07/08/20 Phil Smith

Cultural Baggage Radio Show
Phil Smith
Stop the Drug War

Phil Smith of Stop the Drug War re premiere of Becker's Buds Video program, racism, pandemic and drug war failures + Chris Conrad Becker's Buds guest #2 re racism, drug war tactics.

Audio file


I am the Reverend Dean Becker keeper of the moral high ground in the drug war for the world. And this is cultural baggage.

All right, this week we kicked off Becker's buds. I'm airing some of it on YouTube. Alright. This week we kicked off our, a video series. Becker's buds. We're posting it on YouTube a couple of times on Facebook as well. We're going to talk to the folks who have had decades of experience as drug reformers, and hopefully motivate you to get involved, to bring it in to this madness. It's never been a more, uh, opportune time to expose the fraud, the misdirection, the horrors of this drug war, and to bring it to an end, but let's just get started here. We've got two guests and two videos, two Becker's buds already posted. Here we go. This week on July 4th, we premiered the first, uh, Becker's buds, conscientious objectors to drug war. We featured mr. Phil Smith of stop the drug war. It was on July 4th. We started off the credits with happy birthday America. And then we, uh, stated that it is time to end the racist war on drugs. The video is already posted on YouTube and Facebook and other places here real soon. This is the corrupt cop story from Phil Smith, and it will be followed with a discussion,

The opening credits of the Becker's buds video features a fluttering American flag with the words super imposed. It is time to end the racist war on drugs.

Becker's buds is proud to present mr. Phil Smith with corrupt cop stories.
Hey, this is Phil Smith with the drug war Chronicle and the independent media Institute. I'm here with Dean Becker at Becker's buds. And I'm here to talk about, um, one of our favorite topics that Dean and I talk about quite a bit, and that's corrupt cops and the drug war, uh, today. Uh, I want to talk about Houston lean. That's where you are. I know you've already know about this story, the hurting street raid, that was a raid last year in which you crooked narcotics officers, uh, lied to get a warrant, to do a non-AHC raid on a home in Harding street. They encountered armed residents who fired back at the invaders wounding for police officers and the two residents. Uh, middle-aged couple were killed by the police. Uh, I want to stop for a minute and talk about no knock raids. They're an object, a big concern right now.
And the Harding street rate is one prime example of why this is a, this is the occasion where the war on drugs. It's the second amendment in man. It can get ugly. Uh, when you have someone busting your door down in the middle of the night, people tend to start shooting. That's what happened there at the Harding street raid. Um, it's not the only time that's happened in Texas and in Houston we have two deaths civilians. Uh, so I just wanted to mention, uh, how dangerous these no knock raids are. And I want to encourage all petitions at both the state and the federal level who continue to work to get rid of them. I mean, that's what saying to some of these, uh, federal criminal justice reform bills. And that's a very good thing. We need to stop those rates, but even beyond the dangers of no knock rates themselves, there's the problem of corruption and drug law enforcement.
And that's what we're also seeing in the hurting three raid. You have the chief officer involved, Gerald goings has already been charged with two murders and the deaths of the home's occupants. Now he and his partner, Steven Bryant are facing additional charges for lying torquing search warrants, stealing money that was supposed to be going to snitches. And the other cutting corners in there doing their law enforcement duties. It's also led to a internal review of the narcotics division of the Houston police department, which by the way, people Houston is in the nation's fourth largest city. And it's got a rot in the heart of its narcotics division as his internal audit, that was just released a really demonstrates,
I want to interject into the video soundtrack. The thought that we next inserted the words of ms. Kim org, the district attorney of Houston Harris County, Texas. I hope she increases her security squad. Following this pronouncement drug war is nothing but corruption.

The crimes themselves are not one offs. This is not a case of individual rogue officers. This is what the law calls a pattern and practice or an ongoing scheme. Some will say that this scheme is just mismanagement. It is not, it is long running evidence of graft and corruption that can literally rot an institution from the inside out.

It's not limited to Gerald Goines and his buddies in the 15th. The audit looked at other divisions within their narcotics division found problems there as well. Um, it's a serious problem for Houston. It's a chronic problem for police agencies trying to enforce the drug war, the drug war. I mean, they are trying to break up consensual activities, my adults, and no one wants that. Mmm. This raid is all the more reason to call once again for drug decriminalization or legalization. If we want to reduce fraud encounters between law enforcement and the citizenry ending the war on drugs is a key way to do that. Okay? Reporting for records buds. This is Phil Smith. You can check out my work at WW, stop the drug war.org, or also I write for the independent media Institute. My stuff generally shows up@alternet.org.

