Thursday, February 7, 2008
Hangin with Freeway Rick Ross
I just started work on my first non-fiction book. It is a book about the social and political reasons for a straight edge lifestyle. I’m working on it with my friend Randall. We started researching awhile back and are just getting started on the writing of it.
One of the strongest arguments for a Straight Edge (Drug-Free) Lifestyle is the disaster that is the ‘war on drugs’. We decided that this book and in our opinion the SxE movement needs to be 100% against the war on drugs. In the long run that means advocating for a common sense approach to drug legalization. A socialized government run drug program would divert funds from the narco and military industrial complexes by taking away the financial motivations.
We realize this stance will generate controversy in the Straight Edge movement, we have had bands who called for a return to prohibition. I can only hope that the people in the movement take the time to carefully study the issue before coming to a conclusion. I’m not going to write a detailed argument about that topic. You’ll have to wait for the book for that.
In the mean time I want to talk about Freeway Rick Ross. We’ve been studying the War on Drugs, one cannot talk about how drugs are wrong and avoid it. The war is fascinating shit storm of corruption featuring a cast of politicians, corporations, dictators, street thugs, presidents, the drug consumers and of course the CIA.
I recently started reading Dark Alliances by Gary Webb and was shocked to see an entire chapter devoted to a man I hung out with. Freeway Rick Ross the one time king of Crack in Southern California. Long before an artist used his long time title to become a hip-hop star the first freeway Rick was slinging insane amounts of dope around.
You might be asking how does a committed Vegan Straight Edge dude such as myself end up chillin with such a prolific crack dealer. In 2005 I refused to testify in a grand jury investigation in San Diego. A long story but the Grand jury was issuing subpoenas to any one who attended a lecture I had helped to organize. This is of course a violation of our first amendment right to free association and belief so I refused. Did 80 days in jail before the judge could see I would never talk. I was released with compromise
It was common for other prisoners to know who I was, having read about the case in the newspaper. I was told How cool it was that I had not snitched. One of the people who went out of their way to do this was Rick. I didn’t know who he was until sometime later. I was talking to another coke dealer about to go down for ten years on coke dealing charges. He told me he got his start serving oversees in the military.
“You ever sell for the CIA?”
“CIA? You want to talk CIA talk to that black dude you were talking to outside in the block.” Our block was 75% Mexicans in prison for being on the wrong side of the line on the map so I knew who he was talking about.
“The skinny dude?”
“Yeah dude that’s Freeway Rick.”
Jason told me how Rick broke away from Danilo Blandon his contact and went independent. Rick had no idea his contact was raising funds for a right wing insurgency trying to overthrow a government he never heard of.
“That’s crazy,” I say
“Talk to him about it. He loves to talk about it.”
It took a couple of days but I ran into Rick. Jason was right he was ready to talk about the subject of Drugs and the CIA.
“Oh man this is some fucked up shit they do to us huh? You got free lawyers son – who wants to help a crack dealers when the government changes the rules. Six goddamn years I’ve been waiting for court in this shit hole. No ACLU for me.”
The government often keeps dealers they fuck over waiting for years offering nothing but horrendous deals. Often dealers do the majority of their time while waiting for court. No quick and speedy trials unless they need one. As Rick said who is going to raise hell on their behalf?
Rick took his time in as a chance to study. He almost graduated high school not being able to read coasting ironically on his Tennis skills. When the colleges he wanted to play Tennis at rejected him he ended dealing crack. He wasn’t a gangster in his eyes just a capitalist.
I told him about Straight Edge, which he found to be pretty cool even told me he was basically edge(yeah ok that is a stretch). He never did drugs himself as part of a deal he made with one of his early partners as they saw how dangerous it was to get hooked. Obviously he was far from edge but he understood it.
He asked me about ending the drug trade and asked me if I was ready to see it be legal. My kneejerk reaction at the time was to say I was against legalization. Seeing how much drugs get into prison, it was laughable sitting there to think the justice system could end the drug trade. Then he said something to me that is hard to forget.
“If this government wasn’t on the take – that is what they would do. We can’t make money – we don’t sell coke. Simple as that.”
I’m not sure I understood at the time what Rick was trying to teach me. The research I’ve done has backed up his statement consistently. With every congress member tied to Military industrial complex manufacturing projects they have as much profit to lose as the Freeway Ricks of the world. They don’t want a solution they want an unending war.
Straight Edge for legalization!