09/23/08 - Jack Cole

Jack Cole director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition reports on recent trip to UK on behalf of LEAP

Program: 
Century of Lies
Date: 
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Guest: 
Jack Cole
Organization: 
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP)
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Century of Lies, September 23, 2008

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: We’re trying to bring you a complete Century of Lies program as best we can. I thank you for listening in. And as I said, I hope you’re doing well. It’s been quite an ordeal down here; I’m still in starting my eleventh day without electricity, Internet, and as you can image that puts a crimp in my style. But, we also have news of a 700 billion dollars wasting of money, by big bankers, white-collar criminals if you ask me. And I think it’s about time to bring in the cops and speaking of which I want to bring in a gentleman I greatly respect, a man with thirteen years under cover as a narcotics officer, he is the Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and I’d like to welcome him with us: hold on – ok I understand we lost Jack Cole, so we’re going to get him back here in just a second. It gives me a chance to kind of speak my mind. You know we have been set up again. FEMA fell on its face here the state and locals didn’t actually do much better. Days of people driving around, trying to find gasoline, trying to find ice, water, food; days of frustration aggravation days when, you know, I think they could have done better, certainly by, you know, examining the situation. Putting gas were it needed to be, ice and water a little closer to were it needed to be. Can’t complain too much, I’ve got it made compared to many of the folks that have been impacted by Hurricane Ike. Lots of folk down around Galveston, and Seabrook, and Freeport have had a miserable situation and they are doing much worse than I am. I want to thank you for, you know, tuning in we’ve been off the air some, just about a week now. And as I understand we do have Mr. Jack Cole, the Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, online. Hello, Jack.
Jack Cole: Hi, sorry about that, you seemed to have dropped me
Dean Becker: Well, Jack, its that we are running on a wing and a prayer, and my prayer is that we can stay on the air long enough to have our discussion. I want to welcome you to Century of Lies. Jack we’re looking at, I was telling the audience about a situation were white collar, and I call them criminals, have once again squandered hundreds of billions of dollars in a failed effort to make even more money. And it seem we arrest 1.9 almost 2 million of our fellow citizens these days for plant products in their pockets. Seems kind of disproportionate, does it not?

Jack Cole: Yes, it certainly does.

Dean Becker: It does. Now Jack, you just returned from a trip to the UK, where you were interviewed. I caught part of it by BBC and other entities over there. Tell us about the trip if you will.

Jack Cole: Oh it was a great trip, as they all are. I went over originally to speak to an organization called the International Symposium on Economic Crime, which is 900 attendees mainly law enforcement and bankers. And some high-ranking political figures also there, they represent 90 countries. And I did a plannery session with them and then I did a workshop over there. And I was there for 5 days; I talked to probably over a hundred of the people there personally and I had 3 people that disagreed with me when I told them that I’m from this organization, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and we want to end the war on drugs. We want to end it just like we ended alcohol prohibition in the US in 1933. This as law enforcers, we know, that the day after we ended that nasty law, Al Capone and all his smuggling buddies were out of business, you know. They were no longer out there on the streets killing each other to control the very lucrative market, no longer killing us the cops charge with fighting this useless war, no longer killing our kids caught in cross fire in drive by shootings. But what really got to the people in this Economic Crime session was when I told them that we spent over a trillion dollars on this war in 38 years. And every year we continue at 70 billion more down the drain and the fact that we if we legalized and regulated these drugs, there would be 500 billion dollars that is current spent per year, on illegal drugs, that would not go into money laundering. Well that’s one of the things these people were very worried about.

Dean Becker: Well, and its again its not just the street corner vendor that profits from this, there are people, high up in governments around this world, who cooperate.

Jack Cole: Oh absolutely.

Dean Becker: Who take the bribes, who allow the passage, who permit this black market to just continue.

Jack Cole: Sure. You’re not about talking enough money to buy a cop here, or a judge, or a politician. You’re literally talking about enough money to buy entire nations. As I say, 500 billion dollars is spent on illegal drugs around the world every single year. Now that’s a lot of money. You know how I know that’s a lot of money? Until 2 years ago that was 100 billion dollars more than the United Sated defense budget.

