11/14/23 Neill Franklin

Cultural Baggage Radio Show
Neill Franklin
Law Enforcement Action Partnership

Major Neill Franklin (Ret.) is a 34-year law enforcement veteran of the Maryland State Police and Baltimore Police Department.After 23 years of dedicated service to the Maryland State Police, he was recruited in 2000 by the Commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department to reconstruct and command Baltimore’s Education and Training Section. During his time on the force, he held the position of commander for the Education and Training Division and the Bureau of Drug and Criminal Enforcement. He also instituted and oversaw the very first Domestic Violence Investigative Units for the Maryland State Police.

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10/05/22 Neill Franklin

Cultural Baggage Radio Show
Neill Franklin
Law Enforcement Action Partnership

Major Neill Franklin has more than 30 years experience wearing the badge of law enforcement. Today Neill is the Executive Director of Law Enforcement Action Partnership which has thousands of experienced police, prosecutors and legislators calling for an end to drug prohibition. Neill is one of the stars of our September 11 Premiere of our video Production: SEEEKING THE MORAL HIGH GROUND (On Drugs). To learn more please visit

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05/31/21 Neill Franklin

Cultural Baggage Radio Show
Neill Franklin

Major Neill Franklin (Ret) discusses law enforcement, the Peelian Princiiples: The goal is preventing crime, not catching criminals. If the police stop crime before it happens, we don’t have to punish citizens or suppress their rights. Corruption and greed are stopping most departments.

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07/20/20 Neill Franklin

Cultural Baggage Radio Show
Neill Franklin
Law Enforcement Action Partnership

Major Neill Franklin has more than 30 years experience wearing the badge of law enforcement. Today Neill is the Executive Director of Law Enforcement Action Partnership which has thousands of experienced police, prosecutors and legislators calling for an end to drug prohibition. Neill is one of the stars of our forthcoming, September 11 Premiere of our video Production: SEEEKING THE MORAL HIGH GROUND (On Drugs). To learn more please visit

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DEAN BECKER (00:00):I am Dean Becker, the Reverend Most High and this is Cultural Baggage.
So in our ongoing series of Becker's buds in our lead up to seeking the moral high ground, it is my great privilege to bring you one of my best friends. Man. I traveled halfway across the country with, uh, in the leap, mobile back for the caravan for peace and justice of the executive director of law enforcement action partnership. My bud Neil Franklin. Hello Neill.

Mr. Dean Becker? How are you doing good to see you?

DEAN BECKER (00:38):
I'm good, Neil. Now I, uh, I don't want to discount the fact that you were a, uh, a major, uh, working for a law enforcement there in, in the, uh, Baltimore area. And you're still training officers. Are you not?

Yeah. I'm still training officers. As a matter of fact, just last week, I was up in Philadelphia for a three day leadership training in the Philadelphia Sheriff's office and all of their command staff.

DEAN BECKER (01:06):
No, this, this speaks to your, your experience, but your expertise, your knowledge, your awareness, your ability to, uh, police safely, uh, and, uh, to train others to do so, correct?

Yeah, absolutely. Even though I I'm still training officers now, when I was in law enforcement with the Maryland state police in Baltimore city, I was head of both of their training divisions at one time. Right

DEAN BECKER (01:34):
Now, Neil, we have in this country, it depends on when you want to look at it. So you want to talk about Nixon declaring drug war. You want to go back to the Boggs act, or you want to go back to 1914, the Harrison narcotics act. But, um, you can go back to 1898 or something to some opium, exclusion act. We have had a hundred years of drug war in this country.

Oh yeah, we have, that's what you want to call it. But as we both know, Dean, you can't have a war against an inanimate objects such as drugs at a war against our people.

DEAN BECKER (02:12):
Right. And, and what has become, um, better exposed? I won't say exposed because it's been known by folks like you and me for a long time, but the racism built in inherent part of this drug war is rearing its ugly head, uh, uh, more so than ever before. Correct?

That's absolutely correct. Um, all, all of the periods in time, I mentioned mainly, uh, you know, mr. Anslinger got into it back in the 1930s as who we consider our nation's first drugs are. Right. Um, he really made it an issue of race. Um, for, I guess you could say multiple cultures. Yes. We had the, our opium policies before that with the Chinese, but that was about the Chinese and doing what we could as a country here too. Uh, I gotta say prevent these from taking jobs and becoming a, uh, I guess an economic force, if you might say, in the us economy. So it was about the Chinese, but when Harry Anslinger got into it, he made it about the, you know, of course we was already about to Chinese, but he made it about the Mexicans. He made it about blacks, people of color. And, uh, we've been rolling ever since with this, uh, with these drug prohibition policies and so-called war on drugs, war on people.

DEAN BECKER (03:39):
And, you know, it was with the, the flat out murder of, uh, um, George Floyd, um, and so many others that they're still coming out and, and, uh, uh, the videos are showing up every week, still the, uh, police abusing people at the very least if not murdering them. Uh, and it's, uh, too often if black people being singled out and if I dare say taught a lesson, Oh, which seems to be, what many of these law enforcement officers seem to be trying to do is to teach a lesson and your thought there, new Franklin.

Yeah. It's, I'm sad to say, but, um, as a society in general, we we've developed our perceptions of people and our stereotypes of people and, you know, in, in the policing culture. Um, now I'll be honest with you. Yeah. We, we have a, we have a big racial problem within policing, but anything goes beyond that, into this place of class, right? So it doesn't matter what color you are. If you're not at a certain class level, you've got problems with the police. If you're a poor white, you have a problem with the police. Generally speaking, if you're homeless, you have a problem with the police. And the police have gotten to this place of dehumanizing people, right. Especially when it comes to class and when it comes to color and they've gotten to this place where they see people, uh, on a lower economic scale and people of color, they see them as objects.

They, they don't refer to them as people, they refer to them as subjects. You know, they, they refer to them in some name, some of the names I won't even mention on your show, derogatory names that we give people. And that kind of gives them the, I gotta say it kind of protects them emotionally from when they decide, uh, to do harm to people. Um, when they don't see as a person, when they don't see him as human and they see him as an object, then it kind of freezes their mind to treat that individual as they see fit. And as you said, Dean, teach them a lesson, right. And when we have training, um, there's been some really radical training within the policing community over the past few decades. Um, that gets police in to this place of thinking that they are these super men and super woman type saviors, right.

Um, and, uh, training that invokes the use of violence against people. Um, you know, it didn't, it is very biased in nature. And, uh, that's why many police departments have restricted this type of training by their members. Uh, recently every begun, the strict restrict this type of training for their members. Um, but we have to get to a place in ending the war on drugs, ending drug prohibition is one of the pieces of public policy that we have to move on to begin to change how police view people. And a lot of the derogatory terms that we use in policing, uh, deal with the drug using community. Um, I mean, you name it, you know, the junkie to scumbag the, uh, tweaker. I mean, you know, you, it's just a whole list of names, derogatory names. And, um, it's, it's the one I've been rattling here for a second, but I gotta mention, I gotta say this. There was a video I watched today that the got me thinking about something, it was a video of someone complaining about someone else in the neighborhood. And when they ran out of things to say about this person, because everything else they were saying, just wasn't sticking, it just didn't make sense. They resorted to, Oh, you're just a bunch of drug dealers.

DEAN BECKER (08:06):

That term, you know, drug dealer that we use, when we want to send a message, a derogatory message about somebody, you know, and put that person in this place of being suspect, you label them as a drug dealer. And typically when you use that term, most people think of young black male, when you hear that term drug dealer because of the media and because of society and what we've done regarding the war on drugs. But when you really think about it, most of the drug dealers in this country are white males. Yeah, yeah. Or Mexican for that matter. I'm talking about the ones wearing suits and ties.

DEAN BECKER (08:51):
Yeah. There you go. And you, you brought up a very valid there. Neil, I want to say this, that, uh, and I'm trying to remember, was it a Haldeman or was it Ehrlichman talking to Nixon about what we have to do is go after the blacks and the hippies of the black for heroin, the hippies for weed. And we'll be able to keep them from voting in the, in jail and, and not out on the streets demonstrating and so forth. And I can say this, you said it's not always the blacks that are suspect. And back in those days, I had long hair, which meant I could drive down the street.

One of the hippies that Nixon was after,

DEAN BECKER (09:26):
And I could be pulled over in a heartbeat for no reason whatsoever, other than the length of my hair. And that's pretty much gone away, but not quite, but, um, it's just another example of how we demonize people for their appearance. Right.

Absolutely. So, and it's a good point that you made a back during the beginning of Nixon's war on drugs and the two groups of people, the blacks and the Vietnam war protesters, you know, with marijuana and then the blacks with, with heroin and maybe cocaine and you're right. You just wanted to vilify both groups of people on nightly TV night after night, and then they could do anything they wanted, you know, using law enforcement, they could do anything. They wanted to infiltrate their groups and to basically vilify them and persecute them, lock them up and put them away.

DEAN BECKER (10:17):
No. When I tell folks that you are based in Baltimore, you worked in Baltimore for most of your career. And a lot of folks ask me, well, does he know about the wire? Was it the wire real that doesn't need a valid, a set of facts they put forward to how real was Dwyer Neil?

Well, a lot of people don't think it was real, but David Simon, who is the writer of the wire, along with another guy by the name of ed burns, ed burns was a retired homicide detective in the Baltimore police department just had decades of just great information, true information, historical what David Simon did. He took about 40 years or more of Baltimore history, history, maybe closer to 50 years of Baltimore history. And he compressed it into five seasons, five annual seasons of politics, of policing, of education, of those main topics, subject matter that he used in his series. And he just took periods of time and he jumbled them around and he would put maybe one that was 20 years ago in front of one that was five years ago. And, um, the characters that were being portrayed in the wire, they were real folks, people. I knew many of them people I knew or still know, um, and the way things occur.

There's, there's not one thing in that series that I can to your listeners that, Oh, that was completely false. That was fake. As a matter of fact, for those who have watched a wire bunny Colvin, who was the Western Western district police, uh, uh, yeah, the district police commander, um, who did the drug free zone, if you might say that was actually done in the Eastern district by a, uh, district commander by the name of, uh, um, Pete France and Pete France is actually one of our speakers now for leap. Yes. So, you know, whether you're looking at car Ketty, who was a depiction of Martin O'Malley Oh my God. Spot on, spot on the other politicians depicted in the series, uh, people selling drugs in the series, the police officers in the series, man, I tell you, I can point to every moment in time, I can point to every character and tell you a story about them. That's relevant to the series of wire. So yeah, pretty much

DEAN BECKER (12:58):
That's, that's good to know. I look at it this way that the lessons being brought forward, the lessons being taught, if you will, within the wire and that are taught, um, you know, through various television shows these days, there is a lot of truth that does sneak through and, and what it shows. Is it, again, it goes back to what we were talking about in the beginning that you give these names, these designation scumbag in the, you know, tweaker and whatever to demonize these people, to make it, if I dare say easier to kick in the door, easier to threaten the household, easier to kill somebody. If they scare you, let alone have a gun or any other, uh, implement of destruction.

DEAN BECKER (13:53):
I don't know how to say this. And I don't mean to disparage law enforcement because I think it's brave men and women who commit their lives and, and, and, um, on a daily basis, what too many have become cowards and, and, and, and, um, easily drawn to, well, easily draw their weapon, easily use their weapon more so than perhaps training would allow your thought there. And, you know,

Oh, absolutely. And I think what's central to a lot of what you're speaking to is the failed war on drugs it's put is in it's very adversarial place. You know, the police and citizens in the community, you know, and again, all you have to do is look at the HBO series of wire. If your viewers have not seen it, I, it's probably on, I think it's something you can find it on HBO or Netflix or one of those streaming services. Um, you need to look at it. One of the things that

Two things, I just want to point out, number one is the policing culture that's depicted in the wire is so true. And it's so real. And it's now played out in real life in Baltimore city with the arrest of so many police officers who were a member of his gun trace task force, who were robbing people on the street corners, robbing drug, dealers, planning, guns, planning, drugs, committing home invasions. These are the police wearing a badge and carrying a gun. Um, so actually play it out on our streets. And the other thing I wanted to point out was the violence, the street violence that was depicted in the wire, all because of drug prohibition policies, the street corners depicted in a wire and used for the actual filming in a wire where the actual violent corners were drugs were being sold, where we actually had shootings in real life.

