08/22/10 - Clarence Walker
Century of Lies
Clarence Walker, writes about "Trillion Dollar Drug War" + Bob Newland of S. Dakota ungagged & Mary Jane Borden of Drug War Facts: "Does Drug Testing Work?" + Winston Francis with Official Govt Truth
Century of Lies / August 22, 2010
The failure of Drug war is glaringly obvious to judges, cops, wardens, prosecutors and millions more. Now calling for decriminalization, legalization, the end of prohibition. Let us investigate the Century of Lies.
Hello my friends, welcome to this edition of the Century of Lies. We’ve got another great show for you today as we hope to be able to bring you a story from Bob Newland. He’s based in South Dakota. He’s been gagged by a judge for the last year, for his advocacy in trying to change the marijuana laws
We’re privileged to have with us in the studio a private investigator, a journalist; Mr. Clarence Walker is with us. Hello, sir.
Clarence Walker: Fine, how are you doing today, Dean?
Dean Becker: I’m doing real good, Clarence. Glad to have you with us. He’s got a great new article, one of several he’s produced. This one happens to be on the New Criminologist website and I’m told that it has now also been provided by Stop the Drug War, the Drug War Chronicle, if you will, on-line.
The title, President Obama’s Drug War Strategy and the Low Down on America’s Trillion Dollar Dope Game. Now Clarence has put together – good golly – a many thousand words here and he quoted all kinds of folks from around America, perhaps even around the world. Gathering their opinions, their thoughts, their ideas – if you will – on how to wage or perhaps end this Drug War. Clarence, how long did it take to put this together? It’s a good piece of work?
Clarence Walker: It took at least, about a month.
Dean Becker: Yeah?
Clarence Walker: About a month.
Dean Becker: Yeah, you quote all kinds of folks in here. Your prior piece dealt more specifically with Mexico and the problems down there, the Drug War, the $10 billion dollars a year we’re trying to stop this flow with and the 90% ineffectiveness of it all. We get 10-15% of the drugs, but we’re not really stopping the flow are we?
Clarence Walker: That’s true.
Dean Becker: Yeah. Give me an idea, on a couple of folks that you spoke with. You’ve spoken to folks that have had either current of past experience in the DEA, the FBI, many people with great authority, if you will. Seriously now, do these people believe this or is this just a belief system?
Clarence Walker: No, they believe – they believe absolutely that at some point in time, that the US Federal Government will somehow be able to control the epidemic of illegal drugs in the country.
Dean Becker: They believe it? They have faith that eventually they’ll get there?
Clarence Walker: Just like the FBI finally broke the backs of the Mafia. It took – what – some fifty years to finally just dismantle their organization altogether? My feedback from these former DEA agents, former narcotics detectives, the sheriff department officers, I mean, this is what they really believe.
Dean Becker: Well and the truth is, I could kind of go along with that thought that they’ve broke the back of the Mafia but the first step to doing so was, once again, re-legalizing the sale of alcohol because that was the main cash cow for them. That’s how they put their organizations together, was through the profits from prohibition. Your thoughts, Clarence Walker?
Clarence Walker: My thoughts on the – prohibition?
Dean Becker: Yeah, on now drug prohibition, that we could begin to break the backs of the Mexican and Colombian cartels, even US Gangs. Most of them exist to make profits from selling these illegal drugs and we could begin to break their back by legalizing drugs? Your thoughts?
Clarence Walker: Well, actually when you speak about legalizing drugs, it depends on what kind of drugs are you planning on legalizing? Are we talking about marijuana? PCP? Well, not PCP but marijuana? Cocaine? Heroin and other hard drugs? Or pills and that sort?
So, my position is that, I strongly believe that marijuana should be legalized, to a point for medical purposes. On the other hand, in terms of hard drugs, I can’t see, I can’t fathom the US government even attempting to legalize these drugs because there’s a lot of profits there. There’s a lot of profits there, of ways to keep the criminal justice system from churning 24/7.
