At Harris Bricken, we keep close tabs on what is happening around the world, and we know that our friends and clients do, as well. We are happy to provide this podcast series: Global Law and Business, hosted by international attorneys Fred Rocafort and Jonathan Bench, where we look at the world by talking with business leaders, innovators, service providers, manufacturers, and government leaders around the world.

In Episode #71, we are joined by Taiwanese cannabis lawyer Zoe Lee, of Better Call Zoe fame.

We discuss:

  • Zoe’s path to becoming Taiwan’s best-known cannabis lawyer, and what her docket looks like.
  • The legal status of cannabis and CBD in Taiwan.
  • Zoe’s inspirations for her podcast, In the Weeds.
  • Legalization efforts in Taiwan and Zoe’s prediction on when legalization will come about.
  • The incongruity between Taiwan’s progressive ethos and the country’s restrictive cannabis laws.
  • Zoe’s foray into politics with the Green Party Taiwan, and the views on cannabis of Taiwan’s mainstream parties.
  • Listening, and watching recommendations from:

We’ll see you next week for another exciting and informative episode when we sit down with Kelly Sullivan, Seattle University’s head track and field coach.

This podcast audio has been transcribed by an automatic transcriber.

Fred Rocafort  0:07   

Global law and global business go hand in hand, but never seem to keep pace with each other. The importance on the global stage of developing and developed nations waxes and wanes, while consumption and interconnectedness steadily increase all the while laws and regulations change incessantly requiring businesses to stay nimble. But how do we make sense of it all? Welcome to Global Law and Business hosted by Harris Bricken International Business attorneys. I’m Fred Rocafort 


Jonathan Bench  0:37   

And I’m Jonathan Bench. Every week, we take a targeted look at legal and economic developments in locales around the world as we try to decipher global trends in law and business with the help of international experts. We cover continents, countries, regimes, governance, finance, legal developments, and whatever is trending on Twitter. We cover the important, the seemingly unimportant, the relatively simple and the complex. 


Fred Rocafort  1:02   

We hope you enjoy today’s podcast. Please connect with us on social media to comment and suggest future topics and guests. 


Jonathan Bench  1:23   

Today we’re joined by Zoe Lee, owner of Lee and partners cannabis law office in Taiwan, where she represents a variety of clients international and domestic, commercial and private on exclusively cannabis and hemp related cases. Zoe welcome to Harris Bricken Global law in business. 


Zoe Lee  1:38   

 Thank you for having me today.  


Jonathan Bench  1:40   

Zoe, we would love to hear more about Better Call Zoe, which is your tagline for your law firm. We’d love to hear about your background and your podcast. Anything at all that you’d like to tell us about where you came from, and how you got to where you are now. 


Zoe Lee  1:58   

Thank you, Jonathan. Initially, I was planning to become a commercial lawyer, as everybody here because that make you big money, I guess. I don’t know. Because I’ve never, never been one. So um, I grew up grew up in Taiwan, and Taipei actually, and spent 10 years in law school, including post grad and under grad. I majored in juvenile delinquency, which is a subject won’t make you big money. So my mom was a little bit upset about that. So to make her happy, I spend some time to study on international commercial arbitrations. Actually, I’m associate member of cirb, which is a group, big commercial arbitration Association, I guess, in British and so that’s a reason why I went to Paris for like a year. I was trying to make do my another post grade in commercial law. But well, when the time I spend in Europe, I smoke weed. But I found it good. So I started thinking about like, okay, am I going to continue on? Being a commercial lawyer being like a polished like decade of lawyers, you maybe fly to different countries all the time? Like, do I really want to do that? Or I just want to do that to make my family happy. And I decided, no, I’m just going to do what I want to do. So I dropped the school, come back to Taiwan. And initially, I haven’t decided what kind of career I’m going to do. Because when you like, have a student loan, you need income, right? So I went to like a lot of nightclub. I was like a party animal before. So waiting for the random police check. Every time they checked a guest in nightclub, they always could always find drugs on them. So that’s a time I can make money. So that’s basically how it started in for a nightclub. And, like it continue, like for what, two months and then mom is like, really upset. She’s like, Zoe you cannot just go out like every night and like, basically go out drink drunk in morning, come back is not what a lawyer should be. I was like, Okay, fine. So I gave up I become, work for the government to do transactional justice for a year. That’s a limit. I cannot do that anymore. So I decided to have to have my own firm initially, just me It was March 2019. So I only focus on cannabis cases in Taiwan because cannabis is extremely illegal as basically the same schedule as methamphetamine. If you trying to do it, even half grams, easily put in a jail for 10 years. So that’s how I started my firm. And because I watched Netflix and stuff, so my friend says, Oh, yeah, you should have a tag line Better Call Zoe. And yep, I guess that’s how it started.  


