• Congressman Garrett (VA-R)

  • Gov. Chris Christy (NJ-R)

  • Colorado 2012

  • California Field Work, Prop 19

COPs on the Hill -Stories from the week of February 12, 2010

COPs on the Hill

Stories from the week of February 12, 2010

 Moving forward:    The meeting I organized 3 weeks ago has born fruit.   I received word this week that the major players on the Hill are now united in what direction to take regarding marijuana; namely push for a bill to repeal federal prohibition.   COPs, MPP, DPA and NORML have all agreed on this strategy.   MPP’s Aaron Houston produced an excellent one page sheet of FAQs. (provided below).**  We believe this bill will also help the ballot initiative in California to legalize adult use and sale.   As soon as we have a bill number,  I will pass it on. Shot of Crown that night.   Small steps. 

With help from my friends:   One requisite* for my job is having a bit of an ego.  To sit down with a Member of Congress or their aide, to educate  & urge them to change policy for a nation of 310 million is not for the faint-of-heart.*  On the other hand, one must recognize that others are able to contribute and be ready to accept new ideas, new strategies, whatever is needed to move the issue forward. 

 Two House staffers last week asked for my paper on what would happen, if drug use and abuse doubled.  This week and beyond, thanks to my friend Bernie Ellis of Tennessee,  staffers will find this additional paragraph in that essay I shared with you last week.  Thanks Bernie

 “What if we doubled the number of sick and dying people in this country who could access medical marijuana? For some, it would mean reducing or completely eliminating their use of stronger and more hazardous opiates to treat intractable pain. For others, it would mean being able to better tolerate chemotherapy — to be more likely to survive the harsh treatments for their cancer or hepatitis C.  For even more, it would mean being able to eat and sleep, to visit with their family and friends, to laugh — instead of barely existing in a prescription drug-induced stupor.   For all of them, it would mean a better quality of life for as long as they have left to live”

 Can I borrow your toboggan?:*   My 10 meetings this week were also canceled, due to the snowzilla* storm of the century.    Capitol Hill was best used as sled and toboggan hill.   As I shoveled off the 27 inches (67cm) of snow off our garage roof in order to prepare for the Wednesday storm of 10 inches (25cm) , I slid off, feet first, landing in 27 inches of powder to break my fall.  Uninjured, I climbed back up the ladder remembering the phrases Carpé Diem & Tomorrow is Promised to No One.

 Free Beer:  COPs t-shirts (as featured at the very bottom) are now for sale.  The price is 20 dollars which includes postage and handling.  The first one shipped to Alaska last week.  Just email me and I will have it made and shipped.  NOTE:  in wearing such a shirt the past 11 years, I have received about 500 dollars in free beer, food and coffee.

*requisite = Erfordernis

* faint-of-heart = zaghaft

*toboggan = Schlitten

*snowzilla = unheimlich viel Schnee

 Consider being a member of COPs at $30.00 or more per year.  It is tax-deductible.  Add your voice to those who agree that Modern Prohibition/War on Drugs is the most destructive, dysfunctional and immoral policy since slavery & Jim Crow.

 Thank you, 


 ** Regulating marijuana like alcohol

 Would a federal marijuana-regulation law be similar to the 21st Amendment that deals with alcohol?

 Yes, it would be a nearly identical model of regulation (the “three-tiered”

system), with few exceptions. The new federal marijuana law would allow — not require — any

state or territory to change its current laws that strictly prohibit marijuana, which would

include the possibility of a state creating a legal and regulated market for marijuana. As with

alcohol regulation, federal law would still prohibit the “transportation or importation into any

State … in violation of the laws thereof.” Of course, in the case of alcohol, the 21st

Amendment lays out only the broadest concepts about the structure of the law. The Federal

Alcohol Administration Act, subsequently passed by Congress, addresses details of the

regulatory system, such as permitting, consumer protection, labeling, and policing of the


Would a federal marijuana-regulation law force the states to make marijuana legal? No,

the federal law would not force states to change any existing laws or regulations, including

those that outright prohibit marijuana possession and sales. Rather, the new federal law

would simply free the states to decide as they so choose. Most Americans may not realize it

today, but decades after the passage of the 21st Amendment (which repealed the 18th

Amendment that codified alcohol prohibition) alcohol sales remained illegal in many areas of

the nation. Mississippi did not lift its prohibition on alcohol sales until 1966, and in Kansas,

on-premises sale of liquor remained illegal until 1987.

Which federal agencies would be affected by a new regulatory system? The DEA and ATF

would be the primary agencies impacted within the Department of Justice. The law would

add new provisions to Title 27 of the U.S. Code, which would be changed from “Intoxicating

liquors” to “Intoxicating substances” and be accompanied by conforming regulations similar to

the Federal Alcohol Administration Act. Notably, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms

and Explosives (ATF) would become the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana, Firearms and

Explosives (ATMF). The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau within the U.S. Treasury

Department would become the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Marijuana Tax and Trade Bureau, which

would be responsible for administering the new law.

What differences would there be between alcohol and marijuana regulations? While the

repeal of alcohol prohibition required a constitutional amendment, repeal of marijuana

prohibition merely requires an act of Congress. Alcohol transportation and sales were made

legal by an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1933, at the start of FDR’s first

term. In the following years, the power of the Congress to regulate interstate commerce in all

manner of activities grew enormously, with the U.S. Supreme Court specifically affirming

Congress’ authority to prohibit or not prohibit marijuana. One notable difference between

federal alcohol laws and the proposed federal marijuana law is that the importation and

exportation of marijuana would remain banned (which is not the case with alcohol).


Prepared by: Aaron Houston of MPP (Marijuana Policy Project)

Distributed by: Howard Wooldridge of COPs (Citizens Opposing Prohibition)

 Detective/Officer Howard  Wooldridge (retired)

Drug Policy Specialist, COP – www.CitizensOpposingProhibition.org

Washington, DC

817-975-1110 Cell



Citizens Opposing Prohibition – Become a Member

PO Box 772

Buckeystown, MD  21717-0772


Modern Prohibition/The War on Drugs is the most destructive, dysfunctional &  immoral  domestic policy since slavery  & Jim Crow.



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