09/19/10 - Kris Krane

Kris Krane of CannBe, Todd McCormick, former cop Howard Wooldridge rides again, MJ Dr. David Bearman, Phil Smith w/Corrupt Cop Stories & much more!

Program: 
Century of Lies
Date: 
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Guest: 
Kris Krane
Organization: 
CannBe
Download: Audio icon COL_091910.mp3
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Transcript

Century of Lies / September 19, 2010

The failure of Drug war is glaringly obvious to judges, cops, wardens, prosecutors and millions more. Now calling for decriminalization, legalization, the end of prohibition. Let us investigate the Century of Lies.

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Thank you for joining us on this edition of Century of Lies. We’re going to close out our coverage today from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws conference out there in Portland, Oregon. We’ll be hearing from former police officer Howard Wooldridge, Mr. Kris Krane of CannBe. We’ll also hear from Phil Smith with the latest corrupt cop stories. We’ll also hear from Doctor Charles Web from out of Hawaii and Doctor David Bearman, a California medical marijuana doctor and a handful of others if we can squeeze them in. Let’s begin!

Dean Becker: We’re here in Portland, Oregon. I’m sitting here with Doctor David Bearman, author, medical marijuana physician and an expert, really, on the history of the drug laws and the way they came about and the impact they have on our society.

David, I have a quest I’m on of late. I’m saying – looking for a word worse than another word and in this case, I am looking for something that’s beyond preposterous because I think that’s where the Drug War must be, is beyond preposterous. Your thought?

Dr. David Bearman: Well, it is beyond preposterous. It’s absurd. I got into and started looking into the history because trying to make logical sense out of the Drug War was impossible. Then I realized that the Drug War was illogical. As soon as I recognized that, it all made sense to me; that the general excuses that are made for the Drug War are just that – excuses.

Basically, it’s an effort to protect certain industries. It’s an effort to funnel money to law enforcement and it’s an effort to marginalize “them” and throughout history “them” has been a variety of different people. Currently, “them” includes Blacks, Hispanics, as well as the occasional pesky, wealthy liberal.

So, the Drug War has also been an effort to shift power from the States to the Federal Government and as somebody who sees the Drug War as a civil liberties issue, it’s a little bit ironic that state’s rights is something that we need to support when it comes to the drug laws.

Dean Becker: Now, David, you’re being called on more and more for your expertise in drug and giving guest professorships at medical colleges, etc. around this country. We have, I think – a new day is beginning. There’s a ray of hope that the knowledge that folks like you have shared over the years is being disseminated widely enough to make a difference. But these politicians remain firmly entrenched in all too many cases, do they not?

Dr. David Bearman: Yes they do and what we need to do is – go around the politicians. The old phrase, “power to the people” was never more relevant than it was now. I spoke to Barbara Boxer, the Senator from California on a number of occasions and I said, “You really need to get behind legalizing marijuana.”

Boxer was very, very straight with me. She said, “You know, I am already perceived as being too liberal and if I were to support the legalization of marijuana, I wouldn’t get reelected. I think the work that I’m doing in other issues is too important not to have someone with my views in the United States Senate.”

Now, what we need to do is to turn that dynamic around, so that people will get elected by supporting decriminalizing marijuana, not that it will harm them. I don’t know whether or not Senator Boxer is right or not. She’s certainly is involved in a tight race now. She is opposing Prop 19. That’s the conventional political wisdom.

I think we’ll see what happen’s with the voters in California. If Prop 19 gets a decent vote, I think it’s going to be relatively close. I think that Prop 19 will garner somewhere between 48% and 52%. It depends on how the media spins that as to whether or not a close loss is seen as moving things forward or whether it’s seen as an endorsement of the status quo.

I don’t think that anybody is happy with the status quo and I think part of this, in terms of change, is going to go to how we frame the issue. I’ve heard some very great things at the conference in regards to framing it as a civil rights issue and that’s certainly an important aspect of the campaign.

