Cultural Baggage / December 19, 2010
Cheryl Shuman: I was diagnosed in 2006 and they told me I would be dead by my birthday in 2007. I’m still here and I’m so grateful. For those of you who don’t know, I was denied a liver transplant because I am a medical cannabis patient and because cannabis is scheduled as a Schedule I drug. In essence that has been a death sentence for me. So, I have dedicated the rest of life to giving this movement a push forward.
Dean Becker: That was Cheryl Shuman with the Opening words of KushCon in Denver, Colorado, with 30,000 square feet, four hundred to five hundred vendors displaying every bit commerce and services that are growing by the day in Colorado. We’ll let Cheryl Shuman introduce the next speaker there at Kush Con.
Cheryl Shuman: I wanted like to introduce Mason Tvert for a moment. He is our Colorado love child. We love him to death. He knows more about Colorado politics and I would like to give him the honor of introducing Governor Johnson.
Before Mason comes up I want to tell you that I have never in my lifetime seen such an amazing politician as Governor Johnson. How many honest politicians do we have out there? I think we’ve got one. (Applause) I know for a fact that he will have my vote and whatever power that I have with the Kush brand and Kush Magazine and all the media powers that be.
I will dedicate the time I have to making sure you win your bid for presidency, when you do choose to run and make that announcement. That being said I would like to the Mason Tvert. Thank you so much. I’m a little emotional but thank you so much. God Bless.
Mason Tvert: Well, on behalf of the people of Colorado, I would like to welcome everyone here who is here from out of state. People attending this convention from not just from across Colorado but around this nation and around the world.
It’s a very exciting time to see an event like this and to see this event like this happening here in this city and in this state. I am the Executive Director of an organization called SAFER (Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation) which has been one of the driving forces behind changing our marijuana laws here in Colorado.
In fact in 2005, we helped lead the effort towards making Denver the first city in the country to remove all penalties for private adult marijuana possession and as a result it’s very fitting for the historic convention to be taking place here in this city. It is amazing not only to see such a well-run, professional event of this magnitude but to see a city embrace it, to see the elected officials around here attending and wanting to talk and be a part of this, o see potential future elected officials wanting to come and talk about this, to see all the people involved in this industry around the country and around the world coming here to this city and there’s a reason why it’s happening here.
It’s because Colorado is among the states that is most likely to be the first to make marijuana legal for all adults and that is something that we plan on seeing happen here in the next couple of years. So, this event is providing an opportunity not only for people to hear about this issue and network and find out more but to also began the unprecedented effort we plan to make Colorado the first in country to legalize marijuana.
So, with that all said, I would like to introduce our very highly acclaimed guest here Governor Gary Johnson. Very quickly for those who are not entirely familiar with Governor Johnson. He was a two term Governor in the state of New Mexico, a republican, who has been largely supportive and incredibly supportive of marijuana policy reform, not only throughout his time in office but since then he has been traveling the country, speaking not only at events surrounding marijuana and marijuana policy but at other events and discussing this issue and appearing in the national media and local media alike to really put a very prominent, professional face on this issue and as a result, it is really brought about sea change in attitudes, not only here in Colorado but elsewhere.
I’m very, very proud to introduce the Governor. He is currently running our America Initiative and it’s been said that he could be contemplating a run for the Presidency but of course that might not be something to willing to discuss right now.
The fact that he is here really lends a great deal to this event and to its magnitude and momentum building here in Colorado towards significant change. So, I would like him to come up now and let you know more about his thoughts on the subject and where he sees things heading and his thoughts on this event. We welcome Governor Gary Johnson.
Dean Becker: With that introduction for Mason Tvert the audience gave Governor Johnson a standing ovation.
Governor Gary Johnson: Wow, I get to kick this off and I think this is just fantastic. Really, I think it is fantastic that leaders and activists from all over the world have come to this event, KushCon, making this the largest event of its kind in the history of the planet, which is really significant.
I’ve got to tell you, I advocate legalizing marijuana. Control it, regulate it, tax it.
