Cultural Baggage, February 28, 2010

During this time of eternal war
I find it my somber duty
To report the death toll
From the drug formerly known as
Marijuana... is...


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.

Hello, my friends. Welcome to this editions of Cultural Baggage. We've got quite a show for you today. We're going to hear from Mr. Richard Lee, the founder of Oaksterdam University, out there in California. We're going to hear about a “death” in Ohio. A man arrested for growing marijuana, when there was no marijuana.

We're going to hear from Dr. Robert Melameade about Cannabis Science, Incorporated. We're going to hear from Bill Piper of the Drug Policy Alliance. We're also going to hear from Mr. Tim Meehan and we're going to hear about the new cannabiniod product that's on all the head shop shelves these days, K2.

But first up, a brand new segment for the Drug Truth Network.

This is Life, Liberty and Happiness.

Featuring advice and instruction from the professors of Oaksterdam University. Providing students with the highest quality training in the Cannabis industry.

In the first of what we hope will be regular, if not weekly, segments from Oaksterdam University, to educate and embolden Americans to the uses and benefits of the Cannabis plant.

It's an honor today to speak with the man who moved from Houston to Oakland, to start numerous Cannabis themed businesses and who has worked with others to create a better means to handle the use of Cannabis on the next California ballot and who has founded the University for which this segment is named for, Mr. Richard Lee. Hello, Richard.

Mr. Richard Lee: Hello. Thanks for having me.

Dean Becker: Richard, I'm quite proud of the work you've done and the alliances you've made, out there in California. Would you tell us a little bit about Oaksterdam University?

Mr. Richard Lee: Oaksterdam University is a Trade School for the Cannabis Industry. We teach people, our students, how to safely and responsibly produce and distribute and sell Cannabis. We start off, most important class. The prerequisite, before you can take any other classes, is Politics. You know it's very important to learn about changing the law and getting involved in politics. Our other classes includes legal issues. We have lawyers come in and answer questions. Then we have Horticulture, where you learn about growing Cannabis. Cooking with Cannabis and Hash Making, Bud Tending are other classes that we have.

Dean Becker: If you will, tell us about some of the professors. I mean, it's kind of a 'who's who', isn't it? That teach these courses?

Mr. Richard Lee: Yeah. We have Ed Rosenthal and Kyle Kushman, both High Times Cultivation editors, from the past and of course Ed writes all the Ask Ed books and Chris Conrad teaches politics. We have lots of big names in the industry.

Dean Becker: Do you think that this gathering and dissemination of information and perhaps the realization, by folks who have taken these courses, has been giving people the courage and the confidence to help in demystifying this subject and perhaps in negating the hypocrisy of the 'nay sayers' in California and across the US?

Mr. Richard Lee: Yeah. I think a lot of people, especially reporters; the media, have been really impressed with subject matter, when they first showed up to cover us. You know, they kind of made jokes about us. Teaching people how to roll joints and smoke 'em. But then when they saw the classes, they realized how much there was to know, how little they knew about it and... yeah. So it's gotten a lot of people's respect for... to take the issue seriously.

Dean Becker: Now you have campuses in Oakland, California as well as Los Angeles. Do you have plans to expand your courses to other states?

Mr. Richard Lee: Yes. We're actually starting some classes in Michigan next week and having a weekend Seminar in Flint, with the Michigan Medical Marijuana patients.

Dean Becker: OK, now. Through your efforts and considerable funding, there will be on the ballot a California, a measure that will make a great change to the California laws on Cannabis. Would you outline what those changes might be?

Mr. Richard Lee: Yeah. You're talking about Tax Cannabis 2010...

Dean Becker: Yes.

Mr. Richard Lee: ... Initiative for the November 2nd, 2010 ballot, California. It will do two things when it passes and the polling show now, fifty-six percent or better, support. First it will allow adults, twenty-one and over to possess and cultivate small amounts of Cannabis for their own personal consumption and second, it will give cities and counties the ability to tax and regulate sales and commercial cultivation, how they want to.