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The following comes to us courtesy of ABC Sacramento:

Anchorman: Supporters of Proposition 19 say the state’s budget mess could be at least partly solved if marijuana sales were taxed and regulated. One strong supporter doesn’t care about the state’s finances but rather, how we use our police resources. Tim Bailey reports on the retired cop who’s traveling California with his horse and getting the word out.

Tim Bailey: It’s just about the last thing you expect to see at the busy Stockton intersection of Airport Way and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard; A man and a horse walking back and forth for hours, promoting the legalization of marijuana.

Howard Wooldridge: It’s all about getting good attention and when the horse attracts the attention and they see the sign. We get lots of thumbs up and honks of the horn, etc. – (car honks) –Whoo!

Tim Bailey: Howard Wooldridge isn’t a user of marijuana or someone who hopes to benefit from Prop 19 if it passes. He’s a retired cop who says police are being misused in the war on drugs.

Dean Becker: Now, here to tell us more about his efforts out there in California is that cowboy, Mr. Howard Wooldridge! How are you, sir?

Howard Wooldridge: Dean, I’m doing well! It’s so hot and sunny out here in Modesto, California but the response to Misty and the message to Prop 19 is overwhelmingly positive. It’s hard being on the road but, man, the response is keeping me positive.

Dean Becker: Well, Howard, this is not your first time in the saddle, so to speak. You’ve crossed this country twice, riding that horse Misty, have you not?

Howard Wooldridge: Yeah, this is obviously not our first rodeo. Misty and I spent thirteen months in the saddle crisscrossing this great country with that T-shirt, “Cops say legalize pot. Ask me why.” It continues to draw attention. The horse, of course does also. The response here in California at the street corner, here at the Freeway 99 and Carpenter is overwhelmingly positive. A guy had just given me a cold glass of water to make sure I’m hydrated. It’s just been great.

Dean Becker: Now, Howard, you’re going to spend the next several weeks going across – or should I say, down California, north to south, are you not?

Howard Wooldridge: Yeah, we’re starting up in Eureka and Humboldt county and Reading and we’re coming down now to Central Valley towards Fresno and Bakersfield. The media response has been tremendous. We’ve been on TV a couple of times with five articles in the newspaper with one on the front page.

I’d say with the media level we’re doing, I think we’re putting it out there. So, it’s a multiplying factor and I should add that everyday, probably sixty to eighty people take our picture and their going to send it to all their friends and family and put it on Facebook. This has been a tremendously and positive effort. I’m glad I came.

Dean Becker: Howard, you’re not the only law enforcement official out in California there’s a lot of members of LEAP and independents that are standing for and calling for an end to this prohibition. Is there not?

Howard Wooldridge: Goodness, no. All the LEAP guys from James Anthony to Judge Grey and others are out doing what I’m doing – not so much with a horse but certainly they’re getting on the talk shows and speaking to the absolute nonsense of this war on marijuana. We need peace. We need the taxes and what I always emphasize is we need to chase bad guys and not Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg. The public is responding overwhelmingly positive.

Dean Becker: Alright, once again, we’ve been speaking with former officer, Howard Wooldridge, who’s now touring California on his horse Misty in support of Proposition 19, the effort to legalize marijuana for adults. Any closing thoughts, Howard?

Howard Wooldridge: Whoo! Just stop – if you know anybody in California to be sure and vote because if all the people in favor of this, votes, then it is going to pass but we have to make sure we get the vote out, as always. That’s the key.

Dean Becker: Alright.

Howard Wooldridge: Whoo! Yeah!

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Kris Krane : My name is Kris Krane. I am the Director of Client Services with a company called CannBe.

Dean Becker: Now, CannBe is expanding perhaps across this country. Tell us about the type of services that you provide.

Kris Krane: Sure. Well, CannBe is a management and consulting company that helps people start non-profit community oriented dispensaries that sort of come out of the market of Harborside Heath Center in Oakland and Peace and Medicine in Sebastopol. So, we work with clients who wish to start this type of dispensaries in their communities.