This wasn't a Hollywood set. It was filmed right in the streets of Baltimore. Doesn't look like this is Baltimore behind me, but that's not the drop. The backdrop depicted in the HBO series of wire, talking about our impoverished neighborhoods with the, the abandoned homes blocks of completely abandoned homes. And of course the violence and went with that. The police corruption that went with that, the political corruption that went with that. And, and as in the wire, all of that leads to deplorable school systems and everything else that fails within the city like Baltimore. Now I was when we traveled with the caravan for peace and we made a stop in Baltimore, and I got to spend an evening there in those neighborhoods, you're talking about the abandoned buildings in the rundown neighborhoods. And I, um, I don't know what to say other than the despair that comes from living or adapting to that situation, uh, is part of the, the moral conundrum that once you get that drug bust, you can't get a job. You can't get credit, you can get housing, you can get an education. What are you supposed to do? And, um, so many people are in essence, stuck, uh, with participating in the world's largest multilevel marketing organization, the black market and drugs. And, and we, we, we have no means for them to remove those restrictions are that burden of, um, guilt, if you will, of having been a druggie it's, it's it, it never leaves you your thought Neil Franklin.

No. Well, yeah. What you, what you were referring to and what you saw in Baltimore when you were here was really the results of a war zone. Um, the carnage of people being incarcerated, many of which returned back home, couldn't get jobs. Couldn't return to some of their family units because their families, unfortunately, many of them would have to move into public housing because, you know, when you break up a family and you send and you incarcerate folks, the income, the economic state of that family has been destroyed. So now what's left. They end up in public housing. And then when the man is released from being incarcerated, he can't go to public housing because he's restricted from going to the very place where his family is, then he can't get a job. So if he can't get a job, he can establish himself to get, to find a place to live, to bring his family.

There is this conundrum. We have all of these vacant homes. When people return home from being incarcerated, they can occupy these homes, homeless people can out occupy the home. So, you know, what I said is that your, you saw a war zone, literally a war zone, but here's what really pisses me off. We instigate become part of these Wars, all across, all around the globe, all around the world. And when we devastate a country, as we've done to many, what, what do we do? We, we go back into that country with billions of dollars and rebuild it. We rebuild it, brick and mortar. We rebuild it financially, re rebuild it,

DEAN BECKER (19:50):
Their educational systems

And so on and so on. But we've yet to see that happen in our communities here in the United States, from one city to the next, where we've literally ripped these cities apart with the war on drugs.
DEAN BECKER (20:09):

Well, Neil, you, you bring up the cities around the globe and I want to bring this up. You reminded me that my city of Houston had the Harding street bus. I hope you've heard of it. Where the cops came, kicked in the door and street clothes, um, did not have a valid warrant, were lying to the judges, were lying to everybody. They say they had an informant. They had no informant. They say they made a drug bust. I mean, I drove by, there was no drug by, and, um, I think six of the officers involved in that, uh, uh, division 15 drug squad are under indictment too for murder. Um, and, and I guess what I'm trying to say here is that that's, they're not alone, that that's not a deviation, a huge deviation from the norm. This is bound to be a representative, uh, perhaps in the extreme, but representative of all of those drug divisions, uh, not just in Houston, but around the country, because of that same perspective, you brought forward that if you can demonize the people you're after it, it allows you to your conscience to basically get away with most, anything.

It does not just, and not just your conscious, the, the community at large will allow you to treat people that you demonize that way. Right? And, uh, so hopefully we're getting to a place where people are starting to realize just what you said, that that's not just unique to Houston. It's not just unique to Baltimore. It's not just unique to Chicago. You can go to any major city and not just major cities. You can go to rural counties in the South, the same thing where they're stealing money from people through, uh, asset forfeiture, uh, programs, you know, sitting on highways or Sheriff's department, sitting on highways, stopping cars without a state tags and taking any cash that they may have by trickery, literally by trickery. You know, so it's not unique to our big cities. It's our small towns and it's our, it's our rural counties as well.

And, you know, I hate it when I hear my peers say, well, it's just a few bad apples Dean, just a few bad apples. Don't broad brush the entire policing world because of these few bad apples. I'm going to tell you something, it's not a few bad apples. The borough, the actual Apple barrel is rotten. So when he's young kids come through these police academies with the mindset that they're going to do good by people that they want to really help people after a year or two in that uniform on the street, they're just like the rest of the apples that are in that barrel because the barrel is rotten. Anytime you have these police departments and these so called good officers, sit by and watch description and watch the crime is being committed by those wearing a uniforms and sit by idly as with George Florey, you know, where the other three officers knew that mr. Floyd was in distress with showman's knee on his neck. When you have that, when you fail to intervene or fail to hold your peers accountable for the dirt that they do, you're rotten also.

DEAN BECKER (23:57):
And that was a situation where officer Chauvin was that his name was training these rookies and how to go about police business. Uh, it's horrifying to think about that. If there had not been that camera there, what would have ensued next?

Well, the whole narrative would have been completely different because the police reports would not, would not have reflected what actually occurred. Right. They would not have been held accountable as we're seeing now.

DEAN BECKER (24:31):
Now, one other thought, uh, I mentioned the Harding street bus, and I'm proud of my district attorney Kim AWD for standing forth and saying, she's going to dig down to the root of this, not just within that division 15, but within the whole narcotics, um, divisions. I don't know, I guess, or 15 or more, I don't know, but, uh, and the whole of the police department, because it was not as we were talking about not just, uh, a unique situation, it was a ongoing problematic. And I guess where I want to go next is that the, the patrol men's union was very upset with her thinking she was demonizing them and setting them up, which perhaps she is, I don't know, but it brings to mind that even for a district attorney to stand up to this malfeasance is dangerous, your thought to her please.

Absolutely. And as we deal with this issue of police reform now, um, the police unions have so much power. Yes. And it's because we've given them so much power. Um, but I'll tell you some, I think it's more of a perceived power of influence. Our elected officials tend to be rather timid or frightened of these police unions, thinking that they have so much influence to change, uh, the mindset of the average voter. Right? So it seems like all of these representatives, political representatives want to support the unions because they're looking at votes. That's what they see all the time votes. How do I get more votes? So, so do you want to cater to, you know, they want to court these unions and these unions throughout a lot of money, they put a lot of money into the pockets of our elected officials, and that's something

That we're working to change. Um, we believe it's a conflict of interest. We believe it's very problematic in our political world. Um, we're also working to change, uh, the laws that have been put in place to protect these police officers and, and their unions, uh, qualified immunity needs to change. We need to be able to Sue a police officer just like we can Sue a doctor. Right. And so this needs to change. So we're working on the influence that the unions currently have. And, um, we believe that we're going to have some success there. Um, and once we do that, I think we'll begin to see the changes that need to take place because another real problem is as we've been working on police reform, literally for decades in this country, right, it's been the police unions that tend to come out just about every time, pushing back against reasonable police reform, uh, efforts. And, you know, so our politicians are running scared, but as you said, Kim, OB, uh, God bless her. I, you know, um, she's going to do just fine. And hopefully, you know, as Kim Argh and others begin to challenge these unions and elected officials begin to see it well, they don't have the power that we think they have. Sure. There may be, they'll develop some backbone and stand up against these unions.

DEAN BECKER (28:23):
Again I remind you because of prohibition, you don't know whats in that bag, please be careful.

06/10/20 Neill Franklin

Cultural Baggage Radio Show
Neill Franklin
Law Enforcement Action Partnership

Major Neill Franklin discusses Law Enforcement Action Partnerships new National Policing Recommendations + Debby Goldsberry re gang rip offs of cannabis dispensaries & DTN Editorial

Audio file

Cultural Baggage




DEAN BECKER: Hi folks. I am Dean Becker. This is cultural baggage on Pacifica Radio and the Drug Truth Network a bit later. We'll hear from Debby Goldsberry owner of Magnolia Wellness cannabis dispensary, which was robbed during the police riots. But first it seems the nation is waking up to a need for change to our law enforcement mentality and implementation of these deaths of these black people in the the last few weeks and months have brought great Focus to bear on that need for Change and here to talk to us about some of the possibilities is the executive director of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership of former major Neill Franklin.

NEILL FRANKLIN: Hello Neil Hey Brother Dean, Thanks for having me on the show today

DEAN BECKER: Neil we had you on just a couple of weeks back, but I don't feel like overdoing it. I noticed that for the last couple of nights in a row. You've been on CNN tonight with Don Lemon talking about this very subject. It's it's coming in focus is it not?

NEILL FRANKLIN: it really is we have an opportunity here not just bring it into Focus but to keep it in focus at a we end up with some real solutions on the other side of this thing this Dean like I said last night on Don Lennon’s show you know, we're actually getting ready. We're really getting a good look underneath of the mask of policing in America and we're getting this look of the violence the state sanctioned violence at the hands of our police.

We're getting a look at that because of the invention of video when I say, yeah, I know videos been around a while what I mean is that everyone has it within the palm of their hands now of Days, and you know here we are experiencing protest because of the racial inequity in this country at the hands of the police, you know, and of course it all came to a head with the death of and let me just say the murder of mr. George Floyd and Minneapolis, but it's not just about the death of mr. Floyd. It's Tamir rice in Ohio. It's Sandra Bland. It's it's Freddie Gray in Baltimore and you know the list Is very very very long, but it's about all of that and even even since that and we're now having these protests and police know that they are under a very watchful eye doing these peaceful protests.

We're still seeing the violence at the hands of the police and ask what the show was about last night on CNN.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah, and and with a focal point or one of the points being the was it said The five year old gentleman who tried to talk to the police during a protest and they shoved him backwards and caused him to fall and bust his head open. Right?

NEILL FRANKLIN: Absolutely. So the two officers responsible for and let me say before this. First of all, they tried to send a story back to headquarters that demand just tripped and fell and that was quickly corrected because of the video. Yeah, you know II let's talk just quickly about, about the use of force continuum in policing, you know escalation when you can use excessive force, you know, when it when it is proper when it is legal. And in this case where you just had a 75 year old gentleman engaged in conversation, even if he even if it was somewhat argumentative to push him was not within the policy of a use of force continuum.

The Next Step would have been it just grabbed him by the arm gently turn them around and to Usher him in a Correction, you wanted him to go but a shove like that, which we're seeing not just in Buffalo. We're seeing it in New York City. We're seeing in other cities across the country where these officers are literally pushing people very hard so that in my mind and I think in the minds of many of it constitutes an assault when you have someone who's not aggressive who may not be following your command to move in the direction you want them to go but a show of that Force causing someone to fall to the ground.

And and hit their head in a manner which we saw that is an assault. So in addition to those two officers being fired or not fired they haven't been fired yet, but suspended without pay they need to be charged criminally and then you can fire them.

DEAN BECKER: Well and Neil and this brings to mind then that in protest, I guess you would call it 57 other members of that police task force associated with those two members that were Laid off. So to speak have now said we're quitting the task force. We no longer want to be part of this your response to that. Please Neilll

NEILL FRANKLIN: and so I'm glad you brought that point up here a couple key points here. Number one. They're trying to say that it is under the pressure of the Union this came from the the voice of the mayor in Buffalo that the union had pressured into to do that, huh? Where's your courage? Where's your courage? Who are you committed to are you committed to the union or you committed to the people of Buffalo, you know, and if you're in so to me this demonstrates to me that you are not committed to the people Buffalo as such as such just don't quit the task force turn-in your badge turn in your badge because what you are saying to us what you are saying to all the people who watch that horrific video- what you're saying is that you agree with how those officers handled that 75 year old man and the chief of Chattanooga Tennessee. He said to his people when George Floyd was murdered.

NEILL FRANKLIN: He said to his police officers if you have a problem, if you have a few if Or well they said if you don't see a problem with what happened to George Floyd, then you need to turn in your badge. It's the same situation here those 57 need to resign and from the force immediately turned in your badges because they are not committed to the people Buffalo well

DEAN BECKER: and it brings to mind one other thought and I believe I perceive this and that is that they felt that they were just doing their job that they were just following the orders those two that pushed a man down that they were just following the orders that were given to them when this process began and that to me they just Echoes what he always heard the Nazis say that we were Just following orders your response Neill?

NEILL FRANKLIN: So one of the one of the first things that we teach any new police officer any Academy, if you are ever given an order number one if its policy or number two, it violates law and of course if it violates law, it violates policy, if you're ever given an order to do either of those then you have the absolute right and authority to disobey that order and then bring it to the attention of someone in a higher authority.

