03/02/14 Rebecca Richmond Cohen

Rebecca Richman Cohen, Producer of "Code of the West" + Al Franken, Doug Mcvay & Nixon, Maryland cops say NO, Willies weed whacked?, Jailer busted smoking in jail, Cops searches easier now, SNL-Nancy Grace, Texas to toke up?

Program: 
Century of Lies
Date: 
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Guest: 
Rebecca Richmond Cohen
Organization: 
Code of the West
Download: Audio icon COL030214.mp3
Share

Comments

Transcript

Century of Lies March 2, 2014

-----------------------

DEAN BECKER: 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: It’s hard to believe the drug war is ending and it’s ending slow and bloody and ugly. We really could use your help to stand up, to speak up, to challenge the logic to encourage and motivate your elected officials to bring this madness to an end.

We got a great show lined up for you. Let’s get started.

-----------------------

REBECCA RICHMAN COHEN: My name is Rebecca Richman Cohen. I’m the documentary homemaker who made “Code of the West.” I’m also a lecturer on law at Harvard Law School.

DEAN BECKER: It seems the truth about the drug war is becoming more obvious every day. Is it not?

REBECCA RICHMAN COHEN: I think it’s been obvious to anyone who paid attention to what was really happening but, yes, I think in a new and different and exciting way public support is changing very rapidly right now.

DEAN BECKER: I’m happy to say there have been a few movies focusing on this problem and, perhaps, providing answers. Tell us about your movie, please.

REBECCA RICHMAN COHEN: Code of the West perhaps raises more questions than answers but we set out to make a film about marijuana reform in the legislative process. We filmed with a group of patients and activists who were working to reform Montana’s medical marijuana law and we also spent a great deal of time filming a group of women who were committed to repealing Montana’s medical marijuana law.

What we didn’t expect is that halfway through the film making process there would be statewide federal raids on people with whom we had become very close to. Those people were indicted. They were threatened with the prospect of having to spend the rest of their lives in prison for growing state-legal medical marijuana.

DEAN BECKER: I’ve had the privilege of talking to Mr. Mike Hyde, the father of one young Cashy Hyde up there in Montana, who benefited greatly but who was (if I dare say) deprived of the proper medical strain which did not help his brain cancer and his final outcome is he perished. This is an example of government bureaucracy and wrong-headiness getting in the way of people’s health isn’t it?

REBECCA RICHMAN COHEN: I think that’s fair. The law in Montana certainly had many problems in the way that it was implemented but what was clear from being imbedded in the political process is that politicians at the time didn’t see political gain from trying to fix the law and make it work for communities, for patients so they came as close as they could to repealing the law without having to overturn a voter initiative.

I think the result is a lot of legitimate patients struggled to find safe and consistent access to medicine that worked for them.

DEAN BECKER: Just since January first it seems there’s been a tidal wave, there’s been politicians walking away from the old draconian policy and moving towards a more rational and compassionate consideration of this issue. Would you agree?

REBECCA RICHMAN COHEN: I absolutely agree. I think the sea change has started and I think it had started even before January first and it is working at an accelerated pace now. I also think that what the events in Code of the West show are that fear can drive people and when the media falls asleep at its job, when politicians don’t fight for the best policy to protect their citizens that there can be a big backlash and states can take a bunch of steps backward.

Code of the West really is a strange film. It is Montana is an outlier state. It seems like most every other state is moving forward to implement sensible drug policy reform and Montana moved backward. I think being an outlier makes it even more important to pay attention to the story about what could happen in other states if there isn’t smart regulation around marijuana reform.

DEAN BECKER: We’ve been speaking with Rebecca Richman Cohen, film maker of Code of the West. Is there a website, a place where folks can learn more, perhaps bring this movie to their locale?

REBECCA RICHMAN COHEN: Yes, absolutely. Our website is http://www.codeofthewestfilm.com/. You can fill out some information and arrange for a screening in your own community. The film is also available online on iTunes and Netflix.

