08/29/10 - Russ Jones

Russ Jones, 30 years in law enforcement now a speaker for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition + MJ Borden with Drug War Facts, Philip High with MedCan Univ, Dan Newman for Prop 19

Program: 
Century of Lies
Date: 
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Guest: 
Russ Jones
Organization: 
LEAP
Download: Audio icon COL_082910.mp3
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Century of Lies / August 29, 2010

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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Welcome to this edition of the Century of Lies. We have a gentleman who I respect and admire for his service to our country, for his commitment to justice and for his continuing efforts to educate and awaken folks to the need for change to these drug laws.

He’s spent time as a cop working out in San Jose, California. He spent about thirty years doing law enforcement. He also worked on a DEA run task force. He was down there during the Nicaragua, the Iran Contra Affair era, if you will.

He now speaks for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and with that, I want to welcome our guest, Mr. Russ Jones. Are you with us, sir?

Russ Jones: Yes, good evening. How are you doing, Dean?

Dean Becker: I’m well, Russ. You know, there’s a report here that business is good reporting on the Drug War. There is so much is so much news breaking and information flowing at this time. Would you agree?

Russ Jones: Yeah, unfortunately. You and I are one of the few people who would like to see ourselves put out of business.

Dean Becker: Yeah, well.

Russ Jones: Everyone else has a vested interest in this. They want to see the Drug War won. There’s too much money in it and they’re all walking around high-fiving each other.

Dean Becker: Well, Russ, to educate the listeners a bit more, tell them a bit about your career, perhaps with a focus on the international aspects.

Russ Jones: Well, I was a police officer in San Jose, California. I was a Narcotics Detective there, later on. I was then assigned to a DEA task force and pretty much worked major violators in all those cases, I did not work street dealers but I worked organized crime with major violators.

I left law enforcement and I worked intelligence in Central America during Iran Contra and where, although it was not the focus of my job, I couldn’t help but see that drugs were being smuggled by people who were supposedly working for our government and our government was certainly aware of it.

I was also, I was in – after that, I was in private practice as a forensic expert on the psychological and a physiological affects of drugs and narcotics in court. I testified in literally hundreds and hundreds of cases. I’ve written, implemented and taught courses specifically for court mandated drug clients.

So, I’ve got experience, I think, in the whole realm. So I’ve seen the war on drugs from a cop’s point of view, from a DEA task force officer’s point of view, from the international and intelligence point of view and from the counselor and substance abuse counselor’s point of view.

Dean Becker: Russ, I called you yesterday and I was talking about morals. I wanted to address this. You don’t have to face this if you don’t want to but I want to share this with the listeners out there.

The morals of this Drug War, you know, I don’t think there’s any place in politics for morals. It’s just not part of law. Perhaps, it’s for a neighborhood association or a school principal, perhaps.

Because these drug warriors really don’t bother to delve too deeply into this science, they don’t recognize any modern medical data that may be forthcoming. They’re not showing any real common sense in regards to this but they believe it is their moral obligation to continue doing this same thing.

I guess, Russ, what I am trying to lead to here is, what they have done is make it where these criminals worldwide, the terrorists, the barbarous cartels, the violent gangs prowling our neighborhoods make $385 billion dollars a year, at least according to Anthony Placido, Assistant Head of the DEA.

Our prisons and jails are overcrowded. The court dockets are overwhelmed. Our children now have the easiest access. Many of these overdose deaths could be prevented, if we were to control the distribution.

I guess what I’m saying here, Russ is that it’s time for a debate on those morals. That’s what we seek, have been seeking for years is a chance to have them present – what is the result? What is the benefit of substance that more than often sets the horrible blowback? I’m rambling here but I just had to put that on the air. Your response, Russ Jones?

Russ Jones: Well, my response is, the debate needs to be out of the hands of those who are directly involved. It’s not the business of the, you know, the DEA is doing the job that our politicians are asking them to do.

So, the debate needs to be with our politicians and our citizens. To back up a little bit, police officers, the narcotics detective, the DEA agent, the department of justice, [Upton Sinclair] once said, “it’s very hard to get someone to understand something when his job, his income depends on him not understanding.”

