Jaz introduced the new book review series, which is kicking off next chapter meeting with "Liberty Defined" by Ron Paul. Matt presented the 5th amendment and it's importance in our justice system, and then introduced Mr. Howard Wooldridge of Citizens Opposing Prohibition (COP), a career policeman who meets regularly with Congress to point out the flaws in current drug policy. Mr. Wooldridge provided the following facts:
- The "War on Drugs" is in its 41st year and drugs are still readily available.
- Almost 20% of the US prison population is incarcerated for non-violent drug charges.
- These roughly 450,000 individuals directly cost taxpayers 10 billion dollars per year.
- 1 in 13 police officers are full time narcotics officers, and any officer that patrols is part-time.
- Nearly 1/3rd of FBI resources were diverted from terrorism by narcotics even after 9/11.
- Switzerland reduced it's felony crime rate (and associated costs) by 60% by offering treatment instead of incarceration.
- The opportunity cost of enforcing federal drug laws is of course the prevention and investigation of other crimes, such as murder, rape, and pedophilia.
Plans for manning our booth at the NRA Hunting and Outdoor show were discussed, post cards demanding respect from local legislators for the Second Amendment were distributed, and another successful Frederick County C4L Chapter meeting was wrapped up. See you at our next meeting, same time and place on February 21st!