04/22/12 Gary Johnson

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Gary Johnson, former Gov of New Mexico seeks Libertarian candidacy for US President + US Atty seeks end of weed war, Doug McVay of CSDP re Afghan (drug) war

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Transcript

Transcript

Century of Lies / April 22, 2012

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DEAN BECKER: The failure of Drug War is glaringly obvious to judges, cops, wardens, prosecutors and millions more. Now calling for decriminalization, legalization, the end of prohibition. Let us investigate the Century of Lies.

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DEAN BECKER: Welcome to this edition of Century of Lies. If things go well here in just a moment we’ll have the former governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson, with us…OK, hold on just a second…

DEAN BECKER: Governor Johnson can you hear me, sir?

GARY JOHNSON: I can, Dean. Thanks for having me on.

DEAN BECKER: I got kind of surprised by my engineer here. You are seeking the Libertarian candidacy for U.S. President, correct?

GARY JOHNSON: That’s correct. That vote or that nomination is two weeks away.

DEAN BECKER: Two weeks away. That’s going to be in Las Vegas? Where’s it going to be?

GARY JOHNSON: Las Vegas and the vote will be May 5th, on Saturday.

DEAN BECKER: Yes sir, now that’s the Republican hierarchy…I don’t know who decided but they didn’t put you on the polls for those seeking the Republican nomination therefor you didn’t do very well…I’m sorry but you didn’t and therefor you weren’t invited to these debates, correct?

GARY JOHNSON: It was actually CNN that did it and what CNN said was that I had to be at 2% in A poll, B poll and C poll. I wasn’t in A poll, B poll, C poll so how do you get into the debates if you are not in the polls?

Then 8 months ago CNN did their bi-weekly poll and I was tied with Cain, ahead of Santorum and ahead of Huntsman and they dropped my name after that poll and every poll since with no explanation as to why.

So the bottom line is it’s manipulating the process in a way that just goes completely unnoticed.

DEAN BECKER: Unnoticed is correct. The very little reporting on Huffington Post or whatever about that situation. It is rather just hard to figure out.

Now, Governor Johnson, we began talking or sharing information with one another I think it was about 12 years ago when I was the liaison for the New York Times Drug Policy forum and you were still Governor of New Mexico, correct?

GARY JOHNSON: That’s correct.

DEAN BECKER: And you haven’t changed your stance in this regard, at least not much over the years. And it was you, if I recall right, you vetoed dang near every bill that your legislature put before you because you didn’t see the fiscal balance there, correct?

GARY JOHNSON: I vetoed 750 bills which may have been more bills than the other 49 governors in the country combined. It saved billions of dollars, I think, when it came to the government telling me what I could or could not do in the bedroom.

It enhanced the drug penalties. That came to an end, certainly, I wish so many of the drug laws would have been repealed. I would have loved to have signed those.

DEAN BECKER: Yes sir and it has been your stance taken, if you will, I mean, under your leadership the process in New Mexico was begun whereby the Good Samaritan Laws came into effect. Do you want to tell the listeners what that was about?

GARY JOHNSON: I don’t know what you would be referring to by Good Samaritan…

DEAN BECKER: The harm reduction scenario whereby…

GARY JOHNSON: Oh, yes. The notion that what we really care about when it comes to drugs is reducing deaths, disease, crime and corruption. There were a couple of pieces of legislation that passed that exemplified that.

One was indemnifying law enforcement from administrating the anti-heroin drug, Narcane, it just indemnified them. The notion was that police would be looked upon as helpful and to be sought out and for those that seek the help they wouldn’t have reciprocity against them. So, anyway, it worked out.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah, and that saved lives over the years - saved many kids.

GARY JOHNSON: Another one was needle exchange. I mean the notion that there would be less Hepatitis C, less HIV, actually cost the state less and, by our reckoning, that’s the way it turned out.

DEAN BECKER: And this is a failure, if you will, in my opinion, of the other governors, and the federal government, to not take advantage of these possibilities to save lives, to save health, to save our kids, right?

GARY JOHNSON: I totally agree. In my terms of governor I’d like to … I tell people all the time that good government is easy. It isn’t hard. It’s just looking at issues first and politics last.

