01/21/09 - Ed Rosenthal

Ed Rosenthal & Dale Gieringer, Co-Authors of "Medical Marijuana Handbook" + Terry Nelson of LEAP & a visit from Ray Hill of the Prison Show

Cultural Baggage Radio Show
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Ed Rosenthal


Cultural Baggage, January 21, 2009

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.
{music playing in the background}

What gives the drug war life?
Is it the cartels?
Maybe it’s the Baptists
The bankers
The gangs or the cops
Who’s in charge of it?
Which politicians?
Peasant farmers? Big pharma?
Is it the street corner vendor?
Is it you? Is it me?
It is FEAR that gives the drug war life.

All right. How afraid are you? Is the drug war gonna eat ya? Is it gonna devour your family? Your neighborhood? The nation? Yeah, it might. It just might if we just sit quietly and watch the powers that be continue down this same road, designed by the cartels, influencing the media, the politicians, the cops, the urine testers. All the folks that benefit from this drug war. They all hang together as if they have some sort of morals; as if they had some sort of new direction; as if they were legitimate founts of information.

We provide the unvarnished truth, here on the Cultural Baggage show. These politicians in positions of power are unable to recognize that they can kill Osama Bin Laden’s fattest cash cow. They can do it today. They can eviscerate these bloody and dangerous cartels and paramilitary forces south of our border, today. They can eliminate the reason most of these violent street gangs exist, here in America; and of course the reason is selling contaminated drugs to our kids, so they can buy high powered weaponry for their ongoing street ‘turf’ battles.

I think any politician, anywhere in the world can get elected by just talking about those things. Who is going to stand forth on the other side? Who is going to spring forward and say, “Wait! The cartels need our help. Wait! We can’t do that to Osama‘s cash cow. Wait! The gangs are part of the economy. Let‘s don‘t slow them down.”

No one can say that. It’s where I, the reservations I have about these politicians is, it’s like William Colby said, ’It’s possible Latin cartels control every aspect of government.’ They do it with a simple rule. The silver or the lead.

With that, I guess we’re going to see if we can’t make an outreach here in just a minute. I got a couple of guests lined up for you today. We have Mr. Ed Rosenthal, the “Guru of Ganja”. He’s co-author of a new book. Co-authored with our second guest we‘ll have later, Mr. Dale Gieringer, Dr. Gieringer I should say and they put together the new "Marijuana Medical Handbook". We’re going to talk about that and Ed’s situation and more.

But, what I really want to talk about is your need to do as Obama indicated. To become a full citizen. To do your part. To speak up. Especially in regards to this drug war because, you see, the whole point of it is, when we focus on these drug warriors, those who have no logic or common sense or even embrace of reality, in this regard, we will have done ourselves a great service. Because, in so doing, we eliminate these people from those positions of power and these are in many cases, the very same idiots; bigots, purveyors of hatred that are impacting many other aspects of our lives, that we want to deal with.

The good folks out there at pledge central can give you a breakdown of all the many pledge incentives we have available. CD’s, DVD’s, T-shirts, books, on and on and I guess what I want to say is, ’Please, make that pledge. Take that incentive. Read the book. Watch the DVD. Listen to the CD and then, honest, this is what you’ve got to do. Send it to… you’re red-neck Uncle Bubba, your Aunt Louise, the ones who keep the drug war in it’s current situation. The ones who ignore the truth. The ones who think going down this same road, for another hundred years, will get the job done.

Let’s bring in the “Guru of Ganja”, Mr. Ed Rosenthal. Hello, Ed.

Mr. Ed Rosenthal: Hi!

Dean Becker: How you doing, buddy?

Mr. Ed Rosenthal: Good.

Dean Becker: Ed, you guys keep putting these books forward that clarify and explain where the problems lie in the war on marijuana and you guys have done it again with this new book, "Marijuana Medical Handbook". You and Dr. Gieringer, right?

Mr. Ed Rosenthal: Yes. Well, our goal is to change marijuana policy one book at a time and so many people are interested in medical marijuana and the promise that it has and how to use it and everything about it, that we thought we would put out a guide to it and how to use it.

