March 12, 2013
Shortly before Christmas, I ran the documentary narrated by Academy Award-winning actor, Morgan Freeman, ‘Breaking the Taboo,’ which argues that the War on Drugs has been lost.
The film cites the case of Portugal, which 12 years ago decriminalized drug use (including hard drugs, like heroin) and whose government has produced statistics suggesting that overall drug use has significantly declined since the move towards decriminalization.
Over Christmas, I saw my step-uncle, Peter B. Bensinger, former Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and much to my surprise, he said that he’d become a fan of my channel, ForbiddenKnowledgeTV.com
The day before I was to leave, he abruptly asked me if I would interview him for my channel, as he wished to rebut the claims made in the film, ‘Breaking the Taboo.’ Since we were both leaving, I promised him that I would interview him over Skype (I’d never done this before).
I delegated the task of conducting the interview to my journalist friend, Tyler Bass, (who actually got a job as a News Aide at Main Justice, the news arm of the DoJ after he submitted the rough cut of this piece to them). Tyler also writes for one of my favorite websites, the half silly-half true news site, Chronicle.su
Although my uncle, a lifelong Drug Warrior remains staunch in his view that criminalization is the best way to combat the distribution and use of controlled substances and he disputed the statistics of the Portuguese government, there were some surprises in this interview – not the least of which was when he expressed his support for the medicinal use of cannabis – when the method of delivery was either by pills, sprays or skin patches saying, “Since when has smoking ever been good for you?”
He also noted a fact which came as a surprise to me: that in Los Angeles, the amount of people seeking treatment for marijuana addiction outnumbered the amount of those seeking treatment for alcoholism or any other form of addiction.
Peter also showed strong sympathy for addicts and for the added stigma of addiction, while also strongly voicing his belief in the reality of recovery from drug addiction.
When he wrapped up the interview, I was both shocked and gratified to hear him say, “I think Forbidden Knowledge does a great service to the viewing audience – some of which I disagree with, some of which I agree with – some of which I am shocked at – but your communication is an important resource and I’m happy to be with you today.”
I guess I’d say that is an opinion shared by many of my subscribers!
The budget of this project was roughly $20, the cost of the Skype Call Recorder software, which also created the split screen effect. It was edited on iMovie ’08 and I now see many instances where images got cropped when finalized and exported into QuickTime. Also, I could have done more to improve the lighting on my uncle, in his Chicago office, which is a bit jarring against the Sun-drenched living room of the seaside cottage where I’m staying for a couple of months – but, as I have a lot of other tasks to fulfill, as the curator, editor, scheduler, complaint desk, tech support and customer service specialist at ForbiddenKnowledgeTV.com, I’m going to call this edit “done”, though it does not pass technical QC. I promise to do better next time!