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January 2010
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A billboard and two cops

There’s a new Law Enforcement Against Prohibition billboard up in Oklahoma, and LEAP member Wes Johnson got interviewed about it in this television news spot.

Of course, they had to get the “other side” and they naturally got someone whose paycheck is imperiled by such a message. His response was pretty easy to see through to those of us who know the facts.

“I’d personally like to see the billboard go away.” Mark Woodward is with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics — he not only disagrees with their message, but those behind it. “It’s giving people, whether it’s parents or kids, the wrong impression, that the police support the legalization of drugs and that’s absolutely not the truth.” He says any real police officer could not support legalizing drugs. “Anybody that has seen how drug addiction forces children to live in deplorable conditions would never come out and support this. In fact, they would continue to do everything they could to stop this.”

It probably is true that there are people out there in Oklahoma (and maybe even in that news team) that will listen to what Mark Woodward says and believe it without critical thought. But there are fewer of them, and their days are numbered.

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17 comments to A billboard and two cops

  • Mike

    I’ve never seen a youtube comment debate so generally agreed on one thing. There’s almost zero flaming.

  • I’m glad to see members of law enforcement take initiative to end this useless and evil drug war. It’s time we divert our resources to more fruitful and productive endeavors.

    The video also serves to humanize cops and show that they aren’t all hellbent on arresting potsmokers and other partygoers.

  • Paul

    You get the feeling the TV news crew does not approve of the billboards. Still, their publicity was helpful. Many people probably have never heard of LEAP, or ever imagined there were cops who thought drugs ought to be legalized.

  • Duncan

    Mark Woodward gives a dictionary picture example of the phrase “in denial”. No ‘real’ police could believe what he thinks, despite being confronted with over 10,000 real life examples of such.

  • kaptinemo

    Mr. Woodward’s unthinking arrogance in deriding his fellow and former law enforcement officers (‘no real cops would work for drug legalization’) is indicative of just how ingrained that arrogance runs in prohibs. And it will prove to be their Achille’s Heel.

    Because prohibs have never had to actually intellectually defend drug prohibition, relying solely on emotional appeals, and been shielded politically and logistically by craven pols and a robust economy, they’ve been able to get away with that arrogance. But now, a fool’s taken the bait, and the gauntlet’s been thrown. For said fool has dared to scorn brother officers.

    Stupid, stupid move, Mr. Woodward. You’ve fired the first shot in a civil war you can’t win.

    Because the pols that such people as Mr. Woodward depended upon to shield them from the scrutiny the DrugWar desperately deserves, the same pols who played ‘Champagne Charlie’ by funding the DrugWar unquestioningly, are looking at State budgets with very sharp knives, now, looking to cut any fat at all, in hopes those knives won’t be turned their way, thanks to an hyperactive economy finally running out of fiscal adrenaline.

    And that means that it will become more difficult to defend the DrugWar from a fiscal point of view. And that means there’ll be less political ‘cover’ for prohibs to operate under. But people like Mr. Woodward haven’t realized what that means, just yet. They think they can keep going the way that they always have…and Mr. Woodward’s arrogance in deriding fellow and former members of the ‘thin blue line’ is indicative of that.

    But the reality is rapidly approaching the prohibs’ backsides, with jaws open and teeth sharpened. And…reality always bites.

  • Just me.

    SO..does MrWoodward believe its ok to keep wasting money on this failed war while the poor and schools suffer? If/when the dollar collapses, does he think its ok to take more money from china? Its unsustainable in this light. When the number crunching really begins,communities will no longer support thousands upon thousands dollars for fancy toys to continue the drug war.If I were a cop an my fellow officers were wanting that chopper , those SUV’s ,those drug dogs and I would get canned because of it…lol well you want a chopper…I want to feed my family..which is more important. To hell with arresting the local stoners, I wanna eat.

  • Just me.

    On another note, Mr. Woodward failed to recognize that leap supports education and regulation. The latter giving control of drugs to us , not cartels and drug dealers.

  • InsanityRules

    Drugs may be bad, but the drug war is worse. And it hasn’t reduced drug use or harm significantly despite the millions imprisoned and the billions of wasted tax dollars – tax dollars that could be better spent on other critical needs – like the children living in deplorable conditions because a parent is in jail or can’t find gainful employment. What about those children, Sgt. Smug?

    The only people that could rationally support another 40 years of failure in the war on drugs are those who are making a good living from prohibition. That would be you, Sgt. Smug, and the Mexican cartels. Strange bedfellows indeed, and a sure sign that politics has triumphed over pragmatism and sound policy once again. It’s time to try something new!

