Mary Jane Borden reporter for Columbus Ohio Free Press re her latest: By Their Deeds Shall Ye Know Them article on racism & Black Lives Matter + Global News report on Canadian Chiefs of Police call for winding down the drug war announcing forthcoming DTN video special featuring Cliff Shaffer : Seeking The Moral High Ground
Cultural Baggage Radio Show
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Mary Jane Borden
Ohio Rights Group
Mon, 07/13/2020 - 15:57
Cultural Baggage 07/15/20
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 to prison and judicial nightmare that feeds on eternal drug war. Hi folks. This is Dean Becker. Thank you for being with us on this edition of cultural baggage. A bit later, we're going to hear some news out of Canada, where the chiefs of police are calling for the end of drug war. But first up, we've got this great interview with Mary Jane Morton. Well, it gives me a lot of pleasure to bring you one of my longest lasting Becker's buds, a lady this time, bud debt. I don't know if that's a good word, but she's been working with me for over a decade to help me get grants for the work that I do to help educate me. We met, I think, out on DRC net or Matthew inc, or one of the older, uh, reform, uh, gathering holes if you will, from decades ago. And we've been working together ever since done many interviews on the radio, but this is her first time here on Becker's buds. And with that, I want to welcome Mary Jane Borden. Hello, Mary Jane.
Thank you for having me today. Oh, well thank you for being with us. You know, it's a new frontier or maybe not so new, but it certainly is for me that you'll be my third Becker's bud online. And you have a particular focus that I think, uh, represents, um, not a new perspective, but one that's, uh, certainly getting the attention these days. And you had a piece recently, you wrote up for the Columbus spree press. It was titled up by their deeds. You shall know them. Please tell us about that article and Mary Jane. Thank you for having me on your show today. I'm pleased to be one of your inaugural guests. Uh, I'm a staff writer for the Columbus free press. I've been writing for a paper for almost 20 years now. Uh, so, so my most recent one, um, I try to react to the things that are going on at the time that I write an article. And of course, right now, when I wrote this one, I'm continuing or the protests against the trustee, uh, regard to George, George Floyd, and, and other victims of, uh,
MARY JANE BORDEN
Policed brutality, uh, and the fraud that needs to be out there among the, amongst the public who's witnessing this, these, these events is what is the root cause? What is causing this, um, unrest? And I think it's bubbling up because of the war on drugs. Uh, we've worked together, Dean, I think 20 years now, ourselves almost. And we've been working to fight this war on a daily basis. And, uh, I think not only in our lifetimes, as it manifested himself in such an ugly way, it was based on really a of ability term, maybe proper term and evil premise. You a premise that minorities and blacks and Spanish and Chinese were somehow, um, inferior to the white race that was running the country and is running the country. And so to some extent now, and the way to suppress them was through these drug laws that have propagated since the late 18 hundreds.
MARY JANE BORDEN
And through the most part of the 19 hundreds for this article, I took a look at 30 different laws that have been passed during that timeframe. And I don't want to broaden it to say it was laws, amendments and treaties. Treaters are very important to this discussion. And I tried to look at them from the racist point of view that actually conceptualize most of them, particularly prior to 1950, the ties are almost direct in front of back. Some of the testimony for these laws, particularly by a guy named real known our movement, Harry J Anslinger, uh, we're just things you would, wouldn't be shocked at to hear these days, but were repeated constantly by mr. Ancillary as he, uh, wrote or backed or influenced nine different laws during that pre 1950s timeframe. Those laws live today, we are fighting those laws today and they've been made worse and exacerbated by certainly the Nixon administration and by the Reagan administration.
MARY JANE BORDEN
Uh, today I even seen the Trump administration is trying to gin up the drug war, thinking that that might be, uh, advantageous, but by and large, the net result. And you can see it in the deeds and the words and in the legacy of these laws and the drug war with the outcome is it's the disproportionate incarceration of African Americans and Hispanics and other minorities and never, and in different dimensions, whether this number of people who are incarcerated cursory for marijuana charges, whether it's probationary or whether it's parole, they're more apt to have be involved with the criminal justice system. And that has its roots. As I said, in the war on drugs,
That brings to mind that, um, you know, Anslinger had the outreach or the means to deliver his message to, he teamed up with William Randolph Hearst, the biggest publisher of that era, uh, to put his thoughts into newspapers and ran all over this country. And then he teamed up with, uh, I guess some Hollywood producers to produce a movie reefer madness, which, um, uh, tried to show that that, that marijuana smokers were insane, uh, basically, and headed towards death. Uh, it has been, I don't know how to say it. It's the, um, the means whereby Jim Crow has been reestablished or, or put in play as illustrated by Michelle Alexander, uh, as well to talk about, um, the racial implications of this drug war, right? Oh yeah.
