07/26/18 Irv Rosenfeld

Irv Rosenfeld, a Florida stockbroker receives 300 pre rolled cannabis cigarettes every 28 days from NIDA, Kory Watkins a Texas activist seeks to Free The Weed!

Program: 
Cultural Baggage Radio Show
Date: 
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Guest: 
Irv Rosenfeld
Kory Watkins
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CULTURAL BAGGAGE

JULY 26, 2018

TRANSCRIPT

DEAN BECKER: I am Dean Becker, your host. Our goal for this program is to expose the fraud, misdirection, and the liars whose support for drug war empowers our terrorist enemies, enriches barbarous cartels, and gives reason for existence to tens of thousands of violent US gangs who profit by selling contaminated drugs to our children. This is Cultural Baggage.

Today we've got just a couple or three segments, one about a man who gets his weed from the federal government, shipped to him on a daily basis [sic: it's a monthly shipment], the other about a man in Texas that's trying to make it possible for medical patients to access medical cannabis, and a quote from a gentleman who sounds a lot like me when he talks about the insanity of this drug war. Hell, let's begin.

I'm glad to have you with me. I -- look, man, I don't know how to say this, you're like rare as hen's teeth. I don't know. You know that, and I really want to share your -- a little bit of your life history, kind of introduce yourself to a new audience, all right?

IRV ROSENFELD: All right.

DEAN BECKER: Okeh.

IRV ROSENFELD: I'm fine.

DEAN BECKER: Okeh.

IRV ROSENFELD: I'm actually outside in the alcove of my office, taking my medicine right now.

DEAN BECKER: Well, and that's good. And, we're just going to pick up from there. This is Mister --

IRV ROSENFELD: Okeh.

DEAN BECKER: -- Mister Irv Rosenfeld, he is a stockbroker down there in Florida, and he's a rather unique individual, rare as hen's teeth, as I said, and, Irv, there's only one or two others that are receiving government supplied marijuana?

IRV ROSENFELD: One other. Elvy.

DEAN BECKER: Elvy.

IRV ROSENFELD: Elvy. Yes.

DEAN BECKER: And, let's talk about, how it is that you receive 300 pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes every 28 days from the US government. How did that begin, sir?

IRV ROSENFELD: It began in 1982, but I started taking them from the federal government in 1973. They had a program that was set up again in 19 actually 77, Robert Randall, the first patient. I had to take on the government for them, as far as supplying marijuana to me through the federal government, from the farm in Mississippi.

And when Bob won in '76, in '77, again, he helped me transform my project as far as an experimental project to a compassionate investigational new drug project. And, I lobbied the government with the help of the University of Virginia Law School and the state of Virginia, and I finally won in '82.

So, I've been getting, you know, marijuana from the federal government since November of '82, and George Bush Senior shut the program down that I'm under. 1992, I believe it was. Anyway, the point was, there were 13 of us that were grandfathered in under the federal law. And today, there are only two of us left under the program. That's myself and Elvy Musikka, who lives in Oregon, and so we're the only two people under the program, because once they shut the program down, nobody could get it under the federal program. That's when we decided that we could use state laws.

So, we fought to have states, you know, pass laws to allow patients to become patients under the program, under the states, which the federal law could not allow it any more. And here we are today in, you know, 2018, and we've got 30 states that have passed laws, so, you know, Bob and I did a good thing. We helped a lot of patients, and that's what our point was.

But, you know, we still haven't won yet. We need it nationwide. And that's what we've been fighting for.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah, and, exactly right. You know, the -- I don't know, the changing of the guard or the changing of perspectives. Back when, you know, you were doing your battles there in the early '80s, there were very few politicians that would agree with your need for medical cannabis, unwilling to speak, unwilling to stand with you in that regard, but nowadays, as you said, 30 states have medical cannabis laws.

And even in the other 20 states that don't have them yet, there are politicians willing to stand for it, and proclaim the need. You guys have really swung the cat, so to speak, created an impetus around the country.

