Skip to main content

tv   America the Courts  CSPAN  August 14, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

7:00 pm
for illegally exchanging or disseminating content. even if you attack and defeat the most visible, or right now the largest, method of disseminating boat content, you have not solved the problem. there are still opportunities for consumers to consume this media without hollywood getting paid. you have hit on a lot of the challenges that we face. we decided to make the operation a permanent enforcement action. we're working with agents around the country, fbi agents as well. we're working with the u.s. attorneys and the department of justice. and that is going to mean sometimes that file-sharing sites, sometimes in linking web site, -- sometimes linking websites.
7:01 pm
>> we'll have to leave it there. you are the assistant deputy director of immigration and customs enforcement. thank you for being on our show. >> thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> tomorrow on "washington journal," mark murray of nbc news talks about the upcoming midterm elections and poll numbers. then sonal verma talks about the process people go through to become u.s. citizens and hurdles they might encounter. after that, julia angwin on her newspaper's investigation into how online companies use technology for the purpose of learning about subscribers' interests. plus, your e-mails and phone calls. "washington journal" is alive sunday at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span.
7:02 pm
>> next, remarks from a retired california judge james gray. he is an advocate for the legalization of marijuana. he also supports changes in u.s. drug laws in general. before serving as a trial judge in orange county california, he also served as a federal prosecutor and ran as a libertarian for the u.s. senate in 2004. the institute for policy studies hosted this event. it is one hour. >> we have been around since 1963. we have been at the progressive forefront of many social movements, including those for the civil-rights movement in the 1960's, against the vietnam war, the apartheid in the 1970's and 1980's, anti-corporate globalization. the anti-war movement in iraq. we're part of that professional left that robert gibbs mentioned. i do not usually wear my politics on the sleeve like that, but that is the point i
7:03 pm
want to raise. we are a progressive institution, left of center. we have someone from the other side of the aisle here to talk with us about drug policy. judge james gray hills from orange county california -- orange county, california. he is our republican/libertarian. he received his undergraduate degree from ucla. he received his ballot of the degree from usc in 1971. he served in the peace corps and coast rica -- in coaster rica. -- costa rica. . he was stabbed as a general and criminal defense attorney for the u.s. navy after that. he has been a prosecutor and a judge in california. he was elevated to the orange county superior court in 1989. he retired after 25 years on the bench in january 2009.
7:04 pm
he is the author a book. if you want more information on judge gray, go to his website what are you doing in the liberal hotbed like this? >> i'm going to correct that. libertarians are classic liberals as well as classic conservative spirit i came out against our nation's drug policy. it did something very unusual -- i did something unusual as a sitting judge. i came out as a press conference -- at a press conference to say what we're doing is not working.
7:05 pm
i have watched us turning low- level drug offenders through the system for no good purpose. we have arrested and incarcerated big-time drug dealers. does that mean that her when, cocaine, whatever are no longer available? no. it means somebody sees that as an opportunity. i have gone around the country, talking about this issue, trying to tell people it is ok to discuss drug policy. just because we address this issue does not mean we condone drug use or abuse. it means there has to be a better way of doing it. to counter what you said, i have actually received -- not many people can say this -- i have received an ovation from giving the same talk to the aclu and the young republicans of orange county on the other. [laughter] >> i think this is one reason that makes the subject so interesting -- when people can come together across different spectrums and reject the war on drugs, change cannot be that far away. the spectrum
7:06 pm
working together. >> i do not mean to exaggerate, but this is the most critical issue facing our country today. drug policy. it sounds like an exaggeration, but the more you read into it, the more you see that the drug policy has failed. it may be the biggest film policy in the history of america. it has its tentacles in pretty much everything that is going on. foreign policy, look at mexico, afghanistan, look at our children. we are putting our children in harm's way, because of drug prohibition for seven important reasons. anyone under the age of 21, ask them what is easier for you to get. marijuana or alcohol. they will say marijuana.
