01/01/12 Terry Nelson

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10 Years of DTN: Terry Nelson, Willie Nelson, Judge James P Gray, Glenn Greenway, Howard Wooldridge, Marc Emery, Phil Jackson, Editorial, Gustavo DeGrief, Winston Francis & Reverend Alan Bean

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Transcript

Transcript

Century of Lies / January 01, 2012

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(Record starts playing barbershop music)

Pfizer and Merek kill more of us
Than the cartel’s crap ever could
They thank us for our silence
Each year’s hundred billion dollars
And the chance to do it forever more
Drugs, the first eternal war…

DEAN BECKER: Hi, this is Dean Becker. You’re listening to Century of Lies on the Drug Truth Network on Pacifica Radio. We’re taking a listen back to the past ten years of the Drug Truth Network.

I used to open or close some of my shows with a thought that’s contained within that intro music, Eternal War by Adult Users, and that is this: the war of terror, because certainly there’s terror on both sides, the war of terror is the War on Drugs with afterburners.

First up we hear the only new report this year, it’s from Terry Nelson who consistently puts out his perspective.

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TERRY NELSON: This is Terry Nelson of LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

The continuous efforts of drug reform organizations in the United States and globally have had some positive effects but much more work needs to be done before we can even think of being victorious.

The arrest rate for drug violations in the United States has decreased for the last 4 years but still remains more than twice as high as the rates in the early 1980s the University of Maryland Center for Substance Abuse Research reported Monday. The findings were based on an analysis of data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program.

Of the 2010 drug arrests 18% were for sales or manufacture and 82% were for drug possession. More than half of all drug arrests were for marijuana violations. While the drug arrest rate is declining, drug arrests still account for more than 1.6 million busts last year.

The bad news is that many more of our citizens have had their lives ruined by these arrests and those arrests can be directly attributed to the United States failed public policy of prohibition. Millions of people all over the globe are having their lives disrupted because of this prohibition policy. Tens of thousands of people are murdered each year and their deaths are a direct cause - albeit perhaps an unintended consequence – of this failed policy.

Tens of thousands of our citizens lose their right to vote, to be licensed, to qualify for assistance in these hard economic times and are saddled with arrest record that will affect their ability to get a decent job and pay their fair share of the tax burden.

It is past time for our government to recognize that the general welfare of our citizens should trump the money train that the Drug War provides for drug war supporters. Yes, this war is probably sustained most by the amount of money that the war brings to communities and criminal justice professionals and contributes to the reluctance of many of our politicians to admit that the policy is a mistake.

Our country will benefit long-term from a robust education approach to this problem and these results will benefit millions of people and be sustainable for decades. It will also much improve our status in the world.

How can a nation call for human rights in other countries while continuing a drug prohibition policy in our own that causes many human rights abuses here and abroad? We must continue to work and convince our politicians that the people will support them if they have the courage to take a positive stand. They have only to look at a couple of our current presidential candidates and the support that they are receiving to know that they will not be vilified.

Criminal justice professionals know full well that we will never arrest our way out of the drug problem. It is time to change directions to a policy of education and treatment versus arrest and incarceration.

This is Terry Nelson of LEAP, http://www.copssaylegalizedrugs.com signing off. Stay safe.

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DEAN BECKER: You know folks I couldn’t be prouder of this association with Mr. Terry Nelson and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Terry’s on the board of directors. He spent well over 30 years serving our nation as a customs, border and air interdiction officer. He served 2 tours in Iraq very recently. He retired as a GS-14 – the equivalent of a “bird Colonel” - and he does a weekly report for the Drug Truth Network. Happy New Year, Terry.

Now we hear from another Nelson. A newer member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition – not so new – from 2007.

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DEAN BECKER: What would you like to say to my audience out there – those who are having to fight for the right for marijuana?

WILLIE NELSON: Well, first of all, thank you for fighting and thank you for standing up for your rights. I was telling some folks today, you know, Kinky Freeman now has a cigar out with my name on it and somebody somewhere was asking me what I thought about all that and I don’t have any problem with it at all.

I remember my friend Billy Hooper...somebody said something to him about his drinking and his smoking and all that and he said, “It’s my mouth and I’ll haul coal in it if I want to.”

DEAN BECKER: And that’s the point. They talk about the danger of marijuana and yet alcohol and tobacco are killing hundreds of thousands and I don’t think they’ve found the first marijuana casualty yet.

