67 | Jack Wilborn, Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP)

“Police are here to deal with crimes against other people. A joint is not a crime against somebody else.”

— Jack Wilborn

Cannabis is a non-toxic plant that has never killed anyone, yet millions in the U.S. are incarcerated for possessing, using or selling it. As a member of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP), Jack Wilborn speaks about the need to change our policies around cannabis, so that police can return to their proper role as guardians. Listen and learn how:

  • Jack’s first arrest showed him the injustice of cannabis laws, 67 | Jack Wilborn, Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP)
  • Other countries have successfully reformed their cannabis laws
  • Prohibition actually increases people’s  use of illicit substances
  • What you can do to help bring about much-needed reform

Transcript of Podcast Episode with Jack Wilborn

Copyright © Kannaboom 2020

Kannaboom (00:00:00): When laws are unjust, they should be changed. And when people charged with enforcing law point this out, it's worth listening. Jack Wilborn represents the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, or LEAP. He has arrested people for possession of cannabis and seen the consequences are too often life-changing, in tragic ways. LEAP is focused on moving us toward federal action on cannabis laws. And Jack has statistics and real life stories about the cascading effect of policing people based on unjust laws. If you care about the human cost of our outdated drug laws, you'll want to share this episode with your family and friends. Whether you're a subscriber or a first-time listener, please stop by and see us at Kannaboom, with a K, dot com. We're focusing on how cannabinoids and CBD can help you achieve better wellness and importantly, how to find CBD that's trusted and reliable. If you'd like the podcast, please subscribe. Please leave a review so other people can find the show. And here's my interview with Jack Wilborn. Cannabis is booming and cannabis is on it. Welcome to the Kannaboom Podcast, where we interview experts on the changing story of humans, health, and hemp. From San Diego, here's your host, Tom Stacey. It's Tom. Welcome back to the Kannaboom Podcast. Today. We're excited to speak with Jack Wilborn, who is representing the Law Enforcement Action Partnership. Hey Jack.

Jack Wilborn (00:01:09): Hi, how are you doing?

Kannaboom (00:01:10): Really good, big topic to talk about in terms of law enforcement and cannabis laws, and that's who you're representing, is ex-law enforcement officers basically?

Jack Wilborn (00:01:20): Yeah. Represent lots of law enforcement fact is we are worldwide in over 20 countries. And we actually had one of the officers as a speaker for us to sue the Royal Canadian Mounted Police because they wouldn't let him speak. So, he sued them in one. So he's one of our speakers, but we do have officers that are out in the field, they do speak, most of our officers are retired because it is kind of time consuming.

Kannaboom (00:01:52): Well, tell us about leap and what the organization does.

Jack Wilborn (00:01:56): Well, basically their mission is to unite, mobilize the voice of law enforcement in support of drug policy and criminal justice reforms that make our communities safer by focusing law enforcement resources on the greatest threats to public safety, promoting alternatives, to arrest and incarceration, addressing the root causes of crime and working towards healing police / community relations. We're also envisioning a world in which criminal justice and drug policies to keep our community safer, ending the war on drugs and looking beyond the criminal justice system for a range of solutions to address society's ills or ill wills, better protecting them and rights, reduce violence and addiction and build better respect for and trust in law enforcement. So in a nutshell, that's kind of what we're up to.

Kannaboom (00:02:46): Well, that's a well-crafted statement. It sounds like a lot of people had input on that.

Jack Wilborn (00:02:49): Oh yeah. That's why, that's why I don't try to put it in my own nutshell cause they did a very good job of it. Sure.

Kannaboom (00:02:57): So where the rubber meets the road, it's you guys sort of being a lobby for better drug policies?

Jack Wilborn (00:03:07): We'll do what we can. Some people are supportive, some people in LEAP support more of the legislative and let's work towards changing legislation of, of things or, or how prisons are run or how prisons are dealt with. Those are all part of the criminal justice reform systems. So those are, you know, and LEAP is interested in those. Also, if that's where you're going to

Kannaboom (00:03:34): Tell us how, how you became involved in LEAP.

Jack Wilborn (00:03:36): Well, it started when I was a rookie and I was out and with an FTO, which is called Field Training Officer, you know, he goes through the Academy and then they put you in the field for a few weeks. And the first time, the first time you're out there, you know, you're kind of seeing what's going on. And then pretty soon the training officers are giving you more of the load. And eventually he comes out in civilian clothes and you handle all the calls and that's pretty much how they tell if you're ready to have what we call car command, or you can go out and be an officer on your own without having to be supervised. So when that happened to me it was one of those situations where they want to know if you understand the traffic laws. So if you have to stop everybody that violates a traffic law, no matter what it is, you know, in this case, I pull over a kid that had a broken tail light after, you know, the guy that was a real nice kid spoke real well and his English was excellent and was really smart. And, you know, I was just gonna write him a fix it ticket and my FTO caught a whiff of marijuana and it turned out he had a little tiny roach under his seat and, you know, ended up arrested, going to, you know, getting a year in prison. I had a list of east coast universities that were wanting to put him through it. And of course he lost all that. So basically I trashed his life and, you know, that's how I felt. I still feel that today. And you know, that is not what I joined the police department to do. And when I got real sick about a decade into working, I, you know, the internet started becoming more available. And I started looking for other people that believe like I, you know, the drug war was a hoax pretty much and you'll never stop it anyway. And so I found LEAP at the time, which was against prohibition. Unfortunately, when they started about 2003, they weren't really interested in the, you know, the normal police officers there, a big interest was pretty much in people that have been 25 years in the DEA and stuff like that, which we do have. Now we have people with DEA judges, you know, lots of people that have worked in the criminal judge, criminal justice system. And, you know, feeling like we do that just is a waste of people on money and everything.

Kannaboom (00:06:14): So your epiphany was seeing how a minor infraction could blow up someone's life. Who's otherwise law abiding except for being a cannabis user.

