07/04/10 - Ed Rosenthal

Ed Rosenthal, the Guru of Ganja discusses his new book: Marijuna Growers Handbook + Mikki Norris, editor of West Coast Leaf & Steve Fox of Marijuana Policy Project

Program: 
Cultural Baggage Radio Show
Date: 
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Guest: 
Ed Rosenthal
Organization: 
Oaksterdam University
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Broadcasting on the Drug Truth Network, this is Cultural Baggage. It’s not only inhumane, it is really fundamentally un-American….. ‘NO MORE’ ‘DRUG WAR’ ‘NO MORE’ ‘DRUG WAR’ ‘NO MORE’ ‘DRUG WAR’ ‘NO MORE’ ‘DRUG WAR’
My Name is Dean Becker. I don’t condone or encourage the use of any drugs, legal or illegal. I report the unvarnished truth about the pharmaceutical, banking, prison and judicial nightmare that feeds on eternal drug war.
________________

DEAN BECKER: Welcome to this edition. Today we'll hear from Micky Norris, she's the editor of West Coast Leaf, we'll from Steve Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project, but first the Guru of Ganja.

DB: Today's topic of discussion is the mainstreaming of marijuana across America and with us to discuss that is the author of many books including his most recent Marijuana Growers handbook its the official course book of Oaksterdam University Mr. Ed Rosenthal.
Hello sir.

ED ROSENTHAL: Hello, I'm happy to be with you today.

DB: Ed as always you've done it again you've put together a great book, you've sent a copy of this out, I suppose, to many of the drug reformers across the country that's how I received mine, correct?

ER: That's right.

DB: Tell us what was your motivation for doing so.

ER: I wanted it to get to connoisseurs and to people who are interested in this. I felt a good way to network would be to send copies out to interested people; you were one of them.

DB: I appreciate it! It's a marvelous book over 500 pages, tells every aspect from planting, to cloning, to growing, to harvesting, to packaging etc. Ed, as you well knew I grew cannibus for about 20 years and gave up when I went into radio broadcasting, but I learned many things here that I just didn't know because I was kind of a loner doing guerilla gardening, if you will, and didn't have the chance to learn from an expert like you. I commend you for this great book.

ER: Thank you so much! I really hope that it helps alot of people to cultivate great marijuana.

DB: Ed, as you may know, we have focused on Oaksterdam University including many of the professors on our radio shows, most times we've invited Ms. Moriarty to do her discussion of cooking with cannibus. She's taught us how to do butter and tinctures and so forth, but there's a thousand and one uses for this plant is there not?

ER: Oh there are so many uses, but the main ones I'm interested in are the medical and recreational uses.

DB: Ed, as I indicated earlier, this book is one of the official course books of from Oaksterdam University gives us a summary of the kind of education folks could gleen from that facility.

ER: Well, I wanted to get beyond the usual book about cultivating marijuana that you see available today and first i thought people should learn a little bit about the plant and how the plant interacts w/humans and also how the plant functions; how the plant earns a living?? why it produces THC and then I got into the different components that make up the high and that is not only the THC the turpenes and those are the odor molecules. The THC is the engine that drives the high and the molecules are determine somewhat what road it takes whether its going to be a couch potatoe high or an introspective or more social or focused or whatever and that's based on the turpenes, the odor molecules and then I go into how to recognize those molecules in choosing varieties and then I provide a selection of different varieties that are available from different companies. Then I go into how to set up the garden since we've already covered what the plant needs I go into how to set up the garden and then once its set up how to garden and then how to harvest and then how to prepare the harvest. Times have changed different states and especially Colorado and California have taken a lead in changing the attitude of the government.

DB: Now, Ed, you're well aware of the tax and regulate initiative there in California. I think the majority of folks I've talk to have indicated their support of that, but yesterday I spoke to a cannibus distributor who was against it and he had reasons talking about it - the prior laws and all that...what's your summation, can you give us the 2 sides to that issue?

ER: I think that the distributor, I don't know what his role in the cannibus industry is, but I think he was just whining about it because it's not the perfect bill that he wanted. I think that when he actually goes into that voting booth and he looks at that lever and he says legalize it, don't legalize it; inspite of all his misgivings about the bill he has to vote yes I want it legal.

DB: Well Ed, uh...

ER: Now I've worked for 35 years in this and this is too important an issue to say, "...oh, uh, I don't know, it doesn't quite meet my standards" or something. You know, this is the first legalization bill and when this bill happens its going to be a wave that will be heard around the world; and electoral wave that's going to take state after state in the United States towards legalization and then it's going to take country after country because once California goes all those countries that have been hassled by the U.S. about their policies they're not going to take crap from the U.S. any longer over this. So, I think this is too important for people to have some sort of negativity about it because it doesn't meet their standard.

