Friday, September 15, 2006

LEAP -- counter on the drug war with editorial wonks National Conference of Editorial Writers Annual Convention, Pittsburgh, PA

Newspaper editorial writers are getting a dose of reality when they wander thru the exhibit area at their annual convention this wk, when they round the corner and encounter the LEAP exhibition booth, staffed by the savvy experts HOWARD WOOLDRIDGE and STEVE HEATH. Howard, is, of course, a co-founder of LEAP and a member of the e-board while Steve is a longtime activist focusing on media, OpEd efforts and Letters to the Editor. Steve's wife Doreen is helping out at this very important conference, too. Rarely do newspaper editorial boards write an opinion on drug war efficacy--and hardly ever do they write about the idea of ending drug prohibition--but mostly that is due to the fact that people fm the criminal justice system have approached them to advocate ending the War on Drugs. That's how it is done: editorial staffs host politicians, public health specialists, single issue advocates and others into their offices to pitch to them their views. After grilling the guests and studying the issue they usually come out with an opinion piece under the masthead of the paper so this is a unique opportunity for them to meet LEAP, hear our pitch and then we'll work to set up interviews around the country. Which begs the question:

have you ever called or written to your editorial board about Drug War efficacy? It's an easy bit of activism that everyone can perform. Look at your paper today...find the editorial/opinion section (like this ONE) and find out who the people are behind the opinions. Get the contact information and send it to me AFTER you have first attempted to reach them yourself.

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