01/29/16 Ray Hill

Ray Hill, patriarch of KPFT radio re gay rights, drug war & the return of "Flower Power" & Jim McMahon, former Bears QB + ancient US marijuana PSA's (Propaganda)

Program: 
Cultural Baggage Radio Show
Date: 
Friday, January 29, 2016
Guest: 
Ray Hill
Organization: 
KPFT`
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CULTURAL BAGGAGE

JANUARY 29, 2016

TRANSCRIPT

JOHN LENNON: [MUSIC]
I've had enough of reading things
By neurotic-psychotic-pig headed politicians

All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth

No short haired-yellow bellied son of tricky dicky
Is gonna mother hubbard soft soap with me with just a pocketful of hope
Money for dope
Money for rope
Wooh hoo hoo!

DEAN BECKER: Ah yes, once again, broadcasting from the gulag filling station of planet earth, this is Cultural Baggage. I'm your host, Dean Becker. Here in just a moment we're going to bring in our guest for this show, a gentleman who understands the power of the people, a gentleman who was there when flower power was making its heyday back in the 60s, going into the 70s. The gentleman who gave me my first chance on the airwaves on this nation. A man who for decades ran the prison show. A gentleman who understands human rights, a gentleman who has friends and contacts around the world. A gentleman greatly respected, my friend, Mister Ray Hill. And, he's my mentor, my adviser, my friend. Ray?

RAY HILL: Great to see you. I don't know if I can live up to all of that, Dean.

DEAN BECKER: Ah, hell yeah, you can, Ray. Ray, the fact of the matter is, we talked briefly about this before the show.

RAY HILL: Sure.

DEAN BECKER: And my idea --

RAY HILL: We talk all the time. On a regular basis, about a lot of things.

DEAN BECKER: Yes, we do, but this particular one, Ray, I want to bring back the idea, the power, of flower power.

RAY HILL: You've had me thinking about that for almost two weeks now, Dean.

DEAN BECKER: Yes sir, and --

RAY HILL: And I've been doing all kinds of flashbacks. You know, you know what I do after I do this show? I've got to go downtown and pick up my 57 year sobriety chip. But that don't mean I don't have flashbacks.

DEAN BECKER: Well, those were the days, indeed they were. But the point being, I want to get the old folks out of their couches, I want to get them to stand up, I want to get them in their wheelchairs.

RAY HILL: Well, a lot of us can't stand that well.

DEAN BECKER: Well, they can get in their wheelchairs, but they can show these youngsters how it is to get involved and stand against injustice.

RAY HILL: Well, I was there.

DEAN BECKER: Yes, sir.

RAY HILL: All right? And the big issue there was, number one, Timothy Leary had started a movement that began on college campuses, it was a school bus painted all kind of psychedelic colors, driving around the country --

DEAN BECKER: Further.

RAY HILL: -- and saying eat this sugar cube, and find nirvana today.

DEAN BECKER: Yes, yes.

RAY HILL: And, so that was the kind of gestalt we were in. Meanwhile, there was a war going on.

DEAN BECKER: As always.

RAY HILL: And so we decided that the opposite of bullets is flowers.

DEAN BECKER: Yep, yep.

RAY HILL: And so, we tried this first at, I think, Cornell. We were at Cornell, a bunch of us strategists, anti-warriors, were in, and there was a demonstration at Cornell, and the National Guard showed up.

DEAN BECKER: Right.

RAY HILL: And we could get close to them. And so, everybody brought flowers, mostly daisies. And we put daisies in the barrels of their upright guns.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah. Yeah.

RAY HILL: And that was dubbed "Flower Power." And we were the generation that was going to bring about change in the fashion that Gandhi had suggested change be made.

DEAN BECKER: Indeed.

RAY HILL: Now, I don't know if Gandhi would have joined us on legalization of marijuana, but he certainly would have joined us on anti-war.

DEAN BECKER: Indeed. Indeed.

RAY HILL: And, you know, he used to go around India and give lectures on the benefits of goat's milk.

DEAN BECKER: Okeh.

