Back in Saddle, Preaching Drug Legalization 

Back in Saddle, Preaching Drug Legalization 
Posted by CN Staff on October 05, 2005 at 08:57:33 PT
By Corey Kilgannon
Source: New York Times
New York -- After blowing into town yesterday on a one-eyed painted pony, a lanky Texan named Howard Wooldridge looked a bit beleaguered.He had just arrived in Manhattan from the West Coast, but not on the red-eye, having left Los Angeles on March 4 on horseback and riding some 3,300 miles to New York. He rode, he said, about 25 miles a day, six days a week.
Mr. Wooldridge and Misty, his 11-year-old pony, took the Broadway Bridge from the Bronx and rode down the West Side on Broadway.He wore dirty jeans, three neckerchiefs and a dusty Stetson. His arms were sunburned and his face weather-beaten.His bedroll was tied behind his saddle, and a bag of carrots stuck out of a saddlebag. He held Misty's reins in his chamois herder's gloves. He ambled down the sidewalk nodding to passers-by and using greetings like "Howdy" and "Mornin'."Mr. Woolridge, 54, a former police officer in Michigan and seasoned horseman, made the trip to gain publicity for his campaign to legalize drugs, the same reason he and Misty rode from Georgia to Oregon in 2003. As mothers pushing strollers came up to pet Misty, Mr. Wooldridge handed out cards with the name of a group he helped found, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. His T-shirt bore this slogan: "Cops Say Legalize Drugs. Ask Me Why." His tales from the trail included one about a near collision with an Amish family in a horse and buggy near Amsterdam, N.Y., and another about falling asleep with Misty in the grass in front of a Wal-Mart in Oregon, only to have a team of police officers surround him."They said: 'Don't move. Is that horse dead?' " he recalled. "They said they had just gotten a call that a cowboy killed his horse and was sleeping next to it."He stopped regularly for speaking engagements. After riding Misty to Denver, he was joined by a friend with a mobile home bearing a "Cops Say Legalize Drugs" sign, and pulling a trailer that housed another horse to give Misty a rest.He often stopped at farms and stables to let the horses feed. He said that every day, each horse ate 10 pounds of grain and 15 pounds of hay, and drank 20 gallons of water. His horse would canter two miles, then he would dismount and they would walk for one. Yesterday, in front of the Broadway Presbyterian Church at 114th Street, he met Diane Hill, 47, who works as a business manager at Columbia University. Drugs should be legalized, he said, "to keep them away from your 14-year-old child and to stop building prisons and stuffing them full of black and brown people." Ms. Hill nodded in agreement and declared his evangelical method "old school."On Broadway, some people barely noticed the horseman, while others pointed cellphone cameras at him. Since traffic did not yield to the cowboy, he walked his jumpy horse in tight circles at red lights and finally led her into Central Park to let her graze in the Ramble woods. Then they galloped down to Columbus Circle and headed into Times Square, where Mr. Wooldridge came dangerously close to a showdown with the Naked Cowboy, the muscular man who strums a guitar for tourists wearing only his underwear.He saw Mr. Wooldridge and Misty and yelled, "You got to bring her over here."Source: New York Times (NY)Author: Corey KilgannonPublished: October 5, 2005Copyright: 2005 The New York Times Company Contact: letters Website: L.E.A.P. Justice Archives 
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on October 20, 2005 at 07:19:12 PT
You said it a second time.
My hackles are raised.It's so smirky, hateful, arrogant, idiotic, posturing and the way it's usually said just means someone literally needs the hell slapped out of them, a feminine "Suh! You have offended me!" SLAP! SLAP! Like the face slapping Mama they probably had would have done, over much less.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on October 20, 2005 at 07:08:43 PT
I posted that article but didn't read it because I sure don't know who a doper is. I haven't met any.
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on October 20, 2005 at 07:06:45 PT
A favorite line of the above article.
"They said: 'Don't move. Is that horse dead?' " 
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on October 20, 2005 at 06:34:23 PT
I must need caffiene.
Perhaps I'm not drinking enough coffee lately to keep my "hackles" properly raised if I feel the need.Kinda Scary.Not.I like it. Happier but no less determined to "see it through".
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on October 20, 2005 at 06:30:59 PT
Can Prozac incline you to be more forgiving?I must have gotten a really good batch of Prozac...or actually now, at the behest of the insurance suits, a substitute for it. The things you are saying are some of the things that raise my hackles. Today...I thought..."I can forgive least a bit more than I used to." or as someone else might say..."I can deal with that." Have they messed up and made my Prozac substitute better than it's supposed to be?
