04/28/13 David Long

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David Long, former investigator/now college Prof & member of LEAP + Kevin Zeese shadow cabinet Atty General + Bill Maher/David Letterman clip

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Transcript

Transcript

Cultural Baggage / April 28, 2013

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[music]

DEAN BECKER: 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!”

DEAN BECKER: My Name is Dean Becker. I don’t condone or encourage the use of any drugs, legal or illegal. I report the unvarnished truth about the pharmaceutical, banking, prison and judicial nightmare that feeds on Eternal Drug War.

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DEAN BECKER: I’m proud. I’m happy you’re with us on this edition of Cultural Baggage. Here in just a little bit we’re going to hear from Kevin Zeese. He’s been appointed the new Green Shadow Cabinet Attorney General. Here in just a moment we’re going to bring in one of my band of brothers from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Mr. David Long.

I want to start with this thought. What does America do when the feces hit the fan? Go ballistic. When two young punks build cheap and easy bombs and try to obliterate an American institution it’s 10,000 cops and no holds barred, no stone left unturned, no house unsearched, no warrant considered and, thus, another American institution is blown away.

I want to send my thanks to David Heneberry, the citizen of Watertown who dared to leave his house while the police swarmed his neighborhood and discovered the punk bomber for the 10,000 experts.

Let’s bring in our guest. He served for 9 years as a special agent with the U.S. Department of Labor’s office as Inspector General dealing with organized crime. Let’s let him explain a little better about what he did.

David, are you there?

DAVID LONG: I am. Hi Dean. How are you?

DEAN BECKER: I’m good, David. About a week or so ago we participated in an online discussion about that situation in Boston and the bombers and the 9,000 police and what went on up there. What was your observation on that situation?

DAVID LONG: My observation….I’ll preface it by saying I’m over 2,000 miles away in California so my boots are not on the ground there. I reacted with some concern regarding the searches in Watertown, in particular, where police were going house to house and searching houses without warrants for this one individual.

I viewed a video tape shot from a neighboring house and the police … You could not call them consent searches which would obviate the need for a warrant. They would knock on the door with guns pointed at the doors and windows and obtain entry. They had every individual come out of the house one at a time and they were frisked twice.

DEAN BECKER: Hands over their head and at gunpoint.

DAVID LONG: At gunpoint, yes. There’s an argument that these searches were legally warrantless under the exigent circumstances exception to the fourth amendment which basically, short and sweet, basically says if there’s an emergency circumstance at hand the police do not need a warrant before they can conduct a search.

However with the search for this one individual I’m not so sure about exigent circumstances applying here because if it does it seems like the exception swallows the rule. I understand there’s a terrible bombing. A terrible thing happened at the Boston Marathon. However if an individual…

Let’s just pretend that one individual, God forbid, walked into a restaurant and shot 20 people – an American, just straight up American citizen from Nebraska. Does that give the police the right to walk into everybody’s house at gunpoint and search for that person?

DEAN BECKER: I think, David, this is since 9/11 in particular America has been more and more willing to give up rights and freedoms for promise of better security and that’s not the constitution. That’s not how America used to work. It’s not in our best interest to let this precedent take hold, to let it be embraced as appropriate because, as you’re saying, where does it lead us?

DAVID LONG: Yes, I think you’re absolutely right. You’re pointing to the concern of the slippery slope. Where does this end?

The exigent circumstance does have a place but I’m just not so sure that it has a place here. Everybody wants to be safe. We all deserve to be safe. We all deserve to be safe in the United States.

However if you look at it as a society we have not made public safety the number one priority for our society. If we did we could be much safer but there’s other concerns that arise out of making society completely safe.

If you have ever tried to fly the Israeli airline (LL) you can’t just walk up to the ticket counter the same day and fly that day because that airline has strict safety protocols in place. Well, how would that fly in the United States? Not being able to buy a ticket from Houston to Dallas same day. Most people probably wouldn’t stand for it.

Would it create a safety concern? Does it create a safety concern that pretty much anybody can just go and buy a ticket and fly from Houston to Dallas on the same day? It does. But we are willing to put up with that risk to live in the society that we live in.

DEAN BECKER: You were talking about is this all for the benefit for society and as LEAP speakers, members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, one of the ideas that I certainly preach is that anybody that believes in drug war does not really believe in public safety. Let’s talk about that.

DAVID LONG: The drug war has made us all less safe. The fact that many controlled substances are illegal (marijuana, cocaine, heroin) does not make them go away. What happens is it just drives the market underground.