Jack Wilborn (00:06:26): Well, he wasn't a cannabis user, but I think that's the one thing that really stuck out is the roach was probably not even a quarter inch long. And it was under his seat. And you know, one of the things you're kind of like frown on is if you follow these, these things through to the end, but I was just a rookie and I wanted to know what happened. And I actually talked to his attorney and the guy tested negative for cannabinoid, for metabolites. So he has not been using, he admitted that his friends had smoked and I'm, you know, knowing how that stuff works. He probably pitched it out the window and ended up under her seat. So he was not a user yet. He got the full brunt of the system and he paid for the rest of his life.

Kannaboom (00:07:12): Yeah. That's tragic when you multiply that by three or 400,000 cannabis arrests a year in this country, that's a big story.

Jack Wilborn (00:07:20): Yeah. It's, you know, a lot of this is really sad. I mean, there's not any good views on it. As far as, you know, there's an attitude about drugs that we need to change. And that attitude came from actually came from, I think the Nixon administration, but you know, cause most people think cannabis was, as we know when it was cannabis outlawed originally,

Kannaboom (00:07:47): Well, 1937 I think was Harry Anslinger with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. That was the whole origin of what was that called? Well, there was a Marijuana Stamp Tax Act, I believe in the late thirties that...

Jack Wilborn (00:08:02): Wasn't prohibition, it was taxed.

Kannaboom (00:08:05): Right. It did roll into prohibition, which you're right. I think Nixon really exacerbated that because there was research coming back. I mean, Nixon basically commissioned research and it came back saying cannabis is not a bad thing, but he kind of doubled down on where we were at at that time, you know, kind of casting hippies as political enemies and wanting to incarcerate those people, hippies and people of color. And yeah, that certainly has lasted a long time. And I think we're, we're still dealing with it.

Jack Wilborn (00:08:35): Yeah. What broke the camel's back on that really, was Dr. Timothy Leary. You know, he was caught coming across the border with a joint in Texas and he ended up in court and it went to the Supreme Court and he said, you know, if I admitted, if I bought the tax, then I would be admitting to the state of Texas that I was violating their law, which puts you in double jeopardy. So, basically the Supreme Court agreed with him and that basically kills the tax stamp. But Nixon took over and went along with the schedule system. After that, for reasons you described.

Kannaboom (00:09:19): Right. Schedule One, making it designated as a drug with no redeeming value medicinal value when we know that's not true anymore.

Jack Wilborn (00:09:28): Well, you know, the issue is you have to think about how our government works. You know, according to them, it has no medicinal value. Well, at the turn of the 20th century, the top three prescribed medications had cannabis in them, you know? And so you ask why isn't this legal medication and the reason it's not considered a medicine is because the FDA has to approve stuff to approve something, to get it actually through the testing we have, it has to be based on a single molecule on a single target. And of course, you know, cannabis has plenty of molecules to hit plenty of targets, which makes it virtually impossible to test with the message we know we'd have to test the world to get accurate numbers, so that will never pass. As long as we have separate molecules, that will never be an FDA approved drug, but you can ask the same question, you know, who invented drugs if they weren't drugs before 19, what was 1908 or whenever the Pure Food and Drug Act was passed, you know? So that's what made cannabis, no medicinal value was because the FDA couldn't prove it.

Kannaboom (00:10:40): LEAP has sort of been a grassroots effort from law enforcement officers who have seen the injustice of this and want to try to move us past that?

Jack Wilborn (00:10:48): Yes, basically. That's true. It's, you know, if the bottom line is we saw this to be an issue, we're on the front lines, we have boots on the ground, but nobody wants to listen.

Kannaboom (00:11:01): So in practical terms, how do you make progress on this agenda?

Jack Wilborn (00:11:05): Well, I, you know, last year, I spent most of the legislative session down talking to legislators, you know, trying to get them to understand that this is, you know, not working.

Kannaboom (00:11:21): Where are you Jack? What state are you in?

Jack Wilborn (00:11:23): Phoenix is where I'm going. Actually I live in Peoria, but which is right next to Phoenix, pretty much

Kannaboom (00:11:30): Is cannabis legal in Arizona?

Jack Wilborn (00:11:32): We have medical marijuana only. And simple. We're the only state that simple possession is a felony.

Kannaboom (00:11:40): Oh wow. Are there still a lot of arrests taking place for that?

Jack Wilborn (00:11:43): Yeah. I can't remember what it was last year, but it's somewhere around 10,000.

Kannaboom (00:11:49): That's significant. Yeah.

Jack Wilborn (00:11:50): We have an initiative that hopefully helps it's on the ballot. This November

Kannaboom (00:11:55): Among active duty police, do you believe your beliefs would be in the minority or majority? Or what percentage of policemen do you think see cannabis as something that shouldn't be outlawed?

Jack Wilborn (00:12:08): Well, you know, I see more and more of them as I speak with more and more officers coming in. I don't know if they've seen it when they're in college or whatever, but more and more officers coming in seem to realize the futility of it. It's difficult to talk to officers. You talk to them about, you know, how prejudiced it is and they boo hoo you away. You know, most cops aren't prejudiced. It's just the whole mechanism is prejudiced. You know, it's not one particular, are there prejudiced cops? Of course. Are there not prejudiced cops? Most of them are not prejudiced, but you know, the mechanism filters you and forces those kinds of systemic situations, you know, Timothy Larry, when he came across the border, was a joint, was looking at 10 years in prison and $50,000 or some crazy amount. So these are the, these are the problems that we have, and these are the problems we need to resolve. And over time, all we've done is we've basically taught everybody that if a drug is bad and you know, you compare it to other drugs that we use. And we have, there's really no comparison to many of these drugs.

Kannaboom (00:13:28): Certainly as an enforcement officer, your job is to enforce the statutes and the laws. And I guess there's some latitude there in how aggressive you are. If you, if an officer believes they smell some cannabis, they have the authority to look under the seat or in the trunk or all over the place. Right?

