Feds Value Ideology Over Compassion

Feds Value Ideology Over Compassion
Posted by CN Staff on July 29, 2007 at 09:26:31 PT
By Bob Cuddy
Source: Tribune
California -- Cancer-stricken folks on the Central Coast have been saved from the perils of the evil weed marijuana, thanks to the single-minded battle against the pernicious plant by our ever-vigilant federal government.Of course, those who were using the herb said they needed it to reduce pain and other symptoms from cancer, glaucoma and other ailments.
But Uncle Sam’s minions apparently know the suffering these maladies cause better than those who are actually suffering.Come to think of it, Washington thinks it understands this issue better than us dumb Californians, not to mention those in 11 other states, all of whom have voted to allow the sale of strictly regulated medical marijuana to relieve pain.Apparently, the Feds believe in local control, all right. Until, that is, they don’t. But back to the ganja.Last week, Drug Enforcement Administration officials indicted the former owner of a now-closed Morro Bay dispensary. They and the Sheriff’s Department had already raided the place and shut it down in April.The Feds hit other places in the Los Angeles metropolitan area as well.Now far be it from me to oppose the incarceration of bad people. And I’m not going to challenge the particulars of the indictment other than to say, as one always must, that the accused are innocent until proven otherwise.But even if they’re guilty and the Feds nail a miscreant or two, I have to ask: Is this the best use of law enforcement’s time and my tax money?That was a rhetorical question. These authorities have chosen to pursue a questionable law, using time they could have spent enforcing other laws and fighting other crime.There is little doubt that their bosses have impelled them to make this choice for reasons having to do more with ideology than law.If you don’t believe that, then explain why they sent letters to landlords who were thinking about renting to medical marijuana dispensaries, pointing out the federal laws they would be violating were they to do so.These pot busts were about one thing: intimidation.And it seems to be working. There is now no medical marijuana outlet here, and a proposal for a dispensary in Templeton also may go away, even though the county allows such places of business.This is a dismal state of affairs, for two reasons in particular.First, as I’ve written before, it subordinates the suffering of human beings to an argument over state versus federal authority. While the Feds strut about, flaunting their authority like juiced-up peacocks, people writhe in pain needlessly.Second, at best, the federal quest to wipe out marijuana embodies an epic folly. Those pursuing it—the dogmatic true believers running the Justice Department—are tragic figures who are trying to repeal an era, the 1960s.But they are distracting themselves—and us—with what amounts to a trifle in the larger picture, while ignoring the effluvia of the truly sinister toxins that had their start in those days.How is that battle against methamphetamine going, by the way?Source: Tribune, The (San Luis Obispo, CA)Author: Bob CuddyPublished: July 29, 2007Copyright: 2007 The TribuneContact: letters thetribunenews.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #25 posted by whig on July 31, 2007 at 21:40:13 PT
When cannabis is legal, it will help people who want to withdraw from hard drugs and hopefully reduce their usage. I think even people who use cannabis together with other drugs tend to use less of the harmful drug when they have cannabis. We should be pro-cannabis, not just anti-drug war.
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Comment #24 posted by FoM on July 31, 2007 at 19:56:47 PT
I am 59. I only have a few more productive years to help bring change. If cannabis laws are changed I will not continue on with hard drug reform because I really hate hard drugs. I have lost people to hard drugs and nothing would have changed their end even if drugs were legal. I can't do what I don't believe. I think the drug war will fade away when cannabis is legalized. 
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Comment #23 posted by ekim on July 31, 2007 at 19:32:14 PT
Please post this in my name: thanks, howard
In a perfect world we need to end the prohibition of all drugs today.
