The War on Drugs Has Failed

Uploaded by GoogleTechTalks on 27.08.2010

SCHNEIROW: My name is Brian Schneirow. I've been an engineer here for the last five and
a half years or so now, but I know that it's not why you all came here today. You certainly
didn't come to see me. So a few months ago, I was on a plane and I just happened to be
sitting next to this person who was--started talking about drug policy and how it affects
society and some of the implications of that, and I found the talk absolutely fascinating.
In fact, we talked, I think, almost the entire flight which was about an hour or so. So,
what was even more interesting was his credentials. He was a 33-year veteran of law enforcement
and the executive director of a group called the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. So,
of course, at the end of the flight, I asked him if he'd like to come here to Google and
give a talk on the topic and he agreed. So with me today is Neill Franklin, the Executive
Director of LEAP, so come on. >> FRANKLIN: First of all, I want to thank
Brian. You know, I'm impressed by Brian. I mean, what he has done to promote this and
get this moving for us here at Google, I give you thanks for that. And also, you might want
to thank him; he supplied a wonderful lunch for you guys. I can--I see that. Way to go,
Brian. That's pretty--that's the way to get them here. And I--he didn't tell me that I
would be a little overdressed for the occasion. But I'll tell what I'm going to do, I'm going
to loosen up a little bit. How's that? Is that better? All right. Everybody get their--you
see, my wife, she gets a little upset when I don't loosen my tie at night when I go to
bed, you know, it's not like--she's trying to get me wear these things called pajamas
or something I [INDISTINCT]. But after so many years in law enforcement, mainly, for
me, in criminal or narcotics investigation, I agree; when I was in narcotics investigation,
I used to dress a little bit more relaxed and I looked a little different. But once
I started going up through the ranks which I'll talk a bit--just a little bit about,
the costume changed. So, I'm kind of used to this, but I'll get over it. Real quick.
I want to give you a brief overview of our organization, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
and just a little bit of my background, as Brian touched upon. Can everyone hear me okay?
Okay. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition was formed in 2002 by five cops, retired cops.
Jack Cole was one of those five and he was our--he was my predecessor as Executive Director
for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. I took over in July. And Jack Cole, a retired
New Jersey State Trooper, did a lot of time in narcotics work for the New Jersey State
Police and was into a lot of very interesting cases. But they had the forward thinking and
the courage--see, because it was their forward thinking that brought them to the place of
realizing that there's something really wrong with our drug policies in this country. You
know, after three decades of no successes and being there on the frontlines, they realized
that something's not right. It's not what we thought it would be. So they formed LEAP,
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and we're thousands. We have about probably around 35,000
supporters now worldwide. We're based here in the United States, but we're in 78 countries,
probably more than 78 countries now. And not just cops, we have judges, retired federal
judges. We have prosecutors, we have corrections officials. We have a current warden of a prison,
who is on board with us and we have a speaker's bureau of over a hundred members who travel
around toů I like that effect. That's neat stuff. Should I expect any less from Google?
But--so that's what we do. We teach people about our failed policies. We teach about
what occurs on the frontlines. So that's a snapshot of LEAP. And oh, I can't forget this.
We are completely nonprofit, 5013C. So if you guys want to help us out to continue our
message, please feel free and I can give you a little bit more information on that. But
that's our website,, L-E-A-P dot C-C. And to make it easier to remember, another
way to get there is That will get your attention. So, now about
me. As Brian said, a little over 33 years in the business of law enforcement and just
so, you know, make sure I was clear. Our organization says we must legalize all drugs in order to
solve our issues, not just in this country but worldwide. And those issues I will be
talking about today. Now when you hear that word legalize, don't fall out of your seat.
We're not talking about a free for all; we're not talking about, like, how you guys get
lunch here at Google. I do like it though. But we're talking about regulation and control.
We're talking about taking complete control away from the criminals and making sure that
it is regulated and controlled in a responsible manner. Okay, my 33 years, I started with
the Maryland State Police back in the late 1970s. Couple of years after I joined the
State Police, I became an undercover narcotics agent, worked primarily around the Washington
D.C. area. From there, I eventually worked my way into management, eventually commanding
a number of taskforces in the western part of the state, multi-jurisdictional drug taskforces.
I think I had about seven during that time as a lieutenant with the Maryland State Police.
Shortly thereafter, I became a Regional Commander for both Narcotics and Criminal Investigation.
I then had the northeast part of the state; the state was divided in half, so I had about
12 counties under my command and of that, I think there was probably about 12 different
taskforces. From there, I went to become the commander of training for the Maryland State
Police, which was one of the two largest training academies divisions within law enforcement
in the State of Maryland. I then retired from there in 1999. From there, I went to Baltimore.
I was recruited to go to Baltimore which was my hometown. I then commanded their training
division which was the largest training division in the state. I did that for four years. Before
leaving there and going to my third--you see, I had a problem, I couldn't keep a job. But
I got over that. I think I'm at my last stop now because I went to the Maryland Transit
Administration to command their detective bureau, their Criminal Investigations Bureau.
During that time, I also had the privilege to be the chairperson for a grassroots organization
in Hartford County, Maryland, which was called the Heroin Narcotics Task Force. Now, no,
it wasn't cops; it was a community. It was formed by two moms that had lost their sons,
their two sons to heroin overdoses--they were high school students--and they were trying
to get funding for treatment and education and it's a difficult task, very difficult
task. So it got me to see from another perspective this issue that we're talking about here today.
I've been involved with mentoring children throughout the years and also, the president
for an organization on a board for an organization called TurnAround Incorporated, which was
an organization in the Baltimore area for domestic violence. We're advocates for domestic
violence, child sexual abuse, sexual assault, and it gave you--and you'd be surprised how
this also spills over into that realm as well. You guys seen the HBO series, The Wire? I'll
make one quick comment about that. Except for the community of Amsterdam, it's right
on. Right on. And many of those characters and scenes and scenarios that you would see
in that were really taken from true life over a span of maybe a couple of decades and they
pushed it all together. Okay. Real quick, I got a question. I assume that most of the
people, not all of you here, are familiar with our drug policies in the country, right?
