Wooldridge, Howard J 1/1/1997 - 31/12/2018
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1 US TX: PUB LTE: Legal Theft By The PoliceSun, 19 Jul 2015
Source:Dallas Morning News (TX) Author:Wooldridge, Howard J Area:Texas Lines:35 Added:07/20/2015

Re: "Assets being taken unjustly - Forfeiture laws give states free hand to seize property of individuals simply on suspicion, say Laura and John Arnold," Tuesday Viewpoints.

As a retired Michigan police detective, I am keenly aware of my profession's desire to "police for profit." As a property room officer, I handled the cash coming in and the sale of mostly $2,000 cars my colleagues seized. Our local prosecutor received 10 percent of all money seized in the county, ensuring political support. How does this work?

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2 US MD: PUB LTE: Heroin Prohibition Is The ProblemTue, 17 Feb 2015
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Wooldridge, Howard J. Area:Maryland Lines:28 Added:02/18/2015

Tsunamis of drugs have rolled into and around Maryland since the 1960s. As a retired detective, I worked the trenches of our drug war. Polls show 80 percent of the people recognize the total failure of policy.

Indeed, the police are a mosquito on the butt of an elephant. We have never, ever been able to make more than a dent in drug availability. Attorney General Brian Frosh needs to come clean to Maryland residents and admit that heroin prohibition is more the cause of deaths than a way to reduce them ("Maryland joins multistate task force to combat heroin," Feb. 12).

Howard J. Wooldridge, Buckeystown

The writer, a retired police detective, is co-founder of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.


3 US MD: PUB LTE: Why Police Oppose Legalized PotTue, 04 Mar 2014
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Wooldridge, Howard J. Area:Maryland Lines:39 Added:03/04/2014

Speaking as a retired detective, I heartily agree with Dan Rodricks' observation that Maryland police officers want - a little too much - to maintain marijuana prohibition ("The social fears behind the pot wars," Feb. 27). Based on my 17 years of involvement in reform, the last eight on Capitol Hill as a lobbyist and advocate, my profession has three reasons to keep marijuana illegal: money, money and emotion.

Police make lots of money in the easy overtime for the minor bust and drug squads and receive lots of "free" money from the federal and state governments to chase a green plant. Civil asset forfeiture is an important and growing factor in police budgets. Drug cases actually bring money into the department, whereas arresting a pedophile is a drain on the budget.

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4 US MD: PUB LTE: Decriminalize MarijuanaSat, 25 Jan 2014
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Wooldridge, Howard J. Area:Maryland Lines:24 Added:01/26/2014

As a retired detective, I support moving simple possession of marijuana down to a parking ticket-level offense ("Zirkin, Kittleman propose decriminalizing marijuana Jan. 21).

My active-duty colleagues will have more time for pedophiles, the deadly drunk driver and other public safety threats. Most police officers did not sign on for the job to chase a green plant.

Howard J. Wooldridge, Adamstown



5 US WI: PUB LTE: Treat Addicts Like Patients, Not CriminalsSat, 01 Jan 2011
Source:Wisconsin State Journal (WI) Author:Wooldridge, Howard J Area:Wisconsin Lines:34 Added:01/01/2011

Regarding Wednesday's article "Heroin abuse, deaths on the rise," as a retired police officer, I am familiar with drug overdose and death.

As a traveler, I have met with doctors and officials in Switzerland to see first-hand the success of their method of handling heroin.

Since 1994 they have treated heroin use as a medical issue and have been rewarded with dramatic decreases in crime, and no one in the program has died of an overdose in 16 years. This model has been adopted by Germany, Denmark and Holland because it works.

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6US WI: PUB LTE: Legalize, Regulate, TaxTue, 28 Dec 2010
Source:Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Author:Wooldridge, Howard J Area:Wisconsin Lines:Excerpt Added:12/28/2010

As a retired police detective, I heartily agree with the proponents cited in community columnist John Ridley's Dec. 21 column that we should legalize, regulate and tax marijuana. My street experience showed that marijuana, though certainly no play toy of a drug, is much, much safer than alcohol for both the user and those around him.

My profession - the thin blue line - is getting much thinner all across Wisconsin. Do you want us to keep wasting time on a green plant? We are missing child predators even now.

Howard Wooldridge



7 US PA: PUB LTE: Pot's A DistractionTue, 27 Jul 2010
Source:Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA) Author:Wooldridge, Howard J Area:Pennsylvania Lines:27 Added:07/31/2010

As a retired police officer, I heartily agree with PG columnist Tony Norman ("Legalized Pot? Like Getting Bonged in the Head," July 13) that marijuana should be treated like alcohol, i.e., legal, regulated and taxed.

My profession will arrest more deadly DUIs and more child molesters when we stop arresting 800,000 marijuana users and suppliers each year. The police can once again focus on our original mission: public safety.

Adamstown, Md.


