01/08/12 Ron Paul

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US Rep Ron Paul discusses the drug war + tribute to Gatewood Galbrath "Last Free Man in America"

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Transcript

Cultural Baggage / January 08, 2012

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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!”

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DEAN BECKER: Broadcasting from the gulag city of planet earth this is Cultural Baggage.

In lieu of the current political situation I wanted to rerun a program from August of 2003. This is way more than you’ll ever get on CNN or anywhere else about his policy on this drug war.

Other than the names of the President and Attorney Generals and such, it’s an evergreen story. It features Ron Paul.

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DEAN BECKER: Thank you, sir, for joining us. Welcome to Cultural Baggage.

RON PAUL: Delighted to be with you.

DEAN BECKER: Our show deals pretty much exclusively with the Drug War. We dabble in the War on Terror a little bit but it seems to be breaking strongly in congress though we didn’t win that debate a couple weeks back – the Raurbacher bill. 152 congressmen stood up for the rights of medical marijuana patients and I was proud of that moment.

RON PAUL: Yeah, that’s pretty good. It’s amazing we even got it to a vote which is something new for us.

DEAN BECKER: There’s so much that I think hinges on privacy and the Lawrence Act here in Houston seemed to bring that to a focal point, if you will. Even now Justice Kennedy is talking about …he says, “Our resources are misspent, our punishment are too severe and our sentences too long.” Your thoughts on that, sir.

RON PAUL: At the same time we have our Attorney General Ashcroft going out and trying to nitpick and get reports on judges who might not be throwing the book at somebody that’s smoked a joint so we have two things going on there.

I think the country is waking up. I think we’re going to win that argument but we have a long way to go when we have to deal with people like Ashcroft.

DEAN BECKER: You bet. One of my former guests, Judge James P. Gray, called Mr. Ashcroft the most dangerous man in America.

RON PAUL: Yeah, you know you mentioned both the drug war and the War on Terror and you’re more interested in the War on Drugs but in many ways they’re very similar and, of course, Ashcroft is involved in both. They provide the same type of danger and I wouldn’t be surprised if the motivation for both might not be the same and that is, yes, it’s convienent to have a War on Drugs because that way they can make an excuse for doing so many of these snooping type of things that they and terrorism just gives them another excuse.

I sort of believe that they would just like to know more about every American citizen to make sure about our finances in case the tax revenues drop off and they think somebody’s cheating a little bit. I think it’s probably motivated more by taxes than by a sincere effort to do anything about the drug problem or really be concerned about terrorist.

I think we’re making progress on it. I’ve always maintained for years that the nation will probably wake up and realize that prohibition of drug usage hasn’t been any more successful than prohibition of alcohol. I think we have to recognize that almost any substance…and alcohol, even though it’s legal to drink it, it’s a very dangerous substance just as many drugs are – legal and illegal.

The approach of having a drug war and criminalizing everything and throwing people in jail and creating prices that skyrocket is actually about the nuttiest thing we’ve done since prohibition.

DEAN BECKER: I understand that there is a new Drug Czar now - a Miss Karen Tandy. She’s just been nominated and I think she’s endorsed by the Senate.

RON PAUL: I knew Asa Hutchinson real well. He was in the congress with me and actually been on the same panel with me debating this issue. He is a sincere guy but he is sincerely wrong. He thinks he’s doing the Lord’s work by promoting his view. It’s a matter of education and eventually I think the judges and some of our good policemen and others will finally prevail and say, “Why are we doing this?! Why are we creating so many problems for ourselves?”

I think, I really do, that if we look on the positive side we are making some progress.

DEAN BECKER: Yes sir, I agree.

RON PAUL: Tell all the conservatives that none of the laws were passed until Roosevelt. Roosevelt was the one that started on marijuana. Most of our history nobody cared who did what when it came to marijuana.

1938, I believe it was, and even then they realized that they couldn’t ban it and figured all they could do was tax it. If they wanted to ban it they would have to amend the Constitution like they did for alcohol.

But we have so little respect for the principle of the rule of law, the Constitution and state’s rights. Now all we have to do is have congress pass a law or court’s rule a certain way and it becomes the law of the land whether proper or not.