IRV ROSENFELD: Well, that was what we decided to do, Bob and I, in 1982, when we were the only two federal patients, that we were going to fix the entire country and the world, that matter about benefits.

So, here we are, all these years later, and we've done a good job. But, with people like you and other people trying to get the word out and getting politicians, people on our side, it's been very beneficial.

So, we continue to do these things because it hasn't happened for everybody. There are still people in the United States that are being arrested, every day, for possession of marijuana, and put in jail. I mean, can you -- I mean, that's ridiculous. For a plant?

DEAN BECKER: Right.

IRV ROSENFELD: They're being put in jail? They're being put in jail? You know. It's a waste of taxpayer's money, and I'm a stockbroker, okeh? I believe in economics, you know, I believe in, you know, free trade, and I also believe that I don't want my tax money going to pay for people in jail for a nonviolent crime.

And so, A, we've got to stop that, we've got to stop all the states from arresting people for possession of marijuana. It's ridiculous.

DEAN BECKER: Well --

IRV ROSENFELD: And, we've got to pass laws and make people realize that this is medicine, and it's what people need. And that's the bottom line.

DEAN BECKER: Well, and you mentioned, you're a stockbroker. You know, I was an accountant, a project analyst for major oil companies here in the US. I was entrusted with monitoring millions of dollars, in some cases over a hundred million dollars a year in expenditures by these same companies, and I was highly valued, you know, I had teams of CPAs working for me, and I was a pot smoker. And I was trusted and I did a hell of a job, and I was respected within the industry, and the same holds true for you.

Cannabis does not deny, or, you know, keep you from reaching your potential, mentally, physically, it helps in many regards, does it not?

IRV ROSENFELD: It does. Again, mine's a prescription. Every other state's a recommendation. The point is, let's say you have a situation that you get a prescription for, be it percocet or whatever. What's going to be on the label? Don't operate dangerous machinery until you know how it affects you.

But the point is, you're still getting it. Okeh? It's still your job, and this prescription, just because you're using something for a medical disorder doesn't mean that you can't work, or you can't do your job, and that's the same with cannabis. And that's what people have to realize, that it's not the hysteria that people make it out to be. You can still utilize this medicine, as a medicine, and still do a productive life. I mean, that's what we've done, that's what you did, that's the whole point. You know?

DEAN BECKER: Once again, we're speaking with Mister Irvin Rosenfeld, a stockbroker down there in Florida. You know, Irv, in Canada, in every state, the law enforcement is always looking for the way to discern if somebody is driving high on marijuana. They don't seem to be able to make that determination without some sort of a physical or scientific test.

And, my theory is that if you can't tell, then what are you really worried about? If a person can, you know, count, or talk normally, or do the things, you know, a drunk driver's supposed to do, what is the concern? Your thought there, Irv.

IRV ROSENFELD: Well, I've always, every couple of, you know, forum that I've done, I've always said the federal government, my protocol says I can operate dangerous machinery as long as I'm not intoxicated. I get no high on cannabis. I never have. Therefore, I'm allowed to drive with it. That's what my protocol says.

And when I get pulled over, which has happened, you know, over the years, you know, I explain to them, they do -- they check me out on Google. They come back and say you can't drive with this. I point them out that yes, I can, and I show them my protocol. And I go, am I intoxicated to you? And they go no. That's the point which I'm trying to make, that a lot of patients don't get intoxicated, because the medicine goes to their medical problems.

So therefore, what we need to do is to be able to say that, for each, you know, officer, make the decision yourself. If they're intoxicated, then make that decision. But just because somebody's smoking cannabis, that doesn't mean they're intoxicated.

I mean, what I try to point is, a lot of politicians, all over the country, that I've, you know, represent -- I've gone to fifty states and testified, a lot of them try to compare marijuana to alcohol. And if that's the case, let's just say they were very similar. Today is Wednesday, okeh? Tonight, I'm going to have three drinks. So I have three drinks tonight. Now, a week from Saturday, meaning 10 days from now, some happening -- something, I happen to be driving, and they do take my blood.

