04/03/11 Roger Goodman

Wash state Rep Roger Goodman is running for US Congress and an end to drug war! + Tulsa Atty Kevin Adams re growing police/drug scandal, Montana house sends med mj repeal bill to governor & Terry Nelson of LEAP re politicians grasp at straws

Program: 
Century of Lies
Date: 
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Guest: 
Roger Goodman
Organization: 
Congress
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Transcript

Century of Lies / April 03, 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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This is Century of Lies. I’m Dean Becker. We’ll have a report or two to close out the show but first I’m thrilled to have with us, on-line, one of the few politicians who are willing to come on the Drug Truth Network to talk about openly about the Drug War.

Rodger Goodman is currently a State Representative in Washington who is now running for the US Congress. Now, whether his opponents are listening or not, Rodger is willing to ready to confess lots of truth about drug prohibition with us today, in the hopes that some of the listeners on the dozens of Drug Truth Network stations will consider investing in his run for the US Congress. Now, having said that, I want to bring in, from the State of Washington, Representative Rodger Goodman. How’re you doing, Rodger?

Representative Rodger Goodman: Hey, Dean. It’s good to be back.

Dean Becker: Well, I think that you probably never had an introduction quite like that. I would—

Representative Rodger Goodman: (Laughs)

Dean Becker: But that’s the truth of the matter, isn’t it? You’re now running for the US Congress.

Representative Rodger Goodman: I am and needless to say, I’ve a lot of issues to deal with in my district, in higher education and the quality of our water supplies and transportation and all that sort of thing, but boy the Drug War is such a corrosive policy. It’s also one of my prime issues. We have to find an exit strategy and when I get to US Congress I want to be an architect of that exit strategy. We need inject some rationality into out drug policies and get rid of ideology based policies of the last century.

Dean Becker: Yeah, Rodger and I think, due to the success of getting re-elected there in Washington State for the State office has shown that you understand the nature of the various problems that legislators face, you know, bridges and highways and health, you know and on down the line. This is one issue that has been avoided, truthfully.

Representative Rodger Goodman: Yeah.

Dean Becker: By most politicians. They’re unwilling to discuss it and certainly unwilling to debate the subject. Your response?

Representative Rodger Goodman: Yeah. It’s been a so called third rail, I guess. Now, I’m out here in Washington State, so maybe we are a bit more, I don’t know, maybe a little bit more enlightened.

Each time, when I have run for office, my opponents have tried to hit me and hit me hard on my position on the War of Drugs. Each time my poll numbers go up afterwards because the people get it. So now, I BEG my opponents to hit me on my drug policy stance because they are going to lose votes.

Dean Becker: Yeah, and it’s becoming rather that a liability, it’s becoming a means to success, correct?

Representative Rodger Goodman: Yeah, we’ve reached the tipping point now culturally, where folks understand that we just have to get real now and all this “just say no” and “drugs are bad” and so forth, people now that’s old generation thinking.

People, more than anything, are craving a workable alternative. You know, what are we going to do instead? We know it’s not working, what are we going to do instead? That’s what I’ve been working on for a decade now is to fashion a rational, workable alternative. So, I’m actually here in Washington State, the principle co-sponsor of the bill to bring cannabis into our liquor control system. We’re trying to end prohibition, here in Washington State.

Dean Becker: Now, this is making waves across the nation. There’s all kinds of ripples and even a potential tsunami in Montana, where the legislatures there want to overturn the will of the people and do away with their medical marijuana laws.

Now Rodger, if you make it there to Washington as a US Congressman, what can you bring to the discussion, to the debate about the need to end that’s not already been said of tried by the likes of the Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul?

Representative Rodger Goodman: Well, I mean, now I’m not sure how much I can get done on my own. I’d be working with Kucinich and Ron Paul and Barney Frank and some of the others but I think that what we need to do in the Congress is listen to the states. Jeez, I mean how many do we have now? I mean, thirteen states officially recognizing medical marijuana and least four or five of those states already dispensary systems. States like mine, putting serious legislation forward to legalize entirely.