Dean Becker: Mah. Well Jack we have, you know, desperate situations growing around the world, not just the gang violence here in America, but have a very desperate and ugly war going on in Mexico. More people are dyeing there than in Iraq and Afghanistan put together.

Jack Cole: Yeah, that’s true, and if, and also if we continue with this terrible metaphor, that we believe in using, of a “war” on drugs, eventually we’ll end up like Brazil. Now, Brazil just had a study done on it by the United Nations, it was published last Monday. Last year they had 48 thousand murders in Brazil.

Dean Becker: Wow

Jack Cole: And 20% of those murders are committed by police officers, extra judicial executions of drugs users; they just pick them up, take them out and shoot them.

Dean Becker: Well, there are those, some what rational folks that I talk to that say, “Yeah we should become more like Saudi Arabia or Singapore, and just take them out and execute them.”

Jack Cole: Well, I don’t know where you get, “some what rational” out of that.

Dean Becker: Well, you know, otherwise they seem rational; I’ll put it that way.

Jack Cole: Yeah

Dean Becker: Yeah, well Jack you had a recent piece published, in was it the Boston Globe was it?

Jack Cole: Yes

Dean Becker: Please, kind of go over that for us, tell us what was contained there in.

Jack Cole: Well, we talked about the war on drugs, and the fact that, basically it came to us out of racisms. And it pretty much exists today because of racism. And of course, when you start looking at the war on drugs from the very beginning, the first law against these drugs, actually was passed in California, and back then it was pretty obvious the race they were after, because, the first law said, “no chinaman shall possess opium”. That was, I think, in 1909. And then in 1914, we got a federal law against opium and they took out the “no chinaman”, and made it meant, said no body shall possess it. But it was pretty obvious the only people back then that were possessing it, were the Chinese. So that’s where it started. When marijuana was made illegal it was aimed at the Mexicans that they said were bringing marijuana in to this country and using it. It just goes on and on with this same sort of thing today. As you pointed out we’re a very punitive country here. Actually, you know, all of western European countries imprison their population between 68 and 148 per 100,000. We imprison our population at the rate of 1,009 per 100,000. That means one out of 100 people in this country is in prison. Right now. That’s an amazing figure. But it gets even more amazing when you look into that figure and adjust it for race and gender. Because if you look to see how many white men we arrest and imprison in this country, that’s 948 per 100,000. But black men we imprison at the rate of 6,667 per 100,000 and they’re only 13% of the problem out there. And if we look at the federal household survey, which is done every year, it tells us who uses and who sells drugs in this country. And it clearly points out that 72% of those folks look just like you and me, a bunch of white guys. Only 13.5% of them are black folks. But look at that difference, 948 white men per 100,000 in prison, 6,667 black men per 100,000 in prison.

Dean Becker: Its just so mind boggling and outrageous, it is indeed. Now Jack, we are speakers for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, of course you as Director, you’re busy every week, but a couple of times a month I get a chance to, you now, talk to a Lions Club, or maybe a university class, or just recently spoke to some Democrat gathering here in Houston. And its amazing the response that you receive, even with the Lions Club folks, 70 and 80 years old, I get 90% plus.

Jack Cole: Isn’t it amazing, it truly is? When we started this 5 years ago, we were hoping we might convince 10 or 15% of our audience, that what we are saying is so. And right off the bat, we were convincing 80% of our audience, and it has gone up form them. It’s just an amazing thing.

Dean Becker: It is Jack. And I think of the, I don’t know how to say it, the vase potential that is there, that when given the right set of data, that 80 plus percent of Americans, are for ending this drug war, pulling the plug, finding a better way. How are we going to motivate them Jack? What are we going to do to corral all that effort, put it to work?