If it was like marijuana, then, ten days ago when I had three drinks, the alcohol would still be in my system, so I'd be legally drunk per blood. Well, that's not true, everybody knows, if you had drinks ten days ago, you're not drunk today. But, if it's like marijuana and stays in your system, then legally you are drunk. That's the problem, meaning just because it's in your blood system does not mean you're intoxicated.

And that's what we need to understand to politicians, and make legislators realize that, just because it's in your system does not mean you're impaired. It has to be decided at the time by the police department, and that's really what I want to see happen.

DEAN BECKER: Now, I think many folks around the country are aware, they've been told, some of the initial history, the reefer madness, the way all of this hysteria came about, you know, 90 or a hundred years ago, and they're starting to realize that none of that is really true. None of it is as was once reported.

But it's so hard to undo sometimes. It's like a belief system that was just ingrained in people's brains when they were younger, and it's hard for politicians to back down, and I use the phrase that, you know, because of prohibition you don't know what's in that bag, and because of prohibition, these people don't know the truth of the matter, at all, they just believe because their daddy believed. Your response there, Irv.

IRV ROSENFELD: My response is this: in 1919, alcohol was made illegal. Now, let's just say you were a thirty year old person in 1919. For thirty years, alcohol was legal. Now it's illegal, all of a sudden today. Thirteen years later, it becomes legal again. So now you are 43. Now, for the first thirty years of your life, you remember when alcohol was legal, and now it's legal again. You're 43 years old.

That's one way to look at it, but the point is, with cannabis, it was made illegal in 1937. There is nobody alive today that remembers when marijuana was legal. So it's -- it's hysteria, it's what people are raised to believe, that, you know, it's harmful, it's bad for you, it's this that and the other. It's not true.

And, you know, when they compare it to alcohol, you had thirteen years where it wasn't legal. We've had 77 years or whatever years, however many years, that it's been illegal. There's nobody alive that remembers that. So therefore we've got to re-educate the entire country about the hysteria that the government's been saying how detrimental it is.

Again, I don't want people drive, you know, under the auspice of cannabis, but the point is, it's a medicine. Okeh? Like any other medicine, when I pick up a prescription it says do not operate dangerous machinery until you understand how it affects you, and that's the same with cannabis.

So therefore, just because it's in your system, if I take a percocet, if I take a morphine pill, whatever, it's in my system. If I get pulled over, even though I'm not intoxicated, and they do a blood test, it's going to be in my system. It's allowed, it's a prescription. The same thing with cannabis, even though it's not a prescription, only Elvy and I have prescriptions, and all these 30 states it's a recommendation.

So it's in your system and people have to realize that, again, don't drive intoxicated. We don't want them to. But god forbid they do, and you know, it's in their blood and they're fine and god forbid something happens where -- you're at a stoplight and somebody runs into the back of you. Oh my god. Okeh? You're at a stop light, and they run into the back of you, and now, they want to do a blood test on you. And you show cannabis in your system.

Were you intoxicated, sitting at a red light? That's what the blood test shows. Is that real, is that true? No. You weren't intoxicated. You were driving correctly, you were at a red light, yet somebody ran into the back of you so now you're a moron by it, because somebody else. So that's what we've got to make sure people realize, and states and the government realizes, that just because it's in your system doesn't mean you're intoxicated. That's simple.

DEAN BECKER: Right. Now, Irv, as we indicated earlier, you are a stockbroker. You're also an author. Tell folks a little bit about your book, because it's, I think, very educational.

IRV ROSENFELD: Well, my book is very educational. Again, it's called My Medicine, the book, you know, My Medicine: How I Convinced The US Government To Supply My Marijuana And Helped Launch A National Movement. So, the point was that ten years ago, you know, I was getting older, I'm 65, I was 55 at that point, and so I wanted to write a book to let people know about things that happened, how we got to where we are today. And that book is still very true.