We offer essentially a turnkey solution, starting with government relations and lobbying their local governments to enact regulations that will allow for well run, well regulated dispensaries. We help develop the businesses. We help write the permit applications and design the facilities and make sure that the staff is well trained on the proper procedures and then provide on-going management services throughout the dispensary’s operation.

Dean Becker: Contained within that is always the security, which I have always admired so much in the way that Harborside is run, a very respectful, kind and on-going security.

Kris Krane: Absolutely. Security is, without a doubt one of the key functions to operating a successful non-profit dispensary. It is something that, I think, a lot of the dispensaries, around California at least, haven’t quite gotten correct yet. There is a way to have good security that leads to little of no instances at the dispensary and do it in a way that is still going to be friendly to patients.

At Harborside Health Center, for example, there is a very robust security team. They are unarmed but they are big guys – and girls – and they’re sort of physically intimidating but they’ve always have a smile of their face and they always try to diffuse any potential situations through non-violence and through reasoning and it works.

What we’ve seen at Harborside, in three and a half years, there have been no serious incidents at the center – security breeches. I think the most serious incident that happened in the three and half years is some kids through a chair through a window to try and get a computer and when all of the alarms went off they panicked and ran and were all caught on video camera. There are no serious things that happen because the security is so well run. It’s so tight but it is also welcoming and friendly to the patients.

Dean Becker: As I indicated earlier, you guys are branching out and moving out across the country to various states and various facilities who are perhaps looking to you for expertise. Some successes and some pitfalls and some detours along the way. Would like to tell us how that’s proceeding?

Kris Krane: We are working primarily in California. We’re exploring working with people in other parts of the country as well but primarily we’re focused in California. It’s where – it’s our backyard. It’s what we know and so far we’ve been quite successful.

We had, at least on the lobbying side of things, a major victory in Stockton California after about nine months of lobbying there. We were able to work with their city government to pass a regulatory ordinance that’s going to allow for some great dispensaries in Stockton. We had a very similar victory in Napa.

We were able to push back against some negative legislations in San Jose. So things have been going well and we’re getting to the point were some of our clients are going to be up and running with their own non-profit dispensaries soon and we look forward to that.

Dean Becker: Even in Texas, there’s an organization, MedCan University, trying to expedite medical marijuana in Texas, for God‘s sake. The growth, the potential is really huge for CannBe, is it not?

Kris Krane: Absolutely. I think the growth potential is huge for CannBe and really for the medical cannabis industry in general. It’s something that is still relatively new, even in California. It’s only been around since 1996. It hasn’t developed into something that’s really professional until really just the last few years.

There’s no where else to go but up. Most states still do not allow medical cannabis at all, let alone well-regulated legal dispensaries. So, what we’re going to see over the next few years is more and more states adopting the dispensary model. We hope that they’ll look to the best of California, which are the cities that have regulated, that have good security measures in place. Places like Oakland, like Berkley and Sebastopol that have good regulations in place and have allowed for non-profit community oriented dispensaries to thrive.

If other states take on that model and we are starting to see that in places like Rhode Island and Michigan is starting to look in that direction. I think we’re going to see it that in a few years in Arizona, possibly in Illinois. A number of other states are starting to move to this non-profit model. I think that’s a positive thing both for the growth of the medical cannabis industry and it’s more importantly a positive thing for medical marijuana patients.

Dean Becker: Alright, once again we’ve been speaking to Mr. Kris Krane. Give us the website for CannBe.

Kris Krane: Sure, anybody interested in finding out about CannBe and our services can visit www.cannbe.com

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Dean Becker: I’m here with Dale Gieringer. He’s Head of the California NORML and he’s here to speak to us about progress, understanding and hopefully legalization in California.

Dale the hot button, the focus is in newspapers and broadcasting and organizations all around the country and, in fact, all around the world. They’re focusing on the potential of legalization in California. What’s the chances, sir?