So, I think this is going to bubble up to the Congress and members like ME, will become more and more numerous and as we have a tipping point culturally that will eventually be translated into change in the law.

Dean Becker: Now Rodger, as I said earlier, I know you understand and work with the needs of your constituents but this is the Drug Truth Network and I want to come back to a thought here, you know, for decades and really a century or more, the Drug War has become a quasi-religion.

Representative Rodger Goodman: Um, hum.

Dean Becker: A belief system that defies logic and common sense and the silence that has grown around the issue, compels most politicians, most doctors, scientists and even most members of the public to kind of just sit and watch the horrors unfold.

Representative Rodger Goodman: Um, hum.

Dean Becker: Now, going against the system on such an issue causes a lot of folks to get rather testy and a lot of folks remember what they did to Galileo and even Socrates.

Representative Rodger Goodman: (Laughs)

Dean Becker: Now, when fact are damned, via this belief system, what can you do, sir?

Representative Rodger Goodman: Well, remember, you know, was it Gandhi who said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you and then they fight and then they lose?”

Dean Becker: Yup.

Representative Rodger Goodman: I think they’re starting to fight now and they’ve stopped laughing.

Dean Becker: (Laughs)

Representative Rodger Goodman: They’ve certainly stopped ignoring us.

Dean Becker: And it’s allowed us a chance to laughing at them, by God. (Laughs)

Representative Rodger Goodman: Yeah but really, you know, I think we need to respectful and I think we need to get a Truth and Reconciliation Process to get us out of the Drug War. So, that everyone knows where we are coming from and where we’re going. So, we will have better feelings about that. Actually, that’s something that I would like to help put together but you know what it’s about truth, right?

Here on the Drug Truth Network, when you speak the truth people appreciate it. So, all of the lies and misinformation and the ideology and the manipulation and the social control and the evil behind the Drug War policies over the last century, it’s impossible to support them with truthful statements.

Now, we can argue about – for instance, taxes. Who should pay taxes? How much? What should the government spend and who shouldn’t it spend, depending on what the government is for and all of that. So, you get— that’s not about speaking the truth, that’s about opinions but with the Drug War, it’s not really, I mean, it’s just one side of it.

It’s been a bipartisan disaster and it has endangered children, public spaces. It’s been an extravagant waste of money. It’s corroded our healthcare system and so, it’s actually easy to talk about this policy because all you have to do I speak the truth. (Laughs)

People come up to me and they say, “Wow, thank you! Finally, an elected official! Someone is speaking the truth. It is so refreshing.” So, I’m just energized and it keeps me talking about it

Dean Becker: Um, hum.

Representative Rodger Goodman: Now, we have to change that talk into statutory changes and policy changes. We have to end this thing because we really, literally, okay, because some people want to raise revenue.

So, the bill that I’ve cosponsored raises $1.2 billion dollars, just in the State of Washington in the revenue of cannabis taxes. But I’m not so concerned about that. I actually want to protect kids and I want to clean up public spaces and stop criminal markets. So, these are very legitimate concerns and people respond to that.

Dean Becker: Indeed they do and that’s why wanted to put you on the air and let folks across this nation and heck, up even into Canada learn your stance and learn you’re running for the US Congress. Is there a website where folks can learn more about your campaign?

Representative Rodger Goodman: Yeah. rodgergoodmanforcongress.com. It’s a long one. rodgergoodmanforcongress.com and we’re actually re-doing the website. It’s going to be very fancy in the next few days.

Cannabis prohibition and the war on drugs is going to be one of our one the big subjects that I talk about there. I guess, what I say is, Look, prohibition has never worked. Prohibition of chocolate, coffee, tobacco, alcohol, opium, cocaine, heroin, LSD it goes on and on.