MARY JANE BORDEN
Yes. In fact, I was Michelle, Alexander's a similar work. Uh, I referenced in part to do this analysis, uh, and there was an event held recently by the Columbus free press of a zoom meeting. And I did a presentation at the meeting with the PowerPoint to sickly, walked through the, how the audience walked through this and be able to see not only in the world that, like I said, visually, you know, and in terms of graphics, but in the words that these people were speaking, and again, the legacy that came from this, and it's just absolutely self evident that the root, the root cause of the violence that you see, uh, nowadays, um, against African Americans against blacks, I should say. And, um, to some extent, other races, as let's say the Hispanics, like at the border of the United States, this is all rooted in racism that goes back a hundred years. And I think it's going to take a lot to root it out, you know, in terms of his dad only where each of these laws, uh, intersected and created these situations, you know, the asset forfeiture, the militarization of police, they all have these, their roots in these laws. We need to go back and see where those roots are and that's where we find our change.
Well, I, um, I think of when, um, you know, Clinton was not actually without blame here either. There were several laws that were put in place during his era, uh, towards mandatory minimums. And, uh, I don't know, just to continue the focus of the, uh, um, the means to focus. I've been, it might be the better way to put it, to allow police, to have more reasons to focus on the black community and for judges to have more reasons to sentence them to longer terms behind bars, uh, uh, the Democrat and Republican. They're not any of them blameless,
MARY JANE BORDEN
But, uh, I could, you could see it looking at these laws where they, they started to ease up, ease up there. There are fewer of them. We had a lot of them enacted during course the, uh, Bush one administration, 1984, 1988. Uh, we moved a few then into Clinton administration because that was when they was the antidrug media campaign that was in the late nineties. I think the last one that was really I could find that was onerous before. And it wasn't really that, that they, they made some big right turn. It was just, that seemed like they own the laws, those Trevor restrictive loss, step one for Congress. And the last one that I can remember, this was an act about 2003, was the Rayback you were the Rayback, uh, key, um, Dean. It was just basically aimed, not so much at minorities, but really it seemed at the, uh, uh, an element of society that is considered undesirable.
MARY JANE BORDEN
The people who go to raves might be like hippies. And remember Richard Nixon, there's a famous quote from Richard Nixon with basically where John Ehrlichman, who was Richard and Richard Nixon's aid admitted that they couldn't, they could make, you know, being a hippie or being black, illegal, but they could make a very illegal thing, possess marijuana in the case of blacks. I figured they miss certainly miss misread this one, but so stated blacks with heroin. And so they would just throw the book of those and they could basically disenfranchise those people from the political process. And I think the Rayback is an outgrowth of that, where, you know, they're seeing people go to two big events as hippies, or that need to be disenfranchised
Well, and, and the, you brought forward something that, uh, I think also needs focus. And that is because of these drug convictions and many States, and more, especially, uh, in years past those who had a drug conviction, we're not allowed to vote. We're not allowed to participate and, and therefore, uh, uh, help to influence the outcome of elections. And it was a means to, uh, uh, tilt the table for one candidate over another. Right.
MARY JANE BORDEN
I think Florida is a quintessential example of that around 2000, I think, with the Bush section and the Bush Gore election and how contentious that was a very, very close election outcome to begin with. But that was an issue back then, because I don't know, I think Florida might've changed its laws since then, but back then, if you had a, or a felon, you were disenfranchised from voting as well. And so that put, took, you know, probably several hundred thousand people off the voter in Florida, which would, I guess in theory, be a client blow for a Democrat.
