Saturday, December 31, 2005

Hey there cowboy - Howard goes to Washington

Our pal Howard Wooldridge checks in with a year end update. He's now officially moved just outside of DC and will be lobbying Congress on drug policy reform for the foreseeable future. He's started a newsletter. Here's a couple of entries.

Capitol Newsletter: December 30, 2005

Fun Story of the Week: Meeting with a Congressional staffer on Tuesday, I came to realize I was not in Kansas anymore. This man was sympathetic with LEAP’s position but he said I just did not understand how Washington works. “It is all about pork.” He said. “Take your idea of treatment instead of jail. How does that help my district? You need to propose that the federal government build a regional treatment center in our district. That would definitely help you get such a bill passed. Your ideas would lay off thousands of high-paying, federal prison guard jobs. You have to replace those lost federal paychecks with other paychecks or you won’t go anywhere in this town.” I lost it and just started laughing. I am so naïve but this cowboy is learning the ropes.

From last week:

FUN STORY OF THE WEEK: As many of you know, I have been working on ending drug prohibition for 8 years and with over 14,000 persons asking me why, I thought I had heard all the reasons why not. A Congressional staffer had a new one. His reason for opposing ending prohibition? ‘If we legalize marijuana, eventually the growers will want to receive a subsidy to grow it, the same as farmers receive subsidies to grow tobacco, rice, sugar etc. It will just mean one more expense for the federal government.’ Most of you don’t know it but I do have a poker face. I coolly replied, “Well, this is the first day of my second rodeo. Call me naïve but I have faith that the US Congress will never subsidize cannabis farmers.” The staffer remained unconvinced. I went onto another meeting, chuckling all the way down the hall of the Rayburn Building.
You can subscribe to this but I couldn't find where on the website so if you would like to receive these directly, email Howard and he'll put you on the listserv.


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