Dean Becker: I would agree with you that there’s less likelihood, certainly towards the hard drugs because there is that profit incentive that’s all wrapped around this whole procedure. I think of it like this, that over the lifetime of the Drug War, as said per your article, a trillion dollars but we’ve given ten trillion to the cartels, the terrorists, the gangs to continue the flow.
I’m certain that not only is this a means to make profit through the black market but some of those black market dollars make their way back through front companies to become campaign contributions, to enable politicians to thrive, not just in the US but in other countries where we want to dabble and have our hands in the pie. Your thoughts?
Clarence Walker: Well, yes. Well, you know when it comes down to the economic parts of it, it’s so massive until you don’t know exactly where they begin or where they end but at the same time, as stated in my featured piece there, about the trillion dollars that the US Federal Government has spent since the 1970s, fighting this scourge, this Drug War. There just seems to be no end to it.
Now, as for the drug cartels that’s coming into – I mean, that the drug cartel that the money that they make out of this is just as massive, as well. If they were to take this money and control government, control corruption, corrupt government. Just look at the situation down in Mexico. Look at Bogotá, Colombia during the height of the Drug War years in Colombia.
Dean Becker: Or even just six weeks ago in Jamaica, where there was on going gun battles trying to capture one of their drug lords. So, its international reach is pretty strong.
Clarence Walker: Yes, it is.
Dean Becker: Yeah. Once again we’re speaking with Mr. Clarence Walker. He’s got a great new piece. You can check it out in the New Criminologist or the latest issue of Stop the Drug War: The Drug War Chronicles. Many of you have heard us speak with Mr. Phil Smith. He works with them, tours looking for more stories for Stop the Drug War.
There was a quote that Kerlikowske was talking about the Drug War has kind of been ineffective. It hasn’t really accomplished what it said. The former Drug Czar said,
“To say that all the things done in the Drug War hasn’t made any difference is ridiculous. It destroys everything we’ve done. It’s saying that all the people in law enforcement, treatment and prevention have been wasting their time. It says that all these people’s work is misguided.”
To that I would say, “Hear, Hear”, that we have in fact, squandered that trillion dollars. We have not rescued these people from addiction but more driven them into the Hinterlands or into the arms of the black market. Your response there, Clarence.
Clarence Walker: Well Dean, you are absolutely correct and as you stated there about our new, current Drug Czar, he admitted that our Drug War strategy, hasn’t worked. The previous Drug Czar, John Walters, he says that if the United States Government had not attempted to fight this Drug War, we would be worse off then what we are now.
It is true that the new Drug Czar has said that the previous Drug War that we’d been fighting just hadn’t been working, so it’s time to regroup an try to do this thing, try to put more money towards treatment and prevention.
Dean Becker: And education, I would say.
Clarence Walker: And education.
Dean Becker: That’s where it’s going to pay of, that’s where the benefit lies. I wanted to come back to the idea that we have – this has been a dream, that we would rid the earth of these plants and these products. In many ways, it’s going on a hundred years now.
Clarence Walker: Um, hum.
Dean Becker: Yet, there are still those and we talked about it briefly, the DEA, FBI, the people in positions of authority that, who for whatever reason believe or at least, pretend to believe this is necessary, so they can make their mortgage payment.
I was going to ask you, the discussions you had with these people that have lived that Drug War all their life. I honestly think, many of them now see it in a new light but because they have made their bones through the prior belief system, they can’t back down now. Your thoughts?
Clarence Walker: That’s true and I spoke with, he’s mentioned in my article there, Joe Haas, who’s a former Harris County Sheriff Department Narcotics Detective who worked for the Federal Government for ten years. We was talking about doing the interview with Mr. Harris, he mentioned that – he’s more geared towards treatment and prevention and education because law enforcement hasn’t been able to address that particular issue.
Dean Becker: Yeah and well again, I am a member of a group of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and we have, now, I think we’re over 30,000 members worldwide. It’s really been growing the past couple of years. Current and former police, wardens, prosecutors and whoever and we have, I think, begun the process of not just educating but putting a backbone, if you will, into certain public officials or police officials, whatever. That have – if they’re not calling for the end prohibition, they’re beginning to say, “perhaps we should consider legalization”.