Fred Rocafort  5:39   

So Zoe, we do a lot of cannabis work at our firm. I think the first thing that I’d like to point out is that from just from listening to, to what you’ve described, it is clear that the context in which you’re operating is very different. Obviously, there are places in the US where there is still quite a bit of criminalization of cannabis, but especially in the states where we have our strongest presence. We are seeing a lot of legalization initiatives. So let’s follow up on that. When we say that you’re a cannabis lawyer, when we say that you’re doing cannabis law in Taiwan, what exactly does that entail? Because I get the feeling that much of the work is going to be focused on criminal law really is is that is that correct? 


Zoe Lee  6:29   

Yes, that’s correct. Like 90% of the of my cases for now are criminal cases, but CBD also important product from cannabis. And I think that’s really profitable. In my firm, I still like do some consulting for those CBD companies trying to sell their products to Taiwan. Because CBD is still in like, I will say limbo area here as kind of medicine here. But you have to be have pharmaceutical license, then you can sell it, but you cannot sell it because you can approve that as a medicine. Because in like outside Taiwan, there’s just like daily like supplements besides like the GW therefore case of extreme like medicine. And the other funny part is we cannot sell CBD here. But you can order online imported from abroad, which means that only foreign companies based outside Taiwan could do this business here. So start with a start up from California where two of the founders like Taiwanese Americans, they were like, okay, we’re trying to do sell cbds to Taiwan, how should we do? And that’s how I started and goes on like I went to mjbizcon in, I believe is 2019 October. So we found a lot of opportunities and I talked to some business they trying to rebrand they’re trying to sell their product to Taiwan. And I helped them to basically go consulting to compliance side how to fulfill the rules and standards in Taiwan, for example. us the CBD allows THC or any any kind of product. They allow point 3% of THC, right. But in Taiwan, there’s 10 ppm, which is 0.001% of THC. If you’re above this level, that’s drugs. That’s methodic. I know that sounds stupid. So basically, you can also sell like, full spectrum CBD product here because it could easily over that standard that make you if you ship it from abroad, that’s trafficking basically 10 years in jail, if you give it to your friend, and you take a little bit of money that’s stealing you’re still facing 10 years in jail. So some to avoid this kind of situation, I will define it as commercial cases for those CBD sellers. 


Fred Rocafort  9:34   

Let me just follow up here in the US, I guess it depends to some degree on which stage you’re talking about. But there are certainly many places where there’s CBD stores everywhere. From what you’re describing. It seems it would be much harder to find it in Taiwan, right? It’s not the sort of thing that you’d find that 7-11 like you might here correct. 


Zoe Lee  9:57   

That’s correct. Not at all. You cannot sell any product with CBD here in Taiwan? So it’s not like like you’re walking around in what and you could buy like easily by like, lip lip balm with CBD No. But hemp seed product is fine. Like the Body Shop, they have different kinds of hemp seed products. That is fine. But CBD everybody knows is really useful and to replace a lot of I will say medicine, yes, but medicines but still like because Taiwanese government is a little bit stubborn I will say. So sadly, we yes, we cannot find any CBD product here in local store. But you can order online. 