-----------------------

DOUG McVAY: To know how we got where we are we need to know from where we came. The following is a snippet of conversation from May 13th, 1971. The location is the Oval Office in Washington, D.C. President Richard Nixon is talking with his advisors H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman. They’re discussing a recent episode of a brand new television show called “All in the Family.”

President Nixon was offended by the show’s treatment of homosexuals.

RICHARD NIXON: But, nevertheless, the point I’m making is I said, “God damn it I do not think that you glorify on public television homosexuality.”

The reason you don’t glorify it not any more than you glorify...uh...whores...we all know whores do this and that. We all know that whores do that and we all have weaknesses and so forth but, God damn it, what do you think it does to kids? What do you think it does to an 11 or 12-year-old boy to see it? Why is that? The boy ...we cuss and we had to clean up the TV to keep the God damn banks out of it not because of that but they want to do as they damn please and they brought [inaudible] in front of all those kids.

You know, there’s little tendency to those involved. I tell you, God reached me, not plain morals. Most people bring morals. It outrages me because I don’t want to see this country go that way.

You know what happened to the Greeks – homosexuality destroyed them. Aristotle was a homo. We all know that but it was Socrates – he never had the influence of television. You know what happened to the Romans? The last 6 Roman empowers...the last 6....Nero had a [inaudible] and they stopped...you know what happened to the popes?

Alright, popes are laying the nuns. That’s been going on for years. That church went to hell. Back 3 or 4 centuries ago it was homosexuals and they finally had to be cleaned out.

That’s what’s happen to Britain. It happened in France. Let’s look at the strongest society – the Russians. God damn it they don’t let them around at all. You know what I mean? I don’t know what they do with them.

We are allowing this in this country. Dope? Do you think the Russians allow dope? Hell no, not if they catch you. They send them up. You see homosexuality killed immorality. These are the ethnics of strong societies. That’s why [inaudible] They are trying to destroy us.

DOUG McVAY: Reporting for the Drug Truth Network this is Doug McVay of Common Sense for Drug Policy and Drug War Facts.

-----------------------

DEAN BECKER: The following is courtesy KXAN TV.

-----------------------

ANCHOR: One group is helping to change marijuana laws in Texas. The Marijuana Policy Project helped to pass Colorado’s recreational marijuana laws back in 2012 and as Omar Lewis explains now they are setting up shop here in Austin.

OMAR LEWIS: As some other states take steps to legalize marijuana the process here in Texas would be different.

JAMIE SPENCER: Most states do that by ballot initiative, but Texas doesn’t have that process.

OMAR LEWIS: Austin attorney Jamie Spencer is familiar with the laws and says that means Texas legislators would have to make the decision.

JAMIE SPENCER: Although marijuana decriminalization is more than 50 percent popular in Texas, since we can’t use ballot initiatives, it’s going to be a tougher process.

OMAR LEWIS: But the group Marijuana Policy Project says it’s ready.

ROB KAMPIA: We were the organization that legalized marijuana in Colorado.

OMAR LEWIS: They’ve helped pass marijuana laws in 19 states and now they are moving to Austin with a 5 year plan.

ROB KAMPIA: We have a lobbyist in the Capitol. We usually have a grassroots organizer, and we sometimes run TV ads.

OMAR LEWIS: The group wants to pass medical marijuana laws and laws similar to alcohol sales where citizens 21 and older would be able to buy marijuana in small amounts by taking their research before legislators.

ROB KAMPIA: It will generate tax money instead of costing the taxpayers to lose money. The second is the police should be able to spend their time on more important projects.

OMAR LEWIS: They are hoping to pass measures through the legislature in 2015 and 2017 with legalization achieved in 2019.

ROB KAMPIA: People in Texas think that change is impossible – ever. When I say that our plan is 5 years they are sometimes surprised at such a short term plan but I think it is completely reasonable.

OMAR LEWIS: Omar Lewis, KXAN News.

ANCHOR: In terms of tax money Colorado is expected to rake in 184 million dollars in tax revenue in the first 18 months of recreational marijuana sales. Here, locally, while it is illegal often in Travis County both have cite and release policies for people caught with small amounts of marijuana.