Jack Wilborn (00:13:48): Really one of the points I made to more than one legislator was when I was an officer. If I got a call for the smell of marijuana and I went out there and I could say, it's coming from this house, I could just kick the door in.

Kannaboom (00:14:01): You need the authority to enforce the law, but, and it's not up to you to decide if the laws are just or unjust, right? You, you do your job.

Jack Wilborn (00:14:09): Well, well, yes and no. You know, sometimes you look at something and you go, 'This would be ludicrous to do this.' No, it wouldn't affect it. You know, it wouldn't change what happened. It wouldn't change. What's going to happen in the future. You know, it's just in, sometimes you overlook things because of that, you know, it's like a body camera. I'd love to have a body camera, but it's a two, a two bladed sword or a two edged sword. Because, you know, if you say, yes, you'll see somebody that you might give a break to and somebody in a similar situation and you don't give a break to. And so, you know, you can't do that anymore. Now you can't give a break to anybody you get where I'm driving at?

Kannaboom (00:14:52): Yeah. It takes the discretion out of it. You're always being monitored. So you have to be absolutely consistent, and not use your judgment.

Jack Wilborn (00:15:01): Yeah. And, and, you know, I'm sure I overlook drugs that, you know, if I didn't feel, you know, I didn't worry about it. If I didn't feel there was a danger to the public, you know, that's how I pretty much looked at. Most of the police enforcement was if this is not a danger to the public, I probably shouldn't be involved with it. And, you know, sometimes act conflicted with laws. And when that happens, I have to try to do what's what the legal law says. I mean, that's the bottom line of any police department. The fallacy with that system is, you know, what are police here for? You know, most people don't know what police are for. And police are here to reduce crime. And the way you tell how effective a police force is, is by how little of the police force you actually see because of their suppressing crime, you know, seeing them unfortunately we've kind of lost that view. And now we're chasing things and we've made laws that are really moral and they're, they affect what a person, when a person uses a drug, that's something he does to himself. You know, we don't need to legislate that. That's something that shouldn't be legislated. These are crimes against oneself or something. And we don't need to throw somebody in jail because somebody makes a mistake or whatever. But what we aim to do is look at the law itself and say, is this something that doesn't hurt other people? If it doesn't hurt people, then we shouldn't be enforcing it. You know, if you take a drug and it makes you aware, he can't drive and you drive all year endangering other people, you need to be hooked and booked. Now, if you're taking a drive, then you're sitting at home doing whatever. You're not hurting anybody. Why should you be processed?

Kannaboom (00:16:53): Right. It's sort of a victimless crime.

Jack Wilborn (00:16:55): Yeah. Well, they made the victim. The states are themselves there, you know, and they violated, you know, they basically threw out our Fourth Amendment, right? They've sunk our Bill of Rights, but this war on drugs, that's the main reason I'm against it. You know, that's what happened, you know, that's the end product of Brown. UTaylor was that, you know, we had these laws that allowed them to say, well, we saw her go there. And then they took 12 search warrants to the judge in less than 15 minutes, she had signed them and had them back to the officers. And Breona Taylor's was in that. And there was no evidence at all that she was really involved in drug use at all. So, you know, it's these warrants, they put drugs on it, the judges go, okay, this is a thing we had to handle. It came along with the, I, they called it present presumptive detention. Are you familiar with that?

Kannaboom (00:17:54): No, I'm not

Jack Wilborn (00:17:56): I can't remember the Saltzman or Stillman or something back in Nixon's era actually came up with a way to detain people. And that was presumptive detention and a point if they had a drug, that means they were dangerous to everybody. They had to be kept, locked up. No, that way they couldn't have people get, you know, arrest somebody having to go out and bail and continue. They could keep them locked up for in depth and amounts of time. He's also the same guy that came up with the no-knock and associated with the group that wanted, if you had three felony, he went to prison for life, period.

Kannaboom (00:18:36): Well, that presumptive detention kind of maps back to the whole reefer madness idea that, you know, you're a danger to society. You could be an ax murderer if you get high with cannabis.

Jack Wilborn (00:18:47): It could be an ax murderer, with any drug according to, you know, basically that, but yes, they targeted marijuana and heroin specifically.

Kannaboom (00:18:56): Well, I mean, we all know through experience cannabis doesn't really make you violent. And again, we get back to Schedule One and even the definition of cannabis as a drug. I mean, it's an herb I grow in my backyard. You know, like oregano is not considered a drug. It's an herb. Cannabis comes out of the ground if you hang it upside down and eventually decarboxylate it, it has effects. But you know, Ambien is a drug that's manufactured in a lab cannabis, is a natural herb. Is it really a drug?

Jack Wilborn (00:19:34): Do you know, Marinol is Marinol. Okay. Marinol is a synthetic THC it's in, I believe a Sesame oil. If you get it, it's a capsule, but it's full of sesame oil. And the THC is in the sesame oil in the capsule that drug has synthetic produced by the FDA. You go out to the FDA sites, there's been four deaths in four decades from Marinol. There've been no deaths from [inaudible]. Does that make sense?

Kannaboom (00:20:07): Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I've heard over and over that there's, you can't attribute any deaths to cannabis other than accidents or something, but yeah, the, just the idea that it, we know it's safe and is it properly scheduled? And I guess what I'm getting at is the, the law itself probably needs to change if we're going to change law enforcement.

Jack Wilborn (00:20:31): Oh yes. We're, you know, cause you know, when you're, when you, the reason for law enforcement is, like I said, makes things safe, but the bottom line is police are here to deal with crimes against other people. You, a joint is not a crime against somebody else. Neither is shooting heroin or snorting coke, but, you know, we don't advocate any of this, but we also don't advocate. People get locked up for it. If they have an issue with it, let them get help to fix it.

Kannaboom (00:21:06): Right. you know, you said earlier too, that most police officers aren't prejudiced there, but there is a racial a large discrepancy in who gets arrested, right. People of color overwhelmingly represent more of the cannabis arrests.

