Rolling Right Along
About 10,000 people have responded to the message on the tshirt Howard Wooldridge wears just about every day. It reads, "Cops say legalize pot. Ask me why." He tells them why for as long as he's got their attention.
Having hosted Howard here at LOS HQ last fall, I can personally attest to his tireless advocating. I took him to City Cafe for drinks and to Joe's for dinner and watched him convert at least three people right before my eyes and seriously sway dozens of conservative middle aged regulars at both venues.
We haven't seen him around here since, as he's currently on a speaking tour out west on behalf of LEAP. He appeared at an event at Idaho State University recently and as usual, wowed the crowd with his straight forward style and irrefutable logic.
If drugs were legalized, he believes drug use wouldn't rise, crimes would dramatically drop because drug users wouldn't have to steal to afford them, the government could regulate them and make them safer, and police would have more time to pursue offenders who pose a public risk.
"If you support current policy, you're condemning your kids to grow up in a world with drug dealers and their free samples. Youth are sucked into the criminality of prohibition with the excitement and easy money, and they get hurt and killed because of it," Wooldridge said. "We never have and never will make a difference on whether there's drug dealers on the streets."
"I have faith in the American people," Wooldridge said. "They are not going to stick a needle in their arms just because it's legal.
"I have faith that they're not that stupid."
I get a lot of flack for saying the same sort of thing. There's something about a cop saying it that just lends more credibility. No one snickers about pot-heads when he speaks and he can hardly be accused of self-interest since he doesn't do drugs.
Howard is one of the five founding members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. The organization has since grown to over 1000 members and more are joining every day. Who is more qualified to speak about these issues than those who fought in the drug war on the streets of the cities?
[Link thanks to Richard Lake at MAP]