08/07/11 Neill Franklin

Century of Lies

Neill Franklin, Dir of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition + medical marijuana PSA

Audio file


Century of Lies / August 7, 2011


DEAN BECKER: The failure of Drug War is glaringly obvious to judges, cops, wardens, prosecutors and millions more. Now calling for decriminalization, legalization, the end of prohibition. Let us investigate the Century of Lies.


DEAN BECKER: Ah yes, thank you for joining us here on Century of Lies. I am Dean Becker. Here in just a moment we are going to bring in our guest, Mr. Neill Franklin. He’s my boss. He’s the Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. It was established in 2002 by 5 cops, 1 Canadian and 4 American. It’s become and international organization of law enforcement professionals with over 50,000 supports in 80 countries. We’ve got about 130 speakers, all of whom are current and former law enforcement professionals, like myself- believe it or not. And with that, let’s welcome my boss, Neill Franklin. How are you sir?

NEILL FRANKLIN: Dean, I’m great. How are you?

DEAN BECKER: I am well…

NEILL FRANKLIN: …down in Texas. Are you guys getting any cool weather down there? Any rain?

DEAN BECKER: What’s that?! Reminds me of a story of a 5-year-old kid in Australia that got scared to death because it was raining one day. I’ve got a 2-year-old grandson that might do that here soon – cuz it just don’t happen.

We were just talking to Christian Parenti about the situation…

NEILL FRANKLIN: Yes, I was able to catch some of that. That was good. He was great.

DEAN BECKER: This brings to mind that the world and, in particular, the United States has just been kind of dissing truth. Has just been kind of going their own way, creating a “reality” and the drug war has a large part of that. It’s cause and effect, isn’t it?

NEILL FRANKLIN: Yeah it is. I don’t know. You know I’m really proud of this country in most respects but man when it comes to the drug war, I really don’t know what to say. When you see what’s going on in some of these other countries, I listened to Christian talk about Brazil…much of what’s going on to our neighbors to the south and their countries and to realize that the United States literally has the power to not only make things better for us who live in this country but for some many of our neighbors and those who live beyond. But yet, for many reasons, some of which we probably don’t even know, they refuse to do it. We just hold on to the same old rhetoric and policy that has been just tearing countries apart.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah, Neill, I think about the current Drug Czar Kerlikowske, the President himself, they speak to this problem by saying, “Yes, it is a disease. Yes, it needs treatment, less interdiction.” Yet the truth of the matter is they haven’t budged from what it has been for decades now.

NEILL FRANKLIN: No, not one bit. Like I said, the rhetoric is there. They talk a good game. They speak to making these changes. This shift towards treatment and education but the bottom line is…You know Nixon did more than what our current administration is doing. He’s the one, of course, that was pretty much behind the drug war which he started 4 decades ago but he allocated more towards treatment (when you look at it in percentages) he allocated more towards treatment than what we currently do.

And you would think that we would have become smarter in this whole thing after 40 years of this mess. You would think that we would be slowly moving out of this war or at least focusing on those things that we learned and that we know that work.

DEAN BECKER: Yes. Folks we are speaking with Neill Franklin, director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Neill, I’m looking at the stories that I picked up this week and wanted to bring in here. We were talking about Christian Parenti, respected author, and the fact of the matter is … a week ago, 10 days ago, a very respected organization, the National African American …NAACP came out and called for an end to the flawed War on Drugs. I think the week before that it was the National Conference of Mayors…a month before that it was the Global Commission on Drugs. And, it brings to mind – what’s going to swing this cat?! What is it that’s necessary to open this dialog and to take another look? Your response.

NEILL FRANKLIN: Well, I think with organizations such as the NAACP now moving in the direction, making that statement, “It’s time to end the drug war.” Now we never really got into the details as to what that means but that’s a pretty strong statement. We have others who are coming out, not just organizations such as this but we have political figures from Capitol Hill saying the same thing. We have the Global Commission talking about our policies and the fact that we need to move away from prohibition. And the strong members that make up that organization.

