10/13/17 Troy Dayton

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Cannabis Conference III: Dylan Wilkes of Orange Phototonics, Benjamin Landaverde of OG Cannabis Ins, Chris Farrel of Scientific Inhalations, Brian Whitaker of Axiom Designs, Troy Dayton Pres of Arcview Group +++ Doug McVay segments with Oregon State Senator Lew Frederick about racial profiling, criminal justice, drug policy reform, and Oregon's House Bill 2355 which passed earlier this year.

Share on Facebook Share on stumbleupon digg it Share on reddit Share on del.icio.us

TRANSCRIPT

CULTURAL BAGGAGE

OCTOBER 13, 2017

TRANSCRIPT

DEAN BECKER: Broadcasting on the Drug Truth Network, this is Cultural Baggage.

DR. G. ALAN ROBISON: It is not only inhumane, it is really fundamentally un-American.

CROWD: No more! Drug war! No More! Drug War! No More! Drug War!

DEAN BECKER: My name is Dean Becker. I don't condone or encourage the use of any drugs, legal or illegal. I report the unvarnished truth about the pharmaceutical, banking, prison, and judicial nightmare that feeds on eternal drug war.

Hello, friends. This is Dean Becker. I want to thank you for being with us on this edition of Cultural Baggage. This program is broadcast at minimum by 47 affiliates in the US and Canada, and I want to thank each and every one of them for being with us. We just celebrated the 16th year of Drug Truth Network on the mothership of the Drug Truth Network, KPFT. We're based in Houston, and I just want to thank you all for being with us.

We have a two-parter again today. I'll be sharing more that I collected in Anaheim at the California Cannabis Business Conference, and then in the second part you'll hear from Doug McVay, the editor of Drug War Facts, who's going to share with you news on a more international scale. But first, from Anaheim:

DYLAN WILKS: So, my name is Dylan Wilks, I'm the CTO of a company called Orange Photonics, and we make the LightLab, which is a portable cannabis analyzer that can measure the potency of cannabis products.

DEAN BECKER: And that's becoming more a vital component of doing business these days, isn't it?

DYLAN WILKS: Yeah, it definitely is, especially if you look at things like process control. People are starting to realize that cannabis needs to be treated like other, you know, manufactured products, and needs to be tested and quality controlled all the way along the product life cycle.

DEAN BECKER: Right, and this is, I can see where it could be of use by a grower, just to see how he's doing with a given crop, and certainly for the sellers, they've got to know what they're selling as well, and I guess these days, the state is going to verify what you have determined. Right?

DYLAN WILKS: That's exactly correct, yep. And the other people you're missing there is the extractors as well, obviously the process control in extraction is really important. You can save a lot of money by ensuring that your process is really efficient and that you're getting everything you can out of the product you're putting into your machine.

DEAN BECKER: Now, as I understand it, heretofore you had to go to a specialized lab somewhere, pay them probably significant fees to get this done, whereas I'm sure in the long haul, it lowers the price of each test. Would that be a fair assumption?

DYLAN WILKS: Absolutely true, yep. And you don't have to wait as long either, so obviously if you do it yourself you can get your results instantly rather than waiting the week or two it takes to get your results, so ....

DEAN BECKER: Right, and, are there other ventures you guys are involved in?

DYLAN WILKS: Yeah, sure, so, this company specifically is -- only does the specific LightLab device that we make, which is a cannabis analyzer. In the past, the same team has been working in the petroleum industry, in food and pharmaceutical industries as well, making similar type of analysis equipment, so, it's not far from the tree to do this but it's a new and obviously very fun industry to be a part of.

DEAN BECKER: Indeed. That's what I keep hearing, that people gain great satisfaction out of being a part of this industry. Any closing thoughts, maybe a website you'd want to relay?

DYLAN WILKS: Sure, yeah, if you go to our website, again our device is called LightLab, but our website is OrangePhotonics.com. That's OrangePhotonics.com. Thanks so much.

DEAN BECKER: All right, it's Day Two here at the cannabis business conference. I'm here with Mister Benjamin Landaverde. He works for OG Cannabis Insurance, they're based here in California, but you guys serve other states, Colorado as well?

BENJAMIN LANDAVERDE: Yes sir, we're licensed to operate and do insurance business in seven or eight different states now, everywhere from Maine to Michigan to the whole west coast, Washington down to Nevada, Arizona, obviously California and Oregon. And Colorado, like you just mentioned.

DEAN BECKER: Well, Benjamin, as we were sitting here preparing for our interview, a couple of gentlemen walked by, some growers, I guess, here in California, and they had some concerns and some doubts, which you were able to pretty much knock out of the park. Tell us a little bit about this full coverage you're able to provide.

BENJAMIN LANDAVERDE: Now that the cannabis industry is being legitimized, there's a lot of legitimate business ancillary services that's going to be available to it, one of them being for any sound business is to have financial protection from losses that may arise out of claims and lawsuits, which insurance will take care of it, or respond for it.

So, we operate in the space as an independent brokerage, and there's cannabis approved insurance carriers now that have -- came into the industry to protect businesses that are being compliant with regulatory authorities and regulation, laws pertaining to cannabis, and as long as they're in compliance with those laws and regulations, then there's insurance for them.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah. They had some doubts, they expressed concerns that a lot of landlords, if they hear the word cannabis, they're just not going to rent to you in the first place, but there are ways to work through that situation to develop a rapport with that landlord, working with you guys, right?

