COP on the Hill: Stories from the week of February 10, 2017

COP on the Hill:

Stories from the week of February 10, 2017

Been in this office before: Always good when I enter a Congressional office and introduce myself thusly; ‘Hi. I represent police officers who don’t want to waste their time chasing a green plant, Willie Nelson, Snoop Dog – that kind of nonsense.’ This week and every week about 1 in 5 on the desk will respond with something like: ‘I remember you from last time.’ Does my heart good to hear that, it does. . (offering free samples once a month, when I have my fun day – probably helps too)

I also had two staffers stop me in the hallway. One had moved over to the Senate (promotion) and the other had become a lobbyist, after years as a Legislative Director. He was there to see an office on his issue.

My mentor, Eric Sterling, recommended a book in 2005 which I read: Tribes: in summary after X years learning the ropes, staffers fan out all over the federal bureaucracy and or become the lobbyists who go back to their colleagues and offices to move policies. It now occurs to me that my 3,500 presentations have done the same thing for drug reform…. I have created my own ‘tribe’ who still remember me and the issue years later… and it only takes a 15-minute chat. (okay the cowboy hat helps a bunch) Woohoo!!

Marijuana industry helps Trump ‘Make America Great Again:’ I presented to Grover Norquist’s Wednesday meeting. The topic was: Jobs, jobs, jobs. 123,000 to be exact. Thanks to Justin Strekin from NORML, I now know that the MJ industry employs about 120,000 spread over 28 states. I reported this number of good paying jobs (most are 15/hour for unskilled labor) is expected to double when CA, NV, ME and MA come on line next year along with workers in Florida’s MMJ industry. The MJ industry is doing its part to help America succeed!!

For any first-time reader of this letter: the 150 attendees for a presentation have millions of conservative members. One of our group is already working today in the WH (that I know of). Grover was summoned to the WH last week, as Trump wanted his input. Any pressure we can put on the administration to leave Colorado et al alone (muzzle Sessions) is my/our goal. And I cannot say too often that Grover is four-square on our side.

MJ – Uruguay Connection: I was invited to and attended a social event at the Uruguay embassy on Friday evening. A good time was had by all. It occurred to me that, if I had brought some MJ into the embassy (located in DC), it would still have been legal in the embassy, as they went legal/regulate about two years ago… No, no one lit up but I felt a solid sense of satisfaction. We are on the path to making the world a better place. (you probably know that once inside an embassy, it is legally the same as being in that country)

This week’s stats:

2307 Presentations to Congressional staffers… 09 this week
2 meetings

COP stats since inception: August 2009

25 major conferences attended – (United Nations drug conference, CPAC, LULAC, NRA, CBC, ASA, DPA, Dem & Repub. Presidential conventions., National Review, Republican Annual Retreat etc) 0 this week
161 personal chats with a Member of Congress.. 00 this week
139 interviews and reports in minor media = 00 this week.
72 Radio Interviews. 00 this week

205 chats with other elected officials, state reps, senators, VIPs, etc. 0 this week

84 published letters to the editor (value per MAPINC in free publicity: $83,000).. 0 this week
42 published interviews/foto in major (daily) newspapers or magazine… 0 this week
62 Appearances/Interviews on major TV/Radio/Print media..This week (Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, BBC, CNN, NPR)…02 this week (NBC twice)
* 2 editorials in daily papers mentioning Howard’s efforts & in support of COP position
Weekly attendance at Grover Norquist’s Wednesday brunch attended by 150 conservative leaders. Named the “Grand Central Station of the Conservative Movement.”
* Consider being a member of COP at $30.00 or more per year. All contributions are tax-deductible. 30 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 February 03, 2017

COP on the Hill:

Stories from the week of February 03, 2017

Where’s my coat: I put my new jacket in the coat room for the Grover Norquist meeting. I always place it on the front of the rack, so all can read the message. (see below)
Since last year another attendee has been moving it to the middle of the rack, so no one can read it….= I still have a ways to go

How to succeed: This text from Don Murphy of MPP to Mike Correia of NCIA , “if you are on the Hill, stop by FinServ in 2128 (Rayburn). Good opp to meet new members.” Don has been sending these types of messages since he arrived two years ago. This type of intel sharing has never been done in 10 years on the Hill. Don is also the author of the 100 ‘getable’ R members, allowing us to focus on who might evolve and shift their vote our way. Thank you Don.

