07/22/12 Steve DeAngelo

Cultural Baggage Radio Show

Steve DeAngelo, Pres of Harborside Health Center re forthcoming protests re Obama Admin stance on Med MJ, Clip from Obama, MJ Borden on drug control models, KGW TV Oregon re vote on legal MJ

Audio file


Cultural Baggage / July 22, 2012


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!”

DEAN BECKER: 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: Hello, my friends. Welcome to this edition of Cultural Baggage. We hope to have our guest here shortly, Steve DeAngelo, president of the Harborside Health Center. They are based in Oakland and they have a site in San Jose, California. They’ve been warned by the U.S. Attorney to close down. Hope to have that discussion here in a little bit.

In the meantime we’re going to play this track. I think it’s important - kind of ties in with what we’ll be talking about. We’ll back shortly I hope with Steve DeAngelo.

The following segment courtesy of KGVW TV, Portland.

REPORTER: Oregon voters now have a chance to make marijuana legal to everyone over 21. Last Friday the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act got enough signatures to make the November ballot. News Channel 8’s Wayne Haverly has been talking to people on this subject of all the controversial issue and he joins us live with more from both sides. Hi Wayne.

WAYNE HAVERLY: Hey Abby. Supporters say that the state’s struggling general fund would get a massive boost by selling marijuana in state-licensed stores. However opponents say all that money is still not going to offset the health risks.

Oregon just jumped to the front of the line in an effort to decriminalize and tax marijuana and hemp.

PROPONENT: This is an industry that’s already booming. It’s already Oregon’s biggest cash crop - 200 million dollars a year is the estimate.

WAYNE HAVERLY: That number would likely go even higher if voters pass the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act. By selling marijuana at state-licensed stores it’s estimated that over 140 million dollars a year would go to the state’s general fund. Just like alcohol and gambling, 7% of the revenue would go to drug treatment programs.

ANDY MENDENHALL: The concept of additional revenues coming to help support treatment agencies is an interesting concept. The question will be will it be enough.

WAYNE HAVERLY: Dr. Andy Mendenhall treats drug addicts and says European studies show a link between marijuana use and depression.

ANDY MENDENHALL: What’s concerning is the fact that we know in young adults that marijuana does become a gateway drug.

WAYNE HAVERLY: Voters have strong opinions on the initiative.

FEMALE: I think that would not be a good thing.

MALE: Personally I don’t use it but I think it’s a great idea. It’s so easy to get it already you might as well legalize it and make money off of it. It’s good for everyone.

WAYNE HAVERLY: The legislation also legalizes hemp – a strain of cannabis already used by Oregon companies to make products like milk, clothing and even biofuels. But right now hemp seeds can only be purchased from other countries.

MALE: It just doesn’t make fiscal sense to spend money fighting something when you could be making money regulating something.

WAYNE HAVERLY: Now Oregon joins Washington and Colorado. All three states have similar initiatives to legalize marijuana. In a recent Gallop Poll it really shows that attitudes on this issue seem to be changing. According to that poll more than 50% of Americans now support legalizing marijuana. Abby.

REPORTER: Interesting Wayne. Thank you.


BARACK OBAMA: I think it is entirely legitimate to have a conversation about whether the laws in place are ones that are doing more harm than good in certain places.

I personally and my administration’s position is that legalization is not the answer. In fact if you think about how it would end up operating, the capacity of a large-scale drug trade to dominate certain countries if they were allowed to operate legally without any constraint could be just as corrupting if not more corrupting than the status quo.


DEAN BECKER: We are trying to reach Steve. As you can imagine, with the events scheduled for tomorrow, he is quite busy. The fact of the matter is we hope to have him on air here very soon.

Now as we were talking about there we heard from Obama talking about his stance in regards to cannabis and he says, you know, it’s time to discuss it but they’re not for legalization and the fact of the matter is we have some disparity between Obama, between the Attorney General and between certain of the U.S. Attorneys.

I’m told we do have Steve DeAngelo on line 1. Steve, are you there?

STEVE DeANGELO: I am here, Dean, yes.

DEAN BECKER: Yes, sir. You are busy at this point, aren’t you?

