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The Drug War

Ricky Ross & Kevin Booth: The Drug War

Some days, you sit back and realize how all of your hard work has paid off.  Some days, you may have the privilege of talking shop with a man whose work you’ve admired for over 20 years.  I had the pleasure of interviewing these two men, and then the very next day, Mr. Tommy Chong.  I can’t really put it into words what it means to me to be able to listen to these two guys shoot the breeze with each other, bringing together and broadcasting the conversation between two people whose relationship has spanned decades.  And I must not discount my own connection to some of the players we will be mentioned during this piece. 

Russell Dowden: All right, welcome to the Texas Hemp Show.  I’m Russell Dowden, publisher of the Texas Hemp Reporter magazine.  This week on the program, we’re getting ready for the July issue where we’re featuring Tommy Chong, Kevin Booth, Steve DeAngelo and Ricky Ross.  Ricky Ross will be calling in today from California, and then a little later, Kevin Booth will be talking with us.  The two gentlemen actually know each other because Kevin, of course, did the documentary “American Drug War” back in ’06 and interviewed Ricky Ross several times when Rick was in prison.  So, those two knew each other and may eventually cross paths again as we transition between interviews today.  Good stuff today as we get ready for the July issue of the Texas Hemp Reporter magazine that will be available all around Austin and throughout the state of Texas.  Many of these will be available for the first time in Houston, Texas.  We’re adding many of the smoke shops from Houston to the eastern side of the state.  Looks like the July issue will drop right here in the city of Austin on Thursday, July 1st.  We expect the magazine to be out that first weekend of the month of July, so right before the 4th of July weekend, we should be able to get those out to everybody.  Be sure to follow us on social media @texashempreporter on Instagram and @txhempreporter on Twitter.

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Freeway Rick climbed his way back to the top after serving a 20 + years on a life sentence in prison, only to have the case overturned.

RD: Welcome back to the Texas Hemp Show.  I’m Russell Dowden with the Texas Hemp Reporter magazine.  Visit us online at texashempreporter.com and txhemporter on Twitter.  I’m looking forward to getting this next issue out for you guys.  Joining us today as we cut out of commercial break is Rick Ross.  Good to have you part of the Texas Hemp Show, my friend.  How are you doing out there on the West Coast, Rick Ross? 

Ricky Ross: I’m well.  How are you?  

RD: You and I met, I don’t know if you recall, when you were doing the book tour for The Untold Biography.  I missed you down there at Brave New Books and rushed down to 6th Street where you were doing a book signing and I bought Gary Webb’s book, as well as your book and you autographed both.  I don’t know if you remember that.

RR: I do.

RD: You do?  Yeah, you gave me your number and I’ve actually had your number in my phone for some time.  I just finally reached out to you guys, I thought it would be good to have you on the program, as you’ve got some products you’ve been doing.  I thought it’d be great to have you on and discuss that.  It was about five years ago.  Better late than never, huh, Rick?

RR: Absolutely.  Absolutely.

RD: Well listen, man, thanks so much for being on the Texas Hemp Reporter with us.  How’s life treating you these days?

RR: I’ve been good.  I’ve been good.

RD: I thought we’d just get you on, get a little bit about your background.  We won’t go into a whole lot of your backstory.  I think a lot people know that story now, Rick.  It’s been well-documented and well-covered.  I became aware of your case through Gary Webb’s work and then through our friend, Kevin Booth’s film, “American Drug War” in ’07.  Can you just give us a real quick condensed version on your history with the drug operation and how you kind of got mixed up in that whole Iran-Contra affair with the players like Oliver North, Noriega and the CIA.  Just give us a little condensed version and then we’ll talk about some of the things you’re involved in today.

RR: Well, I started selling drugs at 19 years old after it was discovered that I wouldn’t be going to college because I couldn’t read or write.  I started with $125.  Before I finished with the dope game I was making as much $3 million a day.  The prosecutor estimated that I had made at least a million dollars every day for two years.  

RD: That’s impressive.  That’s impressive.  You know, the CIA has long been rumored to sell drugs to finance their proxy wars, Rick.  They overthrow foreign regimes.  Did you ever hear about Cele Castillo?  He wrote a book called Powderburns.  I’ve had Cele on.