Dean Becker: Right, right.

Russ Jones: During the days of Al Capone, Elliot Ness and his boys, they didn’t want to end the war on drugs. That was their job, to bust up the alcohol smugglers. So, the DEA, they’re doing their job. Narcotics detectives, they’re doing the job that our politicians and WE – citizens and the public – are asking them to do. The debate needs to be at a grassroots level and amongst the citizens and their politicians.

Speaking of something being immoral, the fact that we know that it’s our laws on the books that are killing everyone in Mexico and in Colombia. Those deaths are on the hands of these people who have written these laws.

In other words, it’s the Al Capones, the modern Al Capones who are doing the killing. As soon as we realize that the Valentine’s Day Massacres of the 1920s were killing people and it was the result of alcohol prohibition. We lifted alcohol prohibition and we put an end to those mass massacres.

Today, we have mass massacres, what, just in the last two or three days, what was it? How many were massacred, including a lead investigator that was found dead? That’s, for me, where the immortality lies. The fact that our politicians continue to back up this policy, which they know is killing people.

Dean Becker: Well, thank you for that Russ and really in our discussion the other day that’s where it was coming from. The fact that it’s now gone over 28,000 dead in Mexico and at the rate they’re killing people, like this batch of seventy-two migrant workers that killed because they refused to go to work for the Sinaloa, a drug cartel. They were just taken out and shot through the head.

We must take responsibility because, as you said, it’s our law. It is our mandate to the world that they all must participate in this Drug War that leads to these thousands of deaths in Mexico.

We’ve got such corruption going on in Afghanistan now, that many of the cabinet ministers and others are under investigation and yet the CIA is now thwarting those efforts, because for lack of a better term, they’re in bed with these politicians and they have to allow them to make money in order to keep them on their side.

When we talked the other day, I was talking about a piece that had come out in The Wall Street Journal about this situation in Mexico and you pointed me to another one that was also talking about this situation.

When the director, the gentleman who was appointed to investigate these seventy-two murders was himself killed about forty-eight hours after this appointment. It’s just an example of how out of control this is and how we are empowering these cartels with every effort we take. Because when the money is there for turning weeds into hundred dollar bills, someone is going to step up to that plate and take a swing, are they not, Russ?

Russ Jones: Oh sure. Sure. In fact, I used to – thirty years ago, as a narcotics detective, we would make an arrest and the chief of police and the district attorney would announce that we had made a major blow to our community’s network and we narcotics officers would look at each other and kind of smirk and smile because we knew all we did was create an immediate job opening for a long list of guys who are willing to risk it all for some obscene profits and that’s what’s happening.

Our news media is just as complicit in this as our politicians because our news media continues to call these “drug related murders” and they are not drug related murders. Drugs – under the influence of drugs has nothing to do with these murders. They are prohibition murders.

Dean Becker: Yes and all too often, I’ve taken a few a few other journalists to task on that and they have, at least for a short time, changed their phrasing, but they do slip back into “drug related” as you state.

Russ Jones: Pull back the old newspaper clippings during alcohol prohibition. No newspaper, no newsman, no editor ever called it an “alcohol related shooting” because it had nothing to do with alcohol. It had to do with the business of prohibition.

They called it correct back then but our news media today continues to be in the lap of our politicians and they refuse to call it what it is. This is “prohibition murders,” not drug related murders.

Dean Becker: Well, last week I was talking to a gentleman about the fact that some 70% of the cocaine that’s being analyzed in the United States, now has a cut, Levamisole which is a dog dewormer, a cancer causing agent. Little wonder that – I’m not recommending cocaine – but little wonder that there are more health problems though its use, right?

Russ Jones: Well, I suppose so. I am not in a position to comment on that because I really don’t know if this is a – you know, the news media will pick up on these things and run with it and then it turns out to be phony-baloney – you know, these are businesses. The drug cartels are businesses and their going to use the best and of course the cheapest products that they can.

