Cultural Baggage, April 22, 2009

For the salvation of the nation, this is the unvarnished truth, on the Drug Truth Network with Reverend Dean Becker.
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Broadcasting on the Drug Truth Network, this is Cultural Baggage.

It's not only inhumane it is really fundamentally un-American..... 'NO MORE' 'DRUG WAR' 'NO MORE' 'DRUG WAR' 'NO MORE' 'DRUG WAR' 'NO MORE' 'DRUG WAR'

My Name is Dean Becker. I don't condone or encourage the use of any drugs, legal or illegal. I report the unvarnished truth about the pharmaceutical, banking, prison and judicial nightmare that feeds on eternal drug war.

Hello, my friends. Welcome to this edition of Cultural Baggage. I'm so glad you could be with us. We have with us, in studio, a former professor of law, Buford Terrell. But first, I have this Drug Truth Network editorial to share with you.
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Over the last ten years, I have interviewed hundreds of experts on the topic of drug prohibition, congress-men, scientists, doctors, cops, wardens, current and former DEA, CIA and FBI agents. Seven and one half years on the radio. The first years, working with the New York Times.

There is not one person in government, no official, reporter, minister or drug war aficionado who will be a guest on our shows to defend this policy. The reason, is the first question I intend to ask them, “Can you name the number one success of the drug war?”

After a hundred years, 37 million arrests of non-violent drug users, the expenditure of more than a trillion US taxpayer dollars, it should have a reason to exist, right? Via this drug war policy, we eternally force feed bin Laden's fattest cash cow. We insist that the cartels will forever make ten's of billions of dollars per year and we continue to ensure that the violent gangs that prowl our neighborhoods have more than sufficient reason to exist.

Death, disease, crime and ever increasing addiction are essential for the drug war to prosper. The drug warriors are self serving and God-damned evil... and with that, let's welcome our guest, Mr. Buford Terrell. Hello, Sir.

Mr. Buford Terrell: Hello, Dean. It's good to be here.

Dean Becker: Buford, I brought you in here because you're a fellow anti-drug war warrior. You have worked with the Drug Policy Forum of Texas for the Drug Policy Forum of Texas group, hosting their long running series, Drugs, Crime and Politics, right?

Mr. Buford Terrell: That's right. We're ending our tenth year, now.

Dean Becker: It has become almost a... I'm not going to say blessed, but it has become more easy to talk about this. That there are more and more people who 'get it', who are in support of what we're doing, right?

Mr. Buford Terrell: I think so. The popular polls really have been changing a lot over the past two to three years and I frankly have been blown away by the change in the popular media this past year.

Dean Becker: Well Buford, you heard my editorial, I think I'm one of the few who 'gets it'. You 'get it'. There are hundreds of people who 'get it' on this planet, the full extent of this drug war. That it has no basis in reality, no real reason to exist. It's a scam, sham, flim-flam and I think it's going to end fairly soon. I really do. I believe by 2013, it'll basically be over. Your thoughts on that?

Mr. Buford Terrell: Well, about 15 years ago, I predicted marijuana would be legal in 5 years. {chuckling} But honestly, this year I'm optimistic enough to think that substantial parts of the prohibition against marijuana will be gone within the next year.

Dean Becker: I would agree with that even in the gulag state of Texas. I brought in several stories I've been grabbing out of the newspaper. Today in the Wall Street Journal: 'High Court Curbs Power of Police to Search Cars. The Supreme Court ruled the police couldn't search the car of a person arrested unless the officer's safety was threatened or there was a reason to think the car contained evidence.' That still seems a little shaky to me but, your thoughts on that ruling?

Mr. Buford Terrell: This really sets aside a lot of drug war law going back to the early 70's and the Burger culprit. The police had been able to use the drug exception, as we call it, to justify the search of a car almost anytime they made a traffic stop. This pretty well takes things back to the way it was before Nixon and the drug hysteria, making the cop have probable cause to do anything more than search the immediate area around the driver for weapons.

Dean Becker: Again, it is an improvement. I guess I'm just leery of these guys changing their spots. {chuckling}

One of the competitors or associate affiliations, if you will, National Public Radio had a presentation they put together yesterday, 420, talking about, 'What if marijuana were legal, what were the possible outcomes?' Did you get a chance to hear that?

Mr. Buford Terrell: I didn't hear it. I read the transcript of it and what amazed me was how they could manage to get almost everything so completely wrong.