RAY HILL: And it was really an anti-World War II speech. But the title of it was The Household Benefits of Goat's Milk to Your Family's Nutrition. And so everything was kind of disguised in something else in Gandhi's thing, and if you're a real Gandhi-ite, like I was, raised by my labor goon parents to be that, you look on ways to reach your subject matter by taking people through a different idea. So we talked about love, we talked about peace, and, let me tell you, there was a whole lot of sexist stuff going on in the free love movement. Most young college males read free love as an opportunity to exploit women shamelessly, and some of us who were kind of feminist-leaning behind the scenes, would talk about that, but we wouldn't talk about it in a speech with that title.

DEAN BECKER: Ray, I want to reach back a bit, late 60s, I'm just learning how to get high. We were talking out in the studio there, I didn't have gaydar. I didn't understand. It was through sharing a joint with the cowboy and I guess the queers and the others, we learned respect for one another.

RAY HILL: Well, we had to, because somebody had to keep their eye open for the cops. Because in those days, in the 60s, you could go to prison for being queer.

DEAN BECKER: Yes.

RAY HILL: I met 5 old men in a Texas prison that had been sentenced to life in prison for just being gay.

DEAN BECKER: Wow. Wow.

RAY HILL: And, any class two felony could be enhanced, and the third offense was a mandatory life sentence under the habitual criminal act. And so I met five old men who had been sentenced that way to life in prison. I met them on the day they got out, because while I was in my prison cell, I lobbied the legislature to change the law and the sodomy law was repealed and replaced with a law called 2106, which made the offense a class C misdemeanor. You can't even get arrested, it's a, no prison, it's fine only.

DEAN BECKER: Right.

RAY HILL: We're trying to get that for marijuana right now.

DEAN BECKER: You bet.

RAY HILL: Give me a ticket, don't take to jail.

DEAN BECKER: Well, Ray, the hell of it is, there's a law on the books, passed in 2009, House Bill 2391 it was, signed by the governor, passed by the legislature, no longer necessary to arrest or jail anybody for under 4 ounces of weed.

RAY HILL: Four ounces of weed's a lot of dope.

DEAN BECKER: Well, and yet, all but one district attorney in the state of Texas says, never mind, they use the old laws.

RAY HILL: San Antonio or Travis County?

DEAN BECKER: Travis County.

RAY HILL: Right, and it's Austin, Travis County is.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah.

RAY HILL: So, if you're going to carry around four ounces of dope, that's a lot of dope. You can make some money with four ounces of dope. Go over to Travis County and they'll give you a ticket.

DEAN BECKER: Well, the sheriff will still arrest you, I think the police will give you the ticket. So, it's very thin use of that law. But --

RAY HILL: The sheriff of Travis County? I know that lesbian, I'll have to go have a conversation with her.

DEAN BECKER: She'll get her earful, I'm sure. Once again folks, we're speaking with Mr. Ray Hill, patriarch of KPFT, a leader of gay rights in this country, and my mentor, the guy who first put me on the airwaves. Ray, I want to go ahead and take our break. We normally do Name That Drug By Its Side Effects. We're going to do a little slightly different twist on it today.

VOICEOVER: [MUSIC] Hey young America. We need to talk. You may think that this is uncool. You may even think that it is bogus but I want to tell about something that has everyone buzzing - something that concerns mature boys and girls just like you. Something called grass.

Not that grass. I’m talking about marijuana.

You may have heard of it. You may have seen someone smoking it, like those burn-out bohemians, or that crazy-eyed custodian at your school. You may have taken a toke or two. But, do you know the whole story? Do you know the blunt truth?

Weed. Grass. Ganja. Joint. Doobie. Doob. Chronic. Ace. Lobo, loco, loveboat, bud, buddha, blunt, pot, pass, pin, cheeba cheeba, 420, and hashish, or hash for short. No matter what you call it, no matter what its street-lid it's referred -- or reef-erred to by, it all comes from the same stash. It's all marijuana.

I know what you're thinking. What is marijuana? What makes marijuana so dangerous? Where can I get some marijuana?