I don’t think we’re far from it, Dean. I think that really soon we’re going to end up in a serious discussion. The debate is over. The debate has ended as to whether or not we need to move away from the drug war, I mean seriously move away from the drug war. That’s done. It’s now a conversation about how do we end this. You know, what does it look like? And we know one thing for sure that it has to be evidence and scientific based. No more of this fear mongering. No more of this talk about, “Well, it’s morally wrong.” No, first of all, it’s morally wrong to have prohibition because of what it does to certain groups of people.

DEAN BECKER: And to the whole world for that matter.

NEILL FRANKLIN: …to the whole world. So, we want to have that conversation real soon. It’s going to begin with groups like the NAACP. It won’t be long before we get the Latino community strongly behind this and they’ll have to have the proper discussion about it. And we know once they have the discussion it’s all over.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah. There’s just nothing on that other side. Now, I’m not one to go conspiracy on you here but allow me to sneak up on this one…

NEILL FRANKLIN: Uh-oh, here we go.

DEAN BECKER: William Colby, who was head of the CIA, and I don’t have the quote here but it went something like, “It’s possible the Latin cartels have their tentacles into every level of government.” And then I come to this story that comes out, I think it was the Washington Post, “Obama Oks Disrupting Finances of Zetas and Other Crooks” – Oh, it’s out of the Associated Press. And he’s going after the Zetas rather than the Sinaloa or the Gulf or the Juarez or any other cartel down there.

And that ties into another story that …here it is…”U.S. Federal Agents allegedly allow the Sinaloa drug cartels to traffic several tons of cocaine into the United States in exchange for information about rival cartels.” Just like the informant and snitch system here, “You get to go out and do your crime if you’ll help get these other bad guys.” Your response, Neill Franklin.

NEILL FRANKLIN: Well, you know, I’m not a conspiracy theorist either, but does it make sense? Sure, it makes sense. You mentioned that the systems that we have here. Exactly what you just said but on a much larger scale when you look at the cartels.

This is nothing new. Now, they obviously had the money to influence people and organizations. We know that they budget for that sort of thing. And when this whole trade is generating (no one knows for sure) but we know it’s generating somewhere from 300 close to 500 billion dollars per year for criminal enterprise around the world. Of course there’s money out there to influence how this whole war is waged and who gets special treatment and who gets looked at under a microscope.

It still baffles me that our government hasn’t really done anything to end prohibition because it is so logical to me. I’ve been in this for over 3 decades and it’s so logical, it’s so clear to me that this is the way to go. Is there something else going on that we don’t know about? I’m just asking the question. Because how could something so logical be so difficult for people to even talk about.

DEAN BECKER: It’s a very valid question. Folks, we’re speaking with Mr. Neill Franklin, the director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Neill, we’re going to take a one minute break. Get you a drink of water or something and we’ll be right back. Folks, pay attention to these messages.



DEAN BECKER: Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. These men and women have served in the trenches of drug war as prosecutors, as judges, cops, guards and wardens. They have seen first-hand the utter futility of our policy and now work together to end prohibition. Please visit, http://leap.cc


DEAN BECKER: Now for something completely different.


SINGERS: We are the plant police. With each arrest we bring peace. We fight eternal war so you can never score. Yes we are the plant police.


DEAN BECKER: Alright, kind of a wide ranging snapshot of law enforcement there. I hope you appreciate the humor there, Neill.

NEILL FRANKLIN: You know something, Dean, we know that most of what happens in this world is about money. The statement, “Money makes the world go round” is true. I’m not an economist, not a Jeffrey Miron at Harvard or one of these other guys but I just want to throw this out there. I just want to ask this question and maybe there’s someone out there that has the smarts to make something of it.

This trade, this illegal drug trade, for the most part it is a cash business. OK, so we’re not wiring money from account to account. We’re not using credit cards to buy our drugs out on the streets and what have you. We’re talking about green dollars, 20s, 5s, 100s. A lot of this money, this cash, which now, in our country, carries its own value…years and years ago it’s used to be backed by gold, correct?


