09/11/19 John Baucum

Cannabis Conf in Austin, John Baucum Dir RAMP, Jay Hall Houston Police Lt. (Ret), Aubree Adams Parents Opposed to Pot, Ryan Poppy Moderator

Program: 
Cultural Baggage Radio Show
Date: 
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Guest: 
John Baucum
Organization: 
Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition
John Baucum
Download: Audio icon FDBCB091119.mp3
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TRANSCRIPT

CULTURAL BAGGAGE

SEPTEMBER 11, 2019

DEAN BECKER: Hello my friends this is Cultural Baggage, I am Dean Becker, the Reverend Most High, and we’re gonna tune in to a recent conference in Austin, Texas regarding marijuana.

RYAN POPPY: I am Ryan Poppy, and I am a Senior Political Correspondent for Texas Public Radio. To my left here is John Baucum and he’s with the Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition, and then we have Jay Hall, Retired Police Lieutenant with the Houston Police Department, also opinion columnist locally there in Houston, and Aubry Adams with Mom Strong, and today we are talking about should Texas move towards legalization, and I want to start off with ladies first, and I know that you have a presentation as well.

AUBREY ADAMS: My name is Aubrey Adams, and I am a former Colorado mom. I moved to Houston, Texas a year ago because marijuana has changed my home. I oppose any policies that promote, normalize, glorifies, or lies about marijuana and the only drug policies that I think we should pass are drug prevention and drug recovery policies. The legalization of marijuana is a drug promotional policy. It turns every home into a potential drug house. Allows a powerful, well-funded industry to increase drug addiction, mental illness; including psychosis and suicide. Legalization of marijuana is a social injustice. It targets disadvantaged communities like my old home town of Pueblo, Colorado, where currently the marijuana industry is poisoning its people including its children, but we don’t want to put people in jail for simple drug possession. We do not want to block a person’s opportunity to have a consequence in order to create growth and change, or block someone’s chances to get into drug court in order to get help. I cannot tell you how many times people have told me jail saved their lives and when I could get my son in a 23-hour juvenile hold it kept him off the streets and alive. These consequences were part of his recovery. Without some type of accountability, there is no opportunity for recovery. Please like and share, Parents Opposed to Pot and send donations so we can continue to educate on the true impacts of marijuana and help combat the huge pro-pot propaganda machine.

My son started using marijuana edibles in the eighth grade soon after legalization. He was self-harming and we did not know he was using marijuana because industry makes products in deceptive forms to disguise use. By February 2015, my son was irrational, paranoid. Repeating things that did not make sense and one night he was so violent towards his younger brother that his brother ran barefoot through the snow to get away from him. He attempted suicide and was hospitalized and then he was discharged – he was still suicidal. I took him back to the ER where I was told it’s just marijuana and we were sent home. Within a few days, my son was hospitalized again in a different town because there were no available beds in our town. He told me he was using dabs and he knew they were making him feel crazy and he was trying to quit. He described dabs as strong marijuana, he called them, “crack weed”. Dabs are mass produced, marketed and called medicine. I volunteered my family for Crisis Intervention with GSS because I couldn’t find treatment for marijuana abuse. My son had developed the pediatric disease of addiction and by the next year he was not only using marijuana, he was using meth and heroin. Marijuana kills. It is a gateway to more drugs and pharmaceutical drugs. My son allows me to tell his story because he wants the nation to know that marijuana is deadly, harmful and can change you forever with delusional thinking, hallucinations, increased risk for suicide, depression and addiction.

My husband also allows me to tell his story. He read that marijuana would help his panic attacks – but marijuana harmed him and he now suffers from severe depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. My old community of Pueblo has pot scholarships for every high school senior. It’s a brilliant marketing plan by the predatory marijuana industry to groom future users – the way to advertise to kids under the radar. 1 out of 3 Pueblo High School seniors is now using marijuana and they have a 27.6 chronic absenteeism rate. There is a marijuana head shop next door to an alternative high school where kids can see shiny, colorful bongs and pipes and clothing and advertisements glorifying and normalizing marijuana. They even have a person outside waiting – come get your free pipe. The number 1 cause of death ages 10 to 24 is suicide in Colorado, the main drugs the victims are testing positive for is marijuana, ages 10 to 19. 70% of the marijuana shops in Colorado recommend marijuana to pregnant women so now my mom and I hung baby bibs on the marijuana shops in Pueblo that said, “Don’t hurt our future, Colorado kids”, it’s a campaign by the Marijuana Accountability Coalition.