BENJAMIN LANDAVERDE: Absolutely. So, that is just the case right now. Being that cannabis is once again legitimizing, more people are starting to recognize and more cities are starting to allow those businesses to operate within their ordinance, so, a lot of the time property owners, before they allow a tenant to move in, they want to make sure they're protected from any losses that may come about, that the tenant is operating in their buildings. And if you're a cannabis tenant, nine out of ten insurance companies won't give you protection for it, and if you're a landlord renting out to somebody that doesn't have proper insurance, then it's something that needs to be verified, because, if you're misclassified as a cannabis grower, and to something that doesn't state that in an insurance policy, claims won't be paid out at the time of assessment.

DEAN BECKER: One of the things that he thought was really amazing was your thought that you could protect his crop from loss for up to ten million dollars. Tell us about that, please.

BENJAMIN LANDAVERDE: So, the -- there's licensed insurance and there's unlicensed insurance. You could kind of compare that in an analogy, kind of like full coverage on your vehicle and liability, and what that means is, if you're an unlicensed cannabis operation, you could still qualify for certain insurance coverages, but it will be a very limited type of and basic type of coverages, where if you're a licensed and regulated, a compliant cannabis operation, there's a broader coverage that you could have for your business.

So, part of that coverage, you could include, if you're a grower, crop insurance up to ten million dollars for fire and theft. Like I mentioned to him, could cover everything in the cycle from the seed all the way to the finished product, and that's something that these insurance policies are in for.

DEAN BECKER: All right. There you have it, folks, from Mister Benjamin Landaverde. He works for OGCannabisInsurance.com.

Let us celebrate Day 32,809 of being led to salvation by our dear drug czars.
Tens of millions of witches arrested.
Thousands have died from our black market drugs.
Orphans of prisoners will be our next harvest.
In the name of god we will ever march on.

Monsters and demons using powders and potions
Must be stopped, no matter the cost.
Kneel down and pray for the new inquisition.
Pray for success of the new dark age.
All this in the name of god.

WINSTON FRANCIS: If we end the drug war now, all of our efforts are for nothing. Victory cannot come from admitting defeat. Lives lost. Families ruined. Billions spent. All for nothing. Almost a century. Generations of fighting. All for nothing. Giving up is the only true path to failure. We must continue to fight, to spend, and jail, and kill, to honor the memory of those who fought before us. It is what we know. So it is what we must do. Follow the leader. Do not falter. Your path has been chosen for you.

CHRIS FARRELL: Oh hey, so, my name is Chris Farrell, I'm with Scientific Inhalations, vice president over there. We manufacture American made glass products, with a -- specialize in a filtered solution. We use an activated carbon and organic cotton to filter out 70 to 100 percent of all carcinogen tars in your smoke, giving you a nice, smooth, clean, healthy inhale.

DEAN BECKER: Well, what really caught my interest, we were talking about the fact, I brought up, hell I smoked Marlboro's for about 65 years, and it's getting real difficult to smoke cannabis, you know? I still do it, I suffer through it, but the point of it is that I was looking for a better means, and, well, tell us more about the product, I find the thoughts you give very interesting.

CHRIS FARRELL: Well, the product in general, as noted, right, it uses activated carbon, and the carbon is there to, to clean the toxins out of the smoke. It will -- it will remove a lot of that harshness, you know, one of our tags for it, right, you know, smoother hits and bigger rips, right? You know, it definitely takes the bite out of your throat. It allows a much deeper inhale, too, so you actually use less medicine moving forward as well.

DEAN BECKER: Right.

CHRIS FARRELL: You know, and the product's been tested with -- we tested it with 15 off the shelf pesticides, and we take out between 80 and 100 percent of those as well, so we know that pesticides are a problem in the industry, currently.

DEAN BECKER: Right.

CHRIS FARRELL: And have been probably forever.

DEAN BECKER: They've certainly got a lot of attention. I've got to kind of negate some of those fears, I've been smoking Mexican weed for 50 years, and, you know, it was the Marlboro's, folks, it was the Marlboro's.

CHRIS FARRELL: It was the Marlboro's, absolutely.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah. Well, tell us more about your product availability. I know this industry is an indication that growth is just astounding these days. If you would, share your thoughts on that growth.

CHRIS FARRELL: The growth in the industry? I, well, you know, it's kind of rough, so, you know, we have a -- we talked to a lot of people, and, about, they're like, well, the industry keeps expanding and growing, and things are, you know, obviously expanding for you guys, and it is, at a slower pace, because as the market expands, and there's more shows, more people come in, too, right? So there's more glass manufacturers, a lot of imports, so we really fight the import side of things, a lot, with respect to, and we provide a high quality American made glass product.

And so, you know, a lot of shops and a lot of consumers that are looking for sometimes a lower end product, but we're more focused on the medicinal side of things.

DEAN BECKER: Right. You know, I hear various phrasing of the thought that it's all medicinal. I think Dennis Peron's kind of the, you know, the origin of that, at least he's given the, you know, that title. For me, it's avoiding alcohol. I quit alcohol 32 years ago, and I fear that, you know, that demon drug much more than cannabis, and I think cannabis helps me avoid it. So, I think I'm a medicinal patient, like many folks. There's various reasons.

CHRIS FARRELL: Yeah.

DEAN BECKER: Medical problems, mental problems, on down the line, for which cannabis provides relief and benefit. Your thought there, please.

CHRIS FARRELL: Oh, absolutely, right? I mean, it's, it's, if you want to talk about -- that's an argument for a lot of people, is like, you know, the harm on society, it's like, why are we going to legalize another drug? Well, you know, if you look at alcohol in that sense, and if you see what goes on with alcohol, and the toll that it takes on society in general, right, it's pretty high. I think if we needed anything banned, personally, it would be alcohol, on where things are and that the medicinal side of the cannabis plant, the relief that it provides to so many, and you know, and that's been ongoing, right? Just not widely enough recognized within the political system yet, unfortunately, to make the transition we really need to make in the industry to help people.

