• 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 23, 2012

COP on the Hill

Stories from the week of March 23, 2012

Your voice in the United States Congress

 Road Trip:  David Young of Lewisburg and his friends at the ACLU invited me up for 3 days of speaking in central Pennsylvania.  They planned well,  had me running & it paid off with excellent coverage in the media + spoke to a total of about 350 persons at five (5) venues. Front page foto and positive article of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette (metro area of 250,000) capped the week.  Thank you David & the ACLU.

The radio show had back to back calls and was a fun hour.  Though a bit exhausting (damn those birthdays!), it was great to leave DC and chat with ‘real’ people.

I finished the week speaking to a group of 25 at the local Unitarian Church on Sunday.

Below is the fine article by Joe Stender, after he interviewed me for 90 minutes + attended the college gig. 




While law enforcement officials work every day to keep narcotics off the streets, one former Michigan police detective wants drugs such as heroin and marijuana to be available in stores as are alcohol and cigarettes.

Howard Woolridge, drug policy specialist for Citizens Opposing Prohibition and cofounder of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, told his message on narcotics to students at Lycoming College Thursday night.

Woolridge, who spent 18 years as a detective outside of Lansing, believes the country needs to make the same decision on illegal drugs as it made in 1933 when it lifted prohibition on alcohol.

“In my world, you would grow marijuana in your backyard,” he said.

While he would like to see all drugs legal, Woolridge said he doesn’t promote the use of them.

“Be as drug free as possible – or want to be – but my profession can’t fix stupidity,” he said.

Woolridge said his stance on the drug policy is so strong because he believes law enforcement is too invested in personal safety, rather than their true mission of public safety.

“The policy of drug prohibition (also known as) the war on drugs has been a catastrophic failure,” he said.

Woolridge argues by monitoring an activity where people are “arguably only harming themselves,” it is taking valuable money and resources away from handling those who are hurting others.

“I don’t think one cop signed up to catch a kid smoking marijuana, they signed up to catch bad guys,” he said.

If drugs were legalized, police could focus on catching pedophiles and rapists, Woolridge said.

“We are not taking care of the pedophiles in chat rooms … because we’re up in a helicopter looking for a green plant,” he said.

Instead of funneling money into prisons and drug task forces, the government could be using funds for education. Woolridge said education and law enforcement always are battling for funds.

“When you build a prison, you have less money to build a junior college or to lower tuition,” he said.

The policy also is killing off the country’s youth, Woolridge said. He said one million teenagers in America are drug dealers today and two or three are shot each day because of it.

Instead of investing money into stopping drug dealers, the government should be looking for ways to protect the country’s children. When he was a teenager, Woolridge said he had two employment choices: mowing lawns or delivering newspapers.

“Today that’s not true,” Woolridge said. “We’ve given our 14-year-olds a career.”

By legalizing drugs, gang activity would decrease, thus lowering violent crime.

While most would argue that drug use would rise if they were freely available in stores, Woolridge fires back with the fact that cigarettes are legal but not everyone chooses to smoke tobacco.

“If you don’t smoke cigarettes, why in the world would you start today, even if it’s free,” he said.

Cigarettes and alcohol, Woolridge argues, are just as harmful as drugs but are legal. Lung cancer and liver disease kill people every day, he said.

“Cocaine can kill you, no kidding, so can white-water rafting,” he said. “If they died of lung cancer or a cocaine overdose, who cares, they’re still dead.”

He wants drugs to be enforced like alcohol, with individuals needing to be 21 years old and it being a crime to supply it to minors.

“There’s no perfect world here,” Woolridge said. “We always want to educate our (children).”

Switzerland implemented a program where not only was heroin legal but the government provided it for free. Woolridge said the program saw a 60-percent reduction in felonies as well as a drop in HIV. By legalizing drugs, countries around the globe would be able to “take away the glamour of the forbidden fruit.”

Woolridge believes if America would legalize drugs, it would stimulate the country’s economy because it would need less funds for prisons and drugs would be cheaper, meaning more money to spend on other things.

Drugs also would be safer as experts would be creating them instead of a local dealer in their house. The government would be able to control the industry..

“Today the criminals are in complete charge of every aspect,” he said.

Woolridge, who has been lobbying on the subject for six years, believes only a severe economic depression or a change in philosophy by politicians could make his message a reality.

According to Woolridge, law enforcement officials shouldn’t be the ones patrolling drug users. That responsibility goes to the users’ consciences and their family and friends.

“When Charlie Sheen buys cocaine, no one calls 911,” Woolridge said. “Why are we still chasing Willie Nelson?”

 Stats for COP’s third year, started on August 1, 2011:

  • 287 presentations to Congressional staffers:   00 this week
  • 9 Letter to the Editor:   this week (at bottom)
  • 3 Major Television appearances (Univision, BBC):   this week
  • 20 Other media (newspaper articles, blogs, cable TV, etc):  this week
  • 13 radio shows:   1 this week
  • 13 (Member of Congress or VIP) contacts:  1 this week
  • Permanent invitation to Grover Norquist’s Wednesday brunch attended by 150 conservative VIPs.  Named the “Grand Central Station of the Conservative Movement.”
    • 3 Major conferences attended: Drug Policy Alliance International, the Congressional Black Caucus September conference & CPAC – Conservative Political Action Conference
    • Consider being a member of COP at $30.00 or more per year.   All contributions are tax-deductible.   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.   If you agree that Modern Prohibition/War on Drugs is the most destructive, dysfunctional and immoral policy since slavery & Jim Crow…  Go to:



  • COP
  • POB 2902
  • Washington, DC  20013
  • If you have questions or comments, please send an email to: howard@citizensopposingprohibition.org
  • COP total stats in first two years:  August 1, 2009 thru July 31, 2011)
  •  649 Presentations to Congressional staffers
  • 22 Appearances on major TV networks
  • 10 published interviews in newspapers
  • 12 interviews and reports in minor media = blogs, cable TV, etc
  • 57 published letters to the editor (value per MAPINC in free publicity: $56,000)
  • 19 brief chats with Members of Congress
  • 13 chats with other elected officials, state reps, senators, etc.
  • 6 major conferences attended (CPAC, LULAC, NRA, etc)
  • Permanent invitation to Grover Norquist’s Wednesday brunch attended by 150 conservative leaders.   Named the “Grand Central Station of the Conservative Movement.”



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