Jonathan Bench  10:50   

Zoe, I’d love to hear a little bit more about your podcast because we are getting an inside view now on what the cannabis situation is like in Taiwan, how cannabis policy is impacting your life in the lives of your clients. But can you tell us how you are? How long you’ve been doing your podcast? What got you started into podcasting, and then how, how you use the podcast as a platform to inform people and probably also to generate some business.  


Zoe Lee  11:18   

My podcast started on 2019. October. And initially just a friend of my producing companies co cause those I look media, and they want to make a podcast talking about how some legal legal knowledge small one, and initially they want to focus on like, female between 25 to 55, those kind of issues. Like they want new like no, I spent three months trying to write the script and everything. And I was like, I cannot do this. And one day I was browsing online, I saw the Pot Brothers. I don’t know if any of you hear about them. And basically it’s like two lawyers in Dayton, California. And they just keep telling people like how they should they say to when cops stop by and just simply Shut the F**k up. I was impressed by that video. I was like, okay, because this exactly same situation happened here. One day, I was like, working office like till midnight I Uber home. And a police officer stopped by the just stop the car, asked me to take up my IDs and check. They want to search my purse and say, oh, well, you’re working so late, what kind of job you’re doing. I was like, listen I have a business. And they started trying to like, get me out of the out of the car. I was really angry. I show them my lawyer ID and suddenly, like just like it next second, they become like extremely polite and say, Oh, so sad that you have to work this late. And stay safe. Bye. I was like, Okay, this is not fair. So that’s how I started my first episodes like how you should talk to police. In under this kind of situation. You can say no for like, random research, random search on the street and become popular. And like a lot of cannabis user doesn’t know like, because under kind of as culture you have to share, right? You puff puff pass sometimes you buy for your friend. But here if you say something wrong, your sentence could easily  like two months or prosecutor could drop your prosecution easily up to like 10 years just because you say something wrong. So I’m just trying to help those users or people trying to smoke weed, understand how serious the crime is. Or some like cannabis users to find cannabis seed here in cannabis flowers, right? They were trying to grow their own plant. So through the show, initially, I just want people to know, you shouldn’t grow your own weed. It’s safer to buy it. Or you shouldn’t say oh, I bought this pack of weed for my friend. Instead of you should say, oh no this for myself. This kind of stuffs and gradually I basically upload an episode every two weeks. I started introduce like cannabis industry abroad. The show initially I wasn’t trying to say like legalization during this movement. Initially, I just want to because cannabis been demonized for decades and decades here. I just want to give the audience with the public a different point of view to see this magical plant. So it’s been 52-53 episodes now.  


Jonathan Bench  15:27   

So where do you see cannabis policy and laws in Taiwan moving? Will they move? will it stay put? Do you think this will be on a one to two year timeline? Are we talking another five to 10 years before you see any significant movement? 


Zoe Lee  15:42   

I will say it will become full legalized and 10 years. Like not just decriminalized actually for now is de facto to decriminalize. Right now in Taiwan, like just simply having cannabis less than 20 grams won’t, you won’t get prosecuted. All you are facing is and you use it, of course. And you’re only facing either going to rehab. That’s sort of like jail for 40 days. Or you have to go to hospital to do therapies for two years. And both of this won’t have you won’t have criminal record at all. It will just drop the prosecution or deferred prosecution after you finish your therapy. So I will say that’s a de facto decriminalization. Because you won’t get punished. Yes, you get punished sort of but technically your punishment by smoking weed, we’re having we less than 20 grams. 20 grams is a lot. I mean, it’s a lot. And also like Taiwan’s, for the public’s attitudes, attitude to weed. We, this year, we just have our second time. Cannabis Festival on 4 20, I believe is a weekend before it 4 20. There were 3000s more than 3000 people go on the street. And that’s like the one I’m scared about, like afraid of showing their attitudes. I Oh, yeah. We should be legal. And we want to do research Taiwan should grow home. And Osho Green Party Taiwan. That’s like Green Party is like everywhere, I believe is the Green Party is in us as well. And Germany as well. Green Party Germany just saying the issue. They will go they will full legalize cannabis. Same here. We have the same attitude. saying like, election in 2000 is 2020 I believe. One of policy is we should legalize medical cannabis. So I think after this two things the public gradually understand, well, cannabis is not as evil as our drug education told us for a long time, its natural plan and its profitable plan. So I think I think it’s going well. 


