06/26/11 Zack DiLiberto

Century of Lies

Zack DiLiberto author "Hemp", Fernando Grostein Andrade producer "Break the Taboo" movie + Mary Jane Borden with Drug War Facts

Audio file

entury of Lies Transcript 06/26/2011

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.


DEAN BECKER: Alright, thank you for joining us here on Century of Lies. I am Dean Becker. Here in a little while, we’re going to hear from Fernando Grostein Andrade; he’s produced a great new movie about the taboo of drugs.

But first, we’re gonna speak with the author of a great new book—co-author of a new book, “Hemp”. It’s—along with Zack—This is Zack Delib—Zack DiLiberto. Anyway, Zack are you with us?

ZACK DILIBERTO: Yes, I am. DiLiberto, yes. You did well.

DEAN BECKER: Well, it took me a while, didn’t it? But anyway, thank—

ZACK DILIBERTO: Yeah, it takes me a while too.

DEAN BECKER: [Laughs] Alright. Now, Zack, I’ve read a lot of the history of the beginning of the Drug War—beginning of the marijuana war, and I wanna say that this novel of yours, “Hemp,” runs a very true course. Tells a whole lot of truth in there, does it not?

ZACK DILIBERTO: Yes, it absolutely does. That’s the—It’s—the history of hemp in the United States is something very few people tragically just don’t know anything about. And the more that you find out about that history, the more you learn about it, the more you realize that it’s not an accident that people don’t know much about industrial hemp and the history. And that’s what we’ve found.

DEAN BECKER: That’s—that’s the case, isn’t it? That even in the day when these laws were being crafted, when the people were being manipulated. And that’s truly what happened. There was cannabis, there was hemp, there was this new stuff, that Anslinger was talking about. Marijuana, right?

ZACK DILIBERTO: [Laughs] Yes, that’s correct. Yeah, that’s a name actually that William Randolph Hearst is credited with throwing out there. He was, of course, the newspaper magnate. And he controlled so much of the media in that day. One of the richest people in the world; and he was, you know, in charge—he had many different reasons for wanting to go after hemp.

But here’s the guy who’s in charge of, you know, the media. One of the most powerful people in the world, owns publications coast-to-coast—some of the biggest newspapers in major cities. And he’s out there with really a two-part process.

On one hand, they were out there scaring people about marijuana. There’s this new drug called marijuana; it’s making people crazy, it’s making people insane. It’s going to destroy the youth of America. And for roughly five or six years, they had this orchestrated campaign to make marijuana arrest public—to make anything they could find out or distort. Like, you know, this kid, you know, got high and hacked up his parents with an axe, and did it on marijuana.

So, there’s this massive scare campaign that they conducted for five or six years. Now the other part of that—they’re simultaneously at really the local level, that’s how they’re going after the hemp farmers. So they’re making it very difficult for them, and keeping that pretty much under wraps.

They’re making it very difficult for hemp farmers to just grow their crops as they had done for 150 years in this country prior to that. They’re making new levies, new taxes, new applications for licenses, and making it extraordinarily difficult for them to continue doing what they’re doing.

But, they did not mention that for 5 or 6 years, they did not mention marijuana and hemp in the same breath. They kept those things very—after they got the public completely bamboozled and fooled and scared into believing marijuana was this demon, this “hard drug”—after they succeeded in doing that, then they said, “hemp equals marijuana.” And that was the second part of the process. And from there they just pretty much shut it down.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah, and again this is again a novel, “Hemp,” by Nini Martino and Zack DiLiberto, and you guys have taken this story—again, I have read it through druglibrary.org, some rather stale, academic books, if you will.

And yet this tells the true story—well, tells a story of America, what happened, who was involved, what it did to them, and does it in a very readable fashion. I enjoyed the book.


DEAN BECKER: Yeah, and I guess it comes down to this, that we have—in this current age—we’re inundated with so much news and opinion and just stuff that takes our attention. And I guess what I’m trying to say here is that we need to focus in on the fact that this marijuana was an invention that was used to lie to the American people, that was used to twist reality, and by which certain people have made literally, hundreds of billions of dollars.