Dean Becker: OK, now. Yours is no longer the only such educational facility that seeks to enlighten and embolden Americans to the possible. But, do you feel threatened by these other organizations? Or is this a sign of progress that you welcome?

Mr. Richard Lee: We're proud of all of the other Cannabis Colleges that have started and we love to see that, 'cause we do think it's so important that people get educated about this issue. So, yes. I think there's about half a dozen to a dozen other... you know and a lot of other reform organizations, even if they don't start a college per se or doing classes and kind of educational symposiums and events. So that's really great to see.

Dean Becker: I know you don't delve too deeply into the national politics but it seems to me that there's kind of a wave of awakening, if you will, across this country. We're beginning to realize that we've squandered billions, if not a trillions dollars in this effort and it's empowering our terrorist enemies. It's just an issue who's time has come. Correct?

Mr. Richard Lee: Yeah. I think there's a couple reasons for that. One of course, is the economy. It's like history repeating itself, similar to what happened with the repeal of alcohol prohibition with the great depression in the thirties. So if you know the economic hard times are really getting people's attention. The savings for law enforcement and the increase in tax revenue and secondly, we're seeing a generational turnover from the WWII generation to the 'baby boomers' and the baby boomers have more experience with Cannabis, so they're not as easily frightened by government propaganda.

Dean Becker: Oh, exactly right. In the coming weeks we hope to be hearing more from Richard Lee, the founder of Oaksterdam University and his professors and staff. Richard, any closing thoughts you'd like to relay, in this regard?

Mr. Richard Lee: Well, we could use all support for the Initiative, nationwide. Because this is going to be such an important election, you know? 'Cause California is on the leading edge of a lot of these progressive issues and on Cannabis reform. You know it's the first State with Medical Marijuana.

So I encourage your listeners to go to our website, and sign up to get regular email updates on what's going on and make a donation. We'd like to get a million people to give ten dollars each. That will raise us ten million dollars and we'll be able to get up on radio and television to counter any of the lies that the opposition tries to say about the Initiative. So thanks to your listeners again for supporting your radio show, listening and for supporting taxing and regulating Cannabis.

This has been: Life, Liberty and Happiness from

This buds so good
That when I smoke it
The government freaks out.

The following comes to us courtesy of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

*Dateline. ROOTSTOWN, Ohio -- Police said a 55-year-old man killed himself after he and his wife were charged with child endangering in connection with growing marijuana.

A spokesman for the Portage County Coroner said the death of Robert Batsch would be declared a suicide.

His wife, Pamela, found his body with a .22-caliber rifle nearby in the woods behind their home, according to Portage County Sheriff David Doak.

Batsch and his wife were arrested on warrants of allowing a juvenile to live in the home where, police said, marijuana was being grown. They were released on $5,000 bond.

Their son told school officials about the marijuana, which led to the police investigation.

"The dad got rid of everything once he got wind of the fact that the son had told school officials about the grow operation," Doak said. "When we got there, there was no marijuana present."

Which begs the question, 'If there was no marijuana present, how were they arrested for growing marijuana?' It should be noted that DARE, the Neo-Stasi Organization, is holding a training conference in Cincinnati from July 20th thru July 22nd.

They teach America's school children how to be good snitches!

(sung to: Dream the Impossible Dream)

To dream, the American Dream
To lie still and hope
With both of your eyes closed
To ignore the nightmare that surrounds you
Just to try
Try to reach the American Dream...

We report, here on the Drug Truth Network, about all the new modifications and attempts to bring Cannabis use into the mainstream. Labs doing tests and people trying to sell a better product... and one of those who is heading in that direction is Doctor Robert Melameade. He's been our guest many times on the Drug Truth Network and he and his associates have started Cannabis Science, Incorporated, a Pharmaceutical Cannabis Company and I'm pleased to have him on the show and I'll let him tell us more about his new company.

Dr. Robert Melameade: Yeah. Well, what we're trying to do is bring oral cannabis medicines through the FDA. Especially we're targeting Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and chronic pain in Veterans.