Fred Rocafort  18:34   

Yeah. Zoe, as we listen to what you have to say about cannabis in Taiwan, someone from the US someone from Canada might think, well, this is a place that’s a lot tougher than than my home country. Right? If you look at the region, if you if you look at Asia, going beyond cannabis for a bit, Taiwan is actually one of the more liberal progressive societies in Asia, if not the most. So so it’s it. I think there’s a there’s another way to look at this, right? I mean, if you’re comparing to a place like California or Oregon, then of course, the cannabis landscape in Taiwan is going to seem very restrictive. But if you’re looking at some of the countries in the region, then probably it’s the opposite. It’s going to it’s going to seem like a relatively liberal place. And I’d like to tie this into two other issues. For example, when it comes to same sex marriage, Taiwan has certainly been a leader in the region. So when I hear you predict that Taiwan could have full legalization in a decade’s time, I find that plausible. I think that that is that is possible. I’d like to ask you for your thoughts on this general idea of Taiwan being perhaps a leader in the region for progressive ideas. Do you see a relationship between In what’s happening in Taiwan when it comes to two other issues, again niches like same sex marriage and also Taiwan’s very vibrant democracy that you see a connection between that and the eventual legalization of cannabis. 


Zoe Lee  20:17   

Yes, I did see some, like connections between that. But actually in Asia, a lot of countries has more progressive policies on cannabis issues. For example, Thailand, Thailand, Laos, they have cannabis clinic right now, basically is the government on facilities were companies making tinctures with THC and for the doctors in clinic to prescribe to the patients who needs cannabis. Like THC now CBD I’m not talking about CBD, there’s THC there. So, and for some patients, they could grow their own plants like very few but still in Japan you can easily find CBD product everywhere. Like in convenience store. Like that kind of like $1 shop everywhere literally they could easily find like cosmetics with CBD in there. And Korea. Korea has strict law on cannabis products but in their academic field, they allowed a lot of researchers to research on how to grow weed. I’m in like why we use that kind of weed instead of industrial hemp like and I forgot which University in in Korea, the Agriculture Department grow like an anchor of THC, I believe is why way to there they are trying to see like the potential of this plant. Front perspective of agriculture and China China Imran and Heilongjiang their government have industrial hemp farm. I know they just banned like CBD to for cosmetics. But still still that’s the government’s see the potential of this plant. No matter is with THC or not. In Hong Kong, Hong Kong even have CBD beers. So I think those four regions or jurisdictions has, more or less have like a more progressive policy on weed products, cannabis related products. Like in Taiwan, CBD, yes, you can have it. But if you have like, full spectrum, CBD easily become like you possessing weed. Also, I think the standard, as I just mentioned before, like the standard of THC in all cannabis products are different. And there’s five, like jurisdictions, their standards follows, I believe is point two with point 3%. Now, that’s type one. But as you just mentioned, I believe, because we’re relatively more liberal countries. So I think I think that’s really possible that our government finally like will end up like, give up and embrace this new magical plan. And also like Green Party’s new policy. We’re trying to combine the agriculture policy like basically growing industrial hemp. We’re trying to promote this to lobbyists to government saying like, Hey, we should allow our people to grow hemp because hemp is there’s no THC in there. 


Jonathan Bench  24:09   

So you mentioned politics in the Green Party. Very curious, because in researching your background, we saw that you are quite active in politics. And for some who know lawyers, they may think well, that’s not a strange thing for a lawyer to be involved in politics. But you do have quite an interesting backgrounds. We’d love to hear more about how you got into politics and why and what you feel like you are doing that is that is helpful to what’s going on in Taiwan. 


