03/30/14 John Delaney

Cultural Baggage Radio Show

Working Texas Judge John Delaney speaks to first ever gathering of Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition.

Audio file


Cultural Baggage / March 23, 2014


Broadcasting on the Drug Truth Network, this is Cultural Baggage.

“It’s not only inhumane, it is really fundamentally Un-American.”

“No more! Drug War!” “No more! Drug War!”
“No more! Drug War!” “No more! Drug War!”

DEAN BECKER: My Name is Dean Becker. I don’t condone or encourage the use of any drugs, legal or illegal. I report the unvarnished truth about the pharmaceutical, banking, prison and judicial nightmare that feeds on Eternal Drug War.


DEAN BECKER: Hello, my friends, welcome to this edition of Cultural Baggage. This week we tune in to the first ever meeting of Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition right here in Texas.


SPEAKER: I introduce our first speaker, Judge John Delaney. He’s a native Houstonian, was born and raised in Texas. He’s lived in Bryant, Texas<?> since 1973. He is a graduate of Princeton University and the Law School of Texas (hook ‘em horns).

Judge Delaney is also a naval officer during the Viet Nam era. Currently he serves as a practicing mediator and takes cases by special assignment. He was a former district court judge and has been a member of several clubs including Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. He’s also a member of the Drug Policy Forum of Texas.

The topic of his speech today is “Why marijuana prohibition is not a pro-family policy.” With that I’ll give it over to Judge Delaney.

JOHN DELANEY: Sitting here for a while looking over my notes and taking stock of the room and I read this logo of RAMP and it’s just mind-blowing – Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition. Who would have thought?! Look at that big, strong, powerful elephant with his tusks with that big foot up there. I haven’t talked to anybody about this but it must be on purpose – stamping out the “P” for prohibition, I’m guessing.


That makes a good story. If I’m wrong I’m wrong.

Thank you for being here today. It makes me think, “What if there was an organization called Democrats Against Marijuana Prohibition? Then it would be called DAMP and maybe we’d need a bigger room. Maybe not. We don’t have to go there.

I’m John Delaney and I’m 68-years-old and I was a Texas trial court judge for 30+ years and still am. Every Wednesday I handle the abuse and neglect cases in our county. [sentences in Spanish] ...who are victims of this terrible war that we have foisted on the rest of the world, for God’s sake. I’m really not fluid in Spanish. I just did it to show off a little bit to make you think I was.

Every Wednesday I hold court and go all day sometimes into the night. I usually have about 18 to 22 cases at different stages – child protection cases, that’s all they are. That’s what I do every Wednesday. I preside over a court that supervises the taking away and the giving back of Texas children.

My motto is, “You break them – we take them.” Kind of grim. I’m very sensitive to the issue of drugs in the lives of these people. They have 3 things in common. First, foremost, invariably they are poverty stricken – the parents of my children. They are kind of, in a way, my children because the buck stops with me. I get to say when they go back.

They have some form of mental illness or a personality disorder typically and illegal substances or the abuse of alcohol have a lot to do with their lives. With those things in combination it shouldn’t be shocking to you that sometimes you fall short as a parent. What we try to do is to help them put some Band-Aids on their lives so they can get back in to the position where they can provide a safe environment for their children. It’s an uphill climb.

Do you think, for example, if you were one of my parents whose children had been taken away that you could reform, remake your life to get a job, cure your mental illness, stop your substance abuse, find stable housing which you don’t have now, get transportation which you don’t have now, go to parenting classes and get all of that done and fix yourself up to look like you in less than one year? It’s tough. We got one year to do it. The substance abuse is strong issue.

OK. That’s not all I’m here to talk about. I’m here to talk about the drug war and families. I should tell you that I am not a bleeding heart – I don’t think. I became a trial court judge at the age of 38. I sent a couple thousand people to prison for different things. I conducted about 575 jury trials. I’ve sent 5 human beings to death row to be put to death...yeah, it’s a sobering experience to say that in front of a person – to be taken by the authorities to a place of confinement, “On the 16th of June before the hour of 6 am you will be executed by the administration of lethal drugs.” But that’s another subject.

