03/25/20 Cliff Schaffer

Cultural Baggage Radio Show
Cliff Schaffer
Drug Library

ALL STAR RERUN: Cliff Schaffer, founder of DrugLibrary.org and MarijuanaBusinessNews.com discusses how we steer the discussion on how to end the drug war & Terry Nelson of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition + the Abolitionists Moment

Audio file

Cultural Baggage, April 1, 2009

(Tune of 500 miles away from home)

A hundred years,
A hundred years,
A hundred years,
A hundred years,
You can hear the drug war blow,
A hundred years.

Broadcasting on the Drug Truth Network, this is Cultural Baggage.

It’s not only inhumane it is really fundamentally un-American….. ‘NO MORE’ ‘DRUG WAR’ ‘NO MORE’ ‘DRUG WAR’ ‘NO MORE’ ‘DRUG WAR’ ‘NO MORE’ ‘DRUG WAR’

My Name is Dean Becker. I don’t condone or encourage the use of any drugs, legal or illegal. I report the unvarnished truth about the pharmaceutical, banking, prison and judicial nightmare that feeds on eternal drug war.

Hello, my friends. Welcome to this edition of Cultural Baggage. Here in just a moment we’re going to bring in our main guest for the program, Mr. Cliff Schaffer. We’ll give more details about him but I consider him to be one of the pioneers; one of the most knowledgeable persons about the subject of drug war and we’re going to talk about what’s next. But what’s on deck right now is a major change; a switch in the reporting about the drug war across the nation, in fact around the world.

This is from the Houston Chronicle, the major… in fact the only paper in the ‘gulag filling station city’ and here’s a quote from it, “On this side of the border, the day is coming when the country must look seriously at ways to rein in the multi-billion dollar market that enriches the drug lords while filling American prisons’ with inmates. This means reassessing the generation-long national drug war and should include debate on the merits and pitfalls of legalization of drugs,” and with that, let’s go ahead and bring in Mr. Cliff Schaffer. Hello, Sir.

Mr. Cliff Schaffer: Hello.

Dean Becker: Hey, Cliff. How you doing?

Mr. Cliff Schaffer: I’m pretty good. How are you, Dean?

Dean Becker: I can’t complain a bit. As I indicated in that extract from the Chronicle editorial, major networks; people all across the country are at least starting to talk about that L word. Are they not?

Mr. Cliff Schaffer: Oh it’s amazing, Dean. Since the first of the year, there has been a sea change in the media and by my unofficial account, the commentary in the media is now running about 4 to 1 in favor of legalization.

There’ve been a number of things that have triggered it. The financial crisis is one of the things. The drug war in Mexico is another. But, the bottom line is that there are a whole bunch of things that are coming together and even the conservatives, the hard core conservatives who have long supported this, are beginning to come around and are beginning to say that, ‘We need to take a look at this’.

Dean Becker: I’m thrilled to see Ethan Nadelmann and Rob Kampia and all kinds of drug reform experts being called upon for their knowledge and what makes me especially proud is, for my ’band of brothers’, major exposure’s been given to Judge James Gray; to Terry Nelson on, I think, four or five networks now as well as Norm Stamper, former Seattle Police Chief. They’re giving respect to what we’ve been saying all these years now, finally. Right?

Mr. Cliff Schaffer: Yes. As a matter of fact, Judge Gray and I are scheduled to go to Fresno, California on May 11th to talk to the Rotary Club there and we have made quite a bit of inroad in Fresno. Fresno’s important because it is kind of a lynchpin in the law enforcement support for the drug war in California. Fresno is a good ole farm boy town, as you know you have many of those in Texas…

Dean Becker: Oh, yeah.

Mr. Cliff Schaffer: …and while people tend to be very conservative but, even in Fresno, the typical ‘farm boy heart’ of America town, people are seriously beginning to question our drug policies and they are beginning to catch onto the fact that we need to do an honest and open examination of exactly what we’re doing.

Dean Becker: Which kind of brings us to what I wanted to present for this program and that is… I heard an analogy, that reformers have been pushing this 1937 Ford up a mountain for decades now, trying to reach the top; trying to gain that acceptance, that awareness within the media and we’ve kind of reached the top of the mountainside. It’s time for somebody to get in and steer this new direction, to provide the knowledge base; the ramifications and the structure for legalization and that involves, ’How do we go about talking to our elected officials? How do we conduct a debate? What is the right question to ask?’ With that, I’m going to throw it into your ballpark, Cliff.

