Drug War is Racist, Stupid & Evil: Charles A. McClelland Jr. former Chief of Police of Houston calls for legal cannabis and Superior Court Judge James P. Gray calls for the end of drug prohibition.
Cultural Baggage Radio Show
Monday, September 20, 2021
Charles A. McClelland Jr
Sun, 09/19/2021 - 18:43
DEAN BECKER: (00:04)
Broadcasting on the drug truth and network. This is cultural baggage.
Speaker 2: (00:09)
DEAN BECKER: (00:22)
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.
DEAN BECKER: (00:38)
Hi folks. I am Dean Becker. The Reverend most high of this is cultural baggage. We have two guests for you today. First up, we'll hear from Charles McClellan, the former police chief of Houston, Texas. And then we'll hear from my mentor former superior court, judge James P grey, put your ears on. Here we go. You know what? I was looking at the transcript and it was, uh, December of 2014 when, uh, the, then police chief of Houston, the nation's fourth-largest city, Charles H McClellan Jr. Came down to the studio here at KPMT, and we had a great interview and I think we created a, or we cleared a roadblock maybe, uh, on discussion about the, the horrors of the drug war. And with that, I want to welcome him back, chief Charles McClellan, how you doing, sir?
CHARLES A. McCLELLAND JR.: (01:31)
I'm doing great. Dean. How about yourself? Thanks for having
DEAN BECKER: (01:33)
Me. Oh, thank you. And yeah, I'm doing great. I guess for 72, um, I look at it this way, chief, that when you came in that studio, uh, we had a great discussion. We were open and honest with one another. We, uh, compared a few notes and, and, uh, I had near the end of that discussion. I was looking at the transcript. Uh, you said something to the effect that the drug war has been a miserable failure. And that night on a, the NBC news, they carried a segment of my radio show. The only time they've ever done that to recount our discussion that following Saturday or Sunday, there was a talk show on Fox and about 15 or 20 minutes of that was devoted to our discussion. And over the years, following our discussion, the Chronicle quoted that discussion at least six times. And it has made possible for the following police chiefs and district attorneys and sheriffs to speak more openly and honestly about this drug war. And I want to just thank you, first of all, for helping broken that, that ice for us all. Thank you, sir.
CHARLES A. McCLELLAND JR.: (02:48)
Well, uh, it's a pleasure Dean, and I didn't see any of that news coverage. So I don't know whether people agreed with me disagreed with me. Uh, but clearly I will speak openly. And honestly, honestly, with you again here today.
DEAN BECKER: (03:04)
Well, and, and I, I, that's what I've, I've very much value about you, chief McClellan, uh, and to update you, uh, that night on the NBC news, they talk positively about it. There wasn't a big discussion two or three minutes, the 15 minutes on Fox was all in support. Yes, it makes sense. We've, we're, we're messing up, we've got to change direction. So even on Fox, they were in support of what you had said that time. Now, um, you were, uh, our police chief from 2010 to 2016 and the other day you and I got to talking a bit about, uh, well, what you've been doing since and well, give us a summary. What does the retired police chief do?
CHARLES A. McCLELLAND JR.: (03:47)
Well, you, you know, uh, I have time to do things that I had to put aside and didn't pay enough attention to while I was working. Uh, I enjoy playing with my grandkids. I enjoy sleeping late, working in my yard, traveling, uh, prior to COVID of course, uh, but just enjoying life, all the things that I had to miss out or cut short while I was, uh, devoting so much time to trying to keep our city safe. So I pretty much do whatever I want.
