Marijuana, Richard Stratton, Portugal discussed on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory
Welcome back to coast to coast back with Richard Stratton, of course, and your phone calls as well, Richard. You're telling us a whimsical story. Do you wanna finish it? Well, I was telling you actually about seeing what the the the devastation that was carrying caused by these planes that were spraying paraquat. Yeah. Seals of marijuana in Mexico. And it was looked like a big black smudge on the side of this. This mountain across from where I was in the guy told me that when they sprayed it there were kids out there and the kids had died. I mean, it just you know, for what I mean, it didn't it doesn't stop anything. But. Probably spraying us anyways Richards book is called smuggler's blues. And I assume you can get this at bookstores style Richard you can get into bookstores. You can get it at Amazon it is available. I think from Barnes and noble, and yeah, it's out today. Today's the day perfect timing as the publishing day. Yeah. And smuggler's blues is the first of a trilogy. The second book is called gulag America the prison years, and it tells the whole story of my eight years in prison and then the third book, which I'm just beginning on now is called in the world. And that's about getting out and how difficult it is to to readjust to to society. You know, often say that it might have been different if I had kids. I am grateful for the fact that I didn't have kids when I went away because you know, to to break apart hard. Yeah. That's the other thing about locking people up is you destroy families. You know when you put somebody. In prison for fifteen years. Ten years that family is without a breadwinner there without that element of the family. And a lot of women are getting locked up in these drug laws too. So it's really done it. It's our longest war. It's been going on since the thirties. It's probably, you know, it's an and it's a war against the American people. It's like, it's very very destructive. Although, of course, for for law enforcement, it's been a boon because it's after prohibition these agencies federal agents were looking for something to do, and they needed something to do and Harry answering your came up with the idea of criminalizing marijuana, and, you know, going after after drugs, that's where the whole drug war began how many people percentage wise, do you think are in jail because of petty drugs. Well, they say that sixty percent of the population in prison is there for non violent drug related offenses. Wow. So that's that's a huge huge proportion. Now, there may be even more that got into Bank robbery or something like that. Because of. Yeah. Because off sure so so it's probably I if you if you look at the effect of illegal drugs on the coal crime control establishments, probably much more is probably even higher than sixty percents is dealing drugs are at the basis of a lot of these guys go out and rob banks as they need money to pay these exorbitant prices for for these are legal drugs. Well, you know, we talked about the the cost of prisons. What about the DA how much do they cost us every the DA caustic tremendous amount? But also, you know, now, it's homeland security you open the Canadian US sport is they've got drones. And you know, our friend Mr. Trump was to build a wall down on the Mexican border. So it's it's unbelievable. How much money they spend trying to stem the drugs. I mean, he was the one who said most of these guys are drug dealers coming into the country, which I think is crazy because if you're a drug dealer, you're gonna stay in Mexico. You don't wanna come to this country, you send your drugs to the seminar and she wants to drugs here. Put them on mules, right? Yeah. I mean chapeau didn't want to come to the United States because he knew that he wasn't getting out if he came here. Now, he says he wants to come here. But really he wants to go to the wants to go to court here or something like that. Who knows who knows? When you were. We were in Lebanon. Right. I was in Lebanon. I was in Beirut. It was gorgeous during the time. How you were probably there. Right. Well, actually when I first went there. It was gorgeous Beirut was the Paris of the Middle East was for wonderful city. But then the civil war broke out. Yeah. Okay. The years that I spent there in fact, I write about it in the book, I barely escaped there in the in the early eighties. When the Israelis invaded it got really intense. And I the only way I could get out of the airport was closed. I had to go actually back up through the valley and get to Damascus and Syria and fly out of Syria because you couldn't get out of the country. It was it was terrible. What happened in that country run into any people from ISIS? Oh, they didn't have ISIS thundered. Now. There was no in those days leave or not let's go to Charlie in Arizona now. Hey, charlie. Thanks for holding. You're up with us. Good evening, George and Richard, Shirley. I have two quick questions, and I come and. The first question is what is your opinion of the legalization of all drugs in in Portugal? And the statement that was made by good push beheads that in ten years. Conception had gone down by fifty percent. My second question is what do you think the new drug war that's being fought on the backs of disabled people in chronic pain? And my comment is is ludicrous for the government to Sega cannabis his to one when they have a sold prescription THC for years and years as marinol. Which is a derivative of marijuana. Of course. Right. Okay. Thanks for that, Charlie. Go