Mr. Cliff Schaffer: Well Dean, first of all, I think you analogy of the ’37 Ford going to the top of the hill, is a very good one.

Dean Becker: Thank you.

Mr. Cliff Schaffer: For a long time I’ve said that, ‘We’re going to push and push and push and it’s going to be very hard and then we’re going to get to a tipping point and when that tipping point comes, things are going to happen very rapidly.’ It is a very good question of, ’How do we steer from here? Where do we go from here?’ because there’s still a lot of argument. There’s still a lot of people out there who haven’t read the research.

Now I would say, if you’ve read the research, than it’s very clear what to do. The major research has always been very clear on that and if you’ve read the major research, then we may have minor differences of opinion on certain things, but anybody who’s read the research, basically agrees. But right now, the critical thing to do, I think, is to support Jim Webb, Senator Jim Webb of Virginia.

Dean Becker: Oh, yes.

Mr. Cliff Schaffer: He has introduced the National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2009. He just introduced it to the Senate on March 26th. He already has 12 Senators as co-sponsors including a couple of republicans, which shows you how bipartisan this has become (and let me just throw this in, something else very surprising), Pat Buchanan has now come out for legalization.

Dean Becker: Who’d a thought.

Mr. Cliff Schaffer: Yes. You know, ’Mr. Conservative’ and when Pat Buchanan begins to tip on this issue then you can tell the issue has made some progress. But, what we really need to do is to support Senator Webb’s National Criminal Justice Commission, so that we can thoroughly examine all of the research and get that in front of the American public and in addition, give our politicians some political cover for doing the right thing. That’s been the problem all along, is that every time they come out for doing the ‘right thing’ they get attacked for being ‘soft on crime’ and there’s a very big difference between being soft on crime and being intelligent.

Dean Becker: Yes. There’s the point, isn’t it? I think it’s indicative of that sea change you spoke of; that all of these politicians are daring to broach the subject. You know we’re having Roger Goodman, he’s very much representative of those who get elected and re-elected when speaking about the harms and the need to change these drug laws. It’s not that third rail. There’s no electricity in it anymore. Right?

Mr. Cliff Schaffer: Yes, that’s correct. We have, like I said before, we have pretty much tipped the balance here. The ’37 Ford has reached the top of the hill. {chuckling} We were winning this argument even when we were the very weak minority and it’s always harder when you’re the weak minority, but when you become the majority, the stupid arguments begin to fall away.

We were battling, forgive me but I would call it idiocy… {chucking} …for so long, that finally we got enough people on our side to really shut down the idiots and we’ve been winning the argument on the internet, hands down, for years and now it is beginning to show.

It’s beginning to show up in the media. Even the people who are supporting the drug war in the media are finding themselves getting absolutely hammered in the responses. There was a recent article in the LA Times that talked about Judge Gray’s efforts to legalize drugs and they held an on-line poll and with more than 4,000 respondents, 94% voted for legalization. Now…

Dean Becker: Wow. Look, I think the point is, it’s one of those issues that people kind of vote, or have in the past voted, to just stay with the majority, or what they thought was the majority opinion. I speak to Rotary clubs. People seventy years old, living out in the boonies around Houston and they agree, you know, the eighty year old, the ninety year old, they all say, ’It makes no sense. We’ve got to do something.’ Of course, my goal it to motivate them to talk to their legislator and I’m sure that doesn’t happen very often, but the polls tell me it’s way up there, 70%/80%/90% of America realizes the failure of this policy.

Mr. Cliff Schaffer: Yes and with Jim Webb’s commission, we have a slam dunk question to ask people and that is, go to your legislatures and simply ask them, “Do you support an open and honest investigation of our criminal justice policies?” Now there’s only two possible answers to that. One is, ‘Yes, I support an open and honest examination of the things that are not working.’ and the second possible answer is, ’No, I’m an idiot who refuses to face reality.’

There is no other answer to that question that is acceptable at this point. It ought to be obvious from what’s going on in Mexico and the spillover over our border, that what we are doing is not working and at the very least, we need to get reasonable, intelligent people to sit down together and examine the evidence and find something that works better, whatever it may be.