DEAN BECKER: (04:26)
Uh, well, that's the way it ought to be in retirement. I, I hear you now, chief, you mentioned you had gone to a few states where they have legalized marijuana and, um, I don't know, it done a little investigation there. Tell us what you found, what'd you please, uh, uh, three states you went to,
CHARLES A. McCLELLAND JR.: (04:44)
Yeah, let me just say this thing. And, and I want describe, uh, our challenges with drug as a war anymore. It's not a war Wiseman loss. It's not a war and police professionals around the country will acknowledge that. W w we're not in a war, uh, anymore. Yes. We still will still have challenges, uh, with, uh, you know, drugs, especially opioids Spinall. Uh, but those challenges are not just coming from the corner street, the coming from the corner drugstore and your corner doctor's office too. So let me just say this. Yes. Uh, since I've been retired, I had several friends who were, uh, you know, law enforcement executives in cities, in states where, uh, marijuana, uh, has been legal by their states. So I checked in with a few just to see how has this affected crime, how it's affected their job and their challenges.
CHARLES A. McCLELLAND JR.: (05:57)
And it really has had really no, uh, discernible impact on crime per se, generate more revenue. But the three states that, that I have visited, uh, since I've been retired, I didn't visit those states for this. Uh, but certainly I have been in the state of California, Nevada, and Colorado. And I was interested in, uh, the places that dispense, uh, legal marijuana, how these places operated, who are the clientele? How do they operate? So I had a friend take me down to a strip center and, uh, I won't name the city or state, but we, we, we stood outside and, uh, I looked at the place and before he pointed it out to me, I couldn't pick it out. It looks like any other store in the strip center. I did, I was unable to pick it out without him telling me, uh, which business it was.
CHARLES A. McCLELLAND JR.: (07:11)
Then we stood there for about 20, 30 minutes talking about how, uh, the operation works. And I noticed the clientele that was going in and out. And one thing that I found that was remarkable now, all of this information is an adult. I don't know if it was just that day. I was there or is this the normal clientele, but most of the clientele we're going in, we're middle-aged to older people, more women than men, but people look like they were maybe, uh, early, late thirties, early forties to 60, 70 years old, who that thought was strange. And, uh, obviously I didn't have the nerve to go up and speak to these people after they left, but I sure would, uh, I would have loved to interview them to just to see what their thoughts were on legalized marijuana, how long they been using it, what they thought of, obviously they agreed with it cause they were buying the product.
DEAN BECKER: (08:22)
And chief, I see stories coming out of Colorado where they indicate that they can't prove that the use by youth, by children has gone down, but they can certainly see that it has not gone up since it was legalized for the adults. And that, that was always one of the major concerns. All we can't do it, but what about the children? But the truth be told the drug wars and never stopped any child from getting it. If they wanted to. I don't think they, they might have to fight a little harder finagle a little more, but uh, well,
CHARLES A. McCLELLAND JR.: (08:56)
My position on that now, Dean is, um, what about the children when it comes to alcohol and cigarettes?
DEAN BECKER: (09:05)
Yes, sir. Well,
CHARLES A. McCLELLAND JR.: (09:06)
Those are two legal products, deadly. They're not legal for a kid or anyone under a certain age, but they can certainly set out in the parking lot and someone can go in and get it for them. And many times kids get the alcohol from their parents' liquor cabinet and could get behind the wheel well hurt or kill themselves or others.
DEAN BECKER: (09:32)
I have to underscore what you're saying there. If you'll allow the fact of the matter is cigarettes in particular, cigarettes are deadly 450,000 Americans dying every year. And yet that's legal as apple pie. Uh, it's killing me. I've got COPD, I've got maybe a few years left. I hardly have any air at all. And the Marlboro man and all of those people are at John Wayne, smoking them cigarettes. Everybody's saying cigarettes are cool. And all of that, I don't know. I'm just out of, I'm just mad about my situation.
CHARLES A. McCLELLAND JR.: (10:07)
I'll say this thing, it's certainly one's a personal choice, but in the case of cigarettes, it tells you on the package. If you use it, it's probably gonna be detrimental to your health. It says that yes, sir, uh, uh, right there on the container that you purchase the cigarettes. So I look at this thing about marijuana. We have criminalized enough people in this country and enough young people and ruin their lives, ruined their careers, uh, put them in jail, um, made it harder for them to get a job behind marijuana. Now I'm not, I'm not advocating it. Marijuana may be healthy for you to use, but I am advocating that because there are so many states now that has legalized it. And it hasn't saw, uh, the world hadn't turned upside down. It is time now for the federal government to rethink this. And it should probably be up to individual states to whether their populace wants to legalize it or individual cities, but it should no longer be illegal from a federal standpoint. And that's what stopping some states, I believe.
