• 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 July 25 & August 1 & 8, 2014




Stories from the week of July 25 & August 1 & 8, 2014

Trying to light a fire:  Before taking a six day trip to Wisconsin to meet the new babies of my God kids and some needed R&R, I spent two whole days  emailing all 535 offices.     I am/was trying to show them the ‘children on the border’ c should be called ‘Drug War Refugees.’  So far that idea has only been picked up by a few papers and Robert Reich, Clinton’s labor secretary.

Preparation meets opportunity:   The staffer from a major European country and I had lunch in DC this week.  We spoke for 90 minutes in his language.  We established our relationship and agreed we need to end this world-wide drug prohibition.  We parted with my pledge to gather materials he could use to convince his government that it was in their interest to support the LEAP position. Note: LEAP Board Member Jim Gierach wrote and produced a booklet  which calls for an end to world-wide drug prohibition.  I gave my contact a copy.

Every ten years the United Nations has a special assembly to discuss drug prohibition.  The next takes place in New York in 2016.  There is time to change the world & I will do what I can.

Summer reading assignment:  I participated in a sanctioned House briefing on Tuesday.  LEAP speaker and former military police officer Dean Becker of the Drug Truth Network encouraged the federal govt. to read his book this summer.  To End the War on Drugs is a compilation of over 100 experts who have been guests on his radio program.  Dean, from Houston, & I go back 17 years.  It was a pleasure to help him.

At the very bottom is a report on the conference I attended in NYC/United Nations a month ago..  As you can read, the cracks in drug prohibition have spread to the UN.  I still chuckle remembering the Mexican rep informing us that Colorado marijuana has penetrated the Mexican market.

Cheerful news, again:  Two votes show bipartisan support for our issue: In late July  The Houses cast two votes  in support of ‘normalizing’ banking services to state-legal marijuana businesses. By a vote of 231-192, which included almost every Democrat and 50 odd Republicans, this was a demonstration that the Congress is well on the road to applying the 10th Amendment to marijuana policy.

This week raw data:

1642 Presentations to Congressional staffers.. 17 this week

48 Radio Interviews..  02 this week

2 briefings and one hearing on DUI marijuana.


  •   COP stats since inception: August 2009

54 brief chats with Members of Congress..   02 this week

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

10 Conversations (five minutes or longer) with Member of Congress..  0  this week

  • 81 interviews and reports in minor media = blogs, cable TV, weekly papers, etc..    this week
  • 36 Appearances on major TV networks..this week (Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision)… this week
  • 18 major conferences attended..  this week (United Nations drug conf, CPAC, LULAC, NRA, CBC, ASA, DPA, Dem & Repub. Presidential conventions.  etc)    this week
  • 26 published interviews in major (daily) newspapers or magazine… this week

79 published letters to the editor (value per MAPINC in free publicity: $78,000).. 00 this 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.    …  Go to: ·       www.CitizensOpposingProhibition.org and click on Donate/Join – by credit card or send a check to:
  • Citizens Opposing Prohibition

POB 543

  • Buckeystown, MD 21717

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The limited impact of repressive drug polices in reducing drug markets, as well as the increased harms caused by these policies, has now been widely recognized. To Ambassador Jean-Francis Régis Zinsou of Benin, “the importance of this topic no longer needs to be explained.” States have begun to create new national policies that they believe will more effectively address the harms caused by drugs. Ambassador Zinsou highlighted the most pertinent example when he described the recent marijuana reforms in several countries as “an admission of the failure of repressive policies.” Although the diverging perspectives between states increase the difficulty of constructive international dialogue, it is this fragmented consensus that makes the UNGASS so important. This was emphasized by the event moderator Mike Trace, Chair of IDPC, who also noted that the flexibility of the UN drug conventions is being stretched as states pursue their own policies. According to Mr. Trace, there is no longer any security in maintaining the current approach to international drug policy and the UNGASS is the ideal opportunity to discuss a new strategy.

Ambassador Yanerit Morgan of Mexico called for the UNGASS to be an “open, inclusive, substantive and comprehensive debate” involving all stakeholders. However, ensuring that such a debate takes place involves careful preparation. As Ambassador Zinsou reminded the audience, in the past, the drug policy debate has been silenced and is still at risk of being pushed to the margins of the international community. To the sponsors of the event, it is the international community’s responsibility to take full advantage of the opportunity presented by the UNGASS.

Dr. Renata Segura, Associate Director of the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum of the Social Science Research Council, echoed the words of the Ambassadors when she reiterated that while an open debate as a goal sounds modest, it should not be minimized. Without adequate preparation, the international community risks a repeat of the 1998 UNGASS on Drugs, during which the voices of reformers and pragmatists were silenced by those in favor of the status quo.

Dr. Roberto Dondisch, Director General for Global Issues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mexico, emphasized that after we have decided on how to prepare for the UNGASS, such as determining what formal structure for engagement and communication must be implemented, we must also decide on what we need to prepare. This bears resemblance to Dr. Segura’s first recommendation: that member states develop their position on drug policy by analyzing the existing evidence and the unique case in their respective countries. Dr. Dondisch stressed that nations must decide what they believe the problem is, namely, the use of drugs or the harms caused by drug use. States must then grasp the different environment that exists today, both internationally and in their nation, in contrast to the context in which the UN drug conventions were adopted. The objectives and strategies that are deemed most suitable will then become that nation’s reference point for discussions at the UNGASS. Mexico’s strategy of comprehensive participation is fundamentally focused on moving from a user-centered approach to a society-centered approach. Nations must prepare for the debate at the 2016 UNGASS by defining their objectives to reflect current circumstances and by identifying corresponding strategies that are ideal for their nation.


A representative from the Swiss Mission made a brief statement which reiterated Ambassador Morgan’s emphasis on the need for openness and transparency to promote a constructive discussion at the UNGASS. As Dr. Segura advised, Switzerland believes the inclusion of civil society and UN agencies other than UNODC is essential to the preparatory process. The Swiss representative also called for drug policies to be based on human rights, public health principles and scientific evidence. For Switzerland, the 2016 UNGASS should prepare the international community for the 2019 review of the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action.

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