ZACK DILIBERTO: Literally, yes. Tragic and amazing, really.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah. They say you can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but it seems like it’s time to get un-fooled, don’t it?

ZACK DILIBERTO: It really is, and that’s why we decided to tell the story the way we did, because there’s so many parallels between what’s happening now with the War on Drugs now, and then you also look at our presence in the Middle East—the Iraq War, the Afghan War—all these things, all these tragedies have been going on.

And you can be cynical about it and say, “Well people are making money off of this, they’re profiting by that.” But when you look at the actual facts, is it really cynicism? And when you look at the parallels between these types of things—when you look at the way that you have this industrial prison complex in this country—it’s a major, major industry—and it needs to have this war on drugs to keep functioning, doesn’t it?

DEAN BECKER: It does. And Zack, I noticed the dissolution, the taking down of the alcohol prohibition, led us directly to this increase in the “narcotics investigation,” right?

ZACK DILIBERTO: Absolutely. Absolutely.

DEAN BECKER: They had to have something to do.

ZACK DILIBERTO: They had to have something to do, yeah.

DEAN BECKER: Well, and within the book, you have some very real figures; of course, Harry J. Anslinger, the first Drug Czar, if you will. Head of the Bureau of Narcotics, and some others; Doctor Woodard who testified in Congress.

ZACK DILIBERTO: Actual person, yes.

DEAN BECKER: Actual person, and the same objection to his telling the truth. They say, “We’ve got a job to do” right? “If you don’t like what we’re saying, get out.” Or something like that, if I remember right.

ZACK DILIBERTO: Yeah, the amazing thing about that is, I’m not exactly sure how much your audience is aware of the history of hemp in this country. And that’s one of the things that drew me to this is like, I’m an educated person and certain things I came across over the years made me go, “Really? Is that really possible?” Is it really possible that Henry Ford, THE Henry Ford had a car that ran on hemp, and was made out of hemp plastic in 1941?

I mean, you look at the 20th century and the incredible advances in technology that there were. For instance, you had the Wright brothers in the early 1900s just getting off the ground, just with the most primitive planes in flight. And then by the late 1960s, we literally had a man on the moon, okay? Incredible technological advances.

Then you have in 1900, Rudolf Diesel, as in the diesel engine, had a—introduced an engine that ran on peanut oil in the 1900 World’s Fair. That’s 111 years ago. So fast-forward from 1900, from Rudolf Diesel doing that, to 1941, with Henry Ford having car that ran on hemp and was made from hemp plastic, to—and you say, “Well, what happened to that technology?”

Is any rational person, is any thinking person—could anybody question that with that type of momentum that if they wanted to keep it going, that we could have had an alternative fuel? That hemp could have been—even if it wasn’t capable to produce on a wide-scale at that point—in 10 years? 20 years? 30 years from them? Isn’t it logical that they could have done it?

But the answer to that question is: they didn’t want to do it. They wanted to crush it, and that’s what they did. And it is pretty much—there’s what I call—Nini and I joke about these people as the Axis of Evil back in that era. It was a three-headed monster.

You had Andrew Mellon, one of the richest people in the world and an oil man in that era. Then you had DuPont, as in DuPont Chemicals, and then you have Hearst, the newspaper magnate. And these people were all in—these people were all tied together, and they were enormously wealthy, and they controlled perception.

And they hired and used Harry J. Anslinger as their pawn, and this man went after hemp for decades. And after he succeeded in making it permanently illegal here—or permanently so far, 72 years in counting—he literally went overseas and was given an actual position with the United Nations and made sure that hemp was made illegal in 160 different countries.