STEVE DeANGELO: I am. We are getting ready for a big demonstration on Monday. President Obama is coming to town and hundreds if not thousands of medical cannabis patients are going to be in the streets to greet him and let him know that it’s time for him to keep his promise that he made to our community when he ran for president. It’s time for him to speak to the Attorney General and make sure that all of the U.S. Attorneys in the United States, including Melinda Haag, are acting in compliance with administration policy as articulated by the Attorney General in sworn testimony before the U.S. congress just a few weeks ago when he said that the department of justice would only be targeting organizations that were out of compliance with state law.

Everybody knows that Harborside is in complete and total compliance with California state law. So it’s really time for the President to keep his promise, to step up and make sure that the U.S. Attorneys are faithfully executing administration policy.

DEAN BECKER: Which brings to mind a couple questions. First off, I want to state that I have had the privilege of touring the Harborside Oaksterdam site. Was one of the first ones in there with a video camera with your good graces and the fact of the matter is I saw from intake to outgo how this is handled, the security involved , the procedures necessary to control all of this and your local governments have no qualms with what you guys are doing, do they?

STEVE DeANGELO: No, none whatsoever. In fact our city attorney, Barbara Parker, released a statement calling the actions on the part of the U.S. Attorney a tragedy. Also we’ve got statements of support from our Council Person-at-large, Rebecca Kaplin. We’ve got statements of support from our congresswoman, Barbara Lee. We’ve got statements of support from our State Taxation Commissioner, Betty Yee.

So we’ve seen a huge outpouring of support. Also just a couple weeks ago Nancy Pelosi, former Speaker of the House, issued a statement calling on the federal government to cease this campaign against medical cannabis patients. So we have a huge amount of political support at the local, state and national levels.

DEAN BECKER: Steve, there’s much I want to talk with you about but there’s something I want to share with the listeners. A week or so ago you guys had a press conference and there was a father of a young patient who benefits from Harborside and I want to share that with the audience. I’ve edited it down to about 3:20 here but I want the audience to hear why you do what you do.


FATHER: This is coming from a father who loves his son. I don’t know how else to tell you this but this is what saved my son’s life. My son had a seizure every single day for the last four and one-half years of his life.

The first he had medical cannabis was the first time he went without a seizure in his life. Can you imagine your kids having seizures every single day, being in pain 12 to 14 hours a day, crying, screaming?

My son’s tried 12 different medications from around the world – 2 that weren’t FDA approved and they didn’t work. They just caused him more problems. My son’s taken 25,000 pills and he’s 5-years-old. That’s ridiculous.

Seeing my son suffer like this and not to get to enjoy life. I’ve been to birthday parties and seen my son not have fun while other kids are having fun – I’m running to ambulance or calling 911, seeing my son suffer.

Well things have changed since I started using medical cannabis. I got him from 22 pills a day to 4 right now. He’s functioning better. I have documentation. I have video evidence of him changing as a human being. His eye contact is getting better. I get emails from his teachers telling me how good he’s doing and that they’re seeing a difference comprehending.

I wish my son could say I love you. That’s my true goal. But right now I’m happy with him when he looks in my eyes and I tell him, “Give me a kiss.” He can give me a kiss now. Can you imagine your kid not giving you a kiss?!

I’ve been blessed. God has shown me the way. This is a plant. It even says in the bible and I am a Christian Genesis 1:29 and 1:30, “Use my plant, use my seed.” And it’s been working fantastically for my son. It has changed his life.

From being in an ambulance 45 times he hasn’t been in an ambulance since I started CBD. Last April and May I was losing it myself. I didn’t know how I could see my son suffer like that every day. Thank God for bringing cannabis to save my son.

Please…When this happened …Have some compassion. Don’t let me lose my son, Please. Obama, Mitt Romney…wherever you guys are out there we need your help. I love my son.

I just got a couple more things to say. I’ve been to 50 different dispensaries all over California looking for help for my son. The only person that knew what they were talking about, that knows the different things to test and percentages and it’s all about the science and to save my son’s life.

We’ve done a lot of trial and errors to figure out what is helping him out. There’s other children that are on it. I get emails from across the world. I’ve gotten emails from Australia, Israel, Japan – every country you can think of asking for hope, for help because they’re suffering.

Seeing your kid suffer every single day is the worst thing in your life. There’s nothing worse than that. I wish I could take away the pain. At least I’m taking away some of it. My son’s happy now because he gets to swim. He used to look at a swimming pool and have a seizure. Now he can swim for 2 hours. What a difference in life.

