09/11/11 Mary Jane Borden

From Oaksterdam California, interviews with a dozen cannabis industry vendors + Mary Jane Borden with Drug War Facts

Program: 
Cultural Baggage Radio Show
Date: 
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Guest: 
Mary Jane Borden
Organization: 
Drug War Facts
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Cultural Baggage / September 11, 2011

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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!”

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DEAN BECKER: 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.

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DEAN BECKER: Welcome to this edition of Cultural Baggage. If you were with us last week you hear a couple of reports from Oaksterdam, California and the gathering of the world’s largest cannabis street fest. We spoke with several of the vendors and speakers. This week we are going to talk to many of the smaller vendors – find out what it is that makes up cannabis commerce.

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RAY C: My name is Ray C, I’m the owner of Doob Tubes located here in Oakland, California.

DEAN BECKER: We’re here early morning, first day of this cannabis fest. It’s out in front of City Hall. That says a lot about Oakland, doesn’t it?

RAY C: Well I think it does. Oakland is pretty much where it seems to have started and it’s good to here back at home.

DEAN BECKER: Tell us a little bit about your product. There becoming quite necessary these days, aren’t they?

RAY C: Doob Tubes was started during my first round of chemotherapy in 2007 / 2008 when I was harassed by an officer who told me that I didn’t look sick even though I was in my, like, 16th week of chemotherapy. And I told my wife that it’s a medicine and it should be in a medical container. And when I got well I was the first person to put the actual state law right on the tube.
This is a customized tube for Harborside Health Center yet it still contains the Health and Safety Code 11362.5 engraved on the container. This lets an officer know immediately that it’s medication and should be looked at as that. Then the officer knows to ask for your ID instead of harassing you.

DEAN BECKER: Ray, you’re here at this gathering, this cannabis expo, you’re in your 8th week of chemotherapy, is that right?

RAY C: Yes, I am. The event was very gracious and has allowed me to have my vehicle very close to my booth so I can rest when necessary. I have a makeshift bed in there. So, yeah, week 8 of chemo but I feel great. You wouldn’t know it to look at me and I am excited to be here.

DEAN BECKER: That says a lot about cannabis right there, folks. Listen up, pay attention. Ray, what’s your website.

RAY C: My website is http://www.doobtubin.com/

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CHRON: Hi. My name is Chron. I am with 420 Products. What 420 Products is is a company that the goal is to have every 420 product for the 420 world. Anything from accessories, apparel, glassware, hydro equipment, and so on…literature, DVDs.

We do trade booths, wholesale distribution, ship internationally worldwide. Anything you need in the 420 world it’s http://420products.com/ and the phone number is 855-420-PRODUCTS – you can reach us anytime.

DEAN BECKER: You know we’re here at the Cannabis Expo in Oaksterdam and I was looking across here at your booth here – basic rules for 420 Football – any and everything is right, isn’t it?

CHRON: Yeah. 420 Football is the world’s first medicating sport. It’s a game played much like the rules of football. For every second you hold your breath you go a yard up the field and the idea is to try to get your opponent to fumble and he does that by coughing. So whether it be calling a time-out on him and making him hold the bong for 30 seconds and taking that stale hit to make him cough or blitzing him by throwing hash and keef on there. The goal is to make him choke and just hold your smoke and win the game. You know everybody’s a winner in the end because we’re all medicated. It’s a wonderful sport.

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TONI GROWS: Hi, my name is Toni Grows. I am the director of 40 Acres Medical Marijuana Growers’ Collective.

DEAN BECKER: Tell us where you are based and what that means – a collective here in California.

TONI GROWS: We’re based in Berkeley. What that means is we’re a private, membership collective. We operate out of a…not a commercial entity so that doesn’t make us a dispensary. That’s the grey area apparently so we operate in a residential zone.

DEAN BECKER: You’re here at the Cannabis Expo in Oaksterdam. Do you anticipate a good crowd? What are you going to be bringing to this event?

TONI GROWS: We will be bringing social justice advocacy for poor and low-income communities and communities of color. We want to make sure that poor communities and communities of color are allowed access to this so-called budding industry.

So, we’re doing a lot of education, training – everything from cultivation to office administration. That’s what we’re doing for our people and hoping that some of the financial benefits trickle down to our community as well.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah, it’s only right. I agree with that. Do you have a website you’d like to share?

TONI GROWS: http://www.40acresmedicalmarijuana.org/

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LIANA HELD: Hi, my name is Liana Held with Liana Limited. We’re a business management company that specializes in scientific development, accounting and human resources outsourcing.

