After the first 19 interviews with my brother Police Officer and Detective Howard Wooldridge of Lansing, Michigan (retired) concerning the “War on Drugs”, thousands of readers responded. U.S. taxpayers do not understand the incredible deception perpetrated on them by the Drug War. You might even term it a “racket” by those who stand in the power corridors of Washington, DC.
“Legalize drugs and all hell and ruin will plague the USA as drug use/abuse doubles!” said Officer Howard Wooldridge. “The sky will fall in. The Chicken Little’s aka The Prohibition Crowd have used this mantra to great effect the past 15 years. Though competent addiction experts and a 2008 Zogby poll state that use and abuse of hard drugs will remain fairly constant, what if the experts are wrong and the prohibition crowd is correct? What if millions of us become so stupid that we use heroin, meth and crack when they become legal? What would be the total change in the USA, if we legalized, regulated and taxed currently prohibited drugs and this caused use and abuse to double?
“Let’s start with marijuana. Currently about 20 million enjoy cannabis as a recreational alternative to alcohol. Let’s take as a given that few teetotalers will start using marijuana. Thus when 20 million citizens switch from drinking alcohol to smoking pot, this would be a net benefit for themselves, their family and their community. How so? Ask any cop or writer of country/western songs. Alcohol use provokes in almost all of us a bit of reckless to very reckless behavior (saying something one should not have, to picking a fight with someone twice your size). For a significant minority alcohol use will provoke aggressive, even violent behavior. In this fashion a doubling of marijuana use will reduce homicide, suicide, rape, child/spouse abuse and assault.
“Wait what about 20 million more people becoming lazy, losing their jobs, going on welfare, and robbing banks to live? Everyone reading this essay has either used marijuana or knows many in the family or friends who have. Do some become permanently lazy? Yes, the same as becoming an alcoholic often means a life without meaningful work. However, the overwhelming majority of marijuana users are like you and me; hard-working and hard-playing, tax-paying successful doctors, lawyers and such. From the past three US Presidents to half of Congress and Captains of Industry most use pot and go on to become successful. Tell Michael Phelps, Willie Nelson or five time all NFL pro center for the Dallas Cowboys Mark Stepnoski about being too spaced out on cannabis to achieve greatness.
“A couple of hundred million times this year mostly young people are going to use an hallucinogen like X or LSD. There are almost no accounts of users stealing, robbing or becoming prostitutes to pay for their drug of choice. Yes, a couple of dozen die from X use (too much or too little water is a common reason) and that is a tragedy. Of course many more will die this year while riding their bicycle (about 2.5 per day, opps, they failed to wear a helmet). More Americans will die while riding a horse than die from X. In order to protect citizens from harm, should the government prohibit the riding of bicycles and horses? Tell your politicians. Now double the use and abuse of X and LSD. Two times roughly zero is how much?
“The feds tell us that perhaps a million of us use meth-amphetamine and a couple of hundred die every year because of abuse issues and overdose. What happens when that number goes to two million? From what I know, the majority of users are either trying to stay awake on a 12 hour shift or want to lose weight. This crowd would have access to the same 5 mg amphetamine pills we give Air Force pilots to go on long missions. With standard doses users would gain control over their intake & improve their odds of not becoming addicted, same as our military pilots. Of course some will become addicted (talk to Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson after you die) but overall, death and abuse rates should fall for this group.
“What about those who love the sexual kick that meth provides? This crowd may switch to the sexual kick that cocaine does provide. If they stay with the meth, they will suffer long term health consequences. If their number doubles, they will also suffer. On the flip side, there will be no meth labs in America and no children eating Cheerios where mom and dad made meth last night. No houses will blow up and no expensive clean ups when meth houses are discovered. Since children are IMO much more important than adults harming themselves, even a doubling of amphetamine users would be a net plus.
“Let’s take the last and ‘big ones’ cocaine and heroin together. Currently we believe about five million use coke and about half million use heroin. The use of these drugs does cause significant theft crime for some/many of the users to support their habits. This year about 9,000 will die from overdose and an unknown number (certainly in thousands) will die from health complications associated with dirty, shared needles, etc.