For the most part, marijuana, heroin, cocaine, that stuff, it's illegal, right, to possess
and so on. Just by a show of hands, how many of you think that our current policies are
working? Don't be bashful. I mean, you're among friends. One, two? Anybody? Okay. And
just for the record, I didn't see a single hand go up and there's probably about 150,
60 people in this room here. I asked that question for a reason and as you'll see as
we move through the program. So let's go ahead and move through the--I got a little slideshow
here that we're going to roll through real quick. Before 1914, heroin--I'll use this
so I can move around a little bit. Is this good?
>> Yeah, it is. >> FRANKLIN: Okay. So before 1914, heroin
could be bought from any grocery store, and that's true, before the Harrison Act. But
then we in this country decided to start with our Drug Laws. And back then, 1.3% of our
population was addicted to drugs, okay? That's when drugs were legal. And I talked a little
bit about my career but this is just some visuals. That's a good looking guy there.
And this guy standing next to me, that's my brother. He's the reason I got into law enforcement
and he was my instructor. That's when I graduated from the Police Academy. He was my instructor
in the Police Academy. I can tell you some stories there, but--there he is again. So
we both--that's when I went to another agency, that's when I went to Baltimore; I was a colonel
there and he was a colonel with the Transportation Authority after he left the State Police.
I had to encourage him to retire and move on. He's still with Baltimore. And that's
what happens when you start talking about this stuff. That was the end of my career
with my last agency. But they couldn't find anything, so I was set free eventually. So
from 1979 to 2009, and, you know, I mentioned the span because as you'll see, we'll be talking
about--you know, we're talking about the past three to four decades and, you know--and that's
three decades for me and the war on drugs started a few years before that. 1970, oh,
my God. So 1.3%, you just remember seeing that figure again? Okay. One point three percent
in 1970, people were addicted to drugs. So we've gone through--we went through quite
a few decades and still at that same percentage. 1970--now, we're talking about deaths as a
result of our drug culture. But 1970, less likely than falling down stairs than to die
from using drugs, okay? I mean, less likely to die from using drugs than falling downstairs.
Falling downstairs is more dangerous so stay off stairs. Use the elevator. Same thing with
choking on food. So it's not like the propaganda that has been put out there over the years
that drugs are dangerous, they're going to kill you, blah, blah, blah, blah. Many more
things in this world that are going to kill you, believe me. This isn't--stay away--I
was going to name a particular restaurant but I don't want to be sued for slander, so--but
you know where I was going with that. There are many of them. 1970, Soft Drugs back then.
Hard Drugs were virtually unheard of. And I'm going to start rolling through these slides
real quick, because I think it's very important to get some good dialogue on, but I want to
give you guys a good foundation for, you know, what this is all about, touch on a few areas.
So I'm going to be clicking through rather quickly as we get going. Now, here is a--from
the DEA Briefing Book of 2001 and a lot of the stuff that we use from the Feds, you'll
see, you know, it goes back a few years but it's very hard to get current information
statistics from the Federal Government, and I don't know why that is but so be it. But
if you look at the two charts here, on the left, price, on the right, purity, and down
the center, we have years beginning of 1980 going through 1999. And we're referring to--if
you look in the upper left, all I'll say it's $3.90 and we've referred to as--we're talking
about heroin here. We referred to it as a trade, because back then that amounted--that's
what it cost, $3, about $3. And these adjustments that you're going to see, inflation is included
in it. It's factored into that so that we get a good comparison, as how prices change
as we navigate through the years. So, on the purity side, in 1980s, 3.6% purity for heroin
when you bought heroin off the street back then. 1970, was about--when you compare the
prices, it was about $6 for the same amount of heroin. You can see in 1980, it was $3.90.
If you go back 10 years, it was about $6.37, so you see that the price in those 10 years
went down for buying the same amount of heroin. Purity back in 1970 was 1.5%, so you see the
purity had gone up considerably. What I'm talking about here is supply and demand. What
I'm talking about here is if we're doing what we're supposed to do as it relates to the
war on drugs to reduce the amount of drugs coming into the country, the availability--first
of all, if less drugs were coming in into the country, purity level would either stay
the same or it would become less because they cut it more. They would cut it more. But if
more drugs are coming into the country, then your purity is going to go up; it's going
to increase. Same thing when you compare it to gasoline. When there's plenty of gasoline,
prices do what? They go down. Limited supply, price goes up. And I have somebody who will
probably talk a little bit about that as we move forward. So when you look at the purity--[INDISTINCT]
and I'm going to move forward real quick. I'm going to move up to 1999. That same amount
of heroin in 1999 was now under $1 at 80 cents. Purity level, 38%. Today, heroin purity is
extremely high. I mean, it's--in some places, it's almost pure, because we have not been
effective in keeping drugs out of our country. And I think after four decades of that trend,
it's pretty obvious that we're not going to be. So, you know, just wanted to touch on
that real quick. All right. Drug users, according to the DEA, 1965, 4 million; 2% of that population.
In 2003, 112 million; 46% of that population. Money spent fighting the drug war. Okay. Since
1970, we spent $100 million; 2003, $70 billion. Okay. This is what we're doing in the law
enforcement effort. And I saw that on my span of career as we continued to buy more toys
and spend more money, put more people into our narcotics units, going from, like, 10
and 15 people in the unit back in the 1970s, all the way up to a few hundred in the late
'80s. Drug seizures. You know, back in the '70s, when I first came on and I started working
undercover, when I seize an ounce of cocaine, man, I was big time. I got all the pats on
the back and I mean, it was big--it was a big deal. An ounce of heroin? Oh, my God.