DEAN BECKER: Now I’m looking at your brochure here and it’s talking about “specialized in medical cannabis business development.” Tell us more specifically about that.

LIANA HELD: I got involved in the medical cannabis industry in 1995 while proposition 215 was still being written. Since then I’ve done things like work as the Finance Director of Berkeley Patients’ Group for five years. During this time I saw the needs of the medical cannabis community and wanted to help. I saw that my accounting skills really fit in. As I was providing accounting services to the community I found other providers and other services and built a team that provides services to the medical cannabis community.

DEAN BECKER: And for those outside of California or other states where medical is legalized – there are a lot of boxes to check….a lot of regulations and procedures to deal with, right?

LIANA HELD: Right here in Oakland, where we happen to be, at the International Cannabis Cup Expo – all the vendors had to comply with getting the City of Oakland business license, they had to add this location as a sub-location with State Board of Equalization which is a government agency which collects sales tax, they’ll have to report the income they made today to the State Franchise Tax Board and they will have to report their income to the IRS. So there are a lot of agencies out here.

Here in California the Board of Equalization is particularly active in making sure that medical cannabis dispensaries are following all the sales tax rules and remitting their sales tax to the state of California.

DEAN BECKER: The listeners can’t see this but this event is staged in front of the Oakland City Hall and the California….what building is that?

LIANA HELD: That’s the State of California building. That holds the State Franchise Tax Board which is basically the IRS equivalent in California to the state agency for taxes. It also holds the Board of Equalization which is the agency for sales tax. Right here to my right is the front of City Hall. It’s a gorgeous building built in the early 1900s. It has all the government offices here and in a plaza right in front of City Hall we have the Prop 215 Medical Cannabis Consumption Area.

DEAN BECKER: It is amazing. I wish folks around the country…maybe the folks in Washington, D.C. could see this isn’t a problem. Your website, please.

LIANA HELD: http://lianaltd.com/ Thank you for your time and have an excellent day.

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MICHAEL ABERLY: My name is Michael Aberly, National Director for Statewide Insurance Services and the MMD Insurance Division.

DEAN BECKER: Now Mike you’re here at this cannabis expo, tell me why?

MICHAEL ABERLY: What better place to have an outdoor festival – here in the heart of where it really starts. In Oakland, California you’ve got Oaksterdam University – one of the first universities that educates people from the ground up that are not familiar.

We’re not talking about “do I know how to smoke?” – it’s more or less “how do I become a business?” or “how do I grow properly without having the mold and all that is dangerous to that product?”

And then you’ve got these amazing people like INTCHE – they’re all about entertainment and education for the people out there. We were the insurance agency that first insured the very first marijuana festival that allowed medication onsite with Eichee which they were the first ones out there to do it and we’ve been with them ever since.

So we were pleased to come back for the 3rd one. We did a great job with this one. I’ve been walking around and it is an amazing event and I’m ready for today.

DEAN BECKER: Now Mike, the fact of the matter is that Statewide Insurance is comfortable insuring the marijuana industry, insuring against mold/mildew all the pitfalls that might arise for a grower or a dispensary, I suppose, and I guess what I’m trying to say here is it doesn’t scare you guys at all because you don’t see any inherent dangers…your response.

MICHAEL ABERLY: You know we don’t see inherent danger because the businesses we insure we’re there to not actually try to decline you when we see the application to underwrite it. I take those areas and I say, “You know what? Here where some problems are. I discuss it with the clients and try to make them better clients. The ones that have our insurance will be actually able to qualify and be insured by us.

So, we’ve elevated their better business sense – their risk management. And, it’s not an additional charge for it. It is just part of being responsible insurers.

DEAN BECKER: your website?

MICHAEL ABERLY: http://www.mmdinsurance.com/

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DEAN BECKER: Alright folks, you are listening to Cultural Baggage on the Drug Truth Network. We’re tuning into some of the smaller interviews I did last week when I was in Oaksterdam, California. Attending that massive cannabis street fest.

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REAL ONE: I’m Real One. I do hemp-hop. That’s what we like to call it, you know what I’m saying, because it’s not really rap – it’s all about cannabis and about the movement. We’re just out here at the International Cannabis and Hemp Festival in Oakland getting ready to hopefully perform. We’re not sure yet because they said the Oakland PD didn’t want to allow the type of music we do.

After this we’re on our way to Portland where we got the Harvest Cup and Los Angeles. Then there’s another one in San Diego, another Cannabis Cup. So we’re staying pretty busy. We’re on the road constantly.