How did we get to where all these states have passed laws to allow patients to utilize medical cannabis? My book, My Medicine, and you can get it at MyMedicineTheBook.com, which is on google -- on Kindle, and also you can order it at MyMedicineTheBook.com, gives you the entire history of the medical marijuana movement in this country as seen through my eyes. Plus my history.

So the point is, one person can make a difference. That's the whole point, that's what I did. I took on the United States federal government starting in 1973, when I was 20 years old. Now, people listening to you, what did they do when they were 20 years old? Well, this is what I did, I took on the United States federal government. Not many people in this country can say they took on the United States federal government and won. I did. I started in 1973 when I was 20 years old.

I won in 1982. I became the second patient in the country to get medical cannabis by prescription. So the point is, anybody can make a difference, but the whole idea is, if you believe in something, you've got to follow through. You've got to do what you believe's the right way to do it, and do it the right way. Do not break the law. Never break the law, never get arrested for this. Okeh? I don't believe in that.

But the point is, stand up for your rights, if you truly believe in something, then that's what civil disobedience is about. I mean, I grew up in Vietnam and everything else, and, you know, civil disobedience is very important. Okeh? But you never cross the line, you never put yourself to where you get arrested by the authorities, by the, you know, people that are in charge.

No. Change the law, and that's what I've done. So, my book, My Medicine, you know, it's very important to that step.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah.

IRV ROSENFELD: So, I appreciate you pointing that out, you know, I really do, because it's very important. But, you know, it's not only just for medical marijuana, but it's also for patients who are parents, especially, of a child who has a disability. That's a problem. What do you do with that child? Well, this is my book and saying that you know, what you do with that child is, that child's got to be informed about the disability, and no matter what you do, you don't say to a three, four, five year old, this is what we're going to do.

No. I don't care. You want to say to that three, four, five year old, this is what we want to do, how do you feel about that? You include them in what you're going to do, and that's what I was able to do, and that's important.

DEAN BECKER: It is indeed.

IRV ROSENFELD: Because the book, the book is, you know, just not about medical marijuana but also about, you know, teaching parents to deal with kids who have these disorders that you have no choice about, and you deal with it.

DEAN BECKER: You know, we've been speaking with Mister Irv Rosenfeld, he's a stockbroker down there in Florida, and you may have heard in the background kind of little cooking, scratching sounds. There again, I think, what he's doing is lighting his pre-rolled marijuana cigarette provided by the federal government, approved by the DEA, the FDA, and ONDCP and every damn governmental authority there is. Am I right there, Irv?

IRV ROSENFELD: Yes, and NIDA, that's actually the National Institute on Drug Abuse, that's the government agency that grows it and ships it. Yes.

DEAN BECKER: Well, Irv --

IRV ROSENFELD: I'm not breaking any federal law, and federal law supersedes any state law, so therefore, I'm not worried about Johnny Law coming in and arresting me, you know, for doing something, you know, that supposedly other people were breaking the law, and that's the sad part, is, I can legally light up, and somebody, probably right now, in this country, is being arrested for marijuana. It's so sad. It's just so sad.

DEAN BECKER: It's every something or another second, so it's pretty often.

IRV ROSENFELD: Exactly. Exactly. It's just so sad. You know? It's just --

DEAN BECKER: And one other thing to keep in mind, folks. He is a successful stockbroker who's out on his lunch break, I think, at this point, with the approval, the knowledge, of his employer --

IRV ROSENFELD: Yes.

DEAN BECKER: Who sees him as a good worthy -- a good worker, worthy of keeping on the payroll, and does not mind whatsoever that you have this use of medical cannabis. Right, Irv?

IRV ROSENFELD: Correct. Correct. My firm has no problems with it, and I appreciate that, you know. And again, I always joke, you know, when media ask me, you know, how do your employees feel about you, you know, other employees in the office, and I always joke, you know, I'm the most hated person in the office. And they go, why is that? And I go, because I won't share.

DEAN BECKER: All right.

IRV ROSENFELD: That's a funny thing.

DEAN BECKER: Well, Irv, thank you again for your time, and on your lunch hour there, and is there a website, a final thought you'd like to share?