DEAN BECKER: You know, Governor, I like to think of myself as an Independent these days because Obama has certainly let me down. I feel that the Republicans have said that we’re going to cut spending. We’re going to drown the baby in the bathtub – if I remember that right, the welfare state, if you will. And yet they are unwilling to tax their main donors, the billionaires, the 1 percenters. What’s your stance in that regards?

GARY JOHNSON: I think the Libertarians embrace the best of both parties. I think that historically Democrats have been really good when it comes to civil liberties. I don’t think they do so good at civil liberties today.

Republicans – they’ve always been known for doing a better job when it comes to dollars and cents. Well, I don’t think they do such a good job at that today.

So, I’d like to think that the Libertarian position here is the best of both worlds. It’s the notion of being fiscally conservative and socially tolerant.

DEAN BECKER: Friends we’re speaking with former Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson. We hear the comedians. They talk about Mitt Romney and certainly Newt Gingrich and others as being sort of couch potatoes but, folks, Governor Johnson, he runs marathons. He climbed Mount Everest, for gosh sake. He does Ironman triathlons and so forth. He set himself a goal to climb the highest peak on every continent. This is a man kind of reminiscent of Teddy Roosevelt in his fire and ambition if you ask me.

Run any marathons lately, Governor?

GARY JOHNSON: I have run a whole bunch of marathons but today my sports are hiking and skiing and mountain biking and road biking. It’s kind of a oxymoron to say that I am a competitive athlete but I am. I’m 59-years-old so hence the oxymoron.

DEAN BECKER: Well I’m just ahead of you. I’m turning 63 here soon and, yeah, it slows you down a little bit but, by gosh, we keep going while you keep going, too.

GARY JOHNSON: That’s right. That’s right.

DEAN BECKER: Just over a week ago Obama said no to the Latin American leaders who are wanting to talk about – just talk about – ending the drug war. His answer was a flat no. He’s afraid that some cartel will take over countries once it’s legalized. Your response, sir?

GARY JOHNSON: That’s just ludicrous - absolutely ludicrous. You know one thing I’m asked about all the time is immigration. I think, number one, we should not build a fence across the border. That would be an incredible waste of money. And then make it as easy as possible for somebody who wants to come into this country to work to get a work visa. Not a green card. Not citizenship. Just a work visa that would entail a background check and that’s what we really care about.

I think that legalizing marijuana would reduce border violence by 75%. It’s cause of violence is prohibition. The disputes that are being played out by guns rather than the courts. Let’s get these disputes in the courts and out of the streets. You know, dead people laying in the streets.

DEAN BECKER: Governor Johnson, the fact of the matter is there are columnists, OPED writers, LTEs, editorials that are kind of ganging up on the drug war. I want to read briefly from today’s Dallas Morning News:

“The recent Summit of the Americas, if remembered at all, will go down as the place where Secret Service agents and U.S. soldiers overindulged in legal alcohol and legal prostitution.”

“One was the perceptible shift among Latin American leaders to persuade President Barack Obama to rethink, at the very least, his nation’s increasingly failed war on drugs.”

It goes on to talk about the horrors we inflict upon ourselves via this policy and it ends with this line:

“At some point — we hope before every last dollar is spent — America must heed such calls.”

We must heed these calls, don’t we sir?

GARY JOHNSON: I’m running for the Libertarian nomination for President of the United States – one of three people on the ballot in all 50 states and I intend to talk about legalizing marijuana as a good thing that this country should do.

DEAN BECKER: Yes, sir, I understand that.

This coming weekend I’m attending the Patients Out of Time conference in Tucson. It’s a gathering of doctors, scientists and researchers and professionals to discuss the countless findings that cannabis is a powerful medicine for wasting syndrome, AIDS patients, MS patients, cancer patients …

The U.S. government is still trying to symye this information. It denies and counters the information being presented. What do you see as driving the U.S. drug war’s embrace of the ignorance in regards to the positive aspects to marijuana?

GARY JOHNSON: You know, Dean, I’m feeling really positive right now. I think we’re right at a tipping point when it comes to drug policy. I think we’re going to legalize marijuana.

In the middle of October a Gallop Poll showed 50% of Americans support legalizing marijuana. The reason for that is everybody is talking about it. The more people talk about this the better the issue does.

I think that Colorado’s initiative which is the initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol – I think that has a really good chance of passing in Colorado. It’s a referendum so it’s a question on the ballot this November. I think it has a really good chance of passing and I think Colorado could be first domino of 50 to fall when it comes to drug policy.

