Cultural Baggage - March 14, 2010

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.

We've got a couple of great shows for you this week. Broadcasting from Oakland, California and San Francisco, California. We'll be reporting on the happenings at Oaksterdam University, the expanding college there on Cannabis knowledge and we'll also hear from the Students for Sensible Drug Policy Convention and it's attendee's, in beautiful San Francisco Bay.

But first up, I want to give you some of the reasons these youngsters are doing what they do. We're going to intersperse that amongst many of our lengthier discussions.

Alright. We're here in the lobby of the enormous Oaksterdam University. I'm sitting on a couch next to a young lady who has some thoughts she'd like to share about what California has done, what Oaksterdam University is helping to do.

Intern hopeful: Well, California has given me great weather, of course and what it's helping me to do is kind of expand my mind into the whole Cannabis industry. I'm actually doing a career choice at the present time. I'm here waiting for my internship interview, honestly. So, yeah. That's what California's been doing for me. {laughter} This is a great school, anyway. I've learned a lot so far.

Hi. I'm Shaleen Title and I just flew in from Boston to kind of get a little tour here, before the Students for Sensible Drug Policy Conference.

Dean Becker: ...and you, miss.

I'm Danielle Schumacher. Shaleen and I started an SSDP chapter on our college campus about ten years ago? No, not that long, and a chapter of NORML also...

Shaleen Title: {in background} Seven years.

Danielle Schumacher: Seven years ago. I live here in Oakland. I was the first Chancellor of Oaksterdam University and right now I work for Dr. Frank Lucido in Berkley. It's amazing... and I'm really excited to be here with Shaleen and run around Oaksterdam, seeing all the sights.

Student: To get the cutting edge, learning of all the Cannabis industry and trying to get into the business, one way or another, legally. So this is the way to get the info.

Dean Becker: Now as I understand it, many students come here in kind of a rush and they're surprised that there's are other things they need to learn and take care of, as they begin this process. Right?

Student: Oh, as far as the laws and everything go? Yeah, absolutely. I found out personally that a lot of my preconceptions were absolutely false. You know, word on the street... this... that.... Well, now I'm the informer telling people, 'Hey, no. This is the law. You can carry... you know. Then the Kelley case, it's up to the court now to decide it. If you get caught, you're allowed to have so much medicine, you know? It's like a lot of different little things here and there to the finer points and it's definitely cutting edge here.

I was surprised at how intense the curriculum really is and how professional the whole operation is, as far as the teachers and the education, the binder they give you... I mean, the whole operation is top notch. In fact, I go to community college and my community college isn't even on this level, to tell you the truth. Seriously. I'm not kidding.

My name is Dale Skye Clare. I'm the Executive Chancellor for Oaksterdam University. So I'm working on expansion programs, both to new locations but also, more importantly, our curriculum. In addition to that, I am on the board for the Non-profit Trade Association; the Medical Cannabis Association.

We're working to represent the various facets of the Cannabis industry to one another, so that what's most important to the patients and the doctors is actually getting telegraphed to the growers and the dispensaries and visa versa, that growers can represent themselves to dispensaries and patients. More importantly, to represent the entire Cannabis Industry as a whole on the medical front to mainstream.

Thirdly, I work with the Medical Cannabis Safety Counsel. We helped found that, to work on self-regulation and moving forward safety on the entire plant continuum. From the grower, all the way to the patient.

Dean Becker: I have talked to a few students in my brief time here at Oaksterdam. A couple of them seemed surprised that it was not, excuse me but a joke, some sort of comedy driving class. But they actually got challenged and appreciated the level of knowledge they were receiving. Your response?

Ms. Dale Skye Clare: Oh, I'm happy to hear that. It's one of my favorite things to do, to shock and surprise our students. In fact, I feel to a large degree many of the folks walking in, walk out with an entirely different view of where they thought they would be and that means that we succeeded.

Because we're not just here to tell you how to be safe and responsible under California law. How to be a patient and what to do, but what not to do. Making sure that you don't spend time and energy and money chasing something that is not going to make you happy, healthy or wealthy. Because there's so many misconceptions about what the Cannabis Industry is and what it is not.

We want to make sure that we are setting people up for success, helping them prepare for the worst and then somewhere in-between, operating under the best practices that we've found established in this industry, of how to get the best results or the most productive results. Be it the best quality medicine for a patient, or if you're actually looking to get actually get involved in working in the industry.

Making sure that you're running a business that puts the patients top of mind, as far as their health and happiness, but that you're also following California law. That you're paying your taxes. That you have a business permit. That you are paying into the system as part of the solution, rather than being part of the problem that's giving this entire industry a bad name.

Dean Becker: I'm sure there's lots of information on line, available curriculum, list of courses, biographies of the professors and so on. Why don't you point them where they could learn more?

Ms. Dale Skye Clare: Well, if you go to, you will find a launch pad to learn more about the classes, courses and curriculum and also about, which is the voter initiative that we are promoting.