Drugs are winning the war on drugs, and the war is now in our homes and our neighborhoods. I am a witness to the fall of America and THC is the weapon of our destruction.

DEAN BECKER: Again, that was Aubrey Adams, her group, Parents Opposed to Pot, I would just say this; she needs to get control of her son and her husband needs to get control of his self. I hope you notice, I am carrying this prohibitionist mindset on this show and the fact that she’s having problems within her family should not be reason for a law against you or your family or to declare that marijuana is a threat to our nation. It’s the same old Reefer Madness, just being regurgitated once again.

RYAN POPPY: Okay, so next let’s talk to Jay.

JAY HALL: Most of the times when we make a claim, it’s a cause and affect type claim.

RYAN POPPY: Right.

JAY HALL: It’s not based on, let’s say a regression and now this is where we would include the various factors that go in to that result that we are claiming. So without having any type of empirical information and even though – if we have empirical information it does change with each locality so if, let’s say, one particular state had a particular result we would have to look at what is going on in that particular area. What’s the context of that? So it’s very difficult to have a definitive answer for what you’re asking.

RYAN POPPY: This is something that other legal states have seen after Colorado legalized both its recreational program. You saw the cross border traffic heading in to states that had not legalized. It seems like as we’ve seen in other states, it creates a black market for those producers in those legal states.

JAY HALL: Yes, and that is possible because you’re talking about a supply and demand type situation and you’re talking about a substitution effect when it comes to different drugs – and the same thing when it comes to legalization. So basically we’re talking about supply and demand, so if you legalize drugs in the other states then yes, it is possible if it’s not legalized in Texas that you could have a black market affect, which would mean that you would have increased profits. You would have more law enforcement being alerted to those types of situations, you’d have more violent crimes as a result of that. So yeah, the black market is very real.

RYAN POPPY: You know often it seems like probable cause is used by officers to get into a person’s vehicle. Has that your been your experience? The scent of marijuana, anything like that? How is probable cause used in terms of marijuana arrests in your experience?

JAY HALL: Well it affected police practices.

RYAN POPPY: Okay.

JAY HALL: One of the things that I always like to point out is that ever since 1914, the Harrison Act, fear has driven the marijuana debate and so when you have fear driving the debate we had framed the marijuana issue into a zero sum game. Somebody has to win, someone has to lose. The winners in the marijuana debate have been the drug cartels, the prison systems, the politicians who have to get tough on crime, and the grant writers who provide financial incentives in getting grant monies for. But the losers have been patients like veterans, mass incarceration individuals, and tax payers. They have to pay these bills. In New York they had – for possession of marijuana in New York, they had a situation where they had like 400,000 arrests and that bill, well it took officers off the street. Number one. So when those officers are off the street what takes place is that other major crimes are not being investigated. The clearance rates are lower because we’re spending time addressing the marijuana possession issues. At the end of the day the taxpayers may be stuck with 500 million dollars or a billion dollar bill to address those – that overtime bill, or those bills that the officers have in order to pay them for processing possession of marijuana cases. If you have an economic incentive, if you have a quota system, if grant money is based on how many arrests you can make, then surely that can affect how police approach their job in terms of probable cause in making arrests.

DEAN BECKER: All right folks, you are listening to the Cultural Baggage Show on Pacifica Radio and the Drug Truth Network. We’re tuning in to a recent panel held in Austin, Texas, the topic of discussion; should Texas move towards legalization. We continue with the thoughts of Mr. John Baucum who heads up Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition.