DEAN BECKER: There you go.

CHRIS FARRELL: It's about helping people, and that's where we come in, right?

DEAN BECKER: Yeah. Folks, once again we've been speaking with Mister Chris Farrell, he's with Scientific Inhalations, they're out there on the web at sipipes.com. Chris, I want to thank you, give you a chance for some closing thoughts. My goal, my ambition with these radio shows, is to kick enough people in the butt to encourage them, to motivate them, to stand up, speak up, to their elected officials, their pastor, their principal of their school, that we've been doing this wrong. And that, you know, it's just time for a change. Your thought there.

CHRIS FARRELL: It's absolutely time for a change, right? And, if it's, you're in Texas, right? So it's a little different, where things are at in different places in the country --

DEAN BECKER: But, the heart of it is the same. It's still not legal-legal here, either.

CHRIS FARRELL: It is not. But growing up in California, right, I have a little different perspective on that, because it's been pretty liberal here on where things are, right? So, yeah. People need to recognize that there is a benefit to this plant that we have that's been around for a long time, and that, you know, the rhetoric we get from, you know, the administration, officials and things, about the harms that this is, you know, going to cause the people and the addictiveness, aren't true, and actually do some real research on that, right? I think that today the society reads into just, they read headlines, and they listen to sound snippets, and that's it, they don't really go much farther into depth sometimes, unfortunately.

DEAN BECKER: Right.

CHRIS FARRELL: Into the benefits maybe of the plant. They listen to the rhetoric and things and it's like, yeah, it's harmful, and it's not. Right? That's proven again and again and again on where things are, so yeah, you know, get out, enjoy what you can, and you know, be a part of the movement, because it is going to change. You know, across the country.

DEAN BECKER: Well, we're wrapping it up here, and I'm sitting here looking at this beautiful pipe, and anticipating future adventures perhaps using this beautiful piece of artwork, actually. I want to thank you, Chris, for the pipe. I want to thank you for your acumen, you know, your understanding of this BS, and how we all, we still have work to do.

CHRIS FARRELL: Yeah. And we do, right? And thank you for, you know, being able to have a platform that people can be a part of to, you know, reach a wider audience, right? I mean, we can talk to our neighbors and our friends, and you know, we have social media today, but, you know, it can be hard to have that broader reach, and you're providing that to the larger audience to educate them.

DEAN BECKER: Once again, that website, please check it out, sipipes.com

All right, it's Day Two of the cannabis conference here in Anaheim, I'm here by a machine, you can probably hear in the background. It's got a specific purpose. Here to tell me more about it is Mister Brian Whittaker of Paxiom. Hello sir, how are you doing?

BRIAN WHITTAKER: I'm having a great day, how about yourself?

DEAN BECKER: I'm good. I'm telling the folks about this machine. Tell us what that clatter is about.

BRIAN WHITTAKER: So, that is our system of design for automating the process of weighing out and packaging your cannabis flowers. So what you hear back there is a multi-head weigher doing exactly that. We're running eighths right now at 30 a minute.

DEAN BECKER: Now, for those who may not be aware, eighths means one eighth of an ounce, a very specific amount. One of the probably primary product sizes that gets sold around the country, for a short trip or an evening, perhaps. Well, Brian, this machine is designed because of the weight and the volume and the specifics of marijuana, is it not?

BRIAN WHITTAKER: It is, it was designed exactly for that. It was designed also to take out a lot of the time and the human element that's involved in more the traditional way of having packaging being done solely with human hands.

DEAN BECKER: Right. And, what folks may not realize, California's fixing to legalize, or get closer to it, in my opinion, here in the near future, and the sales of let's just say eighths, one eighth of an ounce, is going to be in the millions if not eventually and not too far away in the billions. Am I right?

BRIAN WHITTAKER: Absolutely. It's going to be an absolutely huge industry. California will by far be the biggest market in the entire world.

DEAN BECKER: Right. Now, you're here, trying to attract customers, seeking trade. How's it going so far?

BRIAN WHITTAKER: Oh, it's been great. NCIA puts on an amazing show. This is the third one we've done this year with NCIA specifically, and it's our twelfth cannabis show overall this year with another three scheduled this year for right now.

DEAN BECKER: Well, it's been elbow to elbow the two days I've been here. I wish you great luck. Is there a closing thought, maybe a website you'd like to share?

BRIAN WHITTAKER: Absolutely. I'd love you to have to come to our website, packingcannabis.com. Flower is just part of what we package, we also have solutions for edibles as well as wholesale volumes of cannabis. So if you go to that website you'll see a full range of what we do, watch some videos, and then if it interests you, give me a call. The website again is packingcannabis.com.

DEAN BECKER: Try to picture the drug war as a freight train, more than nine miles long, cars ten feet wide, 63 feet long, and fifteen feet high, filled with hundred dollar bills. Four million four hundred thousand cubic feet of hundred dollar bills. More than one thousand one hundred tons of sweet Benjamins. More than eleven trillion dollars frittered away on this drug war. But, hell, I guess everybody loves trains.

He once won a debate with the drug czar, with a single word: recognize. When quizzed about the use of clandestine methedrine, he has a strong opinion: No. He is the most interesting man in the world. I don't always do drugs, but when I do, I prefer marijuana. Stay informed, my friends. DrugTruth.net.

There were no security companies at the Anaheim cannabis convention, so I didn't really get a chance to talk about that much, but I do know this, that there are now, or soon will be, millions of Californians who won't have to worry about getting pulled over, jailed, paying bail, going to court, all of that, for, you know, possessing marijuana. And that's a good thing. The billions of dollars that could be saved, the tens of billions of dollars that could be saved every year across America, should give us all concern and a new perspective, and hell, a new way of doing things.