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Comment #5 posted by afterburner on October 20, 2005 at 05:54:13 PT
RE Comment #3 - Let Those 'Dopers' Be
Most regulars at this site are offended by the continued use by government and media prohibitionists of the slang term of prejudice, 'marijuana.' Similarly the term 'pothead' is equally offensive, due to it's implication that somehow cannabis patients, seekers, and relaxers are obsessed with 'getting high' and have no other interests in life and perhaps no allegiance or love for other human beings. We know that these prejudiced views are far from the truth.Even the title of this snipped article, uses the highly misleading, unscientific term 'dopers,' implying as the US government and many others around the world (including the UN) have done that cannabis is 'narcotic'. This scientifically invalid medical classification was enshrined into law by the passage of the 'Marihuana' Tax Act in 1937.DETAILS: "In 1961, the United Nations in concert with the United States forced on the world the Single Convention Treaty on Narcotics (ratified in 1973). It contained among other things, 2 provisions that make it not only invalid but also illegal."The first is a provision that requires all use of Cannabis must be stopped in 25 years from the date of ratification, meaning that the act, under U.S. law, will expire with respect to Cannabis, on December 31, 1998."The second is a bit more complicated. ..."In conclusion, we have here a series of treaties that transfer powers expressly granted to the Executive branch of government in Article 2 of the Constitution to the United Nations Drug Control Program, an agent of a power not defined as a part of the US Government but a foreign entity. The US Constitution does not permit any officer of the Government, no matter which branch, to be controlled by, or have rules placed on them by, a foreign entity of an organization not directly answerable to either Congress or the President." --Press Release | United Nations General Assembly on the Question of Narcotic Drugs | Patients Out of Time [More details]Even more offensive is the use by individuals within or without the government, media or the general public of the terms 'drugs' or the especially derogatory 'druggies.' These terms blur the scientific and medical distinctions between different classes of medicines, as well as distinctions between pharmaceuticals and herbs, and between prescribed medicines and over-the-counter medicines [nee patent medicines] and illicit production and diversion for unapproved uses. As such, they muddy the waters of public discourse and policy-making and contibute to an emotionally-charged climate which encourages governments to use all available resources to irrationally oppose needed and long-overdue reforms."The truth will out."
The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 - Full Text of the Act
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on October 16, 2005 at 08:14:40 PT
Thank you, Howard Wooldridge.
What a great thing you've done for the sake of liberty and justice.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on October 16, 2005 at 06:42:20 PT
Related Article from The LA Times
Behind Bars: Let Those Dopers BeA former police chief wants to end a losing war by legalizing pot, coke, meth and other drugsBy Norm StamperNorm Stamper is the former chief of the Seattle Police Department. He is the author of "Breaking Rank: A Top Cop's Exposé of the Dark Side of American Policing" (Nation Books, 2005).October 16, 2005Sometimes people in law enforcement will hear it whispered that I'm a former cop who favors decriminalization of marijuana laws, and they'll approach me the way they might a traitor or snitch. So let me set the record straight. Yes, I was a cop for 34 years, the last six of which I spent as chief of Seattle's police department. But no, I don't favor decriminalization. I favor legalization, and not just of pot but of all drugs, including heroin, cocaine, meth, psychotropics, mushrooms and LSD. Decriminalization, as my colleagues in the drug reform movement hasten to inform me, takes the crime out of using drugs but continues to classify possession and use as a public offense, punishable by fines. I've never understood why adults shouldn't enjoy the same right to use verboten drugs as they have to suck on a Marlboro or knock back a scotch and water. Prohibition of alcohol fell flat on its face. The prohibition of other drugs rests on an equally wobbly foundation. Not until we choose to frame responsible drug use — not an oxymoron in my dictionary — as a civil liberty will we be able to recognize the abuse of drugs, including alcohol, for what it is: a medical, not a criminal, matter. As a cop, I bore witness to the multiple lunacies of the "war on drugs." Lasting far longer than any other of our national conflicts, the drug war has been prosecuted with equal vigor by Republican and Democratic administrations, with one president after another — Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush — delivering sanctimonious sermons, squandering vast sums of taxpayer money and cheerleading law enforcers from the safety of the sidelines. It's not a stretch to conclude that our draconian approach to drug use is the most injurious domestic policy since slavery. Want to cut back on prison overcrowding and save a bundle on the construction of new facilities? Open the doors, let the nonviolent drug offenders go. The huge increases in federal and state prison populations during the 1980s and '90s (from 139 per 100,000 residents in 1980 to 482 per 100,000 in 2003) were mainly for drug convictions. In 1980, 580,900 Americans were arrested on drug charges. By 2003, that figure had ballooned to 1,678,200. We're making more arrests for drug offenses than for murder, manslaughter, forcible rape and aggravated assault combined. Feel safer?I've witnessed the