Dean Becker: Well Ed, the drug czar and his minions, they tour the nation and in fact the world, saying things like, ‘Marijuana has no medical benefit. No studies ever indicated such a thing.’ But that’s a lie, isn’t it?

Mr. Ed Rosenthal: Yes, it is. In fact, there are many studies that was sponsored by the federal government that have shown that medical marijuana has benefits and research from all over the world show‘s that, not only does it alleviate pain, but in many cases it may prevent body damage. Like, for instance, with Muscular Dystrophy now they’re looking at different kinds of senility, especially Alzheimer’s and also cancers. In fact, Dr. Donald Tashkin, who’s at UCLA, he was funded by the federal government for many years and he studied the lungs intensively and at the end of his studies he concluded that marijuana, that a person in Los Angeles who uses marijuana; who smokes marijuana, has less chance of getting lung cancer, than someone who uses nothing at all.

Dean Becker: We had a discussion with you earlier this week on the 420 Reports, but for those who may not have heard that, give us a synopsis of your legal situation.

Mr. Ed Rosenthal: Yes, well… This has been ongoing for a long time. I was appointed in 1999 I think it was, or ’98, to be a officer of the city providing marijuana to patients and I was told that I was free from prosecution, but the feds busted me and then when I went to trial they wouldn’t let me give my theory of the case and that is, that I was an officer of the city and that I was allowed to do it or even that since I have been told that I have been doing it, that it was legal.

Then it was a question of, that that’s a defense that I was told that it was legal and so, the good judge wouldn’t let me use it. They wouldn’t let me have any witnesses. I appealed the case, went to trial again and won the appeal because one of the jurors felt intimidated and then I went to trial again and once again the judge wouldn’t allow witnesses and that’s what I was appealing. I just went to the appeals court and had oral arguments and they only last about a half hour.

During that period of time, one of the judges realized that I had been denied my 5th Amendment Rights and he seemed to be really upset by that because at one point, my judge, in the second trial said, ’I’ll let you tell your own story, but you can’t have witnesses.’ and so that was a denial of my 5th Amendment Rights. So, we’ll see how it goes. This is very important because if I win this case, it really means that it’s a new, we’re going to enter a new age of marijuana tolerance in California.

Dean Becker: I would agree with that, Ed. The times I’ve been out there, I’m always amazed at the openness and just the fact that there is no mayhem, there is no spin-off from the situation. Anslinger said, ‘It leads to insanity, criminality and death and yet, I don’t see that. It’s not happening.

Mr. Ed Rosenthal: Well, actually it has lead to all three of those things and that is the insanity is at the police departments and district attorney’s in California don’t recognize the law and that’s sort of a hysteria as well. As far as death: Yes, people have died because of the enforcement of these… their attempts at enforcement of marijuana laws. So, I guess you could say that it leads to all those things.

Dean Becker: Yeah, well… from a different direction. But you’re right, Ed.

Yeah. Friends, we’re speaking with Mr. Ed Rosenthal, the ‘Guru of Ganja‘. He and his associate, Dr. Dale Gieringer, have written a new book. "Marijuana Medical Handbook"

Ed, you know, we were talking about the situation in California and there are hundreds?, maybe thousands? of…

Ed Rosenthal: Hundreds. It’s reaching a thousand.

Dean Becker: Hundreds. Yeah. …of legitimate marijuana sales outlets. Right?

Ed Rosenthal: Dispensaries.

Dean Becker: Dispensaries, I’ll get the word right… and I guess the point is, there is no mayhem other than the occasional DEA raid and well, people caught on the streets by the Highway Patrol or something. Right?

Ed Rosenthal: Well, actually the Highway Patrol was sued by Americans For Safe Access and signed a consent agreement where they agree to obey the California law. Can you imagine having to sue a government agency to obey the state law? It’s crazy and you know, in a lot of the counties, the police hold such sway and the criminal justice system hold such sway that they create really onerous regulations and zonings and so on.

But, little by little, it sort of, it reminds me of Bush you know, that’s all going to be swept away and we are going to not only have ‘legal’ medical marijuana but we‘re going to have legalized marijuana in California and that‘s going to happen pretty soon.