I think that 90% of the drug problem is prohibition related not use related and that’s not to discount the problems with use and abuse but that ought to be the focus. When you talk about legalizing marijuana, I think it’s to point out that it’s never going to be legal for smoke pot, to become impaired and get behind the wheel of a car or do harm to others. It’s never going to be legal for kids to smoke pot or to buy pot.
Under which scenario is it going to be easier for kids to buy pot? The conditions that exist today, where not only can you but pot nearly anywhere but in the situation today where even harder drugs are made available simply because the person that sells marijuana also sells other drugs. Take that away and have to produce an I.D. to be able to go and buy marijuana, I think you can make the case that a lot fewer kids would be using marijuana and is that really the concern anyway?
Isn’t the real concern about death, disease, crime and corruption the things that we really care about?
When it comes to all the other drugs, I advocate harm reduction strategies, which is just that – the notion of reducing death, disease, crime, corruption – the things that we really care about, in a nutshell looking at the drug problem as a health issue rather than a criminal justice issue.
I have to tell you that I’ve been traveling the country over the last year. I am a republican reaching out to republican groups all around the country looking to expand the base of the republican party to recognize what this issue is and what it represents and what it represents from a dollars and cents standpoint is that half of what we spend on law enforcement, the courts and the prisons is drug related. This is HUGE.
$70 billion a year and what are we getting for that $70 billion a year?
We’re arresting 1.8 million people. I always point out – that is the population of New Mexico that gets arrested in this country every single year. With those arrests, go the fact that there are now 2.3 million people behind bars in this country.
We have the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. The majority of those 2.3 million people behind bars are there because they sold drugs and arguably, not arguably, non-violent crime are they behind bars.
I estimate that there are 30 million Americans but for our drug laws would otherwise be taxpaying law abiding citizens.
So, we’re at a tipping point in this country and that tipping point is actually two years away. Right now, 46% of Americans support legalizing marijuana.
This is really significant and it’s a great issue when brought to the light of day and hence kudos to the Kush conference because what this is going to do is it’s going to continue to increase the awareness of around this issue.
When Proposition 19 came up for a vote this last fall, it came right down on the national average when it came to the vote but the issue was put on the dinner table as a topic of discussion for millions of American families that wouldn’t have been there otherwise.
Again, this is an issue when light is shone on this issue, this is issue advances, that’s 46% that supports legalizing marijuana, dependent on who the wind blows they don’t move to 45% or 44% or 42% tomorrow. It’s moving forward and it’s been moving forward again and two years away from that.
I really want to applaud all of you for your activism in this area. If there is one single thing that we can do in this country to improve our quality of life, it would be to legalize marijuana.
Imagine police – imagine police tomorrow going out and enforcing REAL crime as opposed to going out and catching people selling small amounts of drugs and they do a really good job of that.
Imagine right now, any of you going back to your car and having it burglarized while you’re here in this conference. Number one, would you call the police? The only reason you would call the police is for an insurance report. That’s the only reason, but in a scenario where marijuana was legal – the only reason they would come to come out and make a police report because they don’t have the resources to go out and enforce the crime against – enforce laws against real crime.
Again, real crime is the burglarization of our homes and what have you and what’s the real cause of burglarization of the home? Well, perhaps it is somebody who has to pay for drugs, anyway.
Legalized marijuana. Adopt rational drug police regarding all of the drugs and law enforcement, again, concentrates in real crime, committed against you and I. This would make a huge difference of the quality of life for all of us and again, I just applaud you on your activism. Keep it up.
We are two years away from this happening but it’s the finally stretch and more than ever it’s a need to go out and engage in conversation discussion, debate with people that don’t understand this issue. Thank you very much.
Dean Becker: You are listing to Cultural Baggage on the Drug Truth Network. We’re tuning into the KushCon conference in Denver, Colorado, the speaker Governor Gary Johnson takes questions now from members of the press.
The first asked: Does he find other politicians that think the same way?
Governor Gary Johnson: Other policy makers agree with me in public or private. In public, none and in private probably about 30%.