Dean Becker: You know we have this new Obama administration. They’ve shown a lot of signs of embracing science and logic, that sort of thing, and I was offended, to be honest, last week when Obama said, ’No, marijuana’s not going to be any economic solution for our nation.’ He kind of dissed the online community as well. But I now have had a little chance to look at, I think he’s just playing ’rope-a-dope’ and letting the ongoing situation take care of itself. Your thoughts on that?

Mr. Cliff Schaffer: I’m not sure what Obama is doing. I have a feeling that a good deal of his answer was just due to politics, that it’s still kind of dangerous for a person in his position to come out and say, ‘Yeah, we ought to legalize marijuana.’ He’ll get a lot of flack on that. So, his best bet is to just kind of diffuse it, but I think that the ‘37 Ford analogy applies.

The ‘37 Ford is going to start rolling down the hill and I don’t think that anybody is going to be able to stop it. It just makes too much sense. There’s just too many problems now and I think this is even bigger than the President now. It is very clear that what we’re doing is failing. There’s thousands of murderer’s in Mexico. The drug gangs are threatening the Mexican government. Which by the way, is the same thing that happened with the Mafia in the US during alcohol prohibition. That was one of the reason’s it was repealed, because the same exact thing was happening in the United States. They were threatening our very way of government.

Dean Becker: I gave a lot of thought to that. We had an on-line discussion about, ’What is the proper question?’ I thought about it. If I had the opportunity; if I had fifteen seconds to ask a question of Barack Obama, it’d go something like this, “Sir, I know a means whereby we can kill Osama’s cash cow, destroy the cartels, eliminate the gangs, reduce death, disease, crime and addiction, take away our children’s easy access and I’d like five minutes to explain it to you further. Would you allow that discussion?” That’s what I think we need to do, is just put that issue out there. The full, as best you can in fifteen seconds, ramifications and spin-off of this. Your thoughts on that, Cliff?

Mr. Cliff Schaffer: Well, we started this campaign for a Federal Commission on Drug Policy with the Hoover Resolution back in 1993 and we actually got a bill passed at one point, but unfortunately it never went anywhere. The one thing that I would note, is that the supporters of the drug war have never wanted an open and honest discussion of the policy. That was one of the reasons we did that back in 1993 was simply to illustrate the differences between the two sides.

We are willing to sit down and review the evidence and let the chips fall where they may and they never have been. Our opposition has always been against any discussion of the subject at all. It’s a mindless, holy crusade to them. They really don’t want a sensible approach to the problem. They want to punish people and I think, what we really need to do now, is just ask them. Ask our elected official’s, “Will you support an open and honest commission to look at these issues?”…

Dean Becker: Yeah.

Mr. Cliff Schaffer: … and if they don’t… well, vote them out of office because they’re deliberately blind.

Dean Becker: Exactly. My friends, we’re speaking with Mr. Cliff Schaffer. He of druglibrary.org, marijuanabusinessnews.com and I’m sure many other online sites you can learn from. It was his site, druglibrary.org that educated me in the beginning. About eight/nine years ago, I began delving into it and reading the thousands of documents that are available there and develop the courage and the impetus and the desire to start the Drug Truth Network; to educate the people; to motivate and change these dang laws.

Cliff, let me ask you this. You have probably more experience debating drug warriors than any person in America. But they won’t do it anymore, will they?

Mr. Cliff Schaffer: No, they ah… Well, here in Southern California, the last debate they came out for was in 1994 and it went very badly for them…

Dean Becker: Describe for us how you kneecapped these people. How was it done?

Mr. Cliff Schaffer: Well, we were on a one hour television show and about ten minutes into the show, it was a talk show with two representatives. One was from the California’s Narcotics Officer’s Association and the other was the top representative of the DEA in Southern California and about ten minutes into the show, I turned to the host and I said, “I think I can demonstrate the real drug problem just by asking a few questions“, and the host said, “Well ok, I’ll bite. Go ahead.”