The people that run that market are criminals. They become criminals by the very fact that the activity that they are engaging in is illegal and because those activities are illegal they cannot resort to legal mechanisms of control.

So if two drug dealers have a disagreement because their activity is illegal they can’t go to court to settle their dispute. What they do is kill each other and innocent people become fodder for that as well.

So we’re far less safe with our drug war.

DEAN BECKER: I agree. We’ve had the big discussion about guns and all the horrors that have been inflicted and what people never address is the fact that it is a necessity, a requirement that if you’re going to buying or selling drugs especially in bulk to have some sort of weaponry at hand from the street corner vendor on up.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is the drug war has helped to increase the number of guns in circulation by some huge factor I would think. Your thought there.

DAVID LONG: Absolutely. I couldn’t agree with you more. Wherever we create an illegal market, an underground market we create more crime rather than addressing drug use as a public health issue rather than a criminal justice issue we’ve taken the road to millions of innocent deaths due to gun violence and drug use.

If we have a regime of drug control, legalization and regulation we take the market for drugs away from criminals and away from the weapons trafficking and all that - all that is taken out of the mix. All we have to do is look at our experience with alcohol prohibition and we see it.

DEAN BECKER: Due to the fact that I have so many segments for this show we have about 3 or 4 minutes left here and I wanted to play this track. This is an indication of how futile the drug war is. It’s just a few seconds and we’ll be right back.

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DEAN BECKER: The following is recorded from the show “Pot Cops.” The quote from a Humbolt County Deputy Sheriff, Brian Quinell.

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BRIAN QUINELL: We don’t have enough resources and we don’t have enough time to go after every single one of them. We probably get less than 1% of the marijuana that is being grown.

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DEAN BECKER: David, I don’t know if you’ve see the show “Pot Cops” but this is a cop who’s out there in the field. They got the helicopters and troops swarming everywhere and all this stuff and he’s saying they get less than 1% of the marijuana being grown right there in the Emerald Triangle – the world’s main producer of marijuana. What’s your thought there?

DAVID LONG: I’m sure that he is absolutely correct. The thing about it when the police lay out the drugs and weapons that they seize wherever it’s a very ‘feel good’ moment however do you think the drug traffickers are upset about that? Not really. For them it’s just the cost of doing business. They wouldn’t be doing it if they didn’t make a ton of money and because they make so much money they actually factor in that loss as inventory as a regular drug seizure or two.

So it really has no impact on them.

DEAN BECKER: I would think it’s actually necessary. A requisite part of doing business because without some busts they cannot justify their prices.

DAVID LONG: Absolutely. When we make the market illegal there’s a markup and the markup is for the risk that the commodity is actually illegal. So, yeah, we assist them.

DEAN BECKER: We’ve got a little over a minute here. I want to remind folks, once again, we’re speaking with Mr. David Long. He’s based out in San Francisco. He’s got BA, Magna Cum Laude from University. He’s got a JD. He now teaches law school.

David, what is it that motivates you to do this work for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition?

DAVID LONG: I think that we are causing such great harm with our current drug policy in the United States. So many people are being hurt. So many people’s lives are being thrown away by random drug possession arrests. So many people’s freedoms are begin taken away.

You look at a place like New York City where they had over one-half million “stop and frisk” without reasonable suspicion or probable cause. It’s mainly targeted at Latino and African-American men even though their drug usage rates are no higher than the rest of the population. It’s just bad policy. Our policy is flawed.

DEAN BECKER: Indeed it is. David, we got to go. I appreciate it so much. Mr. David Long – thank you, sir.

DAVID LONG: Thank you so much. I enjoyed it.

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(Game show music)

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

This week’s Name That Drug by Its Side Effects comes to us courtesy of Worldwide Pants and Bill Maher’s visit to the Dave Letterman show.

(gong)

BILL MAHER: Just look at the commercials when they advertise something on TV. I see this one for Nasonex. I see another one Musinex.

You see, Dave, why is there mucus? They make it sound like there’s no reason. It’s because your body is toxic and it’s trying to create a river to get rid of these toxins but Musinex stops mucus. We’re going to show mucus who’s boss. We’re going to kick mucus’s ass and shove it back in your body where it’ll create a much bigger problem.

DAVE LETTERMAN: Please don’t say mucus again.

BILL MAHER: OK. So there’s this Nasonex commercial and the Nasonex bee voiced by Antonio Banderas. By law they have to say the side effects so they give the pitch for the product and then in the middle of the ad they have to say and they do say by the way it causes coughing, retching, bleeding from the pores, your head falls out your ass, you’re going to die and then the bee comes back and says a wise choice.