Alright, my friends. You are listening to Cultural Baggage on the Drug Truth Network this week. We're producing our show in Oakland, California. We're covering the growth of Oaksterdam University and we'll be talking to Mr. Steve DeAngelo of the Harborside Health Center, there in Oakland as well, about the growth of his facility. But next we're going to hear from a few students and their thoughts, in regards to this drug war.

Dean Becker: Hi. Now are you from California or out of state.

Student: Out of state.

Dean Becker: Can you name the state?

Student: Washington, D.C.

Dean Becker: Now they have a new law that's not quite set in place. Am I correct?

Student: Correct. Yeah, they're working on it. They initially, six months ago they were talking about a couple years and like three months ago they said, 'Maybe we'll bring it to committee in 2010 and now they're already talking about passing it by the end of 2010.

Dean Becker: Well it's about time. That bill was long delayed in implementation. Correct?

Student: Correct. Because you have... that's a district and it's run by the Congress and the Senate and they make all the laws. You have a lot of conservative senators and congressmen who didn't want to look weak in their elections but I think now, for whatever reasons, I think they've come around only because the district is strapped financially like a lot of places and so they're trying to find ways to raise revenue for it, because the district gets funded by the Senate and Congress. Federal. So they're trying to save bucks wherever they can, I guess.

Cut down on prisons and things like that. We have the biggest prison system in the world. Right? We have arcane laws that waste... instead of going after people who are real criminals, they go after people who break laws, but they aren't criminals and they put them in jail and it just wastes so much manpower, resources, money and everything else.

Dean Becker: OK. We're at the reception area for Oaksterdam University. A gentleman has walked through the door. What brings you here, sir?

Gentleman: I came in to get some information about West coast Cannabis.

Dean Becker: What's your motivation for doing so?

Gentleman: Well, I just got certified and I wanted to start... ...start the process.

Dean Becker: Start the process. Alright. OK.

Gentleman: You know, going to a dispensary. That sort of thing.

Dean Becker: We're at Oaksterdam University in the reception area and I'm here with a student, just got out of class. What state are you from, sir?

Student: New York

Dean Becker: New York. Tell us what motivates you. What brings you here?

Student: Honestly, I'm just a... been a big fan of Cannabis for about twenty/twenty-five years and I just think this is the place to be, right now.

Dean Becker: OK, now. As I understand it, New York has a very liberal law with a very strict interpretation. Am I correct?

Student: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's no fun.

Dean Becker: {chuckling} Alright. What did you lean in class today? What were they talking about? What was it about?

Student: Today was all about operating dispensaries and how they get the medicine from the vendors, into the dispensaries. For me, this is much better than I ever would have done at Duke University. {laughter} Being here is the right place to be. I believe in the medicinal aspects, the spiritual aspects, everything, helping the community. I couldn't be happier anywhere else than right here, right now.

OK folks, you are listening to Cultural Baggage show on the Drug Truth Network. We're tuning in to student at Oaksterdam University as well as Students for Sensible Drug Policy, for their conference in San Francisco. Here's a few more of their thoughts.

We're here at Oaksterdam University. If you would, sir. You're enrolled here. What is your motivation for doing so?

Student: Oh, I could learn how to grow Cannabis in the right, proper way. By the laws and do it the right way, instead of bootlegging, you know. Coming up with my own method, to go the proper way, the book language way. You know, just do it the right way. That's why I came.

Dean Becker: What motivates you? What brings you to this University?

Female Student: Opportunity and proximity and gaining more knowledge and being someone who endorses the movement.

Dean Becker: You, sir. You have some thoughts you'd share, while you're here?

Male student: Sure. I live locally. I live about ten miles away. But I'm here at Oaksterdam to learn about Cannabis, just because I have the opportunity to. I mean for so many years, it's just been, 'Get what you get. Don't throw a fit.'

But now I'm a medical patient myself and so I can go to a dispensary and have a multitude of strains to choose from. With the legalization effort this year, next year's just going to be even bigger. So I'm here for the opportunity.

Dean Becker: I've found a student who's come all the way from Florida to attend these classes. I want to find out what motivates her to go that distance.

Student: Well, this here provides a working model of the political structure and there's a lot of the leaning in the how-to go about, you know, grass root movements to actually affect and change laws. We The People can actually have affects. You know, affect the law and we're seeing it happen here. So I didn't come out to learn that, but I came out and leaned that.

I'm very impressed with what I'm learning. I thought I knew a lot before I got here and I will admit that I didn't know a whole lot of anything. With the proper education and then my next step after completing this course is, I would like to do the internship and once I've completed the internship, I will open up a Compassionate Club in British Columbia.

Dean Becker: We're here at Oaksterdam University and I'm talking with the assistant to Mr. Richard Lee.

Hi. I'm Salwa Ibrahim.