So, I turned to these two narcotics officers and I said, “Can either one of you tell me when these drugs were originally outlawed?” and they said, “No.” and I said, “Can you tell me why they were outlawed?” and they said, “No.” and then I asked them, “Can you tell me how many people are killed by drugs in the US in a typical year?” and they said, “No.” Then I asked them, “In the past hundred years there’ve been numerous major government commissions around the would that have studied the drug laws and made recommendations for changes. Can you name any of them and tell me what they said?” and again they shook their heads and said, “No.” {chuckling}

Then I turned to the host and I said, “In 1973, President Nixon’s US National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse completed the largest study of the drug laws ever done. At the end of this study, they said the real drug problem was not marijuana or heroin or cocaine. The real drug problem was the ignorance of our public officials who have never bothered to read the most basic research… and you can see the problem sitting right here in front of you. These two guys came down here to tell us what the drug laws ought to be and neither one of them can answer the most basic factual questions.”

Well, at that point the two officers were livid. They just practically went into a rage. For the rest of the hour, I mean this was fifteen minutes into a one hour show, for the rest of the hour every time the host would ask them a question, they turn to him and say, “Well, why don’t you ask the walking encyclopedia over there… {chuckling} … and if they tried to give an answer, I would simply ask them, “ How would you know? If you never read any of the major research, how would you know?” and at that point, they went into a complete rage.

A funny little story, I actually… I had mutual friends with one of the officers. The officer did not know it, but we had mutual very good friends, who actually lived across the street from the officer and that night I got a call from my friend, her name was Ginger. She said, “What did you do?” and I said, “Well, what do you mean?” and she told me that she had been hearing this officer scream and yell from across the street and slamming things around. She couldn’t make anything out but my name. {chuckling}

We had a rematch/debate scheduled for about sixty days after that. At the rematch, they didn’t show up at all. They figured then that they would do better if they didn’t show up at all because they… I made it obvious they didn’t know anything about the subject and that is really the problem and that is really why the Criminal Justice Commission is so important. Because just like those officers, most of what people think they know about the subject, is just dead wrong.

Dean Becker: Exactly. You know, my most recent Lions Club Presentation was a little town about forty miles West of Houston, real small crowd showed up but, one… the local narcotics officer from the Sheriff’s department showed up and I did about ten minutes. I usually leave about ten or fifteen for the audience to ask questions, because I think that’s where they develop traction, in speaking about this and the cop said, “Well you can’t legalize marijuana. It’s addictive. It leads to hard drugs…”, all of those type things he started laying out and suddenly, the Methodist Minister who was attending raised his hand and said, “That’s not true. It doesn’t lead to hard drugs. It’s not addicting,” and he started talking about the Netherlands and the fact that they have a more liberal policy but less use and later use by teenagers.

People know this stuff and I guess when these drug warriors are finally slapped about a bit, they change their ways, because that cop didn’t say another word during that presentation.

Mr. Cliff Schaffer: {chuckling} I’ve seen similar things myself. Yeah, it’s just… it’s wonderful. There was a different world before the internet. Before the internet, people could not check this nonsense out. You could say anything you wanted about the Netherlands and you know nobody’s going to go there. How do you know?

But now on the internet, you can get on the internet and you can actually find the facts and that is what is killing the support for the drug war. That’s what we’ve been about all these years as you’ve mentioned before, is simply education. Simply read about it, folks. Don’t take what they say as gospel. Don’t even take what I say as gospel. Read it for yourself. Go read the major research. Check up on it and you’ll find that the government officials, not only have they been lying, they don’t even know what they’re lying about.

Dean Becker: {laughter} Exactly. I debated a guy, head of the high intensity drug trafficking area here and when it was over I asked him, “Do you want to come on the radio and continue this?” and he said, “No way in Hell.”

Mr. Cliff Schaffer: {laughter} We’re getting that all over the nation. If you go on the web and you look at some of the recent editorials that have been in support of the drug war and then look at the comments that have been posted on the website as a result…

Dean Becker: Right. That same 70%/ 80%/90% just swinging away, knocking them out of the park and that’s it. We own the moral high ground, folks. It’s just time to move, participate, do your part to end the madness of drug war. It’s obvious, glaring as Hell. It’s time. Right, Cliff?

Mr. Cliff Schaffer: It is. It is past time. It is time to end the stupidity.

Dean Becker: Yep. Well, we’re going to have to wrap it up. My friends, we’ve been speaking with Mr. Cliff Schaffer. He of marijuanabusinessnews.com and druglibrary.org. I urge you to check out both sites. There’s much to learn and I thank you so much, Cliff.

Mr. Cliff Schaffer: Thanks for having me, Dean.

