• 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 March 17, 2023


Cooperation:  An emerging topic/phenomenon across the country is the creating a third branch of public safety department; Crisis Intervention Team.  The Crisis Intervention Team’s goal is to provide an effective response to situations involving people who might be mentally ill or in crisis.

Albuquerque, NM has been a pioneer here.  Congressman Cardenas (D-CA) office wanted to law enforcement voices input in how to craft a piece of legislation in the House.  I contacted LEAP and was able to put LEAP voices into the mix to produce a better bill.

BTW, police professionals across USA are speaking out positively about having mental health professionals handle citizens suffering a mental break, even if the monies must come from their budget.  For 100 years cops have been a lousy, deadly job handling such calls.  I never met a colleague who wanted to handle this type of call.  Quite the contrary.

NOTE:  My week now is only making formal 15-minute presentations to staff.  I have been to all 535 offices to learn the names of staffers who handle CJ and Health policies.  Four my presentations this week concerned the Swiss MAT Program. (see below)



Weekly Activities:

3953 Presentations to Congressional staffers… 5 this week…

108 Appearances/Interviews on major TV/Radio/Print media. 01 This week. Esquire Magazine


COP stats since inception: August 2009

356 personal chats with a Member of Congress… 0 this week….

96 Radio Interviews:  0 this week;

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

215 interviews and reports in minor media …0 this week –


33 major conferences attended – CPAC 2023, (UN drug conference in Vienna, Austria),  LULAC, NRA, CBC, ASA, DPA, Dem & Repub. Presidential conventions., National Review, Republican Annual Retreat etc.) 0 this week

in the past – Blaze TV {new, popular right-wing}, (Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, BBC, CNN, NPR, OAN, German, Swiss, French, Spanish TV and radio) Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, Grand Rapids Press + 9 other MI papers. Chicago Tribune, Honolulu Star Advertiser {foto and caption}, Reason Magazine, Reuters

* Consider being a member of COP at $40 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



Swiss Approach to Heroin Addiction Treatment: 1994-2023



The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health reviewed this summary and approved its release for 2023. This summary was taken from six published reports & updated every year. Addt.  questions should be directed in English to Lucien Colliander in Bern: +41 – 58 484 98 07:  Email;    lucien.colliander@bag.admin.ch –NOTE: the author toured the clinics in 2016, 2008 and 2001, plus met with federal health administrators multiple times, including October 2022 to increase understanding and knowledge. Comprehension was enhanced, due to the author’s fluency in French and German.  This summary was 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 alcoholism is a lifelong condition).  A variety of different treatments is available, in order to treat a broad range of dependent people. Of an estimated 24,000 addicted Swiss citizens 17,500 are in treatment.  92% are given daily doses of primarily methadone(orally) at conventional clinics or via general practitioners (60%). The Swiss treat circa 1600 patients with maintenance doses of  Diacetylmorphine: Di-M (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 eight countries: Germany, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, England, Spain, Norway and Canada.


Note: The Di-M assisted therapy is covered by health insurance.


* To qualify for treatment with Di-M a person must:  Be at least 18 years old, be severely dependent, present signs of poor health and has failed conventional treatment at least twice.


  1. Patients can receive up to three doses of Di-M per day. 66% take it via needle injection, the rest orally.
  2. Di-M can only be obtained at a clinic and must be taken on site.  (Note: under strict control and specific criteria {like full employment}, a patient is allowed to take away one dose)
  3. 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.
  4. Upon relapse, a patient can return to the clinic and re-start the treatment
  5. The vast majority of patients are satisfied or very satisfied with the program.
  6. Average age of patient: 59 years.
  7. The Swiss approach is custom-designed, according to the medical needs of the patient.

*Crime Issues: 80% drop in felony crime after one year in the program). 82% drop in patients selling heroin.

*Death Rates: Millions of doses have been administered. No participant has died at a clinic 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) 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.

*Cost Issues: 50 dollars/day:  Note: The Swiss save about 40 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 250 kilos of Di-M for treatment. Since 1994 Swiss patients have received over 20,000,000 doses of heroin (Di-M) without a fatality.

** The Swiss approach gives us a glimpse of a context in which drug issues are handled by the medical community.

*** In October 2022, 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


Due to Covid, the Swiss have changed the procedures, so that patients can now take their Di-M home for a maximum of 7 days. Here is the link to the press statement:



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 therapy.
  3.    A non-heroin user 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 Diacetylmorphine.
  5.    Heroin is not available for purchase in Switzerland.



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