06/03/12 Michael Krawitz

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Michael Krawitz re medical marijuana for veterans with PTSD + Beto O'Rourke of El Paso, Nurse Ken Wolski re release of MMJ prisoner & Morgan Fox of Marijuana Policy Project

Share on Facebook Share on stumbleupon digg it Share on reddit Share on del.icio.us

Transcript

Transcript

Century of Lies / June 3, 2012

-----------------------

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.

-----------------------

DEAN BECKER: Hello, my friends. Welcome to this edition of Century of Lies. Hopefully, maybe here in a little bit we’ll bring in our guest, Mr. Russ Beldel. He is formerly of NORML. He has an online presence for both video and audio. He has a 24-hour online station, if you will, dealing with mostly marijuana but they also carry the Drug Truth Network shows as well. Hopefully he’ll call us. We can’t reach him.

We’ve got a lot of stuff here. What the heck if we can’t find him maybe near the end of the show we’ll talk to some of you listeners. But, first, let’s hear this from Mr. Michael Krawitz.

-----------------------

MICHAEL KRAWITZ: Michael Krawitz here. I’m with Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access. We’re a national, not for profit entity that is working towards eventually recognition as a veterans service organization. Working towards making sure that veterans have access to medicines that they need most especially, as our namesake implies, access to medical cannabis.

DEAN BECKER: Now, Michael, you’ve had several rounds with the Veteran’s administration and, I guess, incidentally, with President Obama trying to bring that idea to fruition. How is that going?

MICHAEL KRAWITZ: We’re approaching the Presidential administration on several fronts and it’s difficult on any one of those fronts to see any progress at all. It’s easy to be pessimistic. However one front that I think is most relevant at the moment is that we just received a response from the Drug Czar, unfortunately, responding to our petition that we had on the Whitehouse requesting that the Whitehouse look into the new signs about the cannabinoid receptors (sites in the body) and revisit this so that we can look towards getting cannabis in the hands of vets. It can save lives.

The doctor that we worked with, Dr. Julie Holland, who’s the editor of “The Pot Book” says that it is 25-to-1 the number of people that are dying from suicide after the battle versus the number that are dying in battle. That’s just not acceptable. Not if we can actually throw cannabis at the issue and actually have some of that statistically knocked down.

DEAN BECKER: Michael, I want to talk about that for a minute. You’re are saying that more than 20 of our military people are dying of suicide here in the United States – more than 20 times as many as had died in battle. Is that right?

MICHAEL KRAWITZ: I’m saying that yes that’s what Dr. Holland said. You know the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome - we call it now Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It was previously called Shell Shock, Battlefield Fatigue.

We now know a lot more about it as a result of our cannabinoid science and as a result of other science in other directions actually - looking into athletes and head injuries to athletes that they suffer during games and whatnot. Looking at the brain changes from that and also looking at brain changes of Alzheimer patients.

Some of the science seems to be getting ready to join together. You haven’t seen much in the press joining it together but I’ll join it together. What it has in common is all these things show that after a severe trauma to the brain you develop kind of a plaque on the brain – they call it – an increase in these so-called tal-salts in the brain. All these things are indicators of some change in the brain.

I think one of the biggest problems with Post-Traumatic Stress is it’s often been seen as a disorder, a psychiatric problem – as if you’re weak or something. Now we’re beginning to see that there’s very good reason to believe that there is very significant brain damage that has been done and can be corrected with correct medication. That it an injury that has been sustained and should be treated like you would treat any broken arm.

DEAN BECKER: Michael, I’ve heard it said that more than a dozen of our soldiers are killing themselves every day now here in America. Is that true?

MICHAEL KRAWITZ: Yeah. It is somehow connected to …You have this brain trauma. You develop this structural change in the brain and you’re more prone to suicide. These suicides…My colleague Al Byrne, Commander Al Byrne who runs Patients Out of Time, and he’s joined me in this project. He says, “Where’s the outrage?!”

I’ll tell where the outrage is. It’s not there because every one of these suicides is being seen as an individual thing - like somehow it’s circumstantial to that one vet. I think we now know enough even though the science is new and I’m breaking this and I’m not even a scientist, I think there’s enough there, enough meat there that you can say that there is something that connects all these vets.

