02/06/11 Cliff Schaffer

Cliff Schaffer of Marijuana Business News & Drug Library + Bill Piper of the Drug Policy Alliance & Aunt Sandys recipe for cannabis tincture

Program: 
Century of Lies
Date: 
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Guest: 
Cliff Schaffer
Organization: 
Marijuana Business NEWS
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Century of Lies / February 06, 2011

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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.

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Thank you for joining us here on Century of Lies. Here in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with our guest, Mister Cliff Shaffer, of druglibrary.org and a couple of other fine websites and businesses that he has going.

You know over the years I have relied heavily on the work of our next guest. He’s provided information in many ways, motivation and courage to me, through his website and just his actions over the years and with that I want to welcome, Mister Cliff Shaffer.

Cliff Shaffer: Thank you, Dean.

Dean Becker: Cliff, it was your website DrugLibrary that first got me knowledgeable and made me aware that I had been snookered and the whole country had been snookered by these drug laws. Tell us about the beginnings, how you found that information, how you started that website

Cliff Shaffer: Well, actually I first read most of the major research on drug policy back in the early 1970s and the research that I read was so entirely clear on the subject that there was just no argument. Then so, I figured that because the research was so clear that eventually everybody would recognize the truth of the matter and things would change for the better.

Then we went through a number of years and we went through the Reagan era where Reagan massively increased the war on drugs basically as a propaganda move and finally by about 1989, I just got tired of watching what were really endless and inconclusive debates on this.

I saw William F. Buckley had one and it was a six hour show with four people on each side. They were supposed to be knowledgeable and they couldn’t come to a conclusion, even after six hours of arguing about it.

I knew at the time that if I could have showed up for the debate with a stack of the books that I had read that the debate would be over in about fifteen minutes. So, that’s when I got the idea to – that what we really had to do was to get the research out of these old dusty university research libraries, where nobody could read it and start converting it to some form where it could be distributed worldwide and everybody could read it and so nobody would have to take my word for what it said.

When you get into the research, of course, the research is just – it’s astonishing. It’s not what you are expected at all for the average person in the US, just about everything they think they know on the subject is probably wrong.

So, I started putting it up and I went to the research libraries and I got the books. I scanned them and I OCRed them – that’s converted them from paper to electronic format and started putting them up.

Once I did that, researchers from around the world starting sending me things that I didn’t have access to that were only found in foreign libraries. After a while the collection got to be pretty massive and the evidence is very conclusive.

I mean, once you read the evidence that is there, there’s just no question about it the drug laws were – they were just nuts. It was a product of few isolated lunatics without any real awareness by congress of what was even happening.

Dean Becker: (Laughs) Right, just people just going on to get along without know what they were doing in the first place, right?

Cliff Shaffer: Exactly. Exactly.

Dean Becker: Now, speaking of debates, since I got into drug reform I’ve been privileged, I guess, to have one debate with a guy in the DEA, the Head of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and he closed the thoughts out with rather than “kill me” for some of the things I was saying – you know, it didn’t seem like a real threat but I had definitely gotten under his skin and since that point in time, that was about 8 years ago, I’ve not been able to arrange any sort of debate or similar encounter. You were privileged enough in the beginning there to have been involved in several debates, right?

Cliff Shaffer: Yeah, I started doing active debating in 1989 but – and at the time the reason they came out for debate – the reason the opposition came out for debates was because debates were generally inconclusive. If the debates were inconclusive then that means they win, by default.

I did my first one in 1989 and I spoke for about ten minutes and my opponent, who was a twenty five year veteran of the narcotics squad and a captain with a degree in law, when I got done speaking he stood up, stuttered and stammered his words for a couple of minutes and then he said, “If you folks want to legalize drugs, it’s okay by me.”

Dean Becker: (Laughs)

Cliff Shaffer: He just – well, he didn’t have response. If you say that every major government commission report on the subject from the last hundred years has said that the marijuana laws are absolute lunacy and that they do more harm than good, no matter what you assume with marijuana, well they simply don’t have a rebuttal for that.

