COP on the Hill: Stories from the week of October 6, 2017

COP on the Hill:

Stories from the week of October 6, 2017

Back in the Saddle =The Steps of the Capitol: I met MPP’s Don Murphy on the exterior Capitol steps and in the next hour had good chats with 3 Congressmen. Moving over to the Senate, 2 more chats. It felt really good to speak truth to power. BTW, I did NOT know how stressed I was in the first 8 months of 2017, until I started to unwind with long walks, etc. during my vacation.

Not the best answer: On the last day in Germany I was asked to make a presentation to a high school class. The Q & A lasted an hour. One question was, “Why do people take drugs.” I gave my standard answer w/o thinking, “Because drugs make you feel better.” Man fühlt sich besser. = oops

The teacher quickly explained & elaborated on my answer, as she immediately recognized the incompleteness of my answer. I chipped in with a much fuller explanation. After about three minutes we believe the students were informed with facts and not an endorsement to use drugs.

Severely annoyed by myself, I took the question to Facebook, receiving 144 comments. A summary of the reasons people take drugs (illegal ones) at the very bottom. I will be more accurate & complete next time, especially with teens.

This week’s stats:

2557 Presentations to Congressional staffers… 03 this week
232 personal chats with a Member of Congress… 05 this week (3 Congressmen, 2 Senators)
212 chats with other elected officials, state reps, senators, VIPs, etc. 02 this week (2 candidates in the Republican, Congressional primaries)
03 meetings

COP stats since inception: August 2009
149 interviews and reports in minor media = 0 this week.
78 Radio Interviews. 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
72 Appearances/Interviews on major TV/Radio/Print media..This week (Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, BBC, CNN, NPR, German, Swiss. French TV and radio) 00 this week
26 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 (CPAC)
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
* 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

Why take illegal drugs?

A. expect to feel better than you do right now, at least temporarily.

B. Looking for a thrill, escape this reality

C. Part of the human experience is to try new things whether a new food, a new activity, new drugs, etc. = curiosity

D. Peer group pressure. Your friends talk you into it. “Fit in.” This is very common.

E. Several illegal drugs reduce pain (both physical and mental) and thus can be used for medical reasons.

F. Just for fun

G. More energy via caffeine, amphetamine

H. Improve your creativity

Filed under:On the Hill

COP on the Hill: Stories from September 2017

COP on the Hill:

Stories from September 2017

Lunch by the lake: Karen and I had lunch with my BKA (FBI) friend on the shore of Lake Constance (Bodensee)…on the borders of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We ended up a party of seven from 4 countries -the discussion was lively and informative. My BKA friend and I had a solid 30-minute business chat on drug prohibition events in USA and Europe.

Catherine – party of Five: On Monday the 4th Karen and I met with Catherine Ritter, an official of the Swiss Health Ministry we had met last year during the tour of the Geneva heroin clinic. Two colleagues were with her, wanting to me this American cowboy who was so interested in their MAT program. I spoke enough German and French to ensure the two guys knew I could. The topic was all business until the very end, when they asked about Trump being president. I replied we were from Canada…..that didn’t work, so I expressed a few thoughts.

At the bottom is a letter I wrote to ARO (Alliance of Reform Orgs) summarizing the two hours and the small changes made to the six-minute summary. Feel free to copy and send to your politicians at all levels. We are seeing about 120 Americans dying daily, as we still use 20th century models to deal with heroin addiction. The Congress has never held a hearing on ‘Best Practice.’

Do you deliver?: I received a call from an MJ industry publication later in the trip. The reporter wanted my reaction to DEA Rosenberg resigning, NJ state police chief taking his place and the likelihood of the DEA going into Colorado et al to bust state-legal stores. That I was near a ‘coffeehouse’ in Amsterdam was a bonus.

This week’s stats:
02 meetings
149 interviews and reports in minor media = 01 this week.