Not just that – the whole family feels better. We do have hope. Before no one had hope and now other parents are getting on it and all their kids are doing better.

With Harborside not just are they compassionate, they know what they are talking about. This is a real medical marijuana facility.


DEAN BECKER: Alright, friends, once again, you are listening to Cultural Baggage on Pacifica and the Drug Truth Network. We are speaking with Mr. Steve DeAngelo, the president of Harborside Health Center.

Steve, this father just spoke some very magnificent truths, did he not?

STEVE DeANGELO: He sure did. When I hear about how much better Jayden is doing since we hooked him up with some CBD-rich tincture I feel like if there’s not any other one thing that we’ve done in the whole six years that Harborside’s been open other than to help give this little boy and his family higher quality of life than everything, everything will have been worth it no matter what happens to us in this confrontation with the federal government.

How can anybody not listen to that and be moved to tears.

DEAN BECKER: It brought me to tears the first time I saw it or heard it. And the fact of the matter is, Steve, I have direct contact even here in the remote Texas prairie here where there are MS patients and others that I have seen the obvious benefit that comes over them.

They lose their shakes. Their vision becomes more precise. Their speech becomes clearer and yet the federal government would deny them that medicine.

STEVE DeANGELO: And the audacity of it is that we have the U.S. Attorney getting up and saying that they’re not targeting individual medical cannabis patients which is ridiculous because we all know that it’s precisely the most vulnerable patients like Jayden David who are going to be hurt the most when places like Harborside are closed.

You know, people who aren’t in extreme need of cannabis, people who don’t have a need for specialized medications like Jayden does – it’s going to be easier for them to replace their supply of cannabis. But people like Jayden, patients who have to have laboratory-tested medicine that has a precise cannabinoid profile, that dispensed to them by people who understand what the medicine is and what its effects are going to be – it is those patients that, the most vulnerable patients who are being hurt the most by the U.S. Attorney’s actions.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah, Steve, and the fact of the matter is, you know, even for those who are not in such dire straits it is if not necessary deemed more appropriate to use a certain type of cannabis. There are I don’t know how many thousand strains, how many different variations on the chemical structure, am I right?

STEVE DeANGELO: Oh yeah. When you’re thinking about the right cannabis medicine for any individual patient you have to take into consideration a large number of factors. First the strain of cannabis. Like wine, which has different varietals, so does cannabis. It has different strains. Each strain of cannabis has a slightly different cannabinoid profile or has slightly different chemical content which gives the patients a different type of therapeutic effect.

But, on top of that, you also have to think about the method of deliver of that cannabis. So is it going to be in a tincture or a sublingual spray. Is it going to be in a capsule. Is it going to be in an ointment. All of those various different factors - the strain of cannabis, the potency of cannabis, the delivery system – all are critically important and just like we wouldn’t want to have people on the street corner distributing prescription medicines we also don’t want the people on the street corner distributing a powerful medicine like cannabis.

DEAN BECKER: Right, because like I close this program is “Because of prohibition – you don’t know what’s in that bag. Please be careful.” And that’s the horrible scenario, horrible consequence of prohibition.

Steve, the fact of the matter is across these United States we’ve got 17 medical marijuana states and Washington, D.C. Some not implemented, some working well but in process. We have polls taken across the country that show a little over 50% of Americans are now for legal cannabis and when they poll about medical marijuana the numbers are staggering – 75 and even 85% in some states. How in the heck do these U.S. Attorneys get off declaring justice towards prohibition?

STEVE DeANGELO: Well, you know, there’s clearly no rational or just basis for what the U.S. Attorneys are doing. If you take a look around what you see is it’s really the U.S. Attorneys who are still clinging to this failed war. And they are clinging to it for the most horrible of reasons.

They’re clinging to it because the War on Drugs has brought them power and it’s brought them money. It’s shifted the ability to make prosecuting decisions and sentencing decisions from the judges where it belongs into the hands of the prosecutors. They love their ability to seize people’s cars and people’s property which they then turn around and use to bribe law enforcement to execute a policy that most law enforcement officers know is completely useless and is worse than useless because it does a lot of harm.

We see elected officials all over the country springing to our defense now and stepping up and being counted. News media is overwhelmingly on our side. The American people are overwhelmingly on our side. It’s just these few prosecutors who are drunk with power and money that are driving this insane war.