Within five years of that the entire law enforcement community in Southern California had learned that it just wasn’t productive to come out for debates because they did better if they didn’t show up at all.

Dean Becker: Well, that’s become their standard to this date and it’s even contained in the bylaws of the contract, I think, of the Head of the Drug Enforcement Administration that he to avoid all such discussions, right?

Cliff Shaffer: Yeah, I believe so. It’s – well, they just recognize that it’s not to their benefit. If you look at any debate on the Internet when this happens and it’s getting harder to find those, it’s a complete blow out. I mean, the legalizers to coin a phrase have all the evidence prohibitionists have none and that’s just the way it is.

Dean Becker: Right and yet and yet we still have the weird aberrations I was just speaking with Irv Rosenfeld about the situation in Montana, where the legislation is trying to overturn the will of the people, who voted 62% for medical marijuana and yet they just want to throw it out the window. What’s your thought on that?

Cliff Shaffer: Well, if you know the history that is kind of funny because in Montana when they outlawed marijuana back in the 1920s, one of the state legislators stood up and said words to the effect of, when one of these beet field peons, speaking about Mexicans immigrant Mexicans, he says, “When one of these beet field peons gets a puff of the stuff, he thinks he’s in the bullring at Barcelona and starts to kill all of his enemies.”

Dean Becker: (Laughs)

Cliff Shaffer: If you – if somebody would just go to the Montana State Legislature and publish the proceedings of the – of when they outlawed marijuana in the first place it would be very educational because it was as nutty as anything that you could find.

Dean Becker: And racially motivated, as well.

Cliff Shaffer: Yes, these laws never really were about marijuana. Marijuana never really was causing any significant problems in society. It was simply a tool to persecute minorities. That’s all it was.

Dean Becker: Now, as I indicated earlier we’re speaking with Mister Cliff Shaffer with druglibrary.org but you are man of many talents. You were also working with many of the new start-ups through your marijuanabusinessnews.com, right?

Cliff Shaffer: Right, the dispensaries.

Dean Becker: Tell us about that work. Tell us about that work, please.

Cliff Shaffer: Well, it actually was actually kind of interesting. This is a bourgeoning industry. It’s becoming legal and it is about like the process of beer becoming legal because the markets are about the same and the interesting thing, probably the most interesting thing about my experience of putting of marijuanabusinessnews.com, is the profile of the people calling me wanting to get into the business

The profile, generally, is someone who is forty five years or older. These are not young people contemplating this. They have a background in a previous profession. They have a fair amount of investment cash built up that they have to play with and because of the economy and other factors, they think that now is the time to get into the marijuana market and what they intend to do is to get in legally under the medical marijuana system.

Even though the law ostensibly requires these things to be non-profit they recognize that even with a nonprofit organization that would put them in the position to be well placed in the business when marijuana is legalized here within a few years or months.

Dean Becker: Which brings us to another point I want to get to here. Last week, on the ARO it’s a distribution list for the reformer organizations [Alliance of Reform Organizations].

Cliff Shaffer: Um, hum.

Dean Becker: There was a lot of talk about, how are we going to frame the law for 2012? What should be the framework? How are we going to go about this? What do you see for 2012, maybe California or Colorado – very likely to try and legalize at that point in time, right?

Cliff Shaffer: Yeah, there will be, oh gosh it’s hard to say now, but there could be initiatives on the ballot in maybe four or five different states, as well as a number of contenders here in California.

The methods they’re using are varied. Some people want to set up a well regulated medical marijuana distribution system and that is put rules ion medical marijuana similar to those of alcohol. Some of them want to pursue hemp as the primary initiative – primary purpose and others want to establish a brand new bureaucracy to take care of marijuana in their particular state.

At this point, it’s very early in the process and the one thing that you can say is that everybody involved in this is pretty darn certain that we are going to win something big in 2012. It’s just a matter of ‘how do we frame it so that we can get most and still win the vote’?