There is something that we can look at as a treatment and cannabis and the cannabinoids are the source of that treatment. We’re just beginning to see some data that where you have medical cannabis laws in place suicide rates drop. That’s very preliminary data but it coincides with what we’ve already experienced and knew anedotedly.

We’re very excited to see this unfold and, hopefully, we’ll see a lot more information and more evidence to support these claims I’m making.

DEAN BECKER: Now, Michael, if veterans or families of veterans would like to learn more about this, perhaps get involved with sharing this information with their elected officials, please, point them to your website.

MICHAEL KRAWITZ: http://VeteransForMedicalCannabis.org will bring you to our website where we have some information about the VA’s policy and how you can get in touch with us. We have a Facebook site where we send a lot of information as it comes through. You can scroll down and look at some of the things that have occurred over the last year or so.

Contact your local representative, your federal representatives if you have an issue but definitely locate us if you have an issue with the VA where you’re having trouble accessing medicine.

As far as what we’re doing in the states…we are working in several states on adding Post-Traumatic Stress. If you read about New Hampshire, Colorado, Oregon or another state that you’ve read about working to add Post-Traumatic Stress as a condition and you don’t know where to start on that you can start with us there.

Mostly what we do is behind the scenes. We’re working with the VA at the top level to try to get rid of the onerous aspects of a pain contract that still hurts veterans’ access. We try to see what we can do to educate the doctors in the system. We press on.

-----------------------

TOMMY CHONG: This is Tommy Chong for the Drug Truth Network telling everybody don’t let free speech go up in smoke, man.

-----------------------

[music]

He’s the Drug Czar.

Wages an eternal war.

On free will.

He knows all. The Drug Czar knows all.

He’s in charge of the truth.

So he tells nothing but lies.

He professes great sorrow for the thousands of his minions who died.

He’s the Drug Czar waging his eternal war on our free will.

-----------------------

DEAN BECKER: Alright, waging eternal war on our free will. That’s the Drug Czar and it’s true - absolutely true. He is compelled by reason of his contract to never, never mention the word legalize and to change any kind of conversation away from ending prohibition. That’s his job. That is absolutely his job.

Well, we have been unable to reach our guest so here in a couple minutes I hope to take a couple of calls. We’re going to take the furthest away first so that those listening out on the internet, I suppose, our number here is 713.526.5738.

We can talk about the fact that the Sineloa peasant farmers are being driven away from their marijuana farms. We can talk about zombieism. You know, lip-eating, brain-slurping – all that stuff supposedly attributed to a new, more powerful version of LSD…or maybe it’s bath salts – who knows what it really is. Or we could talk about the mom who put her baby on top of the car and drove away after smoking some weed. Do you think keeping prohibition around would stop that? No, I don’t think so.

But, our number 713.526.5738. Please give us a call. We want to hear from you. We want to talk about your situation, the nation’s situation, what we can do and what needs to be done in regards to this eternal war on free will.

We’ll be right back.

-----------------------

DEAN BECKER: This past Tuesday 8-term congressman Sylvester Ryes<?> was voted out when the people of El Paso voted for former El Paso City Councilman Beto O’Rourke.

BETO O’ROURKE: It became increasingly clear for those of you who have grown up in El Paso as I did you saw spasms of violence in Juarez over the years and it was almost like it was a natural phenomenon like the weather. It was going to be bad in Juarez for a while and then it would pass and you could go back to whatever you did in Juarez. Whether you worked there, you partied there, went out to restaurants, took your visitors there, friends and family to Juarez – that situation will pass.

After 2008, after 16,000 people had been murdered – it was clear that it was not going to pass. It was also clear that the usual suspects, you know, the way that we would comfort ourselves with the death and lies was that it was just bad people killing bad people wasn’t necessarily the case.

You know, it was little kids dying. It was grandparents dying. It was women who had perhaps rejected a suitor being dowsed with gasoline and being set on fire and left to die in the street. It was all sorts of terrible, horrific crimes being committed against people in our sister city – frankly, in our community.

And, so, we asked ourselves the question, “Why is this happening? What is our input to this problem? What can we do to stop it?”