History Lesson: in my 10 years on the Hill – Don is the first MJ reformer (besides me) to be on the Hill several days a week, EVERY week. The novelty of having lunch with a fellow MJ reformer has still not worn off.

This week’s stats:

2298 Presentations to Congressional staffers… 11 this week

2 meetings

COP stats since inception: August 2009

25 major conferences attended – (United Nations drug conf, CPAC, LULAC, NRA, CBC, ASA, DPA, Dem & Repub. Presidential conventions., National Review, Republican Annual Retreat etc) 0 this week
161 personal chats with a Member of Congress.. 00 this week
139 interviews and reports in minor media = 00 this week.
72 Radio Interviews. 00 this week

205 chats with other elected officials, state reps, senators, VIPs, etc. 0 this week

84 published letters to the editor (value per MAPINC in free publicity: $83,000).. 0 this week
42 published interviews/foto in major (daily) newspapers or magazine… 0 this week
62 Appearances/Interviews on major TV/Radio/Print media..This week (Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, BBC, CNN, NPR)…02 this week (NBC twice)
* 2 editorials in daily papers mentioning Howard’s efforts & in support of COP position
Weekly attendance at Grover Norquist’s Wednesday brunch attended by 150 conservative leaders. Named the “Grand Central Station of the Conservative Movement.”
* Consider being a member of COP at $30.00 or more per year. All contributions are tax-deductible. 30 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 weeks of January 20 & 27, 2017

COP on the Hill:

Stories from the week of January 20 & 27, 2017

Inaugural Balls: Karen and I attended the Texas ball on Thursday evening. Our first two in 09 and 13 were not only enjoyable, they were productive as I had solid chats with a number of VIPs. Sadly, this year was a bust for politics. We had a good time.

On Friday MPP invited me to the Liberty Ball at the Library of Congress. This was both enjoyable and productive. Marijuana reformers filled a table of 12, I had chat with many guests (most chats started with: “love your hat” to which I replied, “You should see the horse that goes under it.” and much was discussed over excellent food and drink . Whereas the Texas ball had some 12,000 attending (making it a mad house), this one only had 425, allowing for more contacts and enjoyable, quiet conversations.

Will the center hold? Don Murphy of MPP and I drove to Philadelphia on Wednesday to mingle at the Republican national retreat. Fortune favoring the bold, we just walked up to the police barricades, acted like we owned the place and voila, the Sergeant let us pass into the venue hotel. I had solid chats with 4 House Reps and two Senators that first night.

About 8PM a crowd of 4-500 gathered on the opposite side of the street and they were in an ugly mood. The police moved 100 officers to keep them away from the venue…it was a bit tense for an hour or so. The highlight was Congressman Peter King (R-NY) who asked Don to take some fotos outside (see below). That led to a 10-minute social chat inside and now both he and Cman Donavan know me as “The Cowboy.”

Socks Optional: The next night (after Trump and Pence were there) the security was even tighter. Don led the way and another Sgt escorted us a block and half to the venue. Cman Yoho of Florida (and a solid leader in ending MJ prohibition) invited us to his table for drinks… His first question was to ask Don if he were wearing socks (Don has a reputation of not)…which lasted a half hour…. Cman Rohrabacher and I discussed 1968 Prague events…wow..Seven hours later we returned to our hotel (across the street) happy with our many chats with Members of Congress and the national media. Thank you Don and MPP for suggesting and planning these two days.

This week’s stats:

2 meetings

25 major conferences attended – (United Nations drug conf, CPAC, LULAC, NRA, CBC, ASA, DPA, Dem & Repub. Presidential conventions., National Review, Republican Annual Retreat etc) 01 this week

161 personal chats with a Member of Congress.. 14 this week ( all Republican )
139 interviews and reports in minor media = 03 this week.
72 Radio Interviews. 01 this week

COP stats since inception: August 2009
2287 Presentations to Congressional staffers… 00 this week
205 chats with other elected officials, state reps, senators, VIPs, etc. 0 this week

84 published letters to the editor (value per MAPINC in free publicity: $83,000).. 0 this week
42 published interviews/foto in major (daily) newspapers or magazine… 0 this week
62 Appearances/Interviews on major TV/Radio/Print media..This week (Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, BBC, CNN, NPR)…02 this week (NBC twice)
* 2 editorials in daily papers mentioning Howard’s efforts & in support of COP position
Weekly attendance at Grover Norquist’s Wednesday brunch attended by 150 conservative leaders. Named the “Grand Central Station of the Conservative Movement.”
* Consider being a member of COP at $30.00 or more per year. All contributions are tax-deductible. 30 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 January 6 & 13, 2017

