02/06/11 Irvin Rosenfeld

Irvin Rosenfeld, author of "My Medicine" receives 300 marijuana cigarettes from the US government every 25 days + James Gilheany, busted for medical marijuana & "fried" chicken recipe from Sandy Moriarty, head chef at Oaksterdam U

Program: 
Cultural Baggage Radio Show
Date: 
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Guest: 
Irvin Rosenfeld
Organization: 
Patients out of Time
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Transcript

Cultural Baggage / February 06, 2011

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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!”

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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.

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Welcome to this edition of Cultural Baggage. I’m glad you could be with us. The primary focus the – that we’re going to focus on for this particular show is a great new book, My Medicine: How I convinced the US government to provide my marijuana and help launch a national movement. It’s written by our guest, Mister Irvin Rosenfeld. Irv, are you with us, sir?

Irvin Rosenfeld: I am here.

Dean Becker: Thank you. Thank you for taking time out of your day to be with us. Now, Irv, now let’s fill folks in a little bit. Now, you are one of the very few people, gosh, not just in the United States but on the planet that has their marijuana provided by the government. Is that right?

Irvin Rosenfeld: Yes, that is correct. I’m one of four people who in the United States that receives medical cannabis from federal government.

Dean Becker: And I’m looking at the cover of the book and it shows you with a big tin can there. Tell us about that that tin can. What is that about?

Irvin Rosenfeld: That tin can is three hundred each every twenty five days. I get it from the United States federal government and they grow it for me they supply it for me and I am very thankful to get it.

Dean Becker: Now, this goes so against the norm, if you will, here in these United States. I mean, we have other folks that are busted some approximate 800,000 every year for carrying around a similar product. There’s a lot of, gosh, I don’t even know if hypocrisy is strong enough. There is a lot of irony involved in this situation, right?

Irvin Rosenfeld: There definitely is. It’s very ironic that I can walk around and take my medicine anywhere in the United States and other people are arrested for the same thing. So, it is kind of sad and that’s why I’m on the show and everything else I do. I try to teach people that it is not as scary as people make it out to be

Dean Becker: And let’s talk about, I mean, what do you do? You smoke it and you kind of kick back and dream for a while? What does it do for you?

Irvin Rosenfeld: Not at all. What it does for me, it serves as a muscle relaxant. It serves as an anti-inflammatory for pain and it’s kept my tumors from growing. My bone disorder says that my tumor should grow at any time and new ones can develop at any time. I’ve not had a new tumor develop or a new one grow for thirty six years and I believe that’s because of the medical cannabis.

Dean Becker: Now let’s talk a little bit more about that. In your youth, it was even more debilitating, I guess, these tumors and the growth of them.

Irvin Rosenfeld: Yeah. I had six operations to take out tumors that would have gone malignant if I didn’t. so, they came out to make sure that I survived and luckily, you know, we’re talking now and I did survive.

Dean Becker: Now, Irv this is – I don’t have the numbers with me but you’ve set a couple of milestones, in fact, every day you set a new milestone on the amount of marijuana that you’ve received and smoked provided the government, right?

Irvin Rosenfeld: That’s true. I’ve received over a 120,000 medical cannabis cigarettes from the United States Federal government

Dean Becker: And over a period of how many years?

Irvin Rosenfeld: 28 years.

Dean Becker: 28 years. Now, most people in government, you know, the elected officials and the criminal justice officials all seem to – have not denied but just seem ignore your status. Do they not?

Irvin Rosenfeld: They definitely ignore it. Again, they do not study they do not study federal patients. They just want to believe that we don’t exist. So, it’s sad because again we’re there and they could study us and look at our medical records and understand that it works as a medicine.

Dean Becker: You know, Irv, we talked, I guess it’s been a few weeks back. You were headed, I believe, to Montana because of what they’re trying to do up there. You want to tell us what that mission was and a little bit about that situation in Montana?

Irvin Rosenfeld: Yeah, the problem with Montana is that they passed a law in 2004 for the medical use cannabis and the law works very well until about a year and a half ago.

Dean Becker: There was one person that started abusing the law. What they started doing was doing a road show going different communities in Montana and doing forty to fifty recommendations per hour.

Irvin Rosenfeld: Wow

Dean Becker: With a supposed doctor. Now, if you’re a doctor and you’re going to give a recommendation for medicine or a prescription for medicine you would think you would take ten or fifteen minutes to talk to a patient, to go over everything.

