The drug liberalization blogosphere is all abuzz over Barry Cooper. He’s apparently a former Texas narcotics officer who has produced a video called “Never Get Busted” in which he apparently explains how to avoid getting arrested for drug possession.
As it happens, I too have a foolproof system for avoiding a drug possession arrest: I don’t possess drugs.
I think we can assume that’s not what Cooper has in mind. Presumably, what he’s really going to teach people is how to possess drugs without getting arrested for possessing them.
He claims to be motivated by a desire to help people who will otherwise suffer under our unreasonable narcotics laws. Of course, if that’s all he wanted to do, he could do what the folks at the Flex Your Rights Foundation did with their Busted video: Release the entire video at YouTube.
Instead, Barry Cooper sells the video at his web site for $24.95, plus $5.95 for shipping and handling. There’s nothing wrong with making some money, but a few things about his operation bother me.
First of all, Barry Cooper sounds a lot like infomercial guru Don LaPre, and that’s never a good sign. You may not know the name, but you’d recognize his delivery. I couldn’t find any online video of LaPre, but here’s a parody of Don LaPre that’s pretty close, and here’s one that’s even closer but kind of long.
Third, according to Libby at Last One Speaks, he approached Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) a few weeks ago and asked to join their speaker’s beureau. He then began promoting his video and claiming to be a LEAP speaker, even though they had told him he couldn’t use LEAP to promote the video. Since then, LEAP has dumped him.
Fifth, Barry Cooper is totally unknown in the drug law reform community. The folks at the D’Alliance never heard of him, nor did Libby Spencer, Loretta Nall, Pete Guither, or LEAP. If Cooper really believed in his video, aren’t those exactly the people who’d be getting review copies?
There’s a lot of speculation that this could be some sort of undercover operation, perhaps by the DEA, to get drug users to identify themselves. That seems unlikely to me. I think he’s just a hustler looking for a quick buck.
Time will tell, and I’ll publish my apology if I’m wrong.