All of this stuff that we just try to prohibit, the use of it increases and the prohibition based laws are used to subjugate vulnerable people. With marijuana we have arrested 800,000 adults every year, or more, just for the sake of protecting kids and where do you get the stuff? You go to a high school and or a junior high school to pick it up.

Dean Becker: Yeah.

Representative Rodger Goodman: It’s a completely up-side-down policy. The people get it and as a politician, I am not afraid to talk about it.

Dean Becker: And that’s the beauty of it really, that these, I don’t know, drug warriors—Drug War addicts, I like to call it these days—

Representative Rodger Goodman: Yeah.

Dean Becker: They have been hiding from this debate and absolutely refuse to come on this program.

Representative Rodger Goodman: Uh, hum.

Dean Becker: To discuss this subject. It’s been about a life time that politicians in the US have embraced this policy

Representative Rodger Goodman: Yeah.

Dean Becker: And as you are saying, it’s steeped in ignorance and fear and this is at the State and Federal level.

Representative Rodger Goodman: Yeah.

Dean Becker: And the truth be told that a lot of them are unwilling to talk about their implied, or their support anyway, for terrorists

Representative Rodger Goodman: Uh, huh.

Dean Becker: For Shorty Guzman and these Latin cartels and the thousands of gangs that prowl our neighborhoods.

Representative Rodger Goodman: Yeah.

Dean Becker: Because of the revenue possibility from the Drug War. Your response, please?

Representative Rodger Goodman: Well, it’s one of the two fundamental flaws of the Drug War is the so called hydra monster. You try to go after it at the source. You cut off one head and another and another head will grow to fill the vacuum. There’s a market for this stuff. It’s not going to go away. We just need to be rational and assert regulatory control over the market and get these violent criminal enterprises out of the business.

Jeez, we experienced this back in the twenties. I guess, maybe we aren’t old enough to remember that but we sure should be students of history, as far as I’m concerned. By the way, the other fundamental to the Drug War is that we are punishing people for what they are put in their bodies (laughs) and you know I sometimes eat too much chocolate cake. Are you going to put me in jail for that? Let’s say I have diabetes or I have hyper tension or something and I don’t take my medication. Well, that’s bad for me. Maybe, you should lock me up for that, right?

So, the absurdity of punishing people for doing things that are bad for their own health is the other huge flaw and of course, you said it’s about maybe morality. I think it’s about money. I think the whole Drug War has been about money from the very beginning.

It’s been about market share for products that hemp competed with. We know about that story. It’s about the law enforcement industrial complex getting a cascade of cash from the federal government as an incentive to go after drugs. It’s obviously about the money for the criminal enterprises, keeping them alive. It’s all about the money.

It’s an economic matter and we need to regulate the markets better and then we will be able to regulate the money better and actually use the money instead of locking people up let’s get people healthcare.

Dean Becker: You know, we had on the Cultural Baggage show, Margaret Dooley-Sammuli of the Drug Policy Alliance and the Natasha Frost of the Justice Department Policy Institute. They’ve both authored a couple of major reports dealing with the failure of Drug Courts. Do you have any thoughts in that regard?

Representative Rodger Goodman: Yeah.

Dean Becker: Do you have any thoughts in that regard?

Representative Rodger Goodman: Well, Drug Courts are— they have been shown to help the individual participants in Drug Court. Many of the individual people, they do improve their lives. They take a look in the mirror and it’s a therapy, of sorts.

Now, the Drug Courts themselves do not save any money because you have a lot of open pending case loads in the courts and that’s very expensive. Only 10% max of those that are arrested on drug offenses go through Drug Court. So, that means that 90% are going through regular old jail and prison so that’s certainly not widely used and the evidence shows that after two or three years the effect just of trail off and people go back to the lives they had before or they just move on.

I actually do believe the major problem with Drug Courts is that we are trying to get people to stop using drugs and that is not the objective. The objective is to have people be functional, to be pro-social, to get their lives together.

