In the first half, filmmaker, screenwriter, and producer Richard Stratton detailed how he came to spend 8 years in prison, what he learned about America's prison industrial complex, and how the prohibition on plants aka the War on Drugs is destroying our communities, and ruining young lives. In the 1980s, he was convicted under the 'Kingpin' law and originally sentenced for 25 years without parole for smuggling marijuana. Stratton refused to turn in evidence on his associates, such as Hunter Thompson and Norman Mailer in exchange for a reduced term. Later, he began studying law in the prison library and found statutes that showed that you can reduce a prisoner's time for cooperation, but you can't add on more time for not turning over evidence, and so his sentence was reduced to 10 years.
Around 60% of the people in American prisons are locked up for non-violent drug crimes, and receive very little help or rehabilitation, he said. Instead of criminalizing drugs, we should make efforts toward education about the pitfalls of drug usage, he remarked. "In a free society, it's not up to the government to tell us how to alter our consciousness as long we're not hurting other people," and the shifting of marijuana laws in some states shows that change is afoot, and that people are rejecting laws that don't make sense, he added. Stratton recalled his days when he was in the 'Hippie Mafia'-- which included various groups around the US that dealt drugs but had a code of ethics that included trust, honor, and non-violence.
In the latter half, journalist and author Paul Bannister discussed his work writing about the paranormal for the National Enquirer. He shared accounts about the supposedly cursed "Chair of Death" at a pub in York, England, in which people who dared to sit in it ended up dying, and the 'Old Stone House' in Washington DC, which dates back to 1765 and is said to be haunted by 11 separate ghosts. Among the ghosts are a male who reportedly pushes and chokes women, a lady wearing clothes of the 1700s, and a small boy said to run up and down the third floor (Listen to an EVP of a mysterious voice he recorded at the house).
Bannister shared accounts of visiting the Enfield poltergeist home (the subject of the forthcoming movie, The Conjuring 2), which was studied by the Society of Psychical Research. "I walked in and this voice growled down my ear from nowhere. And I jumped and I said 'what are you trying to do?,' and it said 'kill ya.' In Sao Paolo, Brazil, he went to a house that had been cursed, and witnessed various things, but he didn’t interview the macumbeiro (practitioner of Santeria) who had allegedly lifted the curse on the family. Because he ignored the macumbeiro, Bannister believes the practitioner sought revenge on him, as he inexplicably found glass in his restaurant meals two nights in a row, followed by a piece of a glass from a sealed Coke can when he returned to Florida.
News segment guests: Jerome Corsi, Howard Bloom