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Ep.202: Ethan Nadelmann, Drug Policy Alliance Part II

Cannabis Economy Podcast
Ep.202: Ethan Nadelmann, Drug Policy Alliance Part II

Ep.202: Ethan Nadelmann, Drug Policy Alliance Part II

Ethan returns to discuss what the incoming Presidential administration can do regarding Drug Policy. And we also cover what you can do in the face of that prospective action from the incoming administration. We go on to cover his thoughts on the prospective AG, what action DPA has in store as well as what action you can take.  We finish with some advice, where rather than focus on opinion or analysis, Ethan suggests that you “know what you’re talking about.” We kick off the show with a flashback to Episode 67 to give you a sense of some background on the person behind the policy.

Transcript:

Speaker 1: Ethan Nadelmann returns Ethan returns to discuss with the incoming presidential administration can do regarding drug policy. We also cover what you can do in the face of that perspective. Action from the incoming administration. We go onto cover. Ethan starts on the prospective attorney general what action DPA has in store, as well as once again, what action you can take. We finished with some advice where rather than focus on opinion or analysis even suggests that you know what you're talking about. In quotes, we kick off the show with a flashback episode 67 to give you a sense of some background on the person behind the policy. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the handle can economy. That's two ends of the word economy, the triumphant return of either native

Speaker 2: and so, uh, for, for those that understand these types of things, they can already hear. You are from New York, sir. I am from New York. You know, born not bred, born in New York City, grew up in the suburbs in Westchester and moved back to the city and the end of [inaudible] 92, so over two decades ago. I mean, that's close enough. You know, we, we include a, you know, the northern suburbs as well as the, uh, the easterly suburbs, if you will. Exactly. Although when you say the city, you got to be true to quote the city. Oh sure. No, no. I said you were from New York, but yes, that's right. You know, you were born and bred are born at least in the city. Now you're a city resident once again. Uh, upper west I think we discussed. Right. Uh, it's beautiful up there. Yeah. No, I mean I love living in New York City. I mean, you know, some people say they want to live in New York's a nice place to visit. For me, this is where I want to live and every place else is a beautiful place to visit. And of course when you live in the city, it's important to get out because it's so dynamic, so much energy. So you know, so intense that you need to get out and breathe and see the stars and breathe the air, but you know, I get bored after a little while. I got to come back.

Speaker 3: That's it. Get out of the city of course. And then you do, you get a little homesick and, and you get out of the tunnel or whatever it is coming in from the airport and you're like, well, you know,

Speaker 2: when you live in the center of the universe and you enjoy living in the center of the universe, then like, you know, you want to spend at least half the time. Here I am right there with her. I plan to retire. What better place to retire?

Speaker 3: Well, before you retire, let's get into to what you're doing. Of course. Uh, you run a DPA. Uh, let's, let's talk about you a little bit. Get to understand who you are because who you are informs what you do. You mentioned, uh, going to school in the late seventies. We've already talked about the fact that you grew up just outside of the city. What, what was it like? I, I think I know that, uh, and, and I think we can tell you speak so well, you must be the son of an order, right? Your Dad was a,

Speaker 2: my dad was a rabbi he ordained as a conservative rabbi and then he became the leader of the Jewish reconstructionist movement, which is sort of the fourth wing of American Judaism. And so, you know, it was very much shaped by him. Not that I can barely remember a single word he ever said, but I know that his ways of thinking and also his ways of speaking infused who I am today.

Speaker 3: And I don't mean to get too far in, but it does kind of help inform, once again, it helped inform the conversation. Conservative Judaism is very different than reconstruction. A reconstruction as well,

Speaker 2: which in a sense, I mean, you know, some of your listeners may know there's three main branches of American Judaism, Orthodox, which are the very traditional and which has many different groups within it. The reform, which are the most liberal started by the sort of German Jewish immigrants in the mid 19th century and conservative, which is sort of in the middle, somewhat traditional, um, but um, you know, trying to figure out how to have a semi traditional Jewish life in American society and reconstructionist Judaism emerged in the 19 thirties founded by a guy who was my father's, a mentor, Rabbi, Mordecai Kaplan, basically that looked at Judaism not as a religion, but as an evolving civilization or people and which embraced the notion that Judaism had to keep evolving in order to stay fresh for new generations. And then North America was a special place in Jewish history and that while making Alejan moving to Israel was a mitzvah, a good deed or a commandment, that there was something special about building a vibrant Jewish community in America.

Speaker 1: Ethan Nadelmann returns Ethan returns to discuss with the incoming presidential administration can do regarding drug policy. We also cover what you can do in the face of that perspective. Action from the incoming administration. We go onto cover. Ethan starts on the prospective attorney general what action DPA has in store, as well as once again, what action you can take. We finished with some advice where rather than focus on opinion or analysis even suggests that you know what you're talking about. In quotes, we kick off the show with a flashback episode 67 to give you a sense of some background on the person behind the policy. Welcome to cannabis economy. I'm your host Seth Adler. Check us out on social with the handle can economy. That's two ends of the word economy, the triumphant return of either native

Speaker 2: and so, uh, for, for those that understand these types of things, they can already hear. You are from New York, sir. I am from New York. You know, born not bred, born in New York City, grew up in the suburbs in Westchester and moved back to the city and the end of [inaudible] 92, so over two decades ago. I mean, that's close enough. You know, we, we include a, you know, the northern suburbs as well as the, uh, the easterly suburbs, if you will. Exactly. Although when you say the city, you got to be true to quote the city. Oh sure. No, no. I said you were from New York, but yes, that's right. You know, you were born and bred are born at least in the city. Now you're a city resident once again. Uh, upper west I think we discussed. Right. Uh, it's beautiful up there. Yeah. No, I mean I love living in New York City. I mean, you know, some people say they want to live in New York's a nice place to visit. For me, this is where I want to live and every place else is a beautiful place to visit. And of course when you live in the city, it's important to get out because it's so dynamic, so much energy. So you know, so intense that you need to get out and breathe and see the stars and breathe the air, but you know, I get bored after a little while. I got to come back.

Speaker 3: That's it. Get out of the city of course. And then you do, you get a little homesick and, and you get out of the tunnel or whatever it is coming in from the airport and you're like, well, you know,

Speaker 2: when you live in the center of the universe and you enjoy living in the center of the universe, then like, you know, you want to spend at least half the time. Here I am right there with her. I plan to retire. What better place to retire?

Speaker 3: Well, before you retire, let's get into to what you're doing. Of course. Uh, you run a DPA. Uh, let's, let's talk about you a little bit. Get to understand who you are because who you are informs what you do. You mentioned, uh, going to school in the late seventies. We've already talked about the fact that you grew up just outside of the city. What, what was it like? I, I think I know that, uh, and, and I think we can tell you speak so well, you must be the son of an order, right? Your Dad was a,

Speaker 2: my dad was a rabbi he ordained as a conservative rabbi and then he became the leader of the Jewish reconstructionist movement, which is sort of the fourth wing of American Judaism. And so, you know, it was very much shaped by him. Not that I can barely remember a single word he ever said, but I know that his ways of thinking and also his ways of speaking infused who I am today.