So we are trained not to follow orders that are against policy that are inappropriate that are immoral that are illegal. So that does not wash and I guarantee you no one gave the order to shove that man in the manner in which they did. The order was probably okay. Let's move these people along which I still have issues with. But anyway, that's what the order was now the

Manner in which you move people along has to be in line with your policy. And again that policy would be the use of force continuum and they did not follow that

DEAN BECKER: Neil last night on Don Lemon show. I noticed you made mention of several High Echelon police Chiefs and others who have stood forth who are speaking of that need for change and I was proud to hear you mention my police chief here in Houston Art Asovedos, there are there are those who were still quibbling and quarreling and him about that Harding Street bust but he certainly standing boldly in regards to this. Racial Injustice. Is he not?

NEILL FRANKLIN: Yeah. Well, here's the thing whether we're talking about a police chief whether we're talking about a prosecutor whether we're talking about a Company CEO. No one in a place of leadership is going to be 100% whenever you know, you got to look at the totality of somebody's work and effort and Yeah, that was that was definitely a black eye a problem area for him. But you look at his his work in in totality and he's good dude.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah well and it's hard to I don't know that the drug war is a quasi religion. It's out there. It's it's pretending that it has moral Authority. But the truth of it is it's it's starting to lose its luster is it not?

NEILL FRANKLIN: Yeah it is and that's you know, I know we've got enough momentum going now in the war on drugs with the marijuana ending the prohibition of marijuana with all the harm reduction efforts were making and now with this overall look that we're going to have within our policing profession, I think and we're bringing the War on Drugs along with all of that.

It's not you know, some people unfortunately like Jim Garrett things we've abandoned, you know our fight against ending drug prohibition, but we haven't we just strategically we're doing it in a different way. I mean, if we if we move to bust up the entire Criminal Justice System, you know, what the War on Drugs is coming right along with it.

DEAN BECKER: Alright friends. Once again, we're speaking with major Neill Franklin Now retired. He's now executive director of Law Enforcement Action Partnership, it's a group of I don't know how many thousand I maybe you'll feel this in here in a minute, but it's a group of current and former law enforcement officials prosecutor some legislators people who have had an active participation in our nation's law enforcement activities. I guess if you will and Neill how we had just last week of former police chief of Seattle Norm Stamper was our guest to talk about many of these same issues.

But we have I don't know the expertise the experience the knowledge is gained from all of these years centuries combined if you will of those that end leap and there is a new recommendation now put forward by leap to transform policing. Let's talk about that. Please Neill.

NEILL FRANKLIN: yeah, so we know we need a completely new policing model in this country. The current one doesn't work for a number of reasons won't get into that but

talking about Solutions and moving forward and what we have proposed, you know, it addresses a couple of things number one. What can we do immediately to start making change meaningful change, you know, one of those recommendations is to ensure that every Police Department across this country has a policy of a duty to intervene. So where we can hold police officers responsible when they fail to intervene when they fail to prevent a police officer from doing something that is excessive go Something that's against the law or against policy. They will have a duty to intervene. That's something that can be done. But with the stroke of a pen by every police chief and Sheriff across the country the other without getting into too much detail because they're quite a few of what we're proposing the categories of basically things that deal with accountability and transparency and and again gives the public the ability to look deep within our Police Department's look deep into the Personnel files and when I say personnel file,

I was I'm talking about citizens complaints and you know police officers. I'm talking about citizens complaints. I'm talking about excessive force. I'm talking about corruption. I'm talking about lying on official reports. I'm not talking about looking into their personal information but citizens have the right to know what kind of baggage police officers has and those things that I mentioned who are working in their neighborhoods. I mean, that's just common sense since being since we These recommendations out on our website and so folks go to law enforcement action dot-org and you'll see it. It's the first scrolling item on our website click on that and look at these since we put those recommendations out. Our membership is growing like crazy.

We're having a greatest increase in law enforcement membership now over the past week than we've seen in any week prior and we're certain as more law enforcement folks learn about what we're recommending as solutions that number will continue to grow of the real of the experts who are the ambassadors for the organization who go out and speak and work on policy changes and get into the nooks and crannies crannies of change we have about 300 of those folks right now, and we're very very if I might say, picky and who we allow to be

ambassadors for the organization but we have we have tens of thousands of members people who signed on in support who are from the law enforcement community and that's police judges prosecutors Corrections parole and probation and more.

DEAN BECKER: there are signatories to the release of this latest recommendations, and and I'm proud to say that I am a signatory as well you guys point out that I was a security officer in the US Air Force and and this when I saw that I had been listed it reminded me just in the past day or two, we recognize the 52nd anniversary of the murder of Robert F Kennedy and it reminded me that the night that he was killed. I was guarding a B-52 full of hydrogen bombs and it just seemed to be another slap in the face of dignity and respect and honor and possibility. Your thoughts there Neill?

NEILL FRANKLIN: Yeah. Well Brother Dean I'm old, but apparently I'm not as old as you I do remember that but I was I was I think about 6 years old. Yeah that time and I just remember it is remember my mother sobbing, you know, uncontrollably when she got the news

DEAN BECKER: Well it but it just brings to mind that we have these people with good ideas and bringing potential foward and and all too often. They're cut down lives are taken from us through the unnecessarily right?

absolutely people who are great men and women going things for the benefit of humanity. And unfortunately, we have the few out there that just do not want to see Humanity for everyone. They don't they don't want to see you know, In this is there their own individual, you know, the baggage that they carry that in many cases actually is handed down through the family their views on certain people certain cultures certain races and you know, it's this is not going to be easy. We've always had this issue of class between race and culture ever since man has been on this rock.

I would like to think that we've made great Improvement, you know over the thousands of years we've been here, but obviously we still have a long way to go a lot of work to do and it just doesn't take one group of folks. It doesn't take one culture One race one religion. It's going to take all of us to make this happen, but hopefully, you know now in this country, we're going to because of what's happening. Now, we can't let up on the pressure. We can't let up on the protest and understand protesters the one thing rioters or something completely different.

NEILL FRANKLIN: We are protesters. We are exercising the First Amendment of the Constitution and it's a reason it's the first because it's the most important for us to be able to voice our opinions to speak our opinions.

And when we feel the need to and we cant have police in this country compromising people exercising their First Amendment, right?

DEAN BECKER: Well, there it is in a nutshell and and that's what Trump seems to want to do

NEILL FRANKLIN: is what he's done.

DEAN BECKER: I was I seldom watch news these days. I just it sickens me. I avoid it but this past Monday for some reason I turned on the TV and I was watching.

And CNN and all the people gathered in Lafayette Park and I was really proud and the way they were behaving and acting and then here comes the military police and then Secret Service and I don't know the park rangers of Glory to everybody showed up in their riot gear and they were talking about Trump's going to come out and he'll probably say something to mollify things and and whatever but he may just try to push things as well. It's hard to know.

Oh and sure as hell they they had a police Riot. They push those people out of the park. They gassed him and clubbed him and shove them and every which way and many people talk about that might be the beginning of the end of America your thought their Neill Franklin.

NEILL FRANKLIN: Well, I don't know about the end of America not yet, but obviously greatly troubled however when you which I just now Reflect on something you said it was in fact a police Riot the police in DC during that time at the request of the Department of Justice who works for the president acting under the guidance of the president. They were the rioters the police law enforcement. The government was the rioter and we're seeing this in other parts of the country to you know, and I think it has a lot to do with the example that the president set in

DC with that photo op, you know now we're starting to see similar similarities with other police departments and other cities across the country as they interact with peaceful protesters.

They the police the government are the rioters.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah to all too often. I don't know. I tried to remain hopeful. I tried to remain positive and and to Present the truth and the courage to share that knowledge folks like you Neil. I don't know what to say other than we own the moral High Ground. We just need to find a better means to make use of that position. Don't we?

NEILL FRANKLIN: Yeah. Yeah we do. And again, the only way we're going to be able to do that is not as individuals.

We're going to have to do a collectively. It's going to take some organizing which we're starting to see and it's going to take a consistent long-term effort. So I hope people are ready for a very very long ride a ride that has to be done in unison and in collaboration with a lot of people in a lot of groups of people, so that's what it's going to take. So folks were asking a lot but if when we are Successful. We will also be rewarded with a lot.

DEAN BECKER: All right friends. Once again been speaking with major Neill Franklin Now retired executive director of the law enforcement Action Partnership. Please go to their website law enforcement Action Partnership dot org, and select their tab there to share the advancing Justice and Public Safety Solutions Neill Franklin. Thank you, sir.

NEILL FRANKLIN: Thank you. Thank you Dean. My pleasure.

DEAN BECKER:It's time to play name that drug by its side effects decreased sex drive, excessive milk, whether nursing or not loss of Menses, hallucination aggression depression hepatic impairment renal impairment chronic obstructive pulmonary disease sleep apnea rebound, insomnia withdrawal new feelings of depression time's up from Takeda Pharmaceuticals. They say it doesn't have the side effects of Lunesta the answer Rosem- for a good night. Sleep.

DEAN BECKER: Well folks I was just when I was out in Oakland to visit the Magnolia dispensary cannabis dispensary was not unable to purchase at that time, but I did get a chance to see the facility how marvelous it was how well-stocked it was and how I don't know just open and real it was for the patients and the people that need cannabis and here to talk about what happened to Magnolia during this time of pandemic and in this time of protesting if you will is the owner of Magnolia Wellness, Debbie Goldsberry, hello Debbie.

DEBBIE: Hi Dean. Hello pretty rough over here. Not just in Oakland. I guess all over the place.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah, but let's talk about while the police were distracted while they were focused elsewhere. What happened?

DEBBIE GOLDSBERRY: Well, here's what happened Oakland fell into a civil unrest starting Friday about a week ago that night we weren't aware but five dispensaries out of the ten were attacked by armed robbers. So it was the work of organized crime people who probably had been waiting for a moment just like this. So we didn't know what happened. I'm assuming our peers were pretty overwhelmed dealing with their own situation and didn't put out sort of a warning to the others the remaining five and and Nor did the police department or the city Administration that manages the Cannabis department. So when the robbers came to our place that night we were caught blindsided. So so not only were we first we were not warned when the police had 24 hours to give us a heads-up and the regulations do allow us to board up the shop and move the Cannabis to a safe spot. We would have done that. But when the armed robbers did come the police were overwhelmed and unable to respond. So when when Robberies took place at four of the remaining dispensaries on Saturday night. There was no police response in time to stop any of the robberies and all of the dispensaries were just sacked.

Unfortunately over the next 24 hours the city fell into unfortunate state of looting and anger and cannabis businesses all across the town were looted and robbed. And again, the police did not respond to help at all.

DEBBIE GOLDSBERRY: so it was only once the city put in a You know, they put in a curfew on Sunday night that our Monday night that unrest started to calm down and we were even able we weren't even able to get into the building to boarded up until then.

DEAN BECKER: No as I understand it the meaning they didn't just take the Cannabis. They pretty much wrecked the place as well. Is that correct?

DEBBIE GOLDSBERRY: Yeah. They took the Cannabis the equipment the security systems, but we have some very beautiful Museum displays that are left and all of the creative art form Local Oakland artistic Community was left on the walls of the real Target was the Cannabis and you know, unfortunately in Oakland we have a very limited limiting permit system. So very expensive to get a cannabis business. It's very hard to get open and people who have been buying and selling cannabis and growing and Manufacturing cannabis for probably their entire careers have been locked out of the Cannabis industry. So we felt a sense of anger about the limitations of the Cannabis program, about how It's so impossible for people to get involved especially people of color. In fact, most of the permits are given two white men from outside Industries.

Sad to say and citizens left outer. I would say righteously angry about it. We're hoping that it changes a few things. Let's open up the can of cannabis industry. So people who want permits can get license and that cannabis doesn't become a beacon for institutional racism and white supremacy. If the police are going to take a huge part of our tax revenue that comes from Cannabis. Why are they doing Nothing to support us? We don't think that the Cannabis Revenue should go to the police anymore.

How about we put it into Oakland's black communities give the money to people of color and we create Equitable systems all across Auckland instead of giving it to the police department. So pretty upset up here in Oakland and we're not going to stop till we make systemic changes.

DEAN BECKER: All right then and there Debbie, I would think that last paragraph is kind of a summation of what you will be presenting to the Auckland city council here soon, right?