Big stuff. Now, a quarter ounce of heroin. In 2002, if you wanted a good pat on the back,
you needed 10 tons of heroin. Yeah, we winning that war, no doubt about it. How about 20
tons of cocaine? So now, you're talking a container load at the port. And that's the
truth. Once again, it shows that it's still coming in quite a bit. Wholesale cocaine costs,
60% less. Wholesale heroin costs, 70% less. Prices are going down, just like I was talking
about with gasoline; supply and demand. It's here. Let's talk about overdoses per 100,000
users. In 1979, that was the day that--the year that I graduated from the State Police
Academy, we're at 28 deaths per 100,000. Look at that, 141 deaths by 2000. So we're not
saving lives over these decades. That's for sure. Here's just a quick chart on arrests,
marijuana arrest versus total drug arrests in the U.S. from 1970 up till 2005. Down at
the bottom, you'll see we arrested a half million people in 1970. Quadrupled. 2005,
1.9 million, total drug arrests. Forty-four percent. Eighty nine percent increase in marijuana
possession arrests. Crazy. We're filling up our jails and that's also costing us money
to the tune of 30 something thousand; depending on where you are. Some of them average around
29, $30,000 per inmate per year. It sounds like a college education. And that's not what
they're getting; they're coming out better criminals, so they think. Okay. U.S. tax dollars
spent on prosecuting the drug war. We spend over a trillion dollars, folks. And here's
your healthcare program. And there's a sort of graph that talks about arrests of nonviolent
drug offenders in the millions and how it's gone up from 1970 to 2006. I'm moving to the
actual numbers, 39 million arrests, drug arrests. And most of these arrests I'm talking about
folks, are nonviolent. I'm not talking about the folks out here shooting, killing people.
2002, percent of population addicted, damn, we're still at 1.3. Man, figured with all
of these drugs and stuff in the country, we'll go up to about, what? I don't know, 10, 12%.
One point three, just like back in 1914. So--and that's what I was just talking about. When
it was legal, when drugs were illegal, after 40 years, we're still around the same percentage,
so. Ah, this is interesting percent of crimes cleared by arrest or exceptional means. What
this is, this is information from our U.S. Department of Justice as it relates to, across
the country, how many crimes we're solving. Okay. Murder, rape, robbery, you know, all
those real crimes against people. 2006, as you can see, murder, clearance rate, 60.7;
rape, 40.9; robbery, 25.2. We are now--have unsolved out here. Forty percent of our murders
go unsolved. Sixty percent of our rapes and arsons go unsolved. Seventy-five percent of
robberies go unsolved. Now when they go unsolved, these people continue to prey upon you. So
what happens when you don't solve crimes? Eighty-three percent of property crimes. In
1963, we solved 91% of our murders. Today, like I said, 61%. We're focusing a lot of
our energy on our drug policies and enforcing drug laws in our neighborhoods and communities.
So, 30% fewer. Chasing nonviolent drug users. That's what I was just talking about, protect
us from important people. Now, as we get into the violence here, how did I come to where
I'm at? This how I came to where I'm at. It's the violence in the illegal drug trade that
really gets to me. I know there's money involved. I know that we're losing money from taxes
not changing our [INDISTINCT] but this is what gets me. In 2000, right after I retire
from the State Police and went to Baltimore City, I got a phone call in the middle of
night about a trooper who had been shot.
And it was this guy, Ed Toatley, who was a good friend of mine. And Ed had worked for
me on many times but more importantly he wasů And still is a friend. So, in case you can't
see that, he was making an undercover buyer--buy in the Washington D.C. area from a drug dealer,
while working with the FBI. And they were surveilling all of this, I mean, they were
right down the street. This was cameras in the car and everything. A guy comes back out
and shoots Ed point blank range in the head to keep the money and the drugs. The guy gets
away and goes to New York, but we eventually caught him. So now, his wife and three kids
are alone, as it relates to that relationship. But it didn't stop with Ed; there are many
police officers that have met the same fate as my friend. And it continues, and it continues.
But it's not just us out there on the frontlines who are dying. A couple of years later in
Baltimore, in this corner row home, this is where that family lived on President Street
in Baltimore. This is the Dawson family, that's the mom up there, Angela, and five kids. The
husband, there's no photo of the husband here, but he was also in that home on that night
when the neighborhood drug dealer set their home on fire. Because she was working with
the police to get him off of that corner so her kids didn't have to deal with him. So,
he murdered them. See, it's not just Mexico. Where in Mexico--we, over the past, since
2006, have had more than 28,000 Latinos murdered. Not because we have a drug abuse problem in
this world, because we have drug Prohibition which creates an illegal market just like
back in the 1920's with Al Capone and alcohol here in the United States, it does the same
thing. We've taken a problem and made it 10 times worse by invoking prohibition. All right.
School children report it's easier to buy illegal drugs, marijuana, than it is alcohol
and beer, because alcohol and beer is regulated. And when a kid comes to me--up to me on the
street and says, "Hey man, can you go in the store and get me a six-pack?" I'd say, "You
done lost your mind." But when he walks up to a drug dealer on a corner or sends a text
message, all they want to see is his money and won't see a driver's license. And as we've
already seen the drugs are increasing, the amounts are increasing every year. It's becoming
more difficult for the cartel to transport her across the borders so now they're growing
it at our National Parks and they're guarding it with--they have guards up in the trees
with AK47s. Just ask any DEA agent, they'll tell you. That's what the illegal trade generates,
500 billion every year. It's more than that but we low-ball it. That's a mere 20--$255
million, that's in a room of a drug dealer's house. Probably too much for the bank vault
to handle. Five hundred billion would cover a room 2,000 times that size. And check this
out. They don't count their money, they weigh their money. Seriously, they weigh it. I mean,
you saw how much money that was. They weigh it and if you can't see that, $100 bills,
37.1 pounds equal $1 million. You might want to weigh your money one day, that's why we're
telling you then. If you're not already weighing it. All right. So, remove the profit motive.