Dean Becker: Yeah, yeah. I think they probably felt they were being moderate and in the middle somehow but, knowing the glaring and obvious truth of this matter, to ignore the thought that there are people who have their children taken away because they smoke marijuana or that have their homes or their property confiscated because they grew a couple of plants. They didn't delve into that or the thirty-seven million arrests.

Mr. Buford Terrell: Well, trying to find the moderate middle on this, I have to keep going back to Jim Hightower who said, “The only thing that you find in the middle of the road are yellow stripes and dead Armadillo's,” {chuckling} ...and the problem is, the sides on the drug war are so solidified, there is no middle ground.

Dean Becker: Yeah. I caught a YouTube video today, produced by Al Jazeera by the way, because the drug czar, John Walters, won't debate anyone on American television, but it was kind of a debate, two people in different locations with a moderator but, it was Terry Nelson vs. John Walters and I felt... John Walters knows, in the back of his mind, that he's on the losing side. His logic is quickly disappearing as well.

Mr. Buford Terrell: Yeah and he's about to disappear. It's about time for Obama to get his appointments down to that level of government.

Dean Becker: Exactly. Enough is enough. I want to talk about the Family Guy. They had a major half hour about marijuana and the drug war itself, this past Sunday but, before we get to that, I want to talk about another story that was in today's Houston Chronicle: School Strip Search Case Argued.

This is a story about a 13 year old girl accused of having Ibuprofen and they stripped her down, looking for it. Your thoughts on that case?

Mr. Buford Terrell: My thoughts on that case are, “It's pathetic hysteria.” The whole drug search thing at schools was blown all out of proportion. There was never any need for it in the first place. The sad thing is, if we look at schools that have gone to random drug testing, they normally get less than 1% positive results. What these searches do is basically tell kids that it's ok to live in a Police State and in this case, what they were searching the girl for was Ibuprofen. It's pathetic when a teenage girl can't even carry pain medication for premenstrual syndrome.

Dean Becker: In this same regard, a quote I picked up from USA Today, 'Lockdown High - Are zero tolerance policies turning schools into authoritarian thiefdoms?' The case goes before the Supreme Court and it asks about how far schools can go. It says, “In Manassas, Virginia a nine year old student was suspended for giving a friend a Cert's breathmint.” Zero tolerance. I have zero tolerance for zero tolerance. {laughter}

I tell you what, we're going to take a little musical interlude here to kind of celebrate the exposure; the acceptance that talking about the drug war is beginning to gather around the country and we're going to hear a little bit from the Family Guy about a big bag of weed.
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Brian: No more oppression! We, as American adults with free will, have the right to use marijuana if we choose to! Enough government profiteering, under the guise of morality! Enough with this phony war on drugs!

Stewie: You know, you're going about this all wrong. If you want to win people over, you can't just drone on like Ben Stein, you've got to have a little more showmanship. Here. Watch.

Sung to the tune of: Me Ol' Bamboo

Stewie: Now everybody gather 'round and listen if you would
When I tell you every person needs a way of feeling good
Every kitty needs a ball of string and every dog a stick
Stewie & Brian: But all you need is a bag of weed to really get a kick

All: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight

A Bag of Weed, A Bag of Weed
Oh, Everything is better with A Bag of Weed
It's the only hope that you'll ever need
Because Everything is better with A Bag of Weed

Stewie: There you go, you're all getting it now

Ensemble: When Texas people wanna feel good,
Stewie: They go assault a queer.
Ensemble: When stupid people need a thrill,
Stewie: They rent The Rocketeer.
Ensemble: When Michael Jackson needs a rush,
Stewie: He humps a guy like me.
Ensemble: Right!
All: But all we need is a bag of weed,
To keep us worry free.

One, Two, Three, HO!

A Bag of Weed, A Bag of Weed
Oh, everything is better with A Bag of Weed
Oh, you don't need meth and you don't need speed
Because Everything is better with A Bag of Weed

Stewie: Have a go, Brian!

Brian: As Mr. H.L. Menken said, "The common man's a fool."
Stewie: And just like Helen Keller said, "Poof do kee dee poh pool."
Brian: But try and use your heads and don't buy into all the fear.
All: HEY!
'Cuz all we need is a bag of weed
To make us wanna cheer!

And One, Two!