[Second reporter’s question unintelligible]
Governor Gary Johnson: Very well, I’m still here. I live north of Taos. I live there because the skiing is as good as anywhere on the planet and that happens to be my passion and when I started this whole thing out I was looking to get egged or tomatoed and sent back to Taos but it has not happened.
The reception had been terrific. The reception has been terrific among the Republican Party which I think recognizes that we can’t continue to do the same thing over and over and over again, expecting different results.
Dean Becker: Next, I asked the governor: Is it true that he used medical marijuana for an extend people of time?
Governor Gary Johnson: Actually, a few years back I was in a really horrible paragliding accent, five years ago. I found myself with a burst fracture of my twelfth T vertebrae which is the pivotal in you back.
So, I broke my back. I broke six ribs. I meniscus damage in both knees, I tore my ACL and outside of those injuries, I had my neck and my shoulders and my hips. It took me three years to recover from that accident but I found myself in a situation where I did not want to take prescription drugs for what was ailing me because I’ve done that before for a very short amount of time and I thought that it was horrible. I thought it was dangerous and I did not want to subject myself to that.
So, I found myself lying on the floor for what was a diagnoses for being on the floor for six straight weeks, having to eat on the floor not being able to get up other than just to go to the bathroom and a friend came by and said, “You know, Gary, do you want to see if I could get you some marijuana?” And, “Yes, absolutely that would be great,” and so for three years I smoked pot to deal with this situation.
I will tell you doctors were telling me that I was not going to recover from this. That this was the end of my athletics, the end of my activism and I am not going to attribute this to marijuana but I’m fully recovered, it took me three years to do it and marijuana played a role in all of this to help me though that.
Dean Becker: Alright we’ll be back shortly with more from KushCon.
(Game show music)
It’s time to play: Name That Drug By Its Side Effects
Fever, sweats, chills, muscle aches, couch, shortness of breath, blood in your phlegm, weight loss, warm red painful sores on your body, diarrhea, stomach pain, burning when you urinate, tuberculosis, infection, cancer and death.
The answer: from the Centocor Ortho Biotech Stelara for psoriasis. Yep, the government says it’s ok for you to use Stelara but don’t you go smoking no weed.
This is a Drug Truth Network Editorial:
Recently the Christian Science Monitor issued a major editorial titled, Time to Again Mobilize Against Marijuana.
The Christen Science Monitor seems to think that the world is in need of a dominant voice to raise a ruckus and thwart any efforts to legalize marijuana. President Obama is their man to get the job done, “Because the Feds have the reach. They have the funds. They have the law. If only they had the political will.” A bit of logic and proportion would serve us better.
They raised the red flag when they wrote that marijuana, “contains carcinogens, is inhaled and is neither regulated nor approved by the Food and Drug Administration.”
Doctor Donald Tashkin, a top level scientist working for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, attempted to prove that smoking cannabis causes cancer. Following the long term studies, Doctor Taskin, in fact, proved the opposite.
Doctor Donald Tashkin: Despite the fact that the study was designed as well as you could possibly design it and it included a large number of subjects, over a hundred of whom smoked heavily, both in the among the cases and the controls. I think we can say with some confidence that there just is no evidence that – of an association between marijuana use and lung cancer.
Writing on behalf of the children, Christen Science Monitor states, “Studies are mounting that show marijuana’s harmful effects, especially on youths whose brains are not fully developed.”
Legalizers like me, want to take away our children’s easy access to drugs but according to the logic of CSM and the Drug Czars, it is better to continue the black market, which has turned America’s junior and senior high schools into drug distribution hubs.
Better to enrich the barbarous cartels, better to feed the Taliban cash cow, better to create more gangs, violence, destruction and hysteria. It sells better that way.
CSM begins to wrap the editorial with the thought, “But the main message must be that marijuana is not a benign drug.” As if only angelic healing exists in pharmaceuticals, as if alcohol is everything wonderful as shown in the commercials and as if tobacco is but a forgotten relic of our nation’s founding.