Jack Cole: Well, the way we want to do it is, we, first off, we‘ve been going to a lot of national and international conferences. We’ve been to over 35 law enforcement conferences in the last 4 years. And we set up a display booth there, an educational booth, and we talk to as many people as we can who come by. And we are very aggressive we don’t sit behind our tables. We tell all our speakers to stand out in that isle, and anyone that so much as looks at you, you get them by the elbow and say, “Hey, have you heard about Law Enforcement Against Prohibition?” We are cops too. Let us talk to you about the war on drugs.” Then after a short period of talking with these folks, we will always end the conversation with by saying, “So, what do you think? Does this argument have any merit? Do you agree with us? Or are you undecided now? Or do you still want to continue the war on drugs?” But whatever they say, we put them down in one of those three columns. And we couldn’t believe the stats we were getting, at first, from that. But they held through for all 35 conferences. And that is law enforcers, 80% of them agree with us after they hear us talk about it. 14% undecided and only 6% want to continue the war on drugs. And we’ve done even better with politicians. We haven’t been to as many conferences, because they don’t have that many. But once a year they have the National Conference of State Legislators in this country, it draws about 5,000 people to it. We set up the same booth there, and we talk to state legislators and their aids, we’ve talked to just under 2,000 of them in the 4 years we’ve been going. And 83% agree with us. Only 7% want to continue the war on drugs. Now that doesn’t mean they are going to run out the door yelling, “Hey, legalize drugs.” What it does mean, is if we come back to them in a couple of years with a million members of LEAP, a million private citizens who say, “Hey, finally these cops are talking about something that makes sense.” And we present that to them, show them that they won’t loose one more vote than they will gain by supporting these policies, they will change these laws. And they’re not going to get that much problem out of the law enforcers who also agree with this.

Dean Becker: I think it’s just a case of people not necessarily wanting to be the one leading the parade, but ready to jump on should it commence, right?

Jack Cole: Well that’s ok. We’re perfectly happy to be out there leading the parade and taking the hits. And we think we can do that. Because when it’s a law enforcement person telling you, “Look.” For instance, my case, I fought the war on drugs for 26 years on the other side in the New Jersey State Police, 14 years undercover narcotics, worked everything up to billion dollar international heroine and cocaine rings, and I’m telling you, I’m telling every body, that this is a failed policy. That today drugs are cheaper, they’re more potent, and they are far easier for our children to access than they were in 1970 at the first of that war when I started buying them undercover. Now that is a completely failed policies and we got to do something to change them.

Dean Becker: A lot of folks don’t ever sit down and quantify the dollars involved, but, you know, you’re talking 70 billion a year right now, we’re squandering, over a trillion over the lifetime of this thing. And people don’t, I rarely hear the discussion brought forward, that you mentioned it, 500 billion dollars a year over that same lifetime, that’s 10s of billions of dollars going to our terrorist enemies, cartels, terrorist, you know, the scum of the earth.

Jack Cole: That’s right. That’s exactly so. And if we legalized and regulated drugs today, tomorrow there wouldn’t be a terrorist in the world that would make a penny of it.

Dean Becker: Well, I find more and more politicians are starting to examine the evidence, at least, if not step forward and call for that change. A few have done so, there are some growing numbers of politicians who are starting to incorporate the thought of ending prohibition into their plank, their platform to get elected, right?

Jack Cole: Yes that’s true, and 2 years ago, the National Caucus of Latino State Legislators, came out with a resolution calling for an end to the war on drugs, saying that we should treat drug abuse as a health problem, not a crime problem. One year ago, 225 of our Mayors from our largest cities in the United State came together at their National Mayors Conference, and passed the same resolution, end the war on drugs, treat drug abuse as a health problem not a crime problem. And I just got a call this morning, from Congress, asking me to go down on Thursday, this Thursday, to Washington, D.C. and speak before the National Caucus of, National Black Caucus that’s meeting there.

Dean Becker: What wonderful news Jack.

Jack Cole: On the criminal justice system and policing.