  • claygooding

    THEY HAVE SPENT OVER 1 TRILLION(that’s with a T) on the war on their own citizens,and there are more drugs,more full prisons,more back logged court systems and more people doing drugs than ever before.
    All they need is more money to keep doing the same thing,with the same results.
    They can’t even stop drugs in their own prison system.

    “America does not have a marijuana problem,we can find
    marijuana in every town in America.”
    The word drugs could replace the word marijuana,for anyone that wishes. You have my permission to use my phrase,either way.

  • ph0ed1n

    “…been shielded politically and logistically by craven pols and a robust economy…”

    With all due respect, kaptinemo, I disagree.

    Over the decades, drug prohibitionists have been shielded mainly by the mainstream media — who have overwhelmingly refused to honor their journalism code of ethics when it comes to this issue.

    There is literally not one sustainable point for sustaining drug prohibition, which should promptly lead to its end.

    Credibility (sadly, even if it’s just perceived) is everything, and the intelligent online conversations (kudos to you all, btw) undermining the mainstream media’s formerly extreme bias are challenging journalists to start balancing out their reporting on this issue to avoid serious humiliation.

    We need to continue to firmly challenge mainstream media credibility online. That is the key to success.

    When we do our job, the mainstream media will do its job, then the public majority will do its job, and then the politicians will do their job, and then I’ll kick back with a vapor-surrounded, celebratory grin and do mine.

  • Cliff

    “THEY HAVE SPENT OVER 1 TRILLION(that’s with a T) on the war on their own citizens,and there are more drugs,more full prisons,more back logged court systems and more people doing drugs than ever before.
    All they need is more money to keep doing the same thing,with the same results.”

    It’s either (1) pure unadulturated incompetence or (2) an evil diabolical plan against enemies of the culture war (read political dissidents), which is so intricate and well laid in conspiracies, complexities and intrigue, it defies comprehension.*

    I pick #2.

    *Follow The Money. Money is the lubricant and the fuel for the game to run smoothly. But as our good friend kaptinemo has pointed out, drug money also has a corrosive effect on everything it touches. I don’t think the prohibitionists ever considered the that the failure of the war on certain drugs lies in its motivating force.

  • DdC

    a Make shit up
    b Get bloated budgets pushing a rope
    c Repeat steps a and b

    Monroe Police Team Touts Success In 2009

    “Our FIT team has been very successful over the past two years and has had a major impact on street level drugs during this time,” Glass said. “The stats tell a success story…

    We are dealing with more and more street-level selling of prescription drugs…

    “But we will deter it by keeping relentless pressure on those in the drug pushing business.”

    Papapapapeople want to ssssmoke it?
    What do we do oh great and powerful Czar?

    FOR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT IN SUMMIT COUNTY
    2009 WAS A YEAR OF CANNABIS CONFUSION

    … and they carry fire arms folk’s.

    Prisons and Budgets
    According to the Pew Center on the States, state spending from general funds on corrections increased from $10.6 billion in 1987 to more than $44 billion in 2007, a 127 percent increase in inflation-adjusted dollars.

    New and Improved Tactics… Junkie DARE!
    The converts are always the most overzealous,
    and exploited to “fit in” or plea bargain.

    Ex-Drug Addict’s Warning to Children

    A Dumfries woman who was plunged into the misery of drug abuse at the age of just 13 is the latest police weapon in the war against illegal substances.

    “One of the main points that comes across to me is the fact that she had a considerable addiction to heroin and at its worst was UKP100 to UKP150 per day but upon asking the service user she indicates that the worst drug she took was cannabis.

    “The service user is working with police and treatment agencies giving her story to local school children in Dumfries and Galloway.

    U.S. addicts killed Mexican hero

    It’s a war stupids. Duh! Stop the War, stop the unnecessary deaths and terror and forced rehab and prison profits. Retreat to blame, its the addicts buying it? So bring the war to the streets of America? Not the first time it’s been suggested.

    “Casual drug users should be taken out and shot.”
    ~ Daryl DARE Gates – Former LAPD Chief father of SWAT

  • Nick Zentor

    Anybody that has seen how drug addiction forces children to live in deplorable conditions…

    I see they’re still blaming drugs for poverty… yep, that’s some versatile scapegoat they got there, sure don’t wanna lose it to no liberal reformists!

  • Freedom

    For anyone that wants to help fight prohibition even more.

    http://www.citizensopposingprohibition.org/blog-home

    This is Howard Wooldridge’s new site. If your not familiar with him, hes the one who rode his horse cross country to bring attention to drug reform…Former member of LEAP.