Speaker 3: And I don't mean to get too far in, but it does kind of help inform, once again, it helped inform the conversation. Conservative Judaism is very different than reconstruction. A reconstruction as well,

Speaker 2: which in a sense, I mean, you know, some of your listeners may know there's three main branches of American Judaism, Orthodox, which are the very traditional and which has many different groups within it. The reform, which are the most liberal started by the sort of German Jewish immigrants in the mid 19th century and conservative, which is sort of in the middle, somewhat traditional, um, but um, you know, trying to figure out how to have a semi traditional Jewish life in American society and reconstructionist Judaism emerged in the 19 thirties founded by a guy who was my father's, a mentor, Rabbi, Mordecai Kaplan, basically that looked at Judaism not as a religion, but as an evolving civilization or people and which embraced the notion that Judaism had to keep evolving in order to stay fresh for new generations. And then North America was a special place in Jewish history and that while making Alejan moving to Israel was a mitzvah, a good deed or a commandment, that there was something special about building a vibrant Jewish community in America.

Speaker 2: And it also was the first one in which women were treated fully as equal. The first Bar Mitzvah, the first female rabbis, all of that was the reconstructionist movement. And in many ways reform and conservative Judaism have embraced and adapted many of the ideas that began with reconstructionist Judaism. The for me in my life is with drug policy reform, that same way in which our movement is infusing movements around personal freedom, around racial justice, around social justice, around a lot of things, and also that kind of bigger question just as reconstruction as using them had to struggle should, are we a fourth movement in American Judaism or are we more an intellectual movement that will infuse the others? Similarly, the drug policy reform movement has struggled with the notion, are we a distinct political movement in American and global society or, or are we more of an intellectual movement meant to infuse these other areas, reproductive rights, uh, you know, racial justice, social justice, civil liberties, what have you. And that's, that's an ongoing internal sort of discussion.

Speaker 3: Is your take on each

Speaker 2: both? Yeah, I think so, but of course, you know, it's the struggle. It's here. I've spent my life, you know, really building up the leading drug policy reform organization in the world drug policy alliance, but were building the drug policy reform movement is really my broader passion, right? When, when the time comes for me to retire, whatever, you know, I hope that drug policy lines, DPA is a vibrant and growing organization that I can hand off the leadership to somebody, but ultimately, you know, it's what happens with drug policy writ large in American and global society. That's what's most important to me.

Speaker 3: Indeed. And we've spoken with Amanda Reiman as you know, and so you've got a pretty good one there.

Speaker 2: Oh, I mean we look, I mean the thing about DPA is the people who work at EPA, the people who have worked at EPA, it's just an extraordinary group of people. I mean the people running our offices around the country in New York and New Jersey, New Mexico, California and Colorado and DC, you know, the people working on our legal affairs office and our media offices and obviously our development office, we just have, we have incredible talent and we now have because hundreds of people have now worked at DPA. We have an alumni network, some of whom come back and work for us as lobbyists or other consultants or what have you. So I really feel like we're infusing a movement here.

Speaker 3: Indeed. Uh, you, you absolutely are a, you speak of a movement and you talked about how that kind of goes hand in hand with the way that your father was a dealing with religion and how those two kinds of philosophies overlap. What about your mother?

Speaker 2: Kmart? Her mom was remarkable. It was remarkable. I mean, she lives across the park central park from the, in New York City now. Um, but my mom was remarkable because she went, she was very much of a feminist back going back to the sixties and seventies, a true feminist, you know, one of the, one of five women to start Nyu law school back in the fifties, dropped up the American, dropped out to get married. But then when she was in her thirties, went back to Columbia, got a master's degree in. Then she went to Yale to pursue further graduate work and I ended up getting a master's in philosophy at, at Yale and became a biostatistician. Basically doing statistical work, working for pharmaceutical companies. And so the part of my mind that's more mathematical and research oriented, so it's really comes from my mom and I'm very lucky to have that fusion of my dad being a rabbi and a brilliant speaker and a broadminded intellectual, um, and my mom having come at this from a more scientific and mathematical perspective. And so really getting that fusion from the two of them.

Speaker 3: And uh, there's some construction going on upstairs. I don't know if you can hear that, but that is a

Speaker 2: pretty unbelievably

Speaker 3: great stock that you come from.

Speaker 2: Well, you know, I'll you that. The other thing of course was growing up, you know, um, my dad having been born in Berlin in 1928 and immigrant and then fleeing to Ecuador in 1939 and coming to the US in 1946 when he was 18 on a scholarship. His father having fought and won the iron cross for Germany in the first world war and then being murdered in Auschwitz and the Second World War. So that consciousness around Jewish history and the demonization of people, the stigmatization, demonization, the racist genocide that characterize that period, that's a place in monumental role in terms of my passion for social justice and my perception that although I would never equate one genocide with another or or compare the war on drugs to that racist genocide back then, but that demonization and persecution of a minority on that happened to my people, especially during the Holocaust. But even throughout Jewish history, it created a sense of empathy and identity and understanding with other groups that have been persecuted throughout history. And I really see the persecution would happen with respect to drug users, drug dealers, the whole drug thing. Beginning with Nixon's war on drugs in the seventies and then picking up, you know, horrific steam with his bipartisan war on drugs in the late eighties and nineties. I really see that analogy to the persecution, not just abused, but other minorities throughout history

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Speaker 4: I mean, there's just so much to talk about the issue. So what, what has happened here? Ethan? Ethan Nadelmann, drug policy alliance. I'm here in HQ. Thank you for having me speak to CSF. What, uh, what's gone on here? What's the deal?

Speaker 5: Except the election right now. I, I think it's pretty clear that the election of Donald Trump, uh, represents an enormous challenge and in some respects and disaster for our drug policy reform agenda and speaking personally, although it really overlaps with my work, you know, a 20 minute the drug war, I think it also represents a disaster nightmare, the country in the world. And so, uh, you know, and then the fact that we now have the Republicans seem continuing control of the Senate and the house and that they will soon have a full control, the supreme court more full control, but the majority of the Supreme Court, uh, it really, I think what it means, it says the problem of checks and balances in our American constitutional democracy is more challenged right now than it at most times in our history. And it's not that there were points where you had the Democrats with a kind of comparable, a majority or even greater. But I think it's the things that Donald Trump has been saying and doing and some of the people he's appointing that really make me profoundly concerned.