Zoe Lee  24:37   

Initially, I after I finished my internship, I work for Environment Protection NGO, basically is an NGO. Doing like all the pro bono cases for environmental issues like anti nuclear like offshore wind Actually, I’m still doing like some cases against offshore wind farms because they’re jeopardizing or Taiwan wild dolphins, which only have less than 60 left. Anyway. So all the environmental movement are really close to Green Party, of course. So as to how I started. And when the time I spanning Europe, I join the Green Party, global young greens, which is organization combined with all the young activities, like focusing on basically, environment, human rights. This kind of matters. So it’s basically how I started after I come back to Taiwan. I was it was 2017. Yes, I continue to do those environmental small movement. And yes, I getting I just getting deeper and deeper with green party here. So it and they asked me if I want to run for election as a legislator, I was like, okay, but I’m going to promote legalization of cannabis as okay for you guys. And little like, yeah, we want to do that since 1995. But we think we believe this is the right moment to speak it out loud. So basically, is how that happened.  


Jonathan Bench  26:35   

And so I’m really curious now, how does your mother feel about your current career trajectory right now that you’re in? You’re a full fledged lawyer, you’re doing some commercial work. You’re involved in politics. You’re quite a thought leader within this space in Taiwan. So how does she feel about where you are now? 


Zoe Lee  26:56   

Actually, she doesn’t know what I’m doing. Just like oh, yes. Now you have a firm with yeah three other lawyers. Yeah, I dress up like, you know, commercial lawyers go to office. Yes, my hair color is a little bit weird is like a little green. But she doesn’t really understand what I’m doing. Like. Yep. It was like sometimes and when I went before the pandemic, when I go abroad, I smoke weed, i post pictures. And my mom was like, hey, you shouldn’t smoke. She thought it was cigarettes. 


Fred Rocafort  27:30   

Zoe, I’m curious about a couple of things. I’ll ask you these two questions might be something that you can incorporate into one answer first. And I wonder if there is any support for cannabis legalization within one of the major parties in Taiwan, I’m going to go out and on a limb here and assume that probably within the Kuomintang, there’s not a whole lot of that. But I’m just wondering if perhaps within the governing party, there might be some figures that are at least somewhat open to the idea of legalizing adult use cannabis or further legalization of, you know, CBD products, for example. And then the the other question, somewhat related to that, in your advocacy regarding cannabis related issues. I’m just curious about who else gets involved in Taiwan, we know that you’re the only lawyer specializing in cannabis. So presumably, there’s probably not many other lawyers getting involved with that, or perhaps there are, but I’m just curious, who are the figures that are leading advocacy efforts for for cannabis in Taiwan? 


Zoe Lee  28:40   

To answer first questions, like four major parties, either KMT DPP or new power party. Well, under table, I talked to them of them. Not every single person, of course, but some lawmakers from either county or DPP, the new power party and, you know, some other some small parties, they’re all like, reopen, you’re like, Oh, I don’t think that’s an issue I think should be okay, especially for medical use. Cannabis should be fine. But, but I don’t think this is a appropriate time to bring it up to the public, basically, off them saying that, so that’s pretty sad, but not really, because at least I know they’re secretly secretly open to weed. That’s one thing like a doctor. I cannot say his name from KMT, he was former legislator he said we shouldn’t start with medical use. And like for like adult use, we should be just directly goes to like full legalization and I was like, okay, and how should we do can we give a talk to like a higher KMT people or something? Yes. Like, no. That’s one thing. The other person he was, I think he’s still  Freddy Lim, former New Power Party lawmaker, also the metal music singer. He before he got elected, he is really supportive on legalization. And after he got elected as legislator, he just stopped just talking about this issue. Yeah, that’s pretty sad DPP well DDP people they were I guess four years ago Tsai Ing-wen of her first term, she just got elected that’s working group to do all the for all like drug users we know we they want to be decriminalized it instead of put them in a jail, but put them into hospital. But they got really bad. I’m criticized from public, so they just DPP just stay low key keep working on that policy, instead of saying out loud, say, like, we should decriminalize all the drug users. So that cause the de facto decriminalized for drug users I just meant, like I mentioned earlier in this interview. So yes, there are other people leading on now, I will say leading, I mean, I will say speak out loud on legalization, like Dr. Lai, and sells in in gousha as my my friend, and also the other doctor, Dr. Koh, or his ancestors, Confucius, like real for real like on on record. That person, Dr. Koh, very interesting person he is in his early 60s. Normally people will imagine like older people will be more conservative on weed or stuff. But he is quite open. He says he is a first doctor prescribed CBD in Taiwan. So I think that’s very helpful because before before 2019 people are doing legalization movement for the public. The just a group of stoners, and people criticize those groups or like, are you guys just like a drug head you just want to smoke just want to like do crimes. But after 2019 the first 420 festival was only I guess less than 300 people joined without small like media cover. We invited doctors PhDs lawyers to speak out loud saying yes, we support legalization. And gradually people I mean, random public seemed is movement more positive. As sad I mean, everybody should, like a qualified to speak out loud for their home say the opinion. But it seems like only like if, if you have like higher social Standard Code, social standards, then you have a louder voice. That’s pretty sad.  