WILLIE NELSON: No they haven’t and I once they realize how much money they’re missing, once they realize how many millions and billions of dollars that the illegal drug dealers are making, then they can step in there and help the farmers and it’ll help everybody. And once they start saying, “Wait a minute, we should tax it and regulate it like we do tobacco and alcohol.”

If you have some kind of issue that you want to see changed – you gotta get out there and do something about it. You can’t just sit still and not talk about it. You know, you’re the one that can start it.

DEAN BECKER: Over the years I’ve admired your music. I think I remember a High Times or Rolling Stone’s article talking about when you in your younger days your house burnt down and one of the things you salvaged from the house was a bag of, if I remember, of panama red…

WILLIE NELSON: [chuckling] Well, yeah, I knew there were going to be difficult times ahead so I salvaged what I ….plus it was in my guitar case with my guitar so I didn’t want to lose that either.

DEAN BECKER: We’re a group of about 9,000 current and former cops, police chiefs, wardens and all that kind of thing and we’re trying to end this drug war.

WILLIE NELSON: Let me ask you a question then. Why should we legalize drugs?

DEAN BECKER: Basically because we’re funding the cartels, the terrorists. It’s the reason most of these violent street gangs exist, sir.

WILLIE NELSON: That’s a great answer and I got the question off your shirt. It’s a great opening.

DEAN BECKER: And if you would consider the brochure from LEAP. You don’t have to be a cop or a former cop to join. We would consider it an honor if you would just think about it.

WILLIE NELSON: Well, count me in. What do I do?

DEAN BECKER: Well I think you just did it right there.

WILLIE NELSON: Alright. Count me in there.

DEAN BECKER: Any closing thoughts you’d like to relay to my audience?

WILLIE NELSON: Well, first of all, let me say what you guys are doing takes more balls and guts and nerves than what I’m doing. I’m just a guitar player. You guys are policemen and you ride a lot of heat for what you do and say – a lot more than what I do.

I applaud you for doing it and God bless all of you.

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dramatic music]

DEAN BECKER: Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. These men and women have served in the trenches of the drug war as prosecutors, judges, cops, guards and wardens. They have seen first-hand the utter futility of our policy and now work together to end drug prohibition. Please visit http://leap.cc

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DEAN BECKER: OK, we’re going to be jumping around over the decade + of the Drug Truth Network. Here from 2005 is a segment that ran out of ammunition.

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[music]

DEAN BECKER: It’s time to play “Name that jurisdiction by its drug law”

This nation imposes the death penalty on adults trafficking in as little as1/2 ounce of heroin, 1 ounce of morphine or 18 ounces of marijuana. It has executed hundreds of people for drug-related offences. If you like to get high – you’re welcome to die…in Singapore.

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DEAN BECKER: The very first guest on Cultural Baggage, the first of the Drug Truth Network programs, was the author of “Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed and What Can We Can Do About It: A Judicial Indictment of the War on Drugs.” Now retired Superior Court Judge James P. Gray.

Here is the earliest archive we could find with Judge Gray speaking at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in June of ’02.

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JAMES GRAY: I too want to go overboard if I can to thank the ambassador, thank Dr. Martin and certainly thank Secretary Baker for this opportunity. It is critically important that we discuss these issues.

Let me share with you, maybe even personally, some of my background on this and what led me to this microphone this morning.

Yes, my name is James P. Gray and I am a former drug warrior. I was a criminal defense attorney and Navy JAG representing people in the military charged with mostly small drug transactions and then I was a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles and I believed in what I was doing.

Well, maybe not necessarily believed in it but I certainly accepted it…didn’t give it much thought. It certainly seemed like the right, the logical thing to do because I equated the sometimes dangerous, sometimes addicting drugs with prison. In fact I think we were all pretty much raised that way to equate heroin, for example, with prison.

It’s kind of like being against sin. We are against sin. We know that intuitively. But what we want to do is to take steps to reduce that type of behavior.

And so, I held the record for the largest drug prosecution in the central district of California which is the five central counties in Los Angeles for a short period of time. In 1978, which is exactly the time period that Mr. Hutchinson was talking about when drug usage was so rampant and has been decreased since then, 75 kilos of heroin (160 pounds of heroin) which was and is a lot of heroin,

Does anyone have any idea what the record prosecution today in the central district of California with regards to narcotics prosecution is? It’s 18 tons of cocaine in one transaction.