IRV ROSENFELD: Yes. Go to two different websites. One is www.MyMedicineConsulting.com. MyMedicineConsulting.com, that's where my -- Heidi and I have a website, and she does, again, helping different patients with different diseases, not only with cannabis, but with essential oils and terpenes. She's an expert on that, and she's helping a lot of patients, again, with the combinations for different disorders.

And again, where my book is, MyMedicineTheBook.com, that's where you can order my book, MyMedicineTheBook.com. I'll give you signed copies, and the whole point is to further your education and Dean, I appreciate everything you do.

DEAN BECKER: Well, right back at you, Irv. I hope to see you soon.

IRV ROSENFELD: All right. Same here.

DEAN BECKER: All right. Bye bye.

IRV ROSENFELD: Take care. Bye.

COMMERCIAL VOICEOVER: When taking Belsomra, don't drive or operate heavy machinery until you feel fully awake. Walking, eating, driving, or engaging in other activities while asleep, without remembering it the next day, have been reported.

Belsomra should not be taken together with alcohol. Abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, confusion, agitation, or hallucinations. The temporary inability to move while falling asleep or waking up, and temporary leg weakness have also been reported. In depressed patients, worsening depression including risk of suicide may occur. Alcohol may increase these risks. Side effects include next day drowsiness.

DEAN BECKER: You know, I've been busy here in Texas for 20 years trying to, I don't know, rattle the cage, try to get the attention of our legislators, trying to change the god damn drug laws, and I've got some good competition apparently, there's a gentleman who's putting up some huge signs along the highways, basically saying Free The Weed In Texas. I want to first off give him a salute and a pat on the back and my thanks. I want to welcome Mister Kory Watkins to the program. Hello, Kory.

KORY WATKINS: Hey buddy, how's it going?

DEAN BECKER: I'm real good. Kory, how long have you been up to this, to these tactics?

KORY WATKINS: Well, we started this movement, I guess, it was just an idea, in my living room back in December of 2017, and then just, you know, when the new year hit here, in 2018, we kind of got everything rolling, and the first event occurred in February, at the beginning of February, and now we're up to almost a hundred events, and it's July, so we're doing really good.

DEAN BECKER: Well, I would say yeah, you're getting a lot of folks' attention, getting a lot of followers, supporters, folks that march with you. You do these open carries, here in Texas. Tell us about that, please.

KORY WATKINS: Yeah, so, you know, the idea obviously branched from activism that really worked through the open carry of gun movement, you know, just getting out in the streets, getting attention, and educating people was the main part, educating people about the laws and how we can change it, and the ways to go about doing so.

So, you know, we kind of implemented that same thing with the cannabis movement, get out in the streets, and it's not like we are openly carrying cannabis, what we're openly carrying is our love and our passion for this wonderful plant that is cannabis.

We have signs, we have flags, more importantly we have informational stuff that we give them, our flyer, to get them into connection with us, get them to follow us on facebook, twitter, instagram, get them to go to our website and sign up on our sign up sheets, and we get a database of people and we put it on our spreadsheets and now we have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of contacts directly by our hand. We don't have to rely on facebook's algorithm system.

And so we're just building our network and our base of people like that. Getting out on the streets and getting our message heard by creating action, and doing it consistently. It's not like we have gone out once or twice a year, I mean, we're doing this repeatedly, all the time. So that's what we want.

DEAN BECKER: Well, and I think one of the benefits of that is that law enforcement and prosecutors hear that, hear about it, they may not be there, may not see it, but they begin to recognize that there's a concerted ongoing effort, maybe it will give them reason to re-examine what in the hell they're up to. What do you think of that thought?

KORY WATKINS: Yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, the data, the stats, the facts, the information is all out there. It's not like anything is brand new and we need to figure out any more research about this plant, or the how the war on drugs is backwards as hell, and is causing many problems. We don't -- we know all that. It's blatant now.