RR: I know Cele.

Street Wise Clothing Co. is just one of Ricks new brands. A Rapper stole his name while he was in prison and made a career.

RD: You know Cele?  I thought that that might ring a bell for you.  Can you speak to the drug war, Rick?  How it gets the American people and the prison system that incarcerates thousands of non-violent offenders?  Does this broken system upset you anymore?  Or have you kind of overcome any animosity you’ve had toward that?  How do you feel about the system itself these days?

RR: First of all, animosity is for weak people.  It’s not for the strong, because when you’re strong, you change whatever it is that you know isn’t right.  And so, I’m working to change whatever it is that I believe to be the proper formation.  So, when you say, do I have animosity?  No, I don’t.  But, I don’t like the ways this war on drugs is being handled.  I don’t like the way the police have been handled in some cases.  And I’m working to change all of those things.

RD: You’re story’s really interesting to me, Rick.  And I remember when Kevin would call you in prison for his films.  You know, listeners, Rick taught himself to read in prison and worked on his appeal case.  Did you ever imagine one day that you’d be speaking to the youth or doing special events or being such a positive influence on today’s youth?

RR: No, I didn’t.  I never thought I was capable of speaking to crowds.  I was more of a behind-the-scenes type of guy.  You know, when I sold my drugs, I would stand behind everyone else and let them do my dirty work.  So, I was more behind-the-scenes, but now, I need to be on the front lines because whenever you start something, nobody wants to participate until it starts to go.  Right now, it’s not going the way that it needs to be before other people will get involved.  So, right now I’m on the front line.  I’m pretty much doing everything right now.  I do all the grunt work as well the behind-the-scenes work.

RD: You’re Los Angeles’s most notorious former-kingpin launching his own brand of cannabis.  I see you’ve opened up a dispensary.  You’re taking control of your legacy.  Tell us about some of these business ventures that you’re involved in now.  When did you start selling cannabis legally?

RR: Well, I actually have three brands out right now: Freeway by Rick Ross, LA Kingpins and I also have one called Yayo.  Kingpins is the oldest, I started that one about a year ago, right before the pandemic hit.  The pandemic has really hindered me from really getting the brands in the space that I would like them to be in.  With the Yayo, someone brought it to me and asked if I would partner with them on that and I go a kick out of it and I thought “we used to use that for cocaine!” So I thought it would be interesting, so I went for it. 

RD: That’s very cool.  I saw a documentary a while back called “I Want My Name Back” and it had to do with some east coast hiphop.  It was a different kind of story.  We know about the rapper, Rick Ross, who has taken your name and made a career off of your back.  You’re getting some deals in your business now, and these are kind of the licensing deals that you’re doing on your own but you’re starting to develop your own kind of licensing things with Freeway Ricky Ross.

RR: Absolutely.  Absolutely.  Not only am I doing my brands, but I’m also helping other people get their brand started.  I’m helping Cody Shane, his brand will be coming out soon, as well as Duke Deuce, also Dee Brooks.  So, I’m helping other people also get their brands started.  I’m also building a grow facility that’s going to produce about $6 million worth of cannabis every 2 months.  I don’t know yet what it will be called, maybe “Freeway Farms”.  Most important is that it develops great cannabis.

RD: Didn’t you do some work with the National Diversity and Inclusion Cannabis Alliance?

RR: Absolutely.  I’m still on the board.  I support them 110%.  They had a big hand in me actually getting my license for my dispensary.  They taught me the political game of marijuana.  We all went downtown to City Hall, we marched.  We went from councilperson to councilperson and we told them exactly what we wanted the law to say, even though we had to compromise. But for the most part, we got our way and we got things into the law that we needed in order to help me and others get a license.

RD: How can folks learn about these brands?  We have restrictions in the state of Texas on what we can purchase online but still, we have listeners on the Internet.  How can people get Freeway by Rick Ross, Kingpins and Yayo?

RR: The easiest way to get them is, when you come to California, you can go on my website and you can find the stores that sell my stuff.

RD: Texas is still struggling to get these marijuana laws relaxed and it’s kind of been the hot button the last few weeks and there’s talk of the Feds rescheduling marijuana.  Do you think the federal government might make the move to make marijuana legal before long?

