Howard Wooldridge is one of many retired police officers with LEAP—Law Enforcement Against Prohibition—who are fighting to expose and end the racket that is our nation’s “war on drugs.”
And a racket it is. You may not be surprised to learn that the most vocal anti-drug lobby in Washington is from law enforcement, but you may be surprised to learn why. As well, you may be surprised to learn who else teams up with that lobby.
Republicreport.com caught up with Mr. Wooldridge at CPAC last week. He exposes the racket. First, it’s the beer lobby:
The beer wholesale industry donated five figure money to defeat Prop 19 [a pro- marijuana bill in CA] because marijuana and alcohol compete right today as a product to take the edge off the day at six o’clock. Just because marijuana is illegal, doesn’t negate the fact that there’s still competition. The beer companies don’t want it. . . .
Then he tells the truth on the law enforcement lobby. It’s not about preventing drug abuse and addiction, it’s about money for the departments, thrilling equipment, and fancy weapons:
My biggest opponent on Capitol Hill is law enforcement. ‘We love the money you give us to chase Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, and all the rest’ — with helicopters, and especially “free” federal money.
Then it’s Big Pharma:
The second biggest opponent on Capitol Hill is big PhRMA because everyone knows (who’s knowledgeable on the issue) God didn’t make no junk. Marijuana’s an excellent medicine for many things, taking the place of everything from Advil to Vicodin . . . expensive store-bought pills [...] “Don’t change nothin’” is their motto. Because, why? Their profit motive.
And also, believe it or not, prisons! That’s right. Private prisons need criminals to keep up their “criminal justice” profits (so does the state!). Wooldridge says,
Private prisons fight me. Why? They want more people in prison. Is it good policy? They don’t care. What lobbyists care about is the people who pay their salary. . . . Their interest in the country is secondary or even tertiary. . . .
Meanwhile, the one (partial) experiment we have in decriminalizing drugs—Portugal—has resulted in a large decrease in problematic addictions, decrease in usage among adolescents, decrease in burden on the criminal justice system, and decrease in street value of drugs.
My eyes were greatly opened on this issue after reading Joel Miller’s book Bad Trip: How the War Against Drugs is Destroying America. Mr. Miller is a Christian and works for a Christian publisher. His work made me realize the so-called “libertarian” argument really is about what’s best for the country and not about personal indulgence. I vowed to study the issue further, and have, and will continue to do so.
The work of men like Wooldridge and the organization LEAP show us how much more evil there is on the pro-drug-war side: it is profitable for lobbyists, for drug companies, and for beer companies to keep drugs illegal. It is profitable for law enforcement departments and for prisons to manufacture a steady stream of criminals.
Get that: it is profitable for these groups to make more criminals, and they have powerful lobbies in Washington to ensure it stays that way. This is not a vision of Christian law and order; it is a system of corporate-state welfare that rewards bureaucrats and increases violence. Not only does it not solve the problem, it doesn’t want to, and instead fights to keep the problem intact as a source of revenue and job security.
There is indeed an addiction problem out there: an addiction to federal money and power.