When I was a prosecutor the wholesale price of a kilo of heroin or cocaine was about $25,000 and that’s, of course, not talking about inflation. Today it’s about half that – it’s about $12 to 13,000 dollars – so the price is half.

When I was a prosecutor the quality, the purity level of this wholesale cocaine/heroin was about 20%. Today it’s about 80%.

So you come into a situation in which the cost is half, the strength is four-times and the amount is simply out of the roof. So I started asking myself the question that I ask of you. How many people here feel that we in the United States of America are in better shape today then we were just 5 years ago with regard to the critical issue of drug use and abuse and all the crime and misery that goes with it?

Again, just for clarity, how many of you people here feel that we in our great country are in better shape today then we were five years ago with regard to this critical issue of drug use and abuse and all the crime and misery that goes with it?

And I see no hands which is completely consistent with every other group that I speak with. And it doesn’t matter which group. It could be a religious organization, a rotary club, a chamber of commerce, a political action group, in fact, I can tell you I’m probably the only person that I know of that can make this statement.

I have received basically a standing ovation from giving basically the same talk to both the ACL on the one hand and the dumb Republicans of Orange County on the other. This crosses all political boundaries and so I decided within myself that no it is not a question of our drug laws failing. It isn’t even a question that our drug laws have failed although, yes, Dr. Martin that was the title of my book. It really is a question that the situation under our present policy of drug prohibition is hopeless. It is hopeless.

It will never get better. Literally victory today is being defined as slowing down the pace of defeat. That is my position. It is not third down. In fact, it isn’t even fourth down. This ball has changed possession to the degree that this game is over. It will never get better.

So let’s understand, though, from the outset two fundamental things. One is critically important that people understand that it is not the fault of law enforcement that we’re in this position. We are not, not pointing the finger at law enforcement saying you failed us - because it is the system itself.

It is the same thing to point the finger at law enforcement today saying you failed to cure this war on drugs problem or drug prohibition would be the same thing as blaming Elliot Ness for the failure of alcohol prohibition. It’s not their fault. It is the system that has done it.

Secondly, equally importantly, we must understand that everyone in this room and really all people in the nation, except for the drug lords, are on the same side of this issue. We all want to reduce drug use and abuse and all the crime and misery that goes with it.

The question where we may differ is how best to accomplish that goal but that is the common ground. That is what we are all attempting to do. So let’s stop shouting at each other. Let’s stop calling each other names and get on with that business.

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DEAN BECKER: We’ve had about a dozen reporters working for the Drug Truth Network over the years. One of the earliest was Glen Greenway from Haloween 2004.

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DEAN BECKER: Poppygate – bizarre news about the U.S. policy on controlling heroin featuring Glenn Greenway.

GLENN GREENWAY: This week’s Poppygate update begins in Washington. Lt. General David Barnell, Commander of Combined Forces, Command Afghanistan, held a press briefing at the Pentagon on Thursday. He said that U.S. forces in Afghanistan likely will not play an active and direct role in law enforcement or combat role in eradicating Afghanistan’s opium production.

The annual UN Afghanistan Opium Survey is expected to report that Afghan poppy production is up 35% over last year. The Boston Globe reports that 2 out of 3 Afghani farmers questioned by UN survey said they plan to significantly increase their opium crop next year.

A few years ago in Boston heroin was about 20% pure and cost $20 a bag. Now the same bag is 90% pure and cost a mere $3. Wake up and smell the poppies America.

This is Glenn Greenway reporting for the Drug Truth Network.

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The following message is brought to you by the US Ministry of Homeland Security:

Never forget fear!
And hatred.
Or lies.
Or deception.
Big brother says, “The war of terror will last forever.”

And please remember that if you are arrested for marijuana you can no longer get a student loan, credit, housing or a job.

And just remember that according to the forthcoming Victory Act if you buy a bag from someone who bought a bag from someone who bought a bag from someone who knew someone who was a terrorist – you’ll be subject to 20 years to life. Happy Halloween.

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DEAN BECKER: Never subtle. That’s the Drug Truth Network for you.

Changing the banner at the top of the webpage, http://drugtruth.net , used to say, “less respect, more outrage” it now says, “zero respect, infinite outrage.”