ahead, Richard. Well, Charlie I think you're absolutely right about the situation in Portugal. I mean, that's the really interesting thing. They've legalize all drugs in Portugal, and the drug usage has gone down the criminality has gone down. It's proven everything that we've been talking about tonight. Now, what was the second question? He was talking about the what about the the gosh. I dunno wildlife. I broke that down to go ahead. Charlie the new drug war. Oh, the new drug or well on the backs of a disabled disabled people chronic pain, while I've always been a believer in medicinal use of marijuana to help people. I mean, I was an advocate of that back in one thousand nine hundred ninety seven. Yeah. There's no question that all various kinds of pain relief with Canada, swift THC. So it's just you know, my my my idea is they should all be legalize. It should be controlled not necessarily by the government. But by a Fleming. Yes by clinics, and by a national advisory council people who understand that this this product this plant and advise people how to use it because it can be dangerous. There's no question about it. You know, anytime that you are inhaling Kohl's and smoke into your lungs can because it can cause problems for you. So I don't say that, you know, people should just go out and start smoking pot. No, I'm saying that we should we should study it we should legalize it. And we should make it available. But we should teach kids, particularly I don't believe the young kids should be smoking pot. I don't think that I mean, certainly when the brain is still developing its it's proven that. It's not a good thing to be smoking pot to do anything, you know, to be smoking cigarettes or alcohol or anything to you till you're at least well into your teams and probably in your twenties before you should. Ideally, I think. I people shouldn't be necessarily using drugs at all except if they have a clinic situation that needs relief. I happen to believe that recreational marijuana is not harmful. But as long as you don't overdo it. So, you know, it just we need really to as I said instead of just saying, no, it's just a K N O W just say, no drug education is the answer to this. I contend like the like Portugal that it's going to go down not up. Absolutely. There's no question the forbidden fruit will be taken away. And it's not going to be. So, you know, you're doing something illegal. Let's go to Brian in Montreal. Hi, brian. Go ahead. Yeah. Great topic. I was one of those hippy mafia guys you were talking about. I got busted with almost four hundred pounds of pot in New Jersey in the seventies. And what does that look like Brian four hundred pounds of pot? If you had to look at it would be big. They did in those days, they they compressed it, and they had it in bales. And it was an interesting situation when they let me out with the like, I was I was actually I Canadian. So I wasn't I I couldn't work in US Hough. I think you I saw. Parole office when they released being they said, we don't expect you to stay in the US because you can't earn a living. But when we when you don't show up for your year. Parole officer in thirty days for while h you so I went home, and I I don't smoke around any more. I agree one hundred percent education. That's the way to go. And but technically thirty five years later, I still on a parole violation. Well, you know, it's interesting it calling from Canada. My partner was a Canadian. He was called the hippie godfather of Canada, this guy Robert road Rowbotham was his name from Toronto. He was part of the the whole college up there forget the name now. But it was right in downtown Toronto. So the Canadians have always been the way ahead of the Americans as far as and I think Trudeau is talking about legalizing federally in Canada now. But there they they don't give you as much time in Canada, the prisons are much more geared towards towards rehabilitation than the US prisons there. There are a lot more advanced in Canada. But this case that I was talking about earlier that happened in Syracuse. They they extradited fourteen Canadians. It was the largest single expedition of Canadian citizens on one case to bring them back into the US to try them for this marijuana conspiracy. And they were bringing. In over the mohawk Indian reservation in the northern part of name. I mean, the northern part of New York state, and they gave these two guys from Montreal. Well, one of them was from. I think the other one might have been from somewhere Ottawa, but they gave them life without parole. Wow. Lifelock sees guys never going to get out of prison. What are you thinking richer? What do you think of entrapment laws? I mean to to be able to create a crime to catch somebody. I tell the story about how when these the agents busted me back in nineteen seventy eight case that I'd beat. They said it actually RCMP was involved in that case to they said, you know, what we were doing while. We're waiting for you to come pick up that load at the airport. I go now what were you doing? Oh, we're sitting around smoking joints and snorting coke. No. Yeah. And then the guy goes, you know, what's going to happen to you. When you get to court, I go now what's going to happen because we're going to get up there and tell are lies you're going to get up there and tell your alive assistant matter who's live Jerry bleach So they know the, you know, if you got a little hidden tape recorder how much you could have used that in court yet. But anyway, I put it in my book. So yeah, exactly. Jeff in Culver City, California. Jeff, go ahead. Hi stratton..