I want to thank you for being with us on the series premiere of Becker's bugs, the conscientious object doors to drug war. I want to thank mr. Phil Smith for being our first bud to guest with us. I want to invite you to go to drug truth.net. There's nearly 8,000 of my radio programs. They're more than 18 years. I've been interviewing thousands of people from around the world. I challenge anybody, any attorney general, any a drug warrior to come on this show and clarify for us the need for drug war. And they have absolutely refused. There is no benefit. There is nothing moral to this. Please do your part, educate yourself, and then educate your legislators. Let's bring this madness to an end.

All right. And that was the corrupt cop story, a portion of our discussion, but then Phil and I, uh, continued talking about the drug war and many of its, uh, aspects, I guess. And we're going to make another video from that as well. Another Becker's Bud's episode. It is my hope that maybe, you know, somebody at ABC NBC, or maybe a local affiliate that would like to truly report drug war news. Uh, I'm ready to go. I got the credentials and you know, it helped me out. We got a couple of other guests lined up for our video production, our zoom stuff. We're going to get better at it, but you can check it out on YouTube and we'll give you more details as we wrap up the show. And very soon Becker's Bud's dot C O will get you there. Just not yet. Anyway, discussion with mr. Phil Smith, Ian, congratulations on your new show. I hope it is also a good start and I look forward to seeing many, many more episodes. Well, Phil, let me first off, thank you for, uh, being the first to officially make it to video and Becker's buds last week we had, uh, uh
I want to stand up for a second show folks. I've shirt. These are what I call my courthouse shirts. This one's drug Wars and abomination before God silence is complicity because up until the COVID-19, I would go down to the Houston courthouses and hand out my brochures and try to educate, uh, judges and jurists and cops, and you know, the accused with these types shirts. And, um, it really boils down to, and I like to use this phrase of the drug war is racist. It is corrupt. It is stupid. It is evil. It has no reason to exist. And that's the type of information you and I try to share to bring forward, to bring focus to bear upon, right?

That is Dean. You know, I've been writing about police corruption in the drug war for nearly 20 years. Now, there is never a shortage of things for me to write about it's endemic drug policing. It goes back. I mean, as far back as we had federal drug costs, the federal narcotics Bureau in the 1940 to 1950s, they had just that because it was rotten to the core. I mean, from the very beginning, this has been a problem for law enforcement. It's an ethics problem for law enforcement and it's a human rights and racial justice problem for the rest of us.

Now you have been working with David Borden for low 20 years or something I think was stopped the drug war with the DRC net. Correct. And, um, you know, it doesn't really pay well, but by God had just, uh, it gnaws at our conscience is why we do what we do. Isn't it.

That is true. And Dean in 20 years, we're making progress. It's achingly slow, but it's coming yesterday. I wrote about the cops in Austin. They're no longer going to check it or arrest anyone for pot possession. It's little victory city by city, state by state pretty soon nationwide. We hope
And that is the hope. Isn't it. Now I, I know that, uh, over the years you have traveled internationally, uh, you've gone to Afghanistan. Did you not in years past to, uh, report on the drug war,

I did hell big balls of opium in my hand, and then went to Japan territory. My driver had an AK 4,700 seat. Fortunately, he didn't have to use it.

Well, the, my closest to, um, such a war time experience was a trip I've made in to see you that Juarez, uh, back in 2010, when it was the deadliest city on the planet. And, uh, there were machine gun nest on every corner, cops everywhere. We didn't see any violence, but it was happening all over that city. Just the same.

All right. And the violence in Mexico has not only continued since that time in 2012, there was the object of a lot of attention. I have a whole pile of books that were published along the Mexican drug war in 2012 when there were national elections in both the us and Mexico. But since then, the number of deaths each year has doubled. It is really bad. Um, you know, we import our drugs from Mexico and we export our violence to Mexico. That's where the violence of the drug war really plays out well, we're talking about Thousands and thousands of people build each year

And I did true. And, and, and those thousands of deaths are mostly these days in the smaller towns, the, uh, the villages where the cartels take over, they drive the police department out of their building and, uh, corrupt the mayor. And then they extort, uh, everyone in town grab the, the pretty daughters and put them in a whorehouse. It's, it's an unreal situation down there. Isn't it?