Dean Becker: Alright. Ed, we’re going to have to cut it off there. I appreciate it so much, you being with us. Friends, that was Mr. Ed Rosenthal, the ‘Guru of Ganja‘. Based out there in Oakland. I’m thinking about moving out there. I got a green thumb.

Mr. Ed Rosenthal: We want you here. {Dean chuckles} We want you here.

Dean Becker: Well Ed, I thank you for that and…

Mr. Ed Rosenthal: You know what I mean, you’re such an asset to Texas, it’s true. But we need you here in California.

Dean Becker: Well, that’s gratifying to hear. Ed, thank you so much. We’ll be talking with you soon.

Mr. Ed Rosenthal: OK.

Dean Becker: Alright. Bye-bye.

OK friends, I want to give you a couple of thought here. One is, we just picked up the three stations I was talking about earlier. I want to say, ‘Welcome to WRRC, Trenton, New Jersey. WVVS in Valdosta, Georgia and CHLI in Rossland, British Columbia, Canada.’ Thank you, my friends. We will work together. We will end this madness of drug war.

It’s time to play: "Name That Drug - By It’s 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.

CSI Agent: Does that look like cocaine to you?

DEA Agent: Well, it’s all white and powdery. I’d say, Yeah.

CSI Agent: That’s good enough. It’s evidence.

Announcer: Stay tuned for CSI Houston.

This is Terry Nelson of LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. As a speaker for LEAP, a 10,000 member international organization of cops, judges, prosecutors, prison wardens, FBI, DEA and others that believe that the war on drugs is a colossal public policy mistake.

I occasionally see politicians with the courage to speak up about the failure of this effort. When this happens, LEAP quickly moves to support their position so that more will be willing to present their views.

Last week, I went to El Paso to provide LEAP support for the city council that had the courage to ask for a debate on drug problems and it’s resulting violence in the sister cities of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.

The city council had passed a resolution with all eight councilmen voting for it. The mayor, later in the day, vetoed the bill. I think there were 28 people that gave testimony and in the end the vote was 4-4 and the veto was sustained. However in this case, a losing vote was actually a winner, as a resulting publicity caused the debate, that had been called for.

The testimony I most enjoyed, was given by an alleged former Vietnam Veteran and current drug counselor that claimed he saw soldiers so high on marijuana that he held the entire company at bay with a machine gun. The soldier was allegedly driven nuts by having smoked marijuana. The colorful account of this event ranks high on the urban legend list. If every person that claims to have seen this event were to come forward on the same day, they would fill an NFL stadium.

During my two days in El Paso I was interviewed by KFOX 14 and appeared on the evening news, was a guest on two radio stations, gave a presentation to a republican group and was interviewed by a local magazine. I also spoke to the Water Planning Group that gave the report the veto resolution was attached to. So the very thing that the mayor vetoed actually happened anyway. You don’t always have to win, to win.

The day after I arrive home, I was contacted by Parade Magazine and gave them an interview which will appear in next month in the Sunday paper edition. I have another interview scheduled and have been asked to go to Europe on a speaking tour that will culminate at a United Nations Conference. All this just because one elected citizen had the courage to speak up and ask for an open dialog on the problem.

So many times in history, small events have made a great difference. So all of you citizens out there that want to help, please go to www.wecandoitagain.com and let your congressmen know that you are tired of your tax dollars being wasted on this bad public policy. Legalization will remove the drug cartels money train and they will no longer be able to corrupt officials and arm their private armies that carry out the violence.

Let’s call for an open dialog to discuss this issue openly. There has to be a solution that will work for all of us. This is Terry Nelson of LEAP, www.leap.cc, signing off.

This is the Cultural Baggage Show and we have been speaking with Mr. Ed Rosenthal but we now have online his co-author of a brand new book, "Marijuana Medical Handbook" and with that, let’s welcome Dr. Dale Gieringer. Hello, Dale.

Dr. Dale Gieringer: Hello, Dean.

Dean Becker: Hello, my friend. How are you?

Dr. Dale Gieringer: Doing well.

Dean Becker: Well, good, good. I don’t know how much of our discussion with Ed you got to hear but, it’s amazing to me that this drug war and in particular the war on marijuana has such long legs, that it’s gone on so long despite so much evidence to the contrary. Your thoughts.