DEAN BECKER: (11:34)
Thank you for that. Um, and she's friends, we're speaking with Charles, Hey, McClellan Jr. The former police chief of Houston, Texas now, uh, last week, uh, chief, I was interviewing Neil woods and he heads up a group called law enforcement action partnership in the UK. And he was talking about over there, uh, that those, that still dabble in arresting people for marijuana are looked on disfavorably. They're wasting time. They could be standing in support of those doing actual police work rather than chasing down some high school area and spending hours hauling him to jail. Your response to that thought you
CHARLES A. McCLELLAND JR.: (12:10)
Well, I agree with that. I mean, I don't, law enforcement resources are precious and we need to make sure that those resources are directed at protecting our community the most vulnerable, uh, toward our most violent criminals that threatened our society. Those are the resources that, that we need to make sure that are going to the right place. Uh, I, I certainly believe that also, if you think about it, if marijuana was legal across the country in all 50 states, that will take some incentive away from the drug Lords that across the border and trying to get drugs into the country. Uh, I, I certainly believe that. And it would be I think, a cleaner, um, or safer industry because it's government regulated. Uh, you could use the, uh, the banking system create jobs. Uh, all of these things that I do think would have a positive benefit. Now having said that I'm not a medical doctor, I'm not saying that smoking marijuana, you might get lung cancer down the road. I don't know. I don't, I don't know the long-term effects, but, uh, just like, I don't know the long-term effects. If you drink a fifth of scotch every day or smoke a pack of cigarettes every day, I think it would probably be harmful.
DEAN BECKER: (13:43)
Yeah. But you know, a quick aside, um, boy, it's been 15 years ago, I had the chance to interview a, um, a gentleman who worked for the national Institute on drug abuse. Um, I'm skipping his name. Can't think of it at the moment. I interrupt here to insert the fact that the night a scientist I was talking about was Dr. Donald kashkin. He was our guest on April 9th, 2008. It's out there on the web at drug truth.net/node/ 1 8, 4, 2 full transcript is attached. We had a great discussion. He spent years investigating, uh, the comparison between smoking marijuana and smoking cigarettes. And he said that try as hard as he could. He couldn't find any instance where, uh, uh, cannabis led to lung cancer, uh, that they, they tried real hard to prove it for the government and just couldn't do it.
CHARLES A. McCLELLAND JR.: (14:39)
Well, I would probably agree with that. And, uh, you know, like I said, I know that some of the arguments that, that people that are opposed to legalizing marijuana is what about the long-term effects? What about the long-term health effects of alcohol and cigarettes? I, I don't, I don't think that they put on a bottle of alcohol or a package of cigarettes that, Hey, this is going to enhance your health. And I don't know of any alcohol or any cigarette brand that they do prescribe for epilepsy, glaucoma, those type things like marijuana is in some situations or THC. Let me just say THC.
DEAN BECKER: (15:22)
Yeah. And then you and I had a bit of a discussion the other day too, about him and what's the benefit or the ratio or the parameters of it all. And it's, to me, hemp is a good product and it'll be good for weaving baskets and eliminating plastic bags, hanging in our trees, all of that kind of good stuff, because the hemp will deteriorate, uh, it's plastic wheel, but, but we need to make it where cannabis is accepted for medical medical use, as you were indicating. And here in Texas, we, we allow for 1% THC in our hemp, which is not going to get anybody high. Um, it's just another rope, a dope from my perspective, I'm not asking you to respond to that and you don't want to get political, but it's just rope a dope is what they're doing. They're just waiting and waiting because so many people are profiting from the current set of laws. Um, chief Charles McClellan Jr. Served. Uh, I promised you a short interview, wa any closing thoughts, a website, uh, you might want to share?
