CONNECTING THE DOTS
Frosty WooldridgeMore About: Drug War
THE FARCE OF THE WAR ON DRUGS
My brother Howard Wooldridge
served as a decorated police officer and detective in
My brother stands so
passionate about his cause that he rode his horse Misty 3,300 miles coast to
The drug war costs American taxpayers $70 billion a year and over the past 35 years, costs approach a trillion dollars. Result? Drugs remain CHEAPER and MORE available than 35 years ago.
“The war on drugs,” said
Howard Wooldridge, one of the founders of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
at www.leap.cc. “How is that working for us in
Wooldridge said, “As a police officer, I fought on the side of the ‘good guys’ for 18 years in the “War on Drugs,” giving me ample actual experience in the trenches. After much time, consternation and out-and-out frustration in not achieving a single, stated goal in the long term, I came to the conclusion that we must be doing something wrong. It seemed no matter how many dealers we took off the streets, new ones immediately popped up to take their places. The prices for drugs kept falling, indicating an oversupply. The purity became better; heroin increased from 3.6 percent to near 50 percent purity between 1980 and 2007. The prison population kept increasing until over 70 percent of all inmates are there on some drug-related charge. The only thing we have to show for this terrible policy is that today after 36 years and a trillion tax dollars spent, illegal drugs are cheaper, stronger and very easy for our kids to buy.”
In those 18 years, I listened to my brother Howard’s frustrations each time we sat down for dinner. He bemoaned the senselessness of the drug war. The people within the department now work it to keep their jobs and nothing else. The “War on Drugs” exists to exist.
“Why has my profession been unable to make a dent?” Howard Wooldridge asked. “It has not been for lack of trying. Thousands of police officers have been shot and hundreds killed. We have arrested 36 million Americans for drug possession, use or sale. First, understand that drug dealers accept as a condition of employment--death and long prison terms. We know there is an inexhaustible number of people who will risk death to make huge profits that prohibition generates. A second major reason is that when someone buys an illegal drug from a dealer, nobody calls 911 to report the ‘crime.’ It is very difficult for us to catch suspects when the phone does not ring. Neither the buyers nor the sellers see themselves as ‘victims.’
“Drug gangs have spread like the plague out of the large cities and into medium and even small cities. Young teens join gangs to make ‘easy,’ big money selling drugs. Fifteen year olds are shot and killed every week because drug prohibition gives them this job option. Many Hispanic members are the first generation of immigrants who don’t want to work hard like their parents. The role model in the barrio is the rich drug dealer, not the hard-working parent. A policy which many say is to protect kids actually causes hundreds of deaths a year and tens of thousands of destroyed young lives.”
For any curious Americans,
MS-13 gangs from
“On our borders customs officers spend huge amounts of time looking for smuggled drugs which allows them less time for catching the millions who cross illegally,” Howard Wooldridge said. “The Coast Guard is focused on drugs and not the ships which bring over many hundreds of illegals in ships. In the century of 9/11 we should be focusing on threats to the nation and instead we are heavily engaged in a nearly four decade, failed policy of drug prohibition.
“The unintended consequences of this terrible war are needlessly
destroying the lives of generations of
“Now envision a world where
all drugs sell in state-regulated stores, not on street corners by teens which
gets them killed. Imagine a world where
the federal police focus on securing our borders from armed and unarmed
invasion. Envision a world where terrorists
don’t buy weapons from money made selling drugs. Imagine a world where felony crime drops over
50 percent and local police focus on drunk drivers, child predators and
terrorists. Envision a world where if
one day you or a loved one has a drug problem, you see a doctor not a
Officer Howard J. Wooldridge
(retired), Education Specialist, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (www.leap.cc),
1 Comments in Response to THE FARCE OF THE WAR ON DRUGS
What is the difference between legalizing drugs and simply taking them off the "illegal list?" Let's not say they are legal by some law. Let's simply repeal the laws and policies that say they are illegal.