devastating effects of open-air drug markets in residential neighborhoods: children recruited as runners, mules and lookouts; drug dealers and innocent citizens shot dead in firefights between rival traffickers bent on protecting or expanding their markets; dedicated narcotics officers tortured and killed in the line of duty; prisons filled with nonviolent drug offenders; and drug-related foreign policies that foster political instability, wreak health and environmental disasters, and make life even tougher for indigenous subsistence farmers in places such as Latin America and Afghanistan. All because we like our drugs — and can't have them without breaking the law.As an illicit commodity, drugs cost and generate extravagant sums of (laundered, untaxed) money, a powerful magnet for character-challenged police officers. Although small in numbers of offenders, there isn't a major police force — the Los Angeles Police Department included — that has escaped the problem: cops, sworn to uphold the law, seizing and converting drugs to their own use, planting dope on suspects, robbing and extorting pushers, taking up dealing themselves, intimidating or murdering witnesses. In declaring a war on drugs, we've declared war on our fellow citizens. War requires "hostiles" — enemies we can demonize, fear and loathe. This unfortunate categorization of millions of our citizens justifies treating them as dope fiends, evil-doers, less than human. That grants political license to ban the exchange or purchase of clean needles or to withhold methadone from heroin addicts motivated to kick the addiction. President Bush has even said no to medical marijuana. Why would he want to "coddle" the enemy? Even if the enemy is a suffering AIDS or cancer patient for whom marijuana promises palliative, if not therapeutic, powers.As a nation, we're long overdue for a soul-searching, coldly analytical look at both the "drug scene" and the drug war. Such candor would reveal the futility of our current policies, exposing the embarrassingly meager return on our massive enforcement investment (about $69 billion a year, according to Jack Cole, founder and executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition). Snipped:Complete Article:,0,4914395.story?coll=la-news-comment-opinions
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on October 05, 2005 at 11:24:59 PT
Simply complex; but very simple.
CN ON: PUB LTE: Legalization Of Pot Would End GougingPubdate: Wed, 05 Oct 2005
Source: Windsor Star (CN ON) the letter to the editor, Medical Pot Unaffordable. I think it's pretty nifty how the government can maintain the black market cost of cannabis and sell it legally at the same time. Neither the cannabis nor the money made is evil but the price gouging is. It's a weed, no harder to cultivate than tomatoes, that is in great demand. Despite all the protestations by the government of protecting health et al, the real reason they just won't legalize it is the size of the market and the amount of money it generates: Money that would not be made from very many people if they could legally grow their own supply. The electrical utility and the hydroponics stores would be the only ones making any money off it, with the government taxing these sales. No cops, lawyers, judges, prison guards, gangsters or "property management companies." In short, almost nobody would get anything anymore, and that's just not allowed. The value would plummet, there would be companies applying for licences to grow, there would be 10,000 empty rental houses, there would be less hydro theft, less incursion by the state into private lives, and police would have to be reassigned or let go. Should cannabis be legalized, the only real winners are the consumer and taxpayer. That's just not allowed. Colin Walker New Westminster, B.C. 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on October 05, 2005 at 11:04:29 PT
Press Release from The Drug Policy Alliance
Conference Spotlight: Medical Marijuana in CaliforniaWednesday, October 5, 2005California has been the leader in the movement to make marijuana available as medicine. The upcoming 2005 International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Long Beach will focus on the state's groundbreaking approach to marijuana regulation as well as on marijuana reform efforts across the country. One panel will look at Proposition 215, which made medical marijuana legal in California, nine years after its passage. Now that an estimated 100,00 Californians are using marijuana as medicine, the crux of the discussion has shifted to regulation. Panelists will talk about a range of issues currently being examined by government, caregivers and advocacy groups: the moratoriums several cities and counties have placed on cannabis clubs; efforts in San Francisco to regulate these clubs; raids by the federal government on dispensaries, patients and caregivers; and the relationship between state law and federal law.The conference will also explore the broader future of medical marijuana. How do we shape our strategy for a long-term win for patients? Legal experts, policy experts and advocates will discuss state medical marijuana initiatives, federal strategies, and prospects for medical marijuana in the courts.Other marijuana panels are scheduled as well. Learn about local-level reform from campaign leaders for Oakland and Seattle's successful initiatives to make private adult marijuana offenses the lowest law enforcement priority. Explore the issue of drug testing of drivers with University of Southern California professor Mitch Earleywine and others. Hear about cannabis research in Canada from key researchers.To read more about panels on marijuana and other topics to be covered at the conference, please visit the conference section of our website. To join us in Long Beach from November 10-12, please register here!
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