7:07 pm
why? the alcohol is regulated and controlled by the government. the illegal drugs are controlled by drug dealers who do not ask friday. if i am an adult drug dealer, ask yourself how much risk- taking would buy for $50 in cash from a 17 year-old. the answer is, quite a bit. i've recruit all the young people i want to use them in a drug distribution. they are a cheap source of labor. as soon as their reliability is established, they will sell small amounts of drugs in their communities. it is more money for them and for me. ask yourself this question, if you have a 60 year old selling drugs, who is he going to sell to? they will sell to their peers,
7:08 pm
thus recruiting more cheap label to the same lifestyle of drug use and abuse that we are trying to get them away from. it is caused by drug prohibition. we cannot do it worse if we try. the drugs are here to stay. they are harmful, but they are here to stay. stop moralizing about this issue and start managing it. if you do nothing there not here to stay, you know charles manson. he was moved from state prison, because he was selling illegal drugs from his prison cell and he was in solitary confinement. if we cannot keep drugs out of prison, how can we keep them off the streets? we cannot. people will always take risks
7:09 pm
for selling small amounts of drugs for a large amounts of money. it is going to happen. regulate them, control them, make them less available to children. tax them, it is not a reason to do all of this, but it is a nice by product. that is where we should go. most people recognize drug policy is not working. ask anyone in this room. 85% of people at a shopping mall will say what we are doing is not working. we do not have many options. that is our fault. we need to let people know there are better ways of doing this. portugal looked at what happened in this country.
7:10 pm
they decriminalized of drugs. they found they had the largest drug problem than any other country in western europe. they commissioned and a political group to look into this and give the recommendations. they said, we have a couple of a phenomenons. we have people who are drug- addicted but are afraid of their own government. they take them underground. they found the government is spending so much money trying to investigate, prosecute,
7:11 pm
>> problem drug usage went down by the%. why? the fallen now -- the phenomenon that they had. anybody who has a problem with drug usage knows it. now, says the government is working with them, they will not punish them, they have taken their drug problem with the -- to the government for assistance. then you have peart -- you have fewer people selling drugs. most people are selling to support their own habits. now that the usage is under control, they have fewer people selling the drugs. the other thing that they found, take note, children beginning to use these drugs have been decreasing. why? because the glamour is out of it. why should i take these drugs and go see a doctor?
7:12 pm
that is not very glamorous. children are not beginning this drug usage. these are things we should take hope from, we should understand, and we should adopt. we should go to those programs. >> i am curious, as a judge, when did you start questioning the war on drugs? was there a particular dipping point? >> there actually was. i was on the bench around 1984, 1985 and i was implementing a another judge's sentence. i was overseeing a lower-level court. he had worked out some sort of sentence agreement. i was telling the defendant, who was a young man, he was being tried as an adult. he would rape prostitutes, brought them, and beat them up. he did that on several
7:13 pm
occasions. this is a bad guy. this sentence allowed him to be released from confinement after two weeks. once we went through all of this, i gave him his constitutional rights. we went through all of this. he let out a yell because he thought he had won. you know something? he had. the thought was granted -- the thought was planted in my mind, we are spending all of this money on low level drug offenses, we do not have the money to go after the legitimate thugs, the people who are involved in a robbery, rape, and murder. seven years later i came out with my press conference. i found while doing my research for my first book, i found that in 1980 we were only half as successful in our country in prosecuting homicides asks -- excuse me -- we were only half
7:14 pm
as effective in 1990 as we were in 1980 because the reagan administration ratcheted up the road -- ratcheted up the war on drugs. we do not have the money to prosecute homicides. i determined that the topper you get with regard to drug crimes, the softer you get with prosecution to everything else. we only have so many resources. let's spend them in an effort to prosecute the people who are causing harm in our society. there is one to short leap from there. it is a truism that we should recognize in our country. let's hold people accountable for their actions, not what they put into their bodies. in that regard, we all know robert downey jr.. he is a very talented actor. he will always be a hero when addicted person. he has a problem. it makes as much sense to me to put robert downey jr. in jail
7:15 pm
for his hair when problem as it would to put someone in jail for an alcohol problem. it is the same thing. it is a medical problem. bring them close to medical professionals. it is not a police problem. but if robert downey jr., the board, or i drive a motor vehicle -- bring them to me as a judge. that is a crime and it should be. why? what is the difference? because of their actions, they are putting our safety at risk. that is a legitimate criminal justice problem. with regard to try to put -- to try to control what they are putting into their bodies, we cannot do it and we should not. the government has as much right to put into my body what i put into my mind. it is none other business. the answer is to follow what we
7:16 pm
finally did win repealed alcohol prohibition. we took the federal government out that it. the federal government did not say, "you will now make alcohol available." they did not say that at all. they simply said that each state could decide how best to serve and protect their people. the federal government's role would be to support each state. if we do the same thing here, maybe the states will do the same. that is great. we will see this same problem with regard to california in the upcoming election. they are really smart in their proposition. they will leave it to each city to decide. that is wonderful. in this example, maybe allen boyd will come up with something that works well. indiana will come up with something they think is a good idea. one way or another it may not pan out. what happens then in illinois?