I don’t know why they would be using a product that’s going to give them a bad name or reputation. I don’t understand it. I’ll hold off and wait to find out if this is something that sticks with us or if it’s just something that is passing in the wind and we won’t hear of it again.

Dean Becker: Ok, again, if folks want to check up, that was on last week’s program that was, the gentleman’s name was Brandon Kiley. He writes for The Stranger, a newspaper up in [Seattle]. He did some rather thorough investigation of had some valid reasons but that’s a topic for another day, I suppose.

Once again, we’re speaking with Russ Jones, a man with thirty years of law enforcement experience. He now speaks on behalf on Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. I was looking at your bio here, Russ and you made a trip to the Soviet Union. I want to read a little quote here. Russ said that, “The war on drugs cannot be won. Drugs were prevalent even behind the Iron Curtain” which kind of speaks of the futility of it all, does it not?

Russ Jones: True and that was in 1989 or ’88, before the fall of the Iron Curtain and it was still the Soviet Union. I worked – I was invited over there by their Ministry of Interior, which is their law enforcement.

I saw drug dealing on the streets. We went on a search warrant and seized a methamphetamine lab and this was in Moscow, Leningrad and Yalta. I went to their rehabilitation programs and talked to recovering addicts in programs. I came home Dean, I came home and I asked myself this question:

“If the Soviet Union, still behind the Iron Curtain, was not able to control drugs through prohibition, then how are we – a free people – ever going to?”

Dean Becker: You know Russ, a moment ago I was talking about corruption. I want to just bring this up here. Corruption, they say that of the $30-60 billon that the cartels make in Mexico each year that about half of that goes to bribes, to corruption.

I understand that the seventy-two people who were killed last week, were offered – I believe it was – one thousand dollars every two weeks, if they would go to work for the Sinaloa cartel. Yet, many of them choose the “lead over the silver” because I guess, it’s just not a good way of life.

Speaking of corruption, the cartels bribe the federal officers. The state and the municipal police down there, they even work with the treatment centers. This is the cartels, down in Mexico.

Here on this side, we have custom agents, border agents and police forces are corrupted in Los Angeles, Houston, Hartford, Connecticut; Baltimore and – gosh, Phil Smith, he does some segments for us, the Corrupt Cop Stories of the Week. There’s never a shortage of prison guards. They’ve had major problems with in New Orleans. Tulsa has had a major police drug gang that was exposed this year.

I think in the next week or two, we’re going to be reporting on major corruption of another police drug gang in the city of Dallas. Your thoughts, Russ, this corruption is always going to be there as long as the money is there. Your thoughts?

Russ Jones: Well, yeah. I mean, you just answered it. The money’s there and people get tempted. There’s no corruption – there’s no organized corruption with burglary cases or robbery cases, it always involves victimless crimes, such as prostitution, gambling and back in the days of alcohol running, there was corruption left and right. When we ended alcohol prohibition, the corruption associated with alcohol trade ended.

Now, that we’ve pretty much got gambling legalized in most states. We have lotteries that stamped the corruption involved. Gambling is pretty much taken care of but we still have prohibition with drugs. So, it’s a victimless crime and there is corruption.

Again, you’re right. It’s not just individual officers. It’s entire narcotics teams, divisions. We had the whole Rampart division in LA. There was a whole division in Miami that got caught up in this. So, it’s unfortunate but yes, it occurs.

Dean Becker: Well, know I’ve said it before. I’m going to say it again. If all of these corrupt law enforcement officers that hit one city, one cop in this city, one in that – or sometimes a whole division, as you say – but if these could all be noticed by the average public, they would call for an end to this, just from that aspect. It’s thousands of corrupt law enforcement officers, just in the US each year.

Russ Jones: You know, if you want to get the public really stirred up, all we need to do is point out that racism is at the root of every one of our drug laws.

Dean Becker: Exactly, Russ and we’ve been trying to bring a lot more focus to that. We’ve been getting a lot of response from other programmers in this area and from around the country – people wanting to get involved, people wanting to expose it.