Dale Gieringer: Well, it’s a tight race. It’s a very hot issue. We’ve never seen this on the ballot anywhere before and it has raised the debate to new and unprecedented levels. It’s going to be a very tough race though because it’s a very big step and there are lots of forces arrayed against us.

Dean Becker: The international implications are huge as well, correct?

Dale Gieringer: Yeah, for the first time we’re getting noises from the Mexican government and former members of the Mexican government, including, I believe, President Fox. Maybe even Calderón to tell you the truth, the current President, that they would welcome some kind of step towards legalization here in the United States.

I wish I could say that the problems in Mexico are something that could be solved overnight by passing Prop 19 or by anything else but of course they really won’t be until the entire United States legalizes marijuana because there is going to be a huge market for Mexican marijuana in the United States, until we legalize. It’s a long way to go on this but you have to take the first step to get there. This is out opportunity this year.

Dean Becker: Well, you are a historian, certainly of drug policy and you’ve recognized, I would think, the incremental nature that brought us to our current state of Drug War. Is it going to take as long, the incremental steps, to back us away from this position?

Dale Gieringer: Hard to say. I can say this, if you look at the way that legislation on morals issues and big issues like this develops in Congress, it usually takes the better part of a decade to get a major change like this passed. That starts from the first little baby steps.

Unfortunately, we have not seen the first little baby steps yet in Congress or in the administration. We are still waiting for some sort of sign from the federal government that they are revisiting their totally obsolete policies in regards to medical marijuana, which flies in the face of what 80% of the American public seems to think, but they haven’t even done that.

When they start doing that, the clock will start ticking and I’ll say within the next decade of that the whole thing’s going to unravel and we are going to get the legalization but it hasn’t started quite yet.

Dean Becker: Alright. The website for California NORML?

Dale Gieringer: www.canorml.org

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Dean Becker: The first day of the NORML conference is over. We’re here at an after party at in support of Measure 74, here in Oregon, to change their laws but here to talk about his impressions and his thoughts in regards to medical cannabis is Doctor Charles Webb from Kona, Hawaii.

Doctor Webb, we have seen enormous changes in regards to the perspectives and in regards to the laws and the implementations thereof for medical marijuana. What are your thoughts? What does the future hold in that regard?

Dr. Charles Webb: I’m an older guy. I’ve been in medicine for thirty-some years. When I got out of medical School in the seventies, it appeared as if marijuana was headed for total legalization. Little did we know that Nixon was coming and things would go backwards and ever since then we’ve been recovering because it’s been a big fight for freedom. I think finally, now as the Baby Boomer generation has grown-up knowing better. Even though many in our generation pretends not to know better, they really do.

I think a vast majority of people know that the law is basically just built on an epidemic of fear. Nobody’s really died from marijuana, that we know of. You really can’t say that about any other medication known. You certainly can’t say that about alcohol, tobacco and most of the things that I get to prescribe.

So, we now have a point where there’s 75-80% of Americans are supporting medical marijuana, probably a majority of Californians will find out in November, supporting total legalization. I don’t see us going back now. I think we’re finally reaching a tipping point.

Hawaii has had one law for ten years. The legislature actually voted in medical marijuana in year 2000. The governor signed it and it became law. The law hasn’t changed, but what’s happened now is that, finally after ten years, we’re finally getting an explosion of medical marijuana patients and people coming forth to get their licenses. We still do not have dispensaries. Which basically puts us in the dark ages a bit for a ten year medical marijuana state but people are allowed to grow seven plants in a place where you can grow year round, outdoors, which is really nice.

In addition, the Hawaii Medical Association, in June – my wife and I took them a resolution, wherein we laid out the evidence why it should not be a Schedule I drug and should be rescheduled to a Schedule III. What that means is Schedule I is strictly forbidden. Doctors may not prescribe it. Nobody can have it to do research, even though they are always saying that it “needs more research.” That’s their beef. They do not allow more research because it’s Schedule I.