8 US DC: PUB LTE: Marijuana Ban Keeps Us Less SafeMon, 19 Jul 2010
Source:Washington Times (DC) Author:Wooldridge, Howard J Area:District of Columbia Lines:32 Added:07/19/2010

As a street cop who worked the trenches of the drug war spanning three decades, I heartily agree with the observations of Sutton Stokes ("Is marijuana legalization finally on the march in the U.S.?" Communities, Tuesday). The prohibition of marijuana and the subsequent arrest of 800,000 citizens, mostly for personal use, means less time for deadly DUI offenders. When detectives are flying around in helicopters trying to find green plants, they are missing the pedophiles who are in the Internet chat rooms making contact with our young teens. We have all seen NBC's "To Catch a Predator." Police labs are not opening 400,000 rape kits and putting the DNA in the computer because proving the green stuff is marijuana is more of a priority.

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9 New Zealand: PUB LTE: Treat Alcohol Like DopeThu, 18 Feb 2010
Source:Dominion Post, The (New Zealand) Author:Wooldridge, Howard J Area:New Zealand Lines:26 Added:02/23/2010

During my 18 years of police service I was sent to zero calls generated by the use of cannabis. Though it is no play toy, cannabis is not worthy of police time. Every hour my colleagues in New Zealand spend chasing the non-violent, non-problem cannabis user means less time for the deadly DUI (drink driver) and those who hurt our women and children.

The obvious solution to cannabis is to treat it like alcohol. The police have much more important tasks.

Howard Wooldridge

Washington DC


10 US VA: PUB LTE: Pot Is A DistractionThu, 18 Feb 2010
Source:Free Lance-Star, The (VA) Author:Wooldridge, Howard J. Area:Virginia Lines:30 Added:02/18/2010

As a retired police detective, I certainly agree with Richard Moter's thoughtful letter ["Legalization of marijuana is no joke," Feb. 12].

Every hour we chase the Michael Phelpses and the Willie Nelsons of the Commonwealth, we have less time for the deadly reckless and DUI drivers, and less time for catching child molesters and other public safety threats.

My profession needs to return to its original purpose: public safety.

If you have a problem with marijuana, alcohol, or cigarettes, see a doctor for treatment. The Thin Blue Line has much more important tasks.

Howard Wooldridge



11 US CO: PUB LTE: The Cost Of Locking Prisoners UpMon, 08 Feb 2010
Source:Denver Post (CO) Author:Wooldridge, Howard J. Area:Colorado Lines:26 Added:02/13/2010

As a student of history, I know that the arrest and incarceration of Miguel Caro-Quintero simply opened a job opportunity which has already been filled. The criminal justice system will grind away and eventually catch his replacement. The Post will have another big headline and law enforcement will crow about catching another big fish. See me snoozing here.

We have seen these headlines for forty years! The real victim here is the taxpayer who will chunk out 17 years times $35,000 to keep Caro-Quintero locked up. If Colorado really want to punish drug dealers and watch them cry, legalize, regulate and tax marijuana.

Howard Wooldridge, Golden


12 CN BC: PUB LTE: Countries Need To Set Their Own Drug PoliciesFri, 02 Oct 2009
Source:Alberni Valley Times (CN BC) Author:Wooldridge, Howard J Area:British Columbia Lines:32 Added:10/02/2009

As a Michigan police officer who fought in the trenches of the Drug War, I can only add this to the observations of Shayne Morrow: namely, public safety in Canada is significantly reduced by this Modern Prohibition.

Every hour RCMP members chase cannabis and other drugs, they have less time for the deadly DUI, the child molesters and other public safety threats. Drug gangs cause significant violent crime, reducing the time to chase regular bad guys.

Recently, Mexico took the bold and enlightened step to decriminalize personal amounts of all drugs. The Obama administration sent the signal that any country in this hemisphere is now allowed to set its own approach to drugs. Canada, what are you waiting for?

Howard Wooldridge

Washington, DC


13 US GA: PUB LTE: Legalize MarijuanaSun, 28 Jun 2009
Source:Valdosta Daily Times (GA) Author:Wooldridge, Howard J Area:Georgia Lines:22 Added:06/29/2009

Increasing public safety is another excellent reason to legalize marijuana. During my 18 years as a police officer I was dispatched to zero calls generated by the use of marijuana. My profession could arrest a lot more deadly DUIs and child predators, if we stopped chasing soccer moms and others smoking pot.

Howard Wooldridge


14 US TX: PUB LTE: Nuge a Liberal?Wed, 24 Jun 2009
Source:Waco Tribune-Herald (TX) Author:Wooldridge, Howard J Area:Texas Lines:51 Added:06/27/2009

It's obvious to this 18-year police veteran who fought in the trenches of the drug war that Trib columnist and rock musician Ted Nugent never did ["We could be winning the war on drugs," June 12]. Moreover, he must not know the good guys have arrested 39 million citizens on drug charges.

