01/02/19 Neill Franklin

Cultural Baggage Radio Show
Neill Franklin

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

Audio file


JANUARY 2, 2019


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NEILL FRANKLIN: Even in Texas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I appreciate you mentioning Shaleen Title.

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

She learned a lot from LEAP.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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