You might find it interesting to know that I’m a crime victim. In 1983 my mother lived about four miles from here near the intersection of Long Point Road and Bengal – some of you know where that is. She lived one block west of that on a street called Ojeman Road named after the German Ojeman family where we’d lived since 1946. A young man came to her house. It turns out he was on marijuana possession probation. He had no job. He had no car. He was on foot. He’d come down from Michigan in the economic bust of the early 80s and was having a hard time making it here.

He went to her door under the pretext of needing a paper notarized. Once inside her house he decided he would ask her for the keys to her car. She said, “That’s not going to happen.” A struggle ensued and she was killed. My then 68-year-old mother ended her life at the hands of a marijuana probationer.

That’s how he got caught because he was in a database as people on probation are. He stole her car, got drunk, ran it into a concrete truck. He broke his arm, went to Bengal Hospital. An insurance agency called my house and said, “The car from this address has been in a wreck. Do you know anything about that?”

I said, “Yes, I do. I’ll call you right back.”

I called homicide detectives and they caught him within an hour at his apartment. 13 years later the state of Texas took his life.

So I’m not a bleeding heart about crime, OK? And I’m not a bleeding heart because I ran for election as a Democrat. I was appointed by Mark White, a democratic governor of Texas.

I guess I’m here because I am just tired of the insanity of it all. My stepson that I’ve raised since age 2 has tattoos all over his arms because every time he was arrested on a drug offense he would go to jail (and, finally, to prison) and he got a new set of tattoos. With his tattoos and his convictions nobody wants to hire him.


DEAN BECKER: You are listening to Cultural Baggage on the Drug Truth Network and Pacifica Radio. We’re are tuning into a recent conference – Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition. The speaker is Judge John Delaney.


JOHN DELANEY: So prisons and drugs hurt families. Let’s talk for a minute about some of the ways. I know most of you know that the United States of America – land of the free and the brave – has a lot of people who ain’t so free. We have only 5% of the world’s population but we have 25% of the world’s prisoners. Just imagine the collateral consequences of having that quantity of people locked up. You can’t even begin to count all the ways. But let’s look at some.

From 1977 to 2011 the female population of America’s prisons (not just jails) increased 900% - that’s a 9 fold increase. In our state prisons about one-fourth of the female population is in there for drug offenses but in the federal prisons 60% of the female population is in there for drug offenses - maybe because of their own conduct, maybe because their boyfriend or husband got them into it.

54% of the adults incarcerated in America are the parents of minor children. We’ve got about 150...let’s try that on for real numbers. We’ve got about 150,000 in Texas in the prison system. That doesn’t include the county jails, probation or parole. This is actually currently confined so they are MIA. When a child comes home from school they’re not there.

That works out to about 80,000 Texans are not at home tonight when their kids need them. Imagine how that rolls out. Typically it’s a dad but there’s a lot of moms and the single parent is trying to make it without the other parent.

Now you say, “Well, there are a lot of single parent households.” That’s true but these are compulsory single parent households. These are men, for example, who are not there for their sons or daughters. These are men who are not helping to pay the bills. These are men who are not paying child support. These are men whose children are growing up disrespectful of law because of what it did to their daddy.

If you want to see something that will make your blood run cold go on YouTube and search for SWAT Columbia, Missouri and you will see a police video of a drug raid at about 8:30 at night – mind you this is the police who filmed this. This is not some NORML spy that came along with a video camera. It is so graphic and so powerful that I just have to describe it to you because it gets me in my gut. It hurts me because these are my people. These are my police officers that I love. I love cops and that’s not just because of Terry Nelson and Dean Becker are here. I came to have enormous respect for them.

Anyhow, they come up to the door and they put down their shields, their roman shields that they are carrying (clatter, clatter, clatter) and some guy bangs on the door and says, “Police – search warrant. Columbia police search warrant.” And another guy is looking at a stopwatch because he knows if they go in too early after knocking and announcing the case might get tossed in court because there are federal court cases that decide these things. When he gets to 10 seconds they set off an explosive charge on the door.

Now, people, I don’t know about you but it might be a rush for me to get to my front door and open it in 10 seconds. What if I was on the “john”?! What if I was in the shower? What if I was asleep like the poor guy in Tucson was when he came out?

OK, so they blow open the door. They rush in and the first thing you hear is, “ruff, ruff, ruff.” The family dog and they kill it – boom! Just like that. A little dog and then another dog starts yelping...”boom, boom, boom!” One dog dies the other one survives with a gunshot wound. How, in God’s name, I don’t know. Because remember job number one for police is to go home tonight to your family and your dogs so any perceived threat has to be dealt with in a draconian way. It makes my blood boil but here’s the family point.