You know Calderón and Fox and others in Mexico are not necessarily calling for legalization now but they’re calling for a look at legalization, right?
Clarence Walker: Right, yes they are. Now from my journalist perspective is – there is some drugs that you just can’t legalize. I just can’t see it. I just can’t see cocaine being legalized – PCP, methamphetamines – I just can’t, not from my perspective, I can’t.
I understand that there is another mechanism that can be forged together with all the thinking that is there to try and work something out to try and at least stem the tide of massive addition and etc., etc.
But, what I do know is that in doing my interviews and long time contact with narcotics officers from all over the United States, when we talk about the Drug War and drug trafficking, sometimes, a couple will say, “Well, one thing’s for sure, we do have job security, because were going to be always dealing with drugs. We will definitely have job security.”
Dean Becker: Yeah and that’s actually a shame. You reach back a hundred years ago and Clarence, look, I understand and appreciate your concerns about these harder drugs but if you reach back a hundred years ago, “Bayer Heroin” on the grocer’s shelf, next to “Bayer Aspirin” at the very same price. There were drug no gangs. There were no children that were using. There were no cartels selling this stuff. It was a problem with Civil War vets and hysterical housewives, which was the way it was framed in the 1910s.
Through the black market, the violence came into play with children getting involved, just like children were hauling buckets of beer during alcohol prohibition. We’ve got to rethink this from the ground up.
I am glad to hear that at least in Mexico they’re willing to consider talk of legalization. If we can just get them to do the same here in the US. I understand that Senator Jim Webb, is trying to bring forward a commission to do just that here in the United States.
We’ve got just a minute and half left here and I want to turn it back to you and remind the listeners that we’re talking to Mr. Clarence Walker. He’s a private investigator. He’s a journalist. He’s got a great piece out on the New Criminologist. It’s also stopthedrugwar.org, The Drug War Chronicles.
Let me ask you, Clarence – oh, it’s at newcriminologist.com – Clarence, let me ask you this. What’s next on your agenda? What are you going to be writing about next?
Clarence Walker: What I plan to write about next is – well, I’ve been working on it for a while – it’s basically, you know, you’ve read about that President Obama has signed a law to end the mandatory five years in Federal Prison for anyone possessing 5.0 of crack cocaine, right?
Dean Becker: Yeah.
Clarence Walker: Ok, I think I’m going to write about a piece about, what people are failing to understand is that this is only for federal court and it’s not for state court. Meaning that down at the Harris County criminal courthouse, if a person is a habitual – meaning he has two or three or more – at least two or more criminal convictions and he picks up a one rock or two rock or three rock possession case and he’s a habitual, he could still be facing twenty-five to life or ninety-nine years in prison.
So I want to kind of write about and let the public know. Well, the new law that President Obama is going to take an effect on the – President Obama is federal court and it’s not in state court, which means that in state court low level drug dealers and users can still face stiff penalties, so there could be something, some laws changing, legislative in terms of habituals who’s caught with just a little, small amount of drugs and not be facing twenty-five to life if they don’t take a plea bargain such as state jail time because really the amount in state jail time
For some ex-convicts, they don’t want to take nothing, so they wind up going to trial. They lose – bam – they’re still facing twenty-five ninety-nine years on a small amount of drugs in state court.
Dean Becker: Alright, once again we’ve been speaking to Mr. Clarence Walker, a private investigator and journalist. He’s got a great piece out that’s in newcriminologist.com. You can check it out, also on stopthedrugwar.org, The Drug War Chronicles. Clarence Walker, thank you for being with us. We’re going to be looking into this racial disparity, which you touched upon, in the coming weeks. Thank you very much.
Never mind that it’s a scam
The Drug Czar’s in charge
He says, “Drugs are a sin
Bow down to prohibition”
The long-term listeners to the Drug Truth Network may have missed the voice of our guest for the past year or so. Mr. Bob Newland has been gagged up in South Dakota. He recently had a piece printed on the opinion page on the opinion page of Rapid City Journal. I would like for him to kind of outline what was contained therein.
