Friday, December 29, 2006

Buyer beware

Sorry if I was bit dramatic last night about my important news. In the light of the day, this is only important if you were planning to get this video I told you about. Since I posted this, the subject came up on a discussion Iist I'm on and I've found out some things about the ex-narc who is running this site that warrants issuing a warning about dealing with him.

Let me say, I don't know this guy from Adam's cat and for all I know he could be legitimately interested in ending the war on some drugs, but from what I've heard he's been very sleazy about his marketing scheme and the more I hear about it, the more it feels like some kind of DEA sting.

To begin with, he got an enormous amount of MSM exposure on an out of the blue press release while the real reformers can barely get a mention. Now you can probably explain that away as the story has a good hook. It's more interesting to hear about an ex-cop who wants to teach you to successfully break the law than say LEAP, who are working to change the laws but don't advocate breaking them. However, this guy Cooper is trying to trade on the non-profs within the reform community's work to promote his profit making scheme.

As I understand the story, Cooper came out of nowhere about three weeks ago and asked to join LEAP's speaker's bureau. He also asked, even before he was accepted as a speaker, whether he could use LEAP's name in promoting the video and was told unequivocally, that he could not. He also approached NORML with the same request and they also declined to be associated with his enterprise. Nonetheless, Cooper was interviewed extensively and falsely claimed to be a speaker for LEAP and at least implied that he had the endorsement of both organizations.

Furthermore, Cooper is only accepting credit cards as payment for the video. I understand he's claiming on his website that he's not keeping people's information but I have to ask if you can trust a guy who starts out by lying in order to sell his product. If he's also lying about how he'll handle your personal info, it would be a great way for law enforcement to track his customers. With a mailing addy and credit card info, they could find out everything about you and keep track of your habits. It's not much of a stretch to imagine the guy is really working for the DEA now.

As I pointed out on the discussion list, I have to question Cooper's sincerity about being concerned about the injustice of the drug laws. He's not trying to change the laws so no one ever gets busted again. He's trying to profit from the prohibition. It's really not in his best interest to see the WOsD end, because then no one would need his product. So while I'm all about people NOT getting busted and I would hope this guy has something legit to offer, I am NOT endorsing his video or his website and I urge people to be very careful if you decide to deal with him. It all feels very dicey to me.


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