NATE EATON: It's a 911 call just released from law enforcement, and obtained by EastIdahoNews.com, that will have you shaking your head.

There's two guys traveling from Las Vegas up to Montana with over 20 pounds of marijuana in their car. And according to court documents, the two men were using some of that marijuana. Well, once they reached the Idaho border, they said they felt like they were being followed by cops. And they got up to Rexsburg, they pulled off the freeway, they called 911, and, well, you just have to listen to the call.

911 OPERATOR: Madison County 911.

LELAND AYALA-DOLIENTE:

LELAND AYALA-DOLIENTE: Hi, uh, we’re the two dumb asses that got caught trying to bring some stuff through your border and all your cops are just driving around us like a bunch of jack wagons and I’d just like for you guys to end it. If you could help me out with that, we would like to just get on with it.

911 OPERATOR: You got caught doing what?

LELAND AYALA-DOLIENTE: Ahh… god. okay. Um… We kind of got spooked here trying to bring some stuff across your Idaho border.

911 OPERATOR: Okeh.

LELAND AYALA-DOLIENTE: And, yeah. A bunch of your cops driving around in a bunch of civilian cars not wanting to pick us up. I don’t know what’s the deal. I was just wondering if you could help us out and just end it.

911 operator: Okeh… um….

LELAND AYALA-DOLIENTE: Yeah… if you could call one of them. I don’t know. It’s getting cold out here man. I just want to get warm and just get on with this whole thing so…

911 OPERATOR: Okeh. Where you at right now?

LELAND AYALA-DOLIENTE: University Boulevard right next to the gas station and Applebee’s. All your buddies are around us so if you could help us out that’d be great.

911 OPERATOR: Okeh… alright. Is it just you or is there anybody else with you?

LELAND AYALA-DOLIENTE: It’s me and my buddy that I brought with me and then we have a dog that we were gonna bring back to it’s owner but…

911 OPERATOR: Oh okeh.

LELAND AYALA-DOLIENTE: She’s a really nice dog. She’s not mean. She’s a pitbull…

911 OPERATOR: Oh… cool.

LELAND AYALA-DOLIENTE: She’s really cold in the car. She could use some food too.

911 OPERATOR: Okeh. What was your name man?

LELAND AYALA-DOLIENTE: It’s Leland.

911 OPERATOR: Leland… okeh. Hold on just one second okay. Stay on the phone with me.

LELAND AYALA-DOLIENTE: Alright. Thank you. He’s a nice guy. Want me to jump in the air and click my heels twice or what?

911 OPERATOR: Do you guys have any guns or weapons or anything on you at all?

LELAND AYALA-DOLIENTE: Nope we don’t have any of that stuff with us. Just a bunch of snacks and stuff.

911 OPERATOR: All right. I just wanna make sure. They’re just curious.

LELAND AYALA-DOLIENTE: Yeah, yeah. We tried walking away from the car a couple times and that didn’t work. We tried waving them down and that didn’t work so I don’t know what’s going on here.

911 OPERATOR: Okeh. All right. I do have one of my marked units. He’s on his way over there so he’s on his way to meet you, so --

LELAND AYALA-DOLIENTE: Alright. Thank you.

NATE EATON: Holland Sward and Leland Ayala-Doliente were charged with trafficking marijuana. Police say when they showed up here, both men had their hands behind their head. They told the cops they were surrendering, and the marijuana, which was inside of a dog kennel, was on the sidewalk ready for the police to take away.

Both men pleaded guilty to their charges. When Ayala-Doliente showed up in court to be sentenced, he tested positive for marijuana. Reporting in Rexsburg, Idaho, I'm Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com.

DEAN BECKER: Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune, this is former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon.

JIM MCMAHON: Well, I know medicinal marijuana's been a godsend for me, I mean, with my chronic pain, all my surgeries I've had, the arthritis. It's, it's getting me through the day, and I would hope the governor would get on board with this. It's helped so many people, epileptics, cancer patients. It's definitely helped, it helps me every day. I use it every day, and it gets me through the day. I feel a heck of a lot better than I did when I used to have to take all those pain pills.