Jack Wilborn (00:21:27): You know, the actual numbers. And you know, sometimes you have to take it with a grain of salt, but they're pretty clear, you know, even worse, you know, even if you look at them as best case numbers or worst case numbers it's basically one out of three blacks will go to jail, when one out of 17 whites will go to jail, which does seem a little bit skewed. Um, then you take the fact that less than 13% of Americans are black. You know, at least 13% of the population, then you're looking at the ratio should be more like one out of 170 for black people. But it is. And it's one out of three and yes, that's very sad, but you know, it isn't just the arrest. This, once you get arrested, you go in and now they want cash for a bail bond to get out. If they let you out, you know, if they're held for one of these drug charges, they may be held for multiple days and it's difficult to get bail when they're held like that. They may be the family person, the family that brings home the food. So now you're starving the kids. So it propagates down a lot of areas. I don't know if that's where you're going with this, but...

Kannaboom (00:22:50): Sure. I mean, there's a ripple effect. It's like you mentioned, the first kid you pulled over, he was going to go to college. He probably fell off the table. It's hard to rent an apartment. It's hard to get a job if you have that conviction on your record. So yeah, there's, it's not just spending the night in jail. It's a whole bunch of stuff that cascades out of that arrest.

Jack Wilborn (00:23:14): Yeah. Plus the cost. But just a few of the things that come from drug prohibition is like the U.S. Is 5% of the world world's population. And 25% of its prisoners are from drug prohibition reduced rates for violent crime because they're dealing with drugs, reduced trust and our respect for the place because they're, you know, they can't trust that they won't be arrested. Families broken by incarceration where you have these kids that, you know, these families they're in jail, incarceration and have to do without them, you know, and inequality is increased because we see that in the numbers, you know, the racial problems reduce power of judges because they legislate. Now they're doing mandatory sentences. They're taking the ability of the judge to say, this guy isn't a known criminal or this guy isn't, you know, I don't think this guy's going to go on to be more crime. And they're taking that away from him and saying, you've got to give him this many years. Uit causes street, you know, powerful street and prison gangs, mandatory minimum sentences is also the same issue. And there are few resources for treatment of this stuff, homicides due to [inaudible] you know, informants and drug debts, criminal, industrial complex is where they produce all these drugs, police resources to every drug case. And it goes on and on and on.

Kannaboom (00:24:45): It's a picture of insanity. I mean, it's crazy.

Jack Wilborn (00:24:49): Yeah. Einstein defined it, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Yeah.

Kannaboom (00:24:54): Well, you guys represent a hopeful aspect to this in that, as you said, you're got boots on the ground, you're on the front lines and you can come back and tell people, 'Hey, this isn't right.' Tell me how much progress you've made. How long has LEAP been in existence and have, have you guys had an effect on any, any laws?

Jack Wilborn (00:25:12): Well, you know, we support a lot of, a lot of areas. I mean, a lot of places in the United States have LEAP speakers and we try to go out and speak whenever we're asked. And it depends on the speaker, what he targets. Some of them are, you know, talk about prison stuff. And other things I happen to be the kind of the drug angle person is what my interests lie. And so they vary, but we speak and we help people with criminal justice. You know, even some of the people that have written legislation to do criminal justice reform, you know, it runs through LEAP and LEAP usually gives an opinion. We're not political. So we don't say we always support this group or that group, we stay out of the politics. But you know, unfortunately a drug thing is a political hot potato. And you know, I've gone to people that have welcomed me with open arms to the police and they don't want to throw me out of their office because I wanted to legalize the drugs. You know, and they, you know, they, their position is 'You just want everybody to use drugs.' And my position is, I don't want anybody to use drugs, but if they do, I don't want them to be thrown in jail. You know, having a beer is nice, but don't throw people in jail for smoking. A joint might be nice. You know, there's a real push. I think Oregon this year has a,uan initiative to legalize all drugs. So we'll see what happens with that.

Kannaboom (00:26:50): Yeah. We're seeing more psilocybin measures. One just passed in Ann Arbor already in Oakland and Denver, I think. But when you talk about the political aspect to it, it's, it's difficult to separate that, but it's about individual rights. And you know, other guests I've had have mentioned that in the eighties and nineties, normal and other groups were trying to say, 'Hey, cannabis is an individual's right.' But it really wasn't until AIDS patients began taking cannabis to reduce their symptoms. And we saw a reduction in, in their suffering, that it began to gain traction in far as decriminalizing it because it's a medicine. And we now know it works for epilepsy PTSD. Alzheimer's, there's a lot of applications for this as a medicine. And that seems to sway people more than the individual's rights argument.

Jack Wilborn (00:27:41): Well, I think the people that I hear that come back to me and say, you're right, we should legalize drugs are usually the ones that their kid ends up being buried because their kid ends up addicted to something and, you know, jeez on it. And you know, those are the sad things we run into if you only tell people about this and they, you know, pop us out. And then we hear back from, yeah, I lost my son or I lost my grandson to some drug. I wish they had a way for him to go and get off it, you know? And that's, I think a key to a lot of what, you know, you look at some countries, I'm sure you're aware of Portugal's drug rating and how in 2000 they basically realized they couldn't afford to keep incarcerated people. So in 2001 and they decriminalize all drugs at that point it took time, but today they lose four people out of a million for drug overdose, we lose 185 out of a million, the drug, you know, per million per drug overdose, which way is better.

Kannaboom (00:28:52): Right. With that kind of case study, I mean, that's where you can say this isn't about politics. This is about common sense. Yeah.

Jack Wilborn (00:28:58): And it's not just Portugal, you know, a lot of people say, well, you know, we don't want to live in Portugal. Well, I don't either, but you know, drug abuse is the same worldwide. It's not like if you're a socialist, you don't get addicted to drugs. So the problem is everywhere. It's not just there. But look at the Dutch, they in the mid nineties said to criminalize cannabis pretty much. And you know, what do they get now? They have half the adult users, half the minor users. And we have, and they have no, I'm sorry, half the people, their teens, because you can smoke when they're 18. But people under 18, I have no interest in it. And countries are always asking them how you met, how that happened. And they said, we made marijuana boring.

