• Congressman Gaetz (FL-R)

  • Gov. Chris Christy (NJ-R)

  • Colorado 2012

  • California Field Work, Prop 19

COP on the Hill: Stories from the week of June 15, 2018

COP on the Hill:

Stories from the week of June 15, 2018

Where $30 of COP was spent this week: Grover Norquist of ATR (Americans for Tax Reform) had a book-signing soirée on Thursday. With beverages in hand I had a full seven minutes with him to myself, as we discussed pending legislation, strategy and votes in the House and Senate. I gave him my opinion, that if Trump can pressure Ryan and McConnell to allow a vote – fed, MJ prohibition could be over in 2018. I will probably never read the book.

Besides three meetings, I spent the bulk of the week contacting every journalist I know. They received info on my search for a heroin addict who would like treatment in Switzerland. (Text below)

This week’s stats:

250 chats with other elected officials, state reps, senators, VIPs, etc. 03 this week ( 3 persons running for the House this fall)

03 Meetings – meetings, hearings

COP stats since inception: August 2009

2788 Presentations to Congressional staffers… this week
269 personal chats with a Member of Congress… this week
152 interviews and reports in minor media = 0 this week.
Weekly attendance at Grover Norquist’s Wednesday brunch attended by 150 conservative leaders. Named the “Grand Central Station of the Conservative Movement.”
* 2 editorials in daily papers mentioning Howard’s efforts & in support of COP position
84 published letters to the editor (value per MAPINC in free publicity: $83,000) 0 this week
43 published interviews/foto in major (daily) newspapers or magazine… 0 this week
75 Appearances/Interviews on major TV/Radio/Print media. This week (Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, BBC, CNN, NPR, German, Swiss. French TV and radio) 0 this week
29 major conferences attended – (United Nations drug conference, CPAC, LULAC, NRA, CBC, ASA, DPA, Dem & Repub. Presidential conventions., National Review, Republican Annual Retreat etc.) 00 this week
83 Radio Interviews. 0 this week

* Consider being a member of COP at $40.00 or more per year. All contributions are tax-deductible. 40 dollars buys all the copy paper COP uses in one year. Law Enforcement’s voice in opposition to current policy is vital on the Hill to achieve a repeal of federal prohibition. COP provides that voice. www.citizensopposingprohibition.org

Afternoon Mitch,
RE: Swiss Heroin Assisted Treatment (HAT)
Purpose of this message and proposal;

1. Increase U.S. awareness of the utility of HAT.
2. Provide Americans with an opportunity to obtain Swiss-style HAT treatment.
3. Recruit Americans to go to Switzerland & obtain addiction treatment using the Swiss HAT model.

Background: Since 1994 the Swiss have provided their citizens and residents the most life-saving, efficient treatment for their addict population. (6-minute summary at the bottom of this email). No foreigner has ever attempted to obtain a residency permit for the purpose of HAT. My Swiss government contact has said that, IN PRINCIPLE, a foreigner could receive HAT.
The obstacle is obtaining the residency permit. If and when a person is issued a residency permit, one could buy Swiss, national health insurance and then go to a Swiss clinic and receive HAT. This concept is further complicated by the fact that the central Swiss government does not issue these permits, rather the 26 Canton governments do.
Needed:
COP is recruiting a US citizen who wants to receive HAT and is willing to share their story with the news media. I started this process last month but the addict is now too sick to participate. I will aid anyone in this endeavor who meets our program requirements. With five major contacts with the Swiss health ministry and tours of the HAT facilities, I am very knowledgeable on what’s what. My fluency in German and French also aid in this process.