So, I asked a judge once. So, you’ve got a guy that has been addicted to crack or meth, you get him in drug court and you get him off the drugs and he’s got a job and he gets back with his family but all of a sudden you test his urine and he’s been smoking pot. What do you do? She said, “Well, I have no choice. I’ve got to put him in jail he’s violated the terms.” I said, “This is crazy!”

Is the measure to be drug free or is the measure to be successful in your life? She said, “Well, I have no choice. The only thing we can do is to legalize drugs.” So, the judge said it to me. She told me what we need to do to end this absurdity. So, even she realizes.

So, now Drug Courts in the future – okay, once we get rid of the prohibition based policies and we regulated drugs and we trust adults. There are going to be bad behavior and there’s going to bad behavior related to drugs, where people who are under the pharmacological effects of drugs. Well, we need to hold them accountable for that and address their drug problem and that’s what Drug Court can be useful for, not for drug use per se but for behavior that harms other people that’s linked to drug addiction.

So, Drug Courts won’t go away I hope they don’t because I think they can be useful in treating those so called “hard cases,” the cases where people who harm others, not people who just use drugs, I mean, just using drugs ought not to be a crime, as we know. By treating it as a crime we’re wasting a lot of judicial resources trying to keep people so called “clean and sober” just for its own sake. We need to protect people from another, not from themselves.

Dean Becker: Again, we’re speaking with Mister Rodger Goodman, State Representative for the State of Washington, running for US Congress. If you’d like to learn more about his efforts and maybe support a rational voice in Washington DC, telling the truth about this Drug War. Rodger, one more time, share your website, please.

Representative Rodger Goodman: It’s rodgergoodmanforcongress.com. I wish it were shorter. There was a guy named – some other guy named Goodman that had goodmanforcongress[.com] So, he’s got that website. He lost too. I want his website.

Dean Becker: (Laughs)

Representative Rodger Goodman: Anyway, it’s rodgergoodmanforcongress.com.

Dean Becker: Okay Rodger, we’ve got just a couple of minutes left. I want to kind of turn it over to you but I want to kind of give you a general question here and that is, you’ve worked for a decade of more. You have invested thousands of hours investigating this subject of drug prohibition. You have invested a lot of your life to bring proper focus to this and this is something that would benefit this whole nation the whole world wouldn’t it?

Representative Rodger Goodman: A global problem and we have to have a global solution. It’s hard to imagine what we could do other than the Drug War since it’s been around for so long. You know for cannabis, it’s already starting to happen because we have a regulatory system starting to pop up. Dispensaries for medical use, all sort of sort of boring regulatory questions being answered about how much and where and who and under what circumstances.

So, this regulatory regime is starting to take hold now for medical and eventually the will be a regulatory regime for cannabis, for adult use for all purposes and then I hope we can transfer into regulations for the other prohibited drugs as well, mostly for medical use. Mostly to get rid of the corrosive violent criminal enterprises but a lot of the leadership might even have to come from some of the source countries.

So, we’re hearing from Latin America and even current officials in Latin America that legalization might be the way out. So, I’m very, very encouraged the direction that we are moving. One other thing that is very interesting is that in those states that are using cannabis for medical use, it’s actually reducing access to young people.

So, in high schools beer is actually now easier to get for some kids than pot because pot is now regulated as medical commodity for people. So, it just shows that if you set up a regulatory system rather than leave it up to the criminal markets, we will be protecting children better and it’s already started to be proven.

Dean Becker: Alright my friends, once again that was Mister Rodger Goodman, running for US Congress. That website, if I remember right, rodgergoodmanforcongress.com. Rodger, I want to wish you the best of luck and I hope you’ll check back with us as the election season unfolds.

Representative Rodger Goodman: Well, thank you, Dean. I hope to see you in Los Angeles at the International Drug Policy Conference in November, if not sooner.

Dean Becker: Well, I hope to be on a panel. My proposal was Incrementalism is a Killer. We’ll see.