There’s various proposals out there. One of the big pitches would have been – is, of course, what do you do about the federal government? Because any state licensing system for anything at all to do with marijuana is probably going to be attacked by the federal government and the DEA is probably going to get an injunction against them, regardless of permission and licenses.

Dean Becker: This kind of coincides with the situation where Oakland was wanting to open four or five major grow warehouses to provide for their dispensaries and the government actually issued a warning, I think, last week or the week before that to do so would not be a good idea, right?

Cliff Shaffer: Yeah. You could very well expect that from any initiative or anything that happens anywhere that – where the government tries to license marijuana in any form. We’re dealing with Neanderthals in the DEA and they’ll shut it down.

It’s kind of interestingly, I got calls from people who wanted to go participate and put in a bid to be one of the Oakland growers and my advice to them was to forget it because it would probably never happen.

Dean Becker: Yeah. Right, a lot of investment to just be ruined in an afternoons work by the DEA, right?

Cliff Shaffer: A phenomenal amount of investment for somebody to do that they’d have to have a fund, probably in the neighborhood of half a million to a million dollars minimum.

Dean Becker: Right and that kind of brings to mind though, as just one of four or five such grow facilities, it kind of gives you an idea of the magnitude of this industry, which I’m told now that you can’t hardly sell Mexican weed in California.

Cliff Shaffer: Yeah, the stuff that you saw in the 1970s is just about unsalable in California and a matter of fact, a few years ago, a guy I knew bought two pounds of Mexican brick weed. He got it at a very low price $250 a pound and then he went out and tried to sell it, figuring he’d make a killing when he got it at such a low price and found out that his friends didn’t even want it for free.

Dean Becker: (Laughs) Yeah.

Cliff Shaffer: The standard in the dispensaries now is quite high. It’s a – people really go not only for high quality weed but they also want very good looking weed.

Dean Becker: Well, crystalline anyway, right?

Cliff Shaffer: Yeah. They want something with good eye appeal, you know, a good looking bud.

Dean Becker: Yeah. Yeah, fragrance is something. Taste is something else but right, it’s got to look the part as well, sure, which brings to mind another discussion that we were all involved in a week or so ago and that is the names of these products, run the gamut everything from Hindu Kush, to what – white – green crack it was right? And on down the line to even more onerous words, right?

Cliff Shaffer: Um, a lot of words that we could not say in the radio, exactly.

Dean Becker: Yeah.

Cliff Shaffer: And a lot of words that are of “double meaning.” Shall we put it that way?

Dean Becker: Yeah. I guess the point I’m getting at here, Cliff, it gives ammunition to the “opponents” of medical marijuana, when they can use names like “green crack” to describe the product. That somehow the name alone makes it unworthy, right?

Cliff Shaffer: Yes or one of the examples given was “Trainwreck” rather implying that smoking it is like a train wreck and while I sympathize with all of these people about, you know, these really are kind of, well, objectionable names and some of them that I can’t say on the radio are clearly objectionable. They include the F word among other things.

Dean Becker: Sure.

Cliff Shaffer: And one of the lawyers mentioned that it makes it a little difficult to take somebody into court and pretend they’re a good person when they were selling “Green Crack” and “Trainwreck.”

Dean Becker: (Laughs)

Cliff Shaffer: (Laughs) It tends to diminish the image.

Dean Becker: Right, right. It makes it seem as if you were set on mayhem in the first place, I suppose.

Cliff Shaffer: Yes, it doesn’t make you seem quite so serious but the problem is that’s what the market demands.

Dean Becker: Right, they are, I guess, there’s no actual name registry. Maybe there is one at this point but wherein these names are registered and they do develop a following. People who are looking for a particular strain and many –

Cliff Shaffer: Yeah, many of these are very clear brand names, like for instance “Sour Diesel” and “Trainwreck.” People know what those are and they come in and ask for them and they can recognize when a product is or is not their favorite variety.