Speaker 4: Okay. So words like disaster and profound concern. A disconcerting to hear you say, um, you know, I was, uh, at the outer limits of my being. I, you know, had hope that, uh, I would come in to Nathan would say, oh no, it's fine. Here's the plan. I'm now. I'm sure there is a plan and we'll get into that. We'll, we'll get into the appointments as well. I think it is worth our time just to review, um, the history of what has come before just to provide a four ground for what we're, what we're going to discuss this in a broader historical, oh, perspective

Speaker 5: and to look at sort of three key issues that we've worked on it for a couple of decades now. One is ending marijuana prohibition and about a third of our focus. The second is ending mass incarceration and especially the drug piece of that which has been a drunk, was a driving force in the 80 nineties and willing to do to thousands and remains a very powerful force and mass incarceration and the third is, is moving the country that direction of treating drug use primarily as a health issue at a criminal issue and that has really meant learning a lot from the models in Europe that worked so effectively, but that America had resisted for all sorts of cultural and political reasons. Now, with respect to marijuana reform, we obviously have made enormous progress beginning 20. It was 20 years ago that we won the first medal, Merle initiative in California prior to 15.

Speaker 5: And you now the recent election, you don't have eight states that have now legalized marijuana in 28 states, including those aides that also would have legal, medical marijuana, so you now know over 20 percent of the country, including California, which will have access to legal marijuana and over half the country, both states and population with medical marijuana. That's been an enormous transformation. Probably no other issue is the only other issue that's advanced and changed and public opinion that much over the last decade or two has been gay rights and equality. And you look at the Gallup poll from the Gallup poll and marriage equality and the Gallup poll and marijuana legalization from 2004 to last year and you see almost identical lines. Thirty four percent support 12 years ago to 54 percent or something hockey, hockey stick growth. So that's a good analogy. So it's really been quite dramatic.

Speaker 5: And, and of course that's now threatening to some extent Donald Trump on the campaign trail, you know, say, well we should have to medical marijuana and we should leave the legalization issue up to the states. But, but just look in the last few weeks and you see on his inauguration committee is Sheldon Adelson, casino mogul and his wife are who was the number one funder of the opposition to the marijuana legalization initiatives also this time and this and he was just focusing the last time I medical marijuana, Florida. The second biggest donor to our opposition is Mel Assembler, the former Republican ambassador and heavily Republican National Committee's Finance Committee, and he's on inauguration day, so that's just symbolic right there, but it shows you who trumped regards as among the insiders. Then you look at his appointment for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Jeff sessions, who is a drug word dinosaur as opposed almost all the reforms that you know and then then, well then you call it the sentencing reform issue.

Speaker 5: A majority of Americans overwhelmingly now agreed is too many people behind bars and that we certainly should find alternatives for nonviolent drug offenders, especially the low level offenders and we've been able to move policy dramatically. We, I mean from policy alliance and our allies, California, New York, New Jersey and a range of other states were prison populations. Have fallen quite substantially and it looks like President Obama is now going to be the first president in 50 years who will lend finish this term with fewer people in federal prison. Then when he started and that was primarily about changing policy with that volume drug offenders, trump and sessions have been on the other side of that. Right now. A lot of this is at the state issue and there we have on the one hand or problem that you know, two thirds or more of the states are now in single party Republican control of this growing.

Speaker 5: There's more and more Republicans who support sentencing reform but not at the pace and the breadth and the Democrats have and then you look at the third issue which is treating drug use and addiction as a health issue and that was about needle exchange to reduce the spread of HIV aids. It's about dealing with the overdose crisis we have in America in a pragmatic way that makes the antidote and the locks and available that stops criminalizing people using drugs. It means moving the direction of the decriminalization policies we've seen in Europe, especially Portugal and elsewhere and there too. I mean trump has not been that outspoken on the issue, but the fact is is that he has inclined towards re instituting the war on drugs and the sort of science based policies which are so pivotal. I mean the fact is needle exchange, overdose prevention, even the more push the envelope things like safe injection facilities are prescribing heroin, heroin addicts all deeply grounded in scientific evidence.

Speaker 5: But now we have a president who is expressed contempt for science in the areas of environment. Too many other areas and that will spill over here. So I look at all three of our areas and then, I mean I didn't have to tell you this, this other bigger issue which concerns me. I remember when nine slash 11 happened 15 years ago and I remember then we had the war in Afghanistan. The morning rob, I remember we had been describing herself in the late nineties until 2000. You know, the drug policy reform movement as a new antiwar movement. Well, we had to throw out those bumper stickers that we have a real war right, and beyond that, the country flipped into the mode of hyper consciousness around security issues. And so the ballot initiatives that we'd want to easily just a year before it became much more difficult to win.

Speaker 5: In fact, we began to lose valid initiatives on treatment instead of incarceration and issues like that because the country became security upsets and we had to kind of retrench, shift our rhetoric, shift our policies focused more state level legislative or build institutions. I mean, it was, we had had that momentum in the late nineties with valid initiative victories on medical marijuana treatment instead of incarceration, marijuana, decriminalization, reforming forfeiture laws. And it was a real retrenchment. And the lie that major philanthropic donors became focused on other issues. Well, now we have, um, a man who's going to be in the White House, uh, who is not reassuring and national security issues, who doesn't exude a sense of confidence about his judgment, who is showing tendencies towards being a bit of a sociopath and Megalomania megalomania maniac. And um, and then he's just appointed as his national security advisor in this General Flynn from smart but also seems a bit unhinged and that makes me think that the odds of us having a national security crisis in this country have increased substantially.

Speaker 5: And we've also become, I mean, you know, what better recruitment as an advertisement for Isis than having Donald Trump with his anti Muslim and all those other radical rhetoric sitting in the White House. So, uh, I am, I am remarkably, you know, worried about the potential for national security prices to pop up more frequently in this country and that is not just bad for the country. It's also bad for the capacity is bad for the world, but it's also bad for what we're trying to do in ending the drug war because it means to return to hyper security consciousness. It means our issues and fights being relegated to the sidelines.

Speaker 4: I told a shift in mindset, total shift in mindset and, and that, that thank you for doing that. That really does set the table as far as you know, what the table stakes are. A, I ask about history because one of the main questions that I want to ask you is now and over the next four years, what can they do, and that's why I asked the history question and what can we do, so if, if that, if that's the reality that we are entering, what can they actually do and what can we actually do? So let's I guess start with Jeff sessions because you will a little bit.

Speaker 5: I think it's probably an easier by sessions. The fact of the matter is I think that there needs to be a forceful effort to block his nomination. That's it. And it's already been tricky. I mean it's going to be complicated because they're the already some of the more moderate Republicans like Susan Collins in Maine and a flake from Arizona as well as the Democrat Manchin from West Virginia have said they would support him. There's an element of senatorial collegiality, etc. And sessions, even though he's had a history of racist sentiment and rhetoric and support,

Speaker 4: he was rejected as a federal judge for being too racist. Go Ahead.