7:17 pm
indiana will say, "it is a pretty good idea at the time, but it is not working." what illinois is doing is working pretty well. let's try that. maybe in oklahoma it will work differently than in new york. terrific. let them do it. it is an important thing. the founding fathers would have ratified it. how do i know that? but it the night and 10th amendments of the constitution. i think we can all agree that we can hold hands and say that the federal government does not have all of the answers. let's let each state decide. >> you have been looking at this issue for a long time. in the course of my lifetime, we have squandered more than $1 trillion on the war on drugs. people take it for granted that it has always been with us and they think it will always be with us.
7:18 pm
it is very difficult to pull yourself out of the moment and put things in perspective. in my previous career, i was a historian. if i were writing a book 100 years ago about the end of empires, i would say that empires or the way of the world. they will always be will -- there will always be with us. if i was writing a book about women's suffrage, i would say that will never happen. people were saying we would never have civil rights in this country, yet it happened. we can go on and on and on. as a historian, the only certainty is change itself. very often it is even for the better. in the case of the war on drugs, we are about to approach a tipping point in california with proposition 19. can you give us a little background on proposition 19 and what you think about its passage and what it means politically?
7:19 pm
>> proposition 19 would basically treat marijuana like alcohol or adults. it is a pivotal election. i am going to my mind and thinking of different anecdotes. i was sitting in the offices of two individual members is -- members of congress. they bought up the issue with regard to my issue on drug policy. they said, "pretty much everyone in washington understands that arbor drug -- that our war on drugs is not winnable, this is eminently pliable. people in washington are addicted to finding." if you look at any agency we have in the federal government, if you look at their budget, each one has money to promote the war on drugs. they do not want to give up that money. what about proposition 19 --
7:20 pm
treat marijuana like alcohol or adults? everybody in this room knows somebody who votes in california. people on c-span knows somebody who votes in california. take it personally. take it upon yourself to tell them to give serious thought to supporting proposition 19 in california this november. what will it do? if this were to pass and adults could treat marijuana like alcohol, what would happen? first, recognizing that any of us over 21 can go home tonight and during 10 martinis. it is not a smart thing to do. it is not a healthy thing to do. it is not a violation of the law. they can do the same thing with marijuana if they wanted to. but let's look at it. let's go down this road for a moment. if this were to pass, and we were to treat marijuana like
7:21 pm
alcohol in the state of california, six things would happen. five of them are demonstrably beneficial. in california alone, we would save as taxpayers $1 billion every year that we are spending in a futile effort to eradicate marijuana and to prosecute offenders. by the way, does anybody know what the largest cash crop is in the state of matter what -- in the state of california? marijuana. the second is grapes. when you see miles and miles of vineyards, understand that marijuana is a larger cash crop than grapes. we could save hundreds of millions of dollars. number two, we could tax the silly stuff. it is not a reason for doing it, but it is a nice benefit. the chair of the state board of
7:22 pm
equalization in california, which is the tax form of the state government, has estimated that we would generate about $1.3 billion in tax revenue in the state of california alone. that would change our budget deficit by about $2 million in the state of california. last time we look, we do have a budget deficit. this would help. number three, this is the reason to really look to do it, it would make marijuana less available to children than it is today. we have already discussed that. marijuana dealers today, unless you are a involved with medical marijuana, do not ask for identification. number four, this is huge. it is really important. we could reach legitimatize the entire health industry. what this help? help is the stock of the marijuana plant. it has no mind-altering
7:23 pm
properties. the seeds can be fixed so they have no mind-altering properties. the word cannabis in ancient greece was literally the same word as the work for canvas. it is interchangeable. if you go back to the old ships, the uss constitution sales were made out of help. it is a viable product. we have time limits, or i could talk about the valuable help industry. we would shake our heads in amazement. you can get four times the amount of paper pulp from an acre of help and you can from an acre of trees. it takes a season from a eight- nine months to grow help and 20 years to grow trees. i have been told that diesel engines were created to run on
7:24 pm
help oil. i was on a talk show in iowa recently. a farmer said he was going to speak again his own -- against his own economic self interest, but help works better than ethanol. speaking get more ethanol per acre of help been the canfor acre of corn. we can revitalize that industry. we used a whole bunch of help in california and elsewhere in our country, but we important brothers radical countries like canada and england. they appreciate us having our help illegally -- having our help illegal. number five, the medical marijuana issue could be a lot more regulated and have a lot fewer problems. that would be a good thing. number six, let's talk about this one. what is going to happen to you economics majors? if you do not understand supply