COP stats since inception: August 2009
2554 Presentations to Congressional staffers… this week
227 personal chats with a Member of Congress… this week
78 Radio Interviews. 0 this week
210 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
72 Appearances/Interviews on major TV/Radio/Print media..This week (Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, BBC, CNN, NPR, German, Swiss. French TV and radio) 00 this week
26 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 (CPAC)
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

* 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

Morning ARO – Below is the 2017 version of the highly effective, pro-life Swiss approach to heroin addiction. Note that a new arrow in their quiver is a 24-hour slow release morphine tablet, to take the place of daily doses of heroin. The morphine tablet is an on-going experiment, being evaluated.

I met with 3 members of the Swiss Health Ministry in Bern earlier this month. We discussed much in the two hours. They are keen to help the USA, if they receive a request.

I can answer most non-medical questions or just go direct with Bern.

For MMJ folks – the Swiss know close to zero on using MJ as another MAT medium. Plz give me what you have which shows ideas, research, results, whatever – where the use of MJ helps with heroin addiction. They would like to evaluate anything you have. Two of the three at the meeting do pure evaluation of research. Note: anything submitted should have a one page summary.

Currently I am finishing up a month off in Europe recovering from exhaustion. — due to so much winning during the first part of 2017. I am home on Sunday, if you ‘d like to chat on the phone.

SWISS MAT (Medication Assisted Treatment) APPROACH TO HEROIN ADDICTION
1994 – 2017: 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 and 2016 and met with federal health officials in 2008 and 2017 to increase understanding and knowledge. This summary was researched and written by Howard J. Wooldridge, a Co-Founder of Law Enforcement Action Partnership…LEAP

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 1400 addicts 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.

* 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) Surrender driver’s license; 6) 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 via pill or liquid heroin 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. The vast majority of patients are satisfied or very satisfied with the program.
D. Average age of patient: 42 years.
E. The Swiss approach is custom-designed around the patient, not program centered.

*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 2017 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 purchase about 60 kilos of heroin for treatments ($130,000, black market price: 3.7 million).
*In December 2008, the Swiss voted (68%-32%) to make the program part of their body of laws. MAT is controlled by federal health authorities.

* 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 in Bern confirmed their willingness to send a team to the US Congress to explain their program, if they receive a formal request.

*** The Swiss do not have an opioid-type problem like in the USA, as doctors rarely prescribe pain meds like Oxycodone.

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.

Filed under:On the Hill

COP on the Hill: Stories from the week of August 25, 2017

COP on the Hill:

Stories from the week of August 25, 2017

Not for Nuthin: The American Legion (2.4 million members) passed at the national level a resolution, calling on Congress to allow VA doctors to discuss medical marijuana with our Veterans. This along with their endorsement of HR 2020 are a big development for us in the Congress. COP members can take credit for a good chunk of this. Recall I made the initial contact with their lobbyist in June, later having breakfast (along with MPP Don Murphy) with the same AL lobbyist and brought NORML’s new force on the Hill, Justin Strekal into the loop. My 47 cent opinion is this endorsement by the AL will stop Trump/AG Sessions from touching at least MMJ.

Not Quite in Time: Moving to my next meeting, I saw a cameraman and Senator in the hallway. I knew the face but the name escaped me. 5 seconds after I passed, the name jumped in my brain and I turned to go back. Senator Portman (R-OH) and the only sitting Member of Congress who has toured a Swiss heroin treatment clinic had already disappeared into a room. Damn!

Personal Privilege: My wife and I leave on Monday for a month in Old Europe. I will have two COP meetings; one in Germany with one of their FBI (BKA) agents – the other is in Switzerland with their federal, health ministry. Like last year, COP will not pay for anything. I am there anyway. BTW, my German is back to very good – after much studying this month. Back to work on October 2 (if the government is still there?!)