Fred Rocafort  33:49   

Zoe, just have one question. One follow up question to some of the issues we’ve been describing. Earlier, you talked about the relationship between cannabis law and Criminal Procedure, which is going to be present in every jurisdiction. Really, I’m curious as to whether there are differences in the way the existing laws are enforced. And specifically, I’m wondering if there are some groups that find themselves subject to stricter enforcement by the police. I’m wondering if, you know, if you’re comparing the chances that let’s say someone who’s going to a top university, who occasionally smokes with with his or her friends, compare that to someone who is of more humble, or again, someone who’s working in a job in the service industry that doesn’t enjoy perhaps that the same standing as someone who is either a student or a professional, right, someone who’s a lawyer, who’s a doctor, are there differences in the way police deal with people or in your experience is the treatment by police more or less uniform across the different levels of society. 


Zoe Lee  35:08   

Sadly, after say police do have different attitude towards two different types of people, kinds of people like like, like, for example, like police normally will harass people wearing shoes standing on the street during the day, during the day time, like, which is a stereotype of higher critical higher social standards. That kind of not that kind of people, like Elise tend to, like harass those citizens looks more vulnerable, which is maybe lack of like legal knowledge. Maybe they’re more scared about cops, like, afraid of saying no. Like, for example, like a police just should easily stop by people, like look like a walker and just say, hey, I want to check your bag. I want to track your pocket watch in your pocket. I really see you take it out. But normally you won’t see like cop like harass like, people will shoot like this. That’s a really bad thing. And even in police station, if somehow you like you’re rich, you’re just like a rich boy grow like two plants in your room, please, trigger really nice. But if you’re just a random kid with me, like maybe a grown up weeding or pocket they could like they were like struck you or something. This this really bad. But they at least they they still have to follow the Criminal Procedure here. Like you can they will still appoint you a lawyer. If you don’t have any there’s a legal foundation. And the other interesting part is a police or authority here somehow has a weird stereotype for to the foreigners or Yeah, basically foreigners. Like, they all smoke weed. So like police or like to go to like clubbing area, running track. different faces saying like, you’re smoking weed, I’m going to harass you, or like you must smoking weed. Sometimes most of the time people just like smoke like random like normal cigarette? And they still get harassed. Yes. So I will say there’s a kind of discrimination. Definitely. But I don’t know like authority. Some of prosecutor will see it. And they will like, they know that’s wrong. But I will say most of the time, they just want to close the cases as soon as possible. And the other things is if you have better education background where you look like you’re legit person in court or in prosecutor’s office, you got higher chance to walk away from the case or have another chance. Not going to jail. But if you just look like yeah, I’ll do that again. Or you look you just don’t know how to talk to prosecutors or judges. And your doom basically is what had happened. So this is sad. I hate to say this, but it’s like what really happened in Taiwan, we always say we have a very democratic system or justice system is very what complete or something but no, this do some a lot of space to improve. Yeah, like like the day like I got I got I got stopped by like police just because I have weird hair color. And I doesn’t. I didn’t dress like I’m a lawyer because that day I don’t have to see any clients. And I was on the street and midnight maybe  the police thought I was like what prostitute or something. So they they were really mean to me and at the moment they realize No, this person is a lawyer, then become like extremely polite and follow all the rules they have follow. So if that happened to me, that might happen to other people, any random person on the street. 