Program Requirements:

To qualify for the SWISS HAT program a participant must:

a) be at least 18 years old;

b) have been addicted (daily use) for at least two years;

c) be in poor health (subjective criteria of the clinic);

d) have had two or more failed attempts of conventional treatment (methadone or other);

e) understand that heroin can only be obtained at the clinic and must be consumed on site (oral or injection);

f) Commit to a stay a period of at least 18 months

g) Be able to afford the cost of living in Switzerland and demonstrate to the Swiss authorities that they have the means, i.e., a minimum of $3,500 per month for rent, living expenses;

h) Articulate what they will do in Switzerland, besides treatment…. study, work, etc.

SUMMARY:
Please refer any candidates to call me at 817-975-1110 (Eastern time) between 0800 and 2200 – 7 days a week

SWISS MAT (Medication Assisted Treatment) APPROACH TO HEROIN ADDICTION
1994 – 2018: SUMMARY
This summary was taken from six published reports and updated every year. The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health reviewed and approved its release. Additional questions should be directed to Catherine Ritter in Bern (41) 58-469-18-13 Email Catherine.Ritter@bag.admin.ch – NOTE: The author toured Swiss clinics in 2001, 2008 & 2016 and met with federal health officials in 2017 to increase understanding and knowledge. Understanding was enhanced, due to the author’s fluency in French and German. This summary was researched and written by Howard J. Wooldridge, Drug Policy Specialist at Citizens Opposing Prohibition (.org)

Overview: Due to the severe drug problem in Switzerland in the early 1990s, (rising number of injection drug users, visibility of open drug scenes, AIDS epidemic, rising number of drug related deaths, poor physical health, high criminality) the Swiss made a fundamental shift in approaching the problems caused by heroin addiction. The Swiss offer treatment-on-demand and life-time status as a patient. (Like an alcoholic is a lifelong condition) A variety of different treatments is available, in order to treat a broad range of dependent people. Of an estimated 22-24,000 addicts 17,500 are in treatment. 92% are given daily doses of primarily methadone at conventional clinics or via general practitioners (60%). The Swiss treat about 1600 dependent people with maintenance doses of heroin or slow-release morphine tablets at 23 special clinics operating in cities and two prisons. Opioid based treatments are part of a broader therapy that includes social, educational and psychological measures. The Swiss approach has resulted in lower rates of crime, death, disease, a slight drop in expected new users as well as an improvement in mental and physical health, employment and housing. Similar programs have been developed in seven countries: Germany, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, England, Spain and Canada.

Patient Qualifications:

* To qualify for a heroin or morphine prescription: 1) at least 18 years old; 2) been addicted (daily use) for at least two years; 3) present signs of poor health; 4) two or more failed attempts of conventional treatment (methadone or other) 5) Heroin/morphine can only be obtained at the clinic and must be consumed on site (oral or injection). (Note: Under strict control and specific criteria [for example full employment] a few are allowed to take away one oral dose daily)

A. Patients can receive up to three doses of heroin per day. 66% take the heroin via needle injection, the rest a pill or mixed with juice.
B. Patients average about three (3) years in this plan. However, they may stay in treatment indefinitely. 20% of original patients are still in the program.
C. Upon relapse, a patient can return to the clinic and re-start the treatment.
D. The vast majority of patients are satisfied or very satisfied with the program.
E. Average age of patient: 42 years.
F. The Swiss approach is custom-designed, according to the medical needs of the patient.

Program Outcomes:

*Crime Issues: 60% drop in felony crimes by patients (80% drop after one year in the program). 82% drop in patients selling heroin.
*Death Rates: Millions of doses have been administered. No participant has died from a heroin overdose since the inception of the program.
*Disease Rates: New infections of Hepatitis and HIV have been reduced for patients.