7:25 pm
and demand, you cannot be an educated person in society today. you have to understand simple economics. what is going to happen? if you have the demand for marijuana at all of a sudden the prices lowered by 50% and it is no longer illegal, what will that do to demand? the answer is, demand will go up. marijuana use is for adults will go up. i understand that. that is pretty logical and straightforward. but of all things are not equal. maybe after a few months, we will start experiencing what i call the holland phenomenon. holland decriminalize marijuana in the 1970's. according to the minister of health of holland, he said that they only have half of the marijuana consumption for adults and teenagers as we do in the
7:26 pm
united states. half of the marijuana consumption in our country as yours, but for adults and teenagers, and he would explain why. you know what he said? we succeeded in making pot boring. there is a message there. we glamorize it by making it illegal. if you glamorize it just like the portugal experience, we will probably eventually reduce the drug usage down to where it is now, or maybe not. you know, if you had a loved one and you only had two choices. one is to have that loved one abuse alcohol or to have that loved one abuse cannabis, which would you prefer? which is less harmful? yes, cannabis can be dangerous. it is less dangerous than alcohol.
7:27 pm
today, by our laws, we are forcing people up the drug ladder. what do i mean by that? if you have reason to believe that you are going to be drug tested, this is a friday night and you are going to a party. you are on the basketball team, or an airline pilot, you are on parole -- you have a reason to believe you're going to be drug tested, but not until monday. message -- used cocaine, use methamphetamine, do not use marijuana. people realize that those drugs will not be testable. they cannot be detected after 72 hours. you will be pretty well off by doing these drugs instead of marijuana because of that will stay detectable i in your system for about 30 days. that is a really stupid policy. it just comes down to it and
7:28 pm
your only choice is to use methamphetamine or to use marijuana, everyone believes that marijuana is less dangerous. if we were to change this by passing this initiative, i have full confidence that a lot of people who struggle choice is a marijuana, would come down the ladder and use marijuana again instead of taking these other drugs. that would be a net gain. all of these things are very important. this is one of the most critical elections of our lifetime. i appeal to you, get consideration for supporting proposition 19 in california to treat marijuana like alcohol in california. >> one of the things i think has kept our drug war in place is the poverty of our political discourse. i am reminded of our former ambassador to colombia who said that we are simple people and we
7:29 pm
like simple answers. unfortunately that seems to be true. if you look at the eskimos. they have two dozen workers to describes know. yet we only have to worse to talk about democracy -- democrat or republican. if you cannot but libertarian or green party, you are viewed as not a realist. but if you look at the course of human history, every society has found a different way to organize politics from fascism to one end and anarchism on the other end. that carries over into the way that we talk about drug policy. either you are or zero tolerance and prohibition in the drug war, or you are accused of wanting to
7:30 pm
sell heroin in candy machines to children. there is a lot we're not allowed to talk about. would like to think in simple terms. we like to take about who the good guys are. we are not allowed to talk about all of the shades of gray or the rainbow of the spectrum of possibilities. we talked a little bit about marijuana regulation and proposition 19. how would you talk about the harder drugs? what model should we have for that? >> again, the thing to do is to allow each state to decide how to service people. what do i know? i have my own opinions. i hope everyone starts to generate their own opinions. we have as a necessary ingredient a mandatory ingredient of our policy of drug prohibition. it is a prohibition of discussion. i have been involved in debates
7:31 pm
where i have been legalized -- where i have been labeled a legalize her. i do not care if you're 12-year- old daughter buys cocaine in a vending machine. that is flat out not true. as soon as they label you a drug legalized, their brains freeze over and they will not talk about it 80 more. it is ok to discuss drug policy. when i signed my book, that is easily the entry that i put. it is ok to discuss drug policy. what are our options? the first half of my book should upset people. it discusses many of the self- inflicted wounds that we have caused ourself because of our policy of drug prohibition. the second half of the book will give you vote. it talks about the various options that we have. one option, a very important, it began in liverpool. in the late 1990's, the swiss
7:32 pm
government realized that they had a problem that, regretfully, most countries do not have. economically they are well off. they do not have any down and out areas, but they do have a heroin addicts. in switzerland, it is a lot harder to hide them. the cannot sweep them out of sight. they decided to take on a program. the copied this program from a doctor in liverpool. they started a pilot program in seven cities in switzerland in the late 1990's to put in a clinic in the air when using areas. it was staffed by three people -- a registered nurse, a registered doctor, and a social worker. people -- they try to find era when abusing people and bring them into the clinic. if they try to help them with drug treatment.