We laid out the reasons as to why the Medical Association and they voted twelve to three in their council to accept it. So, it’s now it is official policy for the Hawaiian Medical Association and should be coming to the AMA meeting in November in San Diego where we’ll present it again and see if the AMA will vote to make this policy, which hopefully will sway the Feds a bit.

It’s just like alcohol prohibition except with something that’s much kinder and gentler. We all know the destruction alcohol does but we’re willing to accept the trade off for the freedom to be able to drink our beer or our whiskey or our tequila or whatever.

Here we have so little trade off. We have such a benign substance that it’s like trying to ban Tinkerbell or something. It is so crazy because it really has not ever killed anybody. It’s virtually non-addicting.

What we’re doing is running peoples’ lives by arresting all of these young people and putting them in jail and giving them a criminal record and I think that’s a crime.

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Dean Becker: Back in the early days of the Drug Truth Network on the pages of the New York Times drug policy forum. I sponsored a discussion with the mother of our next guest here on the Drug Truth Network. Ann McCormick was touting the truth. She was speaking for her son, for logic and common sense. Her son is doing the same. Mister Todd McCormick. Hello, sir.

Todd McCormick: How are you today? Thank you for having me on.

Dean Becker: Yeah. Todd, you have been active in trying to shape and change these marijuana laws for some years. Do you want to give us a brief summery of that and tell us about the beginning?

Todd McCormick: Sure, I first read the Emperor Has No Clothes and it changed my life, the book by Jack Herer. Now that many years later, since Jack has passed away, I am now the editor of the book. We just released the twelfth edition of what many consider to be the bible of the hemp movement. I first read that book and I was really blown away, honestly.

I went and met Jack Herer, that was way back in ’94 and I ended up going on to be one of the first people in the state of California to open what is called a “compassion club” in San Diego, where I gave away medical marijuana to people that were sick.

In 1994, I also happen to be one of the first of the ten in Holland to get a doctor’s note, from Doctor Tycel in Rotterdam when he first started writing scripts and I was one of the first people to actually challenge the US government by bringing it back into America as a prescribed medication under international law – twice actually and declared my medicine both times. Once, I was let in but the other I was stopped but then I won, basically on a case, saying that I had a right to bring it in.

In 1997, I was one of the first people arrested under the new – after the passage, I should say, under California Prop 215, which was the medical marijuana initiative. I ended up fighting the Federal Government for three years. Woody Harrelson bailed me out of jail. Larry Flint attorneys defended me. I became one of the first cases that was denied a medical necessity defense, which The New York Times covered in great detail.

I also went on to do five years in prison after that and I created what I call the “THC Expo” in 2009 and I rented the LA convention center and we had over 30,000 people come down for the weekend. It was an amazing success. Now what I’m doing – I’m actually doing a similar event called “Hempire Expo” which is a little more holistic and includes the community more and is going to include more education and what we’re calling “break-up rooms” or workshops for a lot of the non-profits and such to get together and teach people about the many facets of this interesting plant.

We’re going to be taking it all over the country now, trying to help speed up the implementation of these laws by in effect, bringing inspiration and bringing the connections to the industry, bringing the experts and exposing them to people in these states where the medical marijuana is now legal – about fourteen of them now, in America, now and also another fourteen pending by the end of the year. So, change is happening on a massive level and I am happy to be a part of it.

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Phil Smith: This is Phil Smith of the Drug War Chronicle with this week’s Drug Cop Stories for the Drug Truth Network.

We’ve got a narcotics supervisor sexually assaulting a female snitch. We’ve got another making off with the drug buy money. We’ve got a pair of jail guards that go down after getting caught having sex in a car in a parking lot and that’s just for starters and you know, Dean, just like every week. Drug prohibition breeds corruption.