DEAN BECKER: All right, there you have it, from Jim McMahon. He's one of many NFL players, former players, they can't talk about it while they're still getting a paycheck, I suppose, but one of many NFL players who've come out for medical marijuana, to get off the pills, to help them have a more reasonable day. Go ahead, Ray.

RAY HILL: One of the things marijuana rights supporters need to do is to develop something like gaydar. So that you can recognize casual users on sight, and you don't have to ask, you don't have to wait until they get out of the NFL, you know. I knew Joe Namath was queer the minute I saw him walk off of the field with his helmet under his arm. My gaydar went off, and it went wee, wee, wee. And I said, oh, okeh, got it. Got it. Got it. It would be years before anybody would, you know, scandal column would come out with that, but I knew it right away. I mean, gaydar works. And, I know, you know, that nobody else knows that you use. I know that you know, but you ain't fooling any more people than the weatherman on channel two. Ain't fooling nobody, because somebody can tell.

DEAN BECKER: Right.

RAY HILL: So, look, and let me tell you, a lot of dope users are going to just have to come out of the closet. You're just going to have to do that. They'd say, well Raymond, it's illegal, I can't come out of the closet. Wait a minute. When I came out of the closet as a gay person, it was a felony. I could go to prison if I got caught. But, Ma Rainey has a song, You Got To Prove It On Me. Look it up and play it, it's on the internet, you can't miss it.

DEAN BECKER: Folks, once again, this is Cultural Baggage. I want to alert you to a forthcoming event, it's actually going to be on Wednesday, March 9th, it's a little in advance. We're going to try to bring in a couple of the panelists and or producers before this event, but the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University is going to examine law enforcement perspectives on drug prohibition. The panelists will include Devon Anderson, she's the Harris County District Attorney. We'll also hear from Mr. Gary Hale, he's a non-resident fellow in drug policy and Mexico studies, formerly with the Drug Enforcement Administration. He's based at the Baker Institute. We'll also hear from my compadre at Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Mr. Howard Wooldridge. He's a drug policy specialist. And another panelist will be Gene Wu. He's the Texas state representative from District 137, and I'm proud to say the moderator will be me, Dean Becker, yours truly. I am also a contributing expert at the James A. Baker III Institute, and on this little flyer, I'm billed as author of To End The War On Drugs as well.

Again, that's going to be Wednesday, March 9th, 6:30 pm. And I urge you to go to the Baker Institute --

RAY HILL: Got a location for it?

DEAN BECKER: It's at the Baker Institute website. Yes.

RAY HILL: Is the website -- probably be Sewell Hall, that' s a big auditorium.

DEAN BECKER: Right. And, well, that's the hope. They say if we can get more people there, they'll put it in the big auditorium. And I guess the point is, friends, you know, you, as Ray was talking about, you smoke pot, or you've done drugs, or you know it's just a big fairytale, and yet because of the ramifications --

RAY HILL: Stigma.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah, the stigma --

RAY HILL: The stigma.

DEAN BECKER: -- at church, at school, at work, around the neighborhood, you don't want it to be known that you use this stuff, because of that stigma Ray's talking about.

RAY HILL: Well, let me tell you, like, when I came out as a gay person, if I got caught actually having sex with another guy, and got arrested, that was a felony offense, I'd go to prison. I used to go to the police station and pick up tricks after they got through paying their traffic fines. Don't think I ever lost a man because of the law.

DEAN BECKER: I hear you, Ray. And look, back when I was smoking, it was a felony. Hell, we had the guy, Lee Otis Johnson, who stepped in --

RAY HILL: Got 40 years.

DEAN BECKER: He stepped into a circle of people passing a joint, took a hit, passed it on. They put the cuffs on him and arrested him for distribution of marijuana.