I’m just focused on the opposite. Just how much has happened just in the last few years.

DEAN BECKER: There was a situation where the U.S. Attorney who helped to prosecute Marc Emery, the Canada marijuana seed seller, and is now, by the way, in the federal pen finishing his 5 years…

GARY JOHNSON: I would hope to have the opportunity as President of the United States to release him from prison. Something I have issued a statement on.

DEAN BECKER: And just last week, I think it was, the U.S. government released their drug assessment, their plan, if you will, for the coming year. They’ve been talking about there is no drug war. It’s time for treatment. These people are sick. They need to be treated in a different fashion. But, the fact of the matter is there’s just a very minute difference for going after supply and demand and for treatment.

GARY JOHNSON: And the treatment model that we have in this country is flawed fundamentally because…by the way, in a hundred out of a hundred cases I would like to have treatment as an option as opposed to incarceration. But does it work? Does treatment work when it’s a forced treatment model? Absolutely not. Zero. Zilch.

People are conforming to the treatment so they don’t have to go to jail. A forced treatment model is just absolutely wrong.

DEAN BECKER: Yes, sir. In that I’ve got a former government on air here I feel I should address a couple of things especially a gentleman running for President of the United States. A couple of other issues.

They say we’re out of Iraq but I understand we still have about 100,000 contractors there. They say we’re getting out of Afghanistan in another couple of years. What is your…

GARY JOHNSON: First of all it’s my understanding that Iraq really is drawn down and that it is drawing down even further. I’ve heard estimates more like in the 30,000 range drawing down quickly from 30,000. That it really is happening.

DEAN BECKER: Good.

GARY JOHNSON: Afghanistan, on the other hand, there is no end in sight for Afghanistan. I would advocate getting out of Afghanistan immediately. I advocated….looking back we should have gotten out of Afghanistan 11 years ago.

DEAN BECKER: Yes, sir. I’m with you. We should have gone in there for a “Give ‘em hell” week and then gotten the hell out.

GARY JOHNSON: Give ‘em hell. We did. We wiped out al Qaeda after a couple months but let’s just round it off to 6 and that’s when we should have gotten out.

DEAN BECKER: Yes sir. Now In so far as there’s been so much discussion about how we’re educating our children and which process, which direction we should go. What’s your thought on how we should take our educational system forward?

GARY JOHNSON: As Governor of New Mexico I was more outspoken regarding school choice than any other governor. I just think the way to fix education is to bring competition into public education. For six straight years I would have proposed a full-blown voucher that would have brought about that competition in New Mexico.

But, running for President of the United States…what’s the best thing the President of the United States can do when it comes to education? Abolish, and that would be to propose to abolish the federal Department of Education because it gives every state about 11 cents out of every dollar it spends and it comes with 16 cents worth of strings attached.

So the bottom line is it costs money to take federal money. Why do it at all in the first place? It was established in 1979. Just give education to the state. 50 laboratories of innovation and best practice and that’s what you’ll have.

You’ll have best practice that gets emulated. You’ll have failure that gets avoided. But a much better model than Washington top-down knows the…

DEAN BECKER: Yes sir. In the last few years Obama inherited a fiscal fiasco – jobs lost, mortgages forfeited and on down the line – what do you see on the horizon as far as employment, putting people back to work, getting America busy again?

GARY JOHNSON: I’m making three promises as President of the United States. One is that I promise to submit a balanced budget to congress in the year 2013. Now that’s not promising to balance the budget that’s promising to submit a budget that reduces government spending by 14 trillion dollars.

Then I promise to veto any legislation where expenses exceed revenue. Dean, they’re going to have to override my veto. They will, but, I suggest to you that spending will be lower with those two promises kept than any other possible scenario you could come up with.

Then I’m promising to advocate on the part of throwing out the entire federal tax system. No more income tax. No more corporate tax. No more tax withholding and convert to a fair tax, a consumption tax. 23% ends up being cost neutral over a short amount of time. It’s the answer when it comes to our trade imbalance with China. It makes our goods and services 23% more for export.

It’s really the answer when it comes to jobs because in a zero corporate tax rate environment if the private sector doesn’t create tens of millions of jobs – it’s never going to happen.