So, you could give four to five recommendations an hour. They were doing fifty an hour. Therefore, it was abuse. So, state of Montana or the people who were against this, all of a sudden used that to say, “Hey, we need to stop this because look at the abuse that is happening with this.”

So, I went to Montana to try and educate the people and say, “Look you know if one or two people abuse something, it doesn’t mean you take it away from 98% of the people.” And that’s what I try to educate the people of Montana about.

Dean Becker: If I understand right, just this last week the House in Montana voted to repeal this marijuana law that was passed by some 62-63% of Montana’s, right?

Irvin Rosenfeld: Sad but true. Okay, the problem is that the hysteria that’s been caused in Montana has been very detrimental. So, what the people need to realize and what the politicians should realize is that it’s not this scary thing that people make it out to be.

It’s indeed a medicine and God forbid you take the law away, you’re going to make it even tougher for the law enforcement officials and that’s what I am looking at is the law enforcement officials.

They don’t want to deal with this. They don’t want to have to deal with people using marijuana. They want to deal with people who are dying and what are people dying from? Prescription drugs, meth and things like that.

Dean Becker: Hm.

Irvin Rosenfeld: That’s what they want to stop. They don’t want to bother with medical cannabis. So there again, they’re not in favor of it. They want to leave the law the way it is and maybe enhance it or strengthen it – but again, under the state law of Montana.

Dean Becker: And it just seems like such a travesty if they were to overturn the will of the people, you know, that’s a –

Irvin Rosenfeld: It would be could be because 60% of the people voted in favor of it. That’s huge, okay? And if any politician in Montana votes against the will of the people, I can probably tell then right now, they will not be reelected.

Dean Becker: Well, isn’t that the truth?

Irvin Rosenfeld: It’s that simple.

Dean Becker: And as it should be but right now we are focusing on this great book by Mister Irvin Rosenfeld called My Medicine: How I convinced the US government to provide my marijuana and help launch a national movement. I can tell you, having read the book, it was quite an ordeal to get that approval for the government to provide that marijuana wasn’t it?

Irvin Rosenfeld: It was – very much so.

Dean Becker: You know Irv, I think about your ordeal. We’re approximately the same age. I’m sixty two. How old are you, sir?

Irvin Rosenfeld: I’ll be fifty eight the end of this month.

Dean Becker: Well, close enough there.

Irvin Rosenfeld: Yeah.

Dean Becker: We lived through the sixties, the seventies. We saw the change in the enforcement of these drug laws there were a lot more lax under president Nixon than they were under Reagan and subsequently all the escalation that followed with every president since but I guess the point I am trying to make here is that the threat, the eminent danger, the cry that” marijuana must be banned” is losing its edge, is losing its luster and many different ways despite the machinations like those politicians in Montana.

More and more people are beginning to realize the truth of the matter and that it is just relatively a safe drug right?

Irvin Rosenfeld: They are learning, yes. It’s getting better but still there’s theories out there. People still believe the government rhetoric says, “It’s terrible. It does this. It does that. It is bad for you.” So, it’s still a battle to fight.

Dean Becker: Yeah. Yeah that’s so true. Now, Irv when you first got approval, there was some situations, trying to find a doctor that would stand for you for your prescription to be delivered through him. Am I phasing that close enough? And over the years you’ve had to that support, that guidance and that involvement of your doctor a couple of times right?

Irvin Rosenfeld: Yes I have. My first doctor was public Doctor Charles Goldman, in Norfolk, Virginia, a great doctor in 1983 – in 1982, actually. Then, I switched to Doctor Ramos in 1990, here in Miami and he took over for five years.

Now my doctor, I’m afraid to say is not public. And in my book, I identify him as “Doctor M,” which he likes because he thought it sounded, like “Doctor M” that sounded James Bond-ish.

Dean Becker: (Laughs)

Irvin Rosenfeld: He liked it.

Dean Becker: It does, it does indeed. And who can blame him? I mean, the FDA or the medical board may want to get involved and accuse him of something, who knows and if you can avoid it why not, right?

Irvin Rosenfeld: That’s the sad part, okay that really is because he’s one of the top doctors in the country for muscular dystrophy, okay.

Dean Becker: Uh huh.

Irvin Rosenfeld: Here in Miami and that’s really – the sad part is, he’s such a great doctor that, you know, because he takes care of me he’s scared. And that’s because of the federal government and everything else. It’s just so sad because he takes care of me. He signs my order. I get my medicine and I’m doing fantastic.

