• Congressman Garrett (VA-R)

  • Gov. Chris Christy (NJ-R)

  • Colorado 2012

  • California Field Work, Prop 19

COP’s Annual Report: Year Two – August 2010 thru July 2011

COP’s Annual Report: Year Two – August 2010 thru July 2011

COP provided an anti-prohibition, law enforcement voice on Capitol Hill and in the DC area the past twelve (12) months.  The bread and butter – Congressional presentations numbered 209.  This steady contact and presence in the halls of Congress reminded all of them that solid, law enforcement professionals oppose the current prohibition approach to some drugs.

This number -209 -reflected an election year where staffing on the Hill is in great flux for two months before and after the election.  Also, Howard volunteered his services and horse to the cause of California’s Prop 19 for two months.  NOTE:  that project was in no way connected to COP.  COP paid for no expenses related to that effort.

COP continued to attract and manage major media to its name and cause.  The foto below was a two page centerfold for Reason magazine (leading Libertarian publication).

Major Accomplishments:

Repeal Bill:  Most importantly, Congressman Barney Frank introduced HR 2306 in May 2011 – The Repeal Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011.  Recall this effort started in the winter of 2010, when I called for a meeting (Whiskey Friday) of the major drug reform groups in DC.   DPA, MPP, NORML, COP and SSDP all attended.     We agreed that in the next Congress -112th– we would ask Mr. Frank to introduce a clean bill that would repeal federal prohibition of just marijuana.  Another meeting in early 2011 reconfirmed this, when we met with Congressman Jared Polis’ in his DC office.  The bill already has 17 Members on board and we expect more.

Conferences:  Howard became the first, known legalizer to attend a NRA (National Rifle Association) national conference in an official capacity.  Three days in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania were spent basically saying, ‘You trust adults with deadly force.  Therefore trust them with a green plant.’  That message made a lot of skeptics think and others come to our side.

LULAC (League of United Latino American Citizens) had a national conference in Cincinnati that Howard attended for two days.   Wearing the COP shirt in Spanish and speaking it often, progress was made with many attendees.  Again Howard was the first legalizer to attend the gathering of this important constituency.

CPAC – Conservative Political Action Conference was another love fest for three days in DC in February.  Howard’s shirt was a magnet for about 150 chats and 10 media interviews.   Young conservatives are now overwhelmingly on our side..Thank you Ron Paul and Gary Johnson.

Grover Norquist’s Brunch – Continues to provide high-profile contacts with national VIPs  (on the conservative side).  Howard meeting Republicans who are striving for Congressional offices is routine.

Second year stats:  209 presentations to Congressional staffers:  

TV appearances: 14 …   (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, etc)

Newspaper stories: 7 dailies, 3 weeklies

Radio appearances: 13 – this week

Published LTE: 20

Other media (bloggers, cable TV, minor publications, etc): 12

12 (Member of Congress) contacts:



COP total stats in first two years:  August 1, 2009 thru July 31, 2011)


649 Presentations to Congressional staffers

22 Appearances on major TV networks

10 published interviews in newspapers

12 interviews and reports in minor media = blogs, cable TV, etc

57 published letters to the editor (value per MAPINC in free publicity: $56,000)

19 brief chats with Members of Congress

13 chats with other elected officials, state reps, senators, etc.

6 major conferences attended (CPAC, LULAC, NRA, etc)

Permanent invitation to Grover Norquist’s Wednesday brunch attended by 140 conservative VIPs.







Filed under:Annual Reports

COPs First Annual Report

Annual Report: Citizens Opposing Prohibition – 2009/2010

 The House Crime Subcommittee adjourned and I made contact with the Member who is the presumptive chairman, when the Republicans take control of the House in 2011.   This was our sixth (6th) chat in three years.   He had already agreed that current policy was ineffective but he asked, “What do we do?  Just give up on these (addicts) people?”   “No.”  I replied, “But arresting them wastes precious police time.   The government can not fix stupid.  Only family and friends might have a chance.”  He nodded and we chatted another minute.    I knew his Chief of Staff was on board to end marijuana prohibition from a chat earlier this year.   

 This type of ‘Grass Tops’ contact is what COPs is all about.   In our first year you kept an anti-prohibition, law enforcement voice on Capitol Hill and in the DC area, a voice which generates instant credibility.  The transition from carrying a LEAP card to a COPs card was a smooth one.   My cowboy hat and politics are what staffers and Members remember, not my card.  COPs had ‘sit-down’ conversations with 443 Congressional staffers and chats with seven more Members.    This steady contact reminded all of them that solid, law enforcement professionals oppose the current prohibition approach to some drugs.

Since 2005 I have been educating/advocating to Members and their staff for a drug policy commission, even before Senator Webb (D-VA) was elected in November 2006.  These efforts bore fruit in 2009, when Webb introduced the National Criminal Justice Commission bill which cleared the Senate’s Judiciary Committee with a unanimous vote in early 2010.  In the summer of 2010 the House passed the bill on a voice vote.  Though it died during the lame duck session, it will be introduced again in 11.  Through educational efforts these past five years, I have prepared the ground for the passage of the Webb bill.    As members of Citizens Opposing Prohibition, you can take credit for the progress made in 2009 and 2010.

Moving forward into its second year, COPs is in poised to add to the progress already made and enter new areas.  We will educate the Congress on the advantages of allowing the several States to set their own couse for drug policy, starting with marijuana.   I will attend two, new national conferences in 2011: the LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens- similar to NAACP) and the NRA (National Rifle Association).  As I have done the past five years, I will attend the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) and the three day conference in DC sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus.   Weekly, I attend the Grover Norquist brunch (120 conservative VIPs attending) and monthly I attend the Leadership Institutes’ breakfast which features conservative speakers, including Members of Congress.     I will seek out and go to the groups who do not yet agree with our position on drug policy.   We are adding speaking engagements to service clubs, churches and other community groups to our list of activities as well.

The ‘bread and butter’ of COPs will continue to be spending time in the Congress, meeting staff and Members.  Ending federal drug prohibition is a crucial part of the national strategy.  The prohibition crowd delights in repeating that federal law trumps any state law.   Our first year stats are below for your review.    I hope and trust you will continue to support these efforts.

Thank you,

Howard Wooldridge

Drug Policy Specialist and Executive Director, Citizens Opposing Prohibition

COPs  First Year Stats 2009-2010

 443 presentations to Congressional Staffers 

7 presentations to VIPs (elected officials)

37 published Letters to the Editor 

Numerous conferences, hearings & briefings attended.  C-Span broadcast my question at a Senate briefing. 

12 radio shows 

8 TV interviews (Colombian TV, Fox and Univision, NBC, cable)

Filed under:Annual Reports