RAY HILL: Well, the guy that brought the dope was an undercover police officer. He lit the joint, handed it to Lee Otis. Lee Otis took a toke, gave it to the next guy, and they got him for smoking it, possession, and delivery. And the cop brought the dope to the scene, and he got 40 years there because he was a black civil rights activist and a friend of mine, and a friend of early crowd of people that made KPFT work. And I followed his career, when he got out of prison he was so messed up, that he went right on into heroin, trying to treat the pain, trying to self-dose the pain.

DEAN BECKER: Well, Ray, and you spent your time in prison, and I think about those who, jeez, endure these years behind bars, and then they come out and they get maybe a $50 stipend to go survive in this world.

RAY HILL: $50 at the gate and another $50 when you see your parole officer. That's for the rest of your life.

DEAN BECKER: And they're expected to get a job with that record, they're expected to pay their bills, they're expected to pay for their own parole, they're expected to pay for everything, and little wonder that many of them just lose hope and go back to where they were before. Am I right?

RAY HILL: Well, that's what the prison show deals with on every day basis, and prison show will be on tonight at 9 o'clock, and I'll be one of the guests.

DEAN BECKER: Well, Ray, and that's, the drug war is tied into so many things, into immigration, into racial bigotry, into even homophobia, into all kinds of phobias that we, you know, wage upon our fellow man.

RAY HILL: And you have no idea, really, unless you went down there, I mean you read about it, but living on a prison, and I lived in Texas prison for four years, four months, and seventeen days. You have no idea how many people whose only wrongdoing was they had something in their pocket.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah. Yeah. Little bit of cocaine.

RAY HILL: Little bit of something in their pocket.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah. Yeah. Suddenly they're --

RAY HILL: And, they were a little bit emboldened because they were high on what they'd used up, but what they got left got them a case.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah. Well, I've said it on air many times, I've been busted 13 times. Eleven of them for being drunk with drugs in my pocket. I was never charged for drunkenness, but I was always charged for that little bit of weed that was in my shirt pocket.

RAY HILL: Dean, you have any idea how many people are sitting in a prison cell, listening to this show right now, because they love your show?

DEAN BECKER: Ray, we've got a few minutes left here, and I want to come back to my idea of the flower power, of the, maybe not the summer of love, but the season of love, of recognizing we have --

RAY HILL: Well, you know, I think, I think, I think if enough people think they are enough worthy causes for us to bond together peacefully and lovingly, and start looking at making change to where society, we ain't going to do it with guns, them guys in Oregon got the wrong idea altogether. If you want to bring about change, reach into people's hearts, and what goes on in your heart? That's a movement of love.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah. Yeah.

RAY HILL: You know, Gandhi wrote the book, he didn't write it in those terms. Timothy Leary picked up on that, and flower power and love, drop out, turn in, and feel good. And we can feel good again. We can bring about change in drug laws, we can bring about sentencing changes, in the last two years they have dropped the weight marker off of federal drug charges. That has saved people decades and decades of time. Fewer people locked up means that we've got more money to do important things, like see what we can do to fix the children in Flint, Michigan.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah, gosh.

RAY HILL: And so, just think about it. The resources we're wasting on law enforcement, trials, appeals, prisons, the amount of money that is spent on that could be saved if we simple come to our senses and stopped this stupid war on drugs, and we started realizing yes, some people have got problems with addiction. That can be treated.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah.

RAY HILL: And if you've got treatment, hey, I'm going to an AA meeting when I get through here, and somebody's over there, and they're just fresh out of prison and trying to stay clean and sober, and you too, if you need that. But most people that use are like most people that drink. They don't have a problem.

DEAN BECKER: Right.

RAY HILL: They know when to enjoy the benefits, and when not to enjoy the benefits. Matter of fact, alcohol's probably more dangerous than most of the drugs we're talking about here anyway.

DEAN BECKER: Well, true. Yeah, I, you know, I'm a little regretful that, you know, I've got 30 years now without a drink of alcohol, but, I guess because I smoke about a half a gram of marijuana on average per day. I'm no longer, I'm not sober, I don't --

RAY HILL: I'm just you've got the energy to do that.