JOHN BAUCUM: Sure well I think there is definitely something to say for Texas being behind the times when it comes to our medical cannabis program or looking at the criminal justice aspect where folks in Texas who are caught possessing a small amount of cannabis are subject to six months in jail, hefty fines. If you’re possessing any kind of concentrate, which again are now coming in because of the demand from these legal states, you’re facing potential felony charges which carry much more serious consequences. One thing I wanted to circle back on your question to Jay regarding the legislative session. Yeah, we saw a strong appetite this session from a bipartisan coalition of members to reduce criminal penalties in Texas for possession of small amounts of cannabis. That started, of course, the summer previously at the Republican Party Convention. The delegates of the largest political gathering in the entire world voted nearly 90% to include a civil penalty plank in the platform which even went a step farther than what the legislature was proposing at least on the house floor when Moody’s bill was amended. So I think that’s great that we see tremendous amount of support in the house from Republicans, Democrats and others to push this issue forward. Unfortunately in the Senate, it was stopped by the Lieutenant Governor, who has objections to cannabis for a number of reasons. I think primarily is he doesn’t want to be seen as potentially being soft on crime or allowing this to happen on his watch. However, notwithstanding the fact that the legislature essentially punted or did nothing on the criminalization aspect. You’re seeing district attorneys all around the state who are implementing pre-charge diversion programs to look for alternative solutions. I think even Aubrey in her opening comments mentioned that even their organization doesn’t want people in jail for possession of small amounts of cannabis. So I think we’re gonna see continued movement with the district attorneys kind of operating within their realm to seek justice not just prosecutions and then as we come back to the legislature in 2021, I think we’ll have another opportunity to look at decreasing those penalties again and as far as us - I want to really – this is not to your question, but kind of a point that Aubrey mentioned and I think it’s something that is legitimate. When we talk about cannabis crossing borders, you mentioned being surrounded by legal– in this case, medical marijuana states and Texas but previous to Colorado and Washington legalizing cannabis, there was already marijuana crossing the border into Texas, except at that time it was primarily coming from Central and South America up through Mexico and then in to Texas and now we see, because of legalization in these states –we’re seeing California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado or course there’s a strong demand for cannabis and cannabis products in Texas, where it’s still prohibited and the individual can’t go to the store and buy a particular strain of cannabis, a particular type of topical, or gummies that may be beneficial to them. So yes, of course, that’s just supply and demand that still having illegal possession laws in Texas is helping to allow a strong demand and of course that product is coming over. So I think to Aubrey’s point, with your home town in Pueblo, I have a cousin who lives in Pueblo – you know there were plenty of people who used cannabis previous to legalization but I certainly understand that there are possibilities for people moving outside the law; having illegal grows, having the cartel industry move in to these legal states and start instead of growing their cannabis in Mexico and shipping it to Texas, now their growing cannabis in legal states and shipping that to Texas. But the impetus to that and the real bottom line is, it’s the prohibition of cannabis throughout the country and throughout the state of Texas that is supplying those cartel and other kind of criminal enterprise gangs with the funds and resources that they need to continue all sorts of illicit activity, including human trafficking and other things as well. So I think if you were to see Texas legalize cannabis and the rest of the federal law drop at least the Schedule 1 status of cannabis. You’re gonna see the price drop dramatically as more market is available – different competitors enter the market. You’re already seeing that with hemp. I was at a conference previously and they talked about hemp farming going for three thousand dollars an acre, or however many dollars it was and everybody just sees gold mines and flashing lights and I am gonna be a hemp farmer with my thousand acres…well I’ll tell you what, but when everybody in that room starts growing hemp – that price is gonna plummet and it’s not gonna be three thousand dollars an acre any more. You might be lucky if it’s three hundred or even 3 dollars an acre. So I think you’re gonna see the same thing with – I don’t like the term recreational cannabis – but adult use cannabis, people who are using it in different ways. The price will plummet once a legal playing field is leveled and then I think you’ll see the profits for these criminal enterprises sort of dry up and they’ll have to pivot to other things which are still illegal and in high demand and create big profits for them.

It's time to play Name That Drug By Its Side Effects! Loss of personal freedom, family and possessions, ineligible for government funding, education licensing, housing or employment. Loss of aggressive mindset in a dangerous world. This drugs peaceful easy feeling may be habit forming. Times Up! The answer: Doobie, Jimmy, Joint, Reefer, Spliff, Jibber, Jay, Biffa, Jazz, Blunt, Steege, Green, or Crack, or Hogger, Bone, Carrot, Mary Jane, Marijuana, Cannabis Sativa made by God. Prohibited by man.

DEAN BECKER: All right, you are listening to Cultural Baggage on Pacifica Radio and the Drug Truth Network. We’re tuning in to a recent conference in Austin on marijuana and now we get to hear the response from Aubrey Adams to Mr. John Baucum’s thoughts on marijuana.

RYAN POPPY: Aubrey, you had a comment?