You remove the profit motive, we remove the violence, all right? That's plain and simple.
After doing this for 40--almost 40 years, believe me, I know. That's what it's all about
out there in the streets. So you end prohibition. How you end prohibition, you legalize drugs.
You regulate and control it, that's how you get the profit margin out of it for these
guys. Let's talk a little bit about decriminalizing them. You know, there's a difference. To decriminalize,
that helps the people who are possessing because--and so if you're--you have a small amount or whatever
it is, you don't go to jail, that's a good thing. But it doesn't take the violence out
of the business, because the dealers are still out there, the cartel is still out there.
Now, they decriminalized in the Netherlands in 1976, Portugal in 2001. And in Portugal,
this is for all drugs, not just marijuana or whatever. This is heroin, cocaine and what
have you. Mexico 2009, a lot of people don't know that they did that in Mexico. Argentina
in 2009, but once again, they didn't take the full step to legalize. They only took
half a step, that's why they still have the violence in Mexico. You still have your dealers.
You still have the illegal underground market. Okay, so won't legalization cause everyone
to use drugs? What do you think? Will it? Question, of the 160 some odd folks of you
sitting in this room today and you that are watching over the net, how many of you would
use heroin, cocaine, crystal meth tomorrow if it were illegal, I mean, if it were legal?
Tomorrow, it's legal. You can go out here and buy it from a safe place, you know. And
so how many of you would use it? Remember, I said you're among friends. Not only that,
of the people you know, and I assume that you know people, right? You--like Facebook
and--you tweet and all that stuff. Okay. Of those people you know, how many of those people
do you know that would use it tomorrow? If you know any that would use it tomorrow, they're
probably already doing it. You get my point? But the good thing about it, if we were to
legalize it the more, at least you, for those who do use and currently buy, they don't have
to go out into that dangerous market like you saw in the HBO series, The Wire, you don't
have to go out into that market and buy it. Additionally, you would know what you're getting
because just like with alcohol, you know what the alcohol content is; it says it right on
the bottle. There are certain standards. There's certain things they can and can't put in it.
The purity level. So, for someone who's using heroin, you know, because if I--if I'm using
heroin, I'll buy illegally from you today, I'm not saying that you do that. But if I
buy from you today, you might be selling me something at 30% purity. But you'd probably
don't even know what your purity level. I mean, you know, you just mix it up. But if
you're going tomorrow because the police locked you up, then I got to buy from you. You might
be selling yours at 80%. Next thing I know, I'm in shock trauma. I'm--you know, well,
if someone gets me help because I don't--you know, because when you O.D., people just don't
run and get you help especially if they've been hanging out with you. They'd make 40,
50 phone calls first, trying to figure out what to do before they get you--if they get
you medical attention, because it's--because you're a criminal. That would make me a criminal.
And I don't want to go to jail even if it involves saving your life. And it's a problem,
that's why we have so many overdoses. In the Netherlands--talking about if drugs were legal.
In the Netherlands, where you can now use at your--marijuana at your, you know, little
coffee shops and so on, marijuana use by 10th graders, 28%. Marijuana use by 10th Graders
in the United States, 41%. It blows that out of the water. All right. Lifetime prevalence
in the U.S. and in the Netherlands: USA, 37%; Netherlands, 17%. They made it boring to use
pot. Old people use pot. Heroin use lifetime: USA, 1.4%; Netherlands, 0.4%. It's a different
mindset. Homicide rate in the Netherlands: USA, 5.6; Netherlands, 1.5. Portugal, drugs
used by 13 to 15 years-olds decreased by 25% because in Portugal, the Cato Institute--in
case you want to look into this more, Cato Institute did a study on it, you can find
it online. In Portugal, drug use, 16 to 19 year-olds decreased by 22%. Heroin overdose
deaths, because now it's okay to go get help and not only that, it's--there's more money
available for treatment and education, decreased by 52%. Portugal, HIV infections, new cases
of HIV infections decreased by 71%. Check that out, that's saving lives. Mexico, I'm
going to skip right through these because there's not much there but this talks about,
in Mexico and then I think Argentina. Well, police corruption, and let me touch on this
real quick, police corruption. Yeah, we have it in the United States here, it's profitable.
Everybody likes to make money no matter what you do, whether your wear the uniform or not.
Now, the cases are few, but yeah, we have cops, we have prosecutors, we have other people
who take bribes, who rip off drug dealers, who do whatever they got to do, despite the
uniform they wear, to make money. Okay, it's profitable and they take bribes, and they
give passes to drug dealers and so on. It's different in Mexico. In Mexico, first, we
offer you the money, you don't want to take the money, next we offer you a bullet, and
we offer your family members a bullet. So, if you don't take the money, believe me, you'll
take the second option and you'll do whatever they want you to do because they will kill
your family. Okay. I hope we're on time. Okay. I want to talk a little bit about incarceration
rates because this is important and this is per 100,000 starting with European Nations
per population 100,000. They are at or below, in Europe, 150 per 100,000 incarceration.
The United States, by March of 2008, try 1,009. We lock up a lot of people more than anybody
else in the world including China. Who wants to live in China? You want to? Okay, but,
you know, you've probably been there before, you know where to go. No, but seriously, yeah.
No, I'm not, you know, making fun of China, anything like that. It's just I'm talking
about how our country is supposed--if it had this wonderful Constitution and freedoms and
what have--you know what I'm talking about; those protections from unreasonable search
and seizure, I can't go down that road right now because we'll be all day. But we have
issues there in this country. Federal prisoners from 1970 to 2005, okay. The yellow are for
non-drug offenses, and you see they start low but they only come up to about right here.