DEAN BECKER: Well, it's not a big habit, and it costs me about fifty cents, but that's all right. Ray, we're closing in on --

RAY HILL: See, you're not in the closet about it.

DEAN BECKER: No. No.

RAY HILL: And that role models, for those folks that are listening, that are saying, I would never say that into a microphone, I would never say that in a crowd of more than two people. What you could, you're missing all the bargain connections if you don't say this, them two people.

DEAN BECKER: Well, hell, Ray, back when I was working for Chevron as audit manager, dealing with hundreds of millions of dollars, I was on the airwaves saying much the same thing. Because, you know, they loved me. I was finding them money hand over fist. People do need to stand up. Or those that can't, need to get in that wheelchair, they need to get involved, need to motivate these younger kids, because they're, they're getting agitated. Hell, Bernie is starting to build a fire under their butts.

RAY HILL: Bernie's on the right track, but let me tell you, where you get courage is your honesty. You're honest with yourself and everybody else, you don't have to have a whole lot of courage.

DEAN BECKER: No.

RAY HILL: Because it comes with the territory. What you are afraid of is somebody else that's held in somebody, and putting some heat on you. But if you're out of the closet, that's your story, and it ain't a secret that somebody can use against you.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah. And it's, it's worked well for me. I'll just say that.

RAY HILL: It's worked well for me, on a couple of levels.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah. And, you know, I think about, the best way to put it, we own the moral high ground on this drug war. There's nobody really wants to defend it, not on my show, no person, no high official --

RAY HILL: You've begged.

DEAN BECKER: I've begged, I went after the drug czar, I've gone after the governor, I've gone after all kinds of people, to come on my show. And, the thing I'm proudest of in the near 15 years we've been doing this was a year and a half ago Police Chief McClelland came on my show, declared the drug war to be a miserable failure. Got national, hell, international exposure. It's been resonating ever since. It's still a few months ago the Chronicle quoted that same radio show. And the point I'm getting at, Ray, is that these politicians need to get on the right side of this issue.

RAY HILL: Yeah, they need to come out of the closet. They need to just tell what they know. They don't have to go too far, they just tell what they know, and what you know for sure is the drug war is a total failure. It is highly selective, it only criminalizes the most vulnerable.

DEAN BECKER: Yep. Yeah. No, I was lucky, as I said, 13 times, 11 of them with drugs in my pocket. I was lucky I was a white kid. I was lucky my parents had a little money for lawyers. I was a lucky man. Because anybody getting busted today for 11 times with drugs, they're never going to get hired. They're never going to be able to -- well, they'd get hired, but it's going to be hell getting that job.

RAY HILL: And then you've got that greasy pole to climb to get a promotion.

DEAN BECKER: Yep. Well, I tell you what, Ray, we're going to have to wrap it up. I want to say good bye to Paul Kantner, just passed away I guess yesterday. I saw him in '68 with the Byrds, Jefferson Airplane was there with the Byrds, Poco and whatever. They were just a great band. We're going to go out with their song, Volunteers, and as always I remind you, because of prohibition you don't know what's in that bag. Please be careful.

JEFFERSON AIRPLANE: [MUSIC] Look what's happening out in the streets
Got a revolution (got to revolution)
Hey, I'm dancing down the streets
Got a revolution (got to revolution)
Oh, ain't it amazing all the people I meet?
Got a revolution (got to revolution)
One generation got old
One generation got soul
This generation got no destination to hold
Pick up the cry
Hey, now it's time for you and me
Got a revolution (got to revolution)
Hey, come on now we're marching to the sea
Got a revolution (got to revolution)
Who will take it from you, we will and who are we?
Well, we are volunteers of America (volunteers of America)
Volunteers of America (volunteers of America)
I've got a revolution
Got a revolution

Look what's happening out in the streets
Got a revolution (got to revolution)
Hey, I'm dancing down the streets
Got a revolution (got to revolution)
Oh, ain't it amazing all the people I meet?
Got a revolution, oh-oh
We are volunteers of America
Yeah, we are volunteers of America
We are volunteers of America (volunteers of America)
Volunteers of America (volunteers of America)