Dean Becker: This is, I think, this is representative of the fact that many folks that need medical marijuana are able to lead a better life and in many cases cut down or eliminate the use of opiates and pain killers and other drugs like that and just be more involved more able to live that life, right?

Irvin Rosenfeld: Very true. Definitely true in my case and many others, okay. Cannabis works so well for many disorders that you can stop these different pharmaceuticals, which his again, why it’s still illegal because the pharmaceutical companies don’t want that to happen.

Dean Becker: Well, ain’t that the truth?

Irvin Rosenfeld: It’s that simple, you know. As a stock broker in South Florida, I know. God forbid, medical marijuana became or medical cannabis becomes legal tomorrow, I’d tell my clients to sell their [pharmaceutical] drug stocks.

Dean Becker: Yeah. Oh yeah and buy a new distributor for that cannabis because it’s doing quite well in California, Colorado and other states where people have lost their fear. I guess, there’s still those politicians that are strapping every inch of the way but there are states where a majority of the “adults” are ruling. What’s your thought?

Irvin Rosenfeld: Well, there is but the problem is that we have a problem in Montana, okay? In Montana we had one person abused the law in Montana for the last year and a half and now there’s a chance they could repeal the law in Montana, their past law in 2004.

All it takes this is a plural law, 62% of the people voted in favor, which was one of the highest ever. Now in this state all it takes with a 51% vote of the House and the Senate to go against it and they could defeat the law.

If they defeat the law, it’s going to be so detrimental for other states to pass it and with what’s happened in the last election is you have a lot of right wing republican religious that want to vote against the law.

So, that’s why I went up there for eight days to try to speak to everybody, which I did and hopefully stop that because again it’s not as scary as people make it out to be. It’s a medicine and that what we need.

Dean Becker: And that the point too, I think, are in that many times there’s just a – you talk about the one individual that you know was off track in Montana.

Irvin Rosenfeld: Right.

Dean Becker: And it’s created the stir and the fact of the matter is it only takes on or tow “notable” politicians to sway the options of many of the Junior Reps to go along with over turning these laws and that’s—

Irvin Rosenfeld: Yeah, exactly.

Dean Becker: And that’s the scariest part of it all isn’t it?

Irvin Rosenfeld: It is. It really is and it’s sad but true.

Dean Becker: Even on the federal level, if you will, we have the Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske and just last week President Obama says that maybe it is time about the discussion for legalization, time to move from incarceration to treatment and so forth. If only their words – if only their actions would back up what their words say. Your thoughts there?

Irvin Rosenfeld: Well, my thoughts are this, again, it’s part of legalization. My point is medical, okay period. So, therefore I want to see medical use of it and I wasn’t to see doctors write a script for it.

As far as legalization, that battle is still to be fought. For medical use: Yes.

It has been decided. People are in favor of medical use. It needs to be done. It needs to be allowed for doctors to prescribe it or recommend cannabis for patients. So, once that’s done and again, It’s not – I have a unique perspective.

I’ve been using for twenty eight years under the federal government and thirty nine years all together. So, I’m different. So, it’s not as scary as people make it out to be. Therefore, it should be legal for anybody or whatever.

It definitely should be decriminalized. People should not go to jail for it.

As for medical use or social use, who knows what is going to happen? The point is people should not be put in jail and doctors should have the right to recommended it. It’s that simple.

Dean Becker: Absolutely right. Alright friends once again, we’re speaking with Irvin Rosenfeld. He’s author of My Medicine: How I convinced the US government to provide my marijuana and help launch a national movement

Irvin Rosenfeld: And again the website is mymedicinethebook.com

Dean Becker: Alright, I appreciate that. Irvin, you have over the years been our guest many times but I feel kind of a simpatico, if you will, that you’re becoming more aggravated as time goes by at the lack actual progress from the government, aren’t you?

Irvin Rosenfeld: I am and I’m not, okay. I am because it’s been so many years and it’s so detrimental but I’m still naïve, okay? I still want to believe that the federal government somehow wants to help but they don’t. Bob Randall would turn over in his grave right now, okay, the first patient.

Dean Becker: Right.

Irvin Rosenfeld: I don’t know. I want to be the moderate. That’s what I’ve been and I’ve always been. You know, educate and teach and they will come around and they haven’t. But I’ve educated. I’ve taught and we’ve got fifteen states. We’ve got Washington DC, also. So, it’s proved a point that we’ve gotten somewhere but I still not there yet and I want everybody to be able to have it and that is what I am fighting for.