The red for drug offenders, so in 1970, it's--you can hardly see it, but then it starts on this
path and then we really get into the drug war and it's off the roof. Way up there above
240 something percent by the year 2004, 2005. So you can see, it's greatly outpaced other
crimes. Yeah, it went up for other crimes as we continue to put people in prison for
other crimes, but for drug offenses, it's off the roof. And there are a number of reasons
for that, a lot of--I mean, but money is one of them. The grants and things that law enforcement
agencies get from the Federal Government for focusing upon drug arrest and there are other
reasons too. And these are just the numbers in relation to the actual chart. So that you
can see the, you know, the increase the--for regular arrest for non-drug, it increased
294%. But for drug-related arrest, it increased 2,558%. So those are the actual numbers, correlate
to that. And here's a--starting at the top, we have Denmark and we work our way down to
Turkey, Georgia, Greece, to the UK and what have you. The United States, of course, is
the one with the bar all the way over here, as it relates to people we imprison per 100,000.
So, as you can see, we outpace everybody. Here's Russia. Of course, the United States.
There. Anyway, let's move through that. I think you get the picture as far as how we
put people in prison. There's also a disparity issue and I'll touch on that real quick also,
real quick. But who uses drugs? Before I get to that disparity issue to solve that, who
uses drugs? And these are--we get these figures--majority of our figures from the U.S. Department of
Justice and the Feds. Whites constitute for 70%--72% of all drug users in the U.S. Blacks
constitute for 13.5% of all drug users in the U.S. Who gets arrested? Thirty-seven percent
of those arrested for drug violations are black. Who goes to prison? Sixty percent of
those in state prisons for drug felonies are black. Eighty-one percent in Federal--no,
of Federal drug offenders are black and that's in Federal Prisons. Blacks are now serving
an average of six years for their offenses, while whites are serving an average of four
years. Of the convicted defendants, 33% of whites receive a prison sentence. So when
you're convicted 30--one third go to prison for whites. Fifty-one percent, that's half,
for blacks. A black male born today has a one in three chance of serving time in prison
to being introduced to the criminal justice system, one in three. So we're talking about
disenfranchisement, 14% of black men lost their right to vote, on average. In Texas,
that's 31%. Incarceration rates, white males per 100,000 in the Unites States. Nine hundred
and forty-three white males per 100,000 in the United States incarceration rate. South
Africa, 1993 under Apartheid, for black males, that was 851 and we thought that was atrocious.
In the United States under prohibition in 2008, try 4,919 per 100,000. 2447seconds There's
a book written by Michelle Alexander called "The New Jim Crow", if you haven't read it,
oh my God, read it. It really breaks this whole thing down, I mean, she did a wonderful
job with that, great book, educated me on a number of things. Outcome of legalization,
now, 1.9 million less people arrested each year, that's what we'd had. So, you know how
costly that is to house 1.9 million people even if it's just for a month or a few days
throughout the year? You know how much money that cost? And when they're in there, they're
not paying taxes, I guarantee you, because they're not working. Seventy billion dollars
would be saved each year. So End Prohibition. Number two on the list, have Federal Government,
and these are just some--to have the Federal Government produce these drugs, now this isn't
in a position of LEAP. However this talks a little bit about regulation and control.
Some of the things that we could do. That would deal with quality control, we talked
a little bit about that, knowing what you're going to be getting, if you choose to march
down that road, we do not condone them the use of drugs at LEAP, we don't. Drugs are
dangerous, drugs will harm you. They will harm you but we've just made it 10 times worse
by subjecting people to prison, Prohibition. Standardization, okay, you know what the potency
level is, measurement and potency. Like I said, reduce and end of overdoses. All right.
Number three, sell drugs to adults from the state package stores or whatever models that
are out there. Let the States, the individual 50 states decide on how that's going to be.
The Feds get out of it, let the states decide how to do it, that's how the Constitution
intended it to be in the first place. For those drugs that might be too bad, all right.
Like they do up in Canada with the NAOMI project for Heroin Maintenance Program. If you're
an addict, you can go in and get what you need, so that you are not out stealing, you're
not lying to your family members, you're not causing problems in your neighborhood, you're
not knocking people over the head to get the money that you need to buy it from the illegal
drug dealer on the corner. You can take care of your issue without it costing us. And hopefully
get your counseling and get off of it, and that's what I've--was just talking about here,
at Switzerland, that's what they do in Switzerland and the Netherlands, and Canada, Germany too,
Denmark. Oh, there you go. And under that program, not one overdose death since 1994.
How many have we had in here in the United States. Once again, it does a great--as it
relates to AIDS and Hepatitis, because they're no longer out sharing needles. All right.
Crime was cut by 60%. Oh, my God, so many benefits. Eighty-two percent decline in new
heroin cases, oh my God, we're having so much. It doesn't make such a difference, folks.
Redirect the money just, you know, that we save and what we get from taxes, what--mainly
from what we save to programs, the true treatment and education, then you'll solve the root
issue which is your drug abuse problem. But we can't do it with dumping most of our money
into enforcement and filling up our prisons, it just doesn't work. It doesn't work, 30
to 40 years, it hasn't worked. You could do, one is for free education, health care and
housing, job training, employment, livable wages, the list is long of what we could do
if we were to turn that corner and head another direction. Rehabilitation centers, oh my God.