DEAN BECKER: There’s a grand seizure going on around this nation where police departments try to find people who have luxury vehicles or property or money that they can seize if they find a little bit of drugs. Your thoughts on that forfeiture situation.

RON PAUL: Some of the forfeiture laws started in the early 80s – the really bad ones. I can remember one of my last votes that I cast before I left congress on my first tour which was in ‘84, there was a bill passed that introduced this whole notion of forfeiture and that the property would be guilty and if you had your land or your car or your airplane taken – it was your job to prove yourself innocent.

I, of course, voted against that but it’s been gradually getting worse ever since and with the Patriot Act it’s just a continuation of this. So whether you’re interested in the drug issue or other things we’re really dealing with the same issue – a violation of the civil liberties of all Americans and the ability of the government to come into our homes and our businesses without search warrants and without knocking on the door and leaving any messages at all. Of course if you object they’ll say, “Well you’re for terrorism.” Or if you object, “You mean you’re for these druggies and these drug dealers?!”

So that’s why our vote wasn’t stronger. I think we had a lot of support in the House. They were just scared to death to go home and have to explain to them…I mean I’m not for the wild use of drugs and I’m not favoring terrorism or anything else but I just think we ought to follow the Constitution when it comes to search and seizure and following the law.

I’m such a strict “state righters” that I think the government should butt out of all law enforcement. I would have solved the issue of segregation and that whole problem of conflict a lot differently. As a matter of fact the problem is not solved – there’s as much conflict with the races now as ever before - so I don’t think the feds have solved the problem.

I believe in the old fashion approach of boycott - some of the things that the people did in the Civil Rights movement including Martin Luther King. There was the use of boycott. They’d say, “Look, if you’re not going to treat us right we’re not going to buy your goods and services.”

So I would say that he’s exactly right and they believe in a strong, authoritarian government so when it comes to Affirmative Action or integration of schools or use of certain drugs – they are in one way consistent. They want the total control to be at the federal level and they want them to have the federal police force and they want the Attorney General to be able to override all state laws.

So if you’re willing to say that about marijuana and other things you have to be willing to say that these other problems should be left up to the states as well.

DEAN BECKER: Here over the past couple weeks we’ve had a couple of two hour mid-day shows where we discussed the racial implications of this drug war. A couple of my guests have gone so far as to say that it is a perpetuation of white supremecy. That it is very much akin to slavery. I was wondering what your response to that is.

RON PAUL: I don’t know that I would use the same words but it’s obviously biased against the minorities. They get much tougher penalties and even the way the laws are written. If you are a white individual and you use cocaine in the suburbs the odds of you going to prison are slim to none. If you’re black and poor and in the inner city you are going to get the book thrown at you.

For that reason I think all minorities need to wake up to this and realize that the libertarian-constitutional approach to this is a much better way to handle it. I think to some degree that’s happening but they are many in that camp who would argue that these laws are there to protect themselves.

DEAN BECKER: There’s a situation that I’m aware of. I think it’s in North Carolina where the state legislators are drafting bills that would make the manufacturer of drugs a narco-terrorism crime. It ties in with what you were saying that Ashcroft wants to watch over every aspect of our lives. I was wondering what you think of that. I mean they’re actually doing it. If you manufacture methamphetamine you can be called a terrorist.

RON PAUL: Yeah and that’s just totally absurd. First it was tobacco and everyone knows that tobacco is bad. You smoke it and you get sick. You’re supposed to sue the tobacco manufacturer.

Now they’re going after the gun manufacturers. Years ago I said, “Yeah, this is so stupid that probably someday they’re going to go after McDonalds.” And, lo and behold, there are people who think they should go after McDonalds.

The time you go after somebody is when they are fraudulent or they give you a defective product. If they give you something that you know what it is, you know that guns can hurt people and they dangerous and you have to watch them…if a person uses it illegally or in the wrong manner that company can’t be liable.

Now if something malfunctions or they’re claiming something about a product – whether it’s a drug or whether…”Oh, this is perfectly safe. You can drink 5 gallons of alcohol and this alcohol won’t make you drunk.” Well, that’s lying. They should be responsible for that otherwise the individual is responsible for his own act and that’s what we’ve gotten away from.