Okeh. All right, folks, it's the closing hours of this cannabis business conference out here in Anaheim. I mentioned earlier I see very few people that I know that I've encountered over the years, but one I've seen many, many times is now the director of the ArcView Group, Mister Troy Dayton. How are you doing, Troy?

TROY DAYTON: Doing great. How are you doing, Dean?

DEAN BECKER: I'll tell you, Troy, this is a motivator. I had a history working as a machinist, and, you know, machine inspector, and quality control, and that sort of thing, and that's exactly what is out in that convention center, isn't it?

TROY DAYTON: Yeah. I mean, this is, this is, you know, this was politics for so long, and now it's like products and manufacturing, and cultivation, and, you know, GNP certified, and, you know, like, you know, all this stuff, right? I mean, it's like, it's becoming very tangible and boring.

DEAN BECKER: Well, and I think, in the beginning, we didn't think about that aspect, but that's --

TROY DAYTON: Not at all.

DEAN BECKER: -- that's a good thing, when you get right down to it, isn't it?

TROY DAYTON: No, it's absolutely phenomenal, but it's amazing, you know, when, you know, I've been involved on the politics side since 1995, I devoted my life to changing these laws, and along the way I, you know, dipped out into the renewable energy boom, and I dipped out into the dotcom boom, and, but I kept coming back to changing these laws, and I never thought for a million years when I was doing that that it would lead to the next business boom. Like, I really thought I was choosing between poverty and, you know, doing what I loved versus, like, you know, being part of the next business boom.

And, that was, I was just signing up for a life of poverty to change these laws. And then all of a sudden it just dawned on me in like 2008 --

DEAN BECKER: Right?

TROY DAYTON: -- that, oh my god --

DEAN BECKER: I remember those --

TROY DAYTON: -- we are starting an industry.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah.

TROY DAYTON: These laws that we're changing is starting an industry, and that industry could be the next big business boom. Most importantly, that that industry could be the biggest hindrance or the biggest furtherance to ending marijuana prohibition, and that's why Steve DeAngelo and I in 2010 started the ArcView Group, because we wanted to ensure that business would become the main engine of change instead of something that would draw against it, because, you know, there was a lack of leadership, and, you know, it's about figuring out how to make a responsible industry that was the likes of the organic foods industry, and the likes of the renewable energy industry, and the yoga industry, you know what I mean? These sorts of things, right? The wellness instead of, you know, I mean, looking to the tobacco or alcohol or pharmaceutical industries, you know.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah, and, that's so true, the, well hell, the reality of it is starting to just percolate within the American mindset, if you will. My police chief, sheriff, district attorney, they admitted they have friends who use medical marijuana. They think we're overdoing it, you know, and it just needs to be recognized, I don't know, I mean, we always talk about, oh, that's anecdotal, it can't be useful in making a determination, but there's millions of anecdotal bits of data, that should swing the cat. Your thought there, Troy, I mean, time's up for believing in reefer madness.

TROY DAYTON: Oh, yeah. I mean, I don't even spend my time talking about why cannabis might be useful in a medical context. It's obvious. Anybody that is still holding on to the belief that it's not is, we don't need them. We already have 94 percent public support, right? We just need political will. We don't need to convince anybody else.

DEAN BECKER: Right, but I guess what I'm trying to get to here, Troy, is that, when, you know, people of that stature in the state of Texas are willing to go on air and say such things, it should give others license, or --

TROY DAYTON: Absolutely. And it's starting to happen, but, you know, hey, we're activists, it never moves fast enough for us. You know? I mean, it's always too slow.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah, that's the dang truth. It certainly is. Well, I imagine you are invited to speak at many of the conferences like this cannabis business conference here in Anaheim, and that's also an indication that we have people out here, maybe some of them are millionaires, I don't know, they certainly are willing or considering getting into this industry, because it parallels a bit the gold rush in California back in '49, you know.

TROY DAYTON: You know, our goal is to find the high net worth investors that are looking to invest, you know, anywhere from 250 to, you know, $250,000 to $250,000,000, right?

DEAN BECKER: Okeh, yeah.

TROY DAYTON: And find, and help them, you know, get connected to the kinds of projects that are going to be the kinds of projects they'll probably want in their portfolios. And also to help them get acquainted with this industry and how it's not just an industry, that it's also a movement, and ideally to be able to raise money to change the laws. You know, ArcView, we've raised over three million dollars, right, from stage to support various political efforts, and --

DEAN BECKER: Good for you guys.

TROY DAYTON: -- and helping people kind of get bought into that idea within a community of peers makes a huge difference. Then on the company side, you know, there's some amazing companies, there's some amazing entrepreneurs, but they just don't know how to raise money yet, they don't know all the little pieces, but they really know how to grow amazing cannabis at scale, or they really know a lot of other things that are really important.

And so it's about making sure that they get surrounded by the right people, that's part of the reason we're part of -- we started an accelerator, a business accelerator program called Canopy. And that has been amazing at helping to mold these sort of diamonds in the rough, get them ready for that investment.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah. Well, it's developing into massive industry. And it's destined to grow for quite a while, isn't it?

TROY DAYTON: Yeah.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah. Closing thoughts, a website, Troy?

TROY DAYTON: We're at arcviewgroup.com, we're actually launching a new website in a couple of days, so, I don't know when this will run, but that will be cool, you'll get to see our new website.

DEAN BECKER: Okeh.

