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By Victoria A.F. Camron The Daily Times-Call June 8, 2005
BOULDER ? Not every police officer supports the ongoing war on drugs, at least regarding marijuana.
Police resources would be better spent fighting drunken driving and child molesting, Howard J. Wooldridge, a former Lansing, Mich.-area law-enforcement officer, said Tuesday night during a meeting of NORML for Boulder. NORML is the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
?This policy is a catastrophic failure and will never work,? Wooldridge said of the war on drugs.
Wooldridge is not a member of NORML, but rather a founder of LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. He is traveling the country ? on horseback, no less ? to urge the decriminalization of marijuana.
Since he was ?preaching to the choir? in Boulder on Tuesday, Wooldridge discussed strategies for changing the law in Colorado and nationally.
The retired detective wears a T-shirt that reads, ?Cops say legalize pot. Ask me why.? The message prompts questions and discussions throughout the country, he said.
?Nobody wants to talk about this issue,? Wooldridge said.
During his 18-year career, Wooldridge never responded to a call prompted by someone using marijuana, he said.
?That?s the experience of almost every cop in America,? Wooldridge said.
Instead, police have to deal with marijuana because it is illegal. Meanwhile, they are not looking for drunken drivers, child molesters or other violent criminals, he said.
Paul Tiger, a NORML board member and Boulder activist, said the Boulder County Drug Task Force has a budget five times larger than the Boulder County Sheriff?s Office.