The individual no longer is responsible and they’re dependent on the government. They’re not responsible for what they do and if they don’t do much to take care of themselves they expect the government to take care of them.

DEAN BECKER: Some of the ramifications of getting caught with even a minor amount of drugs, I mean, it mounts up so quickly. You can no longer get credit. You cannot get housing. You can’t get government loans to improve your education and the list goes on. It seems like if we wanted to help these people why do we punish them so serverely, so permanently?!

RON PAUL: It is permanent. They never come out of those prisons as better people. They come out as worse people.

Then this whole idea of medical marijuana – denying it to somebody that may get some relief from the nausea of chemotherapy and the physicians aren’t giving them any help and saying that you’re not going to give them freedom of choice – this is just preposterous. And, yet, that’s what we have accepted here in this country. It has not been our tradition…

Most Americans are not aware of that. Most Americans think that these drugs must have been illegal throughout our whole history but this is a recent phenomenon. The insanity of the Drug War is just 30-years-old.

DEAN BECKER: Yes, sir, it is indeed. Speaking of a bit of insanity, there is a gentleman up in Oregon…his name is Dave Meyers and he was wounded in Viet Nam and he came back with Hepatitis C and, of course, that’s a disease that takes 20 to 30 years before the full impact of the disease makes itself known.

He needs a liver and as it turns out his physician was giving him Marinol, the synthetic marijuana, and yet the specialist who would do the transplant has decided that he’s a pot smoker and therefore he’s going to deny him a liver - in effect, handing him a death sentence.

RON PAUL: That’s the stupidity of it all. Of course I don’t believe that government should be involved in distributing body parts either and the federal law controls all that now.

In the old days we used to have, you know, donating blood was something you could do. You could get some money for it and we never had shortages of blood. Now it’s all messed up by state…We have federal monopoly control over all organ transplants and that’s why there’s a shortage of them. You hear stories like you just said.

DEAN BECKER: I know you follow at least some of the stories in regards to the medical clubs and the attacks on them and so forth. The one out in Santa Cruz, the WAMM organization headed by Valerie and Mike Corral. They are the most bonified, the most legitimate of all the clubs. No interstate commerce whatsoever and yet last year, with 220 members the DEA came in, stole their plants just before harvest. Since that point and time I think 15 of their members have died.

I just wonder if there is a chance that we can take another look similar to the Rohrbacher bill anytime soon. Is there any way that this…

RON PAUL: It’s not going to happen real soon. Barney Frank and I had a bill that wasn’t exactly what came up on the floor with Rohrabacher but it was very similar. I don’t think they’re likely to bring that up again. They probably didn’t need a leadership along with the Bush administration who were probably just annoyed with the whole thing.

My guess is that it’s not going to come up soon unless we find a vehicle to put an amendment on some type of appropriation bill under an open rule. That’s how this last one came up. They didn’t allow the bill to come up. That happened to be just an amendment to an appropriation bill. But there may be another opportunity to bring it up as an amendment.

DEAN BECKER: I certainly hope so, sir. If you’ve met, and I would imagine that you have, some of these medical patients it’s a quite legitimate need and it’s a legitimate medicine for so many of them. They deserve respect.

I’ll tell you what, sir, I’m going to take just a 30 second break and we’ll be right back. Anybody out there who disagrees with what we are saying – it is you I want to hear from today. Please give us a call: 713.526.5738. We’ll be back in 30 seconds.

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ETHAN NADELMANN: Basically the idea is to change political consciousness in this country so that our children, hopefully our children and certainly our grandchildren, will look back on the drug war of the last few decades and of today with the same sort of distaste and contempt and even horror that we look back today on the Jim Crow laws and the slavery in our own nation’s history.

DEAN BECKER: Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of Drug Policy Alliance, drugpolicy.org.

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DEAN BECKER: I want to bring up the U.S. prison population, congressman. A study came out of the New York Times on July 27th saying we just went up 2.6% more to a total of 2,166,266 Americans in jails, state and federal prisons. Isn’t that an enormous waste of money, sir?

