01/09/11 - Froma Harrop

Cultural Baggage Radio Show

Froma Harrop, nationally syndicated columnist

Audio file


Cultural Baggage / January 09, 2011


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. I’m so glad you could be with us. You know, the fact of the matter is the truth about this Drug War is becoming more evident. It’s being presented more and more by our broadcast and print media as time goes by, not just in the US but in Europe and in fact around the world, people are beginning to realize that this process, this hope, this dream of ending drug use is a failure.

Speaking in that regard and on numerous occasions now, one print media-ist and nationally syndicated columnist, Froma Harrop – I’ll get it right – wrote a one back in early January, Waging War against the War on Drugs. Let’s just go ahead and bring her into the discussion, Froma, are you with us?

Froma Harrop: I sure am, Dean.

Dean Becker: Froma, you are a not alone in calling for a reexamination of this Drug War amongst journalist, now are you?

Froma Harrop: Hardly, a lot of us are but I’m surprised at how few leaders of the political establishment had gone that far – have taken that step.

Dean Becker: Right. The evidence is just evidence is just overwhelming, isn’t it?

Froma Harrop: Absolutely and year to year we spend more on the war on drugs. We get more involved in other countries – you know other country’s internal matters and year after year we do nothing to stem the flow of drugs into this country but we use – but our demand for drugs finances terrorists all over the world. It finances drug gangs on the Mexican border. It’s – and it does nothing whatsoever to stem the flow of drugs into this country and that’s what you call a failure.

Dean Becker: Indeed, Froma and just yesterday there was news breaking out of Acapulco, Mexico that they set a new a record and this is a horrific record. They now – they found fourteen decapitated bodies there on a side street, it speaks—

Froma Harrop: It is—

Dean Becker: Go ahead.

Froma Harrop: It is a blood bath in Mexico and it all has to do with drug cartels fighting each other for control of the – of this drug market sending drugs into the United States.

If we ended the war on drugs these cartels would be out of business tomorrow. We would have some domestic supply of these drugs for these drugs for people who need it.

We would have – we would know who is taking it. We would have treatments for people who are abusing it. For something like marijuana, we could tax it.

Dean Becker: Yeah, the point being too that they say 95% of people who use these hard drug, meth and heroin and cocaine, quit on their own without going to prison and without treatment – go ahead—

Froma Harrop: Yeah, I believe that. I believe that. I’ve gone to – at a lot of AA meetings that have alcoholics that also have drug problems. They’re called “Double-winners.” (Laughs)

Dean Becker: Oh, yeah.

Froma Harrop: But they quit through AA, they quit the way people quit alcohol.

Dean Becker: If I may, it’s now been twenty five – plus – years ago.

Froma Harrop: Yeah.

Dean Becker: I quit alcohol.

Froma Harrop: Yeah.

Dean Becker: I attended AA meetings and they were instrumental – very helpful

Froma Harrop: Yeah.

Dean Becker: In building the mindset but about six months in, I made note of the fact that I was still using marijuana on an occasional; basis and they told me that was wrong.

Froma Harrop: Yeah.

Dean Becker: And I guess like the government, they would prefer that – well, I don’t guess that the AA would prefer but the government would prefer that I would be doing alcohol then an occasional bit of marijuana but I find it to be a stress reliever for me. Your response?

Froma Harrop: Yeah, I think that is fine. I think, you know, I don’t – I’m a user of alcohol, so (laughs) and I don’t abuse alcohol. I don’t drive intoxicated but it relives my stress. It tastes good and according to the cardiologist it may help my heart and it’s fine. (Laughs)

Dean Becker: Yeah, coming back to the – your talking about the cartels in Mexico. It’s estimated that at best, United State intercepts 15% of the drugs flowing north and that hardly can be called a success, right?

Froma Harrop: Of course not and you can’t – you can’t stop it, this is – these are people living in the poor countries and drug trade offers them incredible of amounts of wealth to people.

They will do anything to do this and that’s why you can have these drug cartels killing hundreds of each other and you have new members the day after. The day after one dies, some new guy shows up and you simply cannot stop it.

What you can do is, you can stop the illicit market. You can stop terrorists and thugs and murderous foreign gangs from making money off of the American drug habit, frankly.