There’s quite a bit if knowledge on the street about this. So, these have grown up by popular demand more or less and now the industry is, shall you say, stuck with them. If you owned a dispensary you really couldn’t really make a change to the names like “Sour Diesel” or “Trainwreck” because you’d have no credibility with your customers if you did.

Dean Becker: Exactly and fewer sales if you did. Now, okay I don’t know if you had a chance to hear but lately I’ve been interviewing this lady Sandy Moriarty. She’s the Chief Chef at Oaksterdam University and has a new book out.

Cliff Shaffer: Um, hum.

Dean Becker: And what I am doing, Cliff, is sharing these recipes for how to make better butter or cannabis chicken and you know on down the line because it is through awakening people to the possibilities. I mean, I smoked Marlboros for, jeez, 35-45 years.

Cliff Shaffer: You should quit, Dean.

Dean Becker: Well, I did. I did.

Cliff Shaffer: (Laughs)

Dean Becker: But the point I’m getting at because it is hard for me to smoke pot these days because I just – you know, a lung condition and that edibles do work better for me these days. I’m just thinking that all the young folks should maybe do a few edibles too and like you said, they should quit smoking that tobacco, such an evil, evil thing.

Cliff Shaffer: Tobacco will tear you up.

Dean Becker: Yeah, yeah but I guess the point I’m getting at here, Cliff, is that we have to legitimize the possibilities for progress and “embetterment” that can be had through things like edibles and they even now they’ve got the sprays and other means through which you can use cannabis, it doesn’t have to be smoked right?

Cliff Shaffer: Exactly, there’s all kinds of ways to use it. Some people have even said that you can use it as suppositories but although, you know… (Laughs)

Dean Becker: (Laughs)

Cliff Shaffer: That wouldn’t be me.

Dean Becker: No, I don’t think they would sell too many at my house. I tell you what Cliff, we’re going to have to break it here, I guess, but I want to thank you for taking time to be with us today.

I want to just suggest that folks go to druglibrary.org. Educate yourself.

If you are interested in joining the cannabis industry, you might want to go to marijuanabusinessnews.com. You might want to check that out.

But in any case, our guest, Mister Cliff Shaffer is a gentleman and I’m hoping will come back and join us soon. We can kick this down the road a little further maybe a little closer to resolution of some of these problems. Cliff, any closing thoughts that you’d like to share?

Cliff Shaffer: Well, you better do it quick, Dean because I think by November 2012, we’re going to have some major changes on the field. (Laughs)

Dean Becker: Well that’s good.

Cliff Shaffer: I think we are going to be winning something in 2012.

Dean Becker: Well, I’ll be working for those who that are trying to get ‘er done you know that and Cliff Shaffer, thank you so much for all you’ve done, really and that you continue to do. I appreciate it.

Cliff Shaffer: Well thank you, Dean.

Dean Becker: Alright sir.

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Dean Becker: Sandy Moriarty has written Aunt Sandy’s Medical Marijuana Cookbook. It’s an official course book of Oaksterdam University. Well would you please give us kind of a brief summery of the process.

Sandy Moriarty: Well, okay very good. Now, as far as the tinctures goes, this is the mixture when infusing the alcohol. You want to use 151 rum or Everclear vodka. The reason why you want to do that is because the trichomes cling to the lipids that are in the medium that you are working with.

Yes, there are lipids in alcohol lipids are the fat content of the material. Lipids are the Greek word for fat and this is where came up with – that we derived it from the word lipo.

So, the lipids in any material is what the trichomes are going to cling to. So, that is why you want to use strong vodka and the strong rum because they have the greater content lipids.

So, in doing that what you want to do is take a gallon jar, like a mayonnaise jar. Fill that full of vodka and place at least about a half an ounce of buds in there and you can also use the green leaf trim in this process and for a more potent outcome you’ll want to use the buds.

Place it in a dry, dark place for four weeks, going in a shaking and activating that material every day for about a half an hour. In that process, the trichomes will leave the buds and go over and cling to the lipids and therefore you have a very, very, very potent medication because you have – you are starting with such a strong alcohol and you are infusing it with the trichomes.