RON PAUL: It sure is especially if you could make it so that at least half of them or more wouldn’t even need to be there. We have to have some prisons and you can’t ever get rid of them all but there would be a tremendous decrease if you just gave up on the War on Drugs.

DEAN BECKER: Yes, sir, indeed. We drive so many people to desperation from being arrested one time to being a “three-time loser” and being put away for life in some cases.

RON PAUL: Mandatory-minimum sentence laws are just horrendous.

DEAN BECKER: Another one from the New York Times…an estimated 12% of African-American men age 20-34 are in jail or prison - ne out of eight black men of that age.

RON PAUL: Like we just mentioned a little while ago, the black leadership in the congress – you’d think they would see the direct connection – but not necessarily. They claim it’s just prejudice. We so often can see that it’s the poor that are being sucked into this system because of the drug laws. It’s such a temptation for them to be taken in if they’re poor and live in the inner-city.

It would be a tremendous improvement if we could get the feds out of the business and reform the drug laws at the state level.

DEAN BECKER: We do have a gentleman on the line. I’m not so sure he disagrees with us. Let’s see what he has to say. Tom from Perryland says he wants clarification on other drug laws. Tom, are you there?

TOM: Thanks. Dean, I enjoy your program. I’ve listened to your program several times and I’m really not sure where you stand on drugs generally. I know where you stand on marijuana, particularly medical marijuana. I’m all in agreement with the legalization of marijuana for those purposes - even for recreational purpose.

You talk about drugs in a very general way and I don’t know whether you’re for legalization of cocaine, heroin…could you clarify that?

DEAN BECKER: OK, Tom, thank you very much. Go ahead, congressman.

RON PAUL: I, myself, would get the feds out of it and totally and completely have no laws against it. I don’t think any of the laws do any good even with the hard drugs.

I was reading something the other day that was real interesting. When Bob Hope died they went back to find out what the country was like in 1903 and they went and found an advertisement in a drugstore for opium, advertising how it could be used. It was just sold over-the-counter. It was no big deal.

Incidentally, they mentioned that there were 250 murders that year in the country so the country was very, very peaceful, law-abiding compared to what we have today. You could walk in and buy all the opium that you wanted over-the-counter.

So I would say forget about the federal government. Treat it more like alcohol and, yeah, there could be plenty of warnings because I think drugs are dangerous. I don’t like them at all but I also respect the people who need them such as in the medical sense and others who want to abuse it. I want to help educate as a physician, and as a parent and as a grandparent but I would have very few laws.

If the state decided to have it, I think the state should have the prerogative of doing it.

DEAN BECKER: Yes, sir, I would tend to agree with that. Just to respond to the caller right quickly, I say the day that we legitimize the use for adults is the day we destroy the drug cartels stash, the day we end most of the reasons for the street gangs and we eliminate the job for the street corner vendor who wants to sell to our kids.

RON PAUL: Overnight it would be gone. Just like when prohibition hit, when the amendment was passed, they said within an hour (because everyone knew it was coming) the bootlegging began. It was arriving through Canada and all over within an hour.

Of course as soon as the laws were repealed there would be such a dramatic change because the drug czars would be gone in a minute.

DEAN BECKER: They would be working at Jack in the Box.

We just got a couple minutes left and I kind of wanted to just give you the option, if you want, is there something that you’d like to say to us fellow Texans here about the war of terror or the lack of weapons of mass destruction…where are we headed with this crazy war on terror?

RON PAUL: Unfortunately I don’t think it looks too good. Outside of Washington I’m a little bit more optimistic than when I’m in Washington. Last week we had a vote on repealing portions of the Patriot Act and they passed overwhelmingly.

It was not so much the congressmen that voted for all this stuff got wise but that they were getting a message from back home, a lot of cities and states have passed resolutions - even with the fear and conservatism about terrorism – they’re saying, “You guys have gone too far.”

In essence, I’m optimistic that the American people are not sound asleep. I give a lot of credit to radio shows like this as well as the internet that can give our information out. I spend no time or effort trying to influence the four major networks. I just try to get the information out through what I do in the congress and through my website.