Dean Becker: Yeah, I hear you my friend and to me it is, I don’t know, I guess maybe I hang out with the LEAP [Law Enforcement Against Prohibition] members too much but I see the belief system – the current belief system that considers marijuana to be “threat”, a gateway, blah blah – and all the horrors that they portend it to be.

That is just part of the – to me, part of a larger equation, a conundrum, a problem but that’s a subject for a different show, I suppose. Friends you are listening to the Cultural Baggage show on the Drug Truth Network.

Now Irv, we have just a couple of minutes left here I kind of want to turn it over to you to just share your thoughts on how we’re going to make these changes happen and what folks out there might do to help get it done.

Irvin Rosenfeld: Well, what they need to do I contact, again their House of Representatives and Senators and say look, “We need this law changed. We need medical use of cannabis allowed and once you do that again you’ve got to keep doing that and keep doing that. Every phone call is considered like four hundred patients. So, therefore you need to do that and once it is done, maybe down the road, something will come up in the federal government.

But until then the individual states and Texas as a state, you need to do what you need to do, okay? You need to talk to your representative in your state and say, “We need to change the law.”

We need to say that the pharmaceutical board, “This is a medicine. This needs to be Schedule II or Schedule II” and impress that. If you do that with other states, eventually the federal government will learn.

Dean Becker: Yeah, I think that is right. Once again, that website – your website?

Irvin Rosenfeld: The website is mymedicinethebook.com. You can order the book there and it will be assigned copy, as “to a fellow warrior” and you get my book and that book will be something that you can take to your Representatives and order it and to be able to take them and give it to them and say, “Read this book and you will see how real this is.”

Dean Becker: Indeed you will because it’s a great book and it has such great truths and it is so well put. I want to thank you once again for being our guest mister Irv Rosenfeld. Thank you.

Irvin Rosenfeld: Thank you.

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(Game show music)

It’s time to play: Name That Drug By Its Side Effects

Nausea, heartburn, development of bleeding ulcers, vomiting, swelling of the brain, extensive liver damage, difficulty with mental functioning, Reyes syndrome and death.

(Gong)

Time’s up!

The answer: aspirin, another FDA approved product.
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Dean Becker: All across this country people are fighting for the right to use medical marijuana for various aliments but I live in Texas and so too does our next guest. I’ll let him to introduce himself and tell a little bit about the situation that he’s enduring.

James Gilheany: Hi. My name is James Gilheany and I live in the town of Glen Rose, Texas. On July the ninth, my home was entered I was approached at the door by police and they wanted to see my grow operation that knew was in my garage.

They had been informed that I was growing medical grade marijuana in order to protect my family, my wife, my son and daughter. I allowed them entry in the home without a warrant. I cooperated completely with the investigation and told the truth all along the way.

There was no intent to distribute charges filed against me but I was charged with possession of a controlled substance being an ice water extracted THC crystals from leaf material of less than a half of a gram. I was charged with a possession of less than five pounds but more than four ounces of marijuana, which both are felonies in the state of Texas.

Dean Becker: Now James, the fact of the matter is that like many folks that use medical grade marijuana, as you say, there’s a legitimate reason for doing so. Clarify that for us.

James Gilheany: Absolutely, I’ve been a type II diabetic for over two years. I’ve been suffering advanced neuropathy in my hands and feet, which neuropathic pain is extremely painful.

I am fearfully scared of opiates and other pain – forms of painkiller and I have been using medical marijuana for about two years now and the treatment has worked fantastically, up until July the ninth that is.

Dean Becker: How is this case “progressing” through the criminal justice system?

James Gilheany: Well, it has been since July the ninth. I go back court again this Wednesday, July the ninth at the Summerville County Courthouse. This isn’t the actual hearing this is just another pre-trial.

Right now, I am on felony bond, which means I have to pee whenever they ask me to. If they ask to search my car they get the right to. If they want to walk into my home, they can search my home at any time they have a right to do that. Right now, I am in a constant state of limbo and I am unmediated.

Dean Becker: All too often, those who are charged with cannabis possession wind up taking some sort of plea bargain agreement rather than go to trial. What are your prospects in that regard? What’s going on there?

James Gilheany: I have to be honest with you. I’ve been working with Steven Betzen and Steven Hegg with the Texas Coalition for Compassionate Care. I with withhold some of the legal counsel that has been involved in the case, my local lawyer a gentleman by the name of Terrence Russell and we don’t intend to take a plea.