*New Use Rates: Slightly lower than expected. 1) As reported in the Lancet June 3, 2006, the medicalisation of using heroin has tarnished the image of heroin and made it less attractive to young people. This is still true in 2018 per Bern. 2) Most new users are introduced to heroin by members of their social group and 50% of users also deal to support their habit. Therefore, with so many users/sellers in treatment, non-users have fewer opportunities to be exposed to heroin, especially in the rural areas.
*Cost Issues: 48 dollars/day: Patient costs are covered by national health insurance agency. Patients pay annually 700 dollars for the compulsory insurance. Note: The Swiss save about 38 dollars per day per patient mostly in lowered costs for court and police time, due to less crime committed by the patients.
*The Swiss annually purchase about 100 kilos of heroin for treatment. Since 1994 Swiss patients have received over 10,000,000 doses of heroin without a fatality.
** The Swiss approach gives us a glimpse of a context in which drug issues are handled by the medical community.
*** In September 2017, the Swiss govt health representatives in Bern confirmed their readiness to explain their program to the US Congress, if they receive a formal request.
**** The Swiss do not have an opioid-type problem like in the USA

Reader: What the Swiss Program is not:

1. It has not eliminated street sales of heroin. Dealers still exist in cities with clinics.
2. It is not a ‘free’ drugs program. Patients must purchase health care insurance and receive their methadone or heroin as part of their comprehensive drug treatment therapy.
3. A non-heroin using adult cannot walk into a clinic and receive heroin.
4. Simply put, the Swiss are using a comprehensive public health approach (treatment on demand) to heroin addiction whose unique feature is to allow a small minority of patients to receive pure, maintenance doses of heroin or morphine.
5. Heroin is not a legal, regulated and or taxed product in Switzerland.
6. The Swiss have never calculated how many fewer people have taken heroin during the life of the program because of the MAT program. They have calculated there was an annual drop of users of about 1% between 1992 and 2002. The Swiss attribute any progress to their Four Pillar’s Approach, not any isolated component.

Howard
Detective Officer Howard ‘Cowboy’ Wooldridge, Retired
Founder & Drug Policy Specialist at COP Citizens Opposing Prohibition.org
Co-Founder of Law Enforcement Action Partnership(www.LEAP.cc)

howardwooldridge0@gmail.com
817-975-1110
Metro Washington DC

The War on Drugs/Drug Prohibition has been the most destructive, dysfunctional and immoral policy since slavery & Jim Crow

Filed under:On the Hill

COP on the Hill: Stories from the week of June 8, 2018

COP on the Hill:

Stories from the week of June 8, 2018

Missed the big guy: On Wednesday I received an urgent text from Don Murphy to meet him. I pushed the, “I can’t talk right now” button, as I was in a conference. A few minutes later Don met with former NJ Governor Chris Christie and had a productive chat. The Governor said he recalled going toe to toe with the cowboy on the day of the New Hampshire primary. Go hat go!!

Oil & Gas Conference: I spent Wednesday and Thursday with 45 oil/gas people + some politicians from 26 countries. Besides honoring the invitation of a professional friend, I knew from last year’s conference it would be productive; I had chats with personnel from four embassies, including two ambassadors. I offered them COP assistance to learn more about the legalization movement – like I did for Germany and France in 2015.

This week’s stats:

247 chats with other elected officials, state reps, senators, VIPs, etc. 02 this week (the ambassador from Austria & Nigeria)
01 conference
02 Meetings – meetings, hearings

COP stats since inception: August 2009

2788 Presentations to Congressional staffers… this week
269 personal chats with a Member of Congress… this week
152 interviews and reports in minor media = 0 this week.
Weekly attendance at Grover Norquist’s Wednesday brunch attended by 150 conservative leaders. Named the “Grand Central Station of the Conservative Movement.”
* 2 editorials in daily papers mentioning Howard’s efforts & in support of COP position
84 published letters to the editor (value per MAPINC in free publicity: $83,000) 0 this week
43 published interviews/foto in major (daily) newspapers or magazine… 0 this week
75 Appearances/Interviews on major TV/Radio/Print media. This week (Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, BBC, CNN, NPR, German, Swiss. French TV and radio) 0 this week
28 major conferences attended – (United Nations drug conference, CPAC, LULAC, NRA, CBC, ASA, DPA, Dem & Repub. Presidential conventions., National Review, Republican Annual Retreat etc.) 00 this week
83 Radio Interviews. 0 this week