Dean Becker: Now I had a sit down talk with Congressman John Connors, about 3 years ago, and we had a real good discussion about Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and the policy of, that’s just, as we mentioned squandering so much of our resources and lives. And I think you’ll find a very good reception there, Jack.

Jack Cole: Sure, and I was invited to be on this panel by Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

Dean Becker: Yes sir.

Jack Cole: And the panel is actually is a forum on Criminal Justice System and police misconduct.

Dean Becker: Well, and the police misconduct, you know, it only takes one or two bad apples to spoil that whole barrel, to put up a stink, and, you know, most of our law enforcement officers out there are doing a superb job, doing as they wanted to do, serving the community, doing good work. But it just takes a few corrupt border guards or customs officials, maybe a FBI agent once in a while helping to escort drugs across the state line, or something, right? Its sad, but it is that bucket of billions of dollars that they…

Jack Cole: Well, well, but when you say it’s a few, its a few statically, like by percentage of all police, it’s a very few, but it’s a great huge of number of them in real life.

Dean Becker: In total, yes.

Jack Cole: There are so many people that fall to this tremendous incentive; you’re talking about millions of dollars that people can give people to buy them off. You know, it is quite and incentive program for people to do the wrong thing and they don’t have to do anything, all they have to do is look the other way.

Dean Becker: Well, Jack, you know, these laws were designed, written to stop the major players, the traffickers, the kin pins, but in reality it’s not worked out that way, has it?

Jack Cole: No, it certainly hasn’t. The vast majority of people that we’re arresting are users, actually, of drugs. You know, we arrested, every year since 2005, we have arrested more than 1.9 million people in this country for non-violent drug offences. And 43% of those arrests were for marijuana offences. And because we were told, all the way back in 1980, by President Ronald Regan not just arrest drug dealers but to start arresting drug users. Because of that, 89% of all the marijuana arrests last year were for possession.

Dean Becker: And if I’m not mistaken, there was a release just recently, I’m a little behind the times, what with, Hurricane Ike, but within the last week or so it came out that, 890,000 people were arrested last year for marijuana.

Jack Cole: That’s correct. And think of what we’re doing to these folks, we do everything we can possibly do to destroy their lives. In most sates, the very first thing we do, if you catch a young man or woman, say, 21 years old, with, maybe married, with a child, catch them smoking a joint in their bedroom, the first thing we do is, we take their drivers license away. Now in most of America, were we don’t have public transportation, that means they can no longer be gainfully employed, they can no longer get to education facilities to try to better their life and of course if they can, they live in the cities that do have public transportation, and can get to the education facilities, we still make it hard for them by saying, “Hey, you’ve been caught smoking a marijuana cigarette, you can no longer get a grant or loan from the government to go to this school.” Yeah you can go to it, but only if you’re rich enough to pay for it.

Dean Becker: Yeah, and it just goes on and on, and in many intendances you’re denied government housing or even general housing.

Jack Cole: That’s right.

Dean Becker: Because you have that blemish on your record. I have a friend that was caught with an ounce of marijuana and can’t even rent an apartment any more.

Jack Cole: Exactly, and, you know, we have a group here were I live now in Massachusetts, a group called The Committee for Common Sense in Marijuana Policy, that has put on our ballot for November 4th a thing called Question 2. And voting yes on Question 2, will get one ounce or less of marijuana, will be treated as a civil fine of $100, straight $100. So that these young people that are experimenting with these drugs, that if, you know, if we don’t intervene, almost all of them will put the drugs behind them, and go on to a perfectly happy life, but you cant do that if you get arrested. We got a saying at LEAP, you can get over an addiction, you’ll never get over conviction, because a conviction will tract you every day for the rest of your life; its on a computer. So what we want to do is we want to stop putting these young people on computers, at the beginning just make it a flat $100 civil fine and let them get on with their lives.

Dean Becker: And that’s part of the, just common sense, I talk about at the end of this program, there is no truth, justice, logic, scientific fact, medicinal data, and basically Jack there is no reason for this drug war to exist in its current state, is there?

Jack Cole: I agree, and many, many reasons for it not to exist.