DEBBIE GOLDSBERRY: That's right. We're speaking tomorrow morning Tuesday morning at open Council during public comments. And then we have a hearing before the Oakland cannabis Commission on Thursday. We're really going to take testimony and find out what happened including the police failings.

DEAN BECKER: All right, Debby Goldsberry. Thank you so much. And I as I said, And I I really respect what you guys have done there at Magnolia and I guess for the whole cannabis industry

to Aims for first class and you you are certain you certainly have done that. I really appreciate it.

DEBBIE GOLDSBERRY: Thanks for the kind words. And thanks for the chance to tell our story.

DEAN BECKER: We're going to close out Today's Show with a drug truth Network editorial the demonstrations the police riots the whole friggin shooting match that oozes from our criminal justice system and now even Worldwide is based racially motivated via new Jim Crow or else poor versus Rich dominated perspectives as in the Philippines. The drug war. The belief in drug prohibition is a quasi religion with a handful of preachers some few actual Believers and yet even fewer willing to challenge the logic in public for fear of being called in essence a heretic someone to fear who might even be desirous of children dying in gutters.

The corruption is in fact sky-high. The logic of ending The Madness of drug war is preferred constantly and yet the trillions of dollars involved with the basic 50/50 split between the criminals and enforcement will perhaps last forever unless some magical day the people dare to stand together and speak the obvious prohibition is stupid and evil, where is the benefit? How is it moral? Till then?

Cops will armor themselves and stand proclaiming they are a bulwark all part of their SWAT Brotherhood to pretend forever to protect whites from the black neighborhoods. They Proclaim are so full of drugs the fear the death and the danger is all our creation crafted carefully proudly. What have we wrought, the first Eternal War wrapping it up here, please visit our website

And again, I remind you because of prohibition. You don't know what's in that bag. Please be careful.

05/20/20 Neill Franklin

Cultural Baggage Radio Show
Neill Franklin
Law Enforcement Action Partnership

Major Neill Franklin (Ret.) is a 34-year veteran of both the Maryland State Police and the Baltimore Police Department who oversaw 17 separate drug task forces. He has served as an official representative of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (formerly Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) since 2007 + Dana Larsen is one of Canada’s most well-known and respected advocates for cannabis reform and an end to the global war on drugs.

Audio file



HOST DEAN BECKER: I am the Reverend Dean Becker Keeper of the moral High Ground in the drug war for the world. And this is Cultural Baggage. Hi folks. This is Dean Becker and boy, do we have a very positive show for you something to kick in the butt and get you going in the second half of our program will hear from Dana Larson the Canadian author and activist extraordinaire. Today, We're going to be speaking with one of my best allies in this drug reform effort. He's the executive director of law enforcement Action Partnership formerly known as law enforcement against prohibition. He's the executive director Neill Franklin is with us. How you doing Neil?

NEILL FRANKLIN: I'm good Dean. How are you today?

DEAN BECKER: I'm well as a lot of folks. Maybe don't know who you are latam a little bit about your work history and law enforcement. Will you please sure?

NEILL FRANKLIN: Sure. So I've got 34 years policing from the state of Maryland my first 23 years of with the Maryland State Police, from which I retired officially and most of my career with them was either working in Narcotics- And that's everything from working undercover all the way to commanding nine drug task force has it one time for half of the state worked a lot in criminal investigation after I retired from the State Police I was recruited by Baltimore City to head up their training and education section. 

NEILL FRANKLIN: Which I did for four years and then I have six years after that with Maryland Transit is the head of the detective Bureau and chief of Patrol. So you weren't a novice. You didn't double for a year or two. This was a lifelong commitment. Was it not it certainly was and even though I'm retired Dean.

NEILL FRANKLIN:Still working very hard in this area of Criminal Justice to the law enforcement Action Partnership where I've been for ten years as the executive director still working very hard. They're trying to write this broken criminal justice system that we have and a big part of that is the failed War on Drugs. 

DEAN BECKER: Well, that's exactly right. Well, thank you for that again. As I said, he is a learned individual we would do well to pay attention to his words. Now this one you may not have caught too much of just yesterday. The US House passed a banking bill and it's part of the latest covid-19 build which you know, hopefully go through the Senate and get signed by Trump, but who knows but what they want to do is to allow cannabis organizations dispensaries and maybe even The Growers to use Banks and credit card companies to an Essence stop much of the crime that has been associated with these dispensaries.

DEAN BECKER: There's been many cases of extortion robberies. Kidnapping etcetera because these people deal only in cash, but if they were allowed to use Banks, it would change that equation. Would it not 

NEILL FRANKLIN: absolutely Dean and actually I'm very familiar with this diesel legislation to save Banking Act leap and I we I was the only law enforcement entity to testify before Congress few months back regarding this piece of legislation, and why would be so important to pass it; you mentioned the Public Safety aspect of you know, right now these dispensaries that have been operating legally in these many states across the country. Many of them, unfortunately are working only with cash. Now, we know what happens when business owners have to operate in cash. They become targets for criminal Enterprises opportunist to to not just break into their facilities but to commit robberies
NEILL FRANKLIN: There's also another aspect that many people don't think about and that is the many employees that work for these businesses what I mean by that when you working totally with cash you pay your employees in cash and it's not very difficult to figure out when payday is, right. So you've created a scenario where opportunist criminals can just be Laying in wait for people to get paid in cash and then just Rob them either on the way home. Once they get home follow them whatever the case may be. So it's very important that we are able to allow for these businesses to use electronic banking systems credit cards debit cards and so on. It’s safer for everyone all around doing it.

DEAN BECKER: well in exactly it is now around the u.s. There are several jails, a few prisons, that are letting out prisoners now because of this covid-19 problem this this virus and this follows closely on the heels of many of them, even before this virus of letting folks out that were unable to post bail. I guess this this just shows A New Perspective perhaps a new Awakening your thought there Neill Franklin

NEILL FRANKLIN: Yeah. It certainly does it's going to give us an opportunity to make some changes that we knew needed. He made you know, when we compare ourselves to other countries around the globe we known for a long time. We over incarcerated our citizens here in the United States. We incarcerate more people than any other country not just by rate but by actual numbers and you know, this will now give us an opportunity to write some of those wrongs part of that is you mentioned is our cash bail system. We incarcerate most of our people in our local jails and in our state institutions, so now, local jails and out of detention centers when someone is arrested and we've gotten to this place where we're now requiring cash Bonds on just about everybody who's arrested. Now. This is very detrimental. We start to remember that we're guilty until proven guilty, right? 

NEILL FRANKLIN: So especially for these very low level offenses people should not have to place. It should not be subjected to cash bail if they're not a danger to society if they're not a danger to their neighbors, they should be allowed to go home. And then when it's time for them to show up to explain themselves in court they have that opportunity to do so, but unfortunately this cash bail system has been come in and of itself a huge business with a heavy lobbying arm that you know where our policymakers have kept this, you know system in effect, but now we're advocating to end that we're having some good success across the country because when people cannot Go home, their family suffer economically, they suffer and they go deeper and deeper into Financial Despair and ruin and obviously that can keep someone in a place of criminality. It can actually move someone into a place of criminality if they were never there before but you know, we've got to do something to improve the lives and conditions of their entire families. Not just them. 

DEAN BECKER: Hi folks. Just a quick reminder. You are listening to cultural baggage on Pacifica Radio and the drug truth Network. Our Guest is Neil Franklin executive director of leap. This this covid-19 even was it Paul Manford. One of Trump's henchman is has been released to home detention or something because of this this virus and yet those I have a relative who is in a Lansing Prison in Kansas.

DEAN BECKER: He's got a couple more years left on his sentence and hit you know, he was dabbling in methamphetamine provided by the Mexican cartels, but he's not getting let out and I get constant alerts from them that the prison he's in in Kansas is predominantly the one where the staff is being infected and they as they call them residents or the prisoners are being infected dozens of times worse than any of the other prisons in Kansas. It is a hello for this covid virus your thought about that additional punishment where wages here sir,

NEILL FRANKLIN: I don't have a problem. First of all with Paul Manafort being released as long as others have the same opportunity. Okay, because you know, these institutions have become Petri dishes for this virus. It's not just putting these folks who are incarcerated in Jeopardy, but it's putting the communities in Jeopardy as correctional officers go into these institutions every day to work as contractors go into these facilities every day to work, you know, once this this virus starts to grow within this this confined space where people are interacting closely on a daily basis where they can't find separation, especially in these dormitory-style facilities. Then it's only a matter of time before the virus is now moves out of the facilities into the local neighborhoods where the people work where people live who work at these facilities.

NEILL FRANKLIN: So you're putting everyone at Jeopardy, you know, when you have an opportunity to send someone home who's a short time or anyway, Send them home. As you said this this is literally like a double sentence for some folks, especially the elderly and those who are very ill within our institutions. We know what the death rate is for people over 60 years of age. It's very very high. And if you're dealing with some sort of a medical condition it doubles if not triplets your chance if you're affected in fear infected with this virus of dying as a result. It gives us an opportunity to correct a lot of the wrongs within our criminal justice system and the over incarceration of people primarily on the back of the War on Drugs, you know in this country. 
Real quick Dean over the past couple of months. We've been making tens of thousands of fewer arrests for low-level offenses across this country. Now public safety is not suffering because of that. So we're sending fewer people to jail. Well, and we're maintaining a certain level of Public Safety. So that demonstrates that we don't have to incarcerate our people to keep our neighborhoods and communities safe. I'm just hoping on the other side of this we can continue that Trend by changing policies, changing laws and just changing the way we go about our justice system rethinking some things like we were talking about with cash bail and others and because the ones who really suffer in this or the poor folks.

NEILL FRANKLIN: Our are black and brown people as we have seen historically affluent folks do not suffer. They had the money to pay to get themselves out of jail. They had the money to survive if they are arrested and charged with the crime but poor folks charged with the same offenses end up in a much dire situation.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah, there are certain cities, you know, always Seattle Oakland and San Francisco that are lessening their focus, that are curtailing the number of arrests as you were indicating for minor charges be they drug related or otherwise not wanting to fill their jails with so many folks and we have situations where some countries like Portugal and now Canada and I think tied in with his covid-19 situation, they're setting up vending machines now and selling drugs to hard drug users. They're giving drugs like heroin and others to those who need it to keep them from mingling and even here in the United States. There are now providing alcohol and tobacco to some of these addicts to keep them constrained curtailed your thought their Neill Franklin. 

NEILL :So you're right. So we're we are actually seeing some changes in one of the most powerful law enforcement positions in our country. Is that of the prosecute? All right. I got to give props to the Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby. I call her a prosecutor I call her the people's attorney. And this is why Marilyn Mosby has said that she's not going to she's no longer going to charge people who've been arrested with obviously possession offenses for marijuana, no matter how much the wait she's not going to charge people for possession of marijuana. She's also looking at other offenses these minor offenses, which is no longer than be charging people with these offences. She's also a proponent of safer drug consumption spaces like like we see in Canada like we've seen in Vancouver with on-site- in other parts of Canada and other countries in your this she is definitely the people's attorney really focusing upon Justice for people and their other attorneys District Attorney's across the country who are taking the same platform in this is what we've needed for so long you mentioned some in the state of Illinois in a state of Massachusetts were seeing it. 
So we're seeing it happening now all across the country and now we just hope that we can make some similar changes and get some similar movement with our police reform Focus across the country. 

DEAN BECKER: All right, the once again folks we've been speaking with mr. Neill Franklin the executive director of Law Enforcement Action Partnership, my band of brothers and sisters Neil I got one last question for you here. It's a little lengthy. So bear with me it was about a hundred years ago a gentleman named Harry J Anslinger who became our nation's first quote drugs are and he set out to start an internal drug war. He succeeded quite well here in the United States and in fact around the world now, he did this by using racial screens. I got a couple of them here reefer makes Darkies think they're as good as white men.

He also said marijuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye to step on a white man's shadow and to look at a white woman twice and bear with me. I'm he what he did follows on the US has centuries-long perspectives that started with slavery, went through Jim Crow laws and is now carried forward by this belief in the drug war which punishes blacks and Hispanics by about 4 To One or certainly much more in some areas and it is this continuation that exists that thrives of via this drug war that gave rationale and perspective and it was also boosted by Trump's perspective as well. But gave these two races. Yeah, who's the nerve the temerity to Gun Down Ahmed earlier this year. You're closing thoughts there. Mr. Neal Franklin.