* Consider being a member of COP at $40.00 or more per year. All contributions are tax-deductible. 40 dollars buys all the copy paper COP uses in one year. Law Enforcement’s voice in opposition to current policy is vital on the Hill to achieve a repeal of federal prohibition. COP provides that voice. www.citizensopposingprohibition.org

Filed under:On the Hill

COP on the Hill: Stories from weeks in May 2018:

COP on the Hill

Stories from weeks in May 2018:

Starting on a cheerful note, the two-day conference in Oslo went well. About 30 activists from all of Norway (population 5 million) gathered to learn how to move the issue and learn as many facts/strategies as possible. I made a 20-minute presentation and then 50 minutes of Q & A. I recall my very first anti-prohibition meeting at Rick Days’ house in Dallas (pop 6 million) had about 25 attending in 1997.

They flew in 2 other speakers (Holland, UK) and we bunked in an Air B n B. The event was well-organized and their national efforts are off to a good start. The only COP expense was the food. Note: their Govt essentially declared a war on drugs in 1982. Their health minister had a Road-to-Damascus type conversion last year and has declared his support to adopt the Portugal model. I will keep you posted. Historically, Norway and Sweden have been the two most USA-style, War on Drugs nations in Europe.

My two meetings in Bern were less encouraging. The visa lady laid out clearly the steps for a USA heroin addict to come/live in Switzerland, enroll in their health care and then receive HAT. My impression was confirmed this will be pushing big boulders up the hill. She also confirmed that no foreigner has ever tried to go through this process. Note: the central Swiss govt does not approve the visas…each of the 26 Cantons makes the decision. Oy Vey.

Joined by Karen, we had an excellent, informative lunch with (now my old friend of 17 years) Dr. Christoph Bürki. Recall he ran the Bern HAT clinic for a number of years (how I met him) and is now in private practice, still treating addicts with methadone or morphine. (for heroin an addict must go to a clinic). Besides up to the hour info on Swiss HAT, he confirmed that the road I have set upon will be a nightmare of bureaucracy …otherwise ,

Ready to Go: Karen and I had a most enjoyable 4 weeks full of hiking (50,000 steps in 4 days in London), family, friends, etc. = I am very rested and full speed ahead. Karen was a saint as folks asked me…. The chat below delayed her dinner by 10 minutes, as 3 more ladies asked me why before I ordered. (foto may not be available on website)

British Pub, cold pint of beer, mate asks why…and voila

Filed under:On the Hill

COP on the Hill: Stories from the week of April 27 & May 4, 2018

COP on the Hill:

Stories from the week of April 27, 2018

Elevator Man: ‘Joe’ made his I-am-running-for-Congress presentation at Grover’s this week. He was mightily impressive and also in a hurry. Before leaving the area, he did a TV interview. I hung out at the elevator and then held it, while he and his entourage joined him. I had my 45 seconds and then another 2 minutes as his handlers were trying to get him into a waiting SUV. He kept asking me questions. What could I do but answer them??!!

Land of Oz: Also at Grover’s was a producer for the Dr. Oz TV program. She focuses on mental health issues and was happy to hear about the Swiss HAT approach.

I delivered the 2018 updates to the Senate this week, finishing that task. I had a particularly fruitful chat with the CJ aide to a southern Senator…after 10 years of ‘hell no’, his aide stated the office is now all in for the 10th Amendment on marijuana.

Next week is family business in Michigan & then off to Old Europe for four weeks. The only COP business is a lunch with my Swiss HAT doctor/friend and a visit to the Bern visa office, to see if and American can move to Switzerland and receive their HAT treatment.