DB: Fair enough, and Ed, once again I want to get back to your book, Ed Rosenthal's Marijuana Growers handbook, I highly recommend it and I want to talk about this, you work at KPFA one of the Pacifica sister stations and you guys recently had a pledge drive there, tell us how that went and the involvement of your book.

ER: Well it was very unusual because I hadn't been on KPFA for more than a year and I was invited back and we were using my book for the pledge drive for one program and so after the first show it was on - an afternoon show - then the next day I heard from the Morning Show and the same thing happened on the Morning Show and then I had to leave the country, but they replayed those 2 interviews (from those 2 shows) many times during the pledge drive and it was a total of 430 books and that is 430 subscriptions is what I really mean to say. Because as important as the book is, your subscription to a Pacifica station is more important. But it did drive people to the telephone and so it was considered very successful.

DB: Ed, you are schedule to start a new program there on KPFA starting this fall, this winter, correct?

ER: That's right, we're working on it now, but it looks like we're going to have a new program. I had a program for a number of years, the 420 Report, and we're going to bring that back and it's going to go from monthly to weekly.

DB: Ed uh...

ER: You know, I think what this showed at KPFA, I can't speak to KPFT or the other community stations but what this said at KPFA is all these people that subscribed for this premium, or were induced to subscribe because of this premium, they were voting in a way for certain programming and this is something that, I think, alot of community radio stations have overlooked as an issue and its a very important issues to many of their listeners and in a way it was a wake up call to KPFA which hasn't had any programs on a regular basis about marijuana and so this was a wake up call. Very often the staff or management feels that they're either embarrassed by it or they don't want to be associated with it. But in this case, what is happening is that the station is following what its listeners are saying to it, "that we're interested in this subject. It's a subject very interesting to us and we want more programming about it."

DB: Indeed we do, you know, of late in the last few months NPR has at last focused on this drug war and has began issuing reports in that regard. For 8 years I tried to get them to carry the DrugTruth Network programming and they always told me I was biased and, of course apparently, they're now just as biased.

ER: No, they're biased too, you know. The thing is, the station manager (KPFA) at first he said to me, "There might be some problems getting this passed some of the staff." and I said, "You know, this is really not the staffs call on this because the members and the new members and the returning members of KPFA, they've taken a vote and its not up to the staff to decide what the listeners want. Here, the listeners have voted and so the listeners are actually leading the staff and directing them as to what kind of programming they want. It was a very direct democracy. People were voting with their subscriptions.

DB: That parallels what's happening across America where the people understand and the politicians are falling behind, correct?

ER: Dean, you and I both know what it is, and basically it's that: Marijuana is more popular than any politician, it's more popular than any administrator, than any teacher, than any so-called leader. Think about it, would you want to spend and evening with some really good pot or with some politician. Then you get the magic mirror on the wall, who's the most popular of them all, the politicians realize that pot's more popular than they are they get really angry and upset.

(chuckles)

ER: I'll give you an example of it, Obama. In the last election, you know, Obama won in Michigan, but it cost him alot of money for him to win and on the other hand, marijuana was up on the ballot and it won in every county in Michigan and then the difference is that marijuana is still popular.

DB; Well, very true! Alright friends we're speaking with Ed Rosenthal author of numerous books including his latest Marijuana Grower's Handbook, I highly recommend it. Ed, please share your website with the listener.

ER: Just go on edrosenthal.com and you'll get onto my blog spot, quick trading company has a spot and other things...can I just tell you about something I've been working on here?

DB: Please do Ed.

ER: It's a Columbia, MO SWAT team raid. Anybody who hasn't seen this raid its very important that you see it, but I do want to warn you its very graphic. What happened was once I saw this I was incensed. I wrote to the police chief and complained about it and the police chief exonerated these drunk cops or I'd like to think of them as thugs in uniform. He exonerated them and so I filed a complain with the civilian police review board and as fate would have it the only two people who filed complaints were myself and my assistant Angela Baca. Since then, alot of things have happened because what I've done is call for a psychological examination of the police to see if they should even be carrying a weapon. Because I think these people are psychotic, that's my personal opinion. The judge, I don't think he even looked or read this warrant because if he had he wouldn't have signed it and then to go to the police chief why they decided to have a SWAT team raid on a middle class family in a middle class enviornment with no indication that there should be one and when they went in why they used violence against the family and killed one of the pets and wounded another. So we're going thru this thoroughly and we're going to try to expand this because we believe this isn't the first time these police were involved in it nor the judge nor the prosecutor nor any of this corrupt police department. Instead of chasing criminals who commit violent crimes, crimes against people, crimes against property, they're going against marijuana users and get this: The people of Colombia, MO have already voted to make this the lowest priority. You would think every other crime in Colombia has been solved, but it turns out sadly, and I know that you'll find this hard to believe, all the other crimes have not been solved. You know the most dangerous thing in Colombia, MO? The police.