They are. They are multifaceted criminal organizations and fueled largely, but not entirely by illicit drug money. Mainly from us.

Yeah. Well, Phil, I tell you what, we're going to wrap this up for today, but I, I want to thank you. Uh, we will have this probably posted by this evening, and I hope folks will, will understand that, um, you and I do this, it ain't for money. Not, not really. I mean, I make a little bit, but, uh, uh, it's less than minimum wage. I promise you that. And I guess what I really like to say is that we do what we can, but it's really to encourage, to motivate, uh, the Watchers of this video, that listeners to my radio show the readers of your posts online and elsewhere to get off their ass, to do something, to help bring it to an end. Am I right?

Indeed, Dean and this, this year. And it looks like a time when there was really an opening for us because of all the, uh, anger towards law enforcement in the country. Right now well-deserved anger. I would add, uh, it is really a chance to make some progress. So you people listening, it's time to start bugging your representatives, take to the streets, whatever it takes, let's get it done. Yeah. Well, you know, Dean, 30 years ago, the black community was one of the big impetuses behind toughening sentences. You had black people were scared of drugs. They didn't want their communities destroyed. They supported those drug bills in the 1980s and 1990s. I think they're starting to come around. I think there's really been a sea change.

Uh, I, over the years, there have been many black, uh, leaders come on my show and talk very boldly about the need to end the drug war among them. Uh, a now deceased, uh, Congressman John Conyers, uh, former mayor of Baltimore, Kurt Schmoke as well as, uh, Texas', uh, uh, Sheila Jackson, Lee, very few people of any race are daring to speak the full unvarnished truth, not the drug war is a failure of the ASCO and needs to be brought to Indian. It's time to play name that drug
By its side effects, the breast enlargement, impotence, corneal opacity, deafness, and electric shock. Pseudomembranous colitis, bloody diarrhea, rectal hemorrhage, myocardial infarction, and death times from Bristol Myers Squibb. The answer weirdly is ass effects for heartburn. And obviously not for your ass effects, by the way, the number of potential complications is more than 100.

Well, the second of our, um, Becker's budge programs features mr. Chris Conrad, who along with his wife, Mickey Norris wrote the great book shattered lives, which helped, uh, solidify my commitment to being a, uh, drug reformer. Um, there's a video online already. It's, uh, the second edition of a Becker's budge. You can access it at YouTube, uh, but this is, uh, not used in the video, at least not yet. Uh, this is my discussion continued discussion with Chris Conrad

Life goes on, does it not? There's still, there's still a drug war out there. That's raising bloody hell with this planet.

Yeah. It's just amazing. The whole irony, like here I am, and I've got over my shoulder here, a little cannabis plant, you know, we're growing at home in California illegally, you know? Um, and, and yet in other States, I believe including Texas, you can be in a heck of a lot of trouble if you just had that little, uh, cutting over there that doesn't have roots by the way. So it's technically not a plant.

Well, you trying to grow some roots, maybe. I don't know, actually this was a male, but yeah,
The, the thing with the drug war for me is that why first got involved with marijuana issue. I, I took it on kind of an academic thing. I got into an argument with them. I was, uh, and it's, uh, what do you say? A political activist? In my core, I've been a political activist since the civil rights movement. I was just a little kid, uh, through the antiwar movement to peace with the anti-nuclear pro-environment movement. We worked on housing issues. We worked on insurance reform. I mean, I, I was at work, work, work, work on political issues like that. And when it came to the cannabis issue, I didn't really think was that important because I didn't know anybody who had been arrested or anything like that. Um, you know, most people I knew were growing pot in their backyard without any problem in the eighties, you know, we were listening to Reagan ranting about it, and we've watching the ads on TV and we didn't really feel touched by it.

I, I just felt like it was something that, uh, I, I, uh, I took it on as a challenge. And then when I learned about the importance of hemp to the environment, I said, this has got to happen. I've got to make sure that this does happen, but, uh, you know, bringing it to prisoners was more of a, um, we were aware of the fact that they were prisoners, but not to the extent that it really was. It wasn't really until we started the human rights and the drug war project that we started seeing and hearing these stories to find out how really bad it was. The, you know, a lot of people I knew didn't even consider it a serious issue. We didn't know people in prison. By the time he got the human rights and the drug war going, we had known people who had died because they were allowed not allowed to have a liver transplant.