To me it became very clear that those of us in El Paso and in the United States who use drugs and namely use marijuana which is the cornerstone of the cartels’ economy and the drug trade are, in part, to blame for what is going on. When you spend money on drugs here that money ultimately makes its way to the cartels who ultimately use that money to corrupt public officials, to recruit people under their organizations, to buy guns and ultimately to kill and terrorize people with impunity. That’s one input.

The second input is that the U.S. government has prohibited marijuana which has created such a premium on that drug that people are literally willing to kill each other and risk death themselves in order to deliver that drug to us here in the United States.

So I did what I thought was obvious which was to point that out and to say given what’s going on in Juarez, given what’s at stake I think we owe ourselves an honest and open conversation about our drug laws and, potentially, ending the prohibition on these drugs.

-----------------------

DEAN BECKER: For decades El Paso has been leaning towards the Democrats. O’Rourke is expected to be in congress next year.

To expound upon a little bit of what he was saying there. Yes, the cartels get a whole bunch of money but you know who gets the bulk of the money? Well, banks. They launder the money for the cartels.

Next biggest are the gangs here in the U.S. who get the retail end of things. So the cartels get tens of billions, the banks get hundreds of billions as do these violent gangs here in our neighborhood.

Again, we’re going to be taking calls. I urge you to call us at 713.526.5738. That’s 713.526.5738. We got a couple calls. Let’s go to line 1. You are on the air.

CLAY: Hey, Dean. This is Clay.

DEAN BECKER: Hey, Clay. How are you?

CLAY: Alright. There’s been something that’s been going on that actually really troubles me. They’ve been doing these raids, the DEA, to California and all these states that have medical dispensaries and they have the grow-ops for the dispensaries. In Montana it seems like they are trying to put everybody in prison.

DEAN BECKER: Well, they had a law that was working somewhat effectively for a year or two. Tell us what you perceive is happening there.

CLAY: Well, I honestly am starting to see that they are hitting people like in California. They are starting to hit a little bit heavier than they have been. They’ve been closing people down and telling them, “No, you can’t have another dispensary. If you do we’ll put you in prison.”

Now they’re not saying that. They’re starting to play more hard ball. That’s what I see and I don’t understand it.

DEAN BECKER: Clay, you know, there’s always something beneath the surface. And the fact of the matter is there are friends of friends, there are those affiliations – friends and family, if you will – that often lead to, again, corruption. I can’t speak specifically to anything here but it leads to those with the power trying to garner the income as well. Friends of family, friends of policeman, are often the reason for this involvement.

CLAY: It seems to me that they are just lowering the hammer a little bit harder on people here lately than they have been in the past now with the IRS threats on everybody.

DEAN BECKER: The fact of the matter is what now a couple weeks ago that the word got out that books coming out about Obama and how him and his choomers, I think it was, would intercept the joint – get twice in the circle – would inhale the last vapors off of the ceiling of their vehicle, would crowd all the THC in their system that they possibly could. Obama I fear he is going to lose votes if he doesn’t put together a better game plan.

CLAY: I honestly think he’d walk in there if he would just back rescheduling marijuana to a Schedule III where it belongs or IV.

DEAN BECKER: Then, again, the fact of the matter is this has been a trip switch, if you will…the third rail – that’s what I’m looking for that politicians just seem so unwilling to address, to talk about for fear of being labeled “soft on crime” and losing an election.

CLAY: Right, I had my representative here a year ago who was supposed to put a question on his questionnaire and he chickened out. Promised me and a few other people that he would have a question if we should have the right to purchase medical marijuana legally. And the question never got on there. Dwayne Bohack then turned around and lied to me about what the disposition was, “Oh, that was supposed to be on the telephone survey.”

Oh, but you don’t know who the survey is done by. You don’t know what the questions are or anything about it but it was on the telephone survey. They’re all afraid of that rail. I honestly do believe that it’s time for us to really start striking home. That third rail – I think we need to start getting more people involved in politics. What we have…I don’t want to wait for my grandchildren to grow up to change the laws.

DEAN BECKER: I’m one of those people where I wear a shirt with some kind of graphic on it every day – something talking about corruption and what have you. Today I’m wearing my LEAP shirt. On the back of it says “COPS say legalize drugs. Ask me why?”