There's a whole new world of science that's emerged regarding the cannabis-like compounds that we make, called endocannabinoids and they regulate literally everything in our body. So, they're very much involved in memories and emotions and things that are the foundation of trauma and stress of PTSD. So it's really a natural supplement for an activity that needs to be increased for those people. For example, it helps people forget unpleasant memories.

Dean Becker: Robert, that's so essential to those who have suffered in a war, or from rape or attacks of any kind, really. That they're able to digest what happened to them and then find the way to move on from there. Right?

Dr. Robert Melameade: Exactly, and you do that by reducing the severity of the... the impact of the severity of the event, in terms of your memory; how often do you think it, how your body responds to those thoughts. If you can tone down that negative activity, then you can start to find new places to be.

Dean Becker: Dr. Melameade, there are many ways that the Cannabis plant can be used. People put it into cookies, extracts, tinctures. For many people though, they find that the actual smoking of the plant itself, best suits their needs. How will your company deal with those various aspects and uses?

Dr. Robert Melameade: There are still people who also will find, especially with the right formulations, that oral medicines are in many respects better. Especially for, for example, chronic long term problems. Because when you consume it orally, you don't spike as much and it lasts much longer. So you get a more sustained release.

Dean Becker: Your company's now on the NASDAQ and it shows a remarkable change in attitude, if you will. The possibilities and probabilities for your company are very strong.

Dr. Robert Melameade: Well, we're trying to work within the law and to, at the same time, provide people with medicine. We know that many of these things work. We just recently did a survey of Veterans with PTSD and the use of Cannabis and there're some very strong indications in that survey regarding positive benefits. So we want to follow up on that and formally test that issue under the appropriate kinds of FDA requirements in order to ultimately go and get approval as a pharmaceutical.

Dean Becker: Robert we have, in the past, talked about the cannabaniod system. You've instructed me rather well, I think, and I remember you talking about, 'It's like a thermostat', that the cannabiniod works with your system to adjust it a little higher, a little lower. To keep you at that optimum, in many aspects; many components of living. Is that correct?

Dr. Robert Melameade: Yes. That's exactly the way it is. The balance of cannabaniod activity and how it turns down other things.

Dean Becker: Dr. Melameade, I live in Texas. Houston, Texas for God's sake and we have no Cannabis Dispensaries here. But as I understand it, the State of Colorado is becoming somewhat similar to the situation in California. The dispensaries are popping up. How have you seen that development?

Dr. Robert Melameade: Well, there's a map that you can find on the internet showing the distribution of dispensaries in Denver. It's actually greater per capita than you find with Los Angeles. It's exploding. We were on South Broadway there and every block, every other block, there's a dispensary and some of them are really super high quality, wonderful places.

Dean Becker: Friends, we've been talking with Dr. Robert Melameade. He's President of Cannabis Science, Incorporated, up there in Colorado. Robert, if folks wanted to learn more about your organization, point them on the web, where they should go.

Mr. Robert Melameade:

Dean Becker: For those of you with a few bucks to risk, they are on NASDAQ, under CBIS.

It's time to play: "Name That Drug - By It's Side Effects!"

Change in amount or color of sputum, fever, chills, increased cough, breathing problems, osteoporosis, cataracts and glaucoma, increased blood pressure, heart rate and heart rhythm, pneumonia and death.


Time up! The answer from AstraZeneca:

Symbicort! For Asthma

Brian: No more oppression! We, as American adults with free will, have the right to use marijuana if we choose to! Enough government profiteering, under the guise of morality! Enough with this phony war on drugs!

Stewie: You know, you're going about this all wrong. If you want to win people over, you can't just drone on like Ben Stein. You've got to have a little more showmanship. Here. Watch.

(Sung to: Me Ol' Bamboo)

Stewie: Now everybody gather 'round and listen if you would
When I tell you every person needs a way of feeling good
Every kitty needs a ball of string and every dog a stick

Stewie & Brian: But all you need is a bag of weed to really get a kick

All: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight

A Bag of Weed, A Bag of Weed
Oh, Everything is better with A Bag of Weed
It's the only help that you'll ever need
Because Everything is better with A Bag of Weed

Stewie: There you go, you're all getting it now

I'm Bill Piper, Director of National Affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance.

