• Congressman Garrett (VA-R)

  • Gov. Chris Christy (NJ-R)

  • Colorado 2012

  • California Field Work, Prop 19

COP on the Hill: Stories from the week of February 23, 2018

COP on the Hill:

Stories from the week of February 23, 2018

Tuesday: I was invited and spoke at a Senate briefing dealing with our Veterans and medical marijuana.

Wednesday – Saturday CPAC: Is 7,000 rabid Conservative Republicans who meet for 3 ½ days every year to listen to ‘red meat’ speakers. This year the meat was even bloodier than usual. I did boo loudly and alone, when a speaker for the NRA said the MSM loves to hear of a school massacre.

I was modestly successful with media exposure. See below. My petition to CPAC for a full discussion on the War on Drugs morphed into a 30-minute (very good) debate on Colorado legalization. I will make the 2019 petition in April.

I had a brief chat and card exchange with Fox News Eric Bolling. I had a 3-minute chat with Jordan Klepper of Comedy Central. Gary Johnson and I hugged and said hi. I had one TV interview for French and one for German television. Reason magazine published our interview. (at bottom)

As I walking out to my car to leave the event, I had a good chat with ‘Jack’ a White House advisor I have known for 8 years.

The cheerful news is that the vast majority of CPAC folks under 45 are ready to legalize/regulate marijuana today. The over 55 crowd is still solidly pro drug war. If looks could kill, I was dead many times over at CPAC, as I wore the ‘Legalize Drugs’ shirt.

I had dozens of students take my foto, selfies, etc. That is important for my spirit and much appreciated.

Last, thank you COP members… for your financial support. CPAC is pricey at about $2,400 (I did upgrade from Motel 6 to Super 8 this year)?…I buy the silver ticket to gain access to VIPs and it pays off.

This week’s stats:

2709 Presentations to Congressional staffers… 02 this week
239 chats with other elected officials, state reps, senators, VIPs, etc. 01 this week (candidate running for Congress)
152 interviews and reports in minor media = 03 this week.
43 published interviews/foto in major (daily) newspapers or magazine… 01 this week
75 Appearances/Interviews on major TV/Radio/Print media. This week (Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, BBC, CNN, NPR, German, Swiss. French TV and radio) 03 this week
28 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
83 Radio Interviews. 01 this week (Dean Becker show out of Houston)

Meetings – 2

COP stats since inception: August 2009

254 personal chats with a Member of Congress… 0 this week
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
* 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 prohibition. COP provides that voice. www.citizensopposingprohibition.org


At CPAC, a Pitch to End the Drug War: ‘It’s a Parkland, Florida, Every Two Days’
There’s little discussion of the war on drugs at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Howard Wooldridge wants to change that.
Eric Boehm A reporter for Reason.com

At the top of the escalators in the massive foyer of the Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center, Howard Wooldrige is fighting to break the traditional link between conservatives, law enforcement, and the war on drugs. It’s an uphill battle.
At the moment, he’s debating a youngish attendee of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), who argues that the government has a role to play in preventing people from making poor life choices. Drugs ruin lives, the young man argues, and lives lost to drug use never blossom to their fullest potential, robbing society of what those individuals might have achieved. Wooldridge parries. If that’s true, he says, then locking drug users in prison is robbing us of what they might have accomplished too.
Wooldridge is literally inviting such debates. In a sea of business suits and red baseball caps, the retired police detective is wearing a cowboy hat, a massive silver belt buckle that proclaims him a “Lone Rider,” and a white t-shirt emblazoned with “Cops Say Legalize Drugs. Ask Me Why.”
But Wooldridge says he doesn’t feel like a lone rider at CPAC, despite the deeply conservative views of many attendees. Among the younger crowd—CPAC annually draws hundreds of college students—he feels like a little bit of a celebrity, happily taking pictures with what he says is the generation of conservatives who will redirect a misguided war on drugs.
“Jeff Sessions is a speed bump,” Wooldridge says. “It’s a question of when, not if.”
Attorney General Sessions, who has indicated an interest in cracking down on states where marijuana is now legal, is not scheduled to speak at CPAC this year, and the agenda generally steers clear of the drug war in favor of talk about immigration, the economy, “America’s enemies,” and bashing the mainstream media.
Perhaps that’s a sign of the changing times. Marijuana prohibition is no longer popular, even among conservatives. An October Gallup poll found record public support for legalizing marijuana, including a majority of Republicans. According to the survey, 64 percent of all American adults and 51 percent of Republicans think “the use of marijuana should be made legal,” up from 60 percent and 42 percent, respectively, last year.
Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP), a group Wooldridge helped found (but is no longer directly affiliated with), has a formal presence at CPAC this year, with a table in the event’s huge exhibition hall. The message it’s trying to send to grassroots conservatives is a fundamentally conservative one. Muscular enforcement of drug laws, like Sessions and President Donald Trump favor, has not made America safer, LEAP representatives tell attendees. Instead it has wasted lives and untold amounts of tax dollars. Violence is standard practice in illegal marijuana markets, but it is virtually unheard of in legal businesses selling the drug.
Law enforcement should focus on stopping serious criminals, not “chasing a green plant and white powder and those who use them,” says Wooldridge.
Meanwhile, the bodies keep piling up. If conservatives, like the young man Wooldridge debated for about five minutes this morning, think legalizing drugs will ruin lives, they should take a hard look at what prohibition has done. The costs of enforcement and incarceration—in dollars and lives destroyed—are bad enough, but there’s also the never-ending violence created by the black market for illicit substances.
According to the latest statistics from the FBI, there were 604 juvenile gang-related killings in 2015 and another 468 killings related to illicit drugs that same year, yielding about 20 deaths per week from those two sources.
By Wooldridge own count—a figure based on his own research and analysis of drug- and gang-fueled crime statistics, he says—the number is higher, around 18 deaths every two days.*
“It’s a Parkland, Florida, every two days and nobody talks about it,” he says. “There is a thundering silence about this, both across the country and in Congress.”
*This story has been updated to clarify these statistics.

Published by Reason Magazine

This foto was published in NY Magazine and possibly others. We are singing the national anthem.

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