Dean Becker: Yeah.

Froma Harrop: And you can do that by legalizing drugs. It’s interesting there’s drugs – this war on drugs, I was just looking at the statistics.

When it began, the DEA, the Drug Enforcement Administration had 2770 employees and a budget of $65 million and now – let’s see what is the number today – now, it has 10,800 employees and a budget of $2.6 billion dollars. Do you know what we could with $2.6 billion in our society? It’s really stunning.

Dean Becker: Well, we wouldn’t have to teachers, close so many libraries; close the health care availability for so many. I think it was New Mexico, they just last week reported that somebody who was on the transplant list for a liver –

Froma Harrop: Yeah.

Dean Becker: Was denied because they were just out of money.

Froma Harrop: Yeah.

Dean Becker: It’s usurping – it’s eating away our ability to do these other more positive things.

Froma Harrop: That’s true and even if you think drugs are a bad thing. It’s still money. It’s money down drain because it’s doing nothing. It’s doing nothing to the drug supply.

So, whether do you think drug are acceptable, if you’re a Libertarian and you say “that’s not no business of mine what you take” or if you’re a more – if you’re an old fashioned Moralist that says, “Drugs are bad. Drugs are evil.” This money is totally wasted because it’s not stopping the inflow of drugs.

Dean Becker: No, not at all. Friends, this is the Cultural Baggage show. I’m Dean Becker our guest today is Froma Harrop. She’s a nationally syndicated columnist. She had a recent one that caught my attention, Waging War against the War on Drugs.

Now, Froma, I want to talk about – you were mentioning the Moralist aspect of this.

Froma Harrop: Sure.

Dean Becker: And just a week or two ago, televangelist Pat Robertson, was making some very profound statements, was he not?

Froma Harrop: Absolutely and this was stunning because you do have – politicians including Obama and worthwhile Liberals they are afraid to pull back on the war on drugs because they are afraid of being accused of being soft on drugs but in terms of political pundits and that kind of thing you’ve always had support for ending the war on drugs and you’ve had economic conservatives such as Bill Buckley, Milton Freedman, opposed to it.

You’ve had Liberals talking about, you know, about personal freedom and you’ve had Libertarians saying it’s none of our business how what somebody wants to take, but we’ve been lacking social conservatives and now here we have Pat Robertson saying what’s very obvious but what – but hasn’t really been said much in his circles and that is that this war on drugs is ruining lives of young people that caught smoking, you know, marijuana behind – under the bleachers and they’re lives are ruined.

They are arrested they have prison, sometimes they have prison sentence sometimes they just have something in their record that makes them – that hurts their employment prospects.

It’s really tragic and it’s terribly unfair because people with, you know, who do take far stronger drugs get off.

I mean, even Obama admitted that he’s taken cocaine and his predecessor George W. Bush has all but admitted that he’s done it. He refuses to deny that he’s done it, which to me is an admission and yet we’re harassing – we’re ruining the lives of young people, you know, who are smoking a stick of marijuana.

Dean Becker: Yeah, I want to look at it or examine it from this angle. We have over the years, I understand, arrested 38 million of our fellow citizens.

Froma Harrop: I know.

Dean Becker: For plant products in their pocket.

Froma Harrop: Right.

Dean Becker: We have in my understanding, at least according to Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and I think Jeffrey Myron, extended more than $1 trillion.

Froma Harrop: I know.

Dean Becker: Trying to stop the flow and according to the figures available from the DEA over the same timeframe we’ve raged this war, we’ve given more than $10 trillion to the terrorists, to the cartels and the gangs and street corner vendors that are selling this contaminated crap to our kids.

Froma Harrop: It’s insane.

Both: (Laughs)

Froma Harrop: What can I say except that it’s insane? My interest in the drug war started years ago when I was actually in the New York City subway and I was mugged.

Dean Becker: Yes.

Froma Harrop: I was coming down a flight of stairs, carrying my flute. I played the flute. It was a student flute it was worth $35, perhaps.

Dean Becker: Right.

Froma Harrop: There was some guy in the stairwell. I could see his eyes were glassy. I’m coming down the stairs steps in my path and he says, “Give it to me.” And I pull it back and I say, “No.” And quick out comes a knife and he is pointing in my gut.