NEILL FRANKLIN: So what we're talking about historically is white supremacy weather in the United States all around the globe and there's always a tool to maintain that use to maintain white supremacy. You mentioned now just talk about a couple of you mentioned racism obviously, very significant. You mentioned racism as relates to slavery. So slavery was one of those initial tools here in the United States to oppress black folks.

NEILL FRANKLIN: There's always something in place to oppress anyone who's other than white. So you mentioned Harry Anslinger and the War on Drugs how he used the prohibition of drugs to do the same thing to oppress people of color. You mentioned some of his quotes which were communicated all across this country and what I refer to as yesterday's internet and that was the newspaper where he had partnered with Randolph Hearst who was a major newspaper conglomerate back then so he was able to communicate these messages at will all across the country many people don't know that one of his very first Target regarding the war on drugs and the use of heroin by people of color was Billie Holiday and who was very famous up and down the East Coast mainly here in Baltimore as a jazz singer. It wasn't ever about drug abuse and curtailing drug abuse.
 It was about controlling people mainly people of color and it has been used to do that all the way up to modern day here in the United States now now that's changing. But then again, it's another way to control people of color by placing fear and a white populace so that you can continue to use laws and other things to oppress people of color. Oh you really have to pay attention to this. Because when we do end the war on drugs that will be something else that comes down the pipe.

DEAN BECKER: once again friends. That was Major Neill Franklin my friend, Ally, head of a Law Enforcement Action Partnership. They're out there on the web at L. EA Please check it out. It's time to play name that drop by its side effects Welling of the tongue decreased bone marrow fever chills infection nervous system degeneration confusion loss of consciousness fatigue memory loss muscle weakness numbness, tingling, seizure,speech, disturbance cancer and death time's up the answer Le vamos all a dog dewormer that has become America's number one cutting agent for cocaine.

DEAN BECKER: Well folks today, we're going to talk to a gentleman up in Canada going to talk about situation up there that in many ways is better and so far as dealing with drug overdose situations. Mr. Dana Larson is with us. Hello Dana.

DANA LARSON: Hey, hello, thanks for having me what

DEAN BECKER: Dana tell us a little bit about your background your involvement in drug policy.

DANA LARSON: Well, I've been doing this kind of stuff for about 30 years now and I opened a place called The Vancouver Seed Bank. I opened Vancouver's third medical cannabis dispensary been influential and in getting others opened, I've written a couple of books about cannabis history in Canada and a few other things, but I also do work on the harm reduction side and really consider cannabis a set of one part of a bigger puzzle of ending the whole war on drug users and one program I launched a year ago, which is going really well is called get your drugs tested and we've actually become I think the world's biggest repository of drug street drug analysis. Anybody in Canada can come by our place in person or send us a sample in the mail just a tiny little sample of any kind of street drug or pharmaceutical or or pretty much anything like that and we can analyze it with our spectrometer and we'll give them the results for free right away just takes a few minutes and it helps people to know what they're taking not just for  trying to find fentanyl. Oh, that's a big part of it as well. But also just knowing what you're taking and what you're putting into your body.

DEAN BECKER: Well, thank you for that. And that's a huge part of harm reduction. A lot of folks try to do that around Raves and other events here in the US and ran around the world. Actually now, we have this covid-19. We have a new situation that's slapping everybody upside the head and in several states in the US and especially in San Francisco. They are now sending homeless folks, locking them in well, putting them in hotels and providing them with Alcohol, Tobacco, and medical marijuana. So they're not out roaming the streets and looking for their next score. That's a good positive. Is it not?

DANA LARSON: I think those are good policies and you know, there's a lot of bad things coming out of this virus obviously, but I think there's some good things coming out as well maybe in terms of prioritizing and recognizing, you know, what's important and what isn't and and I see some cases where people who are in jail for nonviolent crimes or for minor drug offenses and probably shouldn't be there are being released and I think that that's a positive step and I think also set of ideas of socialized Healthcare and guaranteed minimum income and those kind of things suddenly start to look a lot more realistic and then Canada. There's also you know, we in British Columbia my Province for last 20 years or so. We've had every Public Health official calling for a safe drug Supply to stop arresting drug users and deal with this differently and it's all been pretty much ignored and now suddenly they it's becoming a lot more reasonable of an idea and being more accepted. We've actually got this vending machine going in Vancouver. It only serves a couple of dozen people but it's a specialized highly secure vending machine that you could put your palm on it to identify yourself and drug users are able to get access to prescriptions and their opiates through this machine and this kind of stuff I think needs to be expanded and made more available.

DANA LARSON: And we've also done similar things here to with opening up hotels and getting homeless people off the street and into a better situation and so those are all positive steps and you know, everyone's being affected by this but like a lot of these kind of social issues. It's people who are already facing other issues to tend to face the brunt of it right poor people homeless people people who use illegal drugs are the ones who really get the worst of this and need to be taken care of. 

DEAN BECKER: Well. Do you mentioned that Canada has had a more open mind to making these changes to providing support to those in need and you've been blessed in that you've had I know of a couple of senators I think one has passed now that stood boldly for that change for that recognition for that need for Change and you've had the ability there to have a more open discussion to put forward these ideas without it being just immediately slammed back down. Whereas in the U.S. We have a hell of a time to even to begin those discussions your response their Dana Larson.

DANA LARSON: Well, I think that's true. Although I think Canada also varies from place. The place just like the U.S. Does you know, I mean you're in Texas and that's going to have a different attitude towards some of these things and you know, Oregon and Washington might and here in British Columbia. I mean, it's not perfect by any means but I think there's a broader recognition that Canada should be legal of the War on Drugs is a failure and drug use or human beings and say supplies needed but you know on our neighbouring province of Alberta, I'd say they're their attitude their and their politicians anyways are much more hostile they want to shut down the few supervised injection sites. They have they kind of mock harm reduction and these ideas and and so there, you know, there's still a lot of debate going on in Canada at a lot of challenges and but you know having that because of our smaller country with a smaller population. I think it lets us get things done a little more easily and and certainly, you know, we have complaints about how cannabis has been legalized in Canada and what the details are, but at the same time, I think that many American states that happy to see Up their cannabis laws with Canada's given the opportunity but you know, this war on drug users is still supported by a lot of people despite a hundred years of failure and overdoses and deaths and criminalization all just getting worse decade after decade there still seems to be a lot of people who just want to continue this failed War instead of following, you know, what every study and every health professional really says that the criminalizing drug users creating a safe drug Supply is what's needed and will help us with homelessness with overdoses reducing addiction, ironically, you know a safer more accessible drug Supply actually reduces addiction and reduces drug use. So there's a lot of these things that people need to recognize but we are making progress of Canada. That's for sure

DEAN BECKER: now coming back to your that your thought learned that there are these vending machines that provide opiates for you said a few dozen people and it brings to mind that I think in Canada, and I know it’s happening the U.S. That doctors are now doctors are now allowing or writing prescriptions or making available take-home drugs. Whereas many times people had to you know, come into the facility to get their drugs, but they're due to this covid-19. They're allowing people to take home these more addictive opiate drugs treating them more as adults your thoughts there Dana. 

DANA LARSON: Well, that's absolutely correct. And you know, like all these programs I think it needs to be expanded further, but but absolutely people who are taking methadone.
They have to go down to the pharmacy every single day. They have to drink it in front of the person who have to then open their mouths and make sure that I'm holding it anywhere and really treating people like children which doesn't help the situation at all. Those are very expensive very time consuming for somebody to have to go down to the system where multiple times a day and stand in line and get their dose. So this take-home thing is really I think a good idea it's going to help people to be safe from covid but also just gives you more time and freedom in your life as well and not have to be treated like a child.
So these are positive steps, you know to me. I always say the compared compared to the way things really should be where we've certainly got a long way to go. But you know, it compared with the way they are many other places and the way maybe they have been in the past. I think we're making a lot of progress and these are all definitely step. steps forward to treating drug users like human beings.

DEAN BECKER: exactly right. Well Dana, I want to thank you for your time. I want to give you a few seconds here to close this out some points. I might have missed or website. You might want to share. 

DANA LARSON: Well, I mean my stuff's more relevant for Canadians, but certainly if you go to get your drugs, we actually have an amazing Archive of over 4,000 street drug tests that we've done and if you can search it all by substance or by City And you know for Canadians who might live in a different city, they've got a pill or a substance in and they can go to our website to see if it's been tested by somebody else and get some information. You know. I also opened Canada's first above-ground medicinal mushroom dispensary we focus on micro doses right now, but and I was just about to launch a storefront at the provide those as well as a program people can come and to our space and take mushrooms and a larger doses in a therapeutic setting that's been put on hold now because of the virus, but hopefully in a couple of months we'll be able to open that up as well and have Canada's people are doing this already but no one's doing it, you know publicly with their name on it and in a big way, so I'm really pushing forward on all these areas, you know cannabis is the world's greatest plant, but it's really time to end the war on all these plants and drugs and substances and the people who use them.

DEAN BECKER: I'm going to close it out with a song that's sweeping the nation. It's called dump that Trump by Rick Estrin and the nightcaps. I remind you because the prohibition You don't know what's in that bad. Be careful. Here's a pretty good slide.

Got to Dump that Trump, You got to Dump that Trump
Dump that Trump, You have got to Dump that Trump.
Ah, Dump that Trump, You have got to Dump that Trump.
Look at that creeper, he aint qualified
You know that, you know that.
You got treason, fraud and larceny, 
Man how much more you got to see?
I’m talking blue or red, right or left,
Open your eyes we got to save ourselves!
Ohh you got to dump that Trump,
Dump that Trump- Dump that Trump!
Dump that Trump, Dump that Trump! Dump that Trump.
Think he cares about you, youre a first class chump,
You got to dump that Trump, Dump that Trump
Dump that Trump, Dump that Trump! Dump that Trump.
Man, Lose that loser, he aint qualified. 
Dump that Trump, Dump that Trump! Dump that Trump.
Dump that Trump, Dump that Trump! Dump that Trump.

01/08/20 Neill Franklin

Cultural Baggage Radio Show
Neill Franklin
Law Enforcement Action Partnership

Neill Franklin Dir of Law Enforcement Action Partnership, Lynn Paltrow Dir of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, Christina Dent Dir of End It For Good in Miss + Joe Marcinkowski of Houston Peace and Justice Center

Audio file


JANUARY 8, 2020

DEAN BECKER: Drugs and terror, world wars forever; what is the benefit? This is Cultural Baggage, the unvarnished truth. I am Dean Becker, the Reverend Most High. Happy New Year and here we go.
All right. Last day of the Reform ’19 Conference in St. Louis and we are with a man I have been trying to wrangle an interview with since Day 1 and I finally get the opportunity. He is the Executive Director of Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) and he has been at this for ten years or more now in that capacity. I am with Mr. Neill Franklin. How are you, Sir?

NEILL FRANKLIN: I am well, Dean. Thanks for talking with me this morning.

DEAN BECKER: I should say Major because I think that is of importance as you retired as a Major with the Maryland State Police.

NEILL FRANKLIN: Yes. I retired as a Major from the Maryland State Police before going to Baltimore City and I was there as a Major and then promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in charge of training.

DEAN BECKER: How many total years of experience do you have wearing the badge?

NEILL FRANKLIN: 34 years, Dean.

DEAN BECKER: That should speak to you listeners out there whether you are a civilian, cop, or a former cop, etc. It is time to reexamine this policy called drug war; this drug prohibition; this mindset that it is necessary to eternally control the habits of our fellow man. I think that is being well-examined as well as reevaluated to be determined as a faulty position by lots of good folks. Am I right, Neill?

NEILL FRANKLIN: You are absolutely right, Dean. I just want to say that I was a hardcore drug warrior. I didn’t do 34 years in policing in administrative positions, most of that was in criminal and narcotics investigations so I was out there in the middle of it all. I just want to say something with respect to your mentioning that we are here in St. Louis at the DPA conference. I think back to my first two DPA conferences many years ago and I want to give a shout out to Jack Cole and Peter Christ who are the co-founders of our organization, LEAP. We were once Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and we are now Law Enforcement Action Partnership. Back then at my first conference hardly anyone even wanted to use the word “legalization” and there obviously were no –

DEAN BECKER: “L” word.