We've had people who were in prison for life, children lost their parents, people lost their homes and their bank accounts. Uh, you know, and then the racial disparity was just unbelievable when you looked at what was going on out there. And, you know, as I say, one of the interesting things to me is that when you look at the cover of our book, shatter lives, there's three people on the cover. There's a white man, a white woman, and a black woman by the year 2000, the white man, the white women had both gotten an early release, but the African American woman was still in prison for another 15 or,
15 years, I forget what year CAMBA was at least. But in any case, you know, almost 20 years longer to get her out of prison. And in a way her role was the least significant shoot. Her thing was her boyfriend or something.

Well, no, she wasn't even her accused of a crime. She just happened to because she was living on money that her boyfriend got from breaking the law that made her a criminal and his system. And so, you know, once you find out what's really going on, it's kind of hard to just kick back. It's like with black lives matter, when you see, when you actually see the cops strangling the life out of an African American man on the street, like we did, it's hard to turn away. And we felt that with the whole drug war much earlier.

Well, no. And as I said earlier, you guys helped awaken me to many of those facts. You're, you're bringing it forward. I, I look at it like this, this, the, the killing of George Floyd right there boldly and seemingly wantonly desirous of this man's death is what it looked like almost casually, just like, Oh, well, I've got nothing else to do. I just killed this guy. Yeah. And it has, it has managed to awaken, you know what I mean? We're reformers were activists we've been involved, but it, it just gives more emphasis, more compelling, a desire, or want to do something to stop this because you and I are aware of the racial beginnings of this Harry J Anslinger is good. Talk about blacks and darkies and how they marijuana makes them crazy and rape white women and all this crap. And now we have, um, I don't know this, this re re resurrection of Confederate mindset that's going on, that it just on, on July 4th, our president was talking about, they're not going to tear down our statues. And, and it's, I don't know how to say this. The drug war has been a means to wage racial war on the black community. It has led to stop and frisk it's led to mandatory minimums of no knock warrants strikes

You're out, have all been levied against the black community, much more severely than they've ever been used against the white community. Um, I wish the black community would speak out more in that regard, your response, mr. Chris, Conrad,

what you said that really ties right to my thinking as well. Uh, I've been to quite an, I shouldn't say quite a number because with the pandemic, my wife and I are usually the first ones out at LA protests because we believe in post social activism, but with the pandemic, we've been staying away from more of them. So I'm not going to say we were among the first or anything like that, but when we've gotten out and, and her people speaking a lot of times, the black lives matter, people are saying things to the effect of, well, you know, if you, if this is the first time you're standing up, then you've been asleep and so forth.
Well, uh, in a certain way, you know, people like you and myself and my wife had been, we've been away for a long time. We've known about the racial disparity. Uh, we didn't see a lot of the black lives matter people out there. And I, I don't fault them for that because what we found that when we first got started, actually the African American churches were a big source of support for the drug war. Uh, and we found ourselves having a very hard time gangs, leveraging the African American community. Uh, and so, you know, I guess like the work that you did in law enforcement against prohibition, which is now law enforcement action partnership, same website, leap.cc, but neither case that work of waking up law enforcement and making this connection between the broader drug war. And then of course, Michelle, I'm spacing the last name, the new Michelle Alexander, the new Jim Crow.

Exactly. And that really has brought it to a lot of people's situation understanding as well. But, uh, you know, I really feel like what you're saying is right, that a lot of times people, the African American community, instead of blaming the system, like the drug war, they blame the effect like the people using drugs. And they would say to me, well, you know, uh, it's not in your white community. So keto, legalize marijuana, but the African American community, you can't tell us how to live when you can't tell us what our experiences and it's destroying our communities. And we would say to him, no, it's not the marijuana. It is the laws against marijuana that are having this dreadful impact. And, uh, you know, I, I don't know if they've really gotten through completely that how important the drug war has been, uh, for the demonization of people of color.