This week’s stats:

2788 Presentations to Congressional staffers… 17 this week

245 chats with other elected officials, state reps, senators, VIPs, etc. 01 this week (candidate running for Congress)

01 Meetings – meetings, hearings

COP stats since inception: August 2009

269 personal chats with a Member of Congress… this week
152 interviews and reports in minor media = 0 this week.
Weekly attendance at Grover Norquist’s Wednesday brunch attended by 150 conservative leaders. Named the “Grand Central Station of the Conservative Movement.”
* 2 editorials in daily papers mentioning Howard’s efforts & in support of COP position
84 published letters to the editor (value per MAPINC in free publicity: $83,000) 0 this week
43 published interviews/foto in major (daily) newspapers or magazine… 0 this week
75 Appearances/Interviews on major TV/Radio/Print media. This week (Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, BBC, CNN, NPR, German, Swiss. French TV and radio) 0 this week
28 major conferences attended – (United Nations drug conference, CPAC, LULAC, NRA, CBC, ASA, DPA, Dem & Repub. Presidential conventions., National Review, Republican Annual Retreat etc.) 00 this week
83 Radio Interviews. 0 this week

* Consider being a member of COP at $40.00 or more per year. All contributions are tax-deductible. 40 dollars buys all the copy paper COP uses in one year. Law Enforcement’s voice in opposition to current policy is vital on the Hill to achieve a repeal of federal prohibition. COP provides that voice. www.citizensopposingprohibition.org

Filed under:On the Hill

COP on the Hill: Stories from the week of April 20, 2018

COP on the Hill:

Stories from the week of April 20, 2018

We love our vets: Nothing, but nothing exemplifies the changes (the Senator’s position is evolving {rapidly}) regarding marijuana than what I experienced for two hours this week. During a hearing by the Veterans Committee in the House, one could not distinguish between Rs and Ds…it was one big love fest of let’s push and push to put God’s medicine into the hands of our veterans in specific and medical marijuana for all citizens in general. Wow!!

Make the Pitch: After Grover’s meeting I was able to have an extended chat with my White House contact regarding the President’s now very public support for the 10th A and marijuana. I asked that the WH pressure Speaker Ryan to allow a vote on our bills. I can’t tell you what the response was. Let’s just say, I am still going to work on Monday. On a professional note – it is gratifying to have a chance to ask the WH for something directly..this development only took me 9 years in the trenches.

This week’s stats:

2773 Presentations to Congressional staffers… 11 this week
269 personal chats with a Member of Congress… 05 this week (David Young R-IA, Gwen Moore D-WI, Serrano D-NY, Lowey D-NY, Amash R-MI

244 chats with other elected officials, state reps, senators, VIPs, etc. 02 this week (candidate running for Congress)
Meetings – 2 meetings, 2 hearings

COP stats since inception: August 2009

152 interviews and reports in minor media = 0 this week.
Weekly attendance at Grover Norquist’s Wednesday brunch attended by 150 conservative leaders. Named the “Grand Central Station of the Conservative Movement.”
* 2 editorials in daily papers mentioning Howard’s efforts & in support of COP position
84 published letters to the editor (value per MAPINC in free publicity: $83,000) 0 this week
43 published interviews/foto in major (daily) newspapers or magazine… 0 this week
75 Appearances/Interviews on major TV/Radio/Print media. This week (Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, BBC, CNN, NPR, German, Swiss. French TV and radio) 0 this week
28 major conferences attended – (United Nations drug conference, CPAC, LULAC, NRA, CBC, ASA, DPA, Dem & Repub. Presidential conventions., National Review, Republican Annual Retreat etc.) 00 this week
83 Radio Interviews. 0 this week

* Consider being a member of COP at $40.00 or more per year. All contributions are tax-deductible. 40 dollars buys all the copy paper COP uses in one year. Law Enforcement’s voice in opposition to current policy is vital on the Hill to achieve a repeal of federal prohibition. COP provides that voice. www.citizensopposingprohibition.org

Filed under:On the Hill