Kind of sad, maybe glad, in about a year now no one has asked me why. I guess the reason why is they’re starting to know why. The newspapers are telling them.

CLAY: Oh yeah, it’s all over the place. Since when is it financially feasible to put somebody in prison for $32,000 a year because they grew a plant for they smoked a plant? Come on….

DEAN BECKER: I’ll tell you what, Clay, we’re going to have to cut it off here. Clay works with Houston NORML. That’s at http://houstonNORML.org. Thank you, Clay.

Now, he’s talking about the plight of those arrested and many of those people have very valid conditions and yet the government continues to arrest them. This next segment here kind of clarifies that.

-----------------------

DEAN BECKER: On the day that Connecticut became the 17th state to allow for medical marijuana I spoke with Registered Nurse Ken Wolski. He’s executive director for the Coalition for Medical Marijuana, New Jersey.

You sent out a release about a gentleman in your state who was growing 14 plants and tell us about that circumstance, how that’s unfolding.

KEN WOLSKI: You’re referring to patient John Wilson. Wilson is a Multiple Sclerosis patient. He never had health insurance so he was using some home remedies, as it were, like bee sting therapy. The symptoms of MS were so distressing to him that it was preferable to have live bees sting him. That’s how bad it was.

But then one day he heard Montel Williams talking about how medical marijuana was the only thing that really helped him with his Multiple Sclerosis so John tried medical marijuana and, sure enough, he found that medical marijuana relieved his pain and his spacisity better than anything that was available to him.

So John was growing some plants on his place where he was living and the state police found them in August of 2008 and they arrested him and they charged him with manufacturing marijuana. At the time he faced 20 years in prison for growing these plants. He was growing 17 plants.

The big thing, Dean, during the trial was the judge would not allow John Wilson to tell the jury that he had Multiple Sclerosis and that this was the reason that he was growing these marijuana plants. He wasn’t able to tell the jury. How could he tell the jury the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. He was barred by the judge from doing this.

He was convicted on a second degree charge of manufacturing marijuana which brought with it a 5 year prison sentence like three months after the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Act passed into law here.

But then he was out on bail pending an appeal but the Supreme Court refused to hear the case so John was taken into custody in January of 2012.

DEAN BECKER: Ken, let me ask you something, as I understand it the Governor was requested to pardon John and yet he refused to do so because he felt, perhaps, there was no legitimacy to his Multiple Sclerosis this despite the fact that in prison they were serving him up those Multiple Sclerosis meds were they not?

KEN WOLSKI: All that’s true, Dean. We had several state senators who introduced a resolution to encourage the governor to pardon John Wilson but governor Christie refused to do that. He did, in fact, question whether John had Multiple Sclerosis.

We had undeniable proof that Wilson had Multiple Sclerosis so he wound up spending his time in a minimum security prison in the Department of Prison Corrections system. He was milking cows.

Now he’s released to the intensive supervision program.

-----------------------

DEAN BECKER: Alright, we’ve been speaking with Mr. Ken Wolski, registered nurse. He’s executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey. Their website is http://www.cmmnj.org

And, by the way, he’s running under the Green Party Banner for U.S. Senate.

Alright, my friends, you are listening to Century of Lies on the Drug Truth Network and Pacifica radio. I’m going to have to cut it off here. We got a couple of segments. We’re not going to take any more calls. Let’s just go ahead and run those tracks, Laura.

-----------------------

DEAN BECKER: There’s a new movie hitting us at select theaters this week, “High School.”

PRINCIPAL: Where do they come up with all these clever names for recreational drug use? Roasting a bone, candy flipping and when a woman inhales powder cocaine off of some loser’s erect penis then doses acid off of his testicles they call it “banging down the stiff and noosing”.

PRINCIPAL: Do you know what the problem is here, Brandon?

BRANDON: The internet?

PRINCIPAL: The sticky green. It’s time we expunged of all dope fiends. We are conducting a screening and any student that does not pass will be expelled.

STUDENT 1: If I’m busted I can kiss my I can kiss my MIT scholarship goodbye.

STUDENT 2: You’re causing a scene.

STUDENT 1: I’m causing a scene?!

STUDENT 2:. What if we failed the test and no one even noticed?

STUDENT 1: How could we do that?