There you go. All right. Redirect the money, save programs, okay, talked about that. I
want to touch on this real quick. 1985, 42% of us smoked tobacco, nicotine, the most addictive
drug that's out there, ask anybody that smokes and is trying to kick the habit. However,
on 2003, because we launched this massive program to teach people and to make it uncomfortable
for you to smoke in places. Now, it's only 21%. My, you can be effective, in reducing
use, if you just do it the right way. Albert Einstein, we all know what he said. Oh, let
me just get right to it. But for those who can't read this, the prestige of government
has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the Prohibition Law. And he's talking about
Prohibition in general. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government
and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret
that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this. Forty
years you can't enforce this law properly, Prohibition. And this is a picture from that--Delaware
Alcohol Prohibition, just want to say real quickly, it was the ladies that came out in
full force to reverse--to reverse the 18th amendment and repeal it, because they want
to save their children. That's what it was about. And if you want to save the kids today,
that's what we have to do. So, that's my presentation, I want to bring somebody up real quick and
then we're going to have questions. But I tell you, Robert, why don't you come on up.
Robert Leason is from Australia and he is over at Stanford over with the Hoover Institute,
right? >> LEASON: In the Economics.
>> FRANKLIN: At, in the Economics Department. And I just met him the other day and I told
him I was having this talk here with you guys, a little discussion and presentation with
you guys and invited him to come along. He is an expert in Economics and he can talk
a little bit about economics from a worldwide perspective, from a national perspective here,
and I just want to have him here available, to answer some questions and you want to take
just a couple of minutes? >> LEASON: Sure. I wouldn't take up too much
of your time. Just a couple of minutes. That was a very interesting, clear presentation.
I just want to add a little bit by way of Economics. In other words, what does Economics
tell us about the War on Drugs? Well, I think economics is unambiguous. The income tax which
is what I'm working on at the moment. I'm working on the abolition of the income tax
because I want to replace it, as most economists do, with the Consumed Income Tax. The income
tax was the gateway drug to Prohibition. Why? Because in order to abolish alcohol, you lose
an awful lot of revenue, therefore, you need another source of revenue; the income tax
was that source of revenue. Now, we'll see in a minute, when I finish this two or three
minute talk, that by reintegrating drugs into the legal network, we also find ourselves
an enormous source of tax revenue. I'm working at the moment on a method of eliminating income
tax and that fits in nicely with that research project. Okay. So, what is the relationship
between the war on drugs and the war on terror? One finances the other. Where do the funds
come from to kill American soldiers from the war on drugs? Where do the Taliban get their
funds from? The war on drugs. Now, very simply proposition of economics. Title revenue equals
price times quantity sold. Why do oil producers form cartels such as OPEC? Very simple reason.
If you can form a cartel, dominate the markets, you can do what? Restrict supply. Why? Because
if you're dealing with a commodity for which the demand is inelastic, it is in your interest
to restrict supply. What happened in 1974? There was a four-fold increase of the price
of oil. Why? Because it's in the interests of OPEC to reduce supply. Likewise, it is
in the interest of drugs suppliers to reduce supply. So if I was a drug dealer, I will
be out there saying, "Just say no to drugs. Let's get tough on drugs. Let's get serious
on this war on drugs." Why? Because it's in my commercial interests, because I'm an--I'm
in the market already. I'm paying off all the cops I need. The last thing I want is
new entrants. We want tough laws to keep entrants out, because new entrants will lower the price,
lower the revenue. Very simple proposition. So, there's some very simple solutions here.
Neill has outlined some. Let me just give you a couple and then I'll finish. In 1974,
Turkey, not Afghanistan, was the source of heroin. Ninety-four percent of heroin was
grown in Turkey, almost similar--identical proportion to the proportion of heroin that
originates from Afghanistan. The Turks decided to do something very radical. They put this
to the State Department and the State Department said, "You bunch of communists, we're not
going to tolerate that." What they wanted to do is they want to legalize the production
of poppies in Turkey. Now, it just so happened that when--that great guy Richard Nixon got
involved in a little bit of trouble in 1974, I can't remember what it was, perhaps, some
of you could tell me afterwards. The Turks went ahead and did their plan anyway because
the State Department--the American government was caught up with Watergate. What did they
do? They said to Turkish poppy growers, "You could grow whatever you like, any quantity,
and guess what; we'll buy it from you." And you know what happens to that; it's sold as
painkillers around the world. A commodity of which we are in tremendous shortage. There's
millions of millions of people who are dying painful deaths because we don't have enough
painkillers. Now since 1974, and this is not a research interest of mine but I have it
on good authority, not a single bust of heroin anywhere in the world has been traced back
to Turkey. Now drugs pass through Turkey but I understand none of the poppies grown in
Turkey make their way into the illegal drug market. So there I think is probably where
I shall stop. If we integrate these dangerous commodities, and drugs are dangerous commodities,
back into the legal fabric, we generate an enormous amount of tax revenue. We minimize
the damage associated with this and we destroy funding for the Taliban and their criminal
crony friends. Now if we have got any chance of introducing rational public policy in America,
we should start with eliminating this counterproductive nonsensical war on drugs and use rational
thought informed by economic analysis and common sense rather than shallow emotional
rhetoric which is where the war on drugs comes from.
>> FRANKLIN: When I met you yesterday, something just told me you would be right for this,
so that's why I brought you up. So, we have a couple of minutes left over. I doubt it
if any of you have any questions or anything but we'll entertain some. Absolutely. Seriously.
>> FRANKLIN: If you want to come up, you can--I'd like you to--.
>> No. That's all right. [INDISTINCT] >> FRANKLIN: Okay. I'll rephrase the question.
>> I have a problem, on one hand, you made perfect sense and I agree with you. On the
other hand, if I were talking to a politician who generally supported a lot of issues that
are our interests today, I would tell him to run away from this as fast as I could,
because you couldn't possibly get away from this. And I'll particularly tell him, don't
tell anybody that this is what they do in Europe, because then you really won't get
away. My question is, what can we and what can you, what can your organization do about
what I see as an unbelievably massive PR problem, where any politician talks about legalization
of drugs is immediately discounted from the poppies?