Speaker 5: Yeah, exactly. And he's showing those tendencies. I'll even if he's been more discreet in recent decades, so I think, but there may well be some republicans who oppose it to the republicans will only have a 52 to 48 majority in the senate and he mentioned three of them. Well, a wealth was 48, right? Takeaway through, you know, one democrat, if you get it, may just be four more votes sessions can vote on himself. So in the senate judiciary committee, republicans running an app, one person more than the democrats and one of those now sessions. So it creates interesting issues about how does nomination goes through. Of course if he's rejected, he will quite likely be replaced by somebody who is a surrogate for his used sherpas is symbolic value of blocking sessions I think would be substantial. It's hard to be optimistic about our prospects, but it's early and we'll have to see that if you break it out and we don't know who's going to point as drugs are.

Speaker 5: Sure. I mean, interestingly, you know, uh, president obama's last drugs are by the shelly who came from a, uh, unlike all the predecessors came from law enforcement backgrounds or police chiefs or professional moralists just, you know, bought a jelly, came from a public health background, and although he was quite bad on issues with marijuana, I mean that was his really blind spot of the illegitimate anti marijuana rhetoric. and I've always not been bold on some of the european style interventions. He's definitely shown them a much greater commitment to public health and opposition to the drug or did any of his predecessors going back to the first official drugs are a William Bennett. But let's see who I'm not optimistic about who trump made a point to that position. Assuming he keeps it, quite frankly, given who he might appoint to it, I'd almost rather see him abolish the office of the office of national drug control policy, which is possible.

Speaker 5: I guess it is part of this being considered in the past. A lot of people feel it's not really necessary anymore, so. So we'll have to see about that now on the barrel waterfront. Yeah, know I think right now the folks involved in medical marijuana, I have less to worry about. I think trump's been more reassuring, but the issue of legalization initiatives, that's going to be much more up into up and question. Here's what can happen. I mean the fact of the matter is when obama, when he first came in and, oh no, and you know, we gave a qualified green light for some of the stuff that you pulled back a bit later in his first term. Then in the summer of 2013, eric holder's justice department with white house backing basically gave a qualified green light to Colorado and Washington to proceed with implementing their marijuana legalization.

Speaker 5: She paid for with the cole memo and the feds have more or less, you know, they'd been problematic here and there. But you know, the marijuana legalization effort from the active, my perspective, the activist perspective as well as the industry perspective has blossomed. Um, now you have sessions who's clearly hostile and it's been taking the leadership hostile role during the obama years. He's going to appoint a head of the criminal division who's not going to be friendly. They're Going to be appointing us attorneys all around the country who may, some of who may be highly aggressive on this issue. They could go to the courts, they can begin to pick out, you know, fat targets and create a chilling effect in this whole movement and industry. And I distinguish the two even though, uh, so there's all sorts of things that theY can do. I think that our ability to progress on capitol hill and issues about the industry issues that the industry cares about, like access to lead to federally registered banks so that they can use credit cards, stop being such a cash heavy business, which is something that not just the industry wants, you even have, you know, top law enforcement officials and the legalization states wanting that.

Speaker 5: I think a whole range of others are going to be a lot harder to get through right now on capital hill with a hostile administration or which may be vetoed by the administration. Um, what should our site do? Well, I mean, first of all, we mobilize as we have in the past, uh, we make sure that we have an ever greater percentage of the democrats on capitol hill. We pushed the members of congress from the legalization states to step up, which some of them have begun to do in recent years, even though they were skeptical or opposed to legalization beforehand. Uh, we also see who has some links into the republican administration to the trump administration. I mean, peter teal, I was following the money before we can follow the money too on this side. Can look peter teal.

Speaker 5: I mean, I met peter till around 2007. He was actually a modest donor to drug policy alliance for a few years from roughly 2008 or nine to 10 or 11. Uh, he supported the marijuana legalization initiative in California back in 2010. Uh, he's now invested in the marijuana industry. That's the person who's going to have the ear of the president. There will be other people like that. And there are people, you know, when I, last week I was at in las vegas for the marijuana industry conference, it was over 11,000 people were just crazy double what it was last year. It's a booming industry and you know, you know, disproportionately white men, church means that you had quite a number of trump voters in that crowd, I don't think majority, but a significant minority and some of them

Speaker 4: like people more than you think, which is I think the lesson that we learned on election day, right. So

Speaker 5: is going to be an interesting wake up call for some of those trump voters in the marijuana industry. But some of them have contacts on, in the trump administration, people who campaign for trump read thing. So there's going to be an effort to reach out to, to try to penetrate there. I think that'll be a small piece of what we do. Most of our effort is really going to be the mobilizing of state government, state leadership members of congress and trying to move the sympathetic republicans to block as much as possible with things that trump might do.

Speaker 4: So, uh, let's talk policy, right? Um, let's talk p here at the dba. What, uh, what does mobilizing mean? You know, if I'm listening to you, ethan, and I'm saying I understand and agree with everything that you're saying, or at least 95 percent of it, tell me what to do. Tell me what to do right now. Tell me what to do over the next month.

Speaker 5: I mean, the first thing is obviously if you're listening to this and you, um, uh, either voted for trump or have any contacts with people who were involved with trump, you want to start making your views known very quickly to that and see what you can do on that front. I think thAt secondly, people who care about this need to be contacting their members of congress, including republican members of congress and explaining why this is such an important issue. And this goes by the way, not just for marijuana reform, but also for sentencing reform. Also for treating drug addiction and drug use has health issues and all of these things, right? It means that if you care about this issue, you need to be supporting, you know, leading national organization, drug policy, alliance and slash or your local organizations and slash or national organizations that work on this issue, whether they're, whether they're marijuana policy project or normal or americans for safe access which works on medical marijuana.

Speaker 5: whether they're fan that works on the mandatory minimum issue, whether they're a harm reduction coalition that works on the public health issue. I mean if you have the resources to help, it means if you want to get engaged, you can look to volunteer for those organizations. It means that you want to be calling in not just to progressive media, but right wing media. If you follow breitbart or fox, if you listen to right wing talk radio, you listened to rush limbaugh, you want to be calling in and making your views known on those, on personal liberty and states' rights per whatever the argument may be. I mean, if it's medical marijuana, it may maybe a personal experience. If it's about people being arrested, it may be about why is the government spending money and arresting people for this stuff. If it's about state's rights, it's about state's rights and was personal liberties, personal liberty for listening.

Speaker 5: What moved the swing voters in most of the states to vote for marijuana legalization, you know, the people who've never smoked marijuana or have it in a long time. We were concerned about, you know, marijuana, kids, marijuana driving, all those things would move them in almost every state to shift from being kind of against, to in favor enough to vote in favor were two key arguments. One was we'd rather have the cops focusing on real crime instead of arresting young people for weed. And secondly we'd rather have the government taxing this stuff and regulating it rather than having the gangster effectively taxing it and running it right. Those are the two arguments that went over swing voters and we're gonna we're gonna stick with those arguments as much as possible. Keep. Keep going. Alright, so you say a call your local representatIves. You said even republicans, wouldn't it be, especially republicans?