Too many deaths, too much crime, too many teens shot dead (because they
sell drugs), etc.In the real world Med Pot is falling which will be followed by end of
all cannabis prohibition IMO. XX months later the harder drugs will
become legal/regulated. What I would like is irrelevant. Political reality and the mentality of
the American voter are what count. Keep pushing for cannabis to be
legal/regulated and taxed. After that, I hope you will continue to push
for all prohibition to end.howard
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Comment #22 posted by whig on July 31, 2007 at 01:12:40 PT
California has the right to stop prohibiting cannabis, but does not have the right to exclude federal prohibition.That is why it is important for us as it is for everyone to end cannabis prohibition federally as well as in the states.The state of California can and should exclude all state resources from being used to assist federal prohibition.
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Comment #21 posted by Hope on July 30, 2007 at 22:05:03 PT
By the way...
everyone I've spoken to about the psycho piece...thinks it's crap. They don't believe it.Yay! Yay! Yay!So many really are waking up from their propaganda induced trances.That's so heartening. That's so good.
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Comment #20 posted by Hope on July 30, 2007 at 22:01:30 PT
I believe that regardless of what 
some of the killer prohib freaks try to do...Cannabis is well separated from the other drugs in every rational person's mind. And I thank God for that.
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on July 30, 2007 at 21:18:29 PT
I believe that alcohol is a terrible drug but I think Meth is way worse. Meth can fry a person really fast but it takes quite a while to become a full blown alcoholic.
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on July 30, 2007 at 21:16:11 PT
Hard Drugs
I know what hard drugs have done to so many people. I personally won't put cannabis is the same category as hard drugs. I know that when people try to connect hard drugs to cannabis we suffer for it. We all have only so much time to accomplish change and hard drugs issues will keep pulling us down and I just find that difficult to handle. 
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Comment #17 posted by ekim on July 30, 2007 at 21:14:11 PT
Whig does CA have the right to allow MMJ
"I don't like the idea that we should legalize ten drugs at once. "Whig I can not speak for Howard but will send him this comment he does say that in all 18 years of his duty that not one-- offical call was for cannabis use of drugs should be: personal responsibility, limited government and states rights. By the way, no drug by its use, its use, is worse than the use of alcohol. BTW, the US Conference of Mayors and the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators have passed resolutions calling for a treatment based policy. The control, regulation and management of these drugs should be a States’ Rights issue. Certainly we trust the states to regulate the second deadliest drug in the US, alcohol. I do not believe that this town contains all the collective wisdom of the country.
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on July 30, 2007 at 21:07:10 PT
Just personally...I love the man and what he's trying to do.I think he understands about cannabis...but he's hoping to save even those that most people just don't seem to give a damn, at all, to try and save. The lowest of the low. The most despised. I love him for that. 
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Comment #15 posted by whig on July 30, 2007 at 20:42:00 PT
States' Rights isn't a very good slogan either. It reminds people of the Civil Rights struggle and the states that were refusing to follow court rulings on school integration and such.
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Comment #14 posted by whig on July 30, 2007 at 20:39:55 PT
Howard Wooldridge, not Harold. Sorry.
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Comment #13 posted by whig on July 30, 2007 at 20:39:23 PT
I don't like the idea that we should legalize ten drugs at once. Why can't Harold Wooldridge see that cannabis is different from drugs that are harmful?I agree we need to end the drug war mentality and replace it with some kind of harm reduction framework. I believe cannabis is a safer alternative to many drugs of abuse, and could be used to help people get off of cocaine and heroin and other drugs.
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Comment #12 posted by ekim on July 30, 2007 at 20:29:56 PT
…..see a doctor, not a judge
much has been said about lobbying -- here is what Leap is doing every day in DC.
If you want one of the many Leap speakers at a event near you please at least try to contact them.
