Episode

2/10 The Forgotten Voices of the War On Drugs w/ Travis Lupick and Jessica Cisneros

February 10, 2022
Emma hosts journalist Travis Lupick to discuss his recent book Light Up the Night: America’s Overdose Crisis and the Drug Users Fighting for Survival. Then, Emma is joined by Jessica Cisneros, candidate for Congress in Texas’s 28th District, to give an update from the campaign trail!Travis and Emma begin by situating his story in this week’s news regarding the success of and backlash to Biden’s safe smoking kit, including the fact that the existence of clean pipes and needles does not create more demand for opioids, no matter how much that idea supports conservatives’ desire to avoid slight discomfort. Travis dives into his work, which started in Vancouver in the wake of the incredible success of North America’s first needle exchange, and how this represented the importance of taking on the opioid crisis as a public health issue, not a criminal one, before he and Emma work to define the concept of “harm reduction” and the importance of building a system of trust in community health practices, especially when it comes to encouraging future treatment. Next, they look to the Nixon Administration as they dive into the birth of the war on drugs, and John Ehrlichman famously saying the quiet part out loud in pinning their criminalization of heroin and marijuana on an attempt to imprison Black and brown people and hinder the anti-war movements of the era. They wrap up the interview by looking at the current stage of the opioid crisis, moving from one of prescription pills to heroin and now to fentanyl, and this concept of how the “iron law of prohibition,” means the criminalization of illicit substances ultimately pushes for more potent and transportable drugs, rather than putting a stop to their supply, before looking to what legislators and policymakers can and should do moving forwards. Emma also touches on the anti-semitism and anti-worker ideology behind the US-backed Canadian tucker convoy.

And in the Fun Half: Jessica Cisneros comes on to discuss her candidacy for TX-28 in the wake of Henry Cuellar being raided by the FBI, and the progressive agenda she wants to push as San Antonio becomes bluer and bluer, then Chris Leal for HD-114 hops on to explore how he’s riding his union backing in the hopes of winning the first Democratic seat in a statewide Texas election in decades. Emma is also joined by Brandon and Matt Binder as they take on Dave Chappelle leveraging his investments against affordable housing in his town, the absurdity of recent crypto corruption, and Jason Myles from “This is Revolution” calls in to explore the problems of our guest’s representation of drug abuse, and the importance of recognizing the inherent ugliness of the problem and avoiding the need to paint a picture of a “beautiful” victim, plus, your calls and IMs!

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