7:33 pm
most people that are addicted to heroin either think they can not get off the drug, or they do not want to. if you can satisfy three criteria, we have a program for you. the criteria are number one -- you are 22 years of age and have failed drug treatment at least twice. number two, you are addicted to heroin. number three, in the future you will be crime-free and he will give up your driver's license. if they do that, they will be in the program. what does that mean? it means that you get a prescription for her when. you can take it to your local pharmacy and get it built at pharmaceutical prices. let's stop a minute. i want to talk about to caveat. this is not a so-called orgy of parallel usage. remember, there is a medical doctor on this team. he will give you a blood test
7:34 pm
and find out what your normal usage of pearland is and the prescription will be at that level. it is not enough to give you that euphoria or feeling of happiness, but it is too much to have you go through which all. as a result, it maintains you at your current level. that is why they call it a hare went maintenance program. number two, none of these drugs are expensive. they do not call marijuana a wheat board nothing. it will grow anywhere. it is really cheap. even the poppy that goes into the formation of heroin will grow anywhere. the national park service was growing best poppy at monticello for years until the dea found out about it and made them take it out. i assure you, if it grows in virginia, it will grow anywhere. these drugs are cheap. the only reason they are
7:35 pm
expensive is because they are illegal. in switzerland, the heaviest using person for a maximum of $10 per day can support their habit. by the way, if they cannot support their habit, it is subsidized. it is such a small amount of money it does not work discussion. what happened in this program? remember, it is a three-year pilot program. less than a year later, the minister of health held in a press conference and said they were going to expand the program to every city in the country. but get what we have seen happen? what had he seen? number one and he had seen that crime in the neighborhoods around the clinics plummeted. wait a minute. what is the connection here. understand. what do people do to support their habit? not hard to figure out. bert ely, prostitution, hit you
7:36 pm
over the head at the bank. the neighborhoods surrounding the clinics experienced a decrease in shoplifting. why? if you are arrested you are all the program. if you are of the program, you have to go back to the hustle. i have set numbers -- i have set a number of burglars -- i will have to burglarized $2,000 per day of your property to get to%. i have to look for my connection. who knows that that person will have drugs or not. who knows what the quality is? crime going down is a good thing. number two, they found that the sales and usage of drugs in these neighborhoods also plummeted. what is the connection there? well, what do people that are drug-addicted due to support
7:37 pm
their habits? certainly prostitution and burglary, but invariably they will get extra amounts of their drugs and they will sell them to you, your neighbors, and your children to support their habit. right? remember that if they are arrested, they are all of the program. fewer people are selling drugs in the communities. fewer people are buying drugs in the communities. drug usage has gone down. i do not care what people think philosophically or otherwise. everybody can agree that crime and drug use is going down are good things. number three, they found that employment of people on the program had gone up. they are taking care of themselves, they are taking care of their families, they are paying their taxes. they are starting to lead pretty much normal lives with that one variants. number four, they found that the help of these people on the program is increasing.
7:38 pm
it is getting better. why? because they had a regular relationship with the medical community. that is a good thing. not only are they injecting the drug in a less harmful action, but they are using it -- but they are now having these medical teams addressing their medical problems. they are not as much of a drain on society. their health is getting better. number five, now that people are requesting a drug treatment in large numbers. why? now they have this relationship with their doctors. in switzerland, they have made this program permanent until the year 2014 in every city in the country. i will ask you, can you think of any reason whatsoever why should we should not have similar programs in every city in our country that has a problem? i cannot. can any of you? there is one reason people will
7:39 pm
give. they think it is the knockout blow. first of all, they will say we are standing at the wrong message to our children. what is the right message? today, we are looking at people and say, "go ahead and die. we can help you. we know what the problems are. but we are not going to do it because you failed our drug morality test." that is not the right message. i say, let's not hide programs like this from our children. let's take them there. let's let them speak to these drug-addicted people. what are they going to tell them? "be what to look like me? the worst mistake i ever made was going down this road." whatever the reasons will be, they will tell our children. that is honest education. that is where we should go. this is something that we should do.