Yeah. Well, and then we even had know, speaking of Florida, a very recent, um, play back and forth that, uh, there was a new, uh, vote taken that allowed former felons to vote. But then someone wanted to restrict that ability because they may have some fines and fees, which they had not settled as yet. And therefore they didn't want to allow them to gain that new stature or renewed stature to be able to vote again. Uh, and some compare that to the old days of a poll tax and so forth were denied the vote because they wouldn't pay a certain fee.
MARY JANE BORDEN
And then it's just, it's these little, little things it's that these types of different disenfranchised, but, you know, if a felons in prison, but it's also comes down to things like housing, you know, there was a bill that was enacted in the late, uh, I wanna say the late eighties, early nineties that said, if you have someone in your house as appears to be using drugs, that you can be evicted from section eight housing, you know, that strikes at the heart of the people who were poor and to minorities because they're, they're not in the income class, maybe homeowners. And so there's one example. There's, you know, the, uh, like we talked about an, excuse me, the, uh, um, the, the militarization of police, that was one of those aspects then where, uh, the defense department created a program to stand over first, they handed over the tanks and all the thing like that.
MARY JANE BORDEN
And then the second wave of that, they handed over the, the rifles and armaments to these local police departments, you know, so that's why you see the police out there walking around with [inaudible]. So I'm not sure I'm getting my terminology right, with respect to assault weapons, but you're seeing and walking around with us really high powered weapons and that sort of series of laws and say, pass back in the nineties, I think the late nineties that were part of the drug war, you know, we want to, to, uh, fight this war in other countries like Colombia and in South America. And so all those arguments, they were thought, well, we'll bring it up here. We'll use that same arm as to fight the drugs up here. And the drugs war was this seed behind the militarization of police. That's the reason they did it.
Well. Um, once again, friends we've been speaking with Mary Jane Borden, uh, based up in, uh, Ohio writes for the, uh, Columbus spree press. She's got a great article out there by their deeds, ye shall know them. And it speaks very directly, uh, succinctly about, uh, the involvement, the, uh, application of racism, the involvement of racism, the obvious racism in this drug war. I want to thank you for that Nigeria. Alright. And with that, we're going to continue a, an additional discussion here. Um, as I indicated earlier, Mary Jane and I have been working for well decades now, to be honest though, maybe it rounds up to two decades, but certainly close to it in, in some fashion or another. And Mary Jane, we have seen, I don't know, the slow evolvement, this slow, uh, uh, changes that take place around the country, you know, Colorado and California legalizing weed. They're talking about safe injection sites up in Portland and Seattle and San Francisco again. And, uh, they're talking about psychedelic mushrooms and cactus, uh, several cities around the country. And, and we're even starting to hear little tiny, uh, splashes of information with legalizing it all. Um, as we're hearing from Canada, where they, the head of the chiefs of police is calling for an end to this drug war. Um, the time is right for change. Is it not?
MARY JANE BORDEN
Yes, time is right for change. Uh, we we're in this really unfortunate vortex that can get us where the COVID virus, you know, intersects with police brutality, which intersects with the green quality in our country, where they have so much wealth concentrated at the top. And it just kind of reaches this tipping point. And I think we're at this tipping point and I'm hoping that's real tipping point. It is one of those things that, you know, Oh, we'll just this'll pass. And we can just continue with business as usual, but we know after COVID, there's no such thing as business as usual. And I think either for any number of reasons, the viruses inspiring us to, you know, for example, empty prisons, you know, who've done violent drug offenders do not belong in prison anyway, any way shape or form, but now we've got the social sociological reason to remove them from those situations.
MARY JANE BORDEN
Um, and with regard to, you know, income inequality, what we're seeing again, it's like they either deed shall you know them, this is what happens. You know, when you take all the, uh, income, uh, concentrated at the top, and then you leave so much less for people and the other 98%, 99%, and what are they supposed to do? Um, but I, I think Dean, this, this is an amazing time as well, because this is some of the types of things that I'm the I'm sitting here in Ohio, and we were slow in coming online, but we finally have a medical marijuana program here in Ohio. And I think back about our 20 years worth of work. And I think that I can go down during a pandemic and purchase cannabis, all varieties of cannabis. It meets my needs as a patient. And, uh, you know, you just sit there and you just smile.