Now think about that. If you wanted to make sure that the United States could never get onboard with developing hemp as an alternative fuel source, what better way than doing that? Because if they had just gotten the job done here, and then they let other places in the world got it going—say like in Europe; they started developing industrial hemp as an alternative fuel source—then Americans are gonna be like, “Well, gee. They’re doing it over there. Why are we the only ones dependent on foreign oil? Why are we the only ones destroying our environment?” You see?


ZACK DILIBERTO: So, he really did a good job. You gotta hand it to the guy. And, like I said, 72 years in counting; we’re just now starting to get this message out there.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah, and—but thank God, we are getting the message out. More and more people are aware of the futility of the—of the lies. And again, you have two different strains—I guess it is—one, hemp, the other cannabis. And yet they manage to out of thin air craft another one. Called it marijuana, fooled the whole damn world.


DEAN BECKER: It’s just crazy. Once again, we’re speaking with Mr. Zack…DiLiberto?

ZACK DILIBERTO: Yes sir, you’re getting better and better at it.

DEAN BECKER: [Laughs] But you gotta forgive. Okay, and he’s co-author of a book, “Hemp.” I urge you to check it out at the—you know, many folks know that this was a bogus thing put forward. The whole damn drug war is a bogus thing for that matter, but it’s so obvious and glaring in regards to cannabis, hemp or marijuana.


DEAN BECKER: Yes [Laughs]. Yes. Well, Zack?—excuse me. No, it is Zack. Zack, do you have a website you’d like to share with the listeners?

ZACK DILIBERTO: Yes I do, thank you. It’s www.hempthenovel.com. Hempthenovel.com. And there’s a lot of stuff on there. There’s a lot of—there’s different organizations you can join if you want more information about it.

There’s a lot of youtube articles that are connected to that. It’s an educational site, and it’s also obviously designed to promote the book. And we will be promoting the miniseries, so look for that.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah, wait. The miniseries, tell me about it.

ZACK DILIBERTO: Well, we want to—we were looking, and we’re in the process of developing as a miniseries. And it’ll be exactly the same story. It’ll be about our two main characters—a father and daughter who were hemp farmers in the 1930s; and it’ll be—sort of just like the movie Titanic did—an actual story, an actual piece of—little parallel there. But an actual piece of history with fictional characters, and a human interest story. People in their lives, and fighting to stay afloat and all that.

And combined with the actual story, the tragedy and the secret history of the industrial hemp industry, and how they destroyed it and vilified it and how they’ve been able to get away with it for 72 years and counting.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah. Zack, you know, I—as I’ve said earlier—I’ve read the Drug Library, the actual chronicles, Congressional records, all the stuff; and this thing just runs the true course. This thing, it allows you to be involved with the families and the people that are impacted. But it’s telling a truth for you, friends.

I urge you to please check it out, pick it up. Simple title, “Hemp” by Nini Martino and Zack DiLiberto. How’d I do, Zack?

ZACK DILIBERTO: Okay. Awesome. Thank you so much.

DEAN BECKER: [Laughs] Alright Zack, thank you so much. Keep up the good work, my friend.

ZACK DILIBERTO: Thank you, you too. You too.




DEAN BECKER: [Singing] How can you stop drug users from using? How do you keep the sun from growing weed? How can you end drug prohibition? It makes the world go round?


DEAN BECKER: What gives the drug war life? Is it the cartels? Maybe it’s the Baptists, the bankers, the gangs or the cops?

Who’s in charge? Which politicians, peasant farmers, Big Pharma? Is it the street-corner vendor? Is it you? Is it me? It is fear that gives the drug war life.


BILL CLINTON: And you know, I’ve had experience with this, including personal experience. I had a brother who was addicted to cocaine. So I know a lot about this…

There were a lot of things that I would have done differently. I think my opposition to needle-exchange and medical marijuana when I was President both were wrong.


DEAN BECKER: Alright. Once again, that was former President Bill Clinton kind of doing a mea culpa, much like many of the members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. I think probably 90-something-percent of our members are retired. And—but now willing to speak some truth that they just couldn’t do while they were employed enforcing drug laws.