7:40 pm
no one can tell me that swiss parent's love their children in the last that we do, but they see this. they are not any more drug tolerance and we are. they see a program that is working. these things work. you are an authority in regard to the problems with drug prohibition brought on by drug prohibition in these countries. i will tell you the truth. we could bulldoze columbia. you could take peru and bolivia with it if you wanted to end it would not make any difference whatsoever with regard to our drug problems here in our country. why? because the demand is here. the demand will be met. if the demand is here, the demand will be met. . .
7:41 pm
if the demand is here, the demand will be met. the head of the dea was quoted as saying, at any one time, there are 200 tons of cocaine in mexico in warehouses within 3 miles of our border, waiting for a scarcity, so that it can be smuggled in. i have been quoted in mexico -- mexican newspapers where i was interviewed -- telling them, you should legalize these drugs. since president calderon came out with his own war on drugs -- and i do not hold it against him for his intentions -- 28,000 mexicans have died a violent death as a result. even he is now talking about the possibility of legalizing these
7:42 pm
drugs. so is this and a fox -- is vicente fox. bless him, too. >> it wouldn't make any difference with regard to our country but they could start regulating, taxing and controlling and getting rid of the these. we get rid of the calid car tell. nothing happens. i'm told there's more drugs coming through panama today as well. take it at my level. i'm here to tell you, i've talked to a lot of undercover de
7:43 pm
a's privately. i'm a judge in orange county, california. when you see we have seed a ton of only 5%, every ton we seize, we fail to get rid of 10-15 tons. i am a former peace corps volunteer. i believe that i need to help repeal drug prohibition. it is one of the most insidious,
7:44 pm
may be well-intended -- although it has its roots in ignorance and racism -- we will take that aside for the moment. it is the most insidious thing to inflict upon our people. it does not take a sociologist to go through any jail or prison in our country and see that people of color are vastly disproportionately represented. honestly, i will go and talk with black churches or hispanic churches or groups or whatever. i will look square at them and get mad and say, what is the matter? if people that look like me have their children in jail as much as people that look like you, we would not stand for it. we would have changed this paled policy years ago. what are you so quiet? only now are beginning to speak up. the war on drugs is mostly aimed at people of color. i wrote this in my book. it is true. their roots of drug prohibition are racist. originally, cocaine was made
7:45 pm
illegal because we were afraid of those black males that would take advantage of our white females. mexico -- we did not care about marijuana. you can look at the congressional record. people in congress did not know what marijuana was in the early 1930's. then they saw the movie "refer madness" and stupid things like that. xicans. they are going to use this mark ot yik, which it isn't, to basically lead a stray white women. ok. as a judge, i'll enforce the law. shame on us. that does not make me proud. another reason, the united states of america leads the world in the incourse operation of our people. here i assure you. i'm from ucla. we lead the world in the
7:46 pm
incarceration of our people. does that make you proud? >> 5% of the world's population and 25% of its prisoners. i'll end this and say, you know the ranked corporation came out with a study that said we get 7 times more the value. even for heavy drug addicted people. for federal prosecutor, a trial court judge for 25 years -- let's remove our policy to hold people accountable for what they do -- not what they put into their bodies -- and we will begin to make real progress.
7:47 pm
>> that is a great summary of one of the most complex and interdisciplinary problems confronting us today. i am sure we have lots of different questions from the audience from lots of different perspectives. before you ask your question, please identify yourselves. ask away. but you're not going to tell me i have answered all the questions. >> this is the most part -- the most fun part for me. down here. >> i have listened to your arguments very intently. i have one question to something you addressed a couple of different ways. follow the money. without opening a can of worms from a similar scenario, what does the presidential administration and congress think of the option of legalizing marijuana or anything else?