NEILL FRANKLIN: --“L” word. There were no workshops, no panels, or anything talking about legalization. They weren’t even using the word but have you seen the agenda at this conference the past few days. They are talking about legalization – and not just marijuana. There is a session today talking about the legalization of all drugs and how do we get there, what does the roadmap look like? What does post-prohibition look like, etc. That is why I wanted to give a shout out to Jack Cole, and Peter Christ for starting this wonderful organization. Look where we are now!

DEAN BECKER: You made me think back to my first Drug Policy Alliance conference was in New Jersey 2002 or 2003 approximately. That is where I first interviewed Jack Cole and he was telling me about the outlandish illegal shenanigans that the police were doing to assure they had “major criminals” under control. In the middle of that interview I told Jack of my experience as a security policeman and I asked him if that would qualify me and from that moment in the middle of that interview I became a LEAP speaker. I am proud to say that lo these many years I am even more proud of that association and of my friendship with you, Neill.

DEAN BECKER: Over the decade that you have been involved you have seen that difference. You were mentioning they are talking about the legalization, taxation, regulation, control, and all of the things that used to be skimmed over. LEAP brings a new position as well. We have so many new speakers and tools to work with, right?

NEILL FRANKLIN: We do. When we broadened our platform three or four years ago so that we could talk more about the many harms of the war on drugs that change in our platform allowed us to really reach some of our other law enforcement folks including prosecutors and cops to meet them where they are on this issue. By meeting them where they are on this issue whether it’s with harm reduction, sentencing reform, bill reform or some of these other things we are working on now it allows us to begin that very important conversation with them about the overall drug prohibition picture. It really affords us the opportunity to bring them along and educate them more on the devastating failures, and the trauma that is being inflicted on people from these prohibition drug policies and it is making a big difference. We have brought on a number of sheriffs, as well as prosecutors, Dean. We are really just getting ramped up and started. We have some judges, a couple of sheriffs, and some prosecutors from Alabama! I also have to complement our staff. We have a great group of folks out there doing the hard work as staffers for the organization and making a huge difference in us being able to do this work.

DEAN BECKER: To stay timely and stay in contact while touching all of the necessary bases, right?


DEAN BECKER: Neill, I want to come back to the Caravan for Peace. I am thinking that has been 5-6 years ago. How many years ago was that?

NEILL FRANKLIN: That was 2013.

DEAN BECKER: Yes, and we made a many thousand mile circuitous journey across America hitting most of the major cities and while there was no immediate ripple effect discerned, I think we created some under the wave ripples that have resonated around the country and the world.

NEILL FRANKLIN: Yes. I talk about that journey all of the time. I was talking about it just this morning with one of our speakers letting him know what we were doing back a few years ago. As a matter of fact, we were talking about Selma, Alabama.


NEILL FRANKLIN: I was talking to him and I showed him a picture of us marching across the Pettus Memorial Bridge during the Caravan for Peace. I explained to him what the journey was all about, where it began, and where we ended up in D.C. with an entire month dedicated to this journey across this country where we (LEAP) escorted two busloads of Mexican families.

DEAN BECKER: Many of them were survivors, or family—

NEILL FRANKLIN: Family survivors of loved ones who have been killed by cartel members and just caught up in that vicious violence in Mexico. There were even some people from some other countries in Central America on our journey. We escorted them across the country stopping in many different states. We came up through California and we ended up in Chicago, we ended up down in the south through Alabama as well as Jackson, Mississippi, we ended up in Atlanta, we went up to New York and Baltimore as many other cities before we hit Washington, D.C. It was very wonderful and impactful. People are still talking about it today and Dean, I am really sorry that we did not get that LEAP vehicle in your hands. I always think about the way we dressed up my wife’s SUV to look like an LAPD black and white police vehicle. We should have held on to that, man.

DEAN BECKER: I’d still be driving it, I promise you that. Well folks the heck of it is that he and I can laugh a little bit these days because progress is at hand and growing as we speak. It really boils down to the politicians with most of them knowing the truth but they can’t say it out loud yet. They made their bones and are trying to find a way to maneuver and you dear listeners out there, you know the truth. You are afraid to speak up at church, at work, at school, across the backyard fence. You don’t want to be stigmatized but I guarantee you that nine out of ten people are going to shake your hand and agree that it is time that we talk about this. Am I right, Neill?

NEILL FRANKLIN: It is, Dean. I am glad you said that because that is one of our roles; creating a safe space for folks to talk about it.
Three decades of policing like many of our speakers have spent more than half our lives in law enforcement at some level fighting these policies of prohibition, fighting the war on drugs, and the war on people. If we can make that change and if we can educate ourselves to understand that these policies were wrongheaded then obviously you, the listener can also but we create that safe space. If cops can come out and say it then so can you. We create that safe space for our policy makers, our elected officials, our police officers, our sheriffs, our prosecutor’s, our judges, and more so that is the importance of hooking up with us through our website or however you can and having that conversation with us and we will tell you how we can support you as you push the envelope in your community.

As Dean said, have that conversation across the backyard fence, at the kitchen table because relatives can be the most difficult ones to talk to, with your policy maker at the state/local/federal levels. We can accompany you and give you the information that you need to have a very good, fruitful conversation.

DEAN BECKER: Once again, we have been speaking with Major Neill Franklin, my friend and the Executive Director of Law Enforcement Action Partnership. Neill, we know the one website is, we have another one these days, right?

NEILL FRANKLIN: Yes. The other one is spelled out:
It’s time to play Name That Drug by Its Side Effects. Constipation, dizziness, dry mouth, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, nervousness, sexual side effects, sleepiness, sweating, weakness, agitation, irritability, hostility, impulsiveness, restlessness, high blood pressure, depression, and suicide. Times Up! The answer, from Wyatt Pharmaceuticals for depression, Effexor XR.

DEAN BECKER: I am proud to once again have the opportunity to speak with one of my stalwarts and one of the most knowledgeable people in this drug reform arena. She is the Director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women and with that I want to welcome Lynn Paltrow back to the show.

LYNN PALTROW: Hi, thanks for having me.

DEAN BECKER: Lynn, this has been a pretty good conference don’t you think?

LYNN PALTROW: It’s really been excellent. It has been informative and well organized and it is one of the places I go and can count on people being extraordinarily warm and supportive of each other and me, it is a really special place.

DEAN BECKER: Advocates for Pregnant Women is a wide ranging arena because there is a lot of abuse heaped against pregnant women and they are sometimes blamed by our society, am I right?

LYNN PALTROW: Correct. One of the things we have recognized for all of your listeners out there is do you know somebody who is pregnant? Nobody would be here without somebody having gotten pregnant and given birth. Yet when we make policy we often forget or exclude the people who get pregnant. We don’t necessarily think about happens with regard to housing. If you are pregnant you start out as one person and you end up as two. Do you get kicked out when you have the baby? Is your safe injection facility ready to address women who are pregnant? At the same time we see that pregnant women are excluded still from traditional drug treatment programs and judges are still telling women in child welfare proceedings and others that they shouldn’t be obtaining the recommended treatment for opioid addiction which are methadone and buprenorphine. They are also then targeted for punishment with forced arrest, detention and forced treatments. One of the things that National Advocates for Pregnant Women does is provide legal advocacy for people who are being punished because of pregnancy. A majority of our cases involves pregnancy and drug use and our position is that no one should fear arrest, detention, or forced treatment because they are pregnant and because they use drugs or for any outcome of pregnancy whether it is birth, stillbirth, or abortion.

DEAN BECKER: Coming back to my original thought which you have extrapolated pretty well if, if a woman is pregnant and uses drugs they try to compound her problems by blaming here even more so than a guy or a women who is not pregnant that somehow they are more guilty and sinful. Am I right?

LYNN PALTROW: Everything about pregnancy is treated as sinful and then you add on the stigma and history of discrimination and punitive policies around drugs and it is really a horror show for some. Nobody gets pregnant and then develops a drug dependency problem. Some pregnant people find it very helpful to use marijuana to control morning sickness, and people get very anxious about pregnant people because they feel that they can at least guarantee health if we make them do the right thing but the fact is that we are learning and we are learning this around the high black maternal and infant mortality rates in this country that there is pretty much nothing a woman does during the course of pregnancy that has more impact than her whole life course leading up to pregnancy in terms of pregnancy outcome.
None of the criminalized drugs are pregnancy ending drugs, none of them have been found to create risks – not even harms – risks of harm greater than cigarettes. So people should back off and make sure that they recognize that everybody including pregnant people are respected and have access to evidence based care and are supported rather than stigmatized.

DEAN BECKER: What does your experience teach you? What have we learned and are we making progress and are things getting a little better in this regard?

LYNN PALTROW: What is getting better is that those involved in the work of reform of abolition, of increasing access to healthcare have become more aware of, conscious of, and inclusive of pregnant people. Unfortunately we are living in a time where the primary response to so many things is criminalization and punitive angry responses so we are not really seeing a decrease in the use of the criminal law system to respond to pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes. We fear it is going to increase and that the drug war has created a path for criminalization relating to abortion. If you can criminalize people who put drugs in their bodies than you can certainly criminalize people who let sperm in their body. The medications that are available, safe, and effective for ending abortions in clinics or at home and those are misoprostol and mifepristone. The fear is that these drugs which are perfectly safe and effective will be criminalized and the people who need them and use them and help others to get them will be criminalized building on the war on drugs. Part of my work is to help build the strength of many movements to end the drug war, to end the war on abortion. We are all fighting the same policies that promote and focus on punishment and criminalization instead of helping and supporting people, giving them dignity and recognizing that no one should be punished for what they put in their own bodies whether that’s drugs or sperm.

DEAN BECKER: All right friends once again we have been speaking with Lynn Paltrow of National Advocates for Pregnant Women. I am sure there is a lot of information out there on the web. Would you like to point folks to your site?

LYNN PALTROW: Yes. On the web:, @NAPW is our Twitter handle, and we have a Facebook page as well. We have a lot of information there and information that should help people who are challenging not only criminalization but also the gross, horrific misuse of the child welfare or better understood as the child apprehension system. No parent should fear that their newborn or children are going to be taken away based on a drug test. A drug test cannot tell you whether somebody parents well, whether they love their children and prioritize them and make sure their children are safe and fed yet all across the country drug tests are used as a substitute or as if they are a test for parenting ability. We must all join together to fight that and to focus on keeping families together. National Advocates for Pregnant Women works in the crosshairs of the war on drugs and the war on abortion and part of that work is representing women who become pregnant and who may have a serious drug problem or just use drugs and end up arrested. By bringing the war on drugs to women’s wombs you transform drug use in to child abuse – with the child being the fetus inside and the abuse using a drug or having a drug dependency problem and usually having a drug dependency problem and seeking help and not being able to get it. One of the things I have learned and thought a great deal about as a result of coming to the Drug Policy Alliance conference and others is what the point of prohibition is. When we prohibited people from drinking alcohol they still drank. When we prohibit people from using drugs or possessing them they still use them. When abortion was illegal before 1973, it is estimated that 200,000 to a million women each year got abortions. When lawmakers pass laws that prohibit things that are natural and fundamental to human behavior they already know it is not going to work, so why do they do it? They do it because they know they can enforce it selectively to control certain communities and particularly those that disagree with them and might challenge their power. We have to understand that prohibition and criminalization is not about protecting anyone’s health, safety, or wellbeing except for the people who passed the laws in the first place.

FEMALE VOICE: I am Christina Dent and I am the President and Founder of End it For Good, which is a conservative nonprofit working in Mississippi working to invite people to change their minds on drug legalization. We advocate for a legal, regulated market for all drugs which is the same thing as shifting from a criminal approach to drugs to a health based approach to drugs.

DEAN BECKER: Right. I understand there is a bit of faith based perspective involved in this. Am I right?

CHRISTINA DENT: Yes. I am an evangelical Christian and I am politically conservative. I have changed my mind on this issue and I think it is absolutely compatible with the Christian world view, with a politically conservative stance and am really hopeful that people can see just the amount of harm that our criminal approach to drugs is doing. Certainly drugs can have harms themselves in people’s lives but criminalizing them explodes that harm in numerous ways to individuals, families, and communities and it is just not consistent with the values that I have. Once I changed my mind on how we should approach drugs I eventually decided I wanted to do this and I work at it full time because I think it is such a big issue that has so much of a cascading effect that impacts all of society. The more I learned about it, the more I realize that it impacts almost every aspect of our lives and particularly people who are vulnerable.
The more vulnerable you are, the more deeply it impacts you. For somebody like me is college educated, not particularly vulnerable and don’t have that experience it impacts me – there is crime in my city that is created by the drug war. I have friends who have lost children to overdoses that would still be alive if we did not have substances on the street that are unregulated and contaminated.