DAVE LETTERMAN: You bring up an interesting point. It makes you think that tobacco companies for years and years continue selling the product and now you wonder if the same thing isn’t happening with pharmaceutical companies.

BILL MAHER: I promise you it is. Please get off them, Dave. You want Dave to live don’t you ladies?

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[guitar music]

How many Mexicans will have to die before Americans stop getting high?

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You can hear the drug war blow a hundred years…

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KEVIN ZEESE: This is Kevin Zeese. We’re going to talk about the Green Shadow Cabinet and what we can do to help end the War on Drugs.

DEAN BECKER: You and I met on the pages of the New York Times Drug Policy Forum about 12 or 13 years ago. I met you in person the first time when you were traveling with the Journey for Justice across America trying to bring some justice here in Texas.

I’m quite proud to know that you are now the Shadow Cabinet Attorney General. You’re amongst a list of dozens of people with great credentials. Tell us how this will function here in these United States.

KEVIN ZEESE: The Green Shadow Cabinet (http://greenshadowcabinet.us) is an effort to show people that there is an alternative to the two corporate parties that both support war, the drug war, both are funded by Wall Street big business.

We want to put forward policies that are really consistent with the views of the American people to show people what a people’s government would look like as opposed to corporate government.

When it comes to issues like the justice system or the criminal injustice system we’re going to be looking at issues such as mass incarceration, stop and frisk, racial profiling, and, of course, the drug war.

The drug war is a great example of something that we want to deal with early on in this process because we have now states who are voting to legalize marijuana – Colorado and Washington State. The majority of Americans support legalization of marijuana.

The Obama administration has a choice. They can either go with what the people want, what people have voted for or they can go to court to try to stop democracy. We’re going to put out our own view on this. We’re going to put out a policy that talks about why it’s important for the government to go with what the people want as it is, after all, a government of, by and for the people and we’re going to go with explaining to them why it’s a great opportunity to have Colorado and Washington State taking the view they do. The people of those states voted for a regulatory model rather than a prohibition model.

It’s another method of control so it’s not inconsistent or in direct conflict with the federal laws. The federal laws want to control marijuana with prohibition but these states want to control marijuana with regulation. I think there’s a lot of consistency there.

Neither one is just saying “no laws.” They are saying different kinds of laws to control. We think it’s an opportunity for the federal government to begin to find a way out of the war on marijuana.

We’re going to be proposing a policy that will allow those states to go forward and describe the role the federal government should play rather than the role that some in the DEA and the drug war apparatus are going to want them to play.

That’s the kind of thing we’re going to do on a lot of policies. We’ll put forward policies that are evidence-based that can get people what they want and try to show people that they can vote for what they want, organize what they want. We hope to be a model for that kind of activity.

DEAN BECKER: Last night I was watching a news show called “Pot Cops” and they were talking about how these cartel members are out in our national force, diverting waters, trashing the area and just ruining the environment. I know that’s another topic that you have great focus on and have written on – the way we are ruining our environment through many of our policies. Do you want to talk about that?

KEVIN ZEESE: Great to hear that “Pot Cops” are now environmentalist. They’ll say anything to try to get support for their misbegotten cause.

All these kinds of problems you see that are related to environmental impacts of marijuana as it’s grown now is because it is illegal. When you make something illegal you are going to have an unregulated market and you’re not going to have control on how things are done. You’re not going to be able to put forward regulations on how it should be done and you’re going to have people in the national forests and other public lands trying to do gorilla gardening which gives no opportunity for organic gardening.

No doubts the consumer would prefer organic marijuana. No doubt the environment would be better off from it. But when you have a prohibition approach it’s unregulated, underground market and you really can’t get that kind of control.

Almost always when you look at the problems caused by marijuana it’s not marijuana itself that is the problem the real problem is prohibition. It’s the war on marijuana that is the problem and that’s true on almost every aspect. Sometimes even the health effects are made worse by prohibition. Drug education is made worse because there’s propaganda.

Issue by issue prohibition makes the problem worse. We should confront that and really differentiate what’s the problem with marijuana and what’s the problem with prohibition. What we’ll see is that the drug war and the prohibition laws are the main cause of the problem and the main problems from marijuana are one’s we can deal with public health and educational level. It’s got to be honest education not drug war propaganda.

DEAN BECKER: I heard a joke at the MAPS conference and it went something like this…I’ll believe that corporations are people as soon as Texas executes one. Talk to that – how the corporations have manipulated the conscious and the mechanism of government itself.