TROY DAYTON: And, yeah, if you're looking for research, market research on this space, you know, ArcView's a great place to go for that, we have -- download our free executive summary to our fifth edition of the state of legal marijuana markets, and then companies that are looking to raise capital, we're a great place to start. And then, investors looking to place it, same thing.

DEAN BECKER: Sounds good. I appreciate it, Troy.

TROY DAYTON: Thanks, Dean.

DEAN BECKER: Yes sir.

TROY DAYTON: Yeah.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah.

All right. I've got a couple more segments that you'll probably hear over the coming weeks, but that's pretty much cleaned out the recorder from Anaheim.

It's time to play Name That Drug By Its Side Effects! Headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, irregular pulse, skin discoloration, weakness, amnesia, agitation, loose stools, coughing, taste perversion, tremors, arrhythmia, cardiac failure, and death. Time's up! The answer, from Pfizer Laboratories: Caduet, for high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

The insane are in charge of the asylum,
The fox in charge of breeding the hens,
The cartels need drug war to make their billions,
Oh what will it take to motivate
To examine this century of lies?
What will it take to motivate
You to speak of what's before your eyes?

All right, well, I'm going to start wrapping it up here, I'm going to hand off to Doug McVay. he's editor of Drug War Facts. Please go online, check it out, there's so much information there that you can use to fortify your knowledge base, to increase your courage shield, to enable you to begin to speak up in public, to challenge the logic of cops and district attorneys, senators, and legislators, to be able to demand a change, because you can speak with logic and understanding, and that's what this show's been about for 16 years. It's what it will continue to be, until you guys step up. I ain't going to quit. All right, Doug, it's all yours. Prohibido istac evilesco!

DOUG MCVAY: Thanks, Dean. It’s an honor to join you this week for the second half of Cultural Baggage, the flagship program on the Drug Truth Network. I’m Doug McVay, and I regularly host the network’s sister program Century Of Lies. That’s a show Dean created several years ago and that each week brings thirty minutes of news and information about the drug war to listeners around the world via the Pacifica Foundation Radio Network. Let’s get to it.

Back in its 2015 legislative session, the state of Oregon passed a law establishing a law enforcement task force on racial profiling. The task force, chaired by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, delivered its recommendations at the end of that year and asked that the task force be extended in order to develop some legislative concepts.

The Law Enforcement Task Force then unveiled draft legislation at the end of 2016, legislation which would become House Bill 2355 in the Oregon Legislature's 2017 session. After a great deal of debate, House Bill 2355 passed both houses of the state legislature and was signed into law by Oregon Governor Kate Brown on August 15.

House Bill 2355 was a real win for criminal justice, racial justice, and drug policy reform. One of bill’s most articulate supporters was State Senator Lew Frederick, a Portland Democrat. Recently I sat down with Senator Frederick to talk about House Bill 2355 and criminal justice reform in general. Here is part of that conversation.

Senator Frederick, first of all thank you very much.

OR STATE SENATOR LEW FREDERICK: Sure.

DOUG MCVAY: For your time. HB -- House Bill 2355 was passed this session, signed by the governor recently. It has two purposes --

OR STATE SENATOR LEW FREDERICK: Actually three.

DOUG MCVAY: Three?

OR STATE SENATOR LEW FREDERICK: Three purposes, yeah. But go ahead.

DOUG MCVAY: Well, I know the -- I know the racial profiling segment, data collection and reporting. Then there's also the penalty reduction for first offenders.

OR STATE SENATOR LEW FREDERICK: What I call de-felonization.

DOUG MCVAY: De-felonization. I would say it's a step along the way toward decriminalization, of course, I'm a person who thinks decriminalizing offenses like drugs is a good idea, so, I'm okeh using -- personally, I like the idea.

OR STATE SENATOR LEW FREDERICK: Well, I want to make the distinction primarily because of folks who, initially there were groups who jumped up and said, they're decriminalizing it, they're letting anybody use -- No. There was, it was -- it's, basically you get two chances to say, listen, I was just using this, this was not, I was not selling, all those kind of things. So, because we were getting people who were being put in prison for small possession issues, and they needed to deal with it in a different way, in my view.

The third part was dealing with training. And that's -- and I think that's an important part, dealing with training related to, especially related to how present police officers and new police officers might deal with profiling issues. And I think that's an important and distinctive new approach, because what we run into is folks being trained in a certain kind of escalation, and that once they get into the service, you know, into an agency, they stay with that or the supervisors tell them, don't pay attention to what you heard there. But with the continuing training of folks who are already working as police officers and in law enforcement, I think that's an important part.

DOUG MCVAY: Very much so, I mean, obviously, the data reporting and analysis will be one thing, but unless officers actually act on what -- unless the system acts on it, and officers adjust their behavior, then, what good is getting the data? Oh look, we're continuing to do badly. We have to correct it.

OR STATE SENATOR LEW FREDERICK: Exactly. And, we know that DPSST, which is the training -- the police college, if you will, that they have already started, they've already been doing a number of things like that. But, again, the folks who are already working on the street, or the supervisors of the new people coming in, they haven't been looked at and talked -- anyone's talked with them and said, we've got a new approach to this.

I mean, for many of them, it was a -- you're an authority and you do this right away and you tell those folks, and if they don't listen to you then you exert your authority even more and the escalation ladder was something that -- well, the DPSST has looked at it in a different way and said, maybe we need to de-escalate, and so that's part of that bill as well. So those three parts, I think, begin a process of changing the general attitude and the general approach, and I think -- I believe will show us that we can do things in a different way that will be helpful to the whole community.