Bob Newland: Alright well, I think it would probably be helpful for the listeners to know a little background. For about twenty years, I’ve been an ever increasingly ardent opponent to illicit substance prohibition.
For most of the last forty years, I’ve had cannabis on me a everyday. A year ago, in March 2009, I got popped with four ounces. I got stopped for speeding in a residential section and the smell of the skunkweed was keyed the cops. So, I got search and I got popped for felony possession in South Dakota is anything over two ounces and I had four.
There was no defense to the issue because you can’t argue in court, that the drug laws are stupid. All you can do is say, “Yeah, I had some” or “I didn’t”. The judge sentenced me to a year in jail with all suspended except for forty-five days, which I spent on work release, so I slept at jail at night.
Then, since October 1st of last year until July 6th of this year, I was on probation and the conscription of the probation was that I couldn’t use illegal drugs, nor could I advocate the repeal of prohibition laws, which was a very odd probation scripture. It ironically got me international news for a couple of days but there’s so much outrage in the war on drugs that my news faded pretty quickly, of course.
I managed to get through probation, passing all the pee tests and everything. On July 6th, I was off. So a week ago, an editorial that I wrote, after I got off probation, appeared in the Rapid City Journal and I just – the editorial has gotten me lots of attention because people have said that I’ve mellowed.
I think it’s probably the most pointed, barbed piece of writing or speaking that I’ve ever done, because it indicts everyone in the system who knows better or should know better but still continues to put people in jail for ingesting a substance.
Dean Becker: As you’ve indicted here in your piece, it’s common practice for the State to seize people’s cash, possessions and children, often based only on an accusation of cannabis use. Tell us a little more about that perspective.
Bob Newland: Cannabis use alone doesn’t generally draw too much attention if you do it in your home. However, if you’re on probation, you can’t use cannabis, even though it’s the most benign of all substances, much more benign than many things that are legal for you to do and that will send you back to prison.
If you’re under the purview of social services in any respect, drawing food stamps, getting healthcare for your kids, anything where a social service officer speaks to you. If you use cannabis, the State can take your kids. They don’t always do it because quite frankly, they don’t have enough foster parents to do that and generally they know how stupid that is. If they have it in for you, they can take your kids.
For an accusation of distributing marijuana, it doesn’t have to be very much. The Feds can take your house. They can take your car. They can take all the cash they can find. That’s just, that’s forfeiture. It’s based on an arcane presumption that property can commit a crime but since property can’t defend itself, it has no civil rights and they can just take it.
Dean Becker: Well, this kind of dovetails with the situation now, the Supreme Court ruleed that corporations can influence our elections even though they’re not people. It’s kind of up side down and preposterous, isn’t it?
Bob Newland: The law says, “Corporations are people”. That’s all we need ain’t it?
Dean Becker: (Laughs) Ok now Bob, also contained in your piece in the Rapid City Journal, you talk about the – you said 23,000 and I think it’s now been updated to 28,000 people have died in the drug turf there in Mexico in the last three years.
You talk about “amidst the carnage, there cannot be found one shred of benefit, unless you count employment of prison guards, cops, attorneys”, all these folks whose opinions the media tends to value more so than folks like you and me. Your closing thoughts in that regard, sir?
Bob Newland: Well, it’s ironic that the prison guard lobby is the strongest lobby in California and that the law enforcement lobby in general across the whole country is the strongest lobby federally.
We have a failed system and the peoplewho should be on the front lines defending us – the cops – are going to the legislature and saying, “This failed policy is really a thing of beauty.”
Dean Becker: Bob is there a website that’s you’d like to point folks towards?
Bob Newland: Well you bet, currently there’s ballot question coming up in November, in South Dakota allowing doctors to recommend and the patients to use cannabis for a restricted number of physical aliments. The website for that is sdcompassion.org.
Tommy Chong: Hey, this is Tommy Chong for the Drug Truth Network. We’re telling everybody, don’t let free speech go up in smoke, man.