KEVIN ZEESE: What we have in the United States is what people are calling a managed democracy. We’re all out to vote – a large voter franchise for anyone over 18-years-old, male/female no matter what race you are or what religion you are. But the vote is managed in we get to choose between two candidates who are first approved by Wall Street through the financing of the campaign, the access to the corporate media, the access to the public consciousness and the access to the debates. We have a fake debate process which is a private corporation which is controlled by the two parties and funded by the big business interests.

We live in a managed democracy where people are manipulated to vote against their interest to one of the two corporate parties. That’s why our government is dysfunctional. That is why our government goes often in the opposite direction of what people want because the interest of corporations is profits before people, profits before planet. The interest of the people is people and the planet before profit. That’s a conflict.

The issue of corporations as people is one that goes back to the post-Civil War era when we passed an amendment that ended slavery and provide for equal protection under the laws for all people. In that time period the vast majority of cases that came before the courts, in particular the Supreme Courts, were cases involving corporations that they should be given equal protection under the law and that’s the idea of when corporate personage began. Now it’s evolved over all those years that corporations have human rights, corporations can spend as much as they want on campaigns, corporations can’t be stopped.

We’re about to make a much bigger step that is going to make it even worse. The largest trade agreement in history is being negotiated – the Trans-Pacific Partnership. If you want to learn about it you can go to our website, http://flushthetpp.org, and you’ll see that one thing that it does is allows corporations to sue governments in a new court system called a tribunal.

These tribunals the judges are going to be corporate lawyers on leave from their corporate job sitting as judges and then go back to their corporate jobs. These corporations can sue governments over labor law, health law, environmental law because of potential loss profits and the judge is going to be a corporate lawyer on leave from his corporate job.

So we saw the 1880s with corporations as people. We’re seeing now in this century a whole new tribunal system which makes corporations more powerful than ever. It’s very important for us to get active and organized with the many, many groups that are working to challenge corporate power. That’s an issue that affects the drug war, too.

As we’ve seen the rapid increase in private prisons. We’re seeing states now entering into contracts with private prisons, corporations that promise them a 90% occupancy rate. That’s not a good thing for the country. We already have way too many people behind bars.

You’re seeing the whole narco-bureaucracy, narco-industrial complex with treatment programs that rather than providing a service that people actually want – a treatment that people go to voluntarily – primarily rely on courts to send them clients. So corporations are dominating in that field as well.

We have to face the reality that this is a corporate government – not a people’s government – and that’s one thing we are trying to show at the Green Shadow Cabinet is that a people’s government would actually represent people’s interest.

You can look at the people involved in the Green Shadow Cabinet (http://greenshadowcabinet.us) and it’s a really impressive group of people all with very solid credentials who are already involved in great work. It’s a real chance to see that there is a lot of people saying no to corporate government and that if we allow for a people’s dominated party as opposed to corporate dominated party to rule we would be better off and we would get policies more consistent with views of the American public.

DEAN BECKER: Friends, once again, we’ve been speaking with Mr. Kevin Zeese. He is the Attorney General for the Green Shadow Cabinet. I want to point out that Jill Stein is the Presidential position there and friend of the Drug Truth Network Mr. Cliff Thornton is head of the DEA – the Shadow Cabinet Drug Czar.

Kevin, any closing thoughts?

KEVIN ZEESE: I hope people will look at http://greenshadowcabinet.us and see how they can get involved. We welcome people’s ideas and what we can do to advance the cause. Also we want people to copy the idea and develop their own shadow governments at the city council level or develop their own neighborhood councils which will start to solve neighborhood problems, community problems that neither party is solving.
We really need to start to get organized and mobilized in a democratic way in order to take back the government and make it a government that is of, by, and for the people and not of, by and for the corporations.

I think this is critical in every issue including the War on Drugs, including the war on marijuana. We’ve got to face up to these corporate powers that are profiting from the very mistaken status quo.

Visit http://greenshadowcabinet.us and get involved.

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[music: Auld Lang Syne]

Should all war criminals be forgot and never brought to trial?
Or should we try them and convict and hang their heads on pikes?

For old war crimes my friends, for old war crimes
Let’s drain the cup of kindness now and destroy the Bush’s swine.

For old war crimes my friends, for old war crimes

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DEAN BECKER: Folks it’s time for you to speak up, stand up, to do your part to help end the madness of drug war. It’s gone on for way too long. It has no reason for existence and it’s time for you to do your part. The truth is there. It is evident. It’s glaring. It’s everywhere.

I hope you’ll stand up this week and do your part.

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.

Drug Truth Network archives are stored at the James A. Baker, III Institute for Policy Studies.

Tap dancing… on the edge… of an abyss.

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