine to heroin. He urges them to adopt the 10th Amendment (states’ rights) as a guiding principle for drug policy.
See COP’s rep in action in the Congress. Click below for a four minute video produced by the Washington Post.
*To protect our children better from pedophiles and other threats by not wasting time on a Charlie Sheen, Willie Nelson, Snoop Dog, Rush Limbaugh or any adult. Have a drug problem? See a doctor.
Ann Landers came out for marijuana legalization/regulation before her death in 2002.
Harm to Youth Due to Marijuana Prohibition
Although the intent of marijuana prohibition was to limit the ability of youth to buy it, this result has not been achieved, quite the contrary. Since 1975 teens in government surveys report that marijuana is readily available and easier to obtain than alcohol. Teen use has recently overtaken their consumption of tobacco. The strength of marijuana has increased. By these metrics, prohibition has been at best a failure and perhaps made the situation worse.
As law enforcement has increased its marijuana arrests (some 750,000 in 2012), the result has been more teens have suffered and died than need be. Detectives assigned to marijuana enforcement arrest no pedophiles and those possessing child porn. Road officers have caught fewer deadly DUIs, due to more and more time spent searching cars for marijuana. Teens have been murdered after they took the job option of selling marijuana. College tuition has risen dramatically in the past twenty (20) years, as tax money was diverted to increase prison populations due in part to marijuana prohibition. Those teens unlucky enough to have been caught(mostly those of color) are burdened by a life-long, drug-related criminal record which restricts their ability to get a job, a student loan, a license, a credit card. a license, etc.
Personal Safety. Pedophiles stalk our young teens in internet chat rooms, asking them to “meet in real life.” Meanwhile thousands of detectives are flying around in helicopters or attached to drug squads to make many of the 200,000 arrests for drug sales. Child cyber pornography continues to be a serious threat to little boys and girls in America. Per Senator Biden’s hearing in April of 2008, law enforcement so under-resources this problem that only 2% (12,000) of these criminals were arrested in 2008. Per recent new (2012), that figure is now 4% per year are caught. At the end of 2008 about 190,000 little boys and girls were still in the home of a sexually abusive parent or guardian. This while the police arrested 800,000 for marijuana crimes, mostly possession.
Many teens are subjected to random drug tests to play sports, etc. They all know that consuming alcohol or even meth and cocaine on Friday night will allow them a ‘clean’ urine on Monday morning. Marijuana, since it is fat soluble, will show up on a urine test on Monday. Thus, many teens choose the much more dangerous alcohol over the use of marijuana.
Prohibition creates tens of thousands of part and full-time jobs for teens to sell pot. No legal job available to teens is as easy to obtain or as rewarding. Teens sell pot for profit and or to be popular with their peer group. This can end up with them having a criminal record, in prison or dead. Although not broken down by drug, SAMHSA’s last report (2005) stated that 900,000 teens were selling prohibited drugs.
The vast majority of teens who are getting high or “partying” choose between alcohol and marijuana. Marijuana use is actually safer than alcohol for the user, those nearby and the community. Consumption does not provoke aggressive or violent behavior. On average, those teens who use marijuana in place of alcohol have better health outcomes: no overdose deaths from marijuana, far fewer homicides, suicides, rapes, assaults, car crashes, and other problems caused by drinking & rarely by marijuana. We need to make unwanted but inevitable experimentation less risky.
Marijuana use does NOT increase use of harder drugs. A federal study-1994- concluded that marijuana was the “terminus” illegal drug for 72 percent of users. The most recent research in 1999 done by the Institute of Medicine (division of the National Institute of Health) concluded, “There is no evidence that marijuana serves as a stepping stone [to other drugs] on the basis of its particular physiological effect.” 96% of marijuana smokers never try heroin. One of prohibition’s greatest dangers is having a teen meet a drug dealer to buy marijuana and be offered a low cost or free sample of drugs like heroin. Or, the dealer puts meth or heroin into the marijuana to hook the teen on the much more dangerous and expensive drug. This does happen.
NOTE: If marijuana were legal for adults, teens would buy it from older siblings or other adults, much like alcohol reaches teens. This would continue to be against the law, similar to an adult can not furnish alcohol to a minor. The advantage of legal, regulated and taxed marijuana is the adult would provide the teen pure marijuana inspected by the government. The older sibling would not offer the teen other drugs for sale, certainly no free or low cost samples of hard drugs.