Governor Rick Perry did a recent interview with US News and World Report and he talked about the need to get punishments changed for low-level marijuana offenders. He called for focuses and rehab and diversionary programs. While he didn’t advocate for marijuana legalization in Texas in the same interview he did say states should have the right to decide these matters.

-----------------------

DEAN BECKER: Courtesy KVUE.

-----------------------

TYLER SIESWERDA: Surprising numbers when it comes to legalizing marijuana in the Lone Star State. A new poll finds more than three-fourths of Texas voters support some form of legalized marijuana.

TERRI GRUCA: KVUE reporter Mark Wiggins is live in our capitol bureau to break down the numbers. Mark?

MARK WIGGINS: Well, you know, Kinky Friedman is running for Ag Commissioner as a Democrat and he wants his campaign to be a referendum on pot. If one were held today what would Texans say?

Willie Nelson is a legend among music lovers but he’s also an icon for enthusiasts of another sort.

WILLIE NELSON: I smoke pot. There is nothing wrong with the responsible use of marijuana.

MARK WIGGINS: A new poll conducted by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune between Feb. 7 and 17 suggests a whopping 77 percent of registered Texas voters believe in some form of legal marijuana. According to the survey, 28 percent are comfortable with easing marijuana restrictions solely for medicinal use while 49 percent support some legalization for any use bolstering UT Texas Politics Project Director, Jim Henson, explains the numbers point to distinctions among different types of Texas conservatives.

JAMES HENSON: This is an area where a lot of Texans see this as a matter of individual liberty and no small amount of them perhaps are not pro-legalization but there has developed a sense of compassion around medical marijuana use.

MARK WIGGINS: Living with muscular dystrophy Vincent Lopez says it’s the only way to ease his permanent pain.

VINCENT LOPEZ: Not many of us have the option to put our condition on the shelves or to act like it’s not there. We have to face it and we have to face it dead-on, head-on and it’s in that reality to where cannabis can help alleviate that situation by not making it so hard.

MARK WIGGINS: In the race for Governor Democrat Wendy Davis says the issue should be decided by voters.

WENDY DAVIS: If this is an issue that the legislature wants to bring forward for voter consideration I certainly would be supportive.

MARK WIGGINS: Republican opponent Greg Abbott says he supports the state’s current laws which include promoting alternatives to jail time for minor offenses.

GREG ABBOTT: We want to use drug courts to have innovative practices to try to rehabilitate those who are involved with drugs and try to put them on a productive pathway.

MARK WIGGINS: But even with the numbers will Texas follow California or Colorado anytime soon?

JAMES HENSON: Certainly there is a conversation going on nationally but Texas is probably a little bit behind given the bedrock sort of social conservatism of a very mobilized part of the Texas electorate but, you know, the scent of change is in the air.

MARK WIGGINS: The Marijuana Policy Project is set to roll legalization in Texas tomorrow. We’ll have more on that in the Night Beat.

At the capitol, Mark Wiggins, KVUE News.

TYLER SIESWERDA: Alright a big story, Mark. According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws 20 states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana use. Only 2 states – Washington and Colorado – have legalized it for recreational use.

-----------------------

DEAN BECKER: The following segment courtesy of Saturday Night Live.

-----------------------

NANCY GRACE: Hello, I’m Nancy Grace and if you’re right I have already “mom-ed”. Marijuana is not legal in the state of Colorado and thousands of people who used to have good jobs are now high on pot which begs the question – who’s taking care of the babies?!

Today on the show is Elizabeth Whistle who owns a marijuana themed bakery in Boulder called “The Baked”

ELIZABETH WHISTLE: Thanks, Nancy, it’s been amazing. I started off with a regular bakery and now I got lines out the door for stuff like cannabis cookies and space cakes.

NANCY GRACE: I got a sneaking suspicion that you are pro-pot and I don’t like it.

ELIZABETH WHISTLE: Oh, you think? Nancy, last week I made $650,000. That’s more money than I made in the past 15 years. Frickin’ right I’m pro-pot.