Representative Rodger Goodman: (Laughs) That’s right. We need a radical change.

Dean Becker: We do indeed, sir. Thank you, Rodger.

Representative Rodger Goodman: Thank you, Dean. I appreciate it.

Dean Becker: Yes, sir.

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(Boat, water and frog sounds)

Opening up a can of worms and going fishing for truth.

This is the Drug Truth Network.

drugtruth.net

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Kevin Adams: My name is Kevin Adams. I’m a criminal defense attorney in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Dean Becker: Kevin we had you on in August of last year, talking about a little police corruption. I think at that time there were eleven or twelve defendants that were being released because of said corruption but what’s going on up there now?

Kevin Adams: Well, now the number has grown, the total reported there have been thirty one defendants that have either been released from either jail or prison and/or had the charges dismissed.

Dean Becker: There were five officers involved. Is that number holding, still?

Kevin Adams: Well, currently there are five officers under indictment. Three of them are set to go to trial on May 16th and two are set for trial on June 20th. There were other officers involved. A n ATF again pled guilty another Tulsa police officer has pled guilty.

There’s been two other officers that have confessed to their role in the corruption or part of the corruption had have made agreements to cooperate with the Federal Government. One was a former Dallas police officer and also a former Secret Agent. He was actually – had moved on to become a Secret Service Agent when it came to light the corruption that he was involved in as a Tulsa police officer.

Dean Becker: As is often, nearly, always the case, this revolves around aspects of the drug trade, correct?

Kevin Adams: Absolutely, some of these— the government alleged that some of these officers were seizing drugs and selling drugs and based – if what the government alleged is true, based on the amount of drugs they were selling, or that have been alleged, I would present that some of these officers were the biggest drug dealers in Tulsa, if what the government says is true.

Dean Becker: Now, the FBI has been delving into this as well. Tell us what you have ascertained there.

Kevin Adams: Yes, it’s interesting. It’s like a scene out of a movie. There was a sting in May of 2009, where one of these officer informants was working with FBI. That informant told this officer, who was actually a burglary detective. He wasn’t actually a drug detective but he was always involving himself in drug cases, presumably because of the money there.

He told this officer that there was a drug dealer in town by the name of the Joker and that he was in this motel and large quantities of drugs and lots of cash. It was a set up and the FBI had the room and had video surveillance of the room and had audio surveillance of the room and after they arrested the agent that was posing as the Joker, two of these officers were in the room by themselves.

One the officers is seen taking $5000 in cash and placing it in his pocket. He’s actually pled guilty and is cooperating, that officer. The other officer, according to testimony in the hearing yesterday, the other officer says, “Hey, you’re taking care of us too aren’t ya?” And also according to testimony this other officer says, “Nick wants you to take care of him, as well.”

Well, these officers took the money and I guess was dividing it up amongst them and one of them actually took them home with him and after that they discover another agent in the parking lot, in a car and when they get him out of the car they find out that he is an Agent of the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Justice.

They get suspicious and they gather the money back up and turn it in all in and their claim is that they were just taking the money so that it could be sniffed by a drug dog but they had to go to one of the officer’s house to retrieve the money from him. I guess the dog was going to stop by his house and sniff it.

Dean Becker: (Laughs) Well Kevin, we talked a bit earlier about the fact that on a daily basis there are corrupt cops caught up in some aspect of the drug trade and many other officials around the country as well, be it mayor or others smuggling guns to Mexico or whatever. Corruption is vast and if all these stories were to come out on the same day, it would surely being an end to the Drug War. Your closing thoughts?

Kevin Adams: No, I agree. The Drug War breeds this corruption. While there are a lot of good officers out there doing their job, the question I would have for these officers is, “How did you guys not know this was going on? And how could you guys not put a stop to this?” Those are good officers that are out there that resent these police giving them a bad name. I tell those good officers, “Well, do something about it. Root out the corruption.”