CHARLES A. McCLELLAND JR.: (16:26)
Well, I just say that you, you know, from, from law enforcement professionals and our political leaders, it is, it is very, very much past time for the federal government to take the lead and take marijuana off, schedule one, uh, drugs, the most, one of the most, you know, schedule one is some of the most dangerous drugs in our society. Heroin, cocaine, marijuana should not be classified as that. And just a couple of weeks ago, prior to the Olympics in Japan, in the qualifying meats, there was American sprinter, female African-American sprinter who admitted to using marijuana that she tested positive for. And, you know, it stopped her from going to the Olympics. She had a 30 day suspension now because she won that race and outran everybody. I am not convinced. And I haven't heard anyone say that marijuana is a performance enhancing drug. If she would have drunk a fifth of scotch and won that race, she would have been allowed to complete compete. It makes no sense to me.
DEAN BECKER: (17:49)
It does not. I agree. Well, Charles ain't Mclowen sir, uh, you know, w we, we're going to have to maintain this contact every once in a while, cause you speak a lot of great truth. And I thank you, sir.
CHARLES A. McCLELLAND JR.: (18:02)
Well, thank you very much, Dean. And since I'm out of law enforcement, you know, people listening to the, you know, this interview may think I've lost my mind. I don't know.
DEAN BECKER: (18:12)
Uh, no, they don't. The majority of people are right there with you, sir, if only we could get these Texas legislators to, to join, I want to pull their heads out of some area in their, in. And
CHARLES A. McCLELLAND JR.: (18:25)
Yeah, we do have to get smarter about our, our, uh, drug challenges. And when it comes to drug challenges, just like, uh, when we need to direct our resources to violent criminals and violent crime, we need to direct our drug resources toward opioids fentinol and, uh, how people are being over prescribed these drugs and how our young teenagers are abusing these drugs. That's what we need to be doing.
DEAN BECKER: (19:04)
Well, friends, we just heard from one of the people who I don't know, helped me to feel I was steering in the right direction with the former police chief of Houston, Charles McClellan, but another gentleman I met back about 2002, I think it was here in Houston. He came here to speak, I think at the behest of the drug policy forum of Texas, he was a author of a brand new book then, uh, um, why are, what was it, um, why are drug laws they owned and what we can do about it, a judicial indictment of the war on drugs. And I knew then I was on the right track and for 20 years I've been at it. And, uh, thanks to good folks like chief McClellan and judge James P grey. How are you, sir?
JUDGE JAMES P. GRAY: (19:48)
Dr. Dane. I'm just fine. Thank you. It's nice to see you again.
DEAN BECKER: (19:51)
Oh, you too, sir. Uh, you know, we're, we're kind of limited today. I got two of you and a half hour show. So I want to just say this. I recently got an email from you. You're a two paragraphs, which you do. I think basically once a week and this week, I'm going to summarize it with your question and what is the major source of funding for terrorists and other thugs around the world? You went on to explain in great detail, but tell us about that situation. Superior court, judge,
JUDGE JAMES P. GRAY: (20:22)
Dean, you know, the more you look into it, there's lots of bad things happening in the world. And Afghanistan is a perfect example. They get most of their foreign currency, most of their money, most of their, their whole, uh, uh, existence from selling poppy seeds and the poppy seeds are used of course, to make heroin. They're the world's largest supplier of, we have the anomaly that when our were still in Afghanistan, we had a drug Lord there that was helping us so much with the war effort that the DEA was told not to not to go in and eradicate his poppy seeds. And we literally had our armed forces there protecting his poppy seeds from other neighbors, because you know, it's so far out of control, it's ingrained. We will never be able to get rid of these drugs. The only thing you can do is regulate it and control it.