RR: I think they will.  I don’t think it will happen this year.  I voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris because I felt that they were leaning for legalizing marijuana and opening up the banking system.  It will be so much better when they open up the banking system.  Right now, you make this money and you have to keep in a shoebox in your closet.  It would be nice if we could do some banking and accept credit cards.

RD: We are having problems with our business with the state of Texas and Texas Hemp Reporter and we have to choose wisely with what our merchant services are, and this is just hemp!  It’s not even in the marijuana space yet and it’s already controversial.

RR: Well, I’m from Texas, I was born there.  You know Texas is the lone star state, so you guys will probably be the last ones to make marijuana legal.

RD: Sadly, that’s probably true.  Mexico is now legal with marijuana.  Louisiana has a medicinal program.  Oklahoma has medicinal and recreational.  Arkansas has a medicinal marijuana program.  New Mexico, to our west, has a recreational marijuana program.  In fact, when you leave El Paso, you can go straight to the Pacific Ocean and it’s all legal cannabus.  So, Texas needs to get with the program, not just recreational, we don’t have good medicinal for our veterans or our cancer patients.  Texas is just behind.

RR: That’s what happens when your politicians are out of touch.  They don’t know what’s going on and what the people want, and they don’t care what the people want.  They’re out there to serve a purpose, and that’s what they do.  And that’s what our politicians here were doing and that’s why we went to their office and we let them know that if you don’t get your stuff right, we’re going to get your ass out of there.

-BREAK-

RD: The producers didn’t really want to tell your movie story, sounds like, in Hollywood?

RR: They wouldn’t give me a definite release date and they didn’t want me to be part of it.  If I sold my rights, if they tried to do the movie with someone else, they would’ve been sued.  So, I couldn’t take those deals.

RD: How accurate are the stories being told in films like “Kill the Messenger” or “Snowfall”?

RR: Snowfall is a cartoon.  Who would do a movie about a black drug dealer who was involved with the CIA in south central LA, and made billions of dollars?  And you’re doing this movie, Freeway Ricky Ross is out of jail, walking the streets, you have his phone number in your phone, and you don’t call him?  At least, if not after making his story, at least consult with him?  It’s not an accurate story, they weren’t trying to look for the facts.

RS: Describe the irony about how you once sold drugs illegally, went to prison, and then all these years later, now you have a profitable, legitimate business now.  Describe that.  How does that feel for you these days?

RR: It just feels surreal, unreal.  How could you be in prison with a life sentence without the possibility of parole, and now here you are, in an industry where you’re about to make billions of dollars, where you’re about to change the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the world?  It just seems crazy.  Only in America!

RD: Your story is really amazing and I’ve always found it inspiring.  Being a fan of Kevin’s work, it was such an inspiring film, “American Drug War”.  Tommy Chong is featured in the film as well.  The question is, have we improved on our policies surrounding drug laws?  We have a lot of work still yet to be done with regard to the prison system and the criminalization of drugs.

RR: I think we have get these old-ass, lying, cheating politicians out of office.  Let’s get politicians who actually SMOKE marijuana, not these guys who say, “oh yeah, I smoked but I didn’t inhale.”  Let’s just bring in a whole new fresh crop of people who grew up smoking marijuana, walking the streets.  We have people in there now who never caught the buzz, they don’t fly commercial.  Who are these people?  Where are they from?  Until we get rid of them, our country’s going to be the way it is.

RD: Kevin Booth is chiming in, we were just singing your praises.  Kevin, welcome to the Texas Hemp Show.

Kevin Booth: Hey!  What’s up, Russell?  Is that you, Ricky?

RR: What up, Kev?

Kevin Booth: Hey, what’s going on?  Are you in LA?

RR: Yeah, I’m in LA.  I’m at the tennis club with the baby.  I told you, Russell, me and Kevin talk all the time!  I’m not going to forget Kevin, he used to send me money when I was in jail!

RD: Well, we had Kevin scheduled for the podcast about a month or two ago and then one of my writers reached out to your team, Rick, and wanted to interview you for the magazine with your new products, and I then I ended up scheduling you on the same day as Kevin without realizing it. 

RR: We have no problem getting together.