You are listening to Century of Lies on the Drug Truth Network and Pacifica Radio. This is Dean Becker kind of giving you a listen back to the 10 years of this Drug Truth Network.

Next we hear from Mr. Howard Wooldridge, perhaps best known for riding his horse, Misty, across America, twice, in support of drug reform. This is Howard Wooldridge from August of ’04.

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HOWARD WOOLDRIDGE: Leaving police work after 18 years left a big hole and the way …when you’re arresting drunk drivers, arresting child molesters you know you’re making your community safer and better and when you don’t have that ability to do it you want to do something important.

What I realized 7 years ago when Bob Ramsey got me into this was that I could be a person who could change law by advocating changing our drug laws which would then make my community safer and better.

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DEAN BECKER: Marc Emery, publisher of Cannabis Culture magazine, was brought to trial by forces within the United States. He lives in British Columbia, Canada, hasn’t ever been to the United States, used to sell marijuana seeds via the postal services.

Turns out the Drug Czar didn’t like that. Got the Canadian government to turn him over to the United States and he’s now serving a 5 year term in a U.S. federal prison. This is back in 2007. We’re talking about the situation.

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MARC EMERY: We’ve even been able to pay for things like an Israel-Arab Peace Conference last October at Hebrew University at Israel and we continue to sponsor…we’re sponsoring a Ron Paul Hope for America Bicycle Caravan in South Carolina from September 15th to 23rd and anybody in South Carolina is welcome to join us.

A marathon bicyclist will be traveling from Charleston to Greenville across South Carolina with Ron Paul’s signs and flags on them and will be carrying 1,000 buttons and 3,000 3 x 5 cards telling of Dr. Paul’s accomplishments and what he hopes to achieve as President. We might be extending that to Nevada and New Hampshire and Florida and even Texas.

The Seattle Weekly published an article called, “Why does this Canadian pot dealer campaign for Ron Paul?” And it actually asked us [inaudible] because I said Ron Paul would pardon all the pot people and non-violent offenders in jail and that he would rescind the indictment against me.

Now according to the constitution, and he believes in the constitution, I’m sure the Attorney General would indeed do just that in a Ron Paul presidency.

DEAN BECKER: If you would like to show your support for Marc his website is http://cannabisculture.com.

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DEAN BECKER: Thanks to his activism which the Drug Czar said was the real reason for the bust and despite the fact there are thousands of U.S. citizens now legally selling marijuana seeds, Marc Emery sits in prison.

You can reach him by writing:
Marc Scott Emery #40252-086
Unit Q, Pod 2
CID Ray James Correctional Institution
PO Box 2000
Folkston, GA 31537

And now from August 2006…

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PHIL JACKSON: And now for another black perspective on the Drug War….

What do you suppose would happen if congress passed a law that said that anyone convicted of an alcohol-related offense (drunk driving, public intoxication, underage consumption, etc.) will be forever barred from getting a home mortgage loan?

The very foundation of middle-class affluence - the path to American upward mobility would be permanently denied to those who have demonstrated the irresponsible use of alcohol.

Some would scream double jeopardy that the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment prevents punishing people twice for the same infraction. Others would argue that the law was in violation of the equal protection guarantee of the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause since rapists, thieves and even murderers can still get the loans. Some might even argue that the law unfairly targets white males but one thing’s for sure – the outrage cry would be truly frightful. And I seriously doubt that any congressman supporting such a bill could keep a seat for long and some would likely be recalled, tarred and feathered by their irate constituents.

Yet nearly 200,000 American students have been stripped of their financial aid because of their conviction for drugs. Even as we push education as the way out of poverty, the key to successfully securing a place in the American mainstream – we erect an impassable barrier and an irrational restriction – a completely counterproductive policy that targets precisely those whom we should be supporting.

If you agree that the Aid Elimination Penalty is unfair, irrational and just plain bad law for America – pick up your phone and let your congressperson know how you feel. Or, better still, heat up the tar, gather some feathers and let them all know we’re serious about ending this drug war madness.

For the Drug Truth Network this is Phil Jackson.

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DEAN BECKER: It’s not a holocaust. It’s not genocide. It’s not exactly an inquisition, this policy of drug war, hell bent for eternity, has left more mass graves than any despot. Tens of millions of lives, not taken, but rather life potentials, destroyed by our policy of drug prohibition.