Speaker 5: Yes, especially republicans. I mean, I mean there are lingering democrats who renamed the pose for one reason or another, and the fact that the head of the democratic national committee was a congresswoman from Florida, mean debra wasserman schultz and that she was the. I think it's just about the only democrat in the leadership who was opposed to medical marijuana who actually, you know, objected to the medical marijuana initiative in Florida. It's just been terrible. And you know, I was in a position to tell nancy pelosi and a number of occasions that I thought that having debra wasserman schultz, I'm a, you know, in this job would be like having an anti gay. They get in that job and I just thought it was recalled. I also had the opportunity to tell debra wasserman schultz to her face what a disaster she was. And I was delighted to see her get pushed out of that position for unrelated reasons a few months ago.

Speaker 5: But wiki leaks thing happened. So we can't let that soRt of thing be happening in the democratic party. And that's just highly inappropriate. And it also means there's so many issues competing for the attention of the democrats now given trump's positions on issues of broader racial justice issues on immigration, on the environment, on a whole host of things on that we're going to have to competent compete for the attention of democrats on this. You know, it's good that we now have people in the congress like earl blumenauer, democratic congressman from Oregon who's deeply committed to this issue. UnfoRtunately other ones as well. But yes, the fact is that the republicans are going to need to step up. Those are the ones who will be most key because the only way to block trump at this point is by getting support from most of it or all of the democrats.

Speaker 5: And then getting enough republicans that you can block some of the bad things he wants to do. And, you know, look at a senator flake, uh, in Arizona. It has a libertarian streak. I'll look at rand paul, who's been an ally of ours on marijuana reform issues and on sentencing reform issues. I look at a Mike Lee and Utah who's also been somewhat open on these issues. There's also on the senate issues around sentencing reform, sentencing reform, but for a mitch mcconnell, the republican leader blocking the vote, there were a majority of votes for sentencing reform of both the house and the senate. Paul ryan, the speaker of the house and said just a few months ago that he wanted to move forward with sentencing reform as quickly as possible and we know we had the votes between democrats and republicans in the senate, but sessions, you know, he's not going to make that easy. I don't think trump has either given his rhetoric. So I think you do everything possible on that front.

Speaker 4: All right, so we were focusing on the person. So me, the listener, um, now let's talk about [inaudible]. You said support the organizations. Talk about a, you know, when you say mobilize, what dpa is going to be doing so that we can understand, you know, how the organization is looking at this, what activity is going on so that any loose change in my pocket or even folding bills, I can send your way.

Speaker 5: Well, I mean, the first thing is we're part of a coalition that's mobilizing now to block a session. How are you doing? Well, we just had to tell her press conference yesterday with our allies on that. Uh, we are now in the process of, uh, of, you know, really building up the doSe epi in him. We've done this before. We efforts not successful most cases to block, uh, the drugs are appointments in the past. Uh, we were, we made a major campaign to get a president obama to fire the former head of the dea and whether as a result of our efforts are some or do we played a part you can never be sure. But she did go. That was a positive development. So that kind of mobilization is going to be key. I think we're going to be, we do have some links with republicans and we'll make our best efforts.

Speaker 5: I've already met with one prominent, not elected official, but somebody very influential among republicans and I'll be meeting with the chair of the senate committees in the next couple of weeks, so those efforts will be underway and will be mobilizing allies as well. I think that, you knoW, I've been frustrated at times with the, the uh, unwillingness of the marijuana industry than the nascent industry to be more helpful and more strategic and to focus narrowly on their objectives, but I think they're now in a bit of a state of concern and I think we're going to see them stepping up more. Um, I think that, you know, for people who should be signing up for our alerts, just go to drug policy.org because a lot of times we're sending out things that say, contact your member of congress, signed this petition, all this person. That's just another way to stay on top of it.

Speaker 4: Making the numbers, the people that support this apparent and office.

Speaker 5: One thing you know, the fact of the matter is, is you know, Donald Trump did not win the popular vote infected now dear, is that hillary will have beaten him by a bigger margin on the popular vote praise. It is many people who became president, right? And, and cenTral college as well. And so the numbers are on our side, they're just not well distributed across the country. So I think that the numbers though do count and the media does count, you know, making sure that if we, if you see that media is not covering this issue, are coming in correctly, you know, any, any citizen can contact, write a letter to the editor, a call up call, talk radio, whatever it might be.

Speaker 4: Well there's the fourth estate, right? And you bring up the media and that's another kind of institution which really, um, hasn't necessarily been helpful and kind of serving us facts serving us, you know, truth baseD information.

Speaker 5: Well, no, we had no other institution that, right. It's not like when we had three major networks and walter cronkite, you know, and, and there was pbs on the side. I mean now you have, it's not like you have multiple media channels and you have the problem that you know, you know, media channels that have some level of journalistic integrity and accountability have to compete now with sensationalist media channels that have no accountability and that will put out great falls and there is no accountability for that whatsoever. I mean it would be wonderful. I mean trump's threats to use the libel laws and all sorts of ways. On the other hand, there is an, I think it was reckless on the other hand, one wishes there was an element of holding major media outlets accountable for the accuracy because we're sort of doing away with the notion of anything resembling facts in a whole new generation is growing up with.

Speaker 5: And that's just in the universe to older generations as well. I think the media played of very destructive role, a writ large and obviously with exceptions with the drug war back in the eighties and nineties. I mean they were fascinated by that. The imagery of cops knocking down doors and and photographing the worst aspects of drug addiction, all the things that may help magnify on this problem make things worse. I will say that the media, a lot of the more response will be political, a constructive role. In recent years. I think they've been more evidenced based. They've been more willing to report the facts. I think part of that is because organizations like to drug policy alliance has made a major effort to educate and engage the media. The other interesting thing I should say is I think that the entertainment, the win from playing a very disruptive role back in the eighties and nineties when drug this and that or demonize and all sorts of ways to actually play a but

Speaker 6: unmeasurable positive role. When you say entertainment media, what do you mean? I'll give you an example. When we won the first medical marijuana initiative in California in 1996 and then we proceeded to win six more medical marijuana initiatives between 98 and 2000 and mostly in the western states during the late nineties. AlmoSt every single television entertainment program or not everybody, many of that woven a medical marijuana epiSode or theme either for laughs or for two years and entertainment media reach is much greater numbers of people then the news media and it hits people when their defenses are not so much out and in that way the entertainment media by running with the medical mariJuana thing really helped to move public opinion. Meanwhile we were doing our, you know, paid ads on, on eleCtion season and we were, you know, having people testified before state legislatures and things like that.