JUDGE JAMES P. GRAY: (21:13)
So you know where it is, you have quality control, you tax it, and you have, you bring in some, some conformity in this whole thing, you look at Mexico and all of these violence, all of the corruption, all of the headings have nothing to do with drugs whatsoever. They don't, it's all drug money that causes those things. And mostly it's our drug money. So we should to be aware of these things. And, and if we were to somehow stop drug prohibition, like with the 21st amendment, we finally stopped alcohol prohibition. I guarantee you the entire civilized world would heave a sigh of relief and join us promptly because it just isn't working. Now.
DEAN BECKER: (21:54)
It's not a contained in your two paragraph for this week. You also mentioned something that's, uh, rarely noticed here in these United States. And that is North Korea makes tons of, uh, methamphetamine distributes that around the world. And they might have been able to afford their nuclear weapons program through the sales of methamphetamine.
JUDGE JAMES P. GRAY: (22:14)
Well, that's, that's my inference. You know, there was a while that we've actually intercepted shiploads of methamphetamines on north Korean flagships. And we know that they're doing that. Fidel Castro used to make lots of foreign currency. I mentioned Eric Honaker, an east Germany. A lot of these Renegade countries make a whole lot of money. That way I was going through Panama. We actually went to war with Panama. And so it just went through Nicaragua. Instead, I was in the peace Corps in Costa Rica. Dan, you may not know this from 1966 to 68. And it was a wonderful country. I took my wife and son back there, maybe seven or eight years ago. And I'm sorry, I went San Jose Costa Rica is now a pit and it was a beautiful city when I was there. But drug money has come into there and it's just eroded the country.
JUDGE JAMES P. GRAY: (23:03)
It's just a terrible thing. Down in Mexico. We have places literally where the drug gangs or drug Lords have more money and more arms than the local government does. They're totally in control. It's drug money that does it. I'll throw one more thing at you. When I was on the bench, still the municipal court on two different occasions, totally separate from each other. I was sentencing young men for being under the influence of methamphetamines and in our, in our state and pretty much everywhere else before someone can plead guilty, they have to give you a factual basis. Namely put it in your own words, why you're guilty of this offense. And each one individually told me, your honor, my drug of choice was marijuana and I'd buy my marijuana from the same source. One fine day. Unbeknownst to me sold me marijuana. That was laced with methamphetamines.
JUDGE JAMES P. GRAY: (23:49)
I put it in my bong. I smoked it and I got high and I got addicted to the methamphetamines. And I still remember, look, we all know smoking cigarettes is hazardous to your health, but at least if you go to your local mini Mart and buy a pack of Marlboros, you're going to know it's not laced with methamphetamines, the drug prohibition problem. So all of this fentanyl problem and fentanyl is a truly serious killer. I understand you can kill about 30 people with the amount of spent now that you would find in one of these restaurant packets of sugar, you know, it's really, really strong stuff, but nobody would put that into their bodies intentionally, but the drug providers it's less expensive. They put it in there themselves. You don't know it, you use it and you get hurt or you get killed. It's all a drug prohibition problem. So let me give you a recommendation. Let me recommend that you use as a title for the show. Drug prohibition is racist, stupid evil. It came directly from me.
DEAN BECKER: (24:45)
I'll tell you what a judge, you know, I feel, uh, I see, I sense, great strides being made towards ending this madness. But then I hear other, I see other signs, newspaper accounts and others that say, no, it's going to last forever because the, there are people that cling to this power, to this source, to this money. Uh, it's, it's a real conundrum. Isn't it
JUDGE JAMES P. GRAY: (25:11)
Follow the money Dean. Uh, there's a great deal of money in drug prohibition. Uh, the police force has get more. They think of it this way as well. And maybe you could have asked your police chief from Houston, but police are really addicted to their statistics. The number of crimes solved percentage solved is really important for police officers. And when you have a drug case, you don't have a case at all until you realize it's there, you open it and close it at the same time. So your statistics go up and if you were to do away with those, the statistics for solving the, you know, the armed robberies and burglaries and homicides and everything would go down, that's just another kind of sophisticated reason why please still like to use the war on drugs because they can show they're more effective. Well,
DEAN BECKER: (26:02)
And luckily the chief and I did discuss that a bit. The fact that many of those still making marijuana arrests are looked down upon by the other officers for wasting their time when they could be helping in more important endeavors. Um, uh, once again, friends we've been speaking with judge James P grey, uh, one of my mentors, man, I greatly respect over the years. Um, you got another book on the way. Any closing thoughts, judge?