NEILL FRANKLIN: That’s no longer. Am I right about that?

DEAN BECKER: Yeah. It’s seems to be fluctuating, but yes.

NEILL FRANKLIN: So now we have billions of dollars leaving this country because of the drug trade so we’ve been able to push our cash out of our country into other countries. Now, does that help us as a country or does it hurt us as a country. I would think that it probably helps us as a country because …

DEAN BECKER: …it controls inflation…

NEILL FRANKLIN: …other countries want that …since there’s so much of it outside of our borders, whoever holds it – they want it to keep its value. So this cash floating around in these other countries, these countries want that cash to keeps value. Especially the cartel, we know they do.

What would happen if we ended the drug war and we ended this flow of cash leaving our borders going into other countries? Would it eventually devalue our dollar? I’m just asking. I don’t know.

DEAN BECKER: When people start asking something for those dollars, I think in many third-world countries that the U.S. dollar is kind of the de facto currency of choice. But I wanted to bring up this. It was reported, I think it was last year, Wachovia bank got caught with their hand in the till laundering money for the drug cartels and I think that the U.N. Drug Czar and Antonio Maria Costa even said that without the constant flow of those drug dollars that the banks would have had an even worse problem. I think it was 300 billion dollars, over a time frame, Wachovia laundered for the drug cartels and they were fined about 140 million dollars.

NEILL FRANKLIN: That’s what I’m talking about, Dean. So, like I said…is there something we’re not quite getting as to why they don’t even want to talk about this.

DEAN BECKER: I don’t know if you got a chance to hear my editorial on the last show but it dealt with the fact that the primary benefactors or recipients of this money is the banks, laundering it for the cartels. And then you got the cartel players and on down the line. But it’s 300 to 500 billion dollars per year and that bribes and corrupts a whole lot of people because it’s still going.

NEILL FRANKLIN: I guess it’s once again left up to us.

DEAN BECKER: Once again, folks, we’re speaking to Mr. Neill Franklin, the director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. As the PSA said, http://leap.cc

Now just last week the Chronicle quoted me in a story. They were talking about Mexico’s cartels rely on their cash crop, “Ease of Production, High Demand: Make Pot a Sure Bet for Gangs.” So the Houston Chronicle had a major editorial, “It’s Time To Get Real on Drugs.” They’re one of the major papers that’s starting to speak rather loudly and boldly about this – but they’re not the only ones, are they?

NEILL FRANKLIN: No, they are not.

DEAN BECKER: There’s another story I brought in today out of Great Britain, The Guardian, “Liberal democrats are expected to call for an independent inquiry into the decriminalisation of possession of all drugs.” Now, this seems to rattle around over there fairly often these days and I wish they would talk about legalization because you and I know that decriminalization leaves the terrorist, cartels and gangs still in charge, right?

NEILL FRANKLIN: Yeah, and I think it’s a number of people have a misconception there. I just hosted a book salon on Firedoglake for a book that just came out called “Jackpot” and there were a couple people in there that commented on the decriminalization of pot and other drugs in Mexico and how they are waiting to see the results. Of course I had to let them know that, “Well, you’re not going to see much from that because we still have prohibition. It’s still illegal to sell which makes it profitable for the cartel members. So they’re still getting the cash in, it’s still a violent society because of that.” There’s a big difference between decriminalization and legalization.

DEAN BECKER: You know, Neill, the fact of the matter is that despite the protestations of these zealot drug warriors, the prison population is starting to come down. They can’t afford the luxury of locking up so many people. I saw something from the Sentencing Report that at least 13 states have closed or are considering closing correctional facilities this year – reversing a 40-year trend. It is a luxury we can no longer afford, isn’t it?