Again appealing to Obama’s better nature they write, “Is he going to simply tell his daughters that, yes, he smoked pot and, well, he hopes they survive the experience if they follow his example?”
I say the chances that more teens will smoke pot in their high school bathrooms remains rather high, thanks to the black market’s continual reach into every community.
However, in that after thousands of years of use of cannabis plant, there has never been one death caused by its use. It’s quite likely that if they try it, they will survive.
The belief in Drug War has been handed down from one generation to the next, as if it were the Arc of the Covenant. Very few dare to look inside, to observe that it is empty.
Rather than demanding of moral judgment from this pot smoking president or the two pot smoking presidents that proceeded him, perhaps you should ask your Christ, “Which pot smokers need to be locked up and which ones should be the next president?”
Dean Becker, Drugtruth.net
This is Dean Becker of the Drug Truth Network, wishing you and yours a very safe and prosperous holiday season.
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Gus Escamilla: My name is Gus Escamilla. I am the founder and CEO of Greenway University. Green University is a medical marijuana compliance and training institute. We’re the first licensed and approved and regulation medical marijuana educational provider in the entire US.
We just recently completed a 25,000 sq. ft. facility here in Denver Colorado, where we have our own media production studio. We have a physician’s clinic. We also house a medical marijuana bank as well as a 10,000 sq. ft. campus. We have medical marijuana attorneys, CPAs, as well as many other industry professionals, all housed within one roof.
We’ve been fortunate enough to attract the Marijuana Business Alliance and just all the top tier business professionals, as it relate to the Colorado marketplace. So, we’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of success and expand upon our income tremendous – not our income but our educational platform, tremendously.
We’ll have about in the upcoming next I would say 30-45 days about 30-40 classes that are actually approved by the state of Colorado and we are actually working with other states now to get that education and course curriculum approved.
Dean Becker: Now you did drop the word income and I am sure this growth is helping your income, as well because this whole cannabis industry is a growth industry at this point, is it not?
Gus Escamilla: You couldn’t be more right than that. It is certainly a growth industry – no pun intended. What it is for those individuals and professions that want to do things right. It allows then to get into this space and really come out of the woodwork and we see a lot of different professions that are 35-65 years olds that are seeing this as a legitimate and viable industry.
So ultimately, we not only cover compliance components but also high end cultivation, operations and what have you. So, there so many other industries that expand, not just the cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana but all the other industries that are expanding as a result. I mean I can’t tell you how many realtors, insurance agents, nutrient lines, sales people, pipe blowers, glass blowers, I mean, advertisers.
There’s so many other industries that support this industry as a result of Colorado really being at the forefront. it’s has allowed so many people to do so many great things. I mean, look here today we probably have over 100,000 people come through this convention. That’s just an amazing – we are in a truly amazing time in history.
Dean Becker: Yeah, it is. If you would share your website with my listeners?
Gus Escamilla: It’s www.greenwayuniversity.com.
Ken: I’m Ken with Cool Jarz. We manufacture airtight jars for the medical marijuana- industry.
Dean Becker: Now this is a necessary item for many reasons. Talk about what those might be.
Ken: Basically, they keep your meds airtight. They keep your meds where you want them. They don’t spill out. If you want them at a certain time and you open up the jar and you get your meds fresh basically at any time you want.
Dean Becker: Now there are a lot of folks who also travel and get on board aircraft these days and they may be legal patients but they might not want the hassle of carrying their meds. This would help to slow down those dogs, at least, wouldn’t it?
Ken: It would keep them from barking a little bit. (Laughs)
Dean Becker: Right. You’re here at KushCon, I mean it is quite an event. It’s enormous and I guess what has surprised me most, is that it’s just so accepted right here in the heart of downtown and no problems whatsoever, your response?
Ken: It definitely is. I talked to two police officers earlier. They came up to sample my product. They said, “Boy, I’ll be putting this to good use.”
Dean Becker: It speaks very loudly of the current circumstances.
Ken: We sell 50 million jars a year. There’s a lot of people using our jars. (Laughs)
Dean Becker: Alright, and your website please?
Ken: What was that?