Dean Becker: Hmm.

Froma Harrop: And he said, “Give it to me.” And I gave to him and he ran off with it and as I said he probably – as I said, you could see he needed his fix. He probably got $35 for my flute and I was from traumatized for months after that and I realized that what he wanted, you know, his fix – were there not a war on drugs, if he could have just gotten it somewhere, it would have cost him the price of a head of celery.

Dean Becker: Yeah, it’s a–

Froma Harrop: I was sort of caught in this war on drugs, someone who didn’t take drugs, someone just coming down with a musical instrument in my hand.

Dean Becker: Right and that’s goes on day and after day, all across this nation.

Froma Harrop: Yup.

Dean Becker: Thousands – tens of thousands of times every day, people taking a hundred dollar item and selling it for ten bucks to buy fix a that under a regulated marketplace would be worth about a dollar.

Froma Harrop: Right

Dean Becker: It’s just as you said, it’s insane. Friends, we’re speaking Froma Harrop. She’s nationally syndicated columnist, Froma, I want to talk about the DEA. You know we were talking about that they extended from smaller amount, 3,000-2,000 now up to about 11,000 members, reading from your article they are in 63 – oh, why did I lose spot here?

Froma Harrop: 63 countries.

Dean Becker: 86 offices, 63 countries and they run their own shadow state department. They’re in Afghanistan they are well aware that our troops camp out in the middle of large opium and marijuana fields. I understand that Afghanistan has regained its stature as the world’s #1 marijuana grower.

Froma Harrop: Yeah.

Dean Becker: And this despite an all-out war on terror and an all-out war on drugs. Where is the sense in that?

Froma Harrop: This is how the Taliban and Al Qaeda make their money, by selling these drugs. We could put, like the Mexican drug gangs, we could put them out of business tomorrow, if we just produced it in this country, gave it to people or had doctors make prescriptions for it or sell this stuff as we sell alcohol.

I spoke to a to a former, I think, DEA guy who lived in El Paso who told me that kids can get this thing “cheese.” I guess you probably know about this…

Dean Becker: Right, heroin and Tylenol or something, mixture right?

Froma Harrop: Yes, he said they can get this “Cheese” on any playground in El Paso. They can get it for $5. Now, it’s a pretty potent thing, He does but they can’t buy a bottle scotch because scotch is regulated, because there is no market for it. You know people aren’t out trying to smuggle scotch across the border.

Dean Becker: Or sell it to kids.

Froma Harrop: Or sell it to kids. If the kids go to the liquor store they can’t get it.

Dean Becker: You know, you mentioned that we could grow it here and a lot of folks don’t realize. They think for some reason that opium has to grow in the mountains of Afghanistan or that coca has got to be grown out in the high out in Andes mountains but our soil is pretty good and the seeds would grow here just as anywhere else. There is no reason to support any these barbarians, in my opinion.

Froma Harrop: Especially, marijuana. I mean, drug gangs are now growing marijuana in national parks in California. (Laughs)

Dean Becker: Right, as I understand it there bringing work crews from Mexico and perhaps Guatemala and other South American countries and putting them in those forests with the demand that they grow this weed and grow it tall and harvest a huge amount.

In many cases they actually hold their families ransom, back in the home countries, to ensure that they stay there and that that crop does well.

Froma Harrop: And I know that for example, hikers in Colorado, they’re also involved in some, I guess, national forest in Colorado and I know that hikers in Colorado are warned that if they come across a big field of marijuana to stay away because they could be attacked.

Dean Becker: Sure.

Froma Harrop: By these people because these people are making a big business selling this illegal product and growing it in this country too—

Dean Becker: Froma, I’ve also head that even in Arkansas, Texas and other southern states that they have those Mexican crews growing out in the – if not the national forest, just out in the wilderness.

Froma Harrop: Well sure. (Laughs)

Dean Becker: It’s so much money to be made.

Froma Harrop: Yeah.

Dean Becker: A dollar turned into a hundred dollar bill with just a little bit of effort it’s just–

Froma Harrop: Well, not only that but the loss, you know, the dollars lost by not taxing it. If we sold marijuana and I think Jeffery Myron that professor at Harvard who’s done all of these calculations and I’m trying to remember what he said – if we taxed it, yes, if we taxed marijuana as we tax tobacco and alcohol we could add $6.4 billion per year to state and local treasures.

