• 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 June 15, 2018

COP on the Hill:

Stories from the week of June 15, 2018

Where $30 of COP was spent this week: Grover Norquist of ATR (Americans for Tax Reform) had a book-signing soirée on Thursday. With beverages in hand I had a full seven minutes with him to myself, as we discussed pending legislation, strategy and votes in the House and Senate. I gave him my opinion, that if Trump can pressure Ryan and McConnell to allow a vote – fed, MJ prohibition could be over in 2018. I will probably never read the book.

Besides three meetings, I spent the bulk of the week contacting every journalist I know. They received info on my search for a heroin addict who would like treatment in Switzerland. (Text below)

This week’s stats:

250 chats with other elected officials, state reps, senators, VIPs, etc. 03 this week ( 3 persons running for the House this fall)

03 Meetings – meetings, hearings

COP stats since inception: August 2009

2788 Presentations to Congressional staffers… this week
269 personal chats with a Member of Congress… this week
152 interviews and reports in minor media = 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
43 published interviews/foto in major (daily) newspapers or magazine… 0 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) 0 this week
29 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. 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

Afternoon Mitch,
RE: Swiss Heroin Assisted Treatment (HAT)
Purpose of this message and proposal;

1. Increase U.S. awareness of the utility of HAT.
2. Provide Americans with an opportunity to obtain Swiss-style HAT treatment.
3. Recruit Americans to go to Switzerland & obtain addiction treatment using the Swiss HAT model.

Background: Since 1994 the Swiss have provided their citizens and residents the most life-saving, efficient treatment for their addict population. (6-minute summary at the bottom of this email). No foreigner has ever attempted to obtain a residency permit for the purpose of HAT. My Swiss government contact has said that, IN PRINCIPLE, a foreigner could receive HAT.
The obstacle is obtaining the residency permit. If and when a person is issued a residency permit, one could buy Swiss, national health insurance and then go to a Swiss clinic and receive HAT. This concept is further complicated by the fact that the central Swiss government does not issue these permits, rather the 26 Canton governments do.
COP is recruiting a US citizen who wants to receive HAT and is willing to share their story with the news media. I started this process last month but the addict is now too sick to participate. I will aid anyone in this endeavor who meets our program requirements. With five major contacts with the Swiss health ministry and tours of the HAT facilities, I am very knowledgeable on what’s what. My fluency in German and French also aid in this process.

Program Requirements:

To qualify for the SWISS HAT program a participant must:

a) be at least 18 years old;

b) have been addicted (daily use) for at least two years;

c) be in poor health (subjective criteria of the clinic);

d) have had two or more failed attempts of conventional treatment (methadone or other);

e) understand that heroin can only be obtained at the clinic and must be consumed on site (oral or injection);

f) Commit to a stay a period of at least 18 months

g) Be able to afford the cost of living in Switzerland and demonstrate to the Swiss authorities that they have the means, i.e., a minimum of $3,500 per month for rent, living expenses;

h) Articulate what they will do in Switzerland, besides treatment…. study, work, etc.

Please refer any candidates to call me at 817-975-1110 (Eastern time) between 0800 and 2200 – 7 days a week

1994 – 2018: 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, 2008 & 2016 and met with federal health officials in 2017 to increase understanding and knowledge. Understanding was enhanced, due to the author’s fluency in French and German. This summary was researched and written by Howard J. Wooldridge, Drug Policy Specialist at Citizens Opposing Prohibition (.org)

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 1600 dependent people 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.

Patient Qualifications:

* 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) 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 a pill or 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. Upon relapse, a patient can return to the clinic and re-start the treatment.
D. The vast majority of patients are satisfied or very satisfied with the program.
E. Average age of patient: 42 years.
F. The Swiss approach is custom-designed, according to the medical needs of the patient.

Program Outcomes:

*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 2018 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 annually purchase about 100 kilos of heroin for treatment. Since 1994 Swiss patients have received over 10,000,000 doses of heroin without a fatality.
** 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 health representatives in Bern confirmed their readiness to explain their program to the US Congress, if they receive a formal request.
**** The Swiss do not have an opioid-type problem like in the USA

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.

Detective Officer Howard ‘Cowboy’ Wooldridge, Retired
Founder & Drug Policy Specialist at COP Citizens Opposing Prohibition.org
Co-Founder of Law Enforcement Action Partnership(www.LEAP.cc)

Metro Washington DC

The War on Drugs/Drug Prohibition has been the most destructive, dysfunctional and immoral policy since slavery & Jim Crow

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