Dean Becker: Your website?
Ken: Our website is www.cooljarz.com.
Dean Becker: Alright you are listening Cultural Baggage on the Drug Truth Network. We’re reporting from Denver, Colorado. We’re attending the KushCon convention.
Darwin: My name is Darwin and I work for the Colorado Bubble Company. We’re a commercial grade extract company and we basically produce all of the commercial grade extracts for Daisy’s Hash Edibles. We also produce smoking grade extracts, including hashes and oils for dispensaries and other HB 1284 complaint individuals in the state.
Dean Becker: Now, I’m a Texan. This all is a bit new, at the least. The fact of the matter is Colorado has almost come full circle on this and understands the need for this to be permitted.
Darwin: Absolutely. Individuals like myself that just became new voters, well not necessarily new, in between 25-30 or so. I think those are the Gen-Xters or whatever, I guess.
Our proactive stance has kind of been influenced by the environment and I guess this would be an easy outlet for individuals who have perspectives on the industry that hasn’t been quite looked at before.
So, here we have a different model in this state, where it is one of the only states where we can make money, where the actual dispensaries make the money, whereas everywhere else it’s all non-profit and it’s actually the gardens that make money.
So, here it is actually the business model ground for – framework and the business framework there to show that his actual business can survive and will make money.
Dean Becker: The echelon of a normal regulated business where each segment makes their fair share, right?
Darwin: That’s exactly right. In this state we have a regulatory committee that most of the largest industry owners an gardeners are all a part of what help the ate make their rules and basically re-write the laws to basically – to better the market for the industry.
Dean Becker: Ok and your website?
Darwin: Our website is www.coloradobubblesco.com
Tim McDowell: My name is Tim McDowell, I’m with MarQaha. We are out of Denver, Colorado and Boulder, Colorado and we do medicated juice teas and we have a sorry, what’s that?
Dean Becker: That’s ok. Medicated juice teas, now I’m a Texan, I’ve never seen a medicated juice tea until today. Tell me, what’s in there?
Tim McDowell: We use mostly natural products, mostly organic and all natural products. We use an alcohol extract of the entire plant which we have tested every extract in a lab in Boulder Colorado, called RM3 Labs. We get that back in milligrams of activated THC, milligrams of active CBDs per gram and we use that as an equation to dose each bottle of medicine.
Our big bottles out 12oz are 40 mg of activated THV. We have a one hit wonder which is 2 oz., which contains 20 mg of activated THC. We have a new line of drinks coming out that are very strong at 110 mg of activated THC.
Dean Becker: Wow. Now, this again, not knowing THC or excuse me milligrams, that well, 110 mg is enough for the average guy to medicate some several times, is it not?
Tim McDowell: Absolutely, we use milligrams as a way that any other medicine would, so you know as a number how much it takes for you to get relief.
So, maybe you know that it take 30 ml for your pain to go away and you know that you can buy one of our 40 mg drinks and maybe drink it one or two times and you know what that’s going to do every single time.
For a cancer patient and we’ve seen this, they can take 110 mg or over 100 mg and it gives them some peace or maybe they need to do that even more.
Dean Becker: Ok, now it’s been my observation that when you do edibles, it takes a little while for it to have effect but it’s not like marijuana, in that it goes away in an hour or so. It has a longer effect, does it not?
Tim McDowell: Absolutely, the juice will hit you a little faster than, say if you’re eating a cookie or something because if the stomach lining and whatnot. We test each batch for THC and CBDs. The THC will come on a little quicker and go away a little quicker. CBDs seem to take a little longer to kick in but it will last longer, a long pain relief.
Dean Becker: Ok. A website that you can share with the listeners?
Tim McDowell: The website is www.marQaha.com
Dean Becker: Alright, that’s about all we can squeeze in this week. You can hear more reports from KushCon on this week’s 420 Reports and we should have many more for another show or two but I urge you to tune into this week’s Century of Lies when we’ll hear pleas to the US Congress to make these changes to the crack laws retroactive.
Once, again I remind you that 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.
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.