We had an interview with Jaime Felner of the Human Rights Watch who was talking on that as well. It’s becoming more obvious and glaring and worthy of our attentions, I think, as time goes by, right?

Russ Jones: Sure.

Dean Becker: Ok, once again we’ve been speaking with Mr. Russ Jones, a man with thirty years law enforcement and experience. Russ, as a spokesman for LEAP, we get a chance to talk to the public and I, honestly, in the last year, especially, in the last few years, I have noticed more and more people, in fact, nearly everybody, gets it. Nearly everybody that I talk to understands that this Drug War is an abject failure and it must be changed. Are you seeing the same, getting the same response?

Russ Jones: I do. I speak for LEAP all over the nation and I do a lot of colleges and Universities from Rutgers University, last year, University of Houston, University of Colorado. I just recently got back from California. In fact, I go in a couple of more weeks; I go back to California.

I speak to Rotary Clubs and Lion Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs and when you give – when you stick to facts in evidence and stay away from morals and ideological arguments and stick with the facts in evidence, the great majority and I mean the GREAT majority, 80-85% agree with me, whereas that 10% that says, “Gosh, you make a lot of sense but I need to think about it some more.” That’s great and there’s that 5-10% that think I’m out to lunch but then Dean, there’s 5-10% who think aliens landed in Roswell, sixty years ago.

Dean Becker: More, more than that. (laughing) Yeah, I agree. Well, Russ, thank you so much. We’ll be in touch soon. I hope to see you soon out in our travels somewhere but you keep up the good work, as will I’m sure, all our fine speakers from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Russ, thank you again.

Russ Jones: You bet. Good evening.

Dean Becker: Alright, folks if you’d like to learn more about Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Their website is: leap.cc

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(upbeat swing music)

It’s a tempest in a teapot
A hurricane in a thimble
Drug War the lie
That lasts forever!

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Mary Jane Borden: Hello Drug Policy Aficionados, I’m Mary Jane Borden, editor of Drug War Facts.

The question for this week addresses the core illegality by asking: What makes drugs illegal?

It all has to do with a federal law passed in 1970. According to a 2009 Congressional Research Service Report, “with increasing use of marijuana and other street drugs during the 1960’s notably by college and high school students, criminal drug control laws came under scrutiny. In 1969, President Nixon asked Congress to enact legislation to combat rising levels of drug use. Hearings were held, different proposals were considered and House and Senate congeries filed a conference report on October 1970. The report was adopted by a voice vote in both chambers and was signed into law as the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. Included in the new law was the Controlled Substances Act. [CSA]”

The CSA can be found under Title 21 of the US Commercial Code, Subchapter 1, Sections 801-904 specifies drug control and enforcement. Under the CSA drugs are classified into one of five Schedules.

In theory, Schedule I is reserved for those drugs determined to be the most dangerous and to require the most control. Drugs in Schedules II-V are thought to be safer and thus progressively less tightly controlled.

Schedule I drugs include: heroin, MDMA, ibogaine, LSD, marijuana, mescaline, peyote, psilocybin, tetrahydrocannabinols and GHB.

Schedule II drugs include: opium, coca, cocaine, fentanyl and methadone.

Anabolic steroids, buprenorphine and ketomine are found in Schedule III.

Diazepam or Valium and zopiclone or Lunestra is Schedule VI.

In small dosages, often for cough syrups, opium and it’s analog and codeine can also be found in Schedule V.

These facts and others like them can be found in the Crime and Medical Marijuana chapters of Drug War Facts at www.drugwarfacts.org. If you have a question for which you need facts please email it to me at: mjborden@drugwarfacts.org.

I’ll try to answer your question in an upcoming show. So, remember when you need facts about drugs and drug policy you can get the facts at Drug War Facts.

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Philip High: My name is Philip High and there’s no irony there. I’ve been with MedCan University for the past year and a half. My background is chemistry.

Dean Becker: Philip, the MedCan Organization has many people, wearing many different hats dealing with law enforcement, science, medicine, even the growth of the cannabis plant itself. Please tell us a little bit more about the expertise you bring to this situation.