Dr. Dale Gieringer: Likewise. I’ve only been in the movement 20 years but I haven’t seen one positive move on the federal level. I mean, I was one of the people organized on medical marijuana initiative in the state of California, Prop. 215, back in 1996 and was very gratified by the positive response we got and of course we’ve had now 12 other states have gone along.

It looks like more states are going to join onboard and we’ve all of these polls that show how popular ‘medical marijuana’ at least is with the American public at yet it’s now over 12 years since Prop. 215 passed and the federal government has done nothing but try to obstruct and impede medical marijuana. We’ve got a hundred cases in the federal courts here in California that are related to medical marijuana.

Just last week (or two weeks ago maybe it was now) as you may have heard, the DEA turned down the licensing application for a new Medical Marijuana Research Facility to actually try to develop marijuana as an FDA approved drug, which is what they’ve been demanding all along of us. Effectively blocking any possible legal path to approval of medical marijuana. They’ve done nothing but tie us up in knots and create a catch-22 situation. So, it’s time for a change.

Dean Becker: Isn’t it? I wanted to back up what you’re saying. You talk about more and more states are beginning to recognize this. I think it’s been about 2 years ago, I believe it was Reuters did a survey in Texas and found 76% of the people were for medical marijuana then and I can’t help to think that that number has increased since that point in time. It just an absurd conundrum. It’s going to take a big cat to knock this all out of place. Right?

Dr. Dale Gieringer: Well, people haven’t been voting on the issue, is one of the problems. Far more people, for example, support medical marijuana then support of federal ban on abortion. Far more. Yet, look at how much better organized the anti-abortion forces are. In fact, they even had, pretty much, a majority in congress and the federal government for 8 years and yet we can’t even get somebody to sponsor a bill in the US Senate.

So there’s a real political organization problem and people do not vote on this issue. We just went through a whole election campaign where we heard scarcely a peep about marijuana, or drugs in general.

Dean Becker: Exactly. Friends, we’re speaking with Dr. Dale Gieringer, co-author of a brand new book, “Marijuana Medical Handbook”. Dale, you guys are not all the way there. You’ve maybe been to the mountain top but, you’re not there yet. Right?

Dr. Dale Gieringer: Well, you know, we’ve been to a ridge up there. {laughter] Staging camp or something like that.

Dean Becker: OK. But let’s talk about the book, “Marijuana Medical Handbook”. I was talking to Ed briefly about it, but you guys have done a lot of analysis. You’ve accumulated information that’s going to be of benefit to….

Dr. Dale Gieringer: This is really a definitive and comprehensive guide to marijuana medicine with really all of the latest scientific research up through August 2008. We’ve got footnotes so people can find the original studies to back all of this stuff up. We have, I think, new instructions regarding cooking and preparation of marijuana edibles and tinctures and such-not with some of the latest technological findings. We have recover of marijuana vaporization.

There’s a chapter on drug testing which, if I do say so, is probably the best, most accurate guide to drug testing that is out there. So this really is a one-of-a-kind book. Anything people would need to know if they were interested in medical use of marijuana.

Dean Becker: Back the truck up here for just a second. I have, walking in studio with me here, my mentor. The man who’s been on the radio for decades, now. Hosting the Prison Show and with that, Hey Ray, what’s going on Mr. Hill?

Mr. Ray Hill: I am glad to be on the show and Dale, thank you for coming on this show and I was listening to some of your comments on my way over here about ‘where’s the movement?’. That’s what I do and that’s what I’ve done for 40 years. It takes a long time after you start a movement for it to pay off.

Have you seen the movie, Milk? It’s got an old friend of mine, Dennis Peron characterized in it and Dennis is a genuine, bona fide, for real activist and he’s done some work on medical marijuana and other issues out in California and has paid the ultimate price. A couple of times they’ve put his butt in jail a few of times. But that’s what an activist has got to be willing to do to put your breasts on the bar and get ready to take whatever it takes to get peoples attention to get ‘em to move.