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SEGMENT 2

DEAN BECKER: Across America, there are still some proponents of everlasting drug war, here to talk about Jerry Brown's attempt to run for Lt. Govenor in the state of CA and his lack of understanding about marijuana is Mr. Steve Fox from the Marijuana Policy project. Steve, he's bound to end up with some egg on his face over his stance taken, is he not?

STEVE FOX: Well I think he might. Basically he's come out and said that he's oppose to the initiative and has given a couple of reason, one is about the involvement of drug cartels and the marijuana industry which we all know the way to eliminate that is by creating a regulated market. There was a twitter from someone from AP that said something like that we're not going to be able to compete with China if we're all stoned. Which is just ridiculous and insulting to the hundreds of thousands of voters who are going to come out to vote specifically for this proposition 19, the tax cannibus initiative.

DB: There is still so much ingnorance and superstition involved in the way many of these politicians present their thoughts in regard to marijuana, your response to that.

SF: Yes, you can call it ignorance, I wouldn't I'd almost call it a brainwashing but they're going to learn that the times have changed. We have all these marijuana voters we can call green voters coming out in November in CA and if Jerry Brown isn't careful then people could start putting out a slogan that says "Vote Green, Not Brown".

DB: Alright, we've been speaking with Mr. Steve Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project. Steve share your website where folks can learn more about the work you guys do.

SF: Sure! Its very simple it's: mpp.org

DEAN BECKER: Well today, we're talking about all things marijuana. We're talking about mainstream, we're talking about acceptance and we're talking about the West Coast Leaf. It's a newspaper, it's issued quarterly out there in Oaksterdam...

MICKY NORRIS: Well actually we're just north of Oaksterdam in the spirit of Oaksterdam.

DB: Well, now the bold headline at the top of the summer issue says: Its On The Ballot. ...and that's not exactly news in this particular instance its all across America, its on the ballot; let's talk about that.

MN: What's on the ballot is the initiative that will tax, control and regulate the consumption, the possession and the sales of cannibus for non medical purposes for adults 21 and older and this week we got our number for the initiative its now called Prop 19 which is very interesting because the last time we had an initiative on the ballot in 1972 in order to legalize marijuana was also Prop 19. So we're kind of revisiting that number. We're hoping that this time we'll have better luck in passing it. The last time I believe they got about 33% of the vote and this time we're hoping to wins so we'll see. The polls are very close at the moment, I give it a 50-50 chance, but the polls range anywhere from 48% in support to 56% in support. At the moment its too close to call, but its a very exciting campaign we're getting all kinds of support from interesting individuals and organizations and just this week the CA NAACP came out in support of it do to the racist implemenation of the drug laws that are disproportionately impacting and arresting and incarcerating African Americans and Latinos. So we're very excited to have their endorsement. We've got some political leaders, we've got doctors and law enforcement and people of faith groups. So we're forming different kinds of coalitions for the campaign.

DB: Alright, once again, we're speaking with Micky Norris, editor of the West Coast Leaf. Micky, some of the other banners on the front page perhaps don't get as much attention around the country. I'm looking at one here, "Cannibus has little effect on driving study shows, most drive more slowly." Let's talk about that for a second.

MN: That was done by Paulo Armantano who does alot of the research and who is the deputy director of National NORML. But he's taken a good look at a recent study that was just published in the March issue of the Journal of Psychoactive drugs which basically came to the conclusion that the effects of cannibus on driving is extremely minimal and pretty negligible; almost the same as if people had taken nothing. It seems to confirm that once again that other studies that have been done on cannibus and driving that shows that it doesn't have very much impairment and people who do feel impaired, this is one of the things about the effects of cannibus as opposed to alcohol. When people drink alcohol they're under some impression that they can get behind the wheel and drive and they're completely under the influence and drive recklessly. Whereas people who use cannibus often they feel more impaired than they actually are and if they get behind the wheel they tend to slow down and they drive more cautiously because they're overcompensating for a perception of impairment that's not even there. This study was done with people that have experience driving and I think it would probably be a little bit different in somebody who is a novice cannibus user in that they don't have experience and are not quite as comfortable. But we basically encourage people not to smoke and drive. We don't want anybody to get behind the wheel if they're impaired. I'm sure there will be new tests that are developed to judge whether someone's impaired. In fact, we don't want anyone who is driving impaired whether they're tired or stressed out or under the influence of something. Personally, I think we should hold people accountable for the way they drive rather than what they've consumed.