Philip High: Well, essentially MedCan is providing seminars to teach people about the cannabis industry – the medical cannabis industry. The Dallas seminar, which I’ll be speaking at, will be September 18th and 19th from 10am-6pm. That’s a Saturday and Sunday.

The curriculum will include, the History of Cannabis, Medicinal Value, Dispensary Concepts, Legal Issues and Ethics, Production and Growing, Real Estate, Security, Advertising and Marketing, Operations, Accounting, Supply and Demand and Profits.

The point that I’ll be speaking to at the seminar includes the Production and partly the Growing and the Operations. So I’ll be going over the product applications, the chemicals and the chemistry involved with cannabis. So, I’ll be identifying the medicinal compounds that the cannabis plant contains and ways to extract them and apply them medicinally to different products, ranging from tinctures and creams to edibles to obviously the traditional method such as inhalation.

Dean Becker: This is perhaps one of the most studied plants, organisms on the planet, yet many within government tend to say that it needs more study but there’s lots of positives that have been found already, correct?

Philip High: Oh, most certainly. The research goes back ten thousand years to the beginning of recorded history. We know more about this plant then we know about any other substance, basically, on the planet.

Dean Becker: Well, once again we’ve been speaking to Mr. Philip High from MedCan University. Now, that conference, the first of many such conferences, in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas will be this coming September 18th and 19th up there in Dallas. You can learn more, by visiting the website at medcanuniversity.com.

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(Serene music)

I am the Reverend Dean Becker of the Drug Truth Network standing in the river of reform, baptizing Drug Warriors to the Unvarnished Truth.

drugtruth.net

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Dan Newman: My name is Dan Newman and I am working with the Proposition 19 Campaign, which is an initiative on the November ballot in California to control and tax marijuana. It essentially offers a commonsense reform, which will control marijuana, the way we control, tax and regulate alcohol and tobacco.

Dean Becker: Well, Dan, it seems like you guys are finding more and more allies, more and more organizations, unions, police officers, etc. that are speaking out for this need for change. Are you not?

Dan Newman: That’s true. It’s been a one of the most impressive and frankly surprising to many people. The impact and debate around the initiative so far is the broad and diverse coalition that’s growing in support of the initiative.

We’ve got, like you said, law enforcement, professionals, people who have been on the front lines of the Drug War and seen that it’s failing and that police priorities can be better used fighting violent crime, instead of arresting non-violent marijuana consumers.

We’ve got union leaders that understand the need to revenue from what is California’s largest cash crop right now that is not taxed in any way at a time when our budgets are under severe strain, also the possibilities to create good, paying jobs across the state.

You’ve got medical doctors and the California NAACP. So, it’s really been a broad and diverse and strong coalition coming together in support of Prop 19.

Dean Becker: What your response here? Recently current and former Drug Czars came out and spouted their propaganda again. Your response?

Dan Newman: Yeah, there’s always going to be some people who are sort of scared of change or people that are happy with the status quo. Right now the only groups who are doing well under the current situation are drug cartels and illegal street dealers.

So, one of the many impacts of this is that it would be de-fund the cartels and take street dealers, to help put them out of business. In general, we’ve been very pleased with the broad and diverse coalition supporting the initiative.

Dean Becker: If folks around the country would like to show their support for this effort, please, point them to your website where they could learn more.

Dan Newman: I would encourage everyone to go to: www.taxcannabis.org to learn more and help out if you’re willing to do so. We really are counting on the active and engaged support from the on-line community across the country on this issue. So, it would be great if people go to www.taxcannabis.org and help out.

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Alright my friends, thank you for joining us on this edition of Century of Lies. I want to thank Russ Jones for being with us. Join us next week Erin Houston will be with us. He’s the new Director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. As always, there’s no truth, justice, logic and no reason for this Drug War to exist. We’ve been duped. Please, visit our website: 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.

This show produced at Pacifica Studios at KPFT, Houston.

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

Transcript provided by: Ayn Morgan of www.eigengraupress.com