• 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 25, 2011

 Your Voice in the United States Congress

Not in Kansas anymore:*  At Grover’s Brunch this week the possible government shutdown was discussed.  When someone brought a figure of cutting 22 billion dollars as part of immediate cuts, another responded that that figure should not be hard to handle adding, “22 billion in Washington is pocket change you find in the couch.”  

Forty years ago then Senator Dirksen (R-IL) was quoted about Washington money, ‘A billion here – a billion there and pretty soon you are talking real money.”  I wonder what he would say today.

A breath of fresh air:  For two years I have encouraged each aide to convince the Member to put a sign on their office door: ‘We don’t have any money, so please don’t ask.’   This week I saw my first sign like that at new House Member Dr. Dan Benishek, (R-MI)…

If you are here asking for more money, You are in the wrong office.”   Staffers have said it would cut their work load by 40%, if no one asked for money.  NOTE:  please write your Congressman to put up the same or like sign.

The Empire Strikes Back:   I testified before the Maryland House’s Judiciary Comm. this week in support of two bills. (full text below)  After I stated that mandatory minimums have proven useless as a deterrent, since drug dealers accept long prisons terms and death as a condition of employment, my law enforcement colleagues testified they WERE effective.  However, when asked by a Member whether drug availability had gone down because of the thousands arrested, the States’s Attorney paused, hemmed and hawed,* finally said that such a thing was hard to measure. NOTE:  I had read from the DEA’s brochure: “Drugs are readily available to America’s Youth…”

On the marijuana bill (reduce 28 grams or less move to a civil infraction = parking ticket) a Baltimore cop dumped 28 little packets on the table in front of the committee.  ‘See.’ He said, ‘This is one ounce packaged to sell to our kids.’  It was very dramatic but from comments from Members, they did not seem too impressed.

My profession is deeply committed to keeping the lucrative overtime and job security of prohibition from changing.  Plus my colleagues never want to face the day that they realize all the dead, injured and corrupted cops suffered and or died for another failed prohibition.

PS from CPAC:  On Friday I did nearly back to back* interviews for foreign reporters.   A French newspaper reporter and I had a 5 minute chat en français.  A few minutes later a German reporter for Die Zeit and I did the same auf Deutsch.  = Those Saturday morning hours spent speaking both paid off.

  • Not in Kansas anymore = vom Film = ich bin doch nicht zu Hause
  • Hemmed and hawed = herumdrucksen
  • Back to back = Rücken an Rücken

COPs 2nd year stats to date:

TV appearances: 11 (ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX, cable) 

Newspaper stories: 7 dailes, 3 weeklies

Radio appearances: 7 

Published LTE: 8 ( one this week)

Other media (bloggers, cable TV, minor publications, etc): 9

74 presentations to Congressional staffers: (7  this week)

5 (Member of Congress) contacts :    

5 other VIP (MD state Senator & Rep):  (3 this week)

Consider being a member of COPs at $30.00 or more per year.    Your support keeps the COPs voice loud and strong in the halls of the United States Congress.   We agree that Modern Prohibition/War on Drugs is the most destructive, dysfunctional and immoral policy since slavery & Jim Crow.  Go to: www.CitizensOpposingProhibition.org and click on Donate/Join – by credit card or send a check to:


POB 772

Buckeystown, MD  21717

Testimony in support of HB 606


As a retired police detective, I come from Adamstown – near Frederick to urge a yes vote on HB 606.   This bill will improve public safety.   Public safety is THE mission of my profession. 

The Thin Blue Line is getting thinner.   Where you do want us to go?   Chase marijuana smokers or pedophiles?  Every hour chasing the smokers equals less time for real bad guys.

During my 18 year police career in Michigan we always had the ability to handle a simple marijuana possession case in a ‘cite and release’ manner.   When I discovered small amounts of marijuana, I would seize the marijuana and write the driver an appearance ticket.   After placing the marijuana in my trunk, I resumed normal patrol AND ready for any 911 emergency call.  HB 606 will allow my colleagues to do the same Maryland.   Thus, public safety will increase with the adoption of 606.

My colleague Sheriff Chuck Jenkins and I had a conversation about this type of change a year ago.   He stated his support for such a concept of ‘cite and release,’ though he thought the amount should be one half ounce.   He stated that allowing his deputies to stay on the road and ready for a 911 call would improve the safety of Frederick County residents.

Currently,  officers are taking one to two hours  to process a simple marijuana case, taking them out of service as they transport a subject to jail.   606 will reduce that time to a mere 20 minutes.   Officers and deputies will be able to arrests more reckless and DUI drivers when 606 is adopted.   Thank you for your time and I am prepared to answer any questions.

Respectfully submitted,

Howard J. Wooldridge

Detective Officer Howard J. Wooldridge (retired)

2001 C Buckeystown Pike

Adamstown, MD  21710


Testimony in support of HB 353

As a retired police detective, I come from Adamstown – near Frederick to urge a yes vote on HB 353.    As a taxpayer, I urge you to adopt 353.   Public safety and the public’s money will both be served  with its passage.

As you know, the vast majority of cases involving mandatory minimums are for drug distribution crimes.  Mandatory Minimums were started with great fanfare in the 1980s as a sure-fire method to bring victory to our drug prohibition policies AKA War on Drugs.  25 years later and hundreds of billions more spent, we know can admit that we were wrong.   Mandatory minimums have had no impact on drug availability.  This is not just my professional opinion.  Allow me to read a statement from the DEA – Drug Enforcement Administration.    This is their assessment of where the country is after 40 years of serious effort and the expenditure of a trillion tax dollars:   “ Drugs are readily available to America’s youth…  “Drugs are readily available to America’s youth!!

What law makers failed to do in the 1980s and beyond is to ask police officers questions regarding the character of drug dealers.   For example, did you know that drug dealers accept, as a condition of employment, death and long prison terms?   Did you know that that every drug dealer arrested or shot is immediately replaced?   We knew these facts 30 years ago but policy makers failed to ask before they passed mandatory minimums.

Thus, mandatory minimums have no impact on the drug trade.  No impact on whether any young person can buy drugs.   Worse, due to mandatory minimums we now have close a million teens selling drugs.   Why?  Because they are not subject to mandatory minimums.   This failed approach has caused thousands of teens to be shot and hundreds killed in the past 30 years.   A policy designed to protect our children has, in fact, caused millions to become criminals at best and shot dead at worst.

Besides dead teens, taxpayers have also become victims, as we have to pay $30,000 per year to lock up hordes of drug dealers.   Our society has been hurt, as we have diverted so much money into prisons, our colleges have become too expensive.    Young people now graduate with loans approaching a house mortgage in size.   We will never compete with China, as we divert precious tax dollars into a failed ‘lock’em all up policy.’

As a cop, I saw the horrific damage done to young people via mandatory minimums.   As a taxpayer, I certainly don’t want to pay for this failed policy.    Thank you for your time.

Respectfully submitted,

Howard J. Wooldridge

Detective Officer Howard J. Wooldridge (retired)

2001 C Buckeystown Pike

Adamstown, MD  21710




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