>> FRANKLIN: Oh, that's a good question. What he asked was what can you do as citizens,
as folks here, because--well, basically, what he said, when a politician wants to talk about
this issue and they consider it quite a third row issue, you know, like the metro third--
electrified grill, if you touch it, you die. It's a third row issue for politicians, so
what can we do, what can you do to get politicians to, I guess, speak to this or they'll come
forward with this. Let me start by saying that politicians are beginning to do it, because
there are a number of organizations out there, including ours, which has been going to them
and it's becoming--we're getting this more out in the open. The first thing you can do
is actually go to our website and just sign on, so that we can keep you informed of the
good information, all the updates that are coming out. All the propositions that are
out there, all the bills that are out there related to this such as what Senator Jim Webb
is doing now in Washington D.C., as he's taking a good look, he's developing a panel that
would take a really good comprehensive look at our entire criminal justice system and
this is a huge part of it. So go to our website, and sign on so we can keep you informed and
send you information. The second thing is, find out--many people don't know who their
representatives are. Find out who your representatives are, then send them emails. Call them and
say, "Hey, I'm in your district. It's okay for you to talk about this because I feel
it needs to be talked about." Because as you saw the first question I asked, how many of
you think our current policies are working? No hands went up and that's what you can say
to them. You know I was at this, you know, forum and this presentation of Google and
they asked a question, how many of you think that our policies are working and no hands
went up. So as my representative, what are you doing to move in a different direction
if we out here believe that it's not working? So talk to them about moving in another direction.
Yeah. >> LEASON: There's a very simple answer to
that question. It's called tax competition. If drugs are legalized in the local level,
in state or even the Lower House level, then income tax and other taxes will fall. Therefore,
the logic is, you want the War on Drugs; you pay for it with higher taxes. And tax competition
will eliminate the war on drugs. >> FRANKLIN: Absolutely. From the money perspective.
They understand taxes. Yes? >> I have a question for the money perspective.
How do you lower taxes? >> FRANKLIN: How do you lower taxes?
>> Yeah. How do you make themů? >> FRANKLIN: Well, the first thing you do
is stop spending money. That's the first thing you do. All right. I mean really, that's--that's
balancing your checkbook 101. Stop spending. Evaluate where you're spending your money
and right now, we're spending according to Jeffrey Myer and who's out at Harvard, who's
done a lot of studies as it relates to finances and the drug war. I think he puts it at $76.8
billion a year, all right, so we stop spending that. Robert just talked about the taxes that
you can generate from doing it appropriately and you don't have to start moving forward
with all these hard drugs. I mean marijuana--no one's ever died from ingesting marijuana.
I think that's a good place to start, compare that to alcohol. Maybe people will start using
marijuana in lieu of alcohol. And we'll really save some lives.
>> And in lieu of tobacco. >> FRANKLIN: And in--thank you and in lieu
of tobacco. I mean the list is long. So start there and I think through taxes, stop spending
what we're currently spending, where we're spending it. Start letting people--well, just
stop putting people in prison, because you got to pay for them, you know, pay for college
education and then again start contributing to the tax base instead of taking from it.
The list is long and there are a number of studies out there that do speak to this. I
would suggest that you go online and Google Jeffrey Myer from Harvard and you'll see a
lot of work that he's done nationally and he's also begin--he's begun to break it down
state by state. Yes? >> [INDISTINCT]
>> FRANKLIN: Well, I--it wouldn't be something I'd do but--okay. I see what you're saying.
Here's my suggestion. We're in California, right? There's a proposition out there right
now, right? Make a statement, folks. That's where you can begin, because I guarantee you,
marijuana puts 60 to 70%--that big room of money you saw, 60 to 70% of that money for
the cartel comes from marijuana. What happens if you take that much revenue from GM or from
BP? >> Bail-out.
>> FRANKLIN: I like that. But I don't think these guys are going to get bailed out. But
that in and of itself, would greatly cripple, not just the cartel members but the neighborhood
gangs that we have out here or maybe because it's the same for them as well. That's their
biggest, you know, profit margin--it comes from marijuana. Yes? I'll get to you then
I'll come back over here to you, sir. >> How do I look for some law enforcement
to do about this? Did they find this kind of argument persuasive, and if they don't,
what are their [INDISTINCT]? >> FRANKLIN: It depends on where you are,
what your job is in law enforcement, who you've talked to, and how much knowledge you have.
The folks in my circle get it. Because they listen to what I have to say and they know
all the facts surrounding this issue and how it affects your life and everyone else's lives.
The higher up you go, the more resistance you find, because the more political that
position becomes, the higher up you go in an agency. In some states like here in California,
you're going to see opposition come out like probably the Narcotics Union. You know what,
and I don't--I don't have a problem saying it because I was in narcotics and I can say
from firsthand that, I'd like being in narcotics, not that I really liked going out and arresting
a lot of these people. I found out when I was in narcotics, in undercover work, these
are really good people. Most of these people I dealt with were really good people but I
enjoyed wearing the shorts, man and the t-shirts, and the sandals and driving a cool car, you
know, a Corvette or a 5-liter Mustang or Mercedes. I didn't want to go back in the uniform, pushing
a patrol unit. So to--you know, there are incentives, you know, agencies get a lot of
money from the Feds. They seize a lot of money and property every year. It's called Policing
for Profit, another good study done by the Cato Institute. Look that up. Policing for
Profit, and the list is long. So I--in my circle, one of the first things I said to
the folks in my circle who wear the uniform is, "Please go back to thinking how you thought
when you first came into this line of business, this career, why you came into it in the first
place, to be effective in a positive piece of someone's life." Because once they've been
on for a while, they become tainted, so I get them to go back to think that and if we
change this police relationships then many communities would improve drastically, because
we will no longer be an occupying force in those neighborhoods searching everyone, searching
their homes, searching their cars, profiling issues, and the list is long, so we could
repair that and become respected for the most part again. Yes? You.