So this material, you only use a small amount in baking. I’d like to suggest the fun I have had with tincture is making a rum cake and just making the bottom of the cake and even cupcakes and setting into a platter of tincture and having it infused up through the cake and it’s very, very delicious.

People that make tincture they really only use a couple of drops at a time because of the strength. It is oh so very powerful and the dosage for that would be small, very small amounts and then kind grow into adapting a comfort zone for tinctures because you are mixing the two, the alcohol and the trichomes.

Dean Becker: Once again that was Sandy Moriarty, author of Aunt Sandy’s Medical Marijuana Cookbook, Comfort food for Body and Mind. You can get yourself a copy out on amazon.com.

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Dean Becker: The following is part of recent discussion I had with Mister Bill Piper the Director of National Affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance.

Dean Becker: Bill there was a contest, I don’t know, last week on YouTube dealing with what’s important in America following on the President’s State of the Union speech. Tell us the results of that and what you discern at that point.

Bill Piper: YouTube asked YouTube viewers to submit questions for the President and the Top 100 questions and the most popular were about drug policy, drug policy reform and marijuana reform.

So, they were forced to ask President Obama a question about drug policy reform and his response was interesting because he said that one, the debate around marijuana legalization is a legitimate debate to have.

He went on to say that he was opposed to legalization but you – just as encouraging it may be in itself, I think it can be a very productive things for the President.

Then Obama went on to basically say, we are spending too much money incarcerating people and we should treat drug use as a health issue. So, his rhetoric is good and for that matter some of the rhetoric from his Drug Czar is good. Obviously, the reality is different. A lot of people are still being arrested but you have to start somewhere in changing the terms of debate is a good place to start.

Dean Becker: Well and I see it as a two sides of the coin, really, you say yes his rhetoric is improving, at least from prior presidents and so is the drug czar’s, but the fact is the implementation of their policy is still very much focused on incarceration, is it not?

Bill Piper: Yes, it still is a the budget the Obama administration’s national drug budget is almost identical to President Bush’s budget. So, almost all of it is going to prisons and police and eradication efforts in Latin America and far less is going to treatment and prevention.

What money is going to treatment and prevention, some of that is for ineffective things like the anti-marijuana ad campaign, drug courts and things along those lines but the budget process is a very hard budget process. He would have to work with Congress and so, it’s going to take time.

We’ve gone from just a year ago, Obama laughing off a similar question in which he was asked about marijuana legalization and he laughed, treating it basically as a joke. Then his Drug Czar said, “Legalization is not seen in the President’s vocabulary.”

This time around, not only did he not laugh, it is very clear that legalization is in his vocabulary in a sense that he knows the words. So, it’s baby steps.

Yeah, it’s disappointing that neither the President nor for that matter his Drug Czar want to address the problems with prohibition and I think that is the next step. If we can just get them to admit that drug prohibition has problems, I think that would do a lot to move the debate forward.

Dean Becker: Once again we’ve been speaking with Mister Bill Piper, Director of National Affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. Bill, please share your website.

Bill Piper: Oh, it’s www.drugpolicy.org.

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Dean Becker: Well, that’s about it. I hope you enjoyed this edition of Century of Lies. I want to thank Mister Cliff Shaffer, for his acumen, his support and his great websites. Once again, they are druglibrary.org and marijuanabusinessnews.com.

Also, want to thank, Mister Bill Piper of the Drug Policy Alliance, as well as, another great recipe from Sandy Moriarty, author of Aunt Sandy’s Medical Marijuana Cookbook.

Folks, the Drug War is going to end soon. It will end a lot sooner if you get involved. As always, I remind you that there is no truth, justice, logic, scientific fact, medical data, no reason for this Drug War to exist. Please do you part to help end the madness.

Please, visit our website: endprohibition.org

Prohibido istac evilesco!

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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