Speaker 6: So then they move forward in tandem. But the entertainment played a very constructive role. I think that more recently as if you look at the evolution to make an analogy here of gay people in the entertainment media, we went fRom the never been detected just on soap. Billy crystal and then you went from there like one highly flamboyantly gay person being on just sort of relaxed and just kinda, you know. And then you went from. They might be the theme of the show between a gay person or a gay couple or whatever. What are roommates or whatever it is, and then it starts to become more and more normalized to where somebody being gay is not even. It's part of the storyline, but it's not amazing. it's a subtext. It's not even part of the thing, and it wAs Part of the normalization that was going on in our broader culture and then helPing lead the broader culture in that direction.

Speaker 6: Well, similarly we've gone from marijuana being demonized. Reefer madness. There was cheech and chong that was kind of the joke on marijuana. Then you had, you know, the drugs or his office trying to persuade the entertainment media put anti marijuana themes into their show. Right. But we're now entering into a period where marijuana in movies and tv shows is, you know, almost fading into the background. It's becoming normalized. It's the one of these things where you may have a pothead who's got a problem with marijuana, but you're just as likely as somebody who is a highly functioning person who happens to smoke marijuana as well. AnD sometimes it's even having other drugs as well. Right? And so in that sense, the kind of normalization, the turning away from demonization, making the depiction of drug use much more consistent with the reality of drug use, which is not just the bad, which truly exists. Right? So the good and the indifferent, I think in that sense it's plays a very important role.

Speaker 4: So that's the entertainment media. And then going back to kind of the news media or what, you know, what I was kind of referring to is the corporate media. I'm serving information about the election. Okay, fine. You're okay with how they're treating the issue at how they're treating, you know, kind of your tent pole

Speaker 6: kind of goals? Well, I will say I'm not a huge consumer of, of, of electronic media, video media. I don't watch much televiSion or listening to much radio. And uh, I liked going to the movies go to rather than small numbers. So I'm not the best judge of all this. But from what I read, see here, I'd say that the entertainment media at this point, although there's a long way to go, still so many chivalrous in our society, I would love to, I mean, just for example, you take the issue, there's what, 300,000 people on methadone maintenance the United States right now, something like that. Many of them are very highly functioning normal jobs like you and the families drive cars, etc. But when the issue of methadone pops up in the media, it's typically around those junkies going to clinics and then, you know, selling, you know what I mean?

Speaker 6: That's been the kind of negative side and, and the normalized side doesn't show up. Uh, I'm not aware of maybe there are, but it's very rare to have a media episode where somebody who used to be a heroin addict and now leaves a perfectly normal responsible, you know, life law abiding and were methadone. This is daily medicine is depicted as a normal person. That would help usually, right? I think if you already have. Psychedelics were beginning to see a positive change where it was all about the scary, crazy people losing their minds, jumping off buildings, etc. Etc. TO a lot more media now focusing on the therapeutic and spiritual potential of these texts. Tech folks in silicon valley, 10 micro dosing and yeah, you have a highly respected writer like michael pollan, the famous food writer in New York times writer who is now writing a book on psychedelics and their medical potential.

Speaker 6: That's almost certainly going to be a best seller when it comes out in a year or two. So in those things, I think we're seeing a positive evolution. I think that marijuana, I mean we struggled forever even though most marijuana consumers don't, you know, look like tie dyed hippies. You still had the media pulling out that old footage of. Of that, even though more and more people are consuming marijuana, not by smoking joints or bonds, but with the vape like an cigarette or you have the media pulling out. They love that imagery of the burning joint and all of that. Right. Even though a large, the fastest growing a group of marijuana consumers are older people, the media still loves to show the younger people, you know, so there's a sense in which the imagery that works for tv is still not all that helpful.

Speaker 6: On the other hand, they've so overdone it, that, that imagery has now become more and more. It's lost some of its bite. Uh, I was struck that a week before the election, 60 minutes just did a remarkably irresponsible and biased hatchet job on the marijuana issue. They went to Colorado. They started off with a decent episode about a guy responsible businessman was growing marijuana, but then they went and they interviewed somebody in an emergency room. The doctor talking about marijuana in pregnancy with no focus on the science, the facts, the evidence. Then they interviewed somebody about marijuana and driving who, um, you know, just talk about because marijuana stays in your tissues were dangerous, just total mix. And there's just the abandonment of any notion that there's actually scientific evidence out there that they should have referred to. Then talking, looking at the fact that there's still a black market in Colorado or that there are some, you know, you know, people trying to take advantage of the legal environment to keep growing marijuana illegally. Ignoring the fact that the states without legalization, everybody is illegal. So you still have that kind of hackathon style irresponsible.

Speaker 4: And are you worried because that, that is what we saw, you know, um, you know, in the seventies a retrenchment in the eighties, a retrenchment, uh, you know, even, you know, during the bush years, you, you're mentioning a retrenchment. Are you worried about that happening? To me,

Speaker 6: we're going to see a cultural retrenchment like that for a few reasons. You know, back in the late seventies, which is what I was in college, it was the spirit of kind of live and let live around marijuana was quite open. 11 states and recently decriminalized marijuana, a jimmy carter and his attorney general and cole for decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level, not legalizing and land.

Speaker 4: We had many states that, uh, in, in the west that did just that during the 1970 states political.

Speaker 6: Yep. You're not just the west east, even in the south, but when you look back at the opinion polls, which you see is that only 30 percent of the american public supported legalizing marijuana and it's pete back then and there was an entire generation of people from their forties to their nineties who didn't know the difference between marijuana and heroin. So there was a sense of gross overconfidence because the kind of youth culture was triumphant in the seventies and then that was rolled that dramatically in the eighties. That's not going to happen now. Now you had most of that generation has died off. Sure. You have an older generation. The oldest people are still skeptical around marijuana, marijuana legalization, but that's dying off and fading as well. You had a, uh, the, the medical debt, there was no medical marijuana thing really. I mean a tiny, but now you have the majority of states where it's legal and above ground. Uh, I think the marijuana industry has to be responsible to be responsible state regulation and we're seeing a lot of that. And that the California initiative is a model for how to do this. Right? But I don't see us rolling back culturally under our old wine in a huge way.

Speaker 4: Well, and you Say cultural and marijuana to together. You coupled those words. I asked the fox the same question. Why do you use the word marijuana and not cannabis? I wonder.

Speaker 6: Oh, I, I'm happy to use it interchangeably. I mean, europe, I'm more likely to use the word candidates because it's more commonly the word that's used there

Speaker 4: just because there is a somewhat of a dog whistle, a racial overtones to

Speaker 6: marijuana. I think 99 percent of americans don't hear that dog whistle or see it or know it's there and it's not. Marijuana is marijuana and, and there's, there's a smaller contingent which makes two arguments. One is that marijuana has racist origins in some element and you know, and the other one is that we should call it its proper name is cannabis and you should call it that. And so I'm sympathetic to those arguments so I make an effort of times to speak of cannabis. But in the american environment, it's so easy to lapse into talking about marijuana because that's what it's called in 99 percent of the headlines. That's how people refer to it. That's the name of the organization, that's the name of the industry. But I respect the efforts to move into a new direction. I occasionally encouraged my colleagues to say we should move more in that direction so my colleagues push that way.