Fortunately, we’re still allowed to do that. I think we have to keep plugging along and one of these days we’re going to have some big victories.

DEAN BECKER: Yes, sir, I agree. It’s knowing that there’s people that represent our interest, like you, in congress that keep me living in the states because otherwise I might be in Vancouver.

RON PAUL: All I do, too, is to urge all those listeners to make sure they let their congressmen know because they are political animals and they will respond politically when they know that the people want something.

The fact that we did have that vote on marijuana and we did pretty well…the next go around we’ll have more if the congressmen aren’t afraid of any retaliation by their constituents.

DEAN BECKER: Congressman Paul, I want to thank you so much for being with us. We’re just about out of time and I hope you’ll come back and see again real soon.

RON PAUL: Good to be with you.

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(Game show music)

DEAN BECKER: It’s time to play: Name That Drug by Its Side Effects.

Nausea, heartburn, development of bleeding ulcers, vomiting, swelling of the brain, extensive liver damage, difficulty with mental functioning, nucreas syndrome and death...

{{{ gong }}}

Time’s up!

The answer: Aspirin. Another FDA approved product.

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DEAN BECKER: Gatewood Galbrath, a Kentucky lawyer, a perennial candidate and author has passed away. This is from the June 2006 Century of Lies program.

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DEAN BECKER: We’re proud to welcome here to the Drug Truth Network for the first time an author of the book, “The Last Free Man in America Meets the Synthetic Subversion”, Mr. Gatewood Galbrath. Hello, sir.

GATEWOOD GALBRATH: Hello Dean. Hello everybody. I’m real honored to be on your show, Dean. I’ve heard a bit about it and I’m proud that you asked me to be on today.

DEAN BECKER: Sir, I find great sympatico in your writings and in our brief discussion up there in New York. We see things a lot alike. There’s a great subversion, if you will, of our rights going on at this time. Tell us, if you will, about your thoughts. Where are we headed?

GATEWOOD GALBRATH: I am here in Lexington, Kentucky. My family owned a small farm and we lived in a small town and until we were forced out of the small town agrarian and into the larger city by the death of the agrarian society – the agriculture, small-town-based economy.

I often wondered why that occurred and in my investigation of it I found that it was a planned, forced migration that occurred when the right to produce fiber, fuel, medicine and food from the natural cycle became outlawed in behalf of the synthetic producers of fiber, fuel, medicine and food.

I found that hand-in-hand that the illegalization of cannabis as a crop, as both an industrial textile and medicinal crop, was the link-pin event that has allowed the synthetic manufacturers (those people who might be called the petro-chemical-pharmaceutical-military-industrial-transnational-corporate-facist-elite folks) who have viewed the production of the commodities of life from the natural cycle (fiber, fuel, medicine and food) they view the farmer producing those items in the natural cycle as competitors.

They have engineered the changing of the law and the mindset of America to where the natural cycle and the people who produce in the natural cycle are suspect anymore and many of them have been criminalized especially in the production of cannabis so that these synthetic manufacturers have achieved a monopoly position by way of criminalizing the competition.

I learned all of that at the same time that I learned that marijuana is the number one medicine on earth as it cured my asthma. So, taking that all together, I had to write a book about it.

I’ve run for political office on several occasions. I’ve run for governor in the state of Kentucky three times, congress twice, attorney general once. As a matter of fact, I am the most successful independent political candidate in America in the last 60 years or so as both a third-party and as a independent.

My message that I’ve been putting out to the people politically is that the whole concept of America and individual freedom and the system of government being set up to benefit the people is under attack right now from folks who view the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as impediment to the implementation of a New World Order and a global economy.

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DEAN BECKER: Louis Gatewood Galbrath was 64-years-old, author of “Last Free Man in America”, a one-time heavy tobacco smoker died of complications of emphysema on January 4th, 2012.

Alright, friends, get out there and do something. Help end the madness of drug war. As always, I remind you that because of prohibition you don’t know what’s in that bag. Please, be careful.

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DEAN BECKER: 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.
Transcript provided by: Jo-D Harrison of www.DrugSense.org
Tap dancing… on the edge… of an abyss.