DEAN BECKER: I’m looking at your banner back here – Real Ones, Reefer Madness, non-stop reefer beats and rhymes, music to smoke to – sounds pretty fascinating to me…

REAL ONE: That’s right. They can also check it out on http://realone209.com. All the songs, music, videos – you can check us out on Facebook and all the other social networks, YouTube – see the videos. We’re just getting it going. The album should be out soon – by the end of the year. It’s got three marijuana music award winning songs and a couple have been nominated for High Times Doobie Awards twice this year so it’s been a pretty good year.

DEAN BECKER: Alright, we’ve been talking with Real One. Thank you, sir.

REAL ONE: Yep, thank you.

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DEBBIE GOLDSBERRY: Debbie Goldsberry with the United Cannabis Collective.

DEAN BECKER: Debbie, we’re here at the cannabis street fair, Oaksterdam. The most wide open thing I could ever imagine. What does this say about Oakland, California – the movement.

DEBBIE GOLDSBERRY: It says that Oakland supports medical cannabis. The citizens of Oakland voted overwhelmingly for medical cannabis. We keep voting for it. We insist on our rights and we’re going to be the trend setter for the whole nation right here in Oakland.

DEAN BECKER: It tells me that a little bit of courage and intellect and willingness to defend what you’re up to gets it done, does it not?

DEBBIE GOLDSBERRY: I think so and the other thing is having a vision and being ready to pull it off and going for it because you have to be a dreamer to pull off something like a street fair for cannabis right in front of City Hall.

DEAN BECKER: Tell us a little bit about your organization. What do you guys do?

DEBBIE GOLDSBERRY: We’re a new medical cannabis collective. We combine visionary entrepreneurship of old school cannabis activism (I’ve been a cannabis activist for 25 years) with the new sense of how to run a business. Combining business skills with visionary entrepreneurship to create a dispensary that’s going to legalize cannabis and help change the world.

DEAN BECKER: I see folks trying to do everything possible to create a safe, legal, responsible environment. Is that what’s going on?

DEBBIE GOLDSBERRY: Yeah. The thing is we’re trying to self-regulate this issue. Medical marijuana can be self-regulated by us. If rules have to be made in the future, the rules that should be adopted are the ones that we make ourselves because they work and they’re effective.

So, yeah, here in Oakland what we’re doing is creating our own reality, developing our own regulations and putting them in practice.

DEAN BECKER: State won’t do it. People got to do it. Your website?

DEBBIE GOLDSBERRY: http://unitedcannabis.org/

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CORAL GODLIS: My name is Coral Godless and my business is Gro Gro Gadgets. We sell an odor-proof bag black magic odor barrier bags and they’re basically a bag that keeps your delicate content safe from light damage. They’re black so when you put things in you can’t see what’s in it. It’s an added layer of protection. They also are very smell proof so you can tie them up and no smell leaks out. They work very well. Made in the U.S.A. They’re made at a medical grade facility so it’s 100% FDA approved product.

DEAN BECKER: In this day and age it’s important for some people that they not offend or otherwise disturb folks with certain delicate smells, as you said.

CORAL GODLIS: Right, right. So these are smell proof bags so you put your product in the bag, tie it up and it won’t leak odor. You can have it in your car in the hot sun and it just smells like your car. They work really well. They’ve been tested and approved. They’ve been dog tested where we put dog treats in them, tie them up and the dog has no idea what’s in the bag. Then we open the bag and the dog goes right for the treat. So they’re dog approved.

DEAN BECKER: Your website?

CORAL GODLIS: http://grogrogadgets.com/ You can buy them retail there and we’re in hydroponic stores throughout California so just ask your local hydroponic store.

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DEAN BECKER: We here at the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana. I’m here with their spokesman. Your name sir?

JOE WAMM: Joe WAMM.

DEAN BECKER: Joe, tell us why you’re here and what you are bringing to this gathering.

JOE WAMM: WAMM is a small collective based in Santa Cruz that we really feel is remaining true to our roots - which is putting an emphasis on the patient. Our collective meets every week. We help people in our community, help each other out and we just want to share what we are doing with others and,` hopefully, it’ll catch on.

DEAN BECKER: You guys have been at the forefront. You had a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court, did it not?

JOE WAMM: No, it didn’t make it to the Supreme Court. It settled last year in federal court so it didn’t quite make it to the Supreme Court. There is still the possibility that if the Feds don’t hold on to their word – which obviously they haven’t – that the case leave right where it left off in federal court. That option always remains on the table but, for right now, it’s settled in federal court.

DEAN BECKER: Now there was that one year, I don’t know, 2006/2007 that you were, the Alliance was actually allowed to grow legally under federal law…at least you were left alone, were you not?

JOE WAMM: Yeah, I think it was the year after the raid in 2003 where we had an injunction against the federal government which allowed us to legally grow our communal garden.