Kannaboom (00:29:48): Well. Right. It's exciting if it's illegal. Right?

Jack Wilborn (00:29:50): Yeah. I, you know, I don't know what it is, but you see the same thing in the prohibition of alcohol, you know, a decade before prohibition alcohol. I'm trying to think of what we're doing: two and a half or three, gallons of methanol a day, methanol for capita. I've got it here somewhere. I think, Oh, here it is. Uin 1915, where we're drinking about 200, a quarter gallons of ethanol per capita or per a hundred thousand, the 1920, right before prohibition, we were down to about a quarter gallon per capita. And that was all done by social pressure. Just like we did with smoking. We didn't outlaw it, just social pressure. It's bad people quit using it. Exactly what happened with alcohol. By 19, was it 1925? We're now what? Eight times. Almost two gallons. So we're almost what, eight times the amount of alcohol intake after prohibition started. So, you know, you, you question, what is it about illegal that causes him to drink? Because they're the same people. You know, the only thing that changed was it became illegal. And then all of a sudden it skyrockets, you know, what is it about prohibition that causes that, but we see it everywhere.

Kannaboom (00:31:17): People want what they're not supposed to have.

Jack Wilborn (00:31:20): It doesn't have to be illegal legislation. For instance, your, I tried to buy toilet paper a few months back. Yeah. You can find it on the internet for $45 for a four-pack. Yeah. That's a sign of prohibition. People can't get what they want. Then what happened to the hand sanitizers? All of a sudden, if the FDA's putting out things, you know, don't put this in the hand sanitizers because they were putting in wood alcohol, which is poisonous. That's what happens during a prohibition mechanism. It doesn't have to be legislated. It just has to be restricted to the point that people can't get it. You get what I'm driving at?

Kannaboom (00:32:05): Yeah. Do you think there is an educational aspect to this on the front end? I mean, in the Netherlands, how do they go about making cannabis boring?

Jack Wilborn (00:32:14): Well, for one thing, you don't drive down the street and see billboards saying, you know, 'Vote no, on 207 with the big pot leaf, you know, they don't have that kind of stuff out because it's not legal. And that's a problem because when you're not legal, where do they get their marijuana? Where do the smoke shops or the coffee shops get their marijuana? It's an underground illegal because it's decriminalized not legalized. And there's a major difference because none of this stuff now is tested or anything that comes through, you know, goes into their, hlaces. It's just, they've been doing it a lot of years. They have a pretty functional mechanism, but there still is no control. You know, you try to find out where they come from. It's all hidden. But if you grow a marijuana plant in your yard, the penalty is you have to go out and pull it up.

Kannaboom (00:33:08): Yeah. So their system's not perfect, but results in less destruction.

Jack Wilborn (00:33:13): Oh yeah. Yeah. Cause what they did when the UN attempted to pressure them into stopping us because the UN was finding out, people are going to Amsterdam smoking and they didn't want that. So they put pressure on the Dutch and the Dutch basically came up with a system, said, you have to have a card to buy marijuana. Well then they got pounded by all these places. Cause initially Amsterdam ignored it. So all the cities and stuff that implemented it started getting their police departments started getting pounded by all these drug deals because the residents were buying the marijuana and then selling it to the tourists on the corner. So you don't, you know, we saw the same thing when we, when we clamped down on the Mexican government for letting marijuana, cause their original position was, that's not our problem. We are people aren't, you know, they don't what they did was shut down the border for about a month until Mexico complied. And then what did they see? They saw an increase in air traffic, flying this stuff over here.

Kannaboom (00:34:30): The demand is there and whether the market is underground or above ground, it's going to be served.

Jack Wilborn (00:34:37): And prohibition and just a failure, no matter what you implement that with, you know, it, you have to, you have to be something worth prohibiting, you know, like you don't want people to get fissionable material. So they sort of a fissionable material. You know, you don't want to sell that at Circle K. And that's worth spending a lot of money to keep out of people's hands, but that's also something that can affect other people, not something that affects just you, you know, another issue is the driving problem, you know, mhey feel like there's a real issue with collisions and you know, the research does not support that. Uhhe research, no research supports driving impaired. Let me say that right off. Okay. But when you take a person with alcohol and you put them on a closed course, you give them alcohol and they drive faster than they should. They exceed the speed limit. They drive closer to the leading vehicle and they take chances. They shouldn't take when they're, you know, if they weren't drinking alcohol. Cannabis on the other hand, the same situation, they drive slower and drive farther from the leading vehicle. And they don't take chances they would take when they weren't using cannabis. So that's probably why you see a difference in why NITSA says, you know, there's little to no problems. There's little to no highway safety issue with cannabis, because it does not seem to affect, even though all the studies show, you know, you're delayed and this and that, apparently your brain knows enough about what's happening to adjust for that. At least that's the speculation.

Kannaboom (00:36:29): That's a complex issue. And as you say, none of us would recommend anybody driving under any kind of influence.

Jack Wilborn (00:36:35): The fact is this state actually says this not even the slightest bit or the slightest amount of impairment, which of course would make everybody illegal at some point. But yeah, you get a call in Europe, 18 hours, and you're going to the doctor, you know, if you're up 18 hours and you're driving, you're probably close to an .08, as far as being impaired, you may not be drinking, but your brain isn't working. Right. And neither is a lot of other stuff. So it's kind of one of those things you got to kind of take with a grain of salt, you know, but you don't want people impaired, but there is going to be an amount of impairment out there. You have to deal with it.

Kannaboom (00:37:19): Jack, Let me ask you, you mentioned earlier when you got ill, are you comfortable talking about your health and what was your condition?

Jack Wilborn (00:37:27): I had actually couldn't get out of bed because my back hurt so bad and had to have paramedics loaded me in an ambulance, ended up having a blood infection, and then they had to give me, I guess I was about six weeks total in the hospital on a 24 hour IV and four weeks on home on a 24 hour IV.