AUBREY ADAMS: Yeah. I disagree with those comments. I think if Texas legalizes marijuana the black market here will explode just like it did in Colorado. People don’t want to pay taxes on their drugs. They don’t. Drug dealers – the industry is full of bad actors. I understand there’s a few that are not but the majority of the people in the industry are bad actors and they don’t want to pay taxes so their always gonna undercut - the drug dealers are always gonna undercut. The legal market and the illegal market are married. They support and they enhance each other. It’s a drug promotional policy. Texas will be hit even harder than Colorado. You have more private land here and you have more water and there will be a tsunami here. They are waiting – the drug cartels are waiting for you guys to legalize marijuana. They cannot wait for it to happen.

DEAN BECKER: Once again this is the Director of the Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition, Mr. John Baucum.

JOHN BAUCUM: If I may – and Jay, sorry, I’ll let you jump in. I just wanted to cover one point there. You know part of the duty of our republican form of government is the experiment of the states to try things differently so I think to assume that the problems that exist in Colorado, who was the first to experiment along with Washington – who had very different implementation programs for their legal adult use programs. To assume that Texas will go down that same road and maybe not learn from some of the mistakes that have happened in other places, you know you mentioned that taxes keeping the black market thriving – well obviously the taxes are too high. Some of the politicians see these dollar signs coming from a legal market, a new product to sell and they say look what all we can do with these tax resources. But when the taxes are too high, just like in any economic environment, that consumer is going to choose to go where they can get the same product for the lowest price and unfortunately, if I was an individual in one of those states – I would prefer to go in to a store and have this particular product, I can see its testing profile. But from a consumer voice – that’s consumer choice. If I choose not do that and instead the law does allow for people to grow their own cannabis – to gift that cannabis to other individuals. So if I’d rather have an agreement with my friend and he just gifts me cannabis that he has grown, yeah, that’s a consumer choice and I think to your point about – we’ll just use Pueblo as the example, because that’s the one that’s been referenced many times. The State of Colorado has laws on cannabis production, the city of Pueblo has city ordinances related to how individuals can grow cannabis. Homeowners associations had deed restriction bylaws of what can be done in those neighborhoods. So I think there were already elements within state law, city ordinances and even these homeowner association bylaws to restrict this illegal activity and that’s why you see raids and busts happening all of the time in Pueblo, and throughout Colorado on illegal grows.

AUBREY ADAMS: And there’s not enough law enforcement. There are thousands and thousands of these locations and the law enforcement – the DEA is doing the best they can, they are overloaded. The drug dealers will always undercut the price and then they’ll create even more powerful, more cheaper drugs. The root of the problem of our drug crisis in America is we have a cultural crisis. Part of these policies have normalized drugs. Addiction is a pediatric disease. 9 out of 10 people that suffer from addiction started using under the age of 18. We need to focus on drug prevention and drug recovery policies. There is not enough treatment organizations to treat our drug addiction problem now. Look on the streets of Austin right now, you are already inundated with drugs here and now you’re gonna come in and set up these pretty shops and promote it even more as a response. I am sorry, you’re poisoning the people of America and I don’t agree with it whatsoever.

DEAN BECKER: What we have is a moral crisis. Are her morals to be more respected than mine? Are her morals designed or allowed to lock people in jail because they have behaviors for which she disapproves? Screw that! Priorities. We’ve got to get our priorities straight. We continue now.

RYAN POPPY: Jay, keeping with law enforcement let’s go ahead and have you weigh in here.

JAY HALL: Well my concern is this was the same argument that we had with alcohol. We said the same thing, we had the same fears and if you have 10% of the population that may have a pathological relationship with a particular drug, you should not have to penalize the other 90% who are able to handle that arrested. (CLAPPING)

AUBREY ADAMS: I don’t think people’s right to use drugs is more important than the children of America.

DEAN BECKER: Okay. I gotta interrupt one more time to say this, that Aubrey Adams is a loon. She can email me: dean@drugtruth.net, she can come on the show any time she wants to try to refute what I have just stated. Aubrey Adams is a loon.