DOUG MCVAY: Actually before we get into the details, I should -- one of the things I most appreciate about the bill, I mean, as I say, I'm a -- I do drug policy work, and so de-felonization is I think a great step, but, the criminal justice analysis part, I'm so grateful for the requirement about data collection. One of things in there that's specific is ethnicity, because as you're -- I presume you're aware, that's a thing the state does not collect. You get -- you can find white, African American, native American, Asian, but Latino is missing. Those numbers just get thrown in with the whites, which is just wrong, and you could argue that maybe it's done just to hide the presence of Latinos within the system. Well --

OR STATE SENATOR LEW FREDERICK: And I understand that. I -- yeah. Part of it, part of what happened, this is what's important for me. There's a process that we dealt with. I started talking about and asking for those kinds of, for that kind of data back in 2011. And other people have been asking for it before me. So, it wasn't a new idea. We began a process of trying to make the case for the legislature and for law enforcement, and the judiciary, that this was an important thing. It takes a while to make that case to some folks. But, sometimes, things happen that help make that case. And national video, national cases, helped that.

And the clear knowledge that we were dealing with a much larger Latino population than folks wanted to admit. The governor signed the Latino -- Hispanic Heritage Month bill yesterday, I think it was, or the day before, and they -- talking about the same kind of thing, because we started to see, people started to recognize that we're talking, I think it's at least one in five kids in school in Oregon are Latino. When you start to see that kind of a change, you can't ignore certain things.

And so we started to see other groups come together to work on this. Kayse Jama and his team of folks from Unite Oregon --

DOUG MCVAY: Unite Oregon, yeah.

OR STATE SENATOR LEW FREDERICK: But he was, his group before that, he had a group of young people who went out around the state and talked with other folks and said, are you seeing this as a problem? And would you mind writing down your story or coming in to talk with folks about it? They did that, that's why we were able to pass the bill in 2015, that said, let's do a study on this. Let's do at least a couple of, some research on it.

The attorney general and her team went out, Urias Johnson and group, went to different places, held hearings that were extraordinary. And they talked about the ethnicity issues, they talked about a number of other issues: poverty, LGBT, youth issues, how they were addressed on the MAX and how they were addressed in Medford and in Coos Bay. All of these things came to bear. And it made a difference. And so that's why the attorney general, if you noticed that the bill was sponsored by the attorney general. When she came, she said, we need to do this in a different way. I said, you know, I'll support it, I couldn't co-sponsor it because it was by the attorney general, but I basically tried to do just that. So did a number of other folks.

And we were able to get that point across. But we also got across, I mean, one of the reasons that I think the de-felonization passed was because the Oregon Chiefs of Police and the Oregon Sheriffs Association came forward and said, we agree with this. We need to, and one of the reasons that they agreed with us, they said, it's very clear to us that we have a disparate enforcement, a disparate situation where people are being pulled over and the judiciary has been clearly including, clearly a problem for ethnicity -- African American, Latino, others, and native American, and Asian. Saying, they are getting addressed differently than others. We need to change that.

And it's not effective. It's not working for us. It doesn't do what we think it should be doing. So let's re-think this.

DOUG MCVAY: So, if I understand, it's going to, the data collection and the training will be concurrent? Or how ... ?

OR STATE SENATOR LEW FREDERICK: They're going to continue to look at how they can best do this. We already have some of the training down, it's just a matter of expanding it to folks who are already on the force.

DOUG MCVAY: I've got, I did a -- I do a few different shows, and I was looking at the testimony in that final, the Joint, is it the Joint Ways and Means?

OR STATE SENATOR LEW FREDERICK: Yeah, Joint Ways and Means Committee. Oh yeah, that was an interesting -- that was interesting testimony.

DOUG MCVAY: You had the, Kimberly McCullough from ACLU, you had Kayse --

OR STATE SENATOR LEW FREDERICK: Kayse Jama

DOUG MCVAY: Kayse Jama from Unite Oregon there. And you also had Josh Marquis show up on his own. I mentioned he took exception to something I said about him. I said that, or at least I characterized part of what he said as, well, we don't really put people in jail for petty possession anyway, I mean, specifically, what he said was:

"We are very concerned, there's really not a war on drugs in Oregon, let's be honest, as somebody who's in court every day, the idea that, that we, as the ACLU says, have harsh drug sentences in Oregon, is frankly ludicrous. The sentence for your fourth conviction for heroin in my county is ten days in jail, probably eight of which will -- is served in jail, in fact after two days you'll probably be released."

Now, that sounded to me like he was trying to say to you, the legislators, that there's no reason for de-felonizing this first offense stuff, we don't really deal with people by putting them in jail for this stuff anyway. He objected to my characterization of that. I sent him the transcript so he could see that that's what he said. That was pretty much where we left it, actually, was --

OR STATE SENATOR LEW FREDERICK: Well, you know, I'm not going to try to argue with Marquis right now here. Let me put it another way, for me. And it's -- it is related to felony. If you have a felony conviction, and you try to get a job, or you try to get an apartment, or a scholarship, an education, felony conviction has a very different issue than a misdemeanor. Very different.

And yet, you can get -- that is a, and it's a mark that is indelible on anything that you try to do from now on. I have enough folks who, if -- enough stories, that we had enough stories of people who had had small possession, but they suddenly had a felony conviction. Now, what does that do to a community? In my view, it does an awful lot. If you have, and especially if you have law enforcement targeting those folks, let's see, you know, those folks, they're going to have some drugs on them, that's, we're sure of that. Even if they don't necessarily. They're going to have drugs on them, so we're going to check them out.

Turns out of course that the amount of drugs are usually, as, and maybe even smaller than the majority population, but they're going to be picked, checked out, more often. So you end up with a lot of people with felony convictions. Well, if they have felony convictions and they can't get jobs, and they can't get housing, and they can't get education, what happens to that community? Well, that community starts to fall apart.