STUDENT 2: If everyone fails. Tomorrow’s the bake sale. We swap in special brownies.

STUDENT 1: Where are we going to get that much weed?

-----------------------

DEAN BECKER: I don’t think this movie will do anything for drug reform but it might be fun.

-----------------------

MORGAN FOX: Hi, this is Morgan Fox. I’m the Communications Manager for the Marijuana Policy Project.

DEAN BECKER: Morgan, there was some great news a couple days ago. We got another state joining the list of those that can provide medical marijuana. Why don’t you tell us about it.

MORGAN FOX: Connecticut, after several years of trying to get medical marijuana on the ballot, finally did and was supported by the Governor. Now we finally had 17 more states. It’s a little bit of a strict program but I think it’s going to be one of the most well-regulated in the country.

DEAN BECKER: Now it is not like what they have in California. It is much more restrictive. I have a little bit of a reservation and that is some of these other states that have voted for medical marijuana have still yet to implement the process. How’s it going to unfold there in Connecticut?

MORGAN FOX: Well I think we’ll probably feel a little bit of a delay. The program will not go into effect immediately. But, given that we are moving forward with this program, Vermont is increasing its program and starting to go forward with dispensaries. New Jersey is starting to move forward with its program and after a long delay I think we’re going to see Connecticut move pretty quickly.

DEAN BECKER: Right, perhaps the process has been fine tuned for the other states to follow. Your thought.

MORGAN FOX: I think that’s probably absolutely correct. I mean states that have been passing these laws have been following a very particular model that allows for the swiftest implementation and now that law makers have realized this is some candy law regulated they’re not going to be dragging their feet nearly as much.

Legally when Washington, D.C. started to implement its system we’re going to see dispensaries and cultivation centers open and patients finally getting their medicine after more than ten years of waiting for it and once the nation’s capital is doing it we’re going to really pick up.

DEAN BECKER: And then, of course, we have a couple of states on the west coast that are talking about legalization. What’s your thought on the potential vote there?

MORGAN FOX: Well I think it stands a very good chance of passing in Colorado. Amendment 64 which would treat marijuana more or less like alcohol also includes with it a very strict and clear regulation for the cultivation and distribution of marijuana as a recreational substance. Because that system is in the law I think we’re going to have a lot of support. The polling looks really well.

Other states that are doing so…Washington has I-502 on the ballot which is a very similar situation and is polling very well. I think that there’s a good chance that they’re going to pass this year. And once that happens then the federal government is going to be forced to reevaluate their position on marijuana policy.

DEAN BECKER: Alright, once again, we’ve been speaking with Mr. Morgan Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project. Their website is http://mpp.org

-----------------------

[music[

This pot’s so good that once I smoke it my karma freaks out.

-----------------------

He once dug a tunnel through the Himalaya’s, to help Al-Qaeda smuggle opium.
When his house gets raided, his dogs shoot the SWAT team.
He developed a strain of marijuana so strong, that even Tommy Chong won’t smoke it.

He is the most interesting man in the world.

‘I don’t always do drugs, but when I do, I prefer marijuana.’
‘Stay informed my friends.’ drugtruth.net

-----------------------

DEAN BECKER: Thank you for joining us on this Century of Lies. We’ve got just about a minute left. I wanted to point out that next week we’re going to have a columnist with the Houston Chronicle, Mr. Bill King joining us and also wanted to talk about the zombieism, you know, the fear that these people are taking some sort of new, more powerful drug and just going nuts. The fact of the matter is people have just been going nuts for a long time.

As far as I know I’ve not done bath salts. I’m not going to do bath salts. The point I’m trying to get to is over the lifetime of the drug war it’s been a series of paranoid, hallucinations that brought us to the point we’re at now

I guess what I’m trying to say is from the 1920s when Harry J. Anslinger said there was a kid with an ax that killed his whole family after he smoked weed and then it turned out that wasn’t true but the laws passed and the situation developed and we got what we got now.

Geez, it’s a horrible mess and, as always, I remind you that there’s no truth, justice, logic – no reason for this drug war to exist. please check out Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, http://leap.cc There is no justice to this thing. .Prohibido istac evilesco!

-----------------------

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 the Pacifica Studios of KPFT, Houston.

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