We do have with us from Brazil, Fernando Grostein Andrade. Fernando, are you there sir?


DEAN BECKER: Good, Fernando. You made it back home, did you?

FERNANDO GROSTEIN ANDRADE: Yeah, yeah. Good time. I’m here in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

DEAN BECKER: This production of yours, tell the title again?

FERNANDO GROSTEIN ANDRADE: Yes. It’s a documentary called, “Breaking the Taboo.” It is—was released in Brazil about 10 months ago, and soon will be available in the U.S., subtitled. It follows former President Cardoso, and several other world leaders like Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, Gaviria from Colombia and Ernesto Zedillo from Mexico, [unintelligible] from Switzerland, and the film shows the failure of the War on Drugs.

Showing how it poses a major threat to democracy, especially in Latin America and countries like Mexico, and [unintelligible] new ways to deal with the issue. From the experience in Portugal, where they legalize all drugs; and the drug consumption among young people reduces, and among the general population you haven’t increased. And shows the experience in Switzerland, and in Holland. So this way, the film’s a kind of multi—covers several voices from world leaders to ordinary people, proving that we need to pursue different strategies to the drug issue.

DEAN BECKER: Now, Fernando, I agree with you 100%, you know that. But I guess what we have to do is—I think more and more people are aware of that need. I think more and more people are speaking up.

But the truth of that matter is that either one of those numbers are too small to—we have an expression here, to swing the cat—to get the job done. And—what can we do? If people see your movie, it may help motivate them. But your thoughts in regards to that—when and how do we get this done?

FERNANDO GROSTEIN ANDRADE: I think politicians everywhere in the world, they are always looking for votes. If they don’t have popular support, they lose their chairs. So, I think it’s very hard to pull any politician today to step against those ideas. Why? Because people who have seen the truth, that the War on Drugs is a failure, are not the majority of people yet.

So I think somehow we need to let the information flow and find—and let people find the truth. Because, ordinary—people that question the War on Drugs, are always portrayed as they’re promoting drug use. And it’s not—and this is a major problem and confusion.

This film helps to show that questioning the War on Drugs is not the same as promoting drug use. It’s the other way around, it’s to reduce the drug harms in society. So, I think the film together with social movements like the petition that [unintelligible] signed recently, the report of the Global Commission, with several other leaders, and several initiatives across the media, I think this, we will sum up to someday do a new consensus.

And this way, politicians can do a better job doing more humane and efficient drug policies.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah, again, we—every nation on Earth has some kind of drug problem. Even Singapore, where they take them out and shoot them, I suppose. But the fact of the matter is, in the U.S., we’ve had our time with crack, and now there’s lots of heroin flowing in from Afghanistan, but Brazil has its own problems now too with a new derivative of the coca plant, right?



FERNANDO GROSTEIN ANDRADE: Yes, one of the biggest problems here in Brazil is crack, and this new product on the market, called Oxi. And I think that it’s a direct result of the War on Drugs measures. Because, instead of fighting the drug problem with education and healthcare, we fight it like from the U.S. War on Drugs policy. So, we really tackle the problem by the wrong angle.

I interview—for the film—an Australian doctor, who is a specialist for the Global Commission. And what he explained me is that the more resources you put into drug enforcement, you force dealers to smuggle drugs. They are more potent, more powerful in the least possible amount of space. So they create something that’s more threatening than conviction, or ruined rights. And instead of having other products like marijuana and coca leaves that are not harmful, as tobacco or alcohol, to flow on the markets.

So what is happening is that they are forced to produce stronger products to be smuggled. And the situation here in Sao Paulo is very harmful. We even have territories in the cities that everybody calls, “crack lands” because there’s just several people walking like zombies on crack, and getting arrested. It’s—the penitentiaries are full; the majority of them are African descendents, or—you also see another racial problem there. So it’s a very, very complicated situation.