There's a great documentary called Thirteenth that speaks to that issue. I want to see some way of breaking through that wall that says -- that has been created around certain communities. I want to see families develop. And, if you can't get a job, it's difficult for you to really have a solid family life. If you can't get housing, you can't do that. If you can't get education, you can't do that. So, this is a small piece, a small part, but I think it may have a larger impact if we are able to move from a felony conviction to a misdemeanor, to maybe even less than that.

But if we start really talking about how we deal with treatment, and that's part of this bill as well, how we start dealing with treatment, rather than placing someone in a jail cell, as if that is going to be treatment, to help them when they get out. That doesn't work. So, that's what I'm looking at. It's a much longer, larger picture than just a particular conviction, or trial, of one form. I think that if we start to deal with the felony issue in a much larger sense, we start to actually have an impact on a whole community effort. And that's what I want to see happen.

DOUG MCVAY: You are listening to Cultural Baggage, a production of the Drug Truth Network for the Pacifica Foundation Radio Network, on the web at DrugTruth.net. I'm Doug McVay. We're listening to a conversation with Oregon State Senator Lew Frederick, a Portland Democrat. We're discussing racial profiling, drug laws, sentencing policies, and criminal justice reform. Let's return to that conversation.

I have taken up a great deal of your time of your time today and I'm extremely grateful to you, Senator, it's --

OR STATE SENATOR LEW FREDERICK: Sure.

DOUG MCVAY: -- it's an honor to have you in here, and, yeah. I appreciate all the work that you've been doing, you're leading the way in a lot of really good things.

OR STATE SENATOR LEW FREDERICK: I'm lucky enough to have enough other folks who are in the legislature, some who people do not expect to be supportive of this. They are former law enforcement people, they are former DAs, they are hardnosed sort of conservative sort of folks who've looked at this and said, this isn't working. I mean, one of the groups, one of the places that we've seen significant prison reform issues, change, and drug reform things, is Texas. Texas! Not exactly your hotbed of liberal legislation.

But they looked at it and said, wait a minute. We're putting people in jail for what? And keeping them for how long? Wait a minute, this isn't working. We have -- we have conservative legislators from all sorts of parts of the state looking at those things and voting in that way as well. We have folks who have said, okeh, we get it, we've been disparate in terms of the enforcement. We really have been. You're not kidding. This is not -- so we need to do something.

We have a group of thoughtful legislators and policymakers who look at this in a different way than many other states, and they are not necessarily Ds and Rs. They are, they have a different kind of approach, which is classic Oregon. It really is.

DOUG MCVAY: I'm an amateur and you're a professional -- you're a former professional journalist, so I don't feel bad asking you this --

OR STATE SENATOR LEW FREDERICK: All right, all right, what?

DOUG MCVAY: -- what should -- what have I not asked you that I should?

OR STATE SENATOR LEW FREDERICK: Well, the last -- the thing that I would, that I was going to promote, I'm supposed to promote anyway, is the fact that I have a bill that I'm going to be pushing for the 2018 session. We only get one bill, each Senator gets one bill.

DOUG MCVAY: Wow.

OR STATE SENATOR LEW FREDERICK: My bill is going to be asking for a regular psychological visit by every law enforcement officer in the state, whether that's every six months or every two years, you go in, you say hello, it's not an evaluation, it's not what's -- it's not written down what you have to say, but you've gone in and you've talked with a psychologist, psychiatrist, somebody, a counselor, about you. Every cop that I know has a PTSD experience that they can tell you about, that of course doesn't affect them because they're too tough to be affected by this.

I would like for folks to have that as -- not as a stigma, going in and seeing a psychologist, but have a regular visit, have that visit just coded as, yep, they checked it off, and I don't care whether it's every six months or every two years, something that's a regular visit. They already have -- every agency has a psychologist on retainer anyway, they have to for other things. Let's have them use that as a way of beginning the process of dealing with those issues that -- they may deal with psychological issues. Some of them are things as simple as trigger points, you know.

A good example. We know that something triggered the guy, the cop who was involved in that whole thing in Houston -- not Houston, in Salt Lake City, in the hospital in Salt Lake City. We've seen that video. Why did he go off? Not because there was something that really warranted that. Something else triggered that, from some other place. I think that, and I'm not saying that we're going to solve all that, but if you at least begin the process of having a psychological visit, not evaluation, then you begin the process of saying, okeh, we care about you as a professional. You as a professional have a gun that if there's a trigger, you could kill someone.

But, we also want to make sure that people understand that we are going to be paying attention to your particular psychological concerns, now and in the future. I think that's a good thing to have happen.

DOUG MCVAY: And doing it not as a disciplinary thing --

OR STATE SENATOR LEW FREDERICK: Right.

DOUG MCVAY: -- where it's like --

OR STATE SENATOR LEW FREDERICK: Not as a disciplinary --

DOUG MCVAY: -- you have to go because of this, it's just a, we want -- as a regular --

OR STATE SENATOR LEW FREDERICK: It's a check-in.

DOUG MCVAY: -- a check-in.

OR STATE SENATOR LEW FREDERICK: It's a simple check-in. And that's what I'd like to see happen. And it's, you know, it's not -- it's not part of the evaluation that you get every year, except that you visited. You had a visit, every year, every two years. Again. the interval is going to be dependent clearly on the capacity of the agency. But, have something that's happening so that people know that people are concerned and want to see them well.