These lawmakers are blatantly keeping us from more freedom, and resolving these -- these issues, and so I think -- I think the more and more we get out in the streets and we show that this is a bad stigma, that is on this plant, we can start changing the way people think and we can get them to understand the process and change the law.

DEAN BECKER: Exactly. You know, I've got a buddy, lives up in Oregon, I won't mention his name or his town, but, the fact of the matter is that he right now is working on his twenty acre cannabis garden.

KORY WATKINS: That's awesome.

DEAN BECKER: And, you're right, and you know, he says they're right at four and a half, five feet now, starting to flower, starting to bud out, if you will, and I guess what I'm leading to here, Kory, is that, you know, given the opportunity, I'd love to have, you know, some acres down here in Texas, but if I were to do what for him is very legal, very profitable, here in our state, I'd be facing ten, twenty years behind bars. It just doesn't seem like equality here in America. Your thought there, Kory Watkins.

KORY WATKINS: Yeah. Yes, definitely, we're very far behind here in Texas. I mean, literally people are still being locked in a cage for thirty days for a joint. I mean, this is ridiculous. I mean, we're in 2018 now, and we're way past time for -- for, like, I said, to wait for the data and the stats and the facts and the research, it's all out there. It's all out there.

This is blatantly being kept from us, from lawmakers and greedy people who want to fatten their pockets. It's disgusting, and people are tired of it here in Texas, and that's why people are taking to the streets, and coming out and saying enough is enough. And so, I'm excited for 2019. These lawmakers are going to be feeling a bunch of pressure here in Texas when it comes to cannabis freedom.

DEAN BECKER: Exactly, and I think the few main stumbling blocks we have are Governor Abbot and Lieutenant Governor what's his face, I don't even want to say it.

KORY WATKINS: Dan Patrick, yeah.

DEAN BECKER: They -- they need a kick in the butt, they need their glasses adjusted. They need to see what in the hell is going on. Closing thoughts, Kory Watkins.

KORY WATKINS: I would hope that more people would join our cause. They can check us out at 420opencarry.com, and we're growing the facebook page, Cannabis Open Carry Walks. I just got off the phone with a new person in Wichita Falls that's going to start doing walks there. Earlier, you know, I was on the phone with other organizers from other areas, so if people want to help and get involved, it's up to the people, you, whoever that may be, to get up and to do something about it. Don't wait on somebody else. You have the power to do it, so get up and do it and help us out.

You know, there's people leaving the state, and that we call them medical refugees. They're leaving to Colorado for health and stuff. We need to make sure that they can get that relief here, and bring people like Alexis Bortell home, and keep freeing the -- you know, keep getting out in the streets and spreading the word and the message, so, I appreciate this audience that you've allowed me to express this idea to, and I hope everybody just gets involved in the cause, no -- however they see fit.

DEAN BECKER: US Senator Bernie Sanders.

SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: Right now, marijuana is listed by the federal government as a schedule one drug, meaning that it is considered to be as dangerous as heroin. That is absurd. In my view, the time is long overdue for us to remove the federal prohibition on marijuana.

DEAN BECKER: The quote I promised you from the Orange County Register by Sal Rodriguez. Quote, "While even many supporters of marijuana legalization are likely to align with drug prohibitionists when it comes to heroin and cocaine, it's important to realize that many of the same reasons that justify marijuana legalization apply to the so-called harder drugs as well.

"First of course is the matter of personal freedom. What someone puts in their own body is of no business to the government, so long as they do not harm anyone else. Just as prohibition failed to stop people from using or selling marijuana, it has also failed to stop the use and sale of cocaine and heroin.

"The result has been an amplification of all the problems there would be with drugs, if they were legal, plus a whole host of negative, unintended consequences." End quote.

And in closing, once again I remind you, because of prohibition you don't know what's in that bag. Please, be careful.

To the Drug Truth Network listeners around the world, this is Dean Becker for Cultural Baggage and the unvarnished truth. Cultural Baggage is a production of the Pacifica Radio Network. Archives are permanently stored at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. And we are all still tap dancing on the edge of an abyss.