DEAN BECKER: I noticed, I don’t know which channel it is, but they restocked “Weed Wars.” It was all over the channel here the last few days. I think that’s in support of you guys. What do you think?

STEVE DeANGELO: Well, yeah. We think it would have been more supportive is Discovery had renewed our show but we appreciate all the coverage that we got.

DEAN BECKER: It is interesting…local news, national news – doesn’t matter – if there’s a drug story they tell you about it up front. They hype it and then they play it last within the show to keep you around because it’s something that people are in changing and they hope there’s some good news. Seldom is these days but we’re hoping.

OK, once again, we’re speaking with Mr. Steve DeAngelo, president of Harborside Health Center.

Now, Steve, you guys…the U.S. Attorney basically said you guys are too big to be legal, right?

STEVE DeANGELO: Yeah, exactly and the complaint she delivered to us there was not any allegation of wrongdoing on our part except that we were not obeying federal law. She made no allegation that we were out of compliance with state law. She made no allegation that we were too close to a school or that we were money laundering or any other reasons that we’ve heard.

They didn’t say that we were profiteering. They didn’t say that we were engaged in any other criminal activities. The only justification that Melinda Haag gave for her action was because larger dispensaries tends to result in more medicine going into the hands of people who shouldn’t have it. That she targeted Harborside.

But, you know, the reason that we’re the largest is because we provided the highest level of care, because we’ve meticulously observed all the laws and the local regulations. We provide a standard of care that’s not obtainable elsewhere. That’s why patients from all over the state come up to Harborside.

DEAN BECKER: You were among the first, the pioneers to use scientific analysis in looking for contaminents, whatever, and to determine the THC and CBD contents and all that and make that available to your patients. It seems that the government just wouldn’t have such a grudge. But, anyway, that’s beside the point.

Now, Steve, you guys have a location in Oakland, Oaksterdam, and one in San Jose. How many people work for Harborside?

STEVE DeANGELO: Between our two locations we have about 125 employees.

DEAN BECKER: And I understand that this is not a low-paying, minimum wage job. You treat your people right, correct?

STEVE DeANGELO: Yeah we provide a dignified workplace for all our employees even our retail employees start at $15 an hour. Everybody gets health insurance. Everybody gets paid time off. Everybody has the ability to participate in our 401K program with up to 4% matching by the company. All of our employees have the ability to use our free caregiving services that are provided to all members.

So they’re really good jobs and I worry about my employees because it’s going to be very difficult for them in today’s job market to replace the job that they have at Harborside if the U.S. Attorneys are successful.

But, you know, Dean, we don’t think the U.S. Attorney is going to be successful. It’s our belief that this is a watershed moment. That this is a tipping point. That this is one of those times in history when the veil gets lifted, when the mist clears, when things become clear to an ever-increasing number of people as we approach the tipping point and that’s where we are now.

DEAN BECKER: Indeed we are. I agree with you, my friend. The fact of the matter is that the taxes you paid…it seems that the state of California and Oakland and San Jose would be missing that. How much are they going to be missing out on?

STEVE DeANGELO: Combined our tax contribution by both Harborside locations last year was well over 4 million dollars – combined local, state and national taxes.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah, and then you had the IRS chewing on your heels as well but that’s another point I will get to another time.

Steve, we got a couple minutes here and I want you to inform folks. By the way, this protest is not going to be just in Oakland it’s also going to be simultaneous in Colorado, Washington State and Oregon, correct?

STEVE DeANGELO: Correct. We have …just support is pouring in by the minute, really. I keep on learning about new actions that are going be taken in solidarity. So, yes, we are expecting to see actions of solidarity from those other medical cannabis states and possibly other places. We’re still hearing from folks who are just outraged about this from all over the country and who understand that now is the time for everybody who cares about this issue to go into high gear. It is time for us to stop this nonsense.

DEAN BECKER: Ok, now, some details – where and when will this be?

STEVE DeANGELO: Sure. So if you are going to be anywhere close to Oakland, California this Monday, July 23rd from noon until 5 we will be at the City Hall Plaza. We will be conducting a patients’ tribunal. We will be marching towards President Obama later in the day. So please come out for that.

In order to stay in touch with us you can follow me on Twitter at @SteveDeAngelo or go to our new website, http://saveharborside.org

DEAN BECKER: I thank you for taking time to be with us here on the Drug Truth Network and, by the way, friends, if you go to http://drugtruth.net I’ve got the video tour I took at Harborside right there at the top of the page. Please check it out.