They get the man of the house on this 9-day-old warrant – down, on the ground in the hallway and issue the commands to put your arms behind your back and he’s slow about it so they kick him in the head and shoulders until he gets it. Meanwhile his 7-year-old child is walking by beside him in the hallway with his mother escorting him outside the hall...I wasn’t able to prepare the video today but you gotta see it. This little 7-year-old boy doesn’t know yet that both of his dogs have been shot by the police officers who are here to “serve and protect” us and humiliate us in our home and kill our pets. It makes me want to cry. It’s horrible.

They find a marijuana cigarette in an ashtray in the house and they are embarrassed because the big stash of marijuana that they described in the warrant isn’t there. So they charge the mother and father with endangerment of a child...endangerment of a child. They changed the electrical wiring in that 7-year-old boy’s brain forever – forever! Better watch out if he ever gets on a jury. And that’s just one.

We have one hundred to one hundred and fifty SWAT raids in America every day it’s estimated. Read the book by a guy named Balko called “Rise of the Warrior Cop”.

So all these parents now (back to parents that are in prison) – 1 out of every 28 children has a parent in prison. That’s all races. African-Americans...a little worse – one out of every 9 African-American children goes to bed tonight with a parent MIA in prison.

Let’s shift gears. We know about the missing child support and you can’t pay the rent and they are not there to help raise them and the children are resentful and hate police now. The child welfare system where I live...some say that the child welfare authorities are insane about marijuana. I don’t know that I would go that far but they sure don’t take kindly when they find out one of their parents is still using drugs. They want to drug test these people quickly.

When I went on the bench there three years ago my predecessor had an unwritten rule, “Drugs are involved in all your life and we take away your kids you’re not going to get to start having visitation with them until you pass two drug tests.”

First thing I did was to stop that. If you are sober enough to get there and you’re not impaired then your children need to see you. If you are not going to be a harm to them that day then we need to let you see them rather torture the children because their parents smoked a joint last month. It’s insane.

We do have a problem with pregnant women using drugs during their pregnancy. It happens a lot. It’s kind of insane for them to do alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, cocaine, heroin long after they know they are pregnant but some do and they are kind of easily identified. When they show up at the emergency room to give birth to their baby those nurses know them. Or if they don’t they soon do. Let’s face it they don’t look like you and me. They show up dressed not like we do and typically not acting like we do.

They administer blood test to them and very often they’ve got at least marijuana in their bloodstream. When the baby is born and tests positive for marijuana those nurses are going to call CPS. They’ve got them on speed dial. It’s usually the case that that momma’s had other children removed in the past so she’s not a great mom. They’ve learned about her pregnancy during the course of the child protection case so they are watching for when she delivers. She never leaves the hospital with that baby. That baby goes home with somebody else.

There’s a lot of science now that says that marijuana is probably not damaging that baby but it’s scary because that mother doesn’t know that. She’s doping, drinking – doing God knows what that we couldn’t even test for but once we’ve got her in the system – we’ve taken away her baby – sometimes we’re are a little too aggressive in trying to insist on her getting to be permanently drug free for one year before she gets to have that baby.

I have to tell you that I hold CPS at bay a lot of times...”Don’t talk to me about her being dirty for marijuana. What I want to know is has she got a house yet? Has she got a job yet? Has she got a car yet? Is the abusive husband/boyfriend still living with her?”

I don’t expect grade A mothers – that’s unrealistic. Just give me a C or a C-. I would rather have her raising her child than a contract foster home.


DEAN BECKER: Again, that was one of my “band of brothers” in Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a member of the Drug Policy Forum of Texas and a working Texas judge, John Delaney, speaking to the first ever meeting of Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition.

We’ll have much more from Judge Delaney on this week’s 4:20 News Reports. We’ll be back with more drug war news following these messages.


[game show music]

It’s time to play Name that Drug by Its Side Effects!

Dizziness, dry mouth, rash, increased appetite, fatigue, respiratory infections, vomiting, coughing, incontinence, constipation, fever, tremors, anxiety, increased saliva, muscle stiffness, abdominal pain and death for the elderly.

{{{ gong }}}

Time’s Up!