A Bag of Weed, A Bag of Weed
Oh, everything is better with A Bag of Weed
You can try and fight but we're all agreed
Because everything is better with A Bag of Weed

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Dean Becker: I think I could listen to the whole thing, it's so funny. Me and Buford, we were both laughing our asses off here in the studio. I'm with Professor Buford Terrell, professor of law. Buford, you're headed up to New York, here in just a few days right, for a major conference? Tell us about it.

Mr. Buford Terrell: Well, it's a conference put on by the City Bar of New York and fifteen years ago, they sponsored a resolution calling for a complete reexamination of the war on drugs. They just released this last week, a new resolution affirming their old one and calling for even firmer, harder action.

We're having a conference on primarily focusing on pain medication and the problems the medical profession has with the DEA. The panel is me and a history professor and a medical professor from Carnell. So it ought to be kind of interesting.

Dean Becker: I would imagine that whatever presentations are made; whatever summations are derived; whatever is presented as a finding, is not going to be in support of this drug war. It's tough finding anybody to publicly defend this. I mean, they can do the 30 second sound bites on television and then they could present to a Jr. High School or to a group of treatment center patients.

Mr. Buford Terrell: The problem is, the entire drug war philosophy was summed up in Nancy Reagan's 'Just Say No' and anytime you try to get them to go past a simple bumper sticker, they don't have anything left to say.

Dean Becker: Well, that's the case, yes. We have Tony Newman, Drug Policy Alliance, he's coming on this Sunday and he's been collecting all the op-eds and editorials and news pieces that have come out for examining this policy, for considering legalization, etc. etc, down the... and a hundred and twenty... and that was a couple of weeks back. Here's a couple that just came out I want to talk about.

This from Foreign Service Magazine, far from a liberal left leading place and the name of their article, major article, “Wasted, the American Prohibition on Thinking Smart in the Drug War: The Washington consensus on drugs rests on two widely shared beliefs. The first is that the war on drugs is a failure. The second, is that it cannot be changed. Americans are a 'can do' people. They tend to believe that if something does not work, it needs to be fixed unless, that is, they are talking about the war on drugs.” Kind of underlines what we're saying here, right?

Mr. Buford Terrell: I want to throw something in here, Dean. On my show, we have live call-in's, so I get a little more direct feedback. But, when I start talking about repealing the drug laws, one of the things I get from people is, 'But won't that put a lot of drugs available for kids and teenagers?' and the thing that most people overlook, is that in a hundred years, these laws have not made drugs unavailable to anyone.

Dean Becker: Right.

Mr. Buford Terrell: Marijuana is easier to find these days, I think than coffee.

Dean Becker: I think the other argument that I hear is that well, even if they... in fact, in that Al Jazeera debate, the drug czar himself said, 'Well, if we were to legalize drugs, the cartels would still thrive somehow,' and how he was allowed to, I mean, Terry didn't get a chance to rebut him fully but, the fact is that they could present the thought that the cartels will thrive after legalization when the fact is, you give me a few seeds, I could grow coca up in the Rocky Mountains and marijuana will grow anywhere you stick that in the dirt. The cartels will, at least that aspect of them, will disappear.

Mr. Buford Terrell: The thing about the cartels is, you have to ask yourself, 'What happened to Al Capone when Budweiser came back in business?' What people don't realize is how utterly disgustingly cheap marijuana or cocaine is to produce and the cartels thrive on money. They don't care about drugs at all. They want money and if marijuana were selling for a dollar an ounce or ten dollars an ounce instead of four hundred dollars an ounce, Walgreen or Safeway could make money off it but the cartels would go broke.

Dean Becker: Yeah.

Mr. Buford Terrell: I'd have to agree with NPR on one thing, they wouldn't disappear. After all, it took another 50 years for us to get rid of the mafia after prohibition ended. But if we took that, most people say totally around the world, about a hundred billion a year away from the cartels. That's like taking all the gasoline off the fire.

Dean Becker: Yeah and I want to kind of throw this into the discussion that, it took them awhile, a couple of decades to fully move over but where did these alcohol prohibition gangs go? They moved to the sale of narcotics, the French Connection and all that madness went on until the cartels in Central and South America kind of gained control and... go ahead.

Mr. Buford Terrell: They not only went there, they went into all kinds of racketeering, they went into prostitution, they went into gambling, they went into legitimate businesses like Long Shore Labor Construction, trash...

Dean Becker: Cement makers...