Speaker 6: But we haven't, we haven't sort of enforced to new discipline on that in part because I think, you know, there's still some significant percent of americans who don't know what cannabis means. And that's basically what steve fox said instead of kind of educating people on what the right term to use is. I'm going to advance the agenda here for the, for the movement. I think that's right. So, but I, I do say, I mean, we were happy to be part of a trend towards movIng towards candidates. Um, it's just, we have many, we have a policy reform priority right now and some culture change priorities. So, so the first, uh, you know, kind of step here is, is blocking the sessions a appointment or at least an attempt to do so, um, you know, and well I should say it's also a wake up call. I mean, when I went to that marijuana industry conference last week and there was a plenary session with a few thousand people in the room with me and rob kampia project and the dale sky jones has been involved for over a decade.

Speaker 6: Oaksterdam university and tick segerblom Nevada state senator who's gonna return is now chair of the judiciary committee. Been a great ally, not just in the marijuana issue but other drug policy reform and, but, you know, the question was asked, what do we expect? And one thing I did was I sounded the alarm to the folks in the industry. I said, those of you who have relaxed because trump made that contrary to the campaign about liking medical marijuana and leaving legalization to the states. Uh, this was before sessions had been chosen. Yeah, yeah. If you see who he's thinking about, which could be sessions or giuliani, you've got reasons to worry. And here are all things you can do to mess you guys up on. So, uh, did you cover those in this conversation? I want to make sure that we do get points. I said to them, I want to make sure we don't miss anything right.

Speaker 6: Who sessions is good, you know, the fact that he could, you know, you know, repudiate the memorandum. The cole memorandum that came out during obama, he has to do is withdraw. That. He can withdraw it. He could even decide to interpret it in a very highly strict men. I'm aggressively zone. But if you look at the appointees, remember it's people say, oh, he's not going to have time Donald Trump to focus on going through marijuana industry. It's not about Donald Trump, it's about the people he appoints as it is in most administrations. And then the question is, will he had time if he actually wants to stay true to his campaign commitments to block his senior people from harming this movement in this industry? That's the more pivotal question.

Speaker 4: And so the problem is, as you know, if we're kind of reading the tea leaves, which is all you can do at this point, uh, the appointments are bad and he doesn't look like a guy that kind of pays attention to any policy, um, in any real strict way for himself. So once the guys that are in are in, that's who you're running with. and that's the policy that was right

Speaker 6: also with us attorneys. The federal, the justice to the attorney general cannot order a us attorney not to enforce federal law. I remember suggesting exactly is, is still technically illegal under federal law. We do have this congressional amendment saying that the justice department can not spend any money to go after medical marijuana in the states that made it legal entity, rohrabacher amendment. And we got very close to extending that and to apply to all, not just medical marijuana. They're all adult marijuana legalization. That's going to be tougher now. I think we're going to keep working on that very, very hard because that one of the best safeguards we can do is that, is that amendment right? I mean, you know, the issue whether marijuana is a schedule one or schedule two or whatever it is, kind of neither here nor there, frankly. It's a minus the issue and uh, you know, I don't think it's, it's definitely not our focus. Our focus is trying to prevent the federal government from getting in the way of the legalization of medical and adult use marijuana.

Speaker 4: So that would be another thing to bring up when I'm calling my local representative hinchey far the history.

Speaker 6: Right? But I think she's now out wore boxers, a good ally. He was a trump supporter, let's hope. But I mean that amendment, of course, whatever he comes back and whoever the new might be saying, you know, uh, then it was far, I think unless you're far is still in there, um, but whoever it is with rohrabacher doing this and it's going to be really important to, to, uh, to, to push for that. Yeah.

Speaker 4: And so you, we, we bring up dana rohrabacher who's been on every name that you've mentioned I think has been on it, which is something I'm proud about. Um, you know, the, how important is that ally, you see, this is someone that uh, you know, early on, uh, stated that he was a trump supporter. Um, and obviously is as far as, you know, the movement is concerned, uh, a huge supporter. So along with peter teal, dana rohrabacher elected

Speaker 6: docker is, is a key figure in this, you know, he's been kind of alone and the republican party for many years, not totally alone. There are a few others who are sympathetic, uh, but he's going to need to do everything he can and he's made this, one of his trademark issues. He's been a strong trump supporter from early on. I, he agrees with trump and a lot of the other issues around the environment. so he's got even probably that much more credibility with the president elect. So I think that is going to be important. But we're going to need guys like, whether it's, you know, as I said, whether it's rand paul or, or flaking Arizona, we're leaving Utah or arrange of others to step up and not just a marijuana reform on these other drug policy reform issues, which are also incredibly important.

Speaker 4: All right? So, so that's, uh, that's what I'm going to do. That's what you're going to do. That's what we're goIng to do. And, and just going back to that sessions appointment. Okay, fine. That's the first thing on the calendar. Um,

Speaker 6: well, just something I have president obama just did a whole host of new clemencies yeah. And I think almost all of his tendencies have been people who were in federal prison for many years, a nonviolent drug offenses. Now over a thousand people. That means he's given up more clemencies I think for the last eight presidents put together something scad and whatever else he can do. But I think we're going to see some real push back and roll back on, you know, Donald Trump as a candidate, use the law and order veteran, the old nixon redder and talking about dog whistles right? He opposed the clemencies as did sessions that president obama has been doing. He's called for tougher penalties, I believe. Right? I mean, he's, he's, he's kind of revived the old drug war rhetoric that even most of the republicans and turned their backside right. He selected as his attorney general nominee, somebody who on the far drug war extreme been quoted saying the drug war dinosaur, you know, all of this.

Speaker 6: So all of that is a major concern. Right? And, and I think we're gonna need to mobilize purist in that issue and just not to give it short shrift, marijuana is not the whole full, it's only a Part of what we work on, what it means to take the issue with needle exchange forever. Uh, congress block, federal funding for, for, for, for needle exchange even know sometimes even allOw local programs that receive federal funding and didn't use federal funding. Pretty low exchange, not used for that. One of the biggest obstacles was mike pence and senator or congressman or governor. Then he becomes governor of Indiana, still oppose and he gets an outbreak of hiv aids among injecting drug users. Mostly. Why new parts of Indiana resistant needle change, resistant to change and finally like every public health and public safety and saying, governor pence, you have to do it.