Dean Becker: Well, yes sir, we certainly get the opportunity to talk to many folks in that regard. I find that, I’ve been talking to some local state rep politicians running for office, and good gosh Jack; behind closed doors they can agree 99% with me, but they just can’t speak up. And we’ve talked on this; briefly, the fact is they’re waiting for their constituents. They’re waiting for somebody to say, “Hey, its alright to talk, its alright to open this topic of discussion, and dare to speak of that need for change.” Right?

Jack Cole: Sure. And that’s exactly what LEAP exists for. We exist to make, to legitimize the discussion. And since we have existed that’s when all these changes come about, when all these politicians are starting to speak up about it. You know last year, all those guys and women that were running for the presidency, 3 of them, one republican and 2 democrats, came out calling publicly for an end to the war on drugs. Now that’s never happened in history, not even one presidential candidate has done that, and here we had 3.

Dean Becker: Yeah, I mean it is nice that they occasionally they do touch on it, though for the final 2 here I haven’t heard much discussion, course there hasn’t been the debate yet. Let’s hope that’s brought forward, the fact that our soldiers are camping out next to the opium poppies there in Afghanistan. Something’s just not right.

Jack Cole: You’re correct.

Dean Becker: Ok. Now Jack we have just a few minutes left, I want to give you a chance you to tell the folks about LEAP. We make the offer to any group on the planet, that if they’ll invite us, we’ll find a way to come talk to them, right?

Jack Cole: Sure we do. And we’ve got about 90 speakers now, we’ve given more than 4,000 presentations around the world, 99% of them are probably are in the United States, but we give them around the world. We speak mainly to civic groups, professional, religious, and educational organizations. We also speak to political organizations. But basically these are some pretty conservative folks, and its those folks we talking about, that 80% of them agree with us after we’re done, Rotaries, Quintus Clubs, Lions Club, Chambers of Congress. So we’re willing to go anywhere, and present a very, very interesting talk to these organizations.

Dean Becker: I have to agree with that. The democrat group that I spoke too, you know, I mean they were pretty much on our side, but by the time, and they were only suppose to do 20 minutes, they gave me the full hour and a half. But by the time it was done they were practically climbing on each other’s shoulders to endorse what I was saying.

Jack Cole: Yeah.

Dean Becker: Yeah.

Jack Cole: And I find the same thing with republicans. As a matter of fact, very conservative republicans, tend to be the easiest, I think, to convince, because they are very conservative of how we’re spending their money and I when I tell him, “Hey, we wasted well over a trillion dollars and every year we continue it, its another 70 billion down the same rat hole and yet drugs are cheaper and more potent and far easier for our kids to get access.” They say, “Not with my tax dollars.” And they’re convinced then.

Dean Becker: Well, Jack we are out of time, I thank you so much for being with us on this Century of Lies, we’ll bring you back and get some more updates form you. I do appreciate it sir.

(Music)

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition – these men and women have served in the trenches of the drug war as prosecutors, judges, cops, guards and wardens. They have seen first hand the utter futility of our policy and now work together to end drug prohibition.

Please visit LEAP.cc

Its not a holocaust, its not genocide, its not exactly an inquisition, this policy of drug war, hell bent for eternity, has left more mass graves than any despot. Tens of millions of lives, not taken, but rather life potentials, destroyed by our policy of drug prohibition. Prohibition promises to protect our children, until they turn 17, when they become meat for the drug war grinder. I guess I got to wrap it up. Look here my friends you are the answer. Jack and I can do our part and educate folks, but it takes your courage, your motivation, your willingness to speak up and share the truth with your elected officials, our newspaper editors, your minister, those people in positions of authority, those who allow this to continue.

And as always, I remind you there is no truth, justice, logic, scientific fact, no medical data. In fact, no reason for this drug war to exist. We’ve been duped. The drug lords must surely run both sides of this equation. Please do your part to help end this madness and visit our website which is 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 the Pacifica studios of KPFT, Houston.