Mr. Buford Terrell: ...and the funny thing is, even when they went into gambling, as soon as legitimate business starting moving in to Las Vegas, the mob got shoved out there. It's going to take time to kill these people off but, the longer we take to start, the longer it's going to take.

Dean Becker: Well, the drug prohibitionists seem to want to maintain an eternal jobs programs for the cartels. {chuckling} That's what it seems like to me. OK now, but again, I quoted that one Foreign Service Magazine, very conservative group, they are.

Another report in, that the drug czar tours the country saying, 'Cocaine, prices are rising, they're curtailing the flow,' when the fact is, it's actually gone up 27% since they started this Plan Columbia and that this article here says, 'The drug is as cheap as ever and just as pure.' How long can we put up with these lies?

{laughter}

Mr. Buford Terrell: There's an interesting case in front of the 9th Circuit right now. This last congress, they was pretty well tired of several shenanigans that had been going on in Washington, passed a law requiring all federal agencies to base any of their public statements and any of their actions on adequate, proper scientific evidence. A group in California has filed suit against the DEA to force them to reexamine their scheduling of marijuana based on the best current scientific evidence.

So, if Obama follows through with what congress started, about requiring governmental agencies to use the best science available, I think we'll see some big changes. After all, the EPA has already changed it's stance on Global Warming. Several other things indicate that maybe the government is going to start looking at real science instead of rewriting the books for propaganda purposes.

Dean Becker: Yeah. It's gone on for far too long. One last story I want to talk about. This from the Financial Times. Again, not a liberal group. “A criminally stupid war on drugs in the US. How much misery can a policy cause before it is acknowledged as a failure and is reversed?

“The US war on drugs suggests there is no upper limit. The countries implacable blend of prohibition and punitive criminal justice is wrong headed in everyway. Immoral in principle, since it prosecutes victimless crimes and in practice, a disaster of remarkable proportion. Yet, for a US politician to suggest wholesale reform of this brainless regime, it's still seen as an act of reckless self harm.” Your thoughts on that, Buford?

Mr. Buford Terrell: I have quoted Einstein so many times I'm tired of it but, {chuckling} the idea of it, “Insanity is repeating the same experiment and expecting different outcomes.” Politicians are, by nature, frightened creatures. It's up to the people to convince the politicians that this is not at threat to their career, to be logical about this and right now, we have the dollar's figure working in our behalf. We've got the blood on the border in Mexico. We've got the Taliban in Afghanistan. All of these things provide strong, solid, economic arguments for radically changing the ways drugs are handled.

Dean Becker: If I dare say, I think the data gathering by the anti-drug warriors; the presentation of thought, like this show, like others have done over the years like with your show and the Drug War Chronicle and others who have enlightened, educated and emboldened the people to move and even now, the major media as we're quoting from here, the network channels, the cable channels, they all are covering this drug war. They don't go the full nine yards but they at least allow the word 'legalization' perhaps in their discussion now and the people are beginning to understand that need for change. But, we talked about it briefly in the meeting room out there, it's a quasi religion. It's something you just don't speak against, you know.

Mr. Buford Terrell: No, it's not a quasi religion, Dean. It's the real thing. {chuckling} Recently in some of my research, I was surprised to find out that the actual prohibition against heroin came in, in the 1920's. Pushed by the same people that had gotten alcohol prohibition and when alcohol prohibition ended, the leading spokesmen and speechmaker's and writer's against alcohol, switched over and the next day were giving the same speeches with 'drugs' written in, in place of 'alcohol' and we have bought that religious based, sin based, prohibition language, so it really is a religious system.

Dean Becker: Well, tell you what. We're going to take a little break, here. Give you a bit of information from our reporters and of course, you get a chance to Name That Drug by it's side effect. We've been speaking with Professor Buford Terrell and we'll be back here in just a couple of moments.
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It's time to play: "Name That Drug - By It's Side Effects!"

Sleepiness, dizziness, disturbed coordination, fatigue, confusion, restlessness, excitation, nervousness, tremor, irritability, insomnia, euphoria, blurred vision, vertigo, hallucinations, convulsions and death.

(((gong)))

Time's up! The answer: Cheese. Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride and opiates. Tylenol PM and heroin.
In particularly for children, it seems most of the symptoms listed are due to Tylenol PM and the heroin only serves to bring the 'high' in focus.
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This is Terry Nelson speaking on behalf of LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. I am still optimistic that there is a change happening in our country on how to deal with our drug problems.