Dean Becker: Yes, Sir.

It’s time to play: "Name That Drug - By It’s Side Effects!"

Light headedness, nausea, vomiting, headache, malaise, fatal disturbance in brain function, imbalanced electrolytes, over dilution of sodium in the blood plasma, osmotic shift in pressure ruptures, cerebral edema, seizures, coma and death.


Time’s up! The answer... and before I give you the answer, let me tell you a little bit more about this product.

It’s found in baby food. It’s a major component of the explosives used by the terrorists and it’s freely available in the hallways and used in the classrooms of every school in our nation.

Prolonged exposure causes severe tissue damage. Inhalation of even a slight amount, can be deadly.

Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO) is a killer. Otherwise know as: Water.

This is Terry Nelson, speaking on behalf of LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

This week’s DEA website has the following statement on the front page: "For more than a quarter century, U.S. law enforcement agencies have recognized that the best way to fight the most sophisticated and powerful criminal organizations is through intelligence-based investigations to target the greatest threats. The Department’s Mexican Cartel Strategy confronts those cartels as criminal organizations.

As we’ve found with other large criminal groups, if you take their money and lock up their leaders, you can loosen their grips on the vast organizations they use to carry out their criminal enterprises. The Department of Justice is committed to taking advantage of all available resources to target the Mexican cartels and to help our Mexican counterparts in their courageous effort to take on these criminal organizations."

My question is, “If that is the best way to fight them, why has it taken a quarter century and we were further behind than at the beginning? All we have managed to do is capture an occasional top guy, only to have him replaced by the next guy in line. So where is the progress?

I agree that to take there money is a good way to hurt the cartels. However, I don’t think that taking their money and putting it into our pockets, actually helps. The best way is to remove the profits from drug smuggling by legalizing the substances they traffic in.

By changing our policy to one of regulation and control, we then effectively, put them out of business. As we have seen what happens when loosening their grips has brought to Mexico, the disruptions at the top are always followed by warring factions resorting to violence to take up the vacancies.

So arresting a top leader, actually increases the violence. We saw it in Columbia and we are now seeing it in Mexico and if we were successful in decreasing it’s supply, it would only drive up the prices, increase the struggle for drug turf and actually increase the violence.

It is obvious that our national policy of prohibition does not work. If the distribution and sales of drugs is not taken out of the hands of terrorists and criminal gangs, then we can expect the continuation of the unintended consequences of the drug war, ‘Tortured lives, broken families and needless deaths.‘

If you want to help LEAP make positive change in our drug policies, please take a moment and go to www.copssaylegalizedrugs.com/health and send a letter to your Senators.

It’s time for a change. Let’s work together to stop this craziness and help build a better future for ourselves and our children.

This is Terry Nelson at www.leap.cc. Signing off.

This is the Abolitionists Moment.

Fear, engendered by any mechanism possible, is what gives the drug war life. The biggest fear of all, is the unknown. The Minority Report’s opinion is that if drugs were made legal for adults, that children would have easier access. The Christian Right’s thought, is that if drugs were made by Pfizer or Merck that more overdoses would occur. The cops are concerned that if syringes were made freely available to addicts, that nobody would quit using. The State Department thinks that if they push harder against the drug smuggling and raise the price of cocaine, that the cartels will crumble.

Fear, gives life to the black market, which thrives by selling contaminated drugs to our children. The cartels suffer from selling their drugs at high prices, just as Chevron suffered when selling their gasoline for $4.00 a gallon. America is the lead horse pulling this drug war wagon and encouraging the rest of the world via their ‘silver or lead’ approach. Those who stand for drug war are the best friends the drug lords could ever hope for.

Alright, my friends. I urge you to listen to the most resent Century of Lies, Dr. David Duncan discussing the contaminants found in the drugs, that the gangs are selling to our children. They’re much worse, than the drugs themselves.

Please visit our website drugtruth.net. Hundreds of programs available for you there, and in closing I remind you, that because of prohibition, you don’t know what’s in that bag. Please, be careful.

To the Drug Truth Network listeners around the world, this is Dean Becker for Cultural Baggage and the unvarnished truth.

This show produced at the Pacifica studios of KPFT, Houston.
Tap dancing on the edge on an abyss.

Submitted by: C. Assenberg of www.marijuanafactorfiction.org