DEAN BECKER: This brings to mind that … I don’t know how to say it. There’s a lot of finger pointing. There’s a lot of people saying, “It’s not my responsibility. It was his…No, it was hers…No it was somebody elses.” That…I don’t know how else to say this.

You know, Wachovia bank laundered some hundreds of billions of dollars for the cartel and got fined 143 million. Nobody got arrested. Nobody went to jail. Nobody got convicted. Nothing. They paid the fine. That was it.

I guess what I’m trying to say here, sir, is there is this great disparity between those with and those without and how the law is applied to them. How can we balance that out?

GARY JOHNSON: I think implementing the fair tax does just that. I’m going to argue that implementing the fair tax will issue pink slips for half of Washington lobbyist because they’re there to grant special favors. No, the system is not for sale. Both sides pay for it.

So you do away with the system - in this case all federal tax. Replace it with a consumption tax. You know what?! All of that goes out the window. No more deductions. No more IRS.

DEAN BECKER: That would be nice. We’ve all suffered through that just a week ago.

Once again, folks, we’re speaking with Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico. He’s running for Libertarian candidate for President.

Governor Johnson, I got to come back to…you and I are both from states that border on Mexico and they have just reached a “milestone” – 50,000 dead in the last 5 or 6 years. The cartel, the gangs, the murderers are running amok down there – chopping off heads and leaving signs with stacked up body parts. It is…

GARY JOHNSON: Wait a minute. Do you really know of chopped off heads and stacked up body parts? I don’t think there’s anything like that but there have been 50,000 deaths.

And I guess there have been that kind of atrocities haven’t there? Not on this side of the border, right?!

DEAN BECKER: No, I’m meaning the other side of the border. That Chapo Guzman leaves a big sign and stacked up limbs. I’ve seen it in pictures.

GARY JOHNSON: Yes, I apologize. I was thinking of Jan Brewers’ comments similar to those. To my knowledge nothing like that has been in our borders.

DEAN BECKER: No, sir. We do have our horrors but not to that degree. My question, sir, is that you and I are both on states that border that and I guess what I was leading to is it is at least, in part, the fault, if you will, of drug users in the United States.

But, again, even if every American were to stop using drugs that horror would still continue. Would it not?

GARY JOHNSON: Who is to say? But it’s not going to stop tomorrow. It’s not going to stop tomorrow. It’s not going to change. I maintain that 90% of the drug problem is prohibition-related not user-related. That is not to discount the problems of use and abuse but that ought to be the focus. For the most part people smoke marijuana responsibly.

DEAN BECKER: Governor Johnson, I want to thank you for being with us. Before we go, please, share your website with the listeners where they can learn more about your efforts.

GARY JOHNSON: Yeah, Dean, thank you. http://GaryJohnson2012.com I appreciate you talking with me. Thanks.

DEAN BECKER: Yes, sir. If are ever in the Houston area let me know in advance, if you would. I’d like to have more folks gather to hear what you have to say.

Once again, folks, Mr. Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico. Sir, I salute you for your endeavors.

GARY JOHNSON: Thank you and we’ll talk to you later. Bye.

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DEAN BECKER: This is former U.S. Attorney John McKay who prosecuted and convicted Marc Emery, Canada’s “Prince of Pot” for selling marijuana seeds to U.S. citizens. And for which Marc Emery is now serving a 5-year sentence in a U.S. federal prison.

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JOHN McKAY: The fact is that prohibition, criminal prohibition going back 75 years has never been successful in stopping the demand for marijuana so individuals have made their choices. Individual consumer, if you will, has determined that they will smoke and use marijuana.

I have to say that I have no regrets in terms of my prosecution of Marc Emery. Mr. Emery chose to change his policies here by breaking them rather than advocating for change. I think that was a tremendous mistake.

His decision and choice was to sell marijuana seeds which we consider to be marijuana in the United States to any individual who wanted to purchase them. So we’re in disagreement on what was the correct thing to do if that was Mr. Emery’s purpose to change policy. I think he chose the wrong path.

We do share, I think, a belief that the underlying policies are wrong and the choices in how we address them, our individual choices. Mine is to now that I’m free to advocate for changes in policy. I’m no longer responsible for implementing them. I am free now to speak out.

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DEAN BECKER: This is Marc Emery’s wife, Jodie.