But, you know, I think that the resurgence that we're seeing right now on the part of the civil rights movement, by the way, my first civil rights activism as a child was I started an organization with a school, may call it [inaudible] Klux Klan, and we did literature against the truth, Klux Klan. I've literally had thought that was a long ago chapter of my life, uh, until Ferguson, when you saw the Klan out with torches again, you know, under this current president, uh, and, and hopefully in his last legs of his office, I know that some of your listeners may support this president, but personally, I think he's poisoned to political discussion in this country and his reliance upon a false information and hate narratives, uh, including against Mexicans, but, uh, people of color as well. Like for example, you know, when, when a white supremacy ran a car into a crowd of, of, uh, protesters regarding Ferguson, he said, there's nice people on both sides.

Now, the other day he was talking about, uh, black lives matter and he was denigrating them in most horrible manner, something suitable to will Miller Fillmore or somebody from the 19th century. The only good thing I can say about that is that in a certain way, I think that his overt racism has brought the issue to the forefront where more and more Americans are seeing it, who used to be able to hide comfortably behind. Well, Obama is our president. We have a black cover. President racism must be over well, we know perfectly well, it's not over now. And the drug war is not over either. And so even though I'm in California and I can go a little cannabis plant, uh, legally, most of the country, they can't. And so, you know, the battle is far from over at this point. And once we legalize marijuana, and once we legalize all drugs, racism is still going to be around,

Well, it, it won't have the, the teeth or the reach or the breadth or whatever you want to call it. And the air I want to show, this is something I try to do each week is show my courthouse shirt. This one says legalized heroin to save lives. And it's true that we're, we do legalize heroin. We would certainly save lives because right now, under current conditions, um, you know, the, uh, the heroin is made in clandestine labs, maybe 90% pure by the time it's released to the streets. And then they cut it with everything from fentinol to rat poison, to who knows what's in there, which leads to major complications, more deaths, more, uh, diseases, because people do not know what is in the bag they are purchasing and the same holds true for cocaine or any other drug in States like California, where you have testing facilities in, you have weed that is legal and safe, at least for the most part. But what I guess I'm trying to say here is that, um, we have fooled ourselves, or we have been fooled over the last hundred years by politicians and charlatans people who pretend they know the truth about these drugs, but who put forward ideas and laws that as you indicate, just make things worse. Am I right?

And unfortunately, you know, Joe Biden on the Democrat side has a bad history. You just want to drug policy and social justice issues are concerned. Uh, and so the differences, so I believe that he's surrounding himself with people who he's, he's evolving and he's surrounding himself with people who understand what's going on. And that's a big difference between the two candidates right now, and the distance, just basic honesty. You know, what you were saying there about legalizing heroin to save lives. I agree. In fact, I would even go in another direction. I would say legalize opium. It's not as dangerous as heroin and, and, you know, people use a natural substance as much as possible. Wrap it up for us, Chris, would you prove it? So, uh, I would just say that, uh, in terms of wrapping these things up is that people need to get woke and stay woke about this particular issue as well, and are saying that, that, you know, these are both sides of the same ugly culture war, uh, against us.

I think cultural war is one of your cultural baggage. There we go. I see behind you that people need to deal with that. I saw what I say that, um, you know, trying to, I believe marijuana is extremely important because it is the gateway to law enforcement, ruining people's lives. And so once we get that solved, that's going to help a lot of people along the way. And I encourage everyone who can to get involved as a movement, to work with normal and MPP, to do things independently, to support groups like Becker's buds here, uh, because you know, the, the news media is much more understanding now, and that's the direct result of people like UDI. Who've been out there spreading the truth about the drug war when the news media was not being fair on it, this opportunity to become active, to find more about what I do go to Chris conrad.com.
We have a news website on the leaf online.com. And it's something we haven't talked about today is that with legalization comes commercialization and with commercialization, there comes a callousness to the not only the stories of all the people who've gone before and suffered, but also to the spiritual and social values of cannabis. It's not just a commodity device itself. We use this to connect with one another, to connect with the planet and to have many people who have profound spiritual experiences. And so I encourage people to go to camp theism.org, C a N T H E I S m.org. Thank you so much for this opportunity. Uh, it's great to be on your program. I'll have to do it again sometime.

Well, once again, I want to thank Chris Conrad and Phil Smith for being the first two guests on Becker's buds video productions out there on YouTube slash Becker's buds. Uh, it's time to bring this drug war to an end in this racial discrimination. And again, I remind you that because of prohibition, you do not know ain't got a clue what's in that bag, please be careful.