KB: We’ve got new things hopefully in the works too, so we’ve been talking a lot.

RD: Kevin, I don’t want to put you guys on the spot, but I will.  What’s going on?  Is there a film or something?  I know you probably want to keep a tight lid on it but I have to ask.

KB: I’ll let Ricky take the lead on that, but I’m here in Texas and it’s tricky and it’s funny but everyone I know gets high and buys weed, and yet, it’s extremely illegal.  So, it’s a lot trickier here.  But once it becomes legal here it’s going to be a huge market. What pisses me off is this whole idea that if they legalize weed then more people are going to start smoking it.  I’ve never met a single person when I was living in California that started smoking because it got legalized.

RR: No.  What it does is, it takes the street element out of it.  You don’t have to drive into some neighborhood where there’s 50 guys on the street, everybody’s toting guns and who knows what else they’re doing.  And you have to come buy marijuana.  It takes that element out of the game which, I’m sure the cops like because it keeps up a bunch of mess and they can arrest a lot of people.  So if you want to keep mess going then you keep it illegal.

KB: Yes, and the other thing it changes too is, just from the people I’ve known, the only difference is that now, they have a bigger selection, they pay less money.  The places they go to, it’s controlled.  But, I’ve yet to meet the person who just started getting high because it became legal.  I guess the argument is always about kids, right?  So, I’d rather have my kid smoking hemp, CBD or anything other than these nicotine cartridges, right?

RR: But the guys on the street, they don’t care how old you are when you come to them and buy.  At least at the dispensary, they check everybody’s i.d., make sure they’re 21 or older.  And you know that your product was grown organically, they didn’t use tons of pesticides on your product.  Those are the things that you get when you start to bring things to the legal market.  On the black market, nobody knows what they’re smoking.

KB: I don’t know how old you are, Russell but, when I was a kid, and I first started finding out about marijuana and I was going to Stratford High School in Houston, the thing was that crappy Mexican marijuana had paraquat on it.  And now there are lawsuits about paraquat.  It was a cure-all cheap bug spray that basically is the equivalent of agent orange, some Dow Chemical, DDT, horrible nightmare stuff.  The thing is, when you get black market marijuana, you’re probably going to have something like that on there because I’m telling you, it costs a lot more to grow organically.  It’s way harder and way more expensive and time consuming to grow organically.  So, when you keep that stuff illegal, that’s what your kids are smoking.

RD: To answer your question, Kevin, the first time I smoked marijuana, I was 12 years old and I was stealing it from my parents.  My parents were hippies, they met in LA and got married in Vegas in ’69.  Dad was a musician.  Unlike your parents, Kevin, my parents were kind of stoner-hippies so I knew what marijuana smelled like.  So, when I was living in south Austin with my Mexican friends, they started encouraging me to steal weed from my parents.  That was my introduction to marijuana.

KB: It wasn’t until I was older, in college, where suddenly this thing called “hydroponic” came up.  So, suddenly, if you wanted to spend way more money, you could get this amazing-smelling stuff that made you feel really good in a totally different way.  That was the breakthrough.  And my understanding was that was the first kind bud but, in Texas we just called it hydroponic back then.

RD: Well, Rick, any final thoughts?  Would you like to plug your book?

RR: Thank you, Russell.  And thank you, Kevin.  You always come in with some encouraging words and some knowledge so thank you again, as always.  And people, if you want to get my book, T-shirts, and all of my products, go to freewayrickyross.com.  Also, you can follow me on Instagram at freewayricky, and Facebook at TheRealFreewayRickRoss.  I also manage fighters now, you can watch my fights on freeway.live. 

RD: Thank you, man.  God bless you.  We appreciate Freeway Ricky Ross being part of the Texas Hemp Show this afternoon.  This is so far out, Kevin, the timing.  I’ve been anticipating that interview for six years.

KB: Rick mentioned his book, was that 21 Keys of Success or 21 Kilos of Success?

RD: Ha ha!  That’s 21 Keys of Success.  If you’re looking at his website, that title is actually a play on words.  Standby, Kevin.  We’re going to talk with you about your film work and some of the films you’ve been involved in, and talk about the old days, and see what you guys have cooking.