I just bought a pontoon boat. There isn’t even water around here.

NANCY GRACE: Well I’m glad it’s so lucrative for you to destroy the fabric of America.

ELIZABETH WHISTLE: Nancy, I make cupcakes that get people high. It’s like I discovered a way to make pizza to cure venereal disease. I got this turf locked down. I’m Walter White and this is baking bad. I am the one who knocks.

NANCY GRACE: Speaking of knocking I’ve got a joke for you. Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

The babies...or did you forget about them?

Boom!

Alright, let’s talk to someone else who let Mary Jane take over his promising life – comedian Cat Williams.

CAT WILLIAMS: You damn right, Nancy...pimping, pimping, OK?!

NANCY GRACE: Mr. Williams, I understand you are in Denver.

CAT WILLIAMS: Nancy, I am from Atlanta but if weed is going to be legal up here in Colorado then consider me forever “rocky mountain high”, baby, OK?

I’m not leaving until wild fires burn up this whole state and make all of Wyoming get the munchies. You hear what I’m saying, boo boo?

NANCY GRACE: I am sorry, Mr. Cat, while I find you very charming I hate everything about you.

CAT WILLIAMS: Nancy, please, it is a mother loving utopia up in here. Just yesterday I saw 10 different strangers make musical instruments out of trash cans. They formed a whole band, Nancy. These mother lovers didn’t know each other 3 hours ago and now they’re all suddenly in Kool and the Gang. It’s a beautiful thing.

NANCY GRACE: Alright so you’re saying this is a utopia and everything’s all dandelion pie well ask yourself this...do you want your cab driver to be high on pot? Do you want your babysitter to be high on pot?

CAT WILLIAMS: Nancy, I am Cat Williams. I have not been around someone who wasn’t high on pot for the past 15 years. Nancy, please don’t trip on me, baby, OK?

NANCY GRACE: Cat Williams I have only one more question...what about the babies?

Check...mate.

CAT WILLIAMS: Nancy, somewhere out there is a man wearing nothing but a Snuggy and shower shoes and he is only half as crazy as your ass. OK, you hear me, baby?

NANCY GRACE: Alright, when we come back part 6 of our Jodi Arias’ year anniversary special. Was she high on pot? Here’s a hint – yes.

-----------------------

DEAN BECKER: The following segment courtesy of FOX.

-----------------------

MALE ANCHOR1: Should cops be allowed to enter your home if your roommate gives them permission? The supreme court has said yes.

MALE ANCHOR2: Police officers will now have more leeway to search homes without obtaining a warrant even in situations where there is no emergency. Does this decision scale back our rights? Let’s ask one man who knows – FOX News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Nepalitano.

Judge, great to see you this morning.

ANDREW NEPALITANO: Good to see you.

MALE ANCHOR2: Does this court’s ruling really create potential for abuse by police?

ANDREW NEPALITANO: Well, yes it does and I’m not happy about it and those of us who believe that the constitution means what it says shouldn’t be happy about it.

So, here’s what happens. The police are called to a house because of a domestic disturbance and they knock on the door and there is a man and a woman. They say, “Can we come in?”

The woman says yes, the guy says no. At that point no wins. The law before this case was that if anybody says no it’s no.

The guy gets in a fight with the police. The police drag him out. He is arrested. They go back to the house and they say, “Can we come in?”

It’s just the lady there and she says yes. Even though the guy has said no he is no longer there. They go in and find guns, evidence of drugs and these people are prosecuted.

They moved to dismiss the charges because the police didn’t have the right to come in. Before this case if one said yes and one said no it was no. After this case if one says yes and one says no and the one that says no is no longer there it’s yes the police can come in.

Here’s the abuse. The police can arrest the person who says no, get him off the scene and they are left with the person saying yes and use that as a means to get onto the property. That’s the danger with this decision.

FEMALE ANCHOR: Sure because the first rat that saw the second rat getting eaten does not want to be in that same situation even if they did not want to say yes...