>> Well, I was surprised to see government production on your slides. If you mean exclusive
government production then you're no longer talking about legalization of production distribution,
only the consumption. And if you're not talking about what's the government production, then
why should the government be able to compete with private supplier, why in other wordsů?
>> FRANKLIN: That's just--what you saw on the slide was just a suggestion of one impossible
model. Are we good? >> I think they're on the wrong PC.
>> FRANKLIN: Okay. I was just--of one possible model that--there's many different models.
What we're saying, at least, is when you move forward you'll then have 50 states that can
work on many different possible models. >> But I don't understand what the model [INDISTINCT].
>> FRANKLIN: Oh, I was referring to like the Heroin Maintenance programs that they currently
have in some of the other countries, where you're no longer--when someone doesn't have
to pay for what they need to get--when they get treatment.
>> The question is, what were you referring to with that point, exclusive government production
or non-exclusive government production? >> FRANKLIN: I don't know. It's whatever--it
would be whatever we decided for it to be, but the problem is we don't know what it could
possibly be, because we have our heads stuck in the sand. We know what we're doing now
doesn't work, but we're not moving forward. We're not creating think-tanks, serious think-tanks
to figure out the new direction. That's the biggest problem we're having right now is
that we're stagnant. >> LEASON: There is a very simple answer.
Very simple answer to your question. Gary Becker won the Nobel Prize in Economics in
1993. He's got a fantastic article in the Journal of Political Economy, published I
think, in 2005 where he demonstrates conclusively that legal producers have lower cost curves
than illegal producers. So that's--it's more efficient and the illegal producers will be
driven out of the market. So it's a complicated argument, it's very mathematical on some but
have a read of that. I think you will find the answer to your question there, that illegal
producers will be driven out of the market through cost cut--the inability to compete
with legal users. >> Yeah that's right but that's under the
assumption that the government will have the exclusive production.
>> LEASON: Yeah. >> FRANKLIN: Right. Right. Right. I'll take
two more questions and then we'll call it--I'm going to take you and then I'll come back
to you, sir. Okay. Yeah. >> [INDISTINCT]
>> FRANKLIN: Is there a reason why I never mentioned Prop 19? One of the reasons we're
5013C and we don't do too much in--you know, in pushing legislation, changes our tax status.
But Prop 19 needs to move forward, in my opinion, it definitely needs to move forward. I think
it's critical that it move forward not in 2012 but now, because I'm telling you, after
being on the frontlines for over three decades, everyday that we wait, thousands of people
die. And I mean I'm serious about that. I'm not just talking about here in the United
States, I'm talking about worldwide. This is a worldwide issue. Other countries look
to us and our policies. We have huge influence over the U.N. as it relates to drug policy
on a worldwide scale. The U.S. needs to move forward, do the right thing, correct our policies
and directions so that other countries will follow suit. And we'll save lives and people
talk about the unintended consequences of legalization. God, look at the current consequences.
You know they're talking about, "Oh, my God," you know, "usage from marijuana may go up
3%." Okay, usage goes up 3%. Smoking marijuana doesn't kill anyone. If we stay where we're
at, we'll have another 6,000, 7,000 people die in the next year in Mexico, in the United
States, we'll probably have about another 10,000 people die on our neighborhood drug
wars and, yeah, we'll keep it illegal. I mean, come on, I mean and those that do become addicted
even if increase usage does go up, at least we would have the money for proper treatment
but I'm telling you right now, I--from--as a cop would much rather take someone off of
a street corner to a good treatment center and put than put them in a body bag and take
them to the morgue. Any day, any day. And as Jack Cole would say, "You can get over
an addiction. You'll never get over conviction." You can't get student loans, you can't get
housing, you can't get jobs and the list goes on and on and on. And what happens to that
person? They eventually end up in jail or somehow become draining to society, instead
of productive in society, all because they decided to use a substance and--yes, sir.
>> Am confused, what's the natural competition like for governments to [INDISTINCT] drugs?
>> FRANKLIN: There is none. I mean they tried to say it was related to commerce but that's--it's
not. It's up to the states to decide what they should be. You see back--when they did
Alcohol Prohibition, that's why they had to create the 18th Amendment. There had to be
a constitutional change for them to do that. So nowů There are some studies that you can
read that speaks specifically to that and I don't want to speak incorrectly because,
you know, what's in my area is law enforcement and now you're getting more into the economic
part of it and Constitutional Law. I can speak to Constitutional Law as it relates to those
like the Fourth Amendment and the Fifth Amendment dealing with law enforcement and policing,
but not as it relates to interstate commerce and all that good stuff. But there--you can
find that information as to what the Government is saying the reason is for, so.
>> I'm just saying, would it be, maybe simpler to [INDISTINCT]
>> FRANKLIN: Well, and that's one of the things that I know it's not going to be safer than
in Argentina and that's what [INDISTINCT] because it's unconstitutional. And you ask
anybody that deals with Constitutional Law and they'll tell you that it is--in this country,
it is unconstitutional, but there was something that they did or said that kind of like skirts,
you know, it kind of like skirts the edges of it and that's one of the problems we're
having. That's--with this drug policy that we have that affects so many other areas of
the Constitution. I mean we're ripping--we're ripping the Fourth Amendment to shreds out
here, as it relates to searching people and in many cases, the Supreme Court, it's holding
up some of these searches that are done by law enforcement folks out here in the streets.
And when you look at these cases and that's why--as a matter of fact, what we're talking
about right now and I think it also answers your question is in the book that I mentioned
by Michelle Alexander, "The New Jim Crow" speaks specifically to that, so you might
want to take a look at that too. So, I know we kind of ran out of time here, but I just
want to thank you guys for having me here today, hosting me here today. I had a great time. Thank you. And there are
some pamphlets on the back there and I'll give you my--and you can probably find it
on the website but I'll give you my email address as well if you want to communicate
with me later. It's pretty simple. It's Neill, Thank you.