(BREAK)——————————–KEVIN BOOTH INTERVIEW PAGES START HERE

RD: Tomorrow, we’re having Tommy Chong on the show.  He’ll be talking about some CBD products that he has released.  He has defeated cancer multiple times.  He used high-grade CBD to assist and manage with the pain and the side effects of the treatments.  You interviewed Tommy for “American Drug War” while he was still in prison, isn’t that right, Kevin?

KB: Yeah, he was in Taft.  It was quite a feat to get in, I remember.  I had to go through some major hoops to get in there.  I think they only allowed a total of three journalists ever to get in and see Tommy.  When we finally got in there, it was a special day.  I also actually got to interview his wife and his son.  I got to know Shelby and Paris.  And I kept in contact with Tommy over the years.  I actually saw him a couple of years ago and he’d been through the cancer thing and at the time he was doing some Rick Simpson stuff.  I don’t know about his involvement with CBD but he’s definitely the poster child for CBD.

RD: Most of the time when I was interviewing him or Cheech, it was about the comedy.  We got to interview them for the “Get it Legal” tour and before that, the “Light Up America” tour.  He’s definitely a proponent for change with the drug war and certainly a victim of it, as your film “American Drug Wars” certainly documented with everything that went on with Operation Pipe Dreams.  Can you give our listeners a little bit of your background?  You grew up with Bill Hicks in Houston, can you tell us how you got started with films?  I remember seeing your earlier film, “Ninja Bachelor Party” because it used to come on public access in Austin in the old days.  It’s great to have you on, bro!  Three of your films certainly have been related to the drug war, how did you get started in all of that?

KB: Well, if we’re going to talk about “Ninja Bachelor Party”, I guess I’m going to have to drink a little Robitussin.  I grew up in Los Angeles and then moved to Houston and met Bill when he was a freshman and I was sophomore at Stratford High School in Houston.  We started a rock band called “Stress”.  None of us knew how to play instruments but we knew we wanted to be rock stars, so we just started rockin’ out and before you knew it, we learned how to play instruments.  We started doing high school talent shows and then keg parties, and then the relationship kind of blossomed from there.  I produced a lot of Bill’s comedy records and I did his first standup comedy concert called “Sane Man” and I did “Rant in E Minor”, “Relentless” and “Arizona Bay”.  We had another band called “Marblehead Johnson”.  At the time of “Ninja Bachelor Party” I was going to film school at UT Austin,  my other band I was in had gotten a record contract with Chrysalis and so I guess I was not real serious about being a student but I was in film school after dropping out of engineering school.  I decided to buy a color video camera, and we started making a karate epic.  Our first goal, we really wanted to be able to make porno movies but we didn’t know any girls, so we decided to make it karate.  It was the 80’s so, just bare with me.  We spent years and years working on this 23-minute epic.  It was funny because it ended up getting released by Warner Brothers on DVD, this really crappy homemade thing.  It was kind of like a Simpsons episode, every single line had to be funny, so it’s 23 minutes of non-stop humor.  You get to see Bill doing a bunch of characters, actually, Bill does my parents’ voices, which is always hilarious for me to watch.

RD: (laughs) Kevin, is it on YouTube?  Does the younger generation get the chance to see this, or is it still locked in a vault?

KB: I think everything I’ve ever done is on YouTube.  I wasn’t aware that you could control it.  I spent a couple of years trying to control people bootlegging stuff, it was an interesting experiment.  When American Drug War came out, it was on Showtime.  This was back in 2008, we were selling tons of DVDs and I would get all freaked out when I would see how somebody put the entire movie on YouTube and I would demand they take it down.  So I decided to do an experiment and the experiment proved that we sold more DVDs when it was up for free on YouTube, so I started realizing, it’s a big world out there.  Coming from the whole Patriot movement, back in those days when everybody had the spirit of, if they were made a film, just spread it around.  So I tried not to be a control freak or thinking that people have to pay to watch my stuff.  I’m not down with that.

RD: HA!  Kevin, I got into publishing after 9/11.  I don’t know if you knew this about me, but I was in that crowd with Alex Jones and SMiles Lewis and Jeff Contreras and all of those guys had different shows on ACTV public access here in Austin.  You were involved with that as well, you had projects that you did.  We were publishing “Austin ParaTimes”, the big sister to what would become “Weird Magazine”.  Alex Jones would talk about my magazines on his show.  This was the late 90s/early 2000s.