Ultimately, the bigger problem is the war on drugs and it’s just human nature and until we get rid of just the insane profits that’s made available—that comes from making drugs illegal, this is going to continue. It causes disrespect for the law. It causes people to question law enforcement. A lot of corruption and a lot of crime is caused because drugs are illegal. It just doesn’t – it’s just insane. It just doesn’t make any sense.

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The following comes to us from KULR, Billings Montana [NBC]:

News Anchor: The Montana legislature has passed a bill to repeal the Montana’s medical marijuana bill. It now goes to the desk of Montana’s Bryan Switzer. He can either sign it into a law or veto it. The Democrat has hinted that would be unlikely to support any measure that would repeal the voter approved law.

Montana voters overwhelming approved the initiative that legalized medical marijuana in 2004. Switzer has said that he feels Montanans support reforming this system but not a full repeal. Meantime, a bill to oppose certain new regulations on the industry is still alive. A vote in the House in expected soon. Back to that repeal bill, though, it is expected to arrive on the governor’s desk Tuesday. He has ten days to either sign it or veto it.

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Terry Nelson: This just is Terry Nelson speaking on behalf of LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. As the Drug War chugs into its forth decade of failures, politicians and others continue to grasp for the magic straw that will make their policy viable. Prohibition has not worked and will not work, as indicated by the war’s continuance, year after year with only incremental results and successes and the ever present press conference showing sacks of money, piles of contraband and congratulatory back slapping. Each time we see this we hear that his culminates and one, two, three year investigation into this or that drug gang and that it will make a big difference.

All it really does is send a few people to jail and they are replaced within days of their arrests by the next group that is ready to face death or imprisonment for a shot at the obscene profits on prohibited substances created by the failed Drug War.

Periodically we see some politician introduce a bill or announce a strategy or talk tough about the Drug War. The latest at these attempts is a Texas Representative calling for a law that would designate Mexican drug cartels foreign terrorist organizations akin to Al Qaida.

LEAP regularly attends the National Conference of State Legislators and 80% of the state legislators that come by the LEAP booth agree that our position that the drug policy is a failure and that something needs to be done. We discuss with them that legalization of prohibited substances will drastically reduce the crime and violence and a system that regulates the control of these substances is the best approach.

There have been 35,000 lives lost in the last six years and all we do is continue to talk about it and introduce additional laws that will not work but do make the politician feel like he or she is doing something.

Stuart Powell of the Houston Chronicle, recently wrote in an article that Representative Michael McCaul contends that unrelenting bloodshed in Mexico threatens to create a failed state controlled by criminals that could become a safe haven for terrorists who we know are ttepting to enter the United States through our porous border.

“In my judgment, Mexico is losing this war and so are we,” McCaul told the hearing on Thursday by its investigation Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee. The President needs to recognize this issue. We are facing a serious issue in our backyard and we need deal with it. So, let’s deal with it by legalizing the prohibited substances that are causing the violence and implement a system of regulation and control that will take gangs and cartels out by out of the matrix.

Then we will educate ourselves out of our substance problem and medically educate those that become addicted. This is a solvable problem that will only take intestinal fortitude by our politicians to fix.

This is Terry Nelson reporting for www.leap.cc. Stay safe.

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Dean Becker: Thanks, Terry. I called Congressmen Mike McCaul’s office and they forwarded me to someone who answered the phone saying phone saying, “Mike” and I invited Mike McCaul to come on the show and they said they’d check with him and get back with me but it’s been about a week and I haven’t heard a damn thing.

I want to thank Terry Nelson, Tulsa Attorney Kevin Adams and, of course, Rodger Goodman, who’s running for US Congress. Again that website is rodgergoodmanforcongress.com.

It is my hope that today you wake up today and realize that there is no truth, justice, logic, scientific fact, no medical data, no reason for the Drug War to exist. We have been duped.

Please visit our website: endprohibition.org.

Do it for the children.

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