MARY JANE BORDEN
Like, Oh my God, my dream, we dream this stuff is stuff dreams are made of 20 years ago and I'm living my dream. Now, this is wonderful. It's only gonna get better because you can't, I don't think you can put the genie back in the bottle and with a $25 billion market, that's going to survive the coronavirus. And there's so many uses for cannabis that go well beyond the medicine between, you know, happen and cloth and fuel. And there's so much that we can green, we can make with this plant green by, you know, legalize it in all shapes and forms of its forms that I think it makes the future very exciting.
Well, all right. We'll tell you what Mary Jane, we're going to have to wrap it up for now, but I want to thank you for being our guest here on, uh, the drug truth network. Uh, one of our first, uh, Becker's buds, uh, interviewees, uh, I want to share with you that I'm working on a special, uh, video production. Uh, I'm going to work with mr. Cliff Schaffer. Uh, he, the founder of drug library, an educator of many of us, I think over the decades, uh, gave us the, uh, well, the information and the confidence to, to move forward into our drug reform activities. And, um, it is my hope that we'll have it out in September. It will have a direct challenge to, um, Donald Trump, to Joe Biden and even to, uh, uh, attorney general bill BARR to come on our show to clarify for us the need for this eternal drug war, tell us the benefits, uh, show us how it is so very moral and so necessary. Uh, I don't expect to get any response, but I do expect that perhaps, uh, the major media might just pay a little bit of attention to us here on the drug truth network. Your closing thoughts, share a website. If you will, please. Mary Jane.
MARY JANE BORDEN
Oh, certainly. Okay. I've been affiliated with your higher rights groups since its founding. And before that, we were actually founded in 2010 and had to change her name to the high rights group in 2013, but we've done all kinds of things in Ohio for medical marijuana patients since then. And that's Ohio rights group.org. Uh, I'm also an artist she see hopefully being as a result of the, uh, the image behind me, which is one of my favorites. I have a website called [inaudible] that's C a N N a B I N a R T can. Navidad. I can have it. I can have an art.com. You can see some of my work on that website. Um, and, uh, I've just, like I said, I'm just so grateful Dean for you to have me on today. One last thing and the war on drugs and racism black lives matter.
Well, it turns out the bandwidth was crap. The video looks like crap, and it's not going to be one of the Becker's buds up there on YouTube, but we'll hit it again later. Thank you. Just the same Mary Jane Borden. This is America. You get to criticize the government in this country. You get to say, I think these guys are ridiculous. It's guaranteed in the very
First amendment to the constitution. It's what this country was founded on. You get to do that by being an American, the fact that she brought up our movies means we don't want you to say whatever you want to say, this is not your America anymore. It's our America. Then putting time in jail for making Cheech and Chong movies means that you don't get to say that in America, we get to put you in jail for it. I had a bad experience with drugs
That golden weekend, between summer school and regular school, Hey home, I want to smoke some marijuana. They say it's a gateway drug. Well, wow. If it isn't the Doobie brothers crunch, the weak man smell any drag sagging scraps for me, the sixties
It's ended that day in 1978. It's time to play name that drug by it's side effects, yellow eyes, vomiting, black tarry stools, cloudy fever with chills, sores, ulcers, or white spots on lips, unusual bleeding times up the answer, another FDA approved product acetaminophen. Okay. As I indicated earlier, we got a story coming out of camp.
Thanks to global news
So police in Canada are starting to sound like drug reformers. Here we go.
Premier, any comment on the Canadian association of police chiefs, a suggestion today about the decriminalization of a lot of illegal elicit drugs? Is this something you support? Is it something you have some concerns about? What would you say? Well, thanks for the question. And I do support it. I firmly believe we have been here in British Columbia in a public health emergency, uh, for over five years when it comes to opioid overdoses, uh, we have put in place a new resources. We have a standalone ministry of mental health and addictions. We've been making investments in communities. We've been doing our level best to reduce dependency, to create opportunities for those who have moments of clarity within their addiction to be, to be helped. And when they reach out, we want to be there for them.