Despite that and the largest prison system in the world, drugs are cheaper, stronger and easier for our kids to buy. Can Mr. Nugent spell prohibition? And is he credible when he says this nation has not been serious enough or diligent enough?

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15 US OK: PUB LTE: Policy Not WorkingFri, 19 Jun 2009
Source:Oklahoman, The (OK) Author:Wooldridge, Howard J. Area:Oklahoma Lines:32 Added:06/19/2009

Regarding "Group seeks drug legalization in Oklahoma" (news feature, June 15): From my perspective of 18 years a police officer (now retired), I know that drug prohibition decreases public safety and increases crime. As a detective, 70 percent of my felony caseload was associated with drug prohibition. Legal cocaine that would cost $2 to $3 per day for an addict now costs $200 a day.

Thus, an addict must break into your home or steal your car or identity to pay for it. When a drug dealer shoots another dealer, the police have less time to find rapists. At the federal level, drug prohibition provides the majority of the money used by Islamic terrorists. Our modern form of prohibition is funding our mortal enemies.

Mark Woodward of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs seems ready to go back to the days of alcohol prohibition. Great: a moonshine still next to every meth lab!

Howard Wooldridge, Dallas, Texas


16 CN BC: PUB LTE: Legaliazing Drugs Will Stop ViolenceWed, 03 Jun 2009
Source:Victoria News (CN BC) Author:Wooldridge, Howard J. Area:British Columbia Lines:31 Added:06/05/2009

Re: Victoria's top cop vows to catch drug dealers (News, May 22)

With all due respect to my colleague, Chief Jamie Graham, he knows it is not drugs and violence that go together, rather drug trade and violence.

We know that every drug dealer ever arrested or shot is replaced very quickly. The only net effect of a drug bust is the taxpayers must build another prison bed.

The only thing that strikes terror into the hearts of drug dealers is one word: legalization.

Howard J. Wooldridge

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Washington, D.C.


17 US FL: PUB LTE: Put Law Enforcement To Work On Real CrimesWed, 18 Mar 2009
Source:Palm Beach Post, The (FL) Author:Wooldridge, Howard J. Area:Florida Lines:32 Added:03/18/2009

As a retired Michigan street cop, I can add only one element to Rhonda Swan's excellent analysis of marijuana prohibition; namely that public safety is reduced because of the prohibition.

My profession spends literally millions of hours chasing the Michael Phelpses of the world and their suppliers. Every such hour spent means less time for the deadly DUI, the rapist, the child molester, the people flying airplanes into buildings.

Moreover, I know that the state, through its police force, cannot stop personal stupidity done in the privacy of one's home. Only family and friends can stop such behavior. My profession must return to its original task: public safety.

HOWARD WOOLDRIDGE, education specialist

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition



18 US DC: PUB LTE: A Deeper DentWed, 04 Mar 2009
Source:Washington Times (DC) Author:Wooldridge, Howard J. Area:District of Columbia Lines:40 Added:03/08/2009

Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman Garrison Courtney said the arrest of 755 people last week made a "dent" in the drug trade ("100,000 foot soldiers in cartels," Page 1, Tuesday). As a Michigan police officer for 18 years, I too made a "dent" from time to time. Of course, all of us in law enforcement know that the dent is repaired within a few days as new drug dealers and mules take the place of those arrested or shot. This process has been going on for about 40 years.

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19 US MD: PUB LTE: Going After Pot Wastes Cops' TimeFri, 13 Feb 2009
Source:Frederick News Post (MD) Author:Wooldridge, Howard J Area:Maryland Lines:32 Added:02/14/2009

As a retired police detective, I heartily agree with Katherine Heerbrandt's Feb. 9 column, "Smoke signals." During my 18 years of service, I was sent to zero calls generated by the use of marijuana. Its prohibition caused several shootings, as dealers shot other dealers for the money and the green stuff. I never handled a call where a beer distributor had a gunfight with a whiskey salesman.

The only aspect that was not mentioned was the tremendous reduction in public safety. As officers and deputies in Frederick spend thousands of hours finding and arresting for marijuana, they have less time for the deadly DUI, child predators and other public safety threats.

If you have a drug problem one day, see a doctor. The police have much more important tasks.

Howard J Wooldridge



20 US MD: PUB LTE: Decades Of Drug War Leave Streets UnsafeTue, 27 Jan 2009
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD) Author:Wooldridge, Howard J. Area:Maryland Lines:29 Added:01/27/2009

As a retired police detective and student of history, I believe the only way to "clean up" Orchard Mews of the violence associated with the drug trade is to end the prohibition of drugs ("Two sides of the street, but one problem bedeviling both," Jan. 25).

After 40 years of drug war, we still have large parts of Baltimore and many other major cities in America that are more dangerous than the streets in Iraq. This madness of prohibition has not produced one positive outcome. So why are we still on this failed road?

Howard Wooldridge


The writer is a retired police officer and an education specialist for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition


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