The answer, Risperdal for schizophrenia, not for dementia and Alzheimer’s as was recommended via tens of millions in kickbacks from Johnson and Johnson to nursing homes, who also make the stinky liver killing compound Tylenol.


(to the tune of: Another Brick in the Wall)

We all need re-education.
We demand more thought control.
More guns and money for the cartels.
Congress let those drug gangs grow.


DEAN BECKER: Be sure to check out this week’s Century of Lies program. It’s produced by my good friend, Doug McVay. It’s his third program focused on the recent UN Convention in Vienna, Austria.

If you live anywhere near the Houston area I urge you to go to the James A. Baker, III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University on Monday Night, April 31s t from 7 to 8:30 pm. Doug Fine will be there talking about his new book, “Hemp Bound: Dispatches from the frontlines of the next agricultural revolution.”

This is Doug Fine...


DOUG FINE: I’ll tell you it is an honor. If you go to the Baker Institute and click on their drug policy line they get it. They’re fellows and researchers starting right from their chief, Bill Martin (a terrific and very smart guy) have researched especially on what’s happening with criminal drug organizations south of the border so they know how much the Mexican cartels are profiting and the havoc that’s killed 80,000 Mexicans in recent years and how much of that is caused by prohibition of cannabis in particular but in general the ridiculous zero tolerance drug war that we’ve been fighting.

It’s expensive to Americans, too. If you don’t like paying any more taxes than you have to – we’re paying tens of billions every year for ineffective, in fact, counterproductive drug policy.
The Baker Institute folks realize this. On the surface...I’ve got friends that are on the left side of the spectrum and friends that are on the right side. I tell friends that are on the left side that I’m going to give a talk in Houston...”Oh, really? Where?”

“Rice University”

“Oh, really? What’s the department?”

“Baker Institute.” And their eyes go wide so I show them the website and it makes sense. These guys are really on the ball with drug policy research.

DEAN BECKER: Hey, you’re speaking at the UN, at the Baker Institute – you made it. You’re on the mainstream now.

DOUG FINE: I think it’s the mainstream opinion. Many evangelicals understand to end this drug war since we’re not standing as a nation spiritually by throwing young people in prison especially for a plant, cannabis, that is actually statistically quite a bit safer than alcohol.

DEAN BECKER: I got to throw this in. I feel privileged that I am listed as a research associate with the James A. Baker, III Institute. They’ve got me picture up. They carry all my radio shows and my TV shows online. It’s good to be accepted, isn’t it?

DOUG FINE: It is fantastic. We’re in good company there. Don’t you think?

DEAN BECKER: Oh, yeah. I really do.

Once again, friends, we are speaking with Mr. Doug Fine, author of a couple of great books. His most recent is “Hemp Bound: Dispatches from the frontlines of the next agricultural revolution.”

He’ll be speaking on Monday, March 31st at 7 to 8:30 pm at the James A. Baker, III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.

Doug, is there a website you want to recommend?

DOUG FINE: http://dougfine.com/


DEAN BECKER: Regular listeners know that a couple of weeks back I sent a letter to President Obama, Attorney General Holder, Senate Majority, Minority, House Majority, Minority leaders as well as Chief Justice John Roberts and I asked them to reconsider our nation’s addiction to the drug war. Just this week I got a letter from the Drug Enforcement Administration. I’ll read it here.

“Dear Mr. Becker:

Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. asked me to thank you for sending him a copy of your book, "To End the War on Drugs - A Guide for Politicians, the Press and Public". He thought the Drug Enforcement Administration might find the book an interesting read, so he has shared it with us.

Thank you for sharing this publication with us.

Gary R. Owen, Acting Chief
Office of Congressional And Public Affairs for the DEA”

I am proud to say not only is the book available on Kindle and Amazon but a local bookstore, Brazos Books, will have it on its shelves starting Tuesday, April 1st and it’s not an April Fool’s joke.

What will you tell your grandchildren you did to end the drug war? I hope you’ve got something to tell them.

As always I remind you that because of prohibition you don’t know what’s in that bag. Please, be careful.


DEAN BECKER: To the Drug Truth Network listeners around the world, this is Dean Becker for Cultural Baggage and the Unvarnished Truth.

This show produced at the Pacifica Studios of KPFT Houston.

Tap dancing… on the edge… of an abyss.

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