Also, the consumption of alcohol causes the death of more teens than all other drugs combined. If marijuana were legal for adults, educators could put the proper focus on what is by far the biggest drug threat to teens – alcohol.
Minority youth are severely impacted: Studies show these groups use at about same rate, but youth of color are stopped, searched and arrested at rates as high as four times the white rate. Former police chiefs – George Napper of Atlanta, Anthony Bouza of Minneapolis and Norman Stamper of Seattle – have criticized this outrageous feature of marijuana enforcement.
Prohibition causes disrespect for all laws. Teens see the hypocrisy of marijuana being illegal, while cigarettes, alcohol, Oxycontin, Valium & Prozac are legal. Young adults who have their cars or persons illegally searched by over-zealous police become bitter and don’t respect the law. The long-term damage to our society of developing contempt for law and authority at an early age is hard to measure, but evolves into lack of respect for government and the Congress, and admiration for outlaws.
Educational costs. Tuition costs at colleges are much higher, as states fund narcotics units and then build more prisons to hold those they arrest. Thus fewer young people can attend or they are burdened with huge debts upon graduation. The average student graduating in 2012 is $28,000 in debt.
The best studies have shown that the criminal justice system in 2012 spent about 7 billion to enforce marijuana prohibition and about 7 billion in taxes was not collected from its sale. This money was unavailable for pressing public purposes of all kinds. The money is truly lost in the sense that its expenditure fails to accomplish any worthwhile public purpose.
Long term consequences: President Jimmy Carter told Congress in 1977, “Penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself. Nowhere is this clearer than in the laws against the possession of marijuana in private for personal use.” An arrest becomes a ball and chain follows the young person all the way thru life, decreasing their ability to obtain good employment and wages. When Michael Phelps the swimmer was arrested as a drunk driver, that crime was no problem for Kellogg. However, his smoking marijuana lost him a million dollar contract.
Has marijuana prohibition protected our teens from using it? No. Marijuana has been easier for our teens to buy than alcohol for 30+ years. Those who support prohibition have testified (citing no research) that marijuana would become easier for teens to buy, if legal for adults. The federal government’s DEA reports that marijuana “is readily available to America’s youth.” How could it become easier to obtain than “readily available?”
Would more teens try it, if it were legal for adults i.e. send the wrong message? No. Medical doctors –board certified in addiction psychology – have stated that at least as many teens try marijuana because of the glamor and excitement factors (forbidden fruit) created by its prohibition, as are deterred by it being illegal for everyone.
Unholy Alliance: Cops, Cartels, Cultivators and the Competition (Beer Industry) Unite to Keep Marijuana Illegal
The enemy of my enemy is my friend. That explains how chiefs of police, sheriffs and President Obama stand shoulder to shoulder with the blood-thirsty Mexican Cartels in their support for marijuana prohibition. It explains why illegal growers cheer their sheriff in Northern California, as the cops encourage no change to the market being controlled by the cartels & growers. During the Fall of 2010 the California Beer and Beverage Association gave $10,000 to defeat Prop 19. (a California ballot issue to treat marijuana much like beer). Even as police officers know too well the horrific damage and death caused by the use of alcohol, they embrace these deadly distributors of pain and sorrow. Why this unholy alliance, this gathering of strange bedfellows? Simple. Money, money and money.
Law enforcement stands to lose billions nationally, when this nation repeals its 8-10 decade long marijuana prohibition. In these tough times all the ‘free’ money coming from Washington and state capitols to search for green plants keeps the wallets and purses full of good overtime money. Indeed the FBI just reported that despite cutbacks in the ‘Thin Blue Line,’ my profession arrested a new record number of Willie Nelsons and Snoop Lions in 2011. Marijuana arrests now account for exactly 50% of all drug arrests. This is nonsense, even as every cop knows that pot is a much, much safer drug than alcohol. Money trumps public safety, common sense and human decency. Shame on the command officers like Sheriff Baca of Los Angeles SD who want the cartels to continue to be in charge of marijuana distribution and sales. Bless the street cops who by the hundreds of thousands privately wish marijuana were treated like beer. Indeed, in the blog PoliceOne a survey showed support for ‘treat it like beer’ running at just over 50% In December 2012 Paul Whitesell chief of the Indiana State Police testified that he personally would legalize and tax marijuana.