COP on the Hill:

Stories from the week of January 6 & 13, 2017

IMHO: Several have asked my thoughts on the incoming President as it relates to COP work… I have medium confidence that Trump will direct AG Sessions to focus on the issue of the undocumented immigrants, not marijuana. Trump will, like Obama, leave Colorado et al, in peace. His base cares about The Wall, etc…nobody has a concern for the issue of a green plant.
Pleased, I am: I took stock of what influence we will have with the administration. Know that I asked the next VP a question about applying the 10th Amendment to MJ a few years ago. He answered my question, taking about a minute to explain his thinking… Recall I had a two minute chat with incoming Chief of Staff Reince Priebus 3 years ago re: 10th…I had a 3 minute chat last month with the incoming Secretary of the Interior – Cman Mike Zinke of Montana who agreed that we should apply the 10th to MJ. I have had 4 chats with former TX Governor and incoming Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, who also has been public in support of the 10th and MJ.

This is to report, that the boot leather left on the marble of the halls of Congress by me and others, has helped create an atmosphere of the idea that drug policy should be left to the states. COP has done its part of create this positive development and I thank you for your support.

My good Tony Lamas boots are freshly re-soled and ready for action. Next week will be Grover’s meeting plus two inaugural balls, where I can hob-knob with the big boys..My tux is ready.

This week’s stats:

2 meetings
147 personal chats with a Member of Congress.. 05 this week
71 Radio Interviews.. 01 this week (Michigan station)
2287 Presentations to Congressional staffers.. 08 this week

COP stats since inception: August 2009

205 chats with other elected officials, state reps, senators, VIPs, etc. 0 this week
136 interviews and reports in minor media = this week.
84 published letters to the editor (value per MAPINC in free publicity: $83,000).. 0 this week
42 published interviews/foto in major (daily) newspapers or magazine… 0 this week
62 Appearances/Interviews on major TV/Radio/Print media..This week (Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, BBC, CNN, NPR)…02 this week (NBC twice)
24 major conferences attended – (United Nations drug conf, CPAC, LULAC, NRA, CBC, ASA, DPA, Dem & Repub. Presidential conventions., National Review, etc) 0this week
* 2 editorials in daily papers mentioning Howard’s efforts & in support of COP position
Weekly attendance at Grover Norquist’s Wednesday brunch attended by 150 conservative leaders. Named the “Grand Central Station of the Conservative Movement.”
* Consider being a member of COP at $30.00 or more per year. All contributions are tax-deductible. 30 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 December 16, 23, 30 – 2016

COP on the Hill:
Stories from the week of December 16, 23, 30 – 2016

Smooth Transition: After the election I retired my ‘Pot’ t-shirts and dusted off my ‘Drugs’ t-shirts. 6 weeks later I am happy to report that just as many people ‘ask me why’ and agree with the concept all drugs should be legal and regulated.

Too many candles: I will be slowing down another notch in 2017, hoping to limit myself to 30-35 hours a week..Karen is in charge of tracking my hoursJ Related …. My cowboy boots are at the cobblers receiving their third resole. Simply put, I am just about as worn out as they are.

I ran across my first ever Newsletter from DC which I wrote in the fall of 2005…very bottom

This week’s stats:

1 meeting

70 Radio Interviews.. 01 this week (Pennsylvania station)
2279 Presentations to Congressional staffers.. 04 this week

COP stats since inception: August 2009

142 personal chats with a Member of Congress.. 00 this week
205 chats with other elected officials, state reps, senators, VIPs, etc. 0 this week
136 interviews and reports in minor media = this week.
84 published letters to the editor (value per MAPINC in free publicity: $83,000).. 0 this week
42 published interviews/foto in major (daily) newspapers or magazine… 0 this week
62 Appearances/Interviews on major TV/Radio/Print media..This week (Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, BBC, CNN, NPR)…02 this week (NBC twice)
24 major conferences attended – (United Nations drug conf, CPAC, LULAC, NRA, CBC, ASA, DPA, Dem & Repub. Presidential conventions., National Review, etc) 0this week
* 2 editorials in daily papers mentioning Howard’s efforts & in support of COP position
Weekly attendance at Grover Norquist’s Wednesday brunch attended by 150 conservative leaders. Named the “Grand Central Station of the Conservative Movement.”
* Consider being a member of COP at $30.00 or more per year. All contributions are tax-deductible. 30 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