Howard Wooldridge came and did a hour Cable Access Show in Kal it was shown tonight, you can see it below. LEAP on the Hill
NEWSLETTER: JULY 27, 2007 No Stories: It finally happened. No little stories this week worth writing. Therefore, I thought you might be interested to read almost verbatim what I have said some 350 times now. It is about a 12 minute read.  About 3 aides in 4 understand & or agree with the LEAP Point of View and facts presented. That is an excellent start. Politicians do lean heavily on their aides’ for information and at times, their advice. LEAP Pitch to Congressional Staffers Pleasure to meet you Ms. Smith and I thank you for your time. I know ya’ll are busy. Well, in case the fire alarm goes off, let me get out two quick points.  First, if one day you or a loved one has a drug problem, see a doctor…..see a doctor, not a judge. Because if you see a judge, that means my profession will have to chase you, arrest you and take time out of our day to bring you in front of that judge. Every hour we chase you, we have less time for drunk drivers, child predators and at the federal level – less time for people flying airplanes into a building. The government can not fix stupid thru its police officers. If you have a self-destructive behavior, whether, drugs, alcohol, gambling… there are only 3 groups that can fix you: your family, your friends, your colleagues. They will be the first to notice the problem and the first to say or do something. If you refuse their help, you are lost. Second, in regards to funding the policy commonly referred to as the War on Drugs, respectfully, would you please  stop   giving   my  profession  money. Governments have given law enforcement a trillion dollars in the past 3 and one half decades. With the money we have arrested some 36 million Americans and filled hundreds of warehouses full of dope. The net return on that investment?  Zero, nothing. Drugs today are cheaper, stronger and much easier for our kids to buy. BTW, everything I say today is either from my professional experience or stats produced by the federal government. In my briefcase I have the backup documents. There is one I would like you to read from my colleagues at the DEA. It is a pamphlet which gives their subjective opinion of what a trillion tax dollars has given us. (I hand the pamphlet to the staffer who reads: Drugs are readily available to America’s youth and many see little danger in using illicit drugs.) It isn’t just the cowboy from Fort Worth who believes there is no return on investment, no ROI. The pamphlet is yours to keep. I think the Congressman might appreciate reading it. No fire alarm. Good. I have 18 years of police experience, retiring as a detective near Lansing, Michigan. Former wife transferred to Texas and I took an early retirement. She taught me how to ride a horse and after riding my horse across America, I ended up here. I represent LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. We are comprised of police officers, prosecutors, judges-local, state, federal. We also have FBI, DEA, Customs, corrections…anyone who professionally has been involved with trying to make America ‘drug-free.’ Most of us are retired.  Like military generals, we simply carried out the policy while employed. Now in retirement, we are in the shoot your mouth off phase of life, speaking the truth as we know it. We no longer guard a paycheck, union membership, ego or need to be reelected. After our decades in the trenches, we know this policy is a catastrophic failure. Please think of us a resource. We have or used to have just as much gold stuff on our hats as anyone from the Sheriff’s or Chief’s association. If I am unable to answer a question, I can have someone help you either on the phone, a conference or testify before a committee.  We believe the cornerstone principals for the adult use of drugs should be: personal responsibility, limited government and states rights.  We spend all of our energy speaking to Rotaries, Kiwanis, Lions Clubs, and other civic groups. We have made some 3,000 presentations so far. We will make your phone ring in the coming years so that Congressman Smith knows that his constituents also understand that this New Prohibition is a failure and the need to end it. My long term goal which I hope to achieve by 2014….call me optimistic.. is the end of federal prohibition of the 10 drugs. I am looking for an office to introduce a bill which will mimic the effects of the 21st amendment which ended alcohol prohibition. The control, regulation and management of these drugs should be a States’ Rights issue. Certainly we trust the states to regulate the second deadliest drug in the US, alcohol. I do not believe that this town contains all the collective wisdom of the country. I know there are enough intelligent, rational people in Nebraska to formulate good policy for these dangerous drugs or to continue the prohibition. Once that is done, I will go back to Fort Worth and ride my horse like most people play golf.  By the way, no drug by its use, its use, is worse than the use of alcohol.  You might say, but if Nebraska continues the prohibition of one of these drugs and Iowa does not, won’t that make it worse for Nebraska? The DEA says ‘drugs are readily available to our children.’ How could it get worse than ‘readily available?’ Today we know that drug prohibition has many unintended consequences like: it funds terrorists and North Korea; generates 75% of felony crime; employs nearly a million teens as drug dealers; it means that the police can not concentrate on the drunk driver because we have to chase Willie Nelson, detectives can not focus on child predators because we chase Rush Limbaugh and my federal colleagues are forced to bust medical marijuana gardens while Al Qaeda plans another attack. That is simply nuts. In the short term I only have two ideas for 2007. I would like to have every Congressional Office agree publicly with the statement of Indiana Republican Congressman Dan Burton. In early 2007 he stated, ‘The WOD ain’t working at all and we are doing the same thing over and over again for no results.” Exactly. LEAP certainly agrees with him. When we all agree current strategy is not working, it begs the question; what should we do differently? You know we all want the same result. Everyone wants to reduce crime,     death,   disease   and drug use. On that, the Drug Czar and LEAP agree. But How? LEAP and I believe that ending drug prohibition would dramatically improve the picture.  Let us create a national, blue-ribbon, bi-partisan committee. It would hear testimony from the most experienced experts on this issue from all fields; science, medicine, law enforcement, judiciary, etc.  The Drug Policy Study Group would come up with a hundred or so ideas. Then you and the Congressman could look at them and make a new law or strategy. This punts making hard decisions for close to two years. Let us light a candle and stop guessing what is best to reduce crime, death, disease and drug use. As I said the most effective way to reduce death is to end prohibition. My second and last idea is simple and will do that also. This year about 1700 young people will die of an alcohol overdose. Another 10 to 12,000 will die from illegal drug overdoses. What these events have in common is that no one is calling 911 because the friends of the dying are afraid of being arrested. The people of New Mexico now have a law, passed this spring and signed by Gov. Richardson, called the Good Samaritan 911 Call. It allows for those in the room in possession of illegal alcohol or illegal drugs to call 911 without fear of being arrested. New Mexico decided that LIFE is more important than punishment.  Many parents of teens use this same concept. They tell their teen that if the only way to go home is w/ someone drunk or stupid, they can call at any hour of the night and NO SANCTIONS, are brought home by the parent. New Mexico simply took wise parenting and made it state law. The Congress should be a lighthouse to the rest of the country in declaring that life is more important than punishment. In case your next appointment is w/ the FOP or sheriff’s association they will tell you that if you fund the 800 million in HIDTA grants, they will produce solid results; the arrest of say 50,000 drug dealers and fill 6 warehouses full of dope. And they are telling you the truth. A year from now they will produce those numbers. What will be the net effect of all that effort? Nothing. We all know that every drug dealer arrested or killed is replaced like that (snap of finger). You know what a business model is. The drug cartels use them. They know that the cops seize maybe 8-10% of product from the jungles of Columbia to the streets of Omaha. So, being billion dollar businessmen, how much do they ship? 110% In that manner their customers always have enough product to buy. Every dealer arrested and every kilo seized is meaningless. The government’s own numbers and analysis prove it. BTW, have you heard of the success of the Swiss program in dealing with heroin addiction? Using treatment on demand as a guiding principal, they have dramatically reduced crime, death, disease and drug use. I visited one of their clinics in Bern. I speak fluent French and German. The police officers I spoke to like the program because of the reduction in crime. I condensed 45 pages of reports to this one. Last winter I gave this to the Swiss ambassador whose people checked it and it is now authorized by the embassy for distribution. Their number is at the bottom if you have additional questions along with the name of Dr. Dora Fitzli, the science and health advisor to the ambassador. Her English is better than mine.  BTW, the US Conference of Mayors and the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators have passed resolutions calling for a treatment based policy. End federal prohibition, blue-ribbon commission and Good Samaritan 911 Calls. That is all I am asking for. I would ask one rhetorical question; can you name one positive outcome, one benefit, one good thing about drug prohibition? It’s rhetorical. Any questions I can answer? Could you tell me in general terms- I know you have to be careful- how the Congressman feels about this issue? Would you like to receive any major updates on this issue? Thanks again for your time. Each staffer receives a copy of the LEAP brochure, my proposals, New Mexico’s Good Sam law, the Swiss Program summary and my business card. Judiciary members receive the LEAP DVDwooldridge
Officer Howard J. Wooldridge (retired)
Education Specialist, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (
Washington, DC
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Comment #11 posted by John Tyler on July 29, 2007 at 19:38:25 PT
fake drug from china
Just saw a show on NBC about the vast quantity of fake prescription drugs entering the country from China. It seems to me that this would be a job for the DEA, but they weren’t mentioned at all. Instead of doing some good in protecting the public from fake drugs they were out pulling up plants and closing medical cannabis clinics.