ANDREW NEPALITANO: This will only happen when you have more than one person there. They can’t go to the “kill me now, solve and see the gardener” and say “Can we come in?” and the gardener says yes and Mrs. “kill me” says no. I’m making this up. It has to someone who appears to have control over the house. It can’t be the gardener.

FEMALE ANCHOR: So if two people on a lease this would be the situation if only one person is on the lease.

ANDREW NEPALITANO: Yes. Now from the police perspective they don’t know who owns the house. They don’t know who the tenants are. They don’t know what the relationship between these people are. Is she his visitor? Is she his wife? Does she own the house? Is he the visitor?

MALE ANCHOR1: What about broader issues over cell phone searches and NSA surveillance as it relates to allowing access to a house?

ANDREW NEPALITANO: Here’s the reason I’m a little agitated because prior to this decision two days ago the court was moving more in the direction (I’m doing this because I know he’s not crazy about this) of privacy. This decision is a move towards government rather than towards individual privacy.

The court will soon have to rule on the following issues. When you are arrested or when you are stopped for speeding can the police take your cell phone and search it? The courts will eventually have to rule on the massive NSA spying. We don’t know which way they are going to go.

Before this case 2 days ago a lot of us were convinced they were going to go in the direction of privacy. This case is a U-turn.

MALE ANCHOR1: It was a 6-3 decision.

ANDREW NEPALITANO: Yes, it wasn’t even close. Again it’s only in that narrow circumstance where you have more than one person occupying the dwelling and they disagree. If they both had said no then the police would have to go and get a search warrant.

MALE ANCHOR2: Former director of the NSA will be in agreement with Michael Hayden a little bit later. If you want to come down and debate...

ANDREW NEPALITANO: He’s a very dear friend of mine.

MALE ANCHOR1: Judge, thank you.

-----------------------

MALE ANCHOR: We begin tonight with a police department employee arrested for smoking pot on the job.

FEMALE ANCHOR: and it was caught on the jail surveillance cameras. Tonight News KFOR’s Joleen Chaney has obtained that surveillance video from the town of Carnegie.

JOLEEN CHANEY: Everywhere we go these days there is always somebody watching. Surveillance cameras monitor streets, parking lots even our place of employment. A police department is the last place you’d think anyone would bring drugs but authorities in Carnegie say they caught one of their own police dispatchers smoking marijuana inside headquarters while on-duty and on camera.

JAMES POWERS: The town has a drug-free workplace policy.

JOLEEN CHANEY: One the mayor says dispatcher Vicky Bowyoung did not follow. Police reports state an officer was unable to make contact with Carnegie police dispatch on the two-way radio and police tell us this surveillance video shows why no one was answering. They say the dispatcher was away from the radio smoking pot.

You can see her standing near the garage door opening and after about 9 minutes goes back inside the police department. The officer who was trying to get a hold the dispatcher decided to show up to check on her. Moments later he’s seen pulling up in his police cruiser.

He walks right by the area where the dispatcher is accused of smoking and then turns right around after smelling what he believes is marijuana. He confronted Bowyoung about the smell and she finally admitted to smoking pot on the job and gave the officer a small tin container with 2 and one-half joints inside. That’s when the officer arrested his co-worker on the spot.

JAMES POWERS: We enforce the laws equally and fairly.

JOLEEN CHANEY: And Bowyoung was jailed in the same police department she once worked.

JAMES POWERS: She offered her resignation to the town and she’s no longer employed by the town of Carnegie.

JOLEEN CHANEY: In Carnegie, Joleen Chaney, News Channel 4.

FEMALE ANCHOR: The dispatcher now faces a charges of possession of a dangerous substance which is a misdemeanor in this case.

-----------------------

DEAN BECKER: This is Al Franken speaking to the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Director Charles Samuels.

-----------------------

AL FRANKEN: How big is a prison cell? How big is the average cell in solitary?

CHARLES SAMUELS: The average size?

AL FRANKEN: Yeah, the size of the cell...how big is it? I’m trying to get this...this is a human thing we’re talking about. We’ve got a lot statistics. How big is a cell?

CHARLES SAMUELS: The average size of a cell is ...I guess I’m trying to...You’re looking for the space of what the...