My husband and I were foster parents, which is how I got interested in this issue about five years ago. I met a woman named Joanne who was the mom of one of the children that we fostered and I did not know anything about drugs or addiction at that time. I just thought people who used drugs while they were pregnant must not love their children until I met one of those women. As I got to know her, I saw in her a mom who loves her son just as much as I love my three sons. That deeply shook me because I knew that we were putting people like Joann in prison every single day in Mississippi, and across the nation. When I could see that that was the absolutely wrong approach for her I realized that we are destroying families by what we are doing and that got me interested in learning more. It was a really stressful process changing our minds rethinking how it affects all of the other beliefs that I have and on the other side of that I feel like being in this position is more consistent with my values as a Christian and someone who is conservative and prolife. Once I understood the issue I realized that there are thousands of people dying unnecessarily which goes against my value of every human life. There is massive amounts of crime in communities and it just does not have to be that way and it is being driven by the drug war. So now I work with people on considering changing their minds. I can’t change anybody’s mind but I can offer them the safety and a place where they can explore and get curious about whether or not we are wrong.

DEAN BECKER: Friends we have been speaking with Christina Dent, she is out of Ridgeland, Mississippi. How might folks get in touch with you, Christina?

CHRISTINA DENT: We have a podcast every two weeks called the End it For Good that can be found on ITunes. Our website: You can sign up for our newsletter which has in-person events that we host all over Mississippi, and we have a Facebook page where we share all kinds of content that is also shareable. We want to provide the kind of content that helps people get curious as well as helping people to spread this message to their contacts who currently support the drug war. Our goal is to help more people change their minds and we feel like that is the best way to develop and change policy because the fewer people that want to continue doing what we are currently doing, the faster we can move in a direction that actually saves lives and helps people improve their lives.

MALE VOICE: Yes, I am Joe Marcinkowski and I am the Chair of the Military Foreign Policy Workgroup with Houston Peace and Justice Center. I am also with the Foreign Policy Alliance.

DEAN BECKER: Joe, recently the Houston group held a protest here in town with dozens if not hundreds of similar protests around the country. Many of them are standing tall in particular because of President Trump’s supposed desire to tweak the nose of the Iranian government and perhaps lead us in to war. Is that a fair assumption, Sir?

JOE MARCINKOWSKI: Yes. I think what you said is absolutely right. We did have a rally with a number of speakers at Discovery Green on the 5th with about 300 – 500 people in attendance. I had an opportunity to speak as well. I think one of the problems with Trump’s argument that General Soleimani is a terrorist is that he was invited in to Iraq by the Prime Minister of Iraq to discuss a possible peace discussion with Saudi Arabia. He came in on a commercial flight, passed through customs with his state department passport and was probably blown up along with a very important Iraqi officer named (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

DEAN BECKER: Joe, this seemed to me to be in essence nothing but a setup. He was invited with the knowledge and awareness of the U.S. Government to make that flight to Iraq and then he was blown to smithereens.

JOE MARCINKOWSKI: That is absolutely right. You can go on the internet and find pictures where Gen. Soleimani is working with American troops to fight ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Certain individuals in our government have convinced Trump that this is the way he should go and I don’t understand it at all because it is madness and it is against everything he has always said. Now he is in a situation that I don’t know how the hell he is going to get out of and it could be very bad for us.

DEAN BECKER: All right, Joe. It has been good talking with you. Please update folks on how they can participate in the forthcoming rally.

JOE MARCINKOWSKI: Come to the next DSA meeting this Thursday. It is going to be at the Harris County AFL/CIO Council at 2506 Sutherland Street which is right off of Wayside.
DEAN BECKER: To those listening around the country please find out how you can participate in stopping the war in your city. It is important to participate and become a full citizen now more than ever before.

Again, I remind you because of prohibition you don’t know what is in that bag. Please be careful.

To the Drug Truth Network listeners around the world, this is Dean Becker for Cultural Baggage and the unvarnished truth. Cultural Baggage is a production of the Pacifica Radio Network, archives are permanently stored at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, and we are all still tap dancing on the edge of an abyss.

01/02/19 Neill Franklin

Cultural Baggage Radio Show
Neill Franklin

Major Neill Franklin, Exec Director of Law Enforcement Action Partnership joins host Dean Becker for the full half hour

Audio file


JANUARY 2, 2019


DEAN BECKER: I am Dean Becker, your host. Our goal for this program is to expose the fraud, misdirection, and the liars whose support for drug war empowers our terrorist enemies, enriches barbarous cartels, and gives reason for existence to tens of thousands of violent US gangs who profit by selling contaminated drugs to our children. This is Cultural Baggage.

All right, folks, thank you for being with us on this edition of Cultural Baggage. Here in just a moment, we're going to bring in our guest for the program, [retired] Major Neill Franklin.

He's a 34 years law enforcement veteran. He worked as a Maryland state policeman, Baltimore Police Department, he was recruited by the Maryland State Police to be the commissioner of -- by the commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department to reconstruct and command Baltimore's education and training section.

During his time on the force he held the position of Commander for the Education and Training Division in the Bureau of Drug and Criminal Enforcement.

He's now my boss, one of the organizations I belong to, he's the executive director of Law Enforcement Action Partnership, formerly known as Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, my friend, my traveling buddy, seven thousand miles across America with the Caravan for Peace and Justice, Major Neill Franklin. How are you doing, Neill?

NEILL FRANKLIN: I'm well, I'm well, brother Dean Becker, my Texas connection. How are you? Happy New Year to you.

DEAN BECKER: Thank you, sir. Good to hear your voice, and happy New Year to you and your missus. I want to say this, Neill, we're making progress. We're gaining traction, but damn it, it's just so slow from my perspective, especially in a state like Texas, where the politicians just have their heads so far hidden, it's really frustrating at times. But progress is at hand, isn't it?

NEILL FRANKLIN: Progress is at hand. Dean, I think you and I had a recent conversation about when I started this work a decade ago, when I finally woke up to what was happening. And just so folks know, we may be Law Enforcement Action Partnership, but we're also still very much against prohibition, just so folks know that, we've just taken on a broader range of topics, very important topics.

But, back to your question, you know, a decade ago, I thought that I entered into this work of ending prohibition and ending the war on drugs, and all that comes with it, all the madness that comes with it that you consistently speak about.

I thought that I was doing this work for my kids and grandkids to pretty much, you know, pick up the ball and continue to run with it. I didn't expect to see a whole lot of change, if any at all, really, I just thought, okeh, this is the beginning, the continued beginning to educating people as to what's wrong with prohibition, these policies and, you know, how this century long piece of policy has damaged our country.

I just thought it was, okeh, we'll continue to get it moving. I never even thought that we would begin to unravel the marijuana piece of this, you know? I never thought that in my lifetime dealing with this, that I'd see so many states that have now moved, you know, to end it, and now have adult use policies in place.

And by 2020, we're just going to see a complete reversal. This is my opinion, complete reversal of marijuana prohibition in this country, and beyond, other countries are following suit. Progress is being made, Dean, and, I mean, I just read something earlier today about New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who says, you know what, he's going to move forward with his commitment to end it in New York.

And he, this is a quote from him, "Justice and new economic opportunity, not for rick corporations, but for the poor communities that have paid too high a price for too long."

DEAN BECKER: Wow. Wow. Now, that's some verbiage, there.

NEILL FRANKLIN: Governor of New York, folks, in case you don't know who he is.

DEAN BECKER: Well, and then that's indicative of what is going on. I don't know how much of an embrace it was, but here a couple of days ago the Houston Chronicle carried a story talking about Canada's legalizing, Mexico is approaching full legalization here soon, that the states around us are all going for legal and or medical marijuana, and what the heck is Texas up to.

Even included a quote from me, but, I guess it's indicative that even in Texas, people are beginning --

NEILL FRANKLIN: Even in Texas.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah, beginning to challenge the logic of all this madness. You, I, we had that talk you mentioned recently. I told you about that two-sided postcard I'm going to hand out to every legislator and or governor et cetera here in Texas, and I'm going to just read from the top line of it, it's, on the one side it says:

"Work Part Time. Make Big Bucks. Join the world's largest multilevel marketing organization. Buy low and sell HIGH." And high is spelled in caps.

And it goes on to talk about the, oh, just the, trying to find the word without cussing, it has to do with the fact there is no logic to the drug war. It's entirely upside down and illogical as hell. Am I right?

NEILL FRANKLIN: You're one hundred percent correct, and I love that card, for folks that haven't been on your Facebook page, they need to go there and take a look at it.

You know, network marketing, unfortunately, Dean, I'm very familiar with many, many network marketing companies, taking a look at them throughout the years, and there is no more profitable network marketing company than the drug war, and those who have ventured into it, the only problem it comes along with the enormous amounts of cash that you can make is that it's extremely violent.

At the top of this pyramid, you know, are these very violent cartel leaders, you know, very corrupt politicians, very corrupt, even in law enforcement. There's nothing good about this particular networking marketing opportunity, but I like the way you put it.

DEAN BECKER: Well, here, I want to read just a couple more before we move on.

"Recruit your family and school friends to get involved. Annual commerce exceeds five hundred billion dollars. New products imported daily from Mexico." And, this is halfway through, "Lots of dedicated repeat customers."

And that's the whole thing, that the inflation of these drugs, you know, back when Bayer invented heroin, it sold on the grocer's shelf at the very same price as Bayer aspirin. There weren't any overdose deaths to speak of back then, unless it was just some idiot took a whole bottle full at once.

And I guess what I'm saying here is that the goal of this program, over the new seventeen plus years we've been at it, has always been to get the drug czar in here, or on the phone, to answer one simple question, and that is, what is the benefit? What do we derive that even begins to offset the horror we inflict on ourselves and the whole world by continuing to believe?

And the only time I was able to kind of ask that question surreptitiously, I was a moderator at a little convention, symposium here in town, and I snuck that in as if it were an audience question. You know, what is the benefit?

And the guy, he was running for DA, he stood up and bowed his neck, he started walking towards me like he was going to punch me, and he says you mean to tell me the brave men and women who died fighting this drug war did it for nothing?

And about that time, the deputy police chief stopped him, said Mike, let me handle this for you. Of course he didn't answer it. The question's still never been answered. But it certainly raises the hackles of some people who have dedicated their lives to this. Your response there, Neill Franklin.

NEILL FRANKLIN: Well, Dean, I'm surprised you don't know what the benefits are. I mean, you don't -- you don't know about our prison-industrial complex? In this country, and how you can invest in bodies behind bars on Wall Street?
I mean, there are plenty of shareholders that are benefiting from that, Dean. You don't know about the benefits of this network marketing company that you just spoke of? Think about the benefit of being able to employ so many children? I mean, think about that, you know, children can now be the breadwinners for the household. Right?

As you said, recruit your school friends, you know, into the business. You know, you don't know about the benefits of corruption? It effects those who are into corruption and the benefits that they get from it? You don't know about the benefits of drug testing companies, a billion dollar, trillion dollar industry, and the money that they're making from it?

You know, corporate America, big pharma, and all the other corporations that are benefiting from drug prohibition policies and the war on drugs? All the jobs that are created for, you know, correctional officers and other folks, and prosecutors, and, you know, I mean, it just creates so many jobs for our criminal justice system and our courts.

Oh. So, those -- well, you know, those are a different kind of benefit than I think what you're speaking of, Dean. I get it.

DEAN BECKER: No, no, I'm talking about direct benefit for mankind, for an individual who --

NEILL FRANKLIN: Absolutely, like a reduction in overdose deaths, maybe, like we're experiencing in countries like Portugal, is that, you know, what you're talking about, where they've cut their overdose deaths in half?

You know, the benefits of less fentanyl flowing through our streets? You know, less potent drugs flowing through our streets and communities and neighborhoods and households and schools, is that what you're talking about, Dean?

Those kinds of benefits that are truly beneficial to mankind, and human right?

DEAN BECKER: I think that's what -- well, I was tap dancing around that, just like you. Hey, well, Neill, I want to get back to our group, Law Enforcement Action Partnership.

Last I heard, and I -- this has been a while back, I think -- that we were up over a hundred thousand members and supporters. Any idea on what that number is as of this point?

NEILL FRANKLIN: Oh, my god, it has grown dramatically. When it comes to members and supporters, you know, we're well into the hundreds of thousands now.