JUDGE JAMES P. GRAY: (26:27)
Well, I do, but it's actually a fiction book with regard to school choice and are the numbers of schools failing our children all around the country. But it's, it's on its way. For the last time I had actually was all rise to libertarian way with judge Jim gray, have a chapter with regard to drug prohibition on that, uh, it's available in Amazon, all rise and at the playoff on what the bale of say when, when a judge comes in, but the theme is if we employ libertarian values and approaches, we will all rise together. And I stand by that.
DEAN BECKER: (26:57)
I know, you know, this hell, I know the judge knows this, but the poppy seeds he was talking about, he meant to say opium, I've got confused on talk, shows myself before last I heard opium is selling for 6 cents per gram and Afghanistan. I'm going to include a copy of the judges. Two paragraphs at the end of this week's transcript, uh, for this program. But the following was written before I talked to the judge, this is a drug truth network editorial for more than 100 years, the American people have been bamboozled lied to treat it as Hicks, rubes, and ultimately as victims of a war that insured more than a million Americans died because they knew not the strength of the medicines. They were forced to buy in the black market. Additionally, more than 50 million Americans have been thrown in cages because they were found to be using medicines.
DEAN BECKER: (28:00)
They were forced to buy from this same $500 billion per year black market. This is insanity. This is evil. This is racist, an abomination before God. And yet America continues to lead an eternal charge to create these same fallacious and evil laws and results in every country around the world. Stupid is as stupid. Does a thank you for being with us, please visit our website, drug truth.net. And again, I remind you that because of prohibition, your children don't know what's in that bag. I urge all of you to be careful drug truth. Network transcripts are stored at the James A. Baker the III, the Institute more than 7,000 radio programs email@example.com. And we are all still tap dancing on the edge of an abyss.
JUDGE GRAYS “2 Paragraphs” for this week:
Question: What is the major source of funding for terrorists and other thugs all around the world? Answer: The sale of illicit drugs. Just start out by considering Afghanistan, which is and has been the world leader in exporting the opium poppy that is used to make heroin. When the DEA began to be successful in eradicating the crop during our war effort there, the US Department of State ordered them to cease their operations because they were beginning seriously to disrupt the Afghan economy. And now after the fall of that government, even though it directly contradicts their stated religious beliefs, heroin is fueling the Taliban. BTW, how about some irony? Scott Horton in his book Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan (The Libertarian Institute, 2017) documented a situation in which the US Department of State had ordered the DEA not to bother a particular drug lord who was raising the opium poppy because he was so helpful to us with our war effort – to the extent that for a time we actually had our fighting troops protecting the opium poppies in his fields from theft by neighboring drug lords!
And the same thing has happened for years with other rogue countries. For example, North Korea has probably made enough money in exporting illicit methamphetamines around the world to fund its nuclear arsenal. In addition, the Fidel Castro government in Cuba and the Erich Honecker government in the former East Germany routinely sold illicit drugs to bring in lots of hard currency into their countries. Furthermore, in many places in Mexico the drug lords now actually have more money and weapons than the local governments, so they control what goes on there. And all of this disruption and hardship, as well as the corruption, violence and even beheadings, have nothing at all to do with drugs – they are all caused by drug money! And much of the money comes from us! But, since we virtually lead the world in pursuing this failed policy of Drug Prohibition, if we were to change away from this approach to one of strictly regulating and controlling these substances, we would take away tens of billions of dollars from a lot of terrorists and other thugs. And most of the civilized world would probably heave a big sigh of relief as they joined us! Something for us to think about?