• 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 March 15, 2019

COP on the Hill

Stories from the week of March 15, 2019

Street cred: I attended a House hearing on drunk driving which morphed quickly into MJ driving and all drugged driving. After the hearing I had two solid chats with Members of the committee to explain the difficulty of establishing a number/level of a drug in the blood to convict for intoxicated driving.

The Republican I spoke with was also a doctor and he understood completely that a citizen in pain can still drive sober, even with large doses of Oxi, Vicodin, MJ etc. in the blood. I then explained that concept to the Chairwoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois. All members were provided with a copy of my 4-minute summary of how to arrest and prosecute for DUIM. (see below)

Productive Lunch auf Deutsch: On Wednesday I was invited to lunch by a law enforcement liaison attached to the German embassy. Beside a fine meal, we had a good chat. He is now researching my request to meet with staff of their parliament (Bundestag) in Berlin this year, either spring or fall. He wasn’t sure, if this type of “lobbying” had ever been done or permitted….something I do daily in our Congress.

Not to worry, if this is a go, I will do this during my vacation time, when I am already in Berlin to visit friends…no COP funds. We have a few allies in Germany, including some LEAP members. Stay tuned.

This week’s stats:

3068 Presentations to Congressional staffers… 06 this week
297 personal chats with a Member of Congress… 05 this week Cman Dr. Bucshon (R-IN), Cman Schakowsky (IL-D), Cman Wild (D-PA), Pocan (D-WI), Cman Joyce (R-OH)
02 Meetings – meetings, hearings, etc.

COP stats since inception: August 2009

31 major conferences attended – (UN drug conference, CPAC, LULAC, NRA, CBC, ASA, DPA, Dem & Repub. Presidential conventions., National Review, Republican Annual Retreat etc.) 0 this week
363 chats with other elected officials, state reps, senators, VIPs, etc. 0 this week
163 interviews and reports in minor media = 0 this week.
103 Appearances/Interviews on major TV/Radio/Print media. 01 This week -Blaze TV {new, popular right-wing}, (Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, BBC, CNN, NPR, German, Swiss, French, Spanish TV and radio) Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, Grand Rapids Press + 9 other MI papers. Chicago Tribute, Honolulu Star Advertiser {foto and caption}, Reason Magazine, Reuters
85 Radio Interviews.
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
* 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 drug prohibition. COP provides that voice. www.citizensopposingprohibition.org
DUI of Marijuana Arrest Procedures (or any non-alcohol, intoxicating drug (pain killers)
Overview: Based on the street experience of the author (400 arrests for DUI or DUID), arresting anyone for non-alcohol related DUI follows closely the same procedures as alcohol-related DUI. The three (3) differences are that on the side of the road, there is no instrument-based test to determine the level of intoxication. The second difference is that blood should be drawn before the arrestee is put in jail. The third is the results of the blood test are not known, until after the arrestee has been released. Regardless of the court outcome, public safety is served.

Steps:

1. Officer observes bad driving or responds to an accident.
2. Officer conducts a field interview (questions and observations) of the driver to determine sobriety.
3. If sobriety is in question, officer has subject perform physical & mental tests.
A. NOTE: In some states, a DRE (drug recognition expert) will also run the suspect through a series of physiological (pulse rate, nystagmus) and performance tests. A DRE is advantageous but not necessary.

4. If tests indicate intoxication above the legal standard and alcohol is not detected, the subject is arrested and read their rights for a chemical test.
5. The officer requests the arrestee submit to a blood test, as breath would be useless.
6. The arrestee is taken to a medical facility and blood is drawn. Arrestee is taken to jail. Formal charge is DUI of Drugs. The blood is taken to a lab. NOTE: if arrestee declines to take the test, a search warrant is obtained and blood is drawn with or without their cooperation.
7. X Days later the results from the lab are sent to the prosecutor’s office. The prosecutor would then issue a complaint and warrant for DUI of Drugs, if the facts warrant such.
A. NOTE: Pennsylvania used to have a 5ng/ml THC/blood standard for DUI but in 2011 amended it to 1ng/ml. Some states set the level at zero (Michigan) or 2ng/ml (Ohio, Nevada). Colorado and Washington are now 5 ng/ml.
8. If a trial takes place, the prosecution uses the following elements to demonstrate guilt to the jury: driving, field interview and the presence of marijuana in the blood (or other intoxicating drugs—note most common in my experience was prescription pain killers).
9. Generally speaking the punishment for DUI alcohol and DUI marijuana is the same.
10. Whereas the federal government has set a national standard of 0.08% for alcohol DUI (in order to receive highway funds), it has not set a standard for marijuana or any other intoxicating drug (cocaine, heroin, Oxicodone, Vicodin, etc)
Howard
Detective Officer Howard ‘Cowboy’ Wooldridge, Retired
Founder & Drug Policy Specialist of COP Citizens Opposing Prohibition
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

The National Institute on Drug Abuse also states that “the role played by marijuana in [traffic] accidents is often unclear, because it can remain detectable in body fluids for days or even weeks after intoxication and because users frequently combine it with alcohol.” Though the NIDA adds, “The risk associated with marijuana in combination with alcohol appears to be greater than that for either drug by itself.”
A February 2015 “Drug and Alcohol Crash Risk” study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did find “a statistically significant increase” in crash risk (1.25 times) for drivers who tested positive for THC. But after the researchers controlled for age, gender, ethnicity and alcohol concentration level, increased crash risk associated with marijuana was no longer significant. This suggests these other variables “account for much of the increased risk associated … with THC,” write the study authors.
There’s also some evidence that medical marijuana laws may contribute to decreasing traffic fatalities. One study published in The Journal of Law & Economics in 2013 reviewed traffic fatalities in the 19 states that had passed medical marijuana laws by 2010 and found that “legalization is associated with an 8–11 percent decrease in traffic fatalities” for the year after the laws took effect. The researchers from the University of Colorado, Denver and elsewhere also found that the decrease is more significant for alcohol-related fatalities at 13.2 percent.
To be clear, there is evidence that “marijuana significantly impairs judgment, motor coordination, and reaction time,” according to the NIDA.

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