This week’s stats:

2565 Presentations to Congressional staffers… 11 this week
00 meetings

COP stats since inception: August 2009
227 personal chats with a Member of Congress… this week
210 chats with other elected officials, state reps, senators, VIPs, etc. 0 this week
78 Radio Interviews. 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
72 Appearances/Interviews on major TV/Radio/Print media..This week (Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, BBC, CNN, NPR, German, Swiss. French TV and radio) 00 this week
148 interviews and reports in minor media = 00 this week.
26 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 (CPAC)
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

* 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 August 18, 2017

COP on the Hill:

Stories from the week of August 18, 2017

Help your friends: Don Murphy of MPP and I traveled to & spent 6 days in northern Alabama. A great friend of the 10th amendment (Mo Brooks R-AL) was a candidate in the Senate primary to replace Jeff Sessions. Although ultimately not successful, it was a great learning experience – I had never campaigned for a person, only for an initiative.
Don and I had a 30-minute chat with the Congressman in his home.

Note: Don brought bar stools and boy did they come in handy in the heat and humidity.

Note: I made it back in time to make a few presentations to Senate staffers

This week’s stats:

2542 Presentations to Congressional staffers… 11 this week
227 personal chats with a Member of Congress… 01 this week
01 meetings

COP stats since inception: August 2009
210 chats with other elected officials, state reps, senators, VIPs, etc. 0 this week
78 Radio Interviews. 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
72 Appearances/Interviews on major TV/Radio/Print media..This week (Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, BBC, CNN, NPR, German, Swiss. French TV and radio) 00 this week
148 interviews and reports in minor media = 00 this week.
26 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 (CPAC)
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

* 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 August 11, 2017

COP on the Hill:

Stories from the week of August 11, 2017

Mr. Oklahoma: After finishing a presentation and headed for the next, I saw 3 guys in the Hart bldg. going for the elevator. One looked familiar. We had passed each other, when I realized he was a former Congressman from OK. I called out, “Mr. Oklahoma,” as I turned and went to meet him. He also stopped and we had a solid chat about the need to make drugs a medical issue, not criminal…Just after we parted, I remembered his name: JC Watts, 4 term Cman.

What??!!: Spending all week in the Senate for presentations and dropping off 2017 updates (see bottom for them), I noted that five (5) Republican offices had the public TV screen tuned to CNN, not the usual Fox News. That is a big change in the last year. FWIW

This week’s stats:

2531 Presentations to Congressional staffers… 16 this week
210 chats with other elected officials, state reps, senators, VIPs, etc. 01 this week

COP stats since inception: August 2009

0 meetings

226 personal chats with a Member of Congress… this week
78 Radio Interviews. 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
72 Appearances/Interviews on major TV/Radio/Print media..This week (Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, BBC, CNN, NPR, German, Swiss. French TV and radio) 00 this week
148 interviews and reports in minor media = 00 this week.
26 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 (CPAC)
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

* 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

Updates for 2017
In July 2017, the American Legion endorsed HR 2020 which would re-schedule marijuana to 3 – the same as Marinol (a synthetic pill of pure THC)

Ohio in 2016 and West Virginia in 2017 became the first Republican-controlled states to pass a full, medical marijuana law. His people are now benefiting from His medicine. Big Pharma is not happy. 71% of Florida in 2016 voted for a robust medical MJ program. Arkansas passed by 53%, North Dakota by 64%

Since legalization in Colorado, the vehicle search rate of African American drivers 21 and over dropped by nearly half, while the search rate of Hispanic drivers fell by 58 percent. White drivers faced almost two-thirds fewer searches after recreational marijuana was legalized. http://www.businessinsider.com/police-are-searching-far-fewer-cars-in-states-that-have-legalized-marijuana-2017-6

In 2016 voters (57%) in OK voted to de-felonize simple possession of hard drugs. Max penalty now 1 year in jail.

The Taliban in Afghanistan continue to fund their battles with money made from the flow heroin & hash. http://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/04/03/follow-the-money-the-talibans-growing-criminal-empire.html

A 2017 report from the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education shows that youth marijuana use is not rising in the age of legalization.

Understand & accept the police are helpless to slow down the Tsunami of drugs coming f/ Mexico. The police have never made a real dent in supply. Heroin is readily available in all small towns in the USA.

Filed under:On the Hill