NEILL FRANKLIN: Depends on who it’s considered a luxury for. If you’re in there, I don’t think it is…


Just kidding, but, you’re right. It’s way too costly. We pretty much don’t have a choice financially and the states bear most of that burden. As we know many of our states are really cash strapped and they don’t have much of a choice.

In addition to that there are a couple other problems. It makes for a very dangerous environment not just for those who are incarcerated but for the correctional officers that have to man these facilities, in addition because of the overcrowding in our institutions. There’s no such thing as correction – it’s strictly housing. It’s strictly keeping somebody there, keeping them out of trouble, keeping them alive until it’s time to release them.

If we are able to reduce the populations, one added benefit would be – maybe we could then work on preparing these individuals (at least some of these individuals) for when they re-enter society. But they’re still carrying that very heavy load, that very heavy stigma of that conviction that they had which makes it very difficult for them to get employment, and the only people then hiring is, once again, the illicit drug trade and those gangs.

DEAN BECKER: Once again we are speaking with Mr. Neill Franklin, director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Neill, I’m wanting to ask about the progress of LEAP. I mentioned earlier that I’m speaking at the Harrisburg Rotary Club on August 23rd at noon. This is one of hundreds of speaking engagements that Law Enforcement Against Prohibition does around the country. I want the folks out there to know that you get in touch with us, it make takes us awhile to figure out the finances and the logistics, but we will come talk to your organization. It’s that important to us. Fill them in a little more, Neill.

NEILL FRANKLIN: Absolutely. We’re always struggling for funding but I think we might have a line on some funding to begin a really good campaign some of our best speakers around the country. To do just what you said, Dean. To speak at Rotaries, to speak at your neighborhood organizations, your church, your school, your colleges and universities.

Absolutely, go to our website and it’s pretty clear on how to request one of our speakers and our Speakers Bureau Director, Shaleen Title, will definitely get with you and help you figure that out. We’d really love to come and speak to you and to help you get something going in your area, in your community, in your neighborhood where you can keep this education moving. It’s one thing to speak to a group of people but it’s something else…it takes it to another level when that group of people can then keep the message going within their community and educate more as to what we need to do and why we need to do it.

DEAN BECKER: And more and more we’re being called upon to speak to governmental agencies and legislatures and investigative committees, and our opinion is become more valued as we go along.

I want to talk about the fact that we have in the last 10 years that Law Enforcement Against Prohibition has been in existence I think gained stature. As I said, more and more broadcasters and others to counter….well, they won’t put us in the same room with the Drug Czar will they?

NEILL FRANKLIN: I don’t think the Drug Czar wants us in the same room. I think that has a lot to do with it because we’ve made that offer a number of times and it just won’t happen. But, you’re right, the major networks always seek us out whenever they need someone to talk about this topic. Like you mentioned earlier, newspapers, magazines…we have and are becoming more sought after as we move forward.

You mentioned earlier the NAACP and it was LEAP that helped them get to that position - to where they could collectively, nationally say, “It’s time to end the drug war.” And we’re working with other organizations to do that as well.

We are moving in a very good direction and as we can continue to grow in numbers as an organization, people are beginning to realize that, “Yeah, this is one group that we must definitely take serious.”

DEAN BECKER: Both Neill and I are no longer in law enforcement but I think one of the things that we’re striving for is respect, to return respect to the law enforcement community, to go after the bad guys, to protect the children – truly protect the children and quit pretending that what we’re doing with the drug war is doing some good. We’ve never stopped on kid, one determined kid from getting his hands on drugs, have we?

NEILL FRANKLIN: Absolutely. I mean, that’s what we signed up for, Dean, to protect people from the heinous acts of others, from people preying upon other people – that’s what we signed up for. To protect kids from pedifiles, and women from rapists and what have you. NOT to be somebody’s mother and to smack them on the back of their hands and say, “No, don’t smoke that or No, don’t put that in your body.” And that’s not the role of police.