So that's the bill that I'm going to introduce in the 2018 session. It's a five week session so we don't know whether it will get through or not, but I've -- I want to see if we can get something together on that, and if we can begin to have the conversation about how we deal with anxiety issues, and PTSD issues, within the professionals that we have.

DOUG MCVAY: And so many police that have, they're army, they're military reserves, some coming back from Iraq or from Afghanistan, any one of our conflicts currently, the notion that they're free from -- I mean, it's actually sort of, you would think, a given that several -- that some of these folks will have some kind of issue with PTSD, it's just -- it's part of the job.

OR STATE SENATOR LEW FREDERICK: I have a friend of mine who is triggered every time he sees a particular color of blue. He didn't discover this until late, but, it's triggered -- the different color blue, because the color blue was the color of a little boy who died in his arms after an accident, or domestic violence situation, and so whenever he sees that color blue, his anxiety level goes up. Well, if you, if that anxiety level goes up because of that particular color blue, and they pull somebody over, and they happen to be wearing that blue, that anxiety level's gone up. That does not help things because that person can be responding to them good or bad, and then it starts to escalate.

Well, we need to, I mean, you know, I'm not sure that that's going to be the case with a lot -- with other folks, but it's possible, and if no one has talked with anyone about it, then, it's going to just continue to fester. Let's see if we can have a conversation, doesn't have to -- doesn't have to start off with, all right, what's your anxiety trigger points? But let's talk. I think talking, and it takes the stigma away. It takes the stigma away from going in to see somebody. I think that can make a big difference too.

DOUG MCVAY: That is, I -- I'll be keeping in touch, I mean, that sounds like -- in the next session, I wan to find out how that, how much traction this gets. Because I think it's -- I think it's a, I can, it sounds like one of those ideas that's so flaming obvious, it's the question, you know, why aren't we doing this?

OR STATE SENATOR LEW FREDERICK: Well, there are lots of things. A lot of things have come into, I mean, people have said, you know, this is a, this could be a union situation. Well, it could be, except I'm talking about statewide so it's not necessarily a union situation. It is, in some cases, it's, people have waited until there's been an incident. We have, we already have it on the books that you have to see somebody after a violent incident, a shooting of some form. Okeh. So we've been waiting, we've been, instead of being proactive, we've been reactive. Well, let's be a little proactive about this.

So, all of those things come into bear, just in some cases, people just haven't thought of it that way. So, I came up with a different perspective, that's all.

DOUG MCVAY: And it's not, and again, it's not a reaction to the, it's not a disciplinary thing, it's not a reaction because okeh, you screwed up so we've got to take care of this. It's just a question of, we want you to stay healthy. We want you to stay focused, and we want you to be effective at your job.

OR STATE SENATOR LEW FREDERICK: And we want to have confidence in you. We want to have a regular sense of confidence that when we call, and we're talking with you on something, you will be at least able to understand what's going on and not be triggered by other things that you don't -- that you haven't paid attention to. I want to have that confidence. I want to have that confidence not only in police officers, but I want to have that confidence with teachers, and with hospital employees, and all of these folks. They, we need to have that kind of a sense of how adults handle things.

DOUG MCVAY: That was my conversation with Oregon State Senator Lew Frederick, a Portland Democrat, who was one of the backers of House Bill 2355, which addressed racial profiling, law enforcement training, and the penalties for drug law violations. House Bill 2355 was signed into law on August 15th, and goes into effect in the state at the beginning of the year.

DEBORAH PETERSON SMALL: Now, I know I'm running out of time, so I'm going to go to my last two points real quick. Which is, what is drug policy reform? This is again a point where history has to teach us something. In the same way that ending legal slavery did not equate with black freedom, ending mass incarceration is not the same as actually removing all the shackles et cetera that drug policies have placed on people of color.

Okeh, we need to actually think about what is the role that the drug war has played? It has been the space to continue to allow the economic, political, and social oppression and exploitation of people in general but black and brown people in particular. So if our reform is not changing that power relationship, if all we're doing is taking off people's physical chains and putting them in the economic chains of having to pay for the privilege of not going to prison, so that somebody else gets to profit, that's not real reform.

And for all of you pot entrepreneurs out there, my question to you is, are you going to be a parasite, or a social engineer? Are you going to use your money to keep sucking the blood out of our community, or are you actually going to be part of the solution of applying reparations, and yes I said that word, because god damn it, I am done with the idea of people having policies that screw over people for decades, and then one day they say, oh wow, we've become enlightened, my bad, and all of a sudden it's all good, and we're still left with the scars. We're still left with the hurt. We're still left with all of the damage that has been done. You guys owe us, and I'm here to collect. See ya.

NGAIO BEALUM: It's like this. When it's time to renew my driver's license picture, I get high as hell. You understand? I pull into the parking lot of the DMV, and I hotbox the shit out of my car like I got three or four other people with me. Right? Because I want them to think that I look like that all the god damned time. You understand? Right.

So when they pull me over, I'm all like, what seems to be the trouble? You can go, sir. I love marijuana, did I mention that?

DOUG MCVAY: And well, that’s it for this week. Thanks for joining us. You’ve been listening to Cultural Baggage, a production of the Drug Truth Network for the Pacifica Foundation Radio Network, on the web at DrugTruth.net. Your host and the producer of Cultural Baggage is Dean Becker. I’m Doug McVay. And as Dean always says, because of prohibition you don't know what's in that bag. Please, be careful.

DEAN BECKER: To the Drug Truth Network listeners around the world, this is Dean Becker for Cultural Baggage and the unvarnished truth. Cultural Baggage is a production of the Pacifica Radio Network, archives are permanently stored at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. And we are all still tap dancing on the edge of an abyss.

Dean Becker Wants YOU to Call the Drug Czar