• Congressman Garrett (VA-R)

  • Gov. Chris Christy (NJ-R)

  • Colorado 2012

  • California Field Work, Prop 19

Stories from the week of July 1, 2011

Your Voice in the United States Congress

Stories from the week of July 1, 2011

You rocked:   A breakout session at LULAC  attended by about 80 dealt with how Latino parents could help their kids learn and stay in school.  I pointed out three items which hurt that effort: 1) dads can not check homework and go to PTA meetings when they are in jail or dead from selling drugs. 2) kids know that if they fail in school, they can always get a job selling drugs and 3) their role models in the barrio are too often the ‘successful’ drug dealers.  The federal bureaucrat to whom I addressed that concern was speechless.

A few hours later a guy stopped to shake my hand, saying, “you rocked” and my commentary was spot on.  Small steps.

?Cómo se dice? *Groping* in the dark?  My Spanish was good, my talking points prepared but it wasn’t until the end of the second day, I learned how to approach my issue with a Latino audience.  Yes, I spoke of how legalize/regulate would help young people.  Yes, I avoided talking of money savings because social conservatives don’t care much about money (as long as they think it does some good).  However, I was right to feel that I was not being as effective as possible.

I asked several attendees how to approach a Latino.  Finally, I received what I now believe is good advice….Latinos, especially first and second generations, are mistrustful of people trying to ‘help’ them, change their minds, vote for this/that.  Worse, as a police officer, they often have a deep-seated* mistrust of the police because of the ‘mordida’ = the bribe cops want.   The first order of business is establish some trust.  This meant making statements which the listener would know to be true.  Going forward, the first words out of my mouth are:

Latino youth are arrested for drugs three times more than whites.

  1. Marijuana is too dangerous to leave in the hands of criminals and narcotraficantes.
  2. Latino youth have a job option to sell drugs, a job which gets them sucked into a gang, a life of crime or shot and killed.

These statements (I have double checked with several Latinos) ring true to the Latin ear.  From there I can go into the topic of prohibition and the need to end it.

PS.  I am preparing a formal report to all drug reform groups on what I learned at the LULAC conference.   As far as I know, no one from reform had ever bothered to attend the national conference of the largest minority group in America.

NOTE:  The day after I left for my godson’s wedding, Congressmen Frank and Paul introduced the ‘Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011′.  The bill # is HR 2306.  The battle is engaged.  A full copy of the bill is provided at the bottom.  Also is an editorial from the conservative, national magazine – National Review.    The four main points are:

Empowers the States to choose their own path on all aspects of the marijuana plant (industrial hemp, medicinal use, handle it like beer)

  1. Takes marijuana out of the schedule of controlled substances  and treats it  the same as alcohol.
  2. Changes penalties in federal code to match those of alcohol.
  3. Makes it a federal crime to transport marijuana from a state where it is legal to a state which prohibits it.

*Cómo se dice = how do you say

*groping = im dunklen tappen

*deep seated = tief

COPs 2nd year stats to date:

162  presentations to Congressional staffers:  7 this week

TV appearances: 12 this week (ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX, cable) 

Newspaper stories: 7 dailes, 3 weeklies

Radio appearances: 12 – .. this week

Published LTE: 15 (  this week)

Other media (bloggers, cable TV, minor publications, etc): 12 ( this week)

9 (Member of Congress) contacts:    

5 other VIP (MD state Senator & Rep):   

Consider being a member of COP at $30.00 or more per year.   All contributions are tax-deductible.   Your support keeps the COP 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

H.R.2306 — Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011 (Introduced in House – IH)

HR 2306 IH


1st Session

H. R. 2306

To limit the application of Federal laws to the distribution and consumption of marihuana, and for other purposes.


June 23, 2011

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts (for himself, Mr. PAUL, Mr. CONYERS, Ms. LEE of California, Mr. POLIS, and Mr. COHEN) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


To limit the application of Federal laws to the distribution and consumption of marihuana, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the `Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011′.