JAY HALL: We’re looking out for the children, all of the children as adults ourselves. The problem is that we have a situation where we had bad drug policies due to a lack of knowledge of what we know today and so as a result of us updating our knowledge, we have to include that in the formula now so that we can make better decisions. That’s what we are attempting to do. I had a brother who was killed as a result of the drug trafficking and if I had the knowledge, if my parents had the knowledge we may have been able to save my brother but we didn’t have the knowledge. So what we are doing today is we have new knowledge, we are trying to elevate awareness of everyone so that we can help make better decisions.

AUBREY ADAMS: I agree that we need more knowledge. We do not have the education in place and we do need to change policies – that those policies need to be for drug education prevention and recovery. These drug promotional policies are destroying America.

DEAN BECKER: Once again, I’ve got to interrupt to say that the horrors of drug war mainly caused by drug war. It’s obvious, open and glaring to those other than Aubrey Adams.

RYAN POPPY: With that in mind, more knowledge. So in 2019, there was a study conducted by the University of Montana, Colorado and San Diego State that showed an 8% drop and decrease in teen marijuana use in those legal states, a 9% drop and continued usage in those same states and JAMA backed those same findings up with an article that following month having the same kind of findings and the same type of statistics.

AUBREY ADAMS: Oregon and Washington were not included in this. That study is just a wash

RYAN POPPY: Okay. Keeping that in mind, you say that more education – more public education about teen use, that sort of thing may be the answer?

AUBREY ADAMS: Not education from the Drug Policy Alliance. They are teaching our children how to use drugs safely. That is not the answer. Drugs should not be a normal part of our communities. Our children should have more opportunities to grow up drug-free and they are being so peer pressured by this industry and their peers to use because their told its medicine. So the propaganda around this whole issue is not working. It’s not going well, it’s a failed experiment. I’m a living witness to it and I will do everything I can to stop it here in Texas. I don’t know if I can, you guys are much more well-funded than I am. Money usually wins at the end of the day, unfortunately. Politicians – money win. But I am here to stand up and tell you these policies promote drug use, addiction, and mental illness.

JOHN BAUCUM: Can I follow up on that? I think getting – the idea of getting drugs out of our communities, you know there are many drugs in our communities. You know there are many drugs that can be abused from caffeine that’s in coffee, alcohol – the idea that we’re gonna reinstate alcohol prohibition to keep our communities safe from people that drink alcohol and do stupid things. You know I agree with the point of educating the public, educating people the dangers of utilizing any drug, especially for children and pregnant women and things like that. But the idea that you can’t have a group of individuals who have the responsibility and personality to consume different drugs responsibly – you know we have prescriptions for certain medications, you can go over the counter and buy drugs that are very lethal and dangerous – much more so than cannabis, but we trust society to be able to use those respectfully and professionally and I think you’ll see that with cannabis. One of the things that they talk about is an increase in cannabis consumption and cannabis use after legalization and I am specifically speaking about adult use. Of course you are going to have that because you have people right now who are scared to death of getting busted with even a tiny amount of cannabis or God forbid, one gummy bear or a vape cartridge and now they are facing a felony charge in Texas. So yes, some of those people who maybe experimented with cannabis when they were in high school or college and haven’t used it for a decade or two, they might be interested in trying it and some of those individuals might stick with it and continue to use it, some of them won’t and I think you also have the individuals – as you see the federal law change, you’re gonna see some of the employment regulations around drug testing and some of those things will likely change as well. Looking for impairment – there’s always these studies of so and so had cannabis in their system when they did XYZ, well, cannabis stays in your system much longer than many other drugs so I think really finding a correlation between impairment – not just having THC in your blood or urine or anything like that. Truly knowing how and why these individuals and at what level their impairment goes with these drugs is gonna be a big concern as well.

AUBREY ADAMS: So here’s some truth, the legality of a drug does not take away the harm. The legality of a drug increases that harm.

DEAN BECKER: You would prefer that drugs were made in jungle labs using amazon river water, then shipped in submarines, brought north cut with all kinds of contaminates including levamisole, some sort of cancer causing agent that’s very shiny, looks good on the cocaine and then its sold at a 17,000 % markup in back rooms and alleyways to our children by armed gangsters. Entice them to lives of crimes or addiction – oh yeah, that’s so much safer. Aubrey Adams of Parent Opposed to Pot, my email is: dean@drugtruth.net, I would greatly appreciate you being a guest on my radio program. Even in this day and age, Reefer Madness lives.
Once again I remind you because of prohibition, you don’t know what's in that bag. Please be careful.