The movement for the end of the drug war is, I would, from almost objective perspective; I just got a 50 year sobriety chip, where I’ve been 50 years free of alcohol and chemicals of all varieties. I don’t even want to use the word ’drugs’ because it’s so ’ill-used’ by others, that I don’t even use it. But the deal is, is that there’s no issue about my sobriety. There’s also no issue about my commitment to do what needs to be done to bring the war on drugs to a peaceful and satisfactory end and that does not mean ‘by their advocates winning‘. That means, ’by stopping it’.

There comes a point in time when you run across that old senator Wayne Morris’ answer to Lynden Johnson. He said, ’Just how do I end the war in Vietnam? How do I get our boys out of there?’ and Wayne said, ’Well, you march them over land. You put some of them on trains and you put the rest of them on boats. It’s really not that complicated.’ {chuckling}

So we need to get rid of a bunch of stuff which has loaded up our legal writings for the last 45/50 years, which criminalize things that have no justification in being criminalized.

Dr. Dale Gieringer: Well you know, Americans have really been cheap about this. They’ve really let the government get away with murder and they really do not value the rights to make their own decisions about their bodies or about drugs anymore. This has been sort of a gradual process but, it’s very interesting. I mean, people take it for granted that things that are unhealthy in any way, shape or form; for somebody somewhere out there, has to be illegal and you know, if something’s unhealthy then that should be enough of a message in itself not to take too very much of it.

But, we’ve gotten into this mode of thinking that things that have any objection to the middle will have to be criminalized. Now this is actually a new attitude. For most of American history of course, drug were entirely legal and coincidentally we are about to celebrate, this February, the 100th anniversary of the first federal drug prohibition law, the Opium Exclusion Act of 1909, which outlawed the importation of smoking opium from China.

But, until that law was passed, there was no such thing as an illegal drug in the United States. All substances were legal and it was generally considered, you know, people’s right to take whatever drugs they got and you know, use them as they wished. Some people were addicted although the addiction rate, at that time when you could walk into a drug store and buy heroin, actually…

Mr. Ray Hill: Well, you know….

Mr. Dale Gieringer: …our addiction rate was actually no higher than it is now and probably lower.

Mr. Ray Hill: Dale…

Mr. Dale Gieringer: If you look at the estimate of the addiction rate at the turn of the century were on the order of a quarter to half of a percent…

Mr. Ray Hill: Dale…

Mr. Dale Gieringer: …not including alcohol. Yeah.

Mr. Ray Hill: It has been my mantra for over a decade that the drug war exacerbates the addiction problem. That actually the drug war, by making this ‘super taboo‘, it makes it much more attractive to the younger generation, than it would be on it’s own.

But we’ve got to get these laws out of the way and there’s a couple of indications that indicate that, what I’ve done for the last half decade, the Lawrence case, which expanded the definition of privacy; and it was the first expansion of the definition of privacy that began with Griswold, went on with Loving vs. Virginia then went on with the Rovey Wade case. Well, the last expansion of privacy was the Lawrence case which decriminalized homosexual intimacy in every state and jurisdiction in one single act of the Supreme Court. Well, why should not, the use of marijuana and other kinds of consumption, be considered a privacy issue?

Dean Becker: Well, I hope you will excuse the editing. This show was derived from a pledge drive program. To learn more about the Medical Marijuana Handbook go to green-aid.com to learn more about it. I want to thank Ray Hill for dropping in and giving us his synopsis of this drug war and I want to ask all you program directors and producers out there that utilize our programs to get in touch with me. Get yourself some of these CD’s and DVD’s and T-shirts to increase funding for your station because I’m here to serve you. I’m here to serve the truth and working together, I think we’ll get ’er done, in 2009.

(sung to Glory, Glory Halleluiah)

There’s only one way to run a drug war
You have to make one choice
It’s the Silver or the lead.

No need to think about it
Take the money or you’re dead
The drug war lives on forever

Glory, glory, halleluiah

Alright my friends, the drug war, yeah. It’s going to go on forever, unless we do something. Unless we speak up. We have the courage, the motivation to speak that truth and as always; 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.

This show produced at the Pacifica studios of KPFT, Houston.
Tap dancing on the edge on an abyss.

Submitted by: C. Assenberg of www.marijuanafactorfiction.org