DEAN BECKER: Alright. Friends, once again, we’re speaking with Fernando Grostein Andrade. He’s the producer of a great movie, “Breaking the Taboo.” Now, Fernando, I wanna ask you, in certain Central-American/South-American countries, drugs are decriminalized. They’re given—the addicts—the users are not necessarily arrested. What is it like in Brazil?

FERNANDO GROSTEIN ANDRADE: Yeah, in Brazil it’s formerly—we don’t have a—it is a crime, dealing drugs. But, on the law, you can’t put them in jail. [unintelligible] But in practice, the law fails to determine the amount of drugs. So what’s happened is that the police are the judge to the difference. And a lot of drug users are arrested like they were dealers. And a lot of police corruption shows up at the same time.

So—and worse of that, the difference between a user and a dealer, they are not very precise because since it is a crime to have the possession of drugs. If it was to an extent to share with a friend—[unintelligible] it’s a very dangerous place to buy drugs. So, these friends share with their friends; so suddenly they became a dealer, and is saw like a dealer. So, what it feels like the law is considering and this reflects in corruption and more harm in society.

DEAN BECKER: Alright. Once again friends, we’re speaking with Fernando Grostein Andrade. Now Fernando, if you will, share your website with the listeners.

FERNANDO GROSTEIN ANDRADE: It is www.breakingthetaboo.com.

DEAN BECKER: Okay. Well Fernando, I wish you great luck with that. You’re going to be having it shown in select cities around the U.S. in the coming months?

FERNANDO GROSTEIN ANDRADE: Yes. We still haven’t found a distributor yet. But we are talking to a few American companies, and I believe we will be able to have a professional film with subtitles and [unintelligible]

DEAN BECKER: Okay. Okay. Well Fernando, thank you so much. We’re gonna be in touch, and I wish you great success with that. It’s some good work. Again, it’s out on youtube, right? Point them towards that.

FERNANDO GROSTEIN ANDRADE: Yes. People can watch the trailer on youtube. Just look for “Breaking the Taboo Trailer.”

DEAN BECKER: Okay, okay. Well, real good. I appreciate it Fernando. We’re gonna go ahead and take in this report from Mary Jane Borden.

FERNANDO GROSTEIN ANDRADE: Okay, thank you very much.


MARY JANE BORDEN: I’m Mary Jane Borden, Editor of Drug War Facts. The question for this week asks, “What is the Posse Comitatus Act?”

A definitive report from the Congressional Research Service released in 2000 states, “Americans have a tradition born in England and developed in the early years of our nation that rebels against military involvement in civilian affairs. It finds its most tangible expression in the 19th century Posse Comitatus Act, 18 U.S.C. 1385.”

Another Congressional Research Service report, released in 2011 indicates that, “The term Posse Comitatus means ‘the force of the country.’ Its doctrine dates back to the English Common Law in which a County Sherriff could raise a posse comitatus to oppress a civil disturbance.”

The Posse Comitatus Act was enacted in 1878 during Post-Civil War reconstruction, and amended in 1981. According to the C.R.S., the Act reads, “Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.”

The 2000 C.R.S. Report noted that, “the language of the act mentions only the Army and Air Force.” However, “Express statutory exceptions include the legislation which allows the President to use military force to suppress insurrection and exceptions which use the Department of Defense to provide federal, state and local police force with information and equipment.”

According to the Washington Office on Latin America, the 1981 Amendment, “Made the military the permanent, single, lead agency of the federal government for detection and monitoring of aerial and maritime transit of illegal drugs into the United States.”

These facts and others like them can be found in the Military Participation chapter of Drug War Facts, at www.drugwarfacts.org. If you have a question for which you need facts, please email them to me at mjborden@drugwarfacts.org. I’ll try to answer your question in an upcoming show. So remember, when you need facts about drugs and drug policy, you can get the facts at Drug War Facts.


DEAN BECKER: Well thanks Zack DiLiberto and Fernando Andrade, and as always, I urge you to visit our website: endprohibition.org.

Prohibido istac evilesco!


DEAN BECKER: 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 the Pacifica studios of KPFT Houston.