NEILL FRANKLIN: Speakers alone has, over the past year, has almost doubled, in just a year.


NEILL FRANKLIN: You know, so, and we're, you know, and so people understand what our speakers bureau is about, we just don't, you know, allow anyone to pretty much become a speaker to the organization. You have -- it's a very rigorous process of vetting before you become a speaker for the organization.

So, we now are up somewhere around 250 speakers for the organization. So, and when I came on as the executive director, we were down around I think between 40 and 50.

DEAN BECKER: Now, let's tell people a couple of examples. Who are these speakers? What are their credentials?

NEILL FRANKLIN: The speakers for the organization are prosecutors, they're police officers, police chiefs and sheriffs, and judges, corrections officials, federal agents, literally anyone who is what we would consider being on the front lines of the war on drugs, either in placing handcuffs on people, the judicial system and our courts and courtrooms, and then into corrections out the other side, with parole and probation.

That's who our speakers are. The, you know, the credibility that they bring to you know, pushing back against these failed policies is extremely important in the work that we do.

DEAN BECKER: Now, I want to bring up a couple of other benefits, or, things that have been -- grown from the efforts of LEAP, and I want to start with one, I'm not sure what her job was, but she certainly learned a lot when she worked for LEAP, Shaleen Title. She's now a Massachusetts cannabis commissioner, got full authority to change the laws and the perspectives and the way things happen in that state, and, what did Shaleen do, what was her work with LEAP?

NEILL FRANKLIN: Well, Shaleen Title is an example of, one of the other examples of what we do here at LEAP, is we, with our staff, we bring them in and we grow them up to go out and just do some great work.

When Shaleen, who again is an attorney who now works for the commission for cannabis in Massachusetts, she was our speakers bureau director for a few years, as, again, the person responsible for recruiting our great speakers and then ensuring that they, you know, go out and do the work that needs to be done, you know, at speaking -- with speaking engagements, writing op-eds, writing articles, and particular pieces, TV, radio, everything that comes with that.

And now, you know, she's got this extremely important position in moving policy forward, changing policy in the state of Massachusetts, so, just one prime example, and she's just doing great work.

I appreciate you mentioning Shaleen Title.

DEAN BECKER: Well, she has certainly burnished, I think that's the right word, her reputation. She had a major article, an op-ed, in the Boston Globe, I think two, three weeks ago, where she was actually calling for the end of prohibition outright, the recognition of the failure and futility, the need to go somewhere different.

She learned a lot from LEAP.

NEILL FRANKLIN: Absolutely. Absolutely, and, you know, it was a really great -- is a really great piece, article, and we're starting to see that type of article, that type of writing, that type of information, come from a number of different people and sources, and again our organization's very instrumental in laying the foundation, along with some others, in laying the foundation for this necessary policy change.

Again, I've always said that I think that what we're doing here, with ending the prohibition of cannabis, is the cornerstone. I mean, it's absolutely the cornerstone to the work that needs to be done in addressing prohibition of all drugs.

And again, the prohibition of cannabis, we've seen the numbers from the DEA, that that was obviously the most profitable for cartels and criminal organizations and organized crime, the proceeds that were derived from selling illegal cannabis brought in more money than any other single drug.

DEAN BECKER: Now, okeh, and one other person I want to point out, he worked with LEAP in the early days, I believe it was, he now publishes the daily report The Marijuana Majority Report. I think it's got more recognition than anything I've ever done, and that's Mister Tom Angell. What was it Tom did, and what's your thoughts in what he's bringing forward?

NEILL FRANKLIN: Well, there's another brilliant, you know, young man, who was a former staff member of our organization, when Tom was with us he did exactly what he's doing now, for the most part, and that's media.

You know, media is extremely important, when it comes to educating people. You know, the site now, that he currently manages, is this, I mean, it's breathtaking. I learn so much from the, his posting, his articles, as a matter of fact, a few minutes ago, I mentioned what I learned about Andrew Cuomo. I got that from his site.


NEILL FRANKLIN: So, you know, Marijuana Moment. Tom was just just, he did a number of great things for us, and he was responsible for the hiring of our current chief operating officer, and that's Darby Beck, who took over media before becoming our chief operating officer, another brilliant person who's doing some great work. And I know she's eventually going to move on and do some other great things, hopefully not soon.

DEAN BECKER: Now, here's a story I picked up today, and this is representative of, I don't know, earlier I mentioned that the impact we have world -- that the drug war has worldwide, this is from today's New York Post:

"The newly sworn in mayor of a town in Mexico's southern state of Oaxaca was on his way to his first official meeting at city hall yesterday, when he was killed by a group of gunmen."

Now, this is, it's an everyday story in Mexico, that these cartels, they take over towns, they take over the government, so to speak, they rape and murder with basic impunity. It's -- it's our fault. I can not avoid that presumption. We are the -- we declared war on drugs for the world, and we insist that the world join us in that war. Am I right?

NEILL FRANKLIN: Of course it's our fault. We instituted this policy around the globe, and the cartels only exist because of that policy, which therefore, if you want to end the reign of the cartels, you have to end drug prohibition policies. It's just that simple.

Until we do that, they will continue to grow, they will continue, for instance, if you cut the head off of one of these cartels, they just grow into two or three and become even more powerful, more deadly, more dangerous, more influential, and with corruption, corrupting politicians in Mexico and corrupting politicians and others here in the United States. So it's just not isolated to Mexico and Central America.

Cartels, according to the DEA, have influence and have established themselves in over a thousand communities across the United States. So, if you want to end their reign, you have to end prohibition policies. This isn't rocket science.

DEAN BECKER: No, no it is not. It just takes facing down a hundred years of propaganda. And it takes facing down the politician's fear that, oh my god, if I were to legalize I'd lose votes. I think they're totally mistaken at this point, that they will gain votes, that they will gain respect for having moved in that right direction, if you will.

I think about it, it was almost ten years ago, I went to a conference in El Paso, Texas, that's where I first met Beto O'Rourke. But anyway, the point is, while we were there, we were hanging out with DEA agents and others. This was, you know, the only conference I've been to where reformers and DEA agents both got to speak.

They've, the DEA has kind of avoided that ever since, for reasons that we've just been talking about. But, while we were there, we went in to see that Juarez, which at that time was the deadliest city on this planet earth. Machine gun nests on the street corners, you know, just waiting for another round, a volley of bullets, to take place.

And while we were there, Anthony Placido, he was then, I think, deputy director of the DEA, made a statement, it ties into something you were just talking about, that about fifty percent of the hundreds of billions of dollars that are raked in by the cartels and the gangs and the terrorists, about fifty percent of it is used to corrupt judges and border guards and attorneys and cops and wardens and whoever, because they didn't get Chapo out because they couldn't hear the construction.

I'm sure the warden got paid plenty well for the times that Chapo escaped. Point being, it is corrupt as hell, it is, that money is used to continue this, to bribe and make people avoid the situation, plata o plomo, take the silver or you get the lead. Your thought there, Neill Franklin.

NEILL FRANKLIN: Well, you're absolutely right. It goes back to the, one of the first things, or, yeah, that I heard, a decade ago, about how you end this, and the reasons you end it, is you have to take the profit out of this illegal business of prohibition.

If you don't take the profit out of it, then the cartels and organized crime, they continue to have the resources to corrupt anyone they see fit. And look, if the money doesn't get you, right, if the money doesn't hook you, whether you're a politician, police officer, or anyone else that has a position of power and influence to help, you know, to help them along, the lead sure will. Right?


NEILL FRANKLIN: So, if you don't want to accept the bribe, then we'll just threaten you and your family, and then you'll come around. And if you don't come around, then we just eliminate you. And they have the power and influence to do that because they have the ungodly amounts of money to make it happen.

So, you take the profit out of it, you take the money away from it, and the only way you can do that is by ending prohibition. You take the money away from it, then you take power away from it. You take control, you take influence away from it.

DEAN BECKER: Well, Neill, I'd be remiss if I didn't do a Name That Drug By Its Side Effects. We'll be back here in just a moment.

It's time to play Name That Drug By Its Side Effects! Responsible for countless overdose deaths, uncounted diseases, international graft, greed, and corruption, stilted science, and immense, un-Christian moral postulations of fiction as fact. Time's up! And this drug is the United States' immoral, improper, bigoted, unscientific, and plain f-ing evil addiction to drug war.

All approved by the FDA, absolved by the American Medical Association, and persecuted by Congress, the cops, and in obeyance to the needs of the bankers, the pharmaceutical houses, and the international drug cartels. Five hundred fifty billion dollars a year can be very addicting.

Oh, yes. I saw a recent, I can't remember where it was, but a quote that the tally, the annual drug sales, are somewhere between 450 and 600 billion dollars a year. And I'm in a studio here that's probably got three thousand square feet.

We could fill it floor to ceiling with hundred dollar bills, and it still wouldn't be the amount of money that we've given, that we've allowed them to take, maybe, is a better way to take that, that the terrorists, the cartels, and the gangs have reaped over the decades.

It's just so -- it's insane. It's preposterous, what we're up to. Your thoughts there, Neill.

NEILL FRANKLIN: Yeah, I mean, you're absolutely giving it away, and we're not -- and we're talking about cash, we're talking about paper dollars, leaving our borders, because that's exactly what it is.

If, you know, we listen to folks on Capitol Hill and at the White House, all the time talk about terrorism, all the time talk about the problems with our southern border. You know, if you want to strike a blow, and deal with both of those in a very good way, with solutions, ending prohibition would take so many billions away from terrorist organizations.

You know, it would -- it would make our immigration problems, so-called immigration problem at the border, virtually disappear, for a number of reasons. Number one, you don't have to worry about drugs flowing from the south to the north, you know, like we're seeing now. Even though we know most of that comes by truck, by boat, by air.

But, when you end prohibition and the violence subsides in Central America, and businesses then feel comfortable investing, which means good jobs for those who live in Central America, then you know what?

There's no fleeing from Central America to the United States for jobs. You know, now, people would be willing to stay where they are, the violence subsides, you know, the families are no longer under threat, and you know what? You don't need a wall.

We're only touching, we're only scratching the surface here in this conversation, Dean, about the benefits of ending drug prohibition. You know, but, as you know, there are many. There are many. So I really appreciate the work that you're doing, with your show, with this continued education.

DEAN BECKER: Well, I'm real proud of the fact that, you know, we're respected, I think, you know. I mentioned, I think it was last week's show, that I can't be like Alex Jones and InfoWars. I can't, you know, get all, you know, frothing at the mouth and talking about gay frogs and stuff.

You know, I have to stick to the truth. I've been doing that, I've been doing that and embracing that, and getting respect locally from the police chief, the district attorney, you know, the folks that hear my shows, that want to listen to what I have to say, and have respected me.

Last, what, a year and a half ago, they did the misdemeanor marijuana diversion program, where they, you know, basically stopped arresting kids being out there on the street with four ounces or less of weed. They let me work on it when it was, you know, in draft form, make some, you know, recommendations et cetera. It felt good, you know, to be respected.

I've still got a long way to go, and more respect to gain, but I'm no longer just a hippie. I'm a guy who has experience, who has knowledge to share, and that's, I don't know, in large part thanks to my association with Law Enforcement Action Partnership and the good work you guys do.

I'll tell you what, we've got about fifteen seconds here. Your closing thoughts, oh by the way, you can learn more about LEAP at Mister Neill Franklin, your thoughts please, sir.

NEILL FRANKLIN: Absolutely. So, I, you know, again, I encourage people to continue to listen to your show. I encourage, because this is about education, and the numbers that we use, Dean, you know, for the most part, we use several numbers coming from the DEA, coming from the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and, educate yourselves by continuing to look at Tom Angell's site, again, the Marijuana Moment, and of course, as you just said, Dean, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, LEAP,

Education is the key, and it's not about made up stuff. We are speaking as, Dean, your Drug Truth Network, that all important word, the truth.

DEAN BECKER: All right, now, thank you Neill Franklin, and again folks I remind you because of prohibition you don't know what's in that bag. Please, be careful.

04/01/18 Neill Franklin

Century of Lies
Neill Franklin
Law Enforcement Action Partnership

This week: the executive director of Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP), Major Neill Franklin (Baltimore Police Department, retired), speaks about drug policy reform and the Art of War, from #SSDP2018 the 2018 Students for Sensible Drug Policy Conference in Baltimore, MD.

Audio file