Note: Dean Becker presents the "Unvarnished Truth" about the drug war each day on KPFT, 90.1 FM in Houston and on the Drug Truth Network in 9 cities in the US and Canada. More than 70 such programs are stored online at www.cultural-baggage.com. In Houston, listen each afternoon for the "4:20 Drug War News" and Tuesday evenings at 6:30 for "Cultural Baggage - The Unvarnished Truth". The Unvarnished Truth I AM A TERRORIST At least that's what the government ads about marijuana users would have you think. I dared to believe in the US constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the bill of rights. That's my bad, the government would have you believe. Yet I have harmed nobody, broken none of the Ten Commandments and have no agenda of destruction to follow. I am a pot smoker, basically just like tens of millions of Americans. What I have done to offend the government's sensibilities is to dare to question why the emperor wears no clothes. Each day of the year, I challenge the basic mechanisms of the drug war and the direct parallel to the newest of the eternal wars, the war of terror. What am I am trying to accomplish and are my actions a threat to the government or the people of the United States? Regarding our government, I plead guilty on several counts. I fully believe our government is corrupt, bigoted and fully in lock step with corporate pimps and that our elected officials whore on a daily basis for the almighty dollar. I also plead guilty to believing that most of those now in office are part of this grand deception. The need to hide their corporate dealings is what led us to this second eternal war, of terror. Eternal, lest we take time to look at their continual and now widely exposed sins. Democrat or Republican they all have blood on their hands and bank accounts stuffed with cash. This money was scammed by criminal CEO's looting their corrupt corporations even as they destroyed the American dream for the rest of us. Each of us "regular" citizens lose, lose often, lose big and unless and until we dare to become true citizens of this nation, we will lose forever. Because of our lax and forgiving attitude towards our elected officials and our corporate officers, democracy is dying. The implement of destruction is not bin Laden or Saddam Hussein. The foundation, the mechanisms of our demise exist first and foremost within the unconstitutional and bigoted drug war. I speak to willing listeners of the need for change. I pull no punches, hide no fact and leave no door closed to opposing voices. I begged the major leaders of this nation, this state, this city and county to explain the basis, the reasoning and the need for the war on drugs. I sent desperate pleas to President Bush, John Ashcroft, my congressmen both federal and state, Governor Perry, Mayor White, the District Attorney, the Sheriff and the Police Chief. None of these men have sufficient reason to discuss the issue in an open public venue. And by reason, I mean not only the lack of public groundswell calling for that discourse, but I also mean reason, as in intellect, knowledge or truth. Truth, is it simply whatever the emperor says it is? Do you have time to investigate for yourself? Would you believe or work for the truth if you found it? Do you trust yourself or the loving arms of John Ashcroft? Some would say I do this to make it easier to smoke my pot. For 20 years, I grew, smoked and sold lots of quality marijuana. I developed a technique that enabled me to grow locally with a personal record of a 26' foot tall plant. I gave it up and became a consumer again. Why did I give up my part of the American dream, an easy supplemental income? I did it first for my kids, and your kids and the generations to come. I did it because I had been arrested 13 times as a youth, (mostly for being drunk with drugs in my pocket.) I did it because I have never been a threat to society. I did it because I know the truth and refuse to be cowed or broken into denying that truth. Whether it be marijuana, cocaine or ecstasy, those possessing these "chemical weapons" are deemed not worthy of respect, compassion or the safeguards of our constitution but rather are deemed to be "illegal combatants" deserving the full weight of government, special long-term sentences or death, loss of their children, forfeiture of their homes, cars, cash and complete societal demonization. The supposedly "illegal" drug users are no different than those other recreational drug users who choose to smoke tobacco, swill liquor or rise to the occasion with Viagra. What makes the drug war successful, as a 500 billion dollar per year industry is lies. Lies presented, retracted, replaced and eventually recycled. Lies. What makes the lies effective is greed, distraction and fear. Our elected officials know the truth about the drug war, but they feign ignorance to the public so nobody can say they appear soft on crime. They then rake in major contributions from those who want to keep certain drugs illegal to protect their niche in the marketplace. Contributions are provided both major parties by energy companies who stand to lose enormously when hemp's 25,000 uses, (including replacing gasoline) are put to use. Alcohol and tobacco companies will lose huge market shares when marijuana comes from the backyard and costs not $8,000 per pound for primo, but rather requires a green thumb and a few seeds. In the 21st century, the 4th horseman of the drug war apocalypse seems to be taking the lead. The pharmaceutical companies, with their current "in" with the legislators are directing and defining the drug studies that continue to demonize drug use while discovering minimal findings of fact to support their contentions. So what have we wrought? We have more than 2,000,000 prisoners in US jails. Here in Harris county, we incarcerate 47% of Texas' drug prisoners and 77% of those we incarcerate are sent up for LESS than 1 gram of any drug, less than a sugar packet full. I shout it from the rooftops at every opportunity: "There is no justice, there are no morals, and there is no logic to the war on drugs." I moved from a place of exploiting the prohibition of drugs, a lucrative, safe and happy place where I joined the 4 horsemen, the drug lords, the cops and the other sellers in reaping great gains from selling basically worthless vegetables in the black market. I moved to calling for the end of prohibition because I saw it as a way of building a better America, a better nation for the sake of the children. By ending prohibition, by making drugs available to adults in a regulated marketplace, by allowing adults to grow their own marijuana, by ending the 89-year jihad against drug users we could immediately destroy many of the drug war mechanisms that truthfully are a threat to this nation and to our children. End drug prohibition and the street corner vendor who desperately wants to sell to our children becomes an anachronism like bathtub gin or speakeasies. End drug prohibition and stifle the profits of the bankers and the money launderers who support terrorism more so than drug users ever could. To be a citizen of these United States requires more than an occasional vote, more than an opinion at the water cooler, more than a discussion over the back fence. It requires participation. So now that I have become a terrorist, a saboteur of government policy, a guerilla in the war on drugs, I can only say, it feels good, it's the right thing to do. Please, won't you join us? Dean Becker presents the "Unvarnished Truth" about the drug war each day on KPFT, 90.1 FM in Houston and on the Drug Truth Network in 9 cities in the US and Canada. More than 70 such programs are stored online at www.cultural-baggage.com. In Houston, listen each afternoon for the "4:20 Drug War News" and Tuesday evenings at 6:30 for "Cultural Baggage - The Unvarnished Truth".