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

LEAP in Washington D.C.
December 2005 Vol.1 Issue No.1

Howard J. Wooldridge
Background: LEAP Board Member and retired police detective Howard J. Wooldridge realized in the 1980s that drug prohibition was horrible waste of his time and his colleagues. After his retirement he became involved in drug reform in 1997. Wanting to make a difference, he rode his horse Misty from Georgia to Oregon in 2003 spreading the word like a later-day Paul Revere that drug prohibition was a disastrous policy for America. In 2005 he rode back across America from Los Angeles to New York City to convince America that this new prohibition must end. Though he longed to return to Texas, he and Misty moved to the Washington DC area in December 2005. While Misty rests on a ranch, Howard dresses up in a coat and tie, new buckle and new cowboy hat to educate the politicians and bureaucrats in the nation’s capital. He will produce a short, weekly newsletter of his activities at the Capitol.
Friday, December 16, 2005

Howard & Misty go to Washington DC
Weeks of December 09 and 16, 2005

I moved from Texas, arriving here with all my worldly possessions on December 1. Two days later I rented a large room in a private residence in Frederick which is 45 miles from DC. The train station which I use to travel to DC has free parking and is only 2 miles from my front door. I hung my fotos for the first time in 3 years and joined the YMCA which is a short, 5 minute walk from my house. The life of the wandering cowboy has come to a pleasant end.

I attended two meetings my first week. Eric Sterling of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation invited me the quarterly meeting of the Justice Roundtable, hosted by the Open Society Institute www.soros.org in downtown DC. After the 2 hour meeting I was invited to stay for a smaller forum on pending federal drug legislation. I was warmly received by all and several commented that it helps to have a police voice and opinion at the table. I look forward to more such meetings to express police concerns or possible reactions to legislation. I understand the resistance of the police community to changing any drug laws.

While unpacking and setting up my room, I contacted 5 major police groups to set up a courtesy meeting to introduce myself and the LEAP mission. The National Sheriff’s Association lobbyist quickly agreed to coffee at his office. An hour later he called and informed me that he required the permission from Sheriff Jenne of Broward County (Fort Lauderdale) before he could see me. Puzzled but accepting, I finally talked to an aide of the sheriff and hopefully the meeting will come off next week. (Note: it never did. The Sheriff refused to let his rep meet with me.) The NOBLE (National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives) rep and I will meet next week. The other groups, International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Fraternal Order of Police, National Latino Officers Association of America have yet to respond to my inquires ( and none ever did, even after a second contact.) I sense a reluctance to meet the ‘enemy.’ The websites of the NSA and the IACP show that these groups are 100% opposed to any type of reform policy. I also made contact with the rep of the National District Attorneys Association. We set up a meeting for the first of the year. (also later canceled).

I made contact with two persons in the area who want to be LEAP speakers, Matthew Fogg retired US Marshall and Nina Graves, a federal police officer. I will be working with them to develop speaking opportunities in the DC area. I also made contact with June Clark, LEAP’s coordinator for the DC area.

Most of the second week I spent contacting all the congressional offices from Texas, setting up 11 meetings and one radio interview. I did take time out on the 14th to join other reformers at the US Dept. of Justice building to protest the recent DEA raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego.

As a wonderful, housewarming gift DC’s main paper, The Washington Post, honored LEAP by publishing my letter to the editor in their Sunday edition. Since they only published a total of 3, the impact was greater. And yes, they did mention I was a director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

On a personal note: my emotions and energy are running high as I begin this new task. I am right where I want to be, doing a job that is immensely rewarding on a professional and personal level. This work is as rewarding as arresting a drunk driver or child molester. I love it!!

LTE: DRUG LAWS DON’T WORK
Sunday, December 11, 2005; Page B06
As a police detective in Michigan, I was fully aware of the problems that the Prince George’s County police face [“Bullets Keep Flying,” editorial, Dec. 7]. I learned that drug laws generated about 75 percent of my caseload and that nonviolent felonies often were not investigated because of lack of time. Switzerland has cut its felony crime in half by having the state regulate and sell heroin to addicts in a government program. What part of drug prohibition is making Prince George’s County a safer place to live? Will we ever be as wise as our grandparents and end drug prohibition?

HOWARD J. WOOLDRIDGE

The writer is a director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

Filed under:On the Hill