Dean Becker: Bill, there's an ongoing situation with the violence and the waste of financial resources and just overextending our ability to house so many prisoners. Much of this problem comes as a result of, I think, a misguided policy insofar as this drug war.

Now, Obama came into office talking about science based approach and so forth. But has he lived up completely to his ideals, once he's in office?

Mr. Bill Piper: Not really. I mean, he did some good things last year. ....congress repealed the federal syringe ban so states could make sterile syringes available to reduce the spread of AIDS. Issuing a directive telling federal law enforcement not to undermine State Medical Marijuana Laws and speaking out in favor of eliminating crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity.

But in many other areas for instance, his budget that he just released, the Drug War Budget, is almost identical to Bush's budget. Spending almost all the money on police and prisons and very little on treatment and prevention. Then he nominated Michelle Leonhart to head the Drug Enforcement Administration.

She's a Bush crony. She's basically Ashcroft's, former Attorney General John Ashcroft, she's basically Ashcroft's 'mini-me'. She's responsible for a lot of medical marijuana raids under the Bush administration. But recently the DEA raided a medical marijuana grower in Colorado and they seem to be stepping up in LA and it's just vary troubling that Obama seems to be saying all the right thing, but in the instances in which it really, really counts, he's not living up to his own rhetoric.

Dean Becker: Now there are the 'hold over' US attorneys that Obama has not replaced and they seem to be more inclined to allow these raids of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries to continue, but you guys have an idea that may bring focus to bare on this 'lack' of change. You want to tell us about that?

Mr. Bill Piper: Yeah. We're encouraging people to email the White House and thank Obama for saying the right things. But also express your disappointment. That it's not enough to say the right things, you also have to do the right things and we're hoping that if there's enough pressure, that he'll listen. A lot of Americans, very early on, wrote the Obama administration and urged Obama to ban the kind of medical marijuana raids that the Bush administration engaged in, and he listened.

He just needs, I think, some encouragement. There's a lot of things going on in the world but it's easy for some things to get lost and when he does talk about drug policy, he talks about treating it as a health issue instead of a criminal justice issue. We just need him to stand up and make that a reality and not just words.

Dean Becker: Is there not a website where folks could join up with this effort?

Mr. Bill Piper: They could go to and they can take action there. In fact, it's on the home page. Click a button and you can send an email to the White House.

What will it take... to motivate?

My name is Tim Meehan. I'm the Executive Director of Patients Against Ignorance and Discrimination on Cannabis, or PAIDOC, and our organization looks at the law, the Human Rights aspects of the law and tries to perpetuate some knowledge toward medical cannabis patients, as well as act as a bit of a clearing house for legal and other information.

Dean Becker: Now Tim, you're up there in Ontario, Canada and unlike the United States, where apparently international treaties have president over our own Constitution, it's not quite the same up there. That's bringing forth an issue in your country now. Is it not?

Mr. Tim Meehan: Yes, that is. Our current Minister of Justice, Robert Nicholson, gave an interview yesterday, basically affirming what the International Narcotic Control Boards interpretation of their feelings about our medical cannabis program here in Canada, and that they're claming it is not in line with the Single Convention Treaty and other treaties that Canada has signed.

Unfortunately for them, they are working off an interpretation that comes out of the United States, where it's, of course, it's under the United States Constitution. Treaties ratified by Congress basically take precedence over the Constitution.

Here in Canada, our Constitution is supreme and in addition, each of the treaties has a clause in them that says that, 'If there's a conflict for Constitutional Law in each signatory state, that our Constitution invalidates the treaties.

Dean Becker: Tim, you see the news, the horrible situation in Mexico, Afghanistan and other grower countries, the death and the violence that goes on, the interpretation that any official who tries to make that 'cannabis is a threat' and no matter the repercussions, we've got to continue down this same road. It just gives me doubt as to which side they're on. Your thoughts?