DB: Once again, we're speaking with Micky Norris, editor of the West Coast Leaf and the co-author of Shattered Lives - one of those books that I think was very instrumental in waking America up to the harms of drug prohibition. Micky, you're still director of Cannibus Consumers, correct?

MN: Yes, we're in the process of upgrading our website cannibusconsumer.org. In that project, we ask people to come to our website, fill out a survey and send us a photo and we're coming out of the closet online to help dispel the myths and negative stereotypes about people who use cannibus and show that we are, in fact, good, productive, contributing members of society who often win awards, who are educated, who are doers and achievers and not the losers and the negative things that the media has said about us or governments have said about us and the whole thing. What we're trying to do is put a new face on cannibus consumers and to show that indeed we are good people and we should stop wasting our resources going after and criminalizing us; we don't deserve it. We deserve equal rights just like people who use alcohol. As long as we uphold our obligations and committments in society, to our families to our community then we should have all the same rights as everybody else and that's what that's what that campaign's about.

DB: Well, Micky, I'm looking at the top of the West Coast Leaf is says free up in the corner and you sent me a batch of them to share with the folks here in Houston. If other folks around the country were interested could you help them out or is it available online?

MN: Yes, it is available online at westcoastleaf.com, but I also highly recommend people getting a subscription so they can actually have a copy in their hands and they can order that online as well at westcoastleaf.com. We have subscriptions where we'll send individual copies or 20 or 50 or 100. If they are activist groups and really want to spread the word in the news about what's going on the west coast and also across the country because we also include articles about what's going on in other places. In this issue we have an article about an attempt to get medical marijuana in Alabama. We're trying to report on that as well as some international news. Its a good resource for people and we hope they'll support the paper because through subscriptions and through advertising is how we are able to keep it free for the general public and get it out there.

DB: Well, Micky, I was looking through the ads within the West Coast Leaf and the biggest one on the back had to deal with an insurance company that is now providinig services for distributors and growers and delivery service; once again showing how mainstream, how real and viable this marijuana industry is, your closing response please.

MN: Well we're very excited about the mainstream-ization of cannibus here in CA and that ad on the back does show that legitimate businesses are getting involved with us because they believe we have a rightful place in society and the industry has grown tremendously. There are over one thousand outlets where people can go and buy cannibus over the counter right now if they have a doctor's recommendation because we are one of the 14 medical marijuana states. People can grow some themselves as well, so insurance companies are getting involved because they want to protect their consumers in the same way as everybody else is protected. We welcome this insurance company and I hope that everybody will support them because they're supporting us too. Its very exciting, we're seeing a new era in the cannibus world here in terms of being considered a much more legitimate industry and its going to grow and there's no stopping it. So people might as well legitamize it pass this inititative in November and I'm hoping people in Texas and across the country will also support this inititative, because its going to have implications not just for CA but for other states in America and as well as the world. I think that the world is ready for CA to do this and we need everybody's help to make this happen.

DB: Alright, once again, we're speaking with Micky Norris, editor of West Coast Leaf and drug reformer extraordinaire, I've got to say that and again I want to point out that this newspaper deals with not only what's going on in CA, but it talks about Washington DC, as she indicated Alabama, Colorado and all the various states. Its a means by which you can educate yourself, educate your local politicians and help bring about this change! Right Micky?

MN: Thanks Dean for this opportunity! People should come to westcoastleaf.com they should also go to taxcannibus.org if they want more information on the initiative; we're here to report and we also welcome submissions.

DB: That's about all we can squeeze in here this time, but I wanna alert you that in the coming weeks we'll have Simon Jackson author of Cannibus and Meditation: An Explorers Guide we'll also hear from Michelle Alexander author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In the Age of Colorblindness and please be sure to join us next week when we'll have with us as our guest Mr. Tom Feiling author of Cocaine Nation: How the White Trade Took Over the World. ...and as always I remind you that because of prohibition you don't know what's in that bag, please be careful.

To the DrugTruth Network listeners around the world this is Dean Becker for Cultural Baggage and the Unvarnished Truth. This show produced at the Pacifica studios of KPFT Houston.

Tap dancing on the edge of an abyss.