7:48 pm
the options still falls under federal insulation -- installation. if proposition 19 were to pass, what is the potential -- i am assuming someone has spoken with members of the administration -- they say they're not going to allow proposition 19 to pass. >> it is a real issue. the answer is, i do not know. i'm absolutely convinced that, if we, in california, passed proposition 19, which i devoutly hope we do -- the >> administration is facing an election in two years -- you may have noticed. they are not going to thumb their noses at the voters of california. just like the obama administration' honored the concept of federalism and state rights -- allow each state to decide how best to serve its people -- they did that with regard to medical marijuana. they said, through attorney general eric holder, in a memorandum to all u.s. attorneys -- as long as people are in
7:49 pm
compliance with state and local laws on medical marijuana, we're not going to interfere. i applaud that enormously. that is exactly what they should have done. i am convinced they will do the same thing with regard to prop 19. they will probably come out and say, this is silly, you were duped, if you were misled, but we will let you do it. it is going to work. it is not going to be wonderful, but it will be less harmful. it will start to work and bring normalcy back. mexican drug cartels will start making less money. prison gangs and juvenile gangs will make less money. the revenues will come in. quality will be there. am convinced that will happen. -- i am convinced that will happen. i was in a room at the hoover institute of standards and -- of stanford university on three separate indications -- occasions in which there was a forum where chiefs of police all around the country attended.
7:50 pm
somewhere between 50 and 60 chiefs of police were in the room. once it was a private conversation, they would -- they spoke the same way that i did. the same thing with my fellow judges. i would be asked, what do you really think? i would say, that is asking two questions. what you think privately and what you think publicly? i understand and agree that i do not want to address my daughter -- to rest my daughter for drug problems. bring her to me. that is a parental issue. bringing her into the criminal justice system is the wrong way to go. we need political cover. as the chief of police, i have a political job. i have to respond to the mayor, the city of the, the editorial board of local papers. i cannot do that. politicians are good at all were -- @ follower-ship.
7:51 pm
follower shship that this is where it will go as well. other states will start copying as well. they are doing it already. >> have law enforcement officials come out, what's the position on prop 19? >> i testified in sacramento before the league of cities basically made up of retired enforcement people. for still pretty hard line on this. they are still let's get tough, not smart, just tough. i am involved with leap, which
7:52 pm
is law enforcement against prohibition. now there are 10,000 members involved in law enforcement one way or another. i came out publicly. they go out and speak about this. law enforcement against prohibition. it's amazing. it is unfortunate you have to retire to speak the truth. i spoke numbers of years ago to an american bar association seminar where they brought in the choef justices and justices from supreme courts from around
7:53 pm
the country. i spoke to them about three hours. i got a letter, dear jim, you are right. i see this coming across my desk all the time. but, i love my job. i gave up law to be here. if i were to speak about this in north carolina, i couldn't keep my job. keep doing this, i can't join you. since then, he has come out to discussion this too. we are intimidating them away from discussion.
7:54 pm
i will end this part by saying i guarantee that two years after this, everybody in the country will lack book to be a stonished this is the biggest mess. >> someone said, if you give a man a mask, he will tell you the truth. >> it wouldn't surprise me if you could take an anonymous pole
7:55 pm
that we would make real progress. they understand that, again it's money, money drives the bus. the strongest lobby group in the state of california is the prison guard group. they have an invested interest to keep their police high. what an obscence thing to be doing. there must be other questions too. >> one of the issues we are
7:56 pm
looking at is alternative incarceration. in terms of your experience as a judge, what is your impression of drugs or other alternative incarceration as a way of dealing with the laws that we have. >> i do believe in alternative incarceration. i'm sorry that you would think i wouldn't. i would change the system. in prop 36 in california, which passed six years ago, diverts users out of the system. very good thing. a lot of people there. i've never used marijuana. you could give it away and i'm
7:57 pm
not going to shove cocaine up my nose. but a lot of people who do use it are not harmful to anyone but themselves. there's a major problem with prop 36.
7:58 pm
drug courts work. they require people to treat people as people. that doesn't mean they are not held accountable. i look at mem and say, you even eat rum cake and i find out about it, i'll put you in jail. i'd say you used alcohol, honestly. which do you prefer?
7:59 pm
i'd get letters, i was going to divorce my husband. he'd get drunk and beat me and the kids but now he's back to the man i married. jail time is important to keep people hold people accountable for what they put into >> a great note to close on.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on