In this series of interviews with my brother Police Officer and Detective Howard Wooldridge of Lansing, Michigan (retired) concerning the “War on Drugs”, hundreds 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.
“The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” said Officer Howard Wooldridge. “That explains how chiefs of police stand shoulder to shoulder with the blood-thirsty Mexican Cartels in their support for cannabis prohibition. It explains why illegal growers cheer their sheriff in Northern California as the cops encourage no change to the market being controlled by the cartels & growers. This week the California Beer and Beverage Association gave $10,000 to defeat Prop 19. (a California ballot issue to treat cannabis much like beer). Even as the police officers know too well the horrific damage and death caused by the use of alcohol, they embrace these deadly distributors of pain and sorrow. Why this unholy alliance, this gathering of strange bedfellows? Simple money, money and money!
“Law enforcement stands to lose billions nationally (eleven billion according to Harvard economics professor Jeff Myron), when this nation repeals its 8-10 decade long marijuana prohibition. In these tough times all the ‘free’ money coming from Washington and state capitols to search for green plants keeps the wallets and purses full of good overtime money. Indeed the FBI just reported that despite cutbacks in the ‘Thin Blue Line,’ my profession arrested a new record number of Willie Nelsons and Snoop Dogs in 2009. Marijuana arrests now account for exactly 50% of all drug arrests. This nonsense even as every cop knows that pot is a much, much safer drug than alcohol. Money trumps public safety, common sense and human decency. Shame on the command officers like Sheriff Baca of Los Angeles SD who want the cartels to continue to be in charge of marijuana distribution and sales. Bless the street cops who by the hundreds of thousands privately wish marijuana were treated like beer.
“The Mexican cartels have operational control of North American marijuana production and distribution, according to testimony in the US Congress. They earn somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-20 billion (some 50 to 80% of their gross incomes). Our Department of Justice reports that about 240 Mexican led gangs control the distribution of all drugs in that many cities across the USA. This empire is as if Al Capone branched out of Chicago to control the illegal booze market across the whole country back in the 20s and early 30s. In 17 states the cartels now grow marijuana in our national forests and parks, destroying watersheds, polluting the streams with chemicals and shooting and killing those hikers who are unlucky enough to come across their crop. Note: the cartels are NOT growing grapes in our national forests. I wonder why?
“As bad as we have it, the cartels have destroyed civilization in Mexico’s six northern states in the past 4 years. Rule of law has completely disappeared. Crimes are not reported because why waste the time? The American response to this was best stated by Congressman McCaul (R-TX) at a foreign relations committee meeting this summer, ‘We need to keep the violence contained on the other side of the border.’ In other words, as long as 28,000 Mexicans are dying for our prohibition, no problema. Disgusting.
“The growers of some of the nation’s best cannabis live in Northern California. At watering holes there are worried looks on the faces of men and women who are making billions growing the weed. Legalization would start to cripple their highly lucrative businesses. They know their profit margins would drop like a stone (recent Rand Corporation estimated about an 80% drop in gross profits). This writer just asked a waitress in Eureka what would happen to the city, if Prop 19 passes. ‘This town would dry up in a hurry.’ She replied. She was probably going to vote no on 19 in order to save her job. The growers oppose Prop 19.
“This week the distributors of America’s second deadliest drug –alcohol- went public with their support for prohibition. They donated $10,000 to the Stop 19 campaign. The beer crowd knows full well they already compete with cannabis as a moderate, pleasant intoxicant. Legalization would allow millions more to put down the martini or beer and choose cannabis for a change. And the police embrace these dollars and support. Embarrassing.
“None in this Unholy Alliance have dared to write opeds stating all the advantages of pot prohibition because, of course, there are none. None express their desire to keep the money coming because that would expose them as the worst of ‘leaders.’ The cops, cartels, cultivators and beer makers have joined hands to keep the money coming. We will know in seven weeks how successful their distortions, outright lies and money have been.”
Writer Howard Wooldridge is currently on a 40 city, two month tour of California (Paul Revere style), promoting Prop 19.
The War on Drugs has been the most dysfunctional destructive and immoral policy since slavery & Jim Crow.
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, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, 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.”