We intend to take this to court and have a jury of my peers determine my guilt and my innocence. I have been watching these legal proceedings now for six or seven months.

I see a constant stream of young Americans going up, copping pleas and lawyers taking a few thousand dollars and the court taking a few thousand dollars and then giving up five to ten years of their life on probation for, again, more money for the state

Dean Becker: In that you live in Texas and you’ve seen, as you say, just an ongoing series of those taking the plea bargain. You are taking a risk. You could face prison if a jury does not find you innocent.

James Gilheany: Well, that’s correct but fortunately being that I have no prior arrests and I have a clean record and I am ex-military – I served in the United States Navy for three years on nuclear submarines – the worst that they can do with me is probation, as a first offencer.

The problem is that the judges and the legal system and the DAs get to determine the conditions of probation, one of which is a program that would put me in confinement for six months in drug rehabilitation program. This would be a worst case scenario, for six months. Then, I would have to live in a three month half-way house and then I would basically be released and put on probation for anywhere from five to ten years.

Dean Becker: And subject to urine tests and that whole regiment to in essence force you back to the opiate drugs, right?

James Gilheany: That’s correct. I do not want to be on opiate drugs. Now, I did receive a prescription from my doctor, who although did not condone or deny the fact that my personal treatment method, he was made aware of what I was doing and was aware that it was working but unfortunately due to the laws in Texas he couldn’t give his opinion on whether the treatment worked or it didn’t work.

Dean Becker: Once again, we’ve been speaking with Mister James Gilheany. He’s busted in Texas, set up like about 800,000 of us every year for using a plant that provides him relief. Any closing thoughts, James?

James Gilheany: I would just like to tell people that the time to speak is now. Anybody that’s listening to this radio station, if you get summoned to jury duty, make sure that you appear for that jury duty. You make sure that your voice is heard.

We can’t let the older generations that don’t understand, continue to be the ones, you know. We are getting into a point in time, where we will be controlling the juries and it’s our time to speak up and say, “No” to the DAs. Say, “No” to the judge. Say, “No” to the prosecution of innocent people.

Dean Becker: Alright, James is there a website you’d like to share?

James Gilheany: Yes, it is Texas Coalition for Compassionate Care run by Steven Betzen and Steven Hegg.

Dean Becker: And that full website name: texansformedicalmarijuana.org

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Dean Becker: Once again for all of us people who smoked tobacco for decades and are having a hard time smoking our marijuana. We have with us Sandy Moriarty, author of Aunt Sandy’s Medical Marijuana Cookbook with another edibles recipe.

Sandy Moriarty: Well, this process is really fun, Dean. I developed it myself just out of my own curiosity, just cooking with the green leaf trim. What I did is just put it in the blender and I blended it down into a fine powder and it came out just like flour. So, I thought, wow, let me try to place this in lieu of flour in my recipes and it turned out beautiful.

One of the greatest things I wanted to tell you is to make fried chicken with it. Go through the same stages using the cannaflour compared to with regular flour. If you want a little more crunch and less of an herb, then mix the flour with regular flour and it will give you a very nice crunchy fried chicken.

The great thing about herb when it is in the flour form, I’ve made herbal bread where you just roll the bread in the herb and then when it bakes in encrusts into this beautiful cannabis herb.

The great thing about this process is that it is a very mild form. We were talking about the heavy potency of the tinctures. Well this is a very, very mild form of cannabis.

You can have a nice turkey sandwich on the cannabis bread and go to work and enjoy your day and have a very mild form of medication. So, that’s important too, for the listeners to learn the different stages of the potencies.

The flour is very exciting to my class. They enjoy making fried fish, fried shrimp, fried chicken and it really opens a great door.

Dean Becker: Alright, with her recipe that was Sandy Moriarty, author of Aunt Sandy's Medical Marijuana Cookbook: Comfort Food for Mind and Body. You can get a copy out there on amazon.com.

Well, that about does it for today I want to thank mister Irvin Rosenfeld once again for his help on this program. Again you can order his book at mymedicinethebook.com and of course the segment with Mister Gilheany who’s facing prison for a few marijuana plants and is representative of the horrors of this Drug War and again I want to remind you that because of prohibition, you don’t know what’s in that bag. Please be careful.

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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.

Drug Truth Network programs are stored at the James A. Baker III Institute for Policy Studies.

Transcript provided by: Ayn Morgan of www.eigengraupress.com

Tap dancing… on the edge… of an abyss.