Monday, September 21, 2009

Tea Parties And The Drug War

Howard Wooldridge, a retired police officer who is against the drug war, had this to say about his experience at the 9/12 March Against Washington (via e-mail).

"Resistance continues to crumble: How conservative does one have to be to board a bus & travel all night to go to a march on Washington on September 12th? The DC fire department estimated the crowd at about 70,000 & I would say it might have gone to 100,000. Regardless, I was there, wearing the shirt & had about 60 ask why. Keeping in mind these were extremely serious conservatives, 80% were agreeing with the COP message of legalize all drugs.

Many more read the shirt and waved or nodded.

For the few that disagreed my standard line was: 'I believe in liberty & keeping the police out of my house.' What do you believe in?'....that tag line was effective in helping the listener understand what principles I stood for.

Love my hat: Attending a monthly conservative breakfast, the gentleman across from me, 10 years my senior, asked what COP stood for. I told him. He replied he had just given a presentation on why all drugs should be legalized & regulated. At the end of the breakfast he invited me to his 'pre 9/12 march' on Washington soiree on one condition; wear the hat.

The crowd was definitely a 'grasstops.'..doctors, lawyers & Indian chiefs affaire. For two + hours I chatted with über conservatives from all over the country.wearing my best Stetson. It was an 18 hour day and well worth it."
Howard also documents how opposition in Congress is crumbling.
And the envelope please: Nearly a year ago I reported my excitement, as chairman of the largest caucus (104 members) in the House invited me to a one hour chat. He wanted to drop (introduce) a bill to end federal prohibition of all drugs, starting with cannabis. I was unable to tell you who he was for discretionary reasons. Only senior LEAP staff and Board Members knew.

Roll the drums…Former Congressman and Republican candidate for President Tom Tancredo this week stated for the first time in public the need to legalize drugs, all drugs. Mr. Tancredo and I have been in regular contact the past 12 months, including being on his radio show. I applaud his courage to become a leader on our issue. Though no longer in Congress, he remains the spiritual head of the Congressional Immigration Caucus. I am exploiting this connection.

The Kumbayjah Moment has arrived: I attended a Senate hearing this week. Although the topic was immigration and the borders, the witnesses spent well over half their time on how federal agents are arresting drug smugglers and seizing drugs. The Chairman, Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was focusing his hearing to demonstrate that the borders are now secure enough to allow the Congress to move forward with a comprehensive, immigration bill.

Near the end Senator Hatch (R-UT) stated to all, The War on Drugs has been a failure. Ladies and Gentlemen his admission has become the general tone on the Hill. His sentiments reflect the Zogby poll that 76% of Americans agree the Drug War has been a failure. As I present to staffers, there is a statistical zero pushback on declaring the Drug War a dysfunctional failure. This does not mean we are near the finish line. No. There is a lot more work to be done. Think of the 12-step process for Alcoholics Anonymous. – Hi, my name is Bob and I am an alcoholic: Hi, my name is America and the Drug War is a failure. Eleven steps to go. Kumbayjah.

Out to lunch: As you know, many believe that the Congress and federal employees live in a Lah-Lah Land and have no idea of what the real world (outside the Beltway) is like. This perception was reinforced at the above hearing. A federal police agent reported a great victory as the federal police have seized 13 million dollars (out of a yearly total of some 25 billion) in the past two months going from the US to Mexico. Upon hearing this, I reacted instinctively and made a pddffhh noise that was heard by a few around me, including a newspaper reporter and a former Congressman and hearing witness. After the hearing the reporter and I had a good chat and chuckle. Yes, it was impolite but I was unable to stop myself. Me bad.
Howard is a man after my own heart and says:

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

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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