I recently returned from a speaking trip to Laredo, Texas. I was invited down by the Laredo Republican Women's Club. While there, I spoke at Texas A&M International University. The presentation was recorded for dissemination to their distance learning program and will be viewed by military students as well as others that participate in the program.

I had an interview with the Laredo Morning Times as well as local TV Channel 8 news. In all these presentation, LEAP's message was very well received as they know first hand, that the war on drugs has failed their community. But what the public understands, the elected officials seem not to be able to grasp.

I watched Miss Napolitano interview from Mexico when she, 'No way, to the current administration was going to consider legalization.' I heard the Mexican ambassador say that he was open to serious discussion on legalization. This, coupled with the previous call for legalization by three former Latin-American countries' presidents, indicate that there's a major change in the way the world is looking at this problem.

The fact that the United States' position is still the same as it has been for the last forty years, just says that our government still will not listen to reason. Nixon was president when the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse recommended an alternative path and the mid 90's, a meeting of leading police officer's unanimously recommended an alternative path. A recent survey shows 75% of the American public thinks that the war has failed.

Why our elective representative will not listen to reason, is open for speculation. Perhaps it's financial. Perhaps they care more about their contributors than they do their constituents.

I participated in an hour long radio debate with the Attorney's General from Utah and he concedes that there needs to be more treatment but he still wants to topple it with arresting and incarcerating citizens that did no harm to anyone but themselves. I somewhat understand that the AG can't come out and say, 'I'm for legalization,' because he's the chief law enforcement officer for the state. At least he had the guts to discuss it in open forum and that says a lot for his character and courage.

LEAP's position is that dangerous drugs should be regulated and controlled, to eliminate the violence perpetuated by drug dealers, cartels and street gangs and that education and treatment is the best way to deal with our drug problems.

It's time for a change. If you want to know what you can do to help, go to www.wecandoitagain.com and fill out the form and send it to your legislatures. Let's work together to stop this craziness and help build a better future for ourselves and our children.

This is Terry Nelson at www.leap.cc Signing off.
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(to the tune of: Another Brick in the Wall)

We all need re-education
We demand more thought control
More guns and money for the cartels
Congress let those drug gangs grow

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Alright. You are listening to the Cultural Baggage show. I'm here with Professor Buford Terrell, formerly with the South Texas College of Law. Buford, that Name That Drug by it's side effect, talking about cheese. What's your thoughts on that?

Mr. Buford Terrell: Well, when 'cheese' hit the market, I knew it couldn't be heroin because frankly, the street price was too low to include enough heroin to do any damage. I started investigating, looked at some of the autopsy reports. The active, dangerous drug in 'cheese' and the one that killed the kids in Dallas, is Benadryl. That's the active part of Tylenol PM. These things are all listed side effects. It warns against death in children and adolescents and it warns that opiates enforce and enhance the effects of it. So, here's a place where our hysteria led us down the wrong path.

Dean Becker: As always. You had a point you wanted to relay?

Mr. Buford Terrell: Oh, it's just that listening to that Family Guy thing, I had a vision... of a high school prom, where no booze but every kid was given weed instead. No fights. No car wrecks on the way home. Probably no date rape, although there might be lots of consensual sex and probably no prom gowns spoiled by being barfed on. {chuckling}

Dean Becker: Yeah. I talk to a lot of Lions clubs and some of the folks and it's getting to be fewer and fewer but some of the folks have this idea, this preconception that marijuana is like alcohol, 'Do we really want more of that on our roads?' and the fact is that there are... you might drop the 'roach' in your lap while you're driving and you might hit a tree but I don't think it is the intoxication factor that would contribute much...

Mr. Buford Terrell: The problem is, alcohol is the only model most of us have and it's a horrible one to apply it to any of the other drugs.

Dean Becker: Yeah. Well, this is true. We're about out of time here, my friends. We've been talking to Buford Terrell. I want you to do your part. Please visit our website drugtruth.net and as always, I remind you that because of prohibition, you don't know what's in that bag. Please, be careful.

To the Drug Truth Network listeners around the world, this is Dean Becker for Cultural Baggage and the unvarnished truth.

This show produced at the Pacifica studios of KPFT, Houston.
Tap dancing on the edge on an abyss.

What will it take to motivate?

Submitted by: C. Assenberg of www.marijuanafactorfiction.org