Mr. Tim Meehan: The government here, it's a conservative government, actually more of a neo-conservative government, in the vain of George W. Bush. They take the attitude that any... Their moral interpretation of the drug laws supersede any 'Human Rights' interpretation. Of course the courts disagree with them and we could be headed into an election very soon.

Of course, I'm sure you're aware that our Prime Minister has shut down Parliament twice, over the past year, in order to avoid some really scandalous things that have gone on with Afghan detainees, among other things. But one of the things that they did was, they had a bill called C-15 that went into Parliament and went into our Senate.

Our Senate made some wise amendments, as far as I'm concerned they didn't go far enough. But when the Prime Minister, Steven Harper, peroked Parliament, all that died. They're trying to bring it back and the Justice Minister has been using the media over the past two/three weeks to try and 'bully' the opposition members into supporting it. Painting them as 'soft on crime'.

But in reality, this bill... is the gangsters best; it would be the gangsters best friend. They would get the small time growers out of the business, because they're facing a mandatory minimum jail term and as we know, prohibition doesn't work. But what it will do is, it will concentrate it more and more in the hands of 'real' organized crime.

Not the organized crime that the RCMP and other police claim. Which, as I think, three or more person's operating together, is suddenly a criminal enterprise. But they're trying to confuse people and claim that a couple of people getting together growing medically, is the same as say, the Hells Angels. Or the Red Scorpions...

Dean Becker: Siena Lowa Cartel

Mr. Tim Meehan: ...or any of the other gangs. Some of the similar gangs that are operating in Mexico.

Dean Becker: Well Tim, if folks wanted to tune into ya'll website to learn more, please point them in that direction.

Mr. Tim Meehan: Yeah. Our website is

Opening up a can of worms
And going fishing for truth.

This is the Drug Truth Network

Ironically or perhaps appropriately, the following comes to us from WCBD - TV in Charleston, South Carolina.

News person: In their first half hour of being open, a dozen customers swamped the Cornerstore Gift Shop in Hutchinson looking for K2, a synthetic form of pot. Surprisingly the majority of buyers aren't looking for a buzz. Instead, they're looking for relief from pain.

Customer: I've had probably twenty/twenty-five years of back problems. I have MS. I have cancer and it all builds up and the pain hurts and so I heard about this and I thought I'd give it a try.

News person: After media reports explored the synthetic drugs use in Kansas, law makers have drafted bills to ban it. So when Don Greg heard about those plans, he started selling K2 and said it's been the best thing to ever hit his business.

Don Greg: It's the new kid on the block. A lot of people are trying it just because they've heard about it, because of so much stirred legislature.

News person: K2 is a concoction of dried plants sprayed with chemicals that produces a 'high' similar to marijuana and regardless of whether it's medically proven, desperate patients are giving it a chance.

Customer: It all hurt... and when you get down to that pain where you can't even get out of bed, you do what ever you can.

News person: But some law makers in Topeka are against K2, because no studies have been done regarding it's safety and claims it may help alleviate pain are unproven. While it appears likely K2 will be banned in Kansas, efforts to legalize Medical Marijuana in this state, appear stalled.

Dean Becker: When I heard what was happening in Kansas, I went to a local vendor in the gulag city of Texas and picked up a little package of JWH-018 otherwise known as K2. The vendor told me that they just purchase the chemical and you spray it on any number of types of media. What he used was the stuff called Damiana. Even looks a bit like weed.

{Match is lit. Sound of inhaling. Coughing.} Rather harsh. {More coughing.} Yes, indeed. Little bit of a light headed feeling. I'm gonna try another toke. Gotta sneak up on this stuff. Ahhhhh, feels a bit like getting high. I got to admit it.

Only wish I knew what the hell was in the bag and how much of the JWH-018 they actually sprayed on there and truthfully, what the hell is JWH-018? At least with marijuana, you pretty much know what's in that bag. You can recognize the buds... and the crystal. This stuff looks like and works like... beat up swag and costs twenty to fifty dollars a gram.

Yep. Because of prohibition, nobody knows 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

*news story -