DEAN BECKER: And to this day you guys are still standing forth for those who can’t afford it and working for those are just too ill to grow their own, right?

JOE WAMM: Absolutely and now, more than ever. The economy is still hard out there for people. People are struggling to feed their families, put food on their table for their kids and the high cost of medicine at a dispensary or other outlets can be just too much so there needs to be a lot of compassion out there for these folks. That’s what our emphasis is on – compassion and helping individuals out through this tough time.

Since we’re a collective organization and we grow and produce everything ourselves, we’re able to provide medicine at a much more reasonable donation amount than other places. But, we still help a lot of people out who have cancer, who are going through chemotherapy. We help them out with medicine as much as they need - as much as it takes to get them to get through this tough time.

DEAN BECKER: You know a lot of folks talk about the dispensaries as just being fronts for people who want to get high but the fact of the matter is that WAMM has been in support of dozens if probably a hundred people who have actually died while undergoing treatment for cancer or other horrible maladies and cannabis help them make it through those times, right?

JOE WAMM: Absolutely. We’ve had about 220 members pass away since the beginning of WAMM that all have benefitted or, at least, helped eliminate some of their suffering towards the end of their life. Cannabis has helped them all. We like to honor them with a photo on our wall – it’s the least we can do. These are all people, all individuals who went through an incredible journey and cannabis did help them.

DEAN BECKER: Their website is http://www.wamm.org/

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STEVEN LEVIN: Hi. My name is Steven Levin. I’m with Mendocino Therapeutics. We make the Lotus Vaporizer. It’s a flame-based vaporizer and its claim to fame is that it separates the fumes from the air that you breathe in. You get only the vapor that you’re looking for.

Everything has been tested. There are no metal fumes. Everybody loves it that’s used it.

DEAN BECKER: Describe it for us, if you will.

STEVEN LEVIN: It’s got an aluminum stem. About 6 inches long which has been hard anodized so that cools the vapor. It’s got a small, stainless steel bowl. Above the bowl is something we call the Vapor Cap. It’s a wood frame and it’s got a nickel plate on the top. You heat the nickel plate with a butane lighter and the air that you breathe in goes both below the nickel plate and it goes about 1/2 inch below the nickel plate so there’s no mixing of fumes and air.

DEAN BECKER: Is there a website where folks can learn more?

STEVEN LEVIN: http://www.lotusvaporizer.com/

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DEAN BECKER: Alright, once again, wanted to alert you to the fact that we’re tuning into some discussions I had last week in Oaksterdam, California at the world’s largest cannabis street fest. Talking to several of the vendors.

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KID: My name is Kid, owner and founder of Puff Puff Pass It at http://puffpuffpassit.com/ located in San Jose, California.

DEAN BECKER: I’m here looking at your booth. You got 93 kinds of beautiful glass and accessories at a wonderful price. This is great event to reach customers, is it not?

KID: Exactly – it is. We try to hit as many events as possible. We attend as many as two events per month or at least once a month so the events are pretty much where we get our exposure.

DEAN BECKER: I look at the beautiful colors of all this and this is part of the process, part of the enjoyment of cannabis is doing it with your favorite tools, so to speak, right?

KID: Exactly. My thing is basically the cooler the bong or water pipe or the pipe you’re smoking, the more you enjoy smoking it. You can have as many as three or four devices and enjoy them in different ways.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah. One for you and a friend. One for …

KID: One for outdoors, one for at home, on the go…different devices for different times, basically.

DEAN BECKER: Reminds me of half-baked when they would break out “Billy Bong”.

KID: Exactly.

DEAN BECKER: One more time – that website.

KID: http://puffpuffpassit.com/

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KIM GRANT: My name is Kim Grant. I’m the Creative Director of the V Syndicate.

DEAN BECKER: Tell us about the Grinder Cards you guys have available here.

KIM GRANT: These are wonderful. They’re a stainless steel card which allows you to grind things like cinnamon, fresh herbs, chocolate, cheese – you name it. It’s wonderfully convenient. It fits inside your wallet, fits inside your pocket. It’s just fantastic. It’s the only grinder that allows you to choose something fine, for example some Parmigiano-Reggiano, where you want something fine, or say you’re doing chocolate for a cake – you get a really nice grind on that. Grind it, store it in your wallet and you’re ready to go.

DEAN BECKER: Some folks might even use this for some herbal products, I would think.

KIM GRANT: I would think. We do actually get a lot of medical cannabis users who enjoy our grinders. It’s not really what we intended. It was really intended to be a wonderful bar zester but we’ve got a wonderful medical cannabis community that has really embraced our product and we’re really proud of that. And we really want to support the people who support us.

