by Rick Thompson/March 8, 2020
On a recent episode of the weekly cannabis podcast Jazz Cabbage Cafe Radio Show, longtime cannabis activist and Washington, D.C. insider Howard Wooldridge revealed a softening of the CPAC organization toward cannabis issues, laid blame on both parties for delaying pro-cannabis legislation from advancing in Congress, and referred to two Democrats vying for the party’s Presidential nomination as “muffin heads” on the subject of cannabis law reform.
Wooldridge is well known to the podcast hosts, Jamie Lowell and Rick Thompson, and the in-studio regulars Colin MacDougall and Debra Young, all of whom worked on the various MILegalize efforts. The MILegalize organization was a principal member of the coalition which successfully petitioned to place the question of legalized cannabis for adults on the ballot in Michigan.
“He’s a (former) cop who is originally from Michigan and has been lobbying down on D.C.,” Lowell said, by way of introduction, then added Wooldridge is a co-founder of the LEAP organization.
“He is the most knowledgeable person about what’s going on with cannabis in the United States Senate and House,” said Thompson, of the man’s 22 year history of drug war activism. Jamie Lowell pointed out that Wooldridge received an homage in the book Smoke Signals by Martin Lee.
Howard Wooldridge called in to the radio show to give a summary of his experiences at CPAC, the conservative conference of the year. Attendees were described by Wooldridge as “12,000 super, super conservative people”. The group has been known to author bills and coordinate their simultaneous submission in states across America.
“I have been going to 15 of their conferences, and for the first time, especially the young people, meaning anybody under 30, is ready to throw the war on drugs overboard. .. I am thrilled for the change of mentality.” He called this evolution of thought a “massive change” for the CPAC crowd. “The failure of the macro policy is now evident to everybody from A to Z.”
Although attitudes among attendees may be changing, the conference agenda is not getting a pro-drug update any time soon. The subject of reforming drug policies is still “avoided like the plague,” Wooldridge said. “Their silence (on the drug war’s failure) is thundering.”
On the issue of why pro-cannabis bills are not moving in the federal Congress, Wooldridge chuckled. “The Democrats have almost always been almost as bad as the Republicans,” he revealed, claiming Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not allowed any pro-cannabis legislation to pass in the U.S. House. He cited the MORE Act and the STATES Act as two legislative packages which have been stuck in House committees for some time.
“Of course, Mitch McConnell is sitting on any… companion bills in the Senate,” Wooldridge added.
The Washington, D.C. veteran claims the votes are there in the House and Senate for the STATES Act. “This could be on the President’s desk tomorrow afternoon,” Wooldridge boasted. Later he added, “We have the votes, boys and girls, to overturn the 1937 law. We just need to get it up for a vote.”
Mr. Wooldridge was asked to give a summary of each major Presidential hopeful’s position on cannabis issues. This interview took place before Mr. Bloomberg and Ms. Warren retired their candidacies. To give a complete record of Mr. Wooldridge’s statements, the comments regarding those two candidates have been included in this article.
Bernie: “He is leading the charge for ending cannabis prohibition.”
Some of Bernie’s plans may be overstating his authority when it comes to overturning state laws against cannabis possession, but on a federal level, Sen. Sanders can deliver on his promise to deschedule cannabis. “The President could have cannabis descheduled on Day One,” Wooldridge explained. “The DEA has full power to change the scheduling on all drugs in America,” and the President can order the DEA head to make that change.
Biden: “Biden is horrible.” Despite Biden’s avowed acceptance of decriminalized or medical cannabis, his policy on legalizing cannabis use for adults is, in the Vice President’s own words, “Absolutely I am not in favor.”
“He continues to be a big muffin head on the issue,” Wooldridge said, coining a phrase. Later, Wooldridge stated he believes Biden would sign a legalization bill if it was based on a states-rights platform, as the STATES Act is.
Bloomberg: “He’s a muffin head… he’s even worse,” than Biden.
When pressed for a definition, Wooldridge replied, “Muffin head is a polite term for asshole.” He said 80% of Democrats and Independents are in favor of tax and regulate, so Bloomberg would likely sign a cannabis legalization bill because it would be so unpopular to reject the policy.
Warren: “She is the absolute author of the STATES Act in the Senate, she and Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado.” “She is totally supportive of giving the entire issue of God’s little green plant back to the states.”
Trump: He cited having two sources inside the White House, combined with other observations, which give Wooldridge “medium confidence he (Trump) will sign” a legalization of cannabis bill based on the 10th Amendment argument, putting the power to regulate back in the hands of the states, if Congress passes one.
“It could get done in 2020, and if so, we should know by the first of August.”
Mr. Wooldridge appeared on the March 3rd edition of the Jazz Cabbage Cafe Radio Show. LINK: https://www.mixcloud.com/Cave_Radio/jazz-cabbage-cafe-3-3-20/ The 20-minute segment featuring Wooldridge begins at 10:30 of the broadcast and ends at 30:00.
The show hosts wish to thank David Light for his assistance producing the segment. Other in-studio personalities whose voices appear during the March 3 show include Shelly Smith, Derek Gaucci and Steve Bratic.