Mary Jane Borden: Hello Drug Policy Aficionados, I’m Mary Jane Borden, editor of Drug War Facts.
The question for this week asks: Does student drug testing achieve drug free students?
As described in the July 2010 report, The Effectiveness of Mandatory Random Student Drug Testing from the US Department of Education, “One approach to address student substance use is school based mandatory random student drug testing. Under MRSDT students and their parents sign consent forms agreeing to the student’s random drug testing as a condition of participation in athletics and other school sponsored competitive extra curricular activities.”
These programs have the goals of: 1) Identifying students with substance use problems for referral to counseling or treatment services and 2) deterring substance use among all students. Unfortunately, MRSDT has produced few results.
Seven years ago, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Use at Columbia University found, “Drug testing is not associated with either significantly lower risk scores or lower estimates of student body drug use.”
In that same year, researchers in a Journal of School Health article concluded, “Drug testing of any kind was not a significant predictor of student marijuana use in the past twelve months, neither was drug tests cause for suspicion.”
A 2007 study in the Journal of Adolescent Health questioned deterrents fining that, “No drug and alcohol testing deterrent effects were evident for past month use”. The conclusions from the aforementioned 2010 Department of Education report mostly mirrored those of the prior studies, saying that mandatory random student drug testing has “had no spill over effects on substance use reported by students who were not subject to testing and had no effect on any group of students reporting intentions to use substances in the future.”
These facts and others like them can be found in the Drug Testing chapter of Drug War Facts at www.drugwarfacts.org. If you have a question for which you need facts please email it to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll try to answer your question in an upcoming show. So, remember when you need facts about drugs and drug policy you can get the facts at Drug War Facts.
This is the Drug Czar. Do not listen to the Drug Truth Network. It’s evil, pure evil.
Enough government profiteering under the guise of morality.
Enough with this phony war on drugs!
(spoken word accompanied by piano)
Winston Francis: On the impoverished streets of the inner city, it is not uncommon to see the poor souls that have thrown away all that was precious in their lives, to feed their drug addiction.
Homeless, jobless and hopeless.
A heroin junkie lies unconscious in an alley. A woman sells herself for a rock of crack. The only thing worse than the cold reality of these tragedies is the notion that we should legalize these activities.
Did you know that tobacco kills over 440,000 people every year and alcohol claims the lives of over 75,000 every year? That’s over a half a million deaths every year on the two substances we have legalized and those aren’t the two most dangerous substances.
Imagine the damage crack and heroin would do. Imagine the numbers for meth and ecstasy, in addition to the half a million for tobacco and alcohol. When you really sit down and weigh the options you begin to realize what our politicians and legislators have known for over a century:
You freedom just isn’t worth it.
This has been Winston Francis with the Official Government Truth.
War is peace. Peace through war.
A hundred years of prohibition
Needs a hundred years more.
We’ve gotta fund
The terrorists and gangs
To save the kids
We’ve got to do the same damn thing.
Following the bust of Willie Nelson’s band members in North Carolina, I handed out the “No Shit Sherlock Award” for their amazing detective work but I wasn’t the only one who was offended. This is North Carolina Senator Charles Albertson:
These simple family farmers
He’s on the road again
In a busted bus that’s home
Why don’t they leave the man alone?
Let him ride and sing his songs…
Well, we don’t have time for the whole song but now we’ve got Senators writing songs about Willie and the need to have that “busted bus” touring the country, singing the songs of freedom, the songs and hymns, the songs of marijuana.
Well folks, I hope you enjoyed the show. Mr. Clarence Walker was a great guest. I hope you liked the story from Mr. Bob Newland about being gagged because he was busted for marijuana. Please check out the most recent Century of Lies Show we’ve – the Cultural Baggage show – we’ve got a couple of great interviews on there I’m sure you’ll appreciate.
We would like to invite you to participate, to do your part. There’s no truth, justice, logic and no reason for this Drug War to exist. Please, visit our website: 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.
Drug Truth Network programs, archived at the James A. Baker III Institute for Policy Studies.
Transcript provided by: Ayn Morgan of www.eigengraupress.com