DEAN BECKER: A website where folks can learn more?

KIM GRANT: http://www.grindercards.com/

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JOSHUA: My name is Joshua and I’m here with Doc Green’s Therapeutic Healing Cream. We offer a therapeutic healing cream that is infused with medical cannabis to relieve aches and pains right where you need it.

DEAN BECKER: I had a chance to try it. I can already feel it beginning to relieve the tension I’ve had in my shoulders. My regular listeners have heard me talk about it before. To me it amazing, in fact, it’s down-right aggravating that I can’t go to a local drugstore and buy a similar product. Your response to that.

JOSHUA: We would agree and we really feel that this product should be available in natural food stores, natural pharmacies like Whole Foods and places like that. Unfortunately, because of federal classification of marijuana, we’re still quite a ways off. Even here in California we have to sell to people who become part of our collective.

We are a collective organized under 215 here in California. So you become part of the collective and we provide you with medicine. So you can only receive it through the mail, directly from us, or at collectives all throughout California.

DEAN BECKER: And that website, please.

JOSHUA: http://www.docgreens.org/

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(Game show music)

DEAN BECKER: It’s time to play: Name That Drug by Its Side Effects.

Loss of personal freedom, family and possessions. Ineligible for government funding, education, licensing, housing or employment. Loss of aggressive mind set in a dangerous world. This drug’s peaceful, easy feeling can be habit forming.

(((gong)))

Time's up! The answer: Doobie, jimmy, joint, reefer, spliff, jibber, jay, biffa, jazz, blunt, steege, greener, cracker, hogger, bone, carrot, maryjane, marijuana, cannabis sativa.

Made by God. Prohibited by man.

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DEAN BECKER: I want to thank Richard Lee and all the good folks at Oaksterdam for their support and hospitality. Here to close us out, Mary Jane Borden.

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Hello drug policy aficionados! I’m Mary Jane Borden, Editor of Drug War Facts.

The question for this week asks, what are mycoherbacides?

According to the 2011 Global Commission on Drug Policies report, "Biological methods of eradication, known as mycoherbicides, have been researched for coca and opium poppy ...”

A 2007 Drug Policy Alliance report overviewed two kinds of mycoherbicides, stating, “One of these is Fusarium oxysporum and the other is Pleospora papaveracea. Both are toxic molds that attack their targets through the secretion of cell-dissolving chemicals called mycotoxins,"

According to the Sunshine Project mycotoxins can “have serious impact on human and animal health.” The Project defines Fusarium oxysporum as a, “well-known plant pathogen causing damage and large losses in food and industrial crops worldwide. Researchers of the US Department of Agriculture have developed highly virulent strains that attack cannabis and coca plants, the source of cocaine.”

The Sunshine Project defines Pleospora papaveracea as, “a fungal pathogen that attacks opium poppy. Candidate strains for use in crop eradication were ... part of the [former] Soviet Union's offensive biological weapons program."

A United Nations Special Rapporteur raised concerns about the use of mycoherbacides, citing Colombia’s Office of the Ombudsman, which is, “gathering information on the serious risks to life, human health and the environment that could result from experimentation with ... the Fusarium oxysporum fungus in the open in the Colombian Amazon, one of the richest habitats in terms of biodiversity in the world.”

The Drug Policy Alliance echoed these concerns, noting that, "While mycoherbicides contain chemical toxins, they are actually covered under the [United Nations] Biological Weapons Convention .... Given that mycoherbicides are biological agents it has been argued that their use, especially in foreign countries, would be illegal under [this United Nations treaty].”

These facts and others like them can be found on the Mycoherbacides subchapter of the Environment Chapter of Drug War Facts at www.drugwarfacts.org.

If you have a question for which you need facts, please e-mail it to me at mjborden@drugwarfacts.org. I’ll try to answer your question in an upcoming show.

So, remember when you need facts about drugs and drug policy, you can get the facts at Drug War Facts.

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DEAN BECKER: Please be sure to join us on next week’s Cultural Baggage. We’ll be focusing on Rainbow Farm and the murders of Tom Crosslin and Rollie Rohm for the crime of growing weed. We’ll also hear from Miss Debra Small from Breaking the Chains. We’ll be focusing on all the horrors we inflict on one another in the name of Drug War and especially in regards to racial disparity.

And, as always, I remind you that because of prohibition you don’t know what’s in that bag. Please be careful.

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DEAN BECKER: 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.
Transcript provided by: Jo-D Harrison of www.DrugSense.org
Tap dancing… on the edge… of an abyss.