Part A of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:


`(a) Prohibition on Certain Shipping or Transportation- This Act shall not apply to marihuana, except that it shall be unlawful only to ship or transport, in any manner or by any means whatsoever, marihuana, from one State, Territory, or District of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof, into any other State, Territory, or District of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof, or from any foreign country into any State, Territory, or District of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof, when such marihuana is intended, by any person interested therein, to be received, possessed, sold, or in any manner used, either in the original package or otherwise, in violation of any law of such State, Territory, or District of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof.

`(b) Penalty- Whoever knowingly violates subsection (a) shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.’.


(a) Removed From Schedule of Controlled Substances- Schedule I(c) of section 202(c) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812(c)) is amended–

(1) by striking `marihuana’; and

(2) by striking `tetrahydrocannabinols’.

(b) Removal of Prohibition on Import and Export- Section 1010 of the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (21 U.S.C. 960) is amended–

(1) by striking subparagraph (G) of subsection (b)(1);

(2) by striking subparagraph (G) of subsection (b)(2); and

(3) by striking paragraph (4) of subsection (b).


(a) Section 102(44) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802(44)) is amended by striking `marihuana’.

(b) Part D of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 841 et seq.) is amended as follows:

(1) In section 401–

(A) by striking subsection (b)(1)(A)(vii);

(B) by striking subsection (b)(1)(B)(vii);

(C) by striking subsection (b)(1)(D); and

(D) by striking subsection (b)(4).

(2) In section 402(c)(2)(B), by striking `marihuana’.

(3) In section 403(d)(1), by striking `marihuana’.

(4) In section 418(a), by striking the last sentence.

(5) In section 419(a), by striking the last sentence.

(6) In section 422(d), in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking `marijuana’.

(7) In section 422(d)(5), by striking `, such as a marihuana cigarette,’.


No provision of this Act shall be construed to affect Federal drug testing policies, and each Federal agency shall conduct a review of its drug testing policies not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act to ensure that the language of any such policy is in accordance with this section.


Right on Marijuana – The Editors of the National Review:  June 27, 2011:   http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/270520/right-marijuana-editors

The War on Drugs, which is celebrating its 40th year, has been a colossal failure. It has curtailed personal freedom, created a violent black market, and filled our prisons. It has also trampled on states’ rights: Sixteen states have legalized “medical marijuana” — which is, admittedly, often code for legalizing pot in general — only to clash with federal laws that ban weed throughout the land.

That last sin is not the War on Drugs’ greatest, but it is not insignificant, either. A bill introduced by Reps. Barney Frank (D., Mass.) and Ron Paul (R., Texas) would remove the federal roadblock to state marijuana reform, and though the Republican House seems almost certain to reject it, the proposal deserves support from across the political spectrum.

While we would support the total demise of federal marijuana laws, this bill simply constrains the federal government to its proper role. The Constitution allows the federal government to restrict interstate commerce, and the federal laws forbidding the interstate transfer of marijuana would remain in effect. The feds would also still intercept drug shipments from other countries.

What would change is that states — if they so chose — could legalize pot that is grown, sold, and consumed within their own borders. The Supreme Court has said that the federal government may regulate not only interstate commerce, but any activity that has a “substantial effect” on interstate commerce. It has further asserted that pot that is never even sold, but grown for personal consumption and never crosses state lines, can in aggregate have such an effect and therefore may be regulated. But the Court has not said, as House Judiciary Committee chairman Lamar Smith wrongly asserted, that Congress must regulate so comprehensively.

In addition to bringing federal pot laws in line with the Constitution and allowing states to pass reasonable marijuana policies, this law would eliminate the frightening discrepancies between state and federal policies regarding “medical marijuana.” In a society under the rule of law, a citizen should be able to predict whether the government will deem his actions illegal. And yet in California and Montana, businesses that sell medical marijuana — an activity that is explicitly sanctioned by state law — have been raided by federal law-enforcement officers.

Public opinion is such that fully ending the drug war is not within the realm of political possibility. Returning marijuana policy to the states, however, is a workable idea, and it would mark an excellent first step toward real reform.

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