KB: Well, first of all, I was producer number like 137, or something like that, at ACTV.  So, I was making access tv shows when you and Alex were just a glint in your momma’s eye.  I was into public access back when the studio was on Red River, where it was one room in a garage apartment.  Then later, it was in a building on Barton Springs Road.  So I started public access probably around ’83.  I did a show called “Sacred Cow” back then, running around with Bill and Sam Kinison and we were just kind of making these crazy videos.  Do you remember a guy named George Woolley?  Alex used to impersonate him.  One day he was like, “uh, this here Internet’s gonna big one day.”

RD: I remember watching you guys and I looked up to you, Kevin, as a young, aspiring RTF student at 20 years old. 

KB: That was a huge mistake.

RD: I remember in ’93 you and Bill went to Waco, and Bill did this runoff of the Branch Davidian Compound, going on and on with all the different offshoots of Davidians.  What was that project?  Did y’all just go up there to film?

KB: Well, this is before anything horrible or tragic happened.  This was right after the shootouts but before the fire.  We made a video called “On the Seventh Day” because we were there on the seventh day of the siege.  Bill and I were working on some records and videos together and we were both news junkies. I think starting with the Iraq War and Desert Storm, we both became CNN junkies and one night, Bill called me and said, “are you watching?” and I was like “yes.  I can’t believe it” and some frustrated rock guitar guy holed up 2 hours north of Austin, Bill was like, “in or out?” We decided, “we are going to this thing.”  So he flew to Austin and we rented a car and we brought a little Hi8 camcorder and some other things.  I had my ACTV badge.  So, we drove through all these DPS checkpoints to get to the compound and we came upon this DPS checkpoint and this guy was like, “are y’all with the media?” and Bill goes, “no.” and the guy made us turn around and we sat there for like half an hour and I thought, “well, I’m on access tv, I’m in the media.” so then we turned around and we go, “we are with the media!” and the DPS guys were like, “what do you mean, you’re with the media?  You guys were just here a half hour ago and you said you weren’t,” and I was like, “I am with the media.” and I showed him this like $50 camcorder.  So they ended up letting us in.  I showed them my little access badge, and so we got in with the press pool.  The compound was maybe like a mile or so behind us, you could see the signs, they were hanging signs out the windows at the time.  It was just this endless row of satellite trucks.  We just set up there and Bill started just riffing.  This was before it even turned tragic. Once the fire started, everything changed.  I think that was the big turning point with Bill’s career too because this video started circulating around access tv, where it showed the flame thrower coming out of the tip of the tank.  Once Bill saw that, I think that was a real defining moment in his career, where he went all-in and said, “f**k the government.”

RD: Yeah, he really did change then, it was interesting.  Let me ask you something, Kevin, I would be interviewed on Jack Blood back in the day and people would ask me, “is there something in the water in Austin?”  The perception was that we were all conspiracy theorists.  Years later, I ended up publishing InfoWars magazine for Alex.  Why were we all gravitating that way at that time around the late 80s/early 90s, in your opinion?

KB: Good question.  It all started with that damn Kennedy assassination, and it spun out from there.  When I was a kid, that was the only conspiracy we had.  And then it just broke loose, now it’s not even fun anymore.  I don’t know what it was about Austin in those days.  I like to think that Austin access tv had a lot to do with it because that was a real headquarters of free thinking and i think someday somebody could make a great movie about it.

RD: Who was the guy who would dress up like an old lady and talk like an old lady and take calls from viewers?

KB: Old Bitty.  That was also the days of Dave Prewitt and Raw Time and Dave TV.

RD: Yes, I’ve had Dave Prewitt on.  I know Nathan Olivarez also.  I’m so glad you’re back in Texas, I know you were in California a while.  What’s going on with you?  Joe Rogan moved to Austin, I know you know him from way back.

KB: Yes, I did a standup concert for Joe in 2000 called “Belly of the Beast”.  There was a little interlude where Alex Jones and Joe were dancing around wearing George Bush masks and we had a UFO in there.

RD: Was that the one where Joe gets Chris Athenas in a headlock?