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(Sheep baaing.)
(Baaing) Marijuana…. kills thousands… of our kids… every day.

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DEAN BECKER: Prohibition promises to protect our children until they turn 17 when they become meat for the Drug War grinder. I promise you this is one problem that will change once you get involved.

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DEAN BECKER: OK, all of that was from August of ’06 as well as what you’re fixin’ to hear.

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(DTN promo) This is Gustavo de Greiff, former Attorney General of Colombia, talking about the drug problem to the Drug Truth Network.

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DEAN BECKER: For a few years we were privileged to have a reporter from the other side. This from ’07.

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[music]

WINSTON FRANCIS: Here’s an interesting fact left out of most drug legalization arguments. The overwhelming majority of people, not just in America but worldwide, want the Drug War.

Name one success of drug prohibition - how about the people’s overwhelming approval of it.

You see we, the people, have decided that we need government to help protect us from our own compulsions and impulses. We understand that we would destroy ourselves, that society would collapse without the guidance of those who know how to run our lives better than we do.

Without the Drug War there is nothing to stop your neighbor from dosing his baby with ‘shrooms and smack. Let’s be clear: We, the majority, like the Drug War. You, the minority, do not.

If the government represents the people and the majority want drug war – then drug war it is. That’s the way it works.

The majority of people understand that freedom is useless without the necessary protection the government provides. What good is your freedom if you’re enslaved to drugs?!

By taking away your ability to make the wrong decision the government ensures your freedom. If you choose to defy our laws and make your own decision – then they will be coming for you soon enough.

We all know the rules and, again, most of us approve. If you want to be free – then you’ll do as you’re told. That’s the American way.

This is has been Winston Francis with the Official Government Truth.

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DEAN BECKER: Thank you, Winston, for proving, week after week, just how cowardly these drug warriors are. Their inability to face down one question which I’ve burned down to about 6 words is, “What is the benefit of Drug War?!”

OK, 7 words.

Geez, I promised the “Best of 10 Years” program and no way in Hell we’re even touching the surface of all this but next up we’re going to listen to …alright, and here to help close us out is a very raggedy recording from October of 2002. It features the Reverend Alan Bean famous for his work in Tulia. Here we’re talking about the horror before the final resolution.

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ALAN BEAN: Tulia decided in 1998 that they were going to bring in an undercover agent. They got a grant from the Panhandle Task Force in Amarillo and they paid this guy about $20,000 a year to come in and just kind of insinuate his way into the local culture.

Tom Coleman, his name, he went by T.J. Dawson which was his street name. He was radically unsupervised – nobody had a clue about what he was doing and he didn’t wear a wire, didn’t have any video surveillance and nobody monitored his comings and goings.

So when he resurfaced 18 months later with all these cases he had [inaudible] over that period of time, it was always a swearing match that came to a jury trial between Mr. Coleman and the accused.

In a situation like that it was obviously very difficult to win a case because when you’ve got to choose between who you’re going to believe – a law officer who John Cornman had named the Texas lawman of the year and Sheriff Larry Stewart called him a man of great professionalism or a guy who is an accused drug dealer – who are you going to believe?!

It wasn’t a very difficult choice for the jury. And again and again they not only convicted these people but handed out draconian sentences of up to 90/99 years. One person when the sentences were all added together had over 300 years.

We were first made aware of how horrendous the situation was after John Moore was given 99 years and that really sent shockwaves through the black community.

DEAN BECKER: 40 Blacks from the town of Tulia were given sentences ranging from multiple hundreds of years and all of those convictions were eventually overturned. I like to think it was partly in response to the efforts of the Drug Truth Network and good friends like the Reverend Alan Bean and their organization, Friends of Justice.

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DEAN BECKER: I truly believe that over the past 10+ years the Drug Truth Network has been your friend and a friend of justice. Here’s hoping you’ll join us in the coming years as we end this madness of drug war. Prohibido istac evilesco!

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[music]

Are we just peasants in the field
Let’s stand for truth or forever kneel

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For the Drug Truth Network, this is Dean Becker asking you to examine our policy of Drug Prohibition.

The Century of Lies.

This show produced at Pacifica Studios at KPFT, Houston.

Transcript provided by: Jo-D Harrison of www.DrugSense.org