Kannaboom (00:37:50): Wow.

Jack Wilborn (00:37:51): And then they had to take my defibrillator out because of my heart, because they were afraid it would get infected and then put another one in afterwards. So it was a real mess.

Kannaboom (00:38:03): And you're OK now?

Jack Wilborn (00:38:04): Hope so. Yeah. I see my cardiologist in a week, so I'll find out their latest things there, but yeah, it took me out of, you know, took me out of the things I do for pretty much a year. Cause it started right before Thanksgiving and I'm still not a hundred percent what I'm trying to get back moving.

Kannaboom (00:38:25): I'm an evangelist for cannabis for a lot of things, but I have no idea if it would help with a blood infection.

Jack Wilborn (00:38:30): Well, I don't know, you know, there's things you just need Western medicine to fix. That's true. You know, and it's too bad, but you know, what is curious though is I'd like to be able to know if, you know, if all these people that went in with this coronavirus, how many of these people were cannabis users and what was their state extension like? Right.

Kannaboom (00:38:55): Put out a couple of blog posts about some research out of Israel around the cytokine storm. You know, your immune system kind of turns on your body. And the endocannabinoid system does modulate a lot of functions, including the immune system. And they had research that showed a blend of 30 terpenes and some CBD helped kind of, even out that immune system response. And there was another, some research out of the University of South Carolina about Acquired Respiratory Distress Syndrome, where they found that THC actually helped with that. I've also interviewed Kyle Turley, an ex NFL player who adamantly says that CBD can prevent or cure the coronavirus. And I can't go that far. You know, even the FDA came after him on that, but he's a true believer and it certainly has helped him in many respects. It would be good to see some real data on it. Those research projects are, they take a while to pull together and we're just trying to defeat the virus now or just trying to survive.

Jack Wilborn (00:39:54): Yeah, well, the, one of the universities did research on a burn unit. When you go into a burn unit, they draw blood and they want to know everything in there. And they really compared cannabis to non drug users to think it was cocaine. And, alcohol, there were like three of them. One of them was maybe antidepressants. And the funny part is about this was that the actual people on no drugs came at around nine grand or something for the, the costs overall cannabis users came in actually around 8,100 and then cocaine was higher than that. And alcohol was the highest at about 150 grand.

Kannaboom (00:40:41): Wow.

Jack Wilborn (00:40:41): And time also, hlcohol of course had the highest morbidity or, mou know, the highest death rate and cannabis had the lowest death rates. So, you know, those are the kinds of studies that we need. And when we do traffic traffic enforcement and we have a traffic collision, we need to collect all this data and put it somewhere. And that means, you know, if they go into a hospital, they need to spend a grand to have this data collected. Because if we don't collect the data in 20 years, we'll be in the same boat we're in now.

Kannaboom (00:41:17): Right. It's just a fundamental assumption. We all grew up with the notion that cannabis is bad and it leads to harder drugs and it's reefer madness and all that stuff. And what you've talked about is real world tragedies based on the existing laws and enforcing those laws for substance, that is not that destructive.

Jack Wilborn (00:41:37): Well, that's part of the issue. And, you know, since you know about Ehrlichman you know, his family said they know him and they didn't, you know, believe in this, but you know, the, the numbers and everything showed different, you know, when he made a comment that, you know, he said, did we know that we were lying about the drugs? Of course we can. I think that pretty much caps it, that they knew what they were doing and you know, your biggest problem. And my biggest problem, everybody else's is that if I want to research a Schedule One drug, I can get a lot of money in the hospital that will support me and approval by the DEA. And I can research drugs. If I want to get cannabis, I have to have the same thing. But now I have to go to the National Institute of Drug Abuse or NIDA, NIDA's charter is drug abuse. So they won't approve anything that says, I want to see if this works to help. So they wired into the mechanism a way to keep you from... They knew that it worked, they wrote into the law a way to keep you from getting it legalized. And that's by putting it through of a department that won't do that. The only way you can get it in there and say, I'm going to show you how bad this drug is. And if it turns out good, that's too bad and that that has happened.

Kannaboom (00:43:00): So it's a battle that needs to be fought on, on several fronts. And I know you want to stay apolitical, but would it be fair to say that you and / or LEAP lean towards sort of a libertarian approach on this?

Jack Wilborn (00:43:12): Well, if libertarian is, you know, not being thrown in jail, cause you're not bothering anybody, yeah, I guess so. Yeah. I mean, I, I, it's kind of a tough question to answer, cause I can't speak for everybody, but we stay out of the politics, but we notice things like, you know, Kamala had what a thousand of her cases overturned because she violated the California law by not giving defense attorneys, the money or the information that was required by law that showed they were innocent or that the, the more tactically or, or truthfully it was it that showed how, poor some of the witnesses were how unreliable they were and basically ended up turning over a thousand of her convictions. She also says she doesn't want to legalize marijuana. She will decriminalize, you know, not legalize, which is not what we want. We need it out of the hands of the federal government. You know, Trump on the other hand said, yes, we will. You know, if you put, give me a legalized bill, I'll sign it. You know, the governor of Arizona, Ducey, told the legislature the same thing. You give me a legalized bill, I'll sign it. Uthe attorney general of Arizona, Mark Brnovich said, you need to legalize marijuana through the legislature. And I still go down there and they tell me I'm not going to legalize these drugs. So, you know, what are you supposed to do? You know, it's not that it's a Republican or Democratic thing. It's the whole group are focused on the point that this is bad and that, you know, we just have to keep fighting it forever.

Kannaboom (00:44:59): Well, do you think it's better to tackle this on a state by state basis or would it be better to have a federal declaration that cannabis is not illegal?