KB: No, that was actually when we were shooting American Drug War in Los Angeles and Chris was on my crew when we shot the Bloods and T Rodgers and Lucky Rodgers over in the jungle and that night we ended up the Comedy Store, we were staying at the Hyatt, right next door.  I was hanging out at the Comedy Store and that’s when Chris Athenas was kind of screwing around with Joe and you could tell Joe was not thinking it was that funny anymore and Joe was like, “Kevin, this guy in your film crew is kind of insane.” and Chris was pushing his buttons and then Joe put him in a headlock and I was filming the whole thing.  And to this day, it’s one of the most popular things I’ve filmed on YouTube.  It’s got like millions and millions of hits!

RD: Chris had a show on access called “Reality Expander”.  Our guest, Kevin Booth, going down memory lane here, drinking the acid water from south Austin with Kevin Booth here.  What’s your experience with hemp?

KB: Well, I just got my license and my permits.  My dad bought a ranch down in Fredericksburg.  It’s like a gem out here.  It’s a beautiful place, thank God.  I was pretty fortunate to be able to escape LA and come back here after 14 years of living in Hollywood. To come out here and live on a ranch has been pretty nice.  I feel like I just dodged a bullet with the way things are going out there.  So, I got my hemp license, and I’m just experimenting.  I’ve secured the names Texas Hill Country CBD, Texas Hill Country 420 and Texas Hill Country Hemp.  And what does Texas Hill Country stand for?  What are those initials?

RD: THC!!

KB: You got it, man!  It’s gonna happen, man.  We’re in an experimental phase, we don’t have any products yet, we’re just getting started.

RD: How long have you been back?

KB: Since the end of 2018.

RD: That’s fantastic, Kevin.  Whatever Kevin’s got cooking, for folks who don’t know.  American Drug War was on the cover of Weird Magazine in 2008, and then we had How Weed Won the West, another documentary film you did that was also on the cover of Weird Magazine in 2010.  And then, when I left InfoWars, I started publishing Paranoid, Kevin, for a little while there and American Drug War 2: Cannabis Destiny was actually on the cover of that one so, if you ever do another film, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be on the cover of my current magazine!

KB: Well, that whole chapter of my life, that’s sort of outside of the drug war, I shot a movie about Bulgaria, and Russian corruption and all that.  I spent several years over in eastern Europe, I was kind of hiding at a ranch with all these Russian oligarchs pissed off at me. I needed to get out of LA for multiple reasons. (laughs). There’s a movie on Amazon called “Shadows of Sophia” which is not a drug war film.  Every once in a while you have to step out of your comfort zone, but I don’t think I’ll be making any more foreign films.  It was a really hard and weird experience.  But it was a great experience.

RD: Well, Kevin, I have an idea for a film.  It’s called “Memoirs of a Paranoid Publisher”.  It’s about a magazine publisher that starts publishing paranormal conspiracy articles in his youth and later starts publishing rock n roll and sports and then hemp!  Oh wait- that’s my life! 

KB: It’s funny that you quit working for Alex Jones and then you started something called Paranoid.

RD: Well, I kind of did that on purpose.  Alex was worried that I was going to start a competing publication.  I was like, “a fisherman fishes.  A publisher publishes.”  It’s what I know how to do.  Fire off your website, Kevin, and tell folks how they can get in touch with you and your work.  I don’t know if you still have the Sacred Cow website, that’s how I remember you.

KB: Yes, I still have it but it’s under construction.  Just google me, google my name or Sacred Cow Productions or find me on Facebook.  I can’t figure it out anymore, I can’t keep up with that dang Internet.

RD: Kevin Booth, thanks, man.  It’s so good having you on the show, that was really cool to have that little transition there with Ricky.  Listen, if Rick comes into town, y’all holler at me sometime.  Stay in touch, my friend.  You know where to find me on Facebook, as well.  And thanks again, Kevin, for being part of the Texas Hemp Show.

KB: I love Rick and thanks for having me on and I hope to be back!

RD: Kevin’s mainly known for a lot of films- American Drug War was very popular.  Look for a version of this interview in print in the Texas Hemp Reporter the first of July.  You guys enjoy your summer and thanks for tuning in..

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