• Congressman Garrett (VA-R)

  • Gov. Chris Christy (NJ-R)

  • Colorado 2012

  • California Field Work, Prop 19

COP on the Hill: Stories from the weeks of March 25, April 1, 2016


COP on the Hill

Stories from the week of March 25, April 1, 2016

Blank Stare:   After sitting thru a dozen plus, mind-numbing reports from various nations on how many kilos of drugs they seized and dealers they arrested in 2015, I asked a UN official if it would be possible to have the nations report on how available illegal drugs were in that country.  His complete, non-sequitor response was the same as the second UN official I asked a few hours later.

Mission Accomplished: “One size does not fit all. Every country is not exactly the same,” William Brownfield, assistant secretary for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, said in a press briefing on Tuesday. “And we must be tolerant of the sovereign authority of a government to develop and apply the drug strategy that is most effective for their condition and their reality.”

The goal of LEAP’s involvement in Vienna was to change the treaty to allow what Brownfield articulated above.  Kudos to  Tip-of-the-Spear Jim Gierach, former DA of Cook County, Chicago, Illinois for his tireless efforts to achieve this goal, a journey of many years.

Sober and Practical Decision:  A younger, UN official flat out said to me what I had guessed; to change the treaties in Vienna, legalize marijuana in California and elsewhere.  I wrote my observations and recommendations to the LEAP Board of Directors (see bottom).  This third trip to Vienna was my last, unless someone can convince me otherwise.  Given the new, USA position (above) there would only be marginal reasons to return.   Yes, I dearly love speaking four languages everyday and chatting with the delegates from around the world. However, this is business.

 Having Fun:  I stopped by the Singapore booth.  The enthusiastic young man wanted to make sure I knew how his city had achieved a ‘drug-free’ environment.  I asked and he admitted that the city allows the sale of the two deadliest drugs in the world; alcohol and cigarettes…..So the city is not really drug-free is it?  ‘Well, Singapore is drug free, except for those two drugs.’  I do not believe he understood the irony….more like a trained seal, he was.




Personal Note: I walked over to the Vietnam table.  I apologized to the rep for the two million of his countrymen we killed in the 60s and 70s ( better dead than red…we have burn the village in order to save it), agent orange, etc.  His response was amazing…’although I appreciate what you said, we in Vietnam have closed that book and we simply look forward.’  We went on to chat for nearly an hour during a break in the conference.  Wow!!

This week’s stats:

191 chats with other elected officials, state reps, senators, VIPs, etc.     4 this week = UN reps

Two days at the conference in Vienna

Two meetings in DC

64 Radio Interviews..  01 this week

Presentation to a group of 75 high school seniors from all over the country


  COP stats since inception: August 2009

2149 Presentations to Congressional staffers.. this week

120 personal chats with a Member of Congress..  0 this week

42 published interviews/foto in major (daily) newspapers or magazine… 0 this week

62 Appearances/Interviews on major TV/Radio/Print media..This week (Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, BBC, CNN, NPR)…02 this week   (NBC twice)

24 major conferences attended –  (United Nations drug conf, CPAC, LULAC, NRA, CBC, ASA, DPA, Dem & Repub. Presidential conventions., National Review,  etc)  0this week

130 interviews and reports in minor media =     0 this week.

83 published letters to the editor (value per MAPINC in free publicity: $83,000).. 0 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.  www.citizensopposingprohibition.org

Ladies & Gentlemen,

Thank you for the opportunity to represent LEAP at the CND this year in
Vienna.  I am writing this at the airport waiting for my flight home, so
events are fresh.

Was it worth the time and money?  Essentially no.  Once again no country had
the guts to buck the world and openly call for change IN WRITING.  I spoke
to reps from circa 24 countries.  A couple of countries – Canada, Czech
Republic, Uruguay openly denounced the WOD orally but none did it in
writing, i.e. asked for a change to any of the conventions.

Moreover, it is very possible the UNODC fights to survive as an agency,
employing XXX people..illustration – the very last ‘side event’ dealt with
how much money terrorists make on the drug trade.  The two economists on the
panel stated ISIS makes a minimum of two (2) billion dollars on illegal
drugs annually.  Two officials of the UNODC attacked the two expert’s
conclusion and also stated that two billion was not that much money!!
OMG/Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

BTW..At this panel I was able to ask the first and only question:  “If the
consuming nations legalized and regulated all drugs in a manner which would
eliminate the illicit market/sales, how much would this cripple ISIS and
the terrorists in Europe?”   20 minutes of heated, loud debate ensued.

The other reality is nations (see USA statement above) which have, are or will change their national
drug policy, they claim ’the treaty allows flexibility’ which they
interpret as including legalize a drug for non-medical use.  The other line
of argument is employ the phrase – ‘respect human rights.’  As one long
standing delegate pointed out, that phrase could mean legalize/regulate,
since youth are being killed daily due to their employment in the drug
trade….and human rights trump any treaty language.

I asked several of our allies why they did not propose change (via written
language) and the response was essentially, we won’t act alone or in small
numbers.  IMHO all are waiting for the USA to propose radical changes in the
treaty.  The USA rep stated that law enforcement efforts are still a crucial
part of overall strategy.  This in the teeth of our ONDCP Director
Botticelli who called the WOD a total failure and Obama’s comment of it
being an “utter failure.”  The disconnect between the White House and State
may be/probably is a reflection of Sec. Kerry’s love of the WOD.

One UNODC and one ambassador stated that the most efficient path to make
changes in the treaties is for more US states to “go Colorado.” After three
sojourns to Vienna, I concur.

An inexact split in the countries is: 1/4 for no changes at all (Asia &
Arabic/Moslem countries), 1/4 for serious changes (Europe/Latin America) and
1/2 are neutral (probably waiting to see which way the wind blows)  For
those of you who have been to the CND, yes, it remains clear as mud.

For a means to read a bit more about the conference, go to the Twitter of
#CND2016…to read the tweets of many there from NGOs

I remain very open to arguments to keep LEAP’s presence at the CND.  I am
just past being a rookie at this.  However, unless someone has cogent,
persuasive lines of reasoning, I am not coming back.  I have more productive
things to do during those two weeks and the expenditure of 2200 dollars.



PS..to the reader = I wrote this before I knew of Brownfield’s statement



















Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
Filed under:On the Hill

No Comments

Post a comment