Jack Wilborn (00:45:09): Well, it's the federal, so it's holding everything up. You know, the only reason it hasn't been changed there is we can't petition the federal government like an initiative. That's what the convention of states is gonna do. They're actually gonna, you know, there's a clause in our constitution that allows the states to get together and override the federal government basically. And you know, if we don't take control, a lot of people feel if we don't take control of their Constitution back, we're not gonna be able to do a lot of this stuff. But something like that, we'll let our legislators know that we're serious and they need to pay attention to us. And they're not doing that. At least that's what most people feel like. You know, they think, you know, most people think this is bad. You know, they pull up data that says, you know, look at your increase in accidents. And I'm sure you've seen those haven't you, you know that, you know, what are they based on? You know, where do they get this data? And all this data comes from arrest data so that when the guy here is arrested and has metabolites and is prosecuted, he's a DUI. Well, he's not DUI probably. So what they're doing is the old computer trick, garbage in, garbage out. They're feeding it a bunch of data. These people are per se DUI. Now all of a sudden we have a skyrocket in these DUIs. Well, there's no basis for it's because you legislated something. It's kind of like legislating anybody who has blue eyes is DUI. Well, in a couple of years, you're going to say we can't let people with blue eyes drive because they're DUI. You get what I'm driving at? The legislation is put in place to say you're impaired when you're not necessarily impaired. NISA says that metabolites are useless. Yeah. That's what we prosecuted all of our DUIs in Arizona is, is metabolites. And all the science says it's useless. Yeah. Anybody that knows anything about metabolites knows it's a useless science for conviction purposes. All it means is you've been exposed to the molecule.

Kannaboom (00:47:26): It might have been a week ago, or two weeks ago...

Jack Wilborn (00:47:30): You see the same thing happening to, you know, young middle-class living they'd go in or even upper class women go in to have a baby. They do a blood draw and they test positive for opiates. When in fact all they did was stop at Panera and buy a poppy seed muffin. And yet there's enough morphine in there to trigger that. And then they ended up having their child withheld. This is what the drug war is doing.

Kannaboom (00:47:59): Wow. Well, tell us what the listener can do to help support LEAP in your mission because it's important. I mean again, being on the front lines and having this voice is, is a huge thing. And we want to thank you for being involved, but how can listeners help?

Jack Wilborn (00:48:15): Well, the best thing you can do is send money. You know what I mean? You know, LEAP is always needing funds. But you know, you can go out and you can talk to legislators. That's, you know, the best thing you can do is make your word known to legislators. You know, don't get into this thing where you sign the, you know, where you were, the legislator goes to his desk and his secretary, hands him a stack, you know, that's a foot high of the same thing, printed it over and over and over again, you know that, you know, he, he knows somebody got in the computer and did that. And probably it's just going to toss him. You need to, you know, write a personal letter, always better than writing emails, good. You know, the canned emails work, but you get a canned response usually. Most legislators know that, but the best thing you can do is get down, get out, talk to people, get the true word of it out, understand the science behind it. So, and somebody says not, and all these people are, you know, if you legalize, everybody will be addicted. Well, we know that's not true because of this, this and this. They don't know it's true. They assume it's true. Just like they assume if you have metabolites, you're intoxicated and we know that's not true. So it's, it's hard, you know, to get these views over and to get the people to understand that they have the wrong view of this.

Kannaboom (00:49:44): So get educated, get involved in discussions and conversations about this, talk to your lawmakers and just get out there.

Jack Wilborn (00:49:52): Yeah. That's, you know, the best thing you can do. And, and you had mentioned, do you think it's a state thing, but what makes this move is that the people have got the states, the legalized medical marijuana, okay. Then once people start realizing, 'Hey, this isn't so bad.' Then they moved on to legalization, you know, recreational legalization or adult use. And from there, they'll probably go on and other drugs, you know, when they realize, but eventually down the road, somewhere that these drugs aren't the problem. If you want to deal with the drugs that are killing people, deal with the alcohol that's, what's killing people in our state.

Kannaboom (00:50:35): That's a straight up poison. And we know that. Yeah.

Jack Wilborn (00:50:38): And we know that not only that, but if you watch TV in the morning or they have a guy run into somebody going the wrong way, the first thing out of the DPS officer's mouth is we have a real alcohol problem. You know, that's the drug, that's the issue. But you know, if you look at the numbers, say, do you want somebody driving? Say you have somebody take heroin. Do you want them driving? How about sleeping pills? Do you want them out there driving? No, sir. Okay. If you take, what witnesses say is a collision odds increase of taking a morphine or what's called the narcotic analgesic. It's a 17% increase in odds of collision. That doesn't sound very good. Okay. You take heroin or you take sleeping pills. That's a 19% increase in collisions. Okay. Do you know it's a DUI for alcohol?

Kannaboom (00:51:36): What is it now? Point 08. Okay. Yeah.

Jack Wilborn (00:51:40): For a regular person. It's 0.04 if you have a commercial license, whether you're driving [inaudible] at 0.03, your odds of a collision with alcohol is 20%, right? So you like, see it at all the worst drugs already at that 0.04, there's a 60% chance to increase in collision 0.05. There's a hundred percent chance it tends to increase in. And that's why NISA says that if you have a call to the poly drug situation more than one drug and alcohol is one of those drugs, it's the cause of the accident.

Kannaboom (00:52:22): Well, and that's another front in this war is the alcohol lobby. I mean the entrenched financial interests. .

Jack Wilborn (00:52:28): Good luck. Well, that's one of the issues, you know, you tell this to a legislator and they go 'God, you're right. But I can't put a bill like that up. I'd never get reelected.'

Kannaboom (00:52:38): We're back to politics.

Jack Wilborn (00:52:40): You I'm sorry, but you know, everything you're griping about is related somehow. I'd like to be able to say, yeah, it's great. We shall just use it and that'd be it. But you know, we're not at that point yet until we get the people to understand that general drugs aren't going to be an issue. You know, even alcohol probably wouldn't be an issue if we wouldn't feed it, you know, we don't show the kind of out ads for alcohol like we do for cigarettes, you know? And that's how you stop people from drinking and driving if you tell them the reality of it. Not that it's a thing to do on the weekends, this, which is what we did. Right. You know what, even, you know, that you're better off probably smoking a joint and you know, drinking alcohol because we know it's, you know, our, but intoxication and mid Latin comes where it came from means poison. So what can you say?