“Even as use/abuse double the USA will experience a huge drop in felony crime, as the price for a day’s supply of these drugs falls to about $3.00. “That money can easily me made panhandling/begging for change. Thus hundreds of thousands of home owners will not become victims. The number of banks and convenience stores robbed will drop by half, saving the terror and death that those employees deal with.
“Certainly overdose deaths would fall dramatically, when users buy a product of known strength and contains no rat poison etc. This would save a lot of money now spent by EMS ambulances and hospital emergency rooms. Oh, and of course the addicts live to have a chance to climb out of their addiction one day.
“Federal studies and experts state that the abuse rate for cocaine is 5-6 per cent. Thus even a doubling of users would only increase those who abuse cocaine by about 300,000. The abuse rate for heroin is about 70 per cent of users. We would see about 350,000 new abusers of heroin. Each new abuse case will be a personal and family tragedy. On the flip side, almost no one will die of an overdose and with a robust treatment option (paid for by the taxes on other drugs & savings by cutting our prisons in half), a good many will live thru their addiction time to become clean and sober.
“The best news of all is that the 900,000 young teens currently selling these drugs off sidewalks and being shot in the process will become unemployed. They will be forced into making chump change flipping burgers or being unemployed. What is the value of one child saved? You tell me. The general savings of money will amount to some 80 billion currently wasted by law enforcement to look for, arrest and incarcerate drug users and sellers. The 120 billion we spend now on illegal drugs will go back into the taxed economy, as users have more money to buy cars, a steak in town or go to vacation in Florida. Farmers will plant hemp and supply a growing US market for that commodity vs. the importation currently coming from Canada. As gangs shrink and inner cities become much quieter (far fewer 9 mm going pop, pop, pop) property values will increase and so probably investment and their jobs. We would no longer fund our mortal enemies. Al Qaeda and the Taliban would have to find a new source of money. The police could concentrate on the deadly DUI and reckless drivers, saving thousands from dying on our roads. Detectives could arrest a lot more child predators.
“The majority of Americas have admitted in polls and at the Rotary Club that Modern Prohibition is an ineffective failure. Many see the policy as the most destructive, dysfunctional and immoral policy since slavery and Jim Crow. Even if we doubled the number of drug users in this country, the pluses far outweigh the minuses.”
“Today, my brother Howard Wooldridge heads up a task force in Washington, DC to educate and enlighten congressmen at the highest levels. He works for a better future for all Americans. He can be reached at: Education Specialist, www.citizensopposingprohibition.org , Washington, DC. He speaks at colleges, political clubs, Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions Clubs across America. He engages citizens around the country to bring an end to the Drug War. Check out the web site and join. Book Wooldridge in your state! Wooldridge also presents at political conferences in Washington. Howard@citizensopposingprohibition.org
“The mission of COP is to reduce the multitude of unintended harmful consequences resulting from fighting the war on drugs and to lessen the incidence of death, disease, crime, and addiction by ultimately ending drug prohibition.
“Envision a country which employs the principles of personal responsibility, personal freedom and limited/effective government toward marijuana,” Officer Wooldridge said. “I see a growing respect for the police, as they stop intruding into the decisions of adults, made in the privacy of their castles. Teens find it as hard to buy pot as beer. Fewer teens use it because it lost its glamour. Imagine a land where the deadly DUI and reckless drivers kill far fewer, as officers focus on them, not the next pot bust. Envision detectives arresting more child predators as they abandon the time spent arresting someone selling pot to an adult. All this becomes possible, when America becomes wiser and abandons the prohibition approach to marijuana.”
Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents – from the Arctic to the South Pole – as well as six times across the USA, coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece. He presents “The Coming Population Crisis in America: and what you can do about it” to civic clubs, church groups, high schools and colleges. He works to bring about sensible world population balance at www.frostywooldridge.com He is the author of: America on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million Americans. Copies: 1 888 280 7715