In Athens, Ohio, the Head of the Athens County Narcotics Task Force was arraigned last Friday on charges that he sexually assaulted a female undercover informant. Deputy Jerry Hallowell, 43, faces three counts of sexual battery and one count of attempted sexual battery. He’s looking at up to sixteen years in prison, if convicted of all counts. He’s out on $50,000 bond and had been suspended with pay, pending further action by the department.

In Syracuse, New York, meanwhile, a former Syracuse police officer pleaded guilty Monday on charges he ran a drug trafficking operation from his home and sexually abused two teenage boys. Former police officer Frederick Bonnie, aged 49, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of aggravated sexual abuse and one felony count of fourth degree conspiracy. He was arrested in May for running a drug ring from his home and using the teens as dealers and for sexual activities. He was suspended from the police force in 2007 and retired after being convicted of giving alcohol to and inappropriately touching a fourteen-year-old boy. He’ll be sentenced to seven years in prison but remains free on $100,000 bail until formal sentencing in November.

Down in Durham, North Carolina, a former Durham narcotics supervisor was indicted September 7th for allegedly stealing nearly a $100,000 in Sheriff’s department funds for performance and making drug buys. Former Lieutenant Derek O’Mary faces twenty-six counts of embezzlement and one count each of obstructing justice and possession of cocaine. O’Mary was an eighteen year veteran of the sheriff’s office and had risen through the ranks to a lieutenant supervisor in the sheriff’s anti-crime and narcotics unit. He was fired in April 2009, after his own NARC snitched him out.

Next door in Gaffney, South Carolina, money from a recent drug bust has gone missing and the Cherokee County sheriff wants to know where it went. Sheriff Bill Blanton has called in the state law enforcement division try and find out what happened to an undisclosed amount of cash missing from the Cherokee County Narcotics Division.

Up in Philadelphia, three former Philly police officers already facing corruption charges were hit with new ones on September 9th. Robert Schneider, Jamie Bengali and Mark Williams were charged in July with plotting with a suspected drug dealer to steal drugs in a staged traffic stop. Now the three face additional charges of possession with the intent to distribute within a thousand feet of a school. Schneider and Williams were also charged with planning to rob a man that was a mobster collecting gambling proceeds. Authorities said that that plot was never carried out.

In Lebanon, Ohio, two former Warren Correctional Institution guards were indicted last Friday on drug charges after they were caught having sex in a vehicle with hundreds of pills and a note about inmates getting illegal drugs. Annika Skinner, aged 36, faces nine counts of deception to obtain drugs and a single misdemeanor drug possession count. Herbert Cook, aged 61, faces one count of drug trafficking. Skinner is looking at up to nineteen years in prison and Cook is looking at one. Both had resigned as prison guards in July after they were discovered going at it in May in a parking lot.

In Graysville Georgia, a Graysville Facility guard was arrested September 8th on charges he planned to smuggle marijuana into the jail. Guard Brandon Sikora, aged 21, went down after agreeing to take a half pound of pot into jail and pocketing $2,000 for his efforts. The man who Sikora met was a police informant and now Sikora is charged with attempting to introduce contraband into a secure facility and possession of more than twenty grams of marijuana with intent to distribute. He’s been placed on suspension from the correctional facility pending the outcome of the investigation.

That’s it for this week, but as always there’s more news from the Drug War online. Check it out at www.stopthedrugwar.org

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Once again, we’re just flat out of time. I hope you enjoyed this edition of Century of Lies and I hope you’ll check out the recent Cultural Baggage for more from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws conference out there in Portland, Oregon.

Again, I remind you, there’s no truth, justice, logic, scientific fact, no reason for this Drug War to exist. Please, visit our website: endprohibition.org

Prohibido istac evilesco!

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For the Drug Truth Network, this is Dean Becker. Asking you to examine our policy of Drug Prohibition.

The Century of Lies.

This show produced at Pacifica Studios at KPFT, Houston.

Drug Truth Network programs, archived at the James A. Baker III Institute for Policy Studies.

Transcript provided by: Ayn Morgan of www.eigengraupress.com