Kannaboom (00:53:38): Well, I'm halfway through a sober October. I haven't had any alcohol this month at all. And for me sober means alcohol I can still vape cannabis and stuff.

Jack Wilborn (00:53:48): Well, you know, we look at the same things with the vaping industry. Now they're trying to keep, you know, I don't know what the law is for buying vapes or, you know, I can't believe that a 12 year old can walk into the store and buy a vape pen, but you know, if that's true, then that's an issue. But you know, vaping is substantially safer than cigarettes because of all the content and the crap and cigarettes and what they're going to do by prohibiting this stuff is dry. These kids are already addicted, so they're going to go to cigarettes.

Kannaboom (00:54:20): Yeah. It's harm reduction. You know, if you, and again, the politics of it are always going to be there. You just have to find out how to deal with them. And I think you're right. Education and talking to your legislators is the place to start. We'll see where we go with it.

Jack Wilborn (00:54:35): Have you ever read I hope you don't mind. It's a plug for a book, but it's out of print, a guy named Dan Baum wrote it back in, I think it's 19, mid nineties, 97 or something it's called 'Smoke and Mirrors: The Politics of Failure' or something like that, or the drug war and the politics of failure. And it outlines what happened back in the sixties of why we have a drug war. If you can find that you should read it. I think I've seen it on the internet since it's out of print. I think I've actually seen it on the internet. So

Kannaboom (00:55:14): I'm going to look that up. Yes.

Jack Wilborn (00:55:15): Dan Baum, and I've got the book here somewhere. I don't know what he did with it, but

Kannaboom (00:55:25): Jack, where can the listeners find LEAP online?

Jack Wilborn (00:55:29): Law Enforcement Action Partnership dot org. That I'm pretty lazy and being a programmer for a bunch of years, I type Leap dot CC, that was our original link is still active.

Kannaboom (00:55:43): And are you on Twitter in those places?

Jack Wilborn (00:55:45): But I do have a Facebook account. And if you send something directly to me, I have a Jack dot Wilborn Law Enforcement Action Partnership.org account, where they can email me. And I think they can put Jack dot Wilborn, ht leap.cc and hit the same thing.

Kannaboom (00:56:05): As you said earlier, if they want to send money, the best place to go is

Jack Wilborn (00:56:09): It's going to the LEAP site and you can donate there. Yeah. I'd love to have your money. It's not like I'm turning it away. Like I can't guarantee it I'll go into that.

Kannaboom (00:56:19): Is there anything we should cover that we haven't?

Jack Wilborn (00:56:21): Well, generally there's a guy named Myron, Jeffrey Myron that's an economist. And he produced a bunch of works. He was like a professor emeritus at one of the big colleges back East. And he did a lot of research and stuff for the government. And one of the things he said about prohibition is it doesn't matter what you prohibit. Like I was saying, if you prohibit something and whatever you prohibit is mutually, you know, the trading of which is mutually beneficial between two parties, then prohibition will fail. So basically, yeah, so that's basic, you know, if you got some, somebody else wants, you can solve for war money, that prohibition will fail. It doesn't matter if it's another person, your neighbor, your next city, the next day, or the next country

Kannaboom (00:57:14): It's supply and demand. Well, there's a supply

Jack Wilborn (00:57:16): It's prohibition. It's how prohibition functions. And you know, that's what people need to understand is, you know, whatever you prohibit better be worth your prohibition, because you're going to grow the problem just like we did with drugs.

Kannaboom (00:57:32): Right. Countervailing demand is going to

Jack Wilborn (00:57:37): The worst part that you can't get across to these people is that we have a drug problem. But now with the drug problem, we now have the criminal problem, which is the real problem, the drugs aren't the problem. The problem is the gangs, violence and murder associated with transportation and distribution of these drugs.

Kannaboom (00:57:55): That's a big perspective. I mean, it's a big ripple that goes out from a dumb set of laws.

Jack Wilborn (00:58:02): They were, you know, if you believe that they were put there by Nixon for political purposes then you can understand why they did it, even though it was anti-American, you know, basically violated our Bill of Rights, numerous other things. But, you know, that's the way things are done. Sometimes the politics look at it today, you know, we need to get the feds out of the drug business, you know, whether it's marijuana or anything, you know, and you know, I, at least with marijuana, we know it's pretty safe. You know, it's not like, you know, you really can't get addicted to it. You know, even though it's not physically addicted, that's how I measure it. You know, the most addictive substance on the earth is sugar.

Kannaboom (00:58:49): We certainly don't prohibit that.

Jack Wilborn (00:58:52): So some of them tried and it hasn't worked out too well, so the bottom line is what we are, is, you know, we want to let people do what they need to do. Let people get access to this stuff because it is safer. This prevents the harm, you know, keep people from getting arrested, give them, give them the attitude that, you know, have the attitude that if they have a problem, they can go to a police officer. He's going to save them. That's what we wanna do. We want to make, we want to return the police, their warriors, to their position, which is guardians. And, you know, that's kind of a bottom line of, I think, where we're driving.

Kannaboom (00:59:34): I think that makes a lot of sense. And I think anybody would be in favor of it. I think that's a good place to wrap it up. And I want to thank you Jack, for sharing your perspective. It's certainly a really important aspect of society right now. We'd be in a better place if we had it as a sensible approach to the cannabis laws. Yeah. Thank you again for taking the time.

Jack Wilborn (00:59:53): Not a problem. You take care.

Speaker 3 (00:59:56): You've been listening to the Kannaboom podcast with host Tom Stacey, if you like the show and want to know more, please check us at Kannaboom, with a K, dot com and please leave us a review at Apple podcasts or wherever you listen, see you next week.