AL FRANKEN: Yes, the dimensions in feet and inches - the size of the cell that a person is kept in. I want to get some idea of ...I don’t know...Am I asking this wrong? Is there...is what you’re saying is there is no such thing as an average cell for solitary? I mean, typically in the Bureau of Prisons if someone is in solitary confinement how big is the cell typically?

CHARLES SAMUELS: The average size should be equivalent to 6 by 4 and...

AL FRANKEN: OK, that’s an answer – 6 by 4.

-----------------------

BRIAN KUMLER: Citing issues like smoking in public, harmful effects of second-hand smoke from marijuana and insufficient marijuana tests the group urged caution. The Association of Police Chiefs also said that the idea of legalization resulting in less violence is an unproven statistic.

SPEAKER: We form a united front with the chiefs of police across the state of Maryland. Marijuana legalization is not the answer. It slaps in the faces of law enforcement officers who have dedicated their lives – many who have died – dedicated their lives to protect the citizens of the great state of Maryland.

BRIAN KUMLER: Several states attorneys were part of the group today as well all joining to urge caution saying legalization of marijuana is not the answer. Members of the association were specifically speaking against marijuana for recreational use and not medical use.

Brian Kumler, ABC 2 News.

-----------------------

DEAN BECKER: It should also be noted that the police chief of Baltimore went before the same panel and talked about 37 dead individuals the first day of marijuana legalization in Colorado. The next day he had to eat his words.

-----------------------

ROBERT THUMSTEAD: A major score in the fight against Mexico’s cartel but in the streets of Guzman’s home city anger over the arrest of a man who residence say supported his community.

CITY RESIDENT: (via interpreter) We don’t want this to go further. We are supporting because he is a very good gentleman. He has been very good to us.

ROBERT THUMSTEAD: Protestors playing music and holding signs proclaiming “We love El Chapo”, “We want El Chapo Free”.

CITY RESIDENT: (via interpreter) He is the one helping the people. The government must take care of kidnappers not the people who are helping us. This is clear.

ROBERT THUMSTEAD: Guzman also faces time in an American prison on drug trafficking charges in several U.S. states. Robert Thumstead, Associated Press.

-----------------------

DEAN BECKER: The following report is talking about the town of Carls Corner, Texas – Willie’s home base.

-----------------------

REPORTER: Three people are in custody tonight after a large marijuana growing operation was busted this morning in Hill County. Our cameras were there as it all went down. Sara Humphry shows us footage that you will only see here.

SARA HUMPHRY: At this home in Carls Corner deputies uncovered a large indoor marijuana growing operation. Over 200 plants were found. Law enforcement says that the street value is about one-half of a million dollars’ worth of pot.

DEPUTY: It was pretty much in the middle of nowhere as ya’ll may have seen.

SARA HUMPHRY: Anonymous tips led deputies to this remote residence. Another red flag authorities noticed the home’s electric bill had skyrocketed over the past months hinting someone may have been using marijuana growing lights.

DEPUTY: As far as the electric bill I believe it had spiked up quite a bit. I believe approximately 300 percent.

SARA HUMPHRY: Three people were arrested.

DEPUTY: This morning when we made entry we found one subject inside the house and there were two others inside a RV next to the house.

SARA HUMPHRY: Three vehicles were seized. The three suspects jailed today each face a charge of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.

DEPUTY: The bad guys are in jail so that’s what we want.

SARA HUMPHRY: Federal drug enforcement agents assisted in the raid. Though county deputies are still going over other evidence found at the home it’s possible more arrests may come soon.

Sara Humphry, KWTX, News 10.

-----------------------

DEAN BECKER: In closing I want to ask you to check out my new book, “To End the War on Drugs: A guide for politicians, the press and public.” Available on Amazon, Kindle and CreateSpace.

As always I remind you the drug war is a scam, flim-flam, no basis in reality. Please do your part to end this madness.

Prohibido istac evilesco!

-----------------------

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.

Transcript provided by: Jo-D Harrison of www.DrugSense.org