Dean Becker: Right and some people say that it’s just not worth it at the same time, as we talking about earlier, they’re laying off teachers. They are closing libraries and they denying medical services. They – Texas now has a $23 or $15 billion deficient that they are trying to deal with and like many other states, like California with their massive $50 billion, I think it is–

Froma Harrop: Yeah.

Dean Becker: Deficit and they’re cutting corners but still nobody is talking about changing the mechanism of the drug war.

Froma Harrop: Well, that’s why I was so encouraged by Pat Robertson’s statement because he sort of represents the kind of, you know, a constituency that is concerned, that is afraid of drugs, that is that you know that believes drugs are immoral.

And you may feel that way that way or you may not feel that what but he’s saying here at bottom is that whatever you feel about drugs and said, “Believe I’m not advocating the use of drugs,” that the war on drugs is worse that the use of drugs.

Dean Becker: Right and I guess we can hope that you know people like Pat Roberson speaking up and others that we’re the clerical caller.

Froma Harrop: Yeah.

Dean Becker: We’ll begin to speak up, I mean, I have for years proclaimed on the airwaves that doctors, the scientists, even the prosecutors, who don’t speak up—

Froma Harrop: Hmmm.

Dean Becker: Are complicit they’re in alignment, if you will, with the needs and desires of these barbarous cartels. We’ve got just a couple of minutes left and I kind of wanted to get you response to that though from—

Froma Harrop: To which thought?

Dean Becker: Well, that these people through their hmmm… support of this drug war—

Froma Harrop: Oh.

Dean Becker: Are actually complicit they are in alignment with these barbarous cartels.

Froma Harrop: Oh, yes! They are in alignment with them and I think and you know, many people in our foreign policy establishment have said that we’re just paying – this one way we pay the you know we’re found the treasuries of the people who are trying to kill us abroad.

Yes, that is absolutely, that’s absolutely the case and why we keep doing it – I think part of it is that I think there is an establishment now, I mean there’s a lot of money in this war on drugs. There is a lot of money for drugs – for prisons, for people working in the DEA, you know the thousands of thousands employers – employees excuse me, all the weaponry.

You know, we have these big military operations were we’ve been poisoning cocaine fields, you know, coca fields in the Andes mountains. There, you know – It’s become an economic – running this war on drug has become an economic interest.

Dean Becker: Yeah, on so many levels.

Froma Harrop: Yeah.

Dean Becker: I think about it as, you know, the pharmaceutical and tobacco and alcohol companies don’t want this to change because they have the upper hand now. We have got, well, two minutes left.

Froma, I want to hand it back to you write about the immigration issue you write about many of the issues causing turmoil across America are you getting a response from people who are more common sense? Are people awakening to this truth, this glaring truth?

Froma Harrop: You mean the drug war truth?

Dean Becker: All across the board are people getting involved?

Froma Harrop: You mean the meaning of the Truth?

Dean Becker: I mean all across the board.

Froma Harrop: Yeah.

Dean Becker: I mean, are they aware?

Froma Harrop: Well, yes. I think whenever I write on this subject, I get so much – I get mail, a lot of supportive mail. When I write against the Drug War, I get a lot of supportive mail and very few people disagreeing with me.

And what interests me is that the way it usually works is that the people who disagree with you are more motivated to write. So when you get – so, even when you get – even if it is fifty in favor or fifty opposed to what I say that means most readers are in agreement.

And so, when the – but when I wrote about the war on drugs, very few people write and say, “You’re terribly wrong.” The people who don’t agree with me they’re – I notice that as the years go on, they’re less and less and passionate about it. They have more and more nuisance in their argument.

Concerning immigration, I’m somebody who believes the immigration laws should be enforced, that we need to some comprehensive reform at —that will legalize most of the people here illegally and but that will put into effect a very stringent program to ensure that the legal immigration in the future is stopped and that means you have to have serious employer sanctions.

Dean Becker: Yup.

Froma Harrop: You have to have a form of ID that is – that can’t be counterfeited.