DEAN BECKER: I think about it like this…We have …sometimes I got to sneak up on things. Again, I don’t want to be a conspiracy theorist. I think the fact that the Drug Czar will not be in the same room with us, that when Obama holds a town hall meeting and people say, “Let’s look legalizing marijuana.” And he laughs it off…It’s symptomatic of…dangit…it just gives me the thought that there is something going on that’s just hidden from view. Your response.

NEILL FRANKLIN: I tend to agree with you on this because if we know, if the people know that this is a serious issue which is evident by how this question continues to be the number one question when he has…whether it’s an internet town hall or a YouTube town hall for the president – this is the number one question that comes up about our drug policies in this country. And, if we know that it is extremely serious, must be addressed, that it is urgent then we know that the President and his administration also knows. So, to shrug it off, to make light of it – something else has got to be going on here.

DEAN BECKER: And so far as marijuana, cannabis, you know…the Israeli government has approved guidelines for medical marijuana. They are actually growing it at the nursing homes now. They are making it available for their elderly for their various maladies and yet we say there’s not enough science even though we’re ignoring the science. We got about one minute left here, Neill Franklin, what’s your response?

NEILL FRANKLIN: It’s quite obvious that there are some great benefits to marijuana. For recreational use….would I use it? No, I don’t even drink. But I’m telling you something right now. If either me or a member of my family were suffering from an ailment where I felt marijuana would definitely make their life better, I wouldn’t think twice about doing what I needed to do to help them out. If other governments are now seeing this and taking advantage of it – it’s time for the United States to get its head out of the sand and to do what is right by people whether it’s dealing with medical marijuana or whether it’s just not putting people in prison because they decided they wanted to use something that others don’t – it’s time for our government to start doing right by its citizens. Once again, make this really and honestly “the land of the free.”

DEAN BECKER: Alright, Neill Franklin, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Thank you so much – we’ll be in touch soon.
NEILL FRANKLIN: Thank for having me, Dean.


REPORTER: Intriguing answers started appearing in the early 90s when .researchers pinpointed receptors in the brain and the body that bind with the cannabinoids. Receptors can be described as locks on the surface of a cell and when the correct key binds with the correct lock or receptor – it opens the door and delivers messages.

Sometimes the message is that the body is feeling pain. Other times it may be that there is an invader and the immune system must attack.

RESEARCHER: Scientist located two receptors, cannabinoid receptors. One called the CB1 receptor – mainly in the brain – and the other is the CB2 receptor which is mainly in the cells of the immune system.

REPORTER: The CB1 receptors are extremely abundant in the brain but they are also found all over the body in the major organs, the heart, the liver, kidneys and pancreas. The CB2 receptor can act like a target for the cannabinoids. Once they bind to the receptor, they can tell the cancer cell to die.

DOCTOR: So basically telling the cells basically to commit suicide and that’s what they do. And we demonstrated that would be the mechanism by which cannabinoids can kill the cancer and therefore it can be used effectually as an anti-cancer agent.

REPORTER: Dr. (?) and his researchers were able to eradicate almost 100% of the cancer in test tubes. But they were skeptical they would see similar results when they moved on to tumors in mice.

DOCTOR: To our surprise we found that almost 25 to 30% of the mice completely rejected the tumor. They were completely cured and, in addition, we found the remaining mice also …there was a significant reduction in the volume or the size of the tumor.

REPORTER: The lab results have been so promising that Dr. (?) is beginning trials with leukemia patients.


DEAN BECKER: Alright, I want to thank Mr. Neill Franklin, my boss, director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Their website is http://leap.cc Please contact them and see if they can come talk to your church or organization. You guys are the answer. Me and Neill can do all we can but without you it’s just not going to get done. Once again I remind you there’s no truth, justice, no scientific fact, no medical data, no reason for this drug war to exist. Please visit our website http://endprohibition.org. Prohibido istac evilesco!


For the Drug Truth Network, this is Dean Becker asking you to examine our policy of Drug Prohibition.

The Century of Lies.

This show produced at Pacifica Studios at KPFT, Houston.

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