"The drug war is a festering collection of lies, innuendo, hatred, bigotry and irrational fears."
Dean Becker's law-enforcement experience came in the US Air Force as a security policeman in the 1960's. He served our nation as a nuclear-weapons security specialist. He was awarded "expert" status with the M16 rifle (scoring a perfect 500) and was utilized as marksman for the Flight's counter-demonstration team. He worked as a nuclear-weapons security specialist, spending most of his time guarding B-52s - each stocked with eight hydrogen bombs - and patrolling the atomic bomb dump-off base which held hundreds of nuclear devices.
After leaving the Air Force, Dean ascertained that the "War on Drugs" was an abject failure. "I watched some of my childhood friends become criminals," he recalls, "stealing to support their habit. Others died of drug overdoses. Many had their lives and futures destroyed by a drug conviction. Basically, I saw that the mechanism of prohibition was the cause of these problems, not the solution." The final straw came in 1970, when one of his childhood friends was arrested for possession of one marijuana cigarette - and committed suicide rather than endure the prison sentence he was given.
Becker is now a reporter, anchored at KPFT 90.1 FM in Houston. In 2002, Dean filled a much needed niche in the media providing drug policy news from the view of a reformer. It became known as the "Drug Truth Network" (www.drugtruth.net) for which he performs the roles of producer, researcher and host. Each week, Dean turns out nine radio programs on a network that has grown to 61 affiliate stations in the US, Canada and Australia. "We interview judges, congressmen, scientists, Nobel laureates, cops, wardens, prisoners, priests, patients, and providers." Hundreds of such programs are available online at www.drugtruth.net. The goal of the Drug Truth Network is "to share the truth about the 'War on Drugs' with enough Americans to bring the failed, hopeless policy of drug prohibition to an end," a change that Dean feels would "curtail our children's access to drugs; destroy the gangs, cartels, and terrorist organizations that profit under prohibition; and eliminate most drug overdose deaths." And so it was natural for Dean to come on board as a speaker for LEAP, an organization he views as a "band of brothers."