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JODIE EMERY: My husband, although he did violate the law by selling seeds, nobody was harmed in that exchange and the money was sent to activists and organizations throughout the United States to try and push towards this change.

Even civil disobedience, when it’s done peacefully and nonviolently, is an important step in changing any unjust laws. We know from many different historical examples that civil disobedience has been essential in repealing unjust laws.

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DEAN BECKER: As a point of disclosure and openness, this reporter, Dean Becker and the Drug Truth Network, have, indeed, received thousands of dollars from Marc Emery derived from the sales of marijuana seeds back in 2004 and 2005. This was done in order to educate and embolden to end the madness of drug war.

This audio courtesy … the Canadian Press.

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DOUG McVAY: The Continuing Tragedy of Afghanistan

The United Nations Office on Drug Control issued its 2012 Afghan Opium Risk Assessment Survey on April 17t h. Among its surprising, insightful conclusions the UN ODC found:

“There was a strong statistically significant association between lack of agricultural assistance and poppy cultivation. Villages which had not received agricultural assistance were more likely to grow poppy than villages which had received assistance.”

And,

“The statistical association between poor security and poppy cultivation was even stronger than in the case of agricultural assistance. Almost all villages with very poor security and most villages with poor security were cultivating poppy. In other words, villages in insecure areas had a high probability of cultivating poppy and villages in areas with good security were less likely to have poppy cultivation.”

Brilliant. Aside from these blinding flashes of the obvious, this poorly written and badly edited report from the UNODC predicts that most opium producing provinces will either show increases in opium production or, at best, no change. With production predicted to decrease in only one province.

The following figures help explain why opium production is so entrenched. In 2012 Afghan farmers reportedly could make 254 U.S. dollars per kilogram of dry opium and 183 U.S. dollars per kilo of fresh opium. Both slightly less than the previous year.

Farmers in 2012 could also make 45 cents per kilo of wheat, $1.17 per kilo of rice and 34 cents per kilo of corn. What to do?!

Everyone agrees that it is vital to increase security for the Afghan people in rural areas as well as cities and to improve their quality of life. Some has suggested buying up the raw opium from Afghan farmers in order to produce legal medical pain killers for which there is a huge and growing worldwide demand. Yet this obvious approach is still considered too controversial to be accepted by drug control authorities.

And so it continues.

For the Drug Truth Network this is Doug McVay with Common Sense for Drug Policy.

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

This years ONDCP drug assessment has been released and it appears to be the same wine in a different bottle. The report shows that:

From January through November 2009, U.S. seizures of illegal drugs in transit exceeded 1,626 metric tons (3.3 million lbs) , indicating that DTOs succeed in moving several thousand tons of cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, heroin, and MDMA into the United States annually. It is estimated by the DEA that approximately ten million lbs. of cannabis is grown domestically in the U.S. Considering that there is approximately fifty million pounds of cannabis grown annually this is not even a drop in the bucket. And, we spend billions of dollars doing this.

In the report on cocaine smuggling in 2010 it is estimated that there was 848 MT (1.8 million lbs.) of cocaine produced. To be fair this is down about 5%. This small drop is probably the result of the reduction in Colombia and the relocating of labs in Peru and Bolivia and we should see it back up the 5% this year.

In the 2010 report it is claimed that 23.6 MT were seized of the estimated 848MT. and about half of the cocaine produced is for the U.S market. And for these results we waste about 79 billion tax payer dollars arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating our citizens. There are currently about 7 million people in jail or under supervision in this country. So these 7 million people cannot vote in this years election.

Is there anyone out there that thinks this coming presidential election will be won by more than 7 million votes.

So four decades into this miserablebly failed public policy and the current administration says it is going to continue the policy and that we are making progress against illicit drug use. The only success has been putting money into the pockets of big pharma, prison guards, police, politicians and drug testing companies. The horror of it all is that this policy has ruined the lives of so many people by adding drug arrests to the problems they have of living every day lives.

LEAP wants to help end this madness and change the policy to one of treatment and education and move away from arrest and incarceration which clearly does not work. We need to put the billions of dollars wasted on this policy into a policy that will work in helping people that have drug abuse problems.

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

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DEAN BECKER: Just enough time to remind you there is no validity to this drug war. Please http://endprohibition.org. Prohibido istac evilesco!

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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.

Drug Truth programs archived at the James A. Baker, III Institute for Policy Studies.

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