But this fundamental question that, uh, Adam Palmer, the Vancouver police department, chief, and the head of the national chiefs, uh, outlined today is where I believe we need to go. If not now, when we're in the midst of a global pandemic, when it comes to COVID-19 in British Columbia, that is further complicated by an overdose crisis, which saw last month, the highest monthly number of deaths that we'd seen in a good long time. Anything that we can do to reduce the death sensor, reduce the dependence and to ends up quite frankly, free up law enforcement to do other things I support the challenge course is that these are largely criminal code issues and it'll require the federal government to lead on this. I've made it clear to the prime minister where British Columbia stands. We will stand with the federal government in any way to do what we can to help people who are in distress.
And, and, uh, I don't have, uh, experienced serious experience with addictions other than being a smoker in my past, but we need as a society to come together and say, we cannot allow our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers, our neighbors to continue to succumb, to overdose deaths, because we're not prepared to do everything we can to reduce that likelihood. This proposal by the police chiefs will help in that regard. And I support it. Yeah. What can your government do and what will your government do to back the chiefs up in making this happen? Well, a couple of things, uh, as I said, we have been, uh, doing more than any other province by creating a standalone minister responsible so that every day someone at the cabinet table is responsible for coming up with new and innovative ways to help people who are struggling with addictions, uh, that, uh, has led to other provinces following suit.
The federal government is very interested in the programs that we have in place in terms of harm reduction, in terms of addressing issues for people with addictions, uh, alternative therapies, dr. Henry has some very innovative ideas in this regard that I know she shared with her federal colleagues on the public health side. Uh, I believe that British Columbia stands ready to work with the federal government in this area. And I'm quite proud that it was, uh, Adam Palmer of Vancouver, uh, police chief that, uh, led the conference today. And I know that he among, uh, chiefs across the country has more experienced in this regard than any of them. Uh, we're reviewing the police act, uh, first time in 46 years for the very reason, uh, that, uh, that Adam suggested in his conference today, uh, we can't have law enforcement doing work. That's better done by health officials.
We can't have law enforcement, uh, doing work that can be better done by others. That's a good opportunity for us to have this dialogue and discussion. I'm very pleased that we have an all party committee, uh, that will be spanning the province over the next number of months to listen to British Colombians, to listen to the people who are concerned about the lack of trust between law enforcement and community, dealing with systemic racism is critically important part of that, but there are a whole host of other issues that can and will be addressed by this committee. They'll bring forward recommendations and it will be an all party committee. And again, I think if we can remove partisanship from these debates and we get a better outcome, we've seen that over the past number of months when it comes to responding to COVID-19, by having everyone on the same page, regardless of how they vote, allows us to get faster to places where everybody wants us to be. And I think we can do that when it comes to the overdose crisis. And we can do that when it comes to law enforcement.
Again, big thanks to global news dot ca for that Report. As I indicated to a Mary Jane Borden earlier, we here at the drug truth network are producing a new, a video special thing. It's going to be a 90 minute thing. It's going to be titled to seeking the moral high ground. And it deals with the fact that after decades of abject obvious failure of this drug war, it's proven itself to be unquestionably racist. Um, it's empowering our terrorist enemies. It's enriching, Barbarous cartels. It gives reason for these gangs to Prowl our neighborhoods, high powered weapons, selling contaminated drugs to our children. Um, and it, it just brings to the fore, the fact that the drug truth network's been doing this almost 20 years, we have the caliber of guests. We have the experts, we have the knowledge to prove the point. There is nothing moral about this drug war. Uh, the evidence does show us it's time for the us to join the growing coalition of current and former world leaders. That call now for the end of the drug war, under the title of the global commission on drugs. And we will, within this special seeking the moral high ground include the thoughts of mr. Cliff Schaffer. He, the designer of drug library that enticed me, that entice Mary Jane, that enticed, uh, many of the leading drug reformers to get involved and compelled them to end this madness because the truth is evident and obvious. Uh, it's time to bring it to an end. Anyhow, that'll be airing, uh, hopefully early in September. And again, I remind you that because of prohibition, you don't know what's in that bag. And I urge you to please be careful
To the drug truth network listeners around the world. This is Dean Becker for cultural baggage and the unvarnished truth. Cultural baggage is of production civic. Radio network archives are permanently stored at the James A. Baker, the third Institute for public policy. And we are all still on the edge of an abyss.