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on July 29, 2007 at 14:54:50 PT
How many young people got sucked into the system last night? How many of them will suffer that hard reality today?Prohibition doesn't stop them from using cannabis. That's all too obvious. But it does suck the ones they catch into the system. A terrible, cruel, vicious, greedy and mean system, that will rob, humiliate, and hurt them and their 
families for the rest of their lives.Have some compassion, America. Save our youth from the claws and fangs of prohibition. Don't make our children into criminals in a perverted effort to save that "one" imaginary child you like to talk about saving.Stop making them into criminals for cannabis use. Stop doing it. Please.Some things are crimes. Murder. Rape. Assault. Theft. Oppression. Smoking...anything, should not be a crime. It was crazy for it to ever be made so.I'm not saying they should use cannabis. I'm not saying they should smoke or take anything. Just stop making them into criminals and treating them like criminals and making them believe they are criminals for doing it.Save the babies. Save the children. Save their future. Stop treating them like criminals. Give them a chance. End this
ill conceived, corruption ridden, dangerous, and vicious prohibition.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on July 29, 2007 at 12:08:40 PT
I looked it up and he won't be up for re-election until 2010.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on July 29, 2007 at 12:04:59 PT
Is he up for re-election in 08? I don't think he will get involved if he hasn't already with all the bad things happening in California right now about mmj.
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Comment #7 posted by RevRayGreen on July 29, 2007 at 11:58:14 PT
Only a matter
of time before protestors and leading activists in California seek him out......or vote him out in 08.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on July 29, 2007 at 11:34:55 PT
YouTube Debate
The one person running doesn't want to talk to a snowman. They must really think they live above the people. We'll EXCUSE me! LOL!,1,197047.story
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on July 29, 2007 at 11:23:31 PT
Hemp World
I agree. Here's my favorite link about this word from David Crosby's web site.
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Comment #4 posted by HempWorld on July 29, 2007 at 11:11:47 PT
Feds Value Ideology Over Science and Compassion
This is a more appropriate title and this practise is called Fascism. Any questions?
Nobody can stop this!
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on July 29, 2007 at 10:53:28 PT
I don't think he will. He is a republican and he won't buck the party. They do stick together. I have been signing up today for info from the Dems. I am thinking about volunteering at one of our County Fairs. I have helped man booths for other reasons at fairs but it would be my first time for anything political. I am not a Dem but an Independent but I will have to register to vote as a Dem for the primary. I worry because of information that was sent to me by Blackwell (R-Ohio) that my vote didn't count when I voted in 06 and 04. I must get this squared away. 
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Comment #2 posted by RevRayGreen on July 29, 2007 at 10:27:40 PT
here here
I second that, when is the Govna' gonna
defend the voters of California. Or will he ?
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on July 29, 2007 at 09:49:37 PT
Excerpt: How is that battle against methamphetamine going, by the way?I'd like to know the answer to that question too.
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