Speaker 6: And he very reluctantly agrees to go along. Well now the question is, his eyes had been opened, his heart being open. Does he care about scientific evidence? Will we be able to move on that issue or is it just going to roll back the federal funding that was going to help people struggling with drug addiction? You know, I mean obama care, you know, we're, it's in those states where it's been implemented better is a way of helping people struggling with drug addiction. Well, you know, uh, a trump says he wants to get rid of obamacare. Now he's going to get rid of part of it, but what's going to happen to people who are struggling with drug addiction and need help? And obamacare was a for helping people with that sort of family, right? If somebody believes the only thing you do in person who uses drugs or is addicted to drugs is punished them and they're all this country needs is more drug courts are more prisons that's going to take us backwards.

Speaker 6: We need to be moving forward as soon as the direction we were moving in recent years and we need to be learning the lessons that came out of europe and other countries where they work to dealt with this issue in a way that I want to say it's not just more kindhearted, generous. It's actually much more effective in reducing disease, reducing crime and costing the cost and saving money. Right. And when the drug war, I mean, you have to. The drug war is basically you have to subsidize your prejudices in order to come up with the drug war. Right? And, and that's not the era we need to be moving in.

Speaker 4: We can't afford it. So you know, fellow new yorker, president elect trump is kind of right up the block here and I wonder is screwing up our traffic is he is. He is. But I wonder if you, if you've thought to even try to get a meeting,

Speaker 7: and I'm not kidding, I have kind of

Speaker 6: inflated the idea. I cannot imagine that I would short and quite frankly, it's a great question on a, you know,

Speaker 6: if I believed that something substantively good would come from it, um, I might give it a shot, but I have to say that, that he's been so terrible and so reprehensible. I think my credibility with him would be zilch. So I think it's much more important not for me to walk into the door so that I can meet with somebody who I actually personally think is also reprehensible and a disaster for the nation. Sure. Um, I think it's more useful to have some of our allies who have supported him on many of these issues getting there, as I said before, instead of, or whether or whether or whether it's a peter teal or whether it's people who support his campaign financially, uh, people supportive politically, the people who he's going to listen to. Um, you know, that's who needs to get into the door and make that case. And will do what we can with republicans and democrats and others who we have links weird and the credibility with. We'll do what we can from the outside. We'll try to mobilize the people who know trump from behind the scenes. But I, I don't think I'm going to go visit that guy down the block anytime soon.

Speaker 7: That's fair.

Speaker 4: I want to make sure that.

Speaker 7: And um,

Speaker 4: give the opportunity to, you know, talk to again folks that are listening and really hoping that ethan tells them exactly what to do. So you've given great advice, you know, as kind of a second to last question. Anything else, you know, aside from donating and aside from calling and getting involved and volunteering and all of that. And the other words for, for folks that are.

Speaker 6: I mean the number one thing I often see is no know what you're talking about. Have knowledge. She learn and do it from federal to science. If you're hearing all sorts of people saying that bad things are happening in Colorado or Washington or whatever because of look intonation, look more deeply into it. There's an excellent report just published by jeff myron [inaudible], ron, the harvard professor on this issue, uh, if you're hearing a violent crime is jumping all around the country, you know, and it's been, well actually look at the facts and look at what's happened with violent crime and homicide in America over the last 25 years. How much has come down? Look at the extent to which violent crime has increased, is focused in only seven cities in America. And those cities are not seeing that trend line. Look at what thoughtful, sensible policies have done.

Speaker 6: Understand how uniquely bad, much of a very good drug policy, especially on incarceration policies have been, you know, grasp on some level or another, the profound racism that has permeated his drug war from its origins, right through its implementation to its expansion, right? I mean, the war on drugs is not just a war on black people around people. There's millions of white people have been screwed over by the drug war. But if you looked at disproportionately who's been going to prison, who's been getting arrested, who's been getting demonized, it's not even close. And, and the one example I have sometimes how most effective is, is, is the point that if the police would randomly stop 100 black, you know, 20 somethings and 120 something, you know, young men in any town in America and look in their pockets, roughly the same percentage of black young men or white young men would have a little lead in their park.

Speaker 6: Exactly. But in every city in America, the young black man is two to 10 times more likely to be stopped, to be arrested, to be getting a criminal record. All those sorts of things that you have an element of racism woven deeply in, throughout the entire war on drugs. Now it doesn't mean you need racism to have a war on drugs. just look in the Philippines where you have a trump by president detert day who is now giving a green light for citizens and police to just rent, you know, murder anybody they suspect of being involved with drugs. And I, as far as I know, there's no race element to that right here, right? So you don't need racism. Never war on drugs. But in the United States, and we're not alone in this respect, you know, the war on drugs has been characterized in warped and driven by these elements of racism. So if you care at all about uprooting racism or if you care at all about ending the drug war, you have to really understand this pivotal link between these two areas.

Speaker 4: There you go. Um, and just, uh, as far as supporters, uh, you know, I'll mention a 71 percent of Florida isn't going to get medical marijuana cards. So there are that, uh, don't partake, uh, that, that supports it. Yeah.

Speaker 6: You know, still if you look at still, I believe less than 50 percent of all adults who have ever consumed marijuana and many of those, having consumed it in a very, very long time, you know, just as civil rights denied one in America just by having black people support it just as gay rights because no one just by having an even for that matter, even though women are roughly a tiny bit, more than half the population women's rights, you know, we're not prevail, you know, just with the votes of women. Similarly, a drug policy reform, marijuana reform, all of these things, a marijuana consumers represent a real regular consumers committee. Consumers, people identify as consumers represent a very small part of this country. We've succeeded because we've transformed this into an issue that's about sensible public policy, about science, about compassion, about physical responsibility, about good crime control policy, and that's how we made this issue. Or

Speaker 4: there we go. So, so ending somewhat on a positive note. And then, uh, finally on a lighter note, I've asked you the three final questions, but what I like to do is ask the soundtrack question every time. So on the soundtrack of your life named one track, one song that's got to be on there as a final question for today. It doesn't have to be relevant for today. Just has to be a song that you're into.

Speaker 6: Well, you know, I mean, I guess I'd been listening to leonard cohen a lot since he died, before he died. I had a feeling, you know, but you know, just a halloween gets over done. Somebody said to go a few weeks ago. I was listening to it,

Speaker 4: but these are the weeks that we'll take with it, so that's not, that's not a bad. Let's do that. Hallelujah. Ethan nadelmann, thank you so much for the work that you've done. Thank you so much for the work that you're doing and god love you. Thank you so much for the work that you're about to do. Thank you for what you're doing. All this. You gotta ethan nadelmann.

Speaker 1: We will not go quietly into the night. Ethan nadelmann definitely on the ball and you can be to give some great advice in there. Um, you know, state vigilance and most importantly, stay knowledgeable. Thank you so much. As always for listening. Hope all is well in your world.

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Cannabis Economy is a real-time history of legal cannabis. We chronicle how personal and industry histories have combined to provide our current reality.