• Congressman Garrett (VA-R)

  • Gov. Chris Christy (NJ-R)

  • Colorado 2012

  • California Field Work, Prop 19

COP on the Hill: Stories from late April to May 18, 2012

Stories from late April to May 18, 2012

Summary:  Frosty and I pedaled off the Newport, Oregon beach (where Misty and I finished in 2003) on April 22.  Many thanks to COP member Alice Ivani who was simply wonderful in helping us get started on this two month project..

Pedaling Against Prohibition is the theme of the ride.  Unofficially, it is me thumbing my nose* at the stroke I had in December.  Sandee Burbank coordinated media in Oregon resulting in two print articles and two radio gigs.  I had one radio gig in Idaho & one in Utah. 

Best of all was a news article in Utah’s largest daily – Salt Lake City Tribune.  Days later the editors used my ride as a catalyst to print their editorial on Drug Prohibition.  See below.

We have rolled 1400 many tough miles and over 11 mountain passes.  We are now taking a planned, four day rest at Frosty’s home near Denver.  I am pooped.  Special  thanks to my brother and COP member Frosty..w/o his expertise I would still be fixing my two flat tires in Oregon and Utah.

We are re-tracing the route Misty and I took across America.  I have concluded that what we did in 2003 was impossible to accomplish on a horse.  I must have dreamed I rode her across 900 miles of desertJ

It was bound to happen & Why I ride:  At a Subway in Heber City, Utah a man asked me why cops want to legalize pot..  I gave the standard reply of “to protect our children better from pedophiles by not wasting time on marijuana.” (and thanks again to my wife Karen for giving me this response)

He grabbed my hand and shook it, thanking me for my activism.  He pointed to his  15 y/o daughter in the pickup.  He explained she had met – a year ago – a young teen boy on line.  Then, they met in real life.  The teen turned into a man, a pedophile who kidnapped and raped her. 

He gave me a hug and wished me good travels.  I was profoundly moved by this encounter.

I was curious about your shirt:  Cruising w/o Maybell, CO (western edge…middle of nowhere) I looked in my rearview mirror to see a state trooper with all lights activated pulling me over.  What the Bleep??!!!

The trooper explained that bicycles must travel on the paved shoulder, not the edge of the road.  ?Who knew?  Anyway,  he also admitted being curious about the shirt.  We had an excellent 10 minute chat.    He gave me a verbal warning & I urged him not to die in the Drug War, as it would be a wasted death.

*thumbing my nose = zum Teufel

*** Salt Lake City Tribune editorial for May 13.

Lawman’s blues

Few dare tell the truth about drugs

First Published May 13 2012 11:45 pm • Last Updated May 13 2012 11:49 pm

“You ask any DEA man, he’ll say, ‘There’s nothing we can do.’” — Glenn Frey, “Smuggler’s Blues”

Imagine a world where doctors were the only people who were not allowed to offer their opinions on medicine. Or where what farmers thought about agriculture was left unsaid for fear of public disapproval.

That, more or less, is the situation for law enforcement officers when it comes to any real conversation about how the United States deals with the problems associated with drug abuse. The ones who know from personal, and sometimes heart-breaking, experience just how futile the whole sad enterprise is are the ones who dare not speak out for fear of being seen as soft on crime.

There are, luckily, exceptions. One of them rode through Salt Lake City the other day, on his bicycle and on a lonely mission to show the American people just how wrong we are to continue to insist on taking a law enforcement hammer to a public health nail.

Howard Wooldridge is a retired Michigan police officer and a co-founder of the national organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (www.leap.cc). As he explained to The Salt Lake Tribune the other day — and to many others along his ride from Oregon to Georgia — the problems we associate with drug use are not caused by users.

They are caused by the laws, law enforcement officers, judges and, mostly, craven politicians who dare not see or tell the truth about how the ongoing prohibition of drugs is nearly as destructive and just as futile as was the prohibition of alcohol early in the last century.

LEAP favors the legalization, regulation and taxation of now-illegal drugs, along the same model as alcohol and tobacco. That may be too drastic for our culture to embrace all in one go. But even moving toward a decriminalization approach, which stresses education and treatment over arrest and incarceration, would be a huge improvement.

Alcohol and tobacco, of course, create a long list of serious social and health problems. But heavily armed drug lords and the destruction of civil society in parts of Mexico, clogged courts and packed prisons in the United States and street violence of the kind that claimed the life of an Ogden police officer only a few months ago are not among them..

If we took the undeniably huge problem of drug abuse away from the police and gave it to the doctors, where it by all logic and humanity belongs, we could save billions in law enforcement costs, spend millions on treatment, and take a huge step toward real national sobriety.


Detective/Officer Howard ‘cowboy’  Wooldridge (retired)

Drug Policy Specialist, COP – www.CitizensOpposingProhibition.org

Co-Founder of LEAP – Law Enforcement Against Prohibition    www.leap.cc

POB 2902

Washington, DC  20013

817-975-1110 Cell


Domino el español

Ich verstehe mich gut auf Deutsch

Je parle français assez bien pour un petit, timide, moyen cowboy

2001 C Buckeystown Pike

Adamstown, MD  21710

Modern Prohibition/The War on Drugs is the most destructive, dysfunctional &  immoral  domestic policy since slavery  & Jim Crow.

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