Steve, one more time, share the website where folks can learn more.

STEVE DeANGELO: the website is http://saveharborside.org

DEAN BECKER: Alright, my friends, we’ve been speaking with Mr. Steve DeAngelo of Harborside Health Center. The best of luck to you, my friend. I hope to see you real soon.

STEVE DeANGELO: Thanks Dean. See you at the barricades.


(Game show music)

DEAN BECKER: It’s time to play: Name That Drug by Its Side Effects.

Loss of personal freedom, family and possessions. Ineligible for government funding, education, licensing, housing or employment. Loss of aggressive mind set in a dangerous world. This drug’s peaceful, easy feeling can be habit forming.


Time's up! The answer: Doobie, jimmy, joint, reefer, spliff, jibber, jay, biffa, jazz, blunt, steege, greener, cracker, hogger, bone, carrot, maryjane, marijuana, cannabis sativa.

Made by God. Prohibited by man.


MARY JANE BORDEN: Hello drug policy aficionados! I'm Mary Jane Borden, Editor of Drug War Facts.

The question for this week asks, What are drug control models?

The abstract of a 1996 article that appeared in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management began, "The debate over alternative regimes for currently illicit psychoactive substances focus on polar alternatives: harsh prohibition and sweeping legalization."

According to a Thomas Jefferson School of Law article, "The central principle of [U.S.] drug war strategy has been that vigorous enforcement of increasingly strict criminal laws, though expensive, is necessary to reduce drug abuse and related problems."

However, the article goes on to note, "... that the overwhelming public support for ever-more punitive drug policies during the 1980s and early 1990s has disappeared and we now see substantial majorities in favor of reform measures. ... voters have generally embraced proposals to move state and local drug policies away from the drug war strategy."

But what are these alternative proposals and strategies?

As noted by the Global Commission on Drug Policies, "There is much confusion in the literature and public debate about the terms decriminalisation, depenalisation, legalisation and regulation. Universally accepted definitions do not exist and interpretations frequently vary even within the same language."

Canadian researcher Mark Haden stated in a 2004 article in the International Journal of Drug Policy, "We need to ask new questions. The question "how do we stop drug use?" is not as useful as the question "how do we regulate the market for drugs in a way which increases social cohesion and minimises harms?"

The next few Drug War Facts segments will focus on reviewing the spectrum of options available as drug control models that will hopefully answer this question.

These Facts and others like them can be found under the new Drug Control Models subchapter of the Drug War Facts Economics Chapters at www.drugwarfacts.org.

If you have a question for which you need facts, please e-mail it to me at mjborden at drugwarfacts.org. I'll try to answer your question in an upcoming show.

So remember when you need facts about drugs and drug policy, you can get the facts at Drug War Facts.


[electric can opener sound]

Opening up a can of worms and going fishing for truth. This is the Drug Truth Network. Drugtruth.net


DEAN BECKER: This is from a recent appearance on Late Night with David Letterman featuring Roseanne Barr.


DAVID LETTERMAN: Now let me ask you about the medical marijuana.

ROSEANNE BARR: Yeah, David, you know one thing I want to say is Obama is trying to take our medical marijuana over there in California and trying to send in federal troops to get our medical marijuana and I’ll tell you this, Obama, you’ll get my joint when you pry it out of my cold dead fingers.


TOMMY CHONG: Hey this is Tommy Chong for the Cultural Baggage show telling everybody out there don’t let free speech go up in smoke, man.


DEAN BECKER: Alright, everybody gets it but I guess for a couple U.S. Attorneys. What do you think?!

Once again, I want to thank Steve DeAngelo. He is a busy man right now and I’m glad he could make it on the show with us. Be sure to stay tuned to the Century of Lies show follows next on many of the Drug Truth Network stations. We’re going to be interviewing Mrs. Jodie Emery, wife of Marc Emery – the Prince of Pot who’s now serving time in an U.S. prison but we do appreciate your support. We’ll be bringing you some good programming here in the future. You know that.

Please do your part and, as always, I remind you, like I told Steve, that because of this drug war – you don’t know what’s in that bag. Please, be careful.


DEAN BECKER: To the Drug Truth 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.

Transcript provided by: Jo-D Harrison of www.DrugSense.org