Dean Becker: Well, I tell you what Froma, we’re going to have to cut it off right there. I want to make a suggestion that perhaps in some future column that you extend an invitation to the Drug Czar or any high government official to come on this radio show with you and me and to clarify the need to continuing this eternal war.

Once again we’re been speaking with Froma Harrop, a national syndicated columnist, real quick Froma, in ten seconds what would you like to say?

Froma Harrop: Just you know – just keep clipping all those articles, all those things you see, putting it together, you know, funding terrorism, jailing Americans – jailing young Americans, I mean, every – so many of our problems are caused the war on drugs or they are made worse by the war on drugs and it’s just a lot of things that come together too, if you keep looking at the news.

Dean Becker: Right. Froma, I thank you so much I am sure that we’ll be talking again soon and—

Froma Harrop: I hope so.

Dean Becker: And thank you so much for your journalism.

Froma Harrop: I appreciate it. I appreciate that. Thanks, Dean

Dean Becker: Uh hum. Good bye.


Commercial announcer: Some of the most dangerous drugs aren’t on the street. They’re under your sink… household products that kids sniff to get high. Protect your kids. Tell them to never sniff inhalants because the first time can kill.

A message from the Partnership for a Drug Free Texas and America.


Dean Becker: The Partnership for a Drug Free America is an enormous fraudulent enterprise but in this one instance, they did get it right.


(Game show music)

It’s time to play: Name That Drug By Its Side Effects

Permanent damage to the liver, eyes, bone marrow, heart and blood vessels, convulsions, impaired mental function, neurological damage, kidney damage, irregular heartbeats, unbearable stress and a sudden sniffing death.


Time’s up!

The answer: Lucy, gasoline. There’s a vending machine in your neighborhood.


I’m Leo Cigarroa. I am the Chairman of the Council for Scientific Affairs for the Texas Medical Association. We definitely encourage additional research into the use of medicinal marijuana.


(Snake charming music)

What will it take to motive? Please visit drugtruth.net


(Country music)

War is peace
Peace through war
A hundred years of prohibition
At least a hundred years more

We’ve got to fund the terrorists and gangs
To save the kids
We’ve got to do the same damn thing


(Country music)

If you’ve got the money, Rumy
I’ve got the crime
I’ll bust all of the druggies
And I’ll give ‘em time

I’ll keep filling the prisons
On the taxpayer’s dime
If you’ve got the money, Rumy
I’ve got the crime


Dean Becker: My apologies to Willie Nelson. Now, friends, you’ve got to do your part. You know, Froma is speaking this truth, as are many journalists here in the US, Great Britton and across Europe down into Central and South American.

People and politicians are beginning to speak up. It’s time for you to do your part. It’s time to let your elected officials know that you know the truth and that you expect them to deal with the truth properly, to quit funding the gangs, to quit put empowering the terrorist enemies, to stop giving reasons for these violent gangs to be out on the street corners selling contaminated crap to our children. It’s really that simple.

Who’s going to object? Who wants to continue this? That’s what we really need to find out, when folks like Reverend Pat Robertson are speaking this truth. It’s okay for you to do so as well. It’s okay for you to – you know, we have our transcripts on-line, we’ve talked to all kind of politicians and elected officials and law enforcement and doctors.

Go read some of them. Go look at some of them. Copy them and use them in a letter to the editor or talk to your friends, your associates and your co-workers. They know the truth, it’s just been a subject that had been quashed, that’s been denied, that’s been, you know, just put on hold for approaching one hundred years now.

We’ve got to do our part. I urge you to check of this week’s Century of Lies show. We have Russ Jones. He’s with the Drug Policy Forum of Texas and my band of brothers of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

Century of Lies, it’s at our website at drugtruth.net.

Next week, we’re going to have Robert Paltshorn. He’s author of the Black Tuna Diaries. He was a major drug smuggler back in the sixties and seventies, I believe was and he’s now speaking for NORML, as their senior adviser for many of the old folks like me who use marijuana as medicine.

You guys have got to do your part. I want to remind you, as always, 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.

Drug Truth Network programs are stored at the James A. Baker III Institute for Policy Studies.

Transcript provided by: Ayn Morgan of www.eigengraupress.com

Tap dancing… on the edge… of an abyss.