The Mexican cartels have operational control of North American marijuana production and distribution, according to testimony in the US Congress. They earn somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-20 billion (some 50 to 80% of their gross incomes). Our Department of Justice reports that about 240 Mexican-led gangs control the distribution of all drugs in more than 1000 cities across the USA. This empire is as if Al Capone branched out of Chicago to control the illegal booze market across the whole country back in the 20s and early 30s. In 17 states the cartels now grow marijuana in our national forests and parks, destroying watersheds, polluting the streams with chemicals and shooting and killing those hikers who are unlucky enough to come across their crop. Note: the cartels are NOT growing grapes in our national forests. I wonder why?
As bad as we have it, the cartels have destroyed civilization in Mexico’s six northern states in the past 5 years. Rule of law has completely disappeared. Crimes are not reported, because why waste the time? The American response to this was best stated by Congressman McCaul (R-TX) at a foreign relations committee meeting this summer of 2010, ‘We need to keep the violence contained on the other side of the border.’ In other words, as long as 60,000 + Mexicans are dying for our prohibition, no problemo. Disgusting.
The growers of some of the nation’s best marijuana live in Northern California. At watering holes there are worried looks on the faces of men and women who are making billions growing the weed. Legalization would start to cripple their highly lucrative businesses. They know their profit margins would drop like a stone (recent Rand Corporation estimated about an 80% drop in gross profits). In 2010 this writer asked a waitress in Eureka what would happen to the city, marijuana were legal. ‘This town would dry up in a hurry.’ She replied. She was probably going to vote no on legalization in order to save her job. The growers opposed Prop 19.
In Fall of 2010 the distributors of America’s second deadliest drug –alcohol- went public with their support for prohibition. They donated $10,000 to the Stop 19 campaign. The beer crowd knows full well they already compete with marijuana as a moderate, pleasant intoxicant. Legalization would allow millions more to put down the martini or beer and choose marijuana for a change. Of course the beer industry press people denied any attempt to reduce legal competition And the police embrace these dollars and support. Embarrassing.
None in this Unholy Alliance have dared to write opeds stating all the advantages of pot prohibition because, of course, there are none. None express their desire to keep the money coming because that would expose them as the worst of ‘leaders.’ The cops, cartels, cultivators and beer makers have joined hands to keep the money coming. These Chicken Littles warn the sky will fall, if prohibition were ended. Ultimately their distortions, outright lies and money were successful in 2010. The forces of prohibition lost by 10 points in the Fall of 2012, as Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana. Alaska, Oregon and Washington, DC followed in 2014. Expect five (5) more states to have legalize/regulate/tax on their 2016 ballot..
Supporters of the War on Drugs/Modern Prohibition (an unholy alliance of politicians, cops, terrorists and criminals)
1. Fraternal Order of Police, Mexican Drug Cartels, National Sheriff’s Association
2. International Chiefs of Police Association., child porn crowd, MADD, Pedopohiles
3. Senators Sessions, Feinstein, Frankel, Shelby, Chuck Grassley
4. Big Pharma, Private Prison Industries, Inc.
5. California Narcotics Officers Association, ISIS, the Taliban
6. MS-13 Gang Association, Crips and Bloods – Hell’s Angels
7. The Washington Post, New York Times, Washington Times
8. FARC of Colombia, Shining Path of Peru
9. President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry
10. Congressmen Louie Gohmert, Lamar Smith, Bob Goodlatte
11. Meth Makers Association of Mexico
Enemies of Drug Prohibition
1. COPs – Citizens Opposing Prohibition, MPP and NORML
2. Governor Gary Johnson (R-NM) -former,
3. William F. Buckley, Ann Landers & Milton Friedman- now with the angels
4. Drug Policy Alliance
5. Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-CA) & Rep. Roger Goodman (D-WA)
6. Mike Jones – Deputy Chief of Police (ret.) — Peter Christ -police captain (ret.)
7. LEAP – Law Enforcement Against Prohibition – Eric Sterling of CJPF
8. Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher, Jared Polis: Senators Paul, Baldwin
9. VMMA – Veterans for Medical Marijuana, CATO Institute
10. Your name here