Jonathan Bench  39:55   

It’s been really great to have you on the podcast today. Great to enjoy your insight. Your experience and certainly your wealth of knowledge. We always like to end our podcast with recommendations from you and from Fred and me. So like to start with you, do you have anything that you recommend for the audience to listen to? Or watch? 


Zoe Lee  40:15   

I want to recommend a podcast called the Taiwan take it’s in English is any of our your audience interested in Taiwan’s politics cultures or other basically what happened here? That’s a good show. And also to Netflix documentary. One is, the Grass is Greener at I believe the director or producers is Snoop Dogg is talking about cannabis, how it become illegal and become legal, sort of in US. The other one is Have a Good Trip, adventure, on psychedelics, also a Netflix show talking about psychedelics, those are good. But it’d be better like when you watch it, not sober. 


Jonathan Bench  41:07   

And of course, we want to mention your podcast as well, which is in Chinese,  Fun, right? So how you pronounce it? Correct? Correct how you pronounce it perfectly. So that’ll be that’ll be fun for any. And we’ll make sure that we, if you’re, if you’re listening to this, and you want to know how to find it, we’ll make sure we have the link for you, in the blog post that accompanies this. Fred, what do you have for us, 


Fred Rocafort  41:32   

I would like to recommend the movie called The endless trench. It’s a Spanish movie available on Netflix and essentially tells the story of a man who, during the Spanish Civil War, hid in a small enclosure that he had prepared in his home for that eventuality, and ended up staying in there for something like three decades, I mean, he actually moved to a slightly bigger space and the end of movie, but still ended up spending all of those years in hiding. And I think the most interesting part of the of the story is the fact that this is based on real life events, not not one person in particular. But there were actually many instances of people in Spain who went into hiding during the Civil War. And when their side lost the war found themselves stuck, right. I mean, they weren’t counting on victory for the Republican side. So even though this story itself is fictional, it is to some degree based on stories that happened in real life where people spent up to three decades or more even more in hiding and had to, you know, watch us as life went on. So I thought it was well done. Once again, the endless trench available on Netflix. And, Jonathan what about you? 


Jonathan Bench  43:00   

 This week, I’m recommending foreign policies South Asia brief, and I’ve recommended their China brief. They have several of these, they have one for Africa as well. This today, I’m talking about South Asia brief because it focuses on India and its immediate neighbors. And as they like to say that this part of the world is comprised of one quarter of the world’s population. So a lot of things going on India, Pakistan, Nepal, and of course, others that I’m forgetting, but the and Madeline cut that out, so I don’t sound so stupid. Okay. But I love this, because it comes out once a week. And it’s a good summation of things that I would not otherwise pick up in the mainstream media. I would probably have to follow Twitter compulsively to be able to pick up on some of these stories. And it’s a great insight. Great wrap up for the region’s certainly China gets a lot of a lot of press. and South Asia is what we think of the up and coming area that that will not if not displace China at least, continue to emerge as a an important geopolitical and business area of the world. So highly recommend that foreign policies South Asia brief. With that Zoe we’d love to thank you again for spending time with us. We appreciate you you getting up early and we’re staying up late and we’re glad that we can make this work. Thanks for being on the show with us today.  


Zoe Lee  44:25   

Thank you for having me today.  


Jonathan Bench  44:29   

Global law and business is a production of Harris Bricken. The team includes Madeline Williams and Michaela Moore. The music is composed by Steven Schmidt. If you like the show, subscribe on iTunes and leave us a review there. We’d like to hear what you think of the show and it helps new listeners find us. Tune in next week for another episode. We’ll see you then. 


Transcribed by