Dean Becker: You're assistant to Mr. Richard Lee, here at Oaksterdam University. Keeps you busy, right?

Ms. Salwa Ibrahim: It sure does. We've got a lot of things going on.

Dean Becker: I hung out in the entryway for a couple hours today and it's just people coming and going and all kinds of classes going on and a lot of people really enthused, I must say.

Ms. Salwa Ibrahim: Absolutely. That's the kind of amazing thing about our students is that everybody's excited to be here, since it's a new industry and a trade school. Everybody's here with a certain purpose and the great thing about where our current location is, is that it's the third time we've expanded.

Our fist location had twenty students. It was a one room schoolhouse. The second location housed fifty students and now, in our current thirty thousand square foot facility, we're able to run eighty student classes, simultaneously and have cooking classes, as well as other lectures going on.

Dean Becker: I see the walk-up traffic. People just walking by, come in the door. Kind of surprised, I think, some of them, that such a thing exists, even though they may live in this city. It's expanding, this knowledge, all over the country now. Isn't it?

Ms. Salwa Ibrahim: It is and not just all over the country, but all over the world. We've been in publications from Swiss TV, Swedish TV, we've been in articles in Japan, Australia, Al Jazeera and in South America as well.

Dean Becker: Salwa, we're here looking at yesterdays USA Today. A major newspaper goes all across this country, which kind of tells what's going on, all across this country. Does it not? It talking about your boss, Mr. Richard Lee.

Ms. Salwa Ibrahim: Yes. We're very excited. Actually, this is the second article we've been in USA Today, in the past month and a half.

Dean Becker: If you would, you've had a chance to look it over, summarize what it's relaying to the American public.

Ms. Salwa Ibrahim: Basically it's just stating that the public perception of marijuana has completely shifted and I think more and more as we are going toward the election day, November 2nd 2010, we are looking at a shift in public perception. Fifty-six percent of Californians feel that Cannabis should be legal for adults to consume and when the media's kind of supporting this idea, it's becoming more and more mainstream and it's becoming a well known fact that Cannabis is actually less harmful than alcohol and even aspirin.

Dean Becker: In my meanderings in the hallways downstairs, I run into students from all over the United States... from outside the United States. This is bringing focus to bare on the truth. The regulations is that it, would seem to me, would be the government wanting to provide these safeguards. But you guys are trying to do it because the government fails to do so. Your thoughts.

Ms. Salwa Ibrahim: Absolutely and you know, our current drug policy has failed and in order for us to have safer communities, we need to take it upon ourselves to tax and regulate Cannabis.

Dean Becker: Some people travel within California, some several hundred miles, just to take these once a week courses. Please tell the listeners where they could learn more about Oaksterdam University.

Ms. Salwa Ibrahim: Sure. You can go to and find out all you need to know about our locations. We have four different locations. One in Sebastopol, Oakland and Los Angeles. As well as we do seminars in Michigan and we have weekend seminars for the out-of-town folk. They can come in, take a Saturday and Sunday crash course. They provide a basic and an advanced and if you wanted to go more in-depth, we offer a thirteen week semester, which is one day a week, two hours a day. Hour lecture. Hour lab.

What we like to emphasize the most is our politics, advocacy classes, knowing your rights, legal issues and we also have different other classes, such as cooking, concentrates, dispensary management, procurement allocation. Pretty much every facet of the industry and of course, the horticulture classes and Oaksterdam also provides elective courses, I like to call it, and it's glass blowing. So, you can make your own 'pieces', if you will.

Dean Becker: Alright. This is Cultural Baggage on the Drug Truth Network. We're tuning in to all the students waging war against the War on Drugs. Now we're going to give you an oldie, but a goodie, Name That Drug. Dug it out of the laptop. See if you can get it.

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

Responsible for countless overdose deaths, uncounted diseases, international graff, greed and corruptions, stilted science and immense unchristian moral postulations of fiction, as fact.


Time's up! ...and this drug is the United States.

Immoral, improper, bigoted, unscientific and plain effing evil, addiction to drug war.

All approved by the FDA, absolved by the American Medical Association and persecuted by Congress, the cops and in *avaunce to the needs of the bankers, the pharmaceutical houses and the international drug cartels.

Five hundred fifty billion dollars a year can be very addicting.

Dean Becker: I'm here with a young gentleman who's attending courses at Oaksterdam University. What brings you here, sir?

Male Student: Well, I'm here to educate myself more on medicinal marijuana and to learn on how best it's going to help people here on our planet, the hemp revolution for example, and just to continue my studies and hopefully one day, open a dispensary. Doing everything in the most positive way and the most right way I can.

Female Student: I came here to find out how to grow and how to produce some pretty good medicines. So I figured this would be the logical place to go. I've seen it on the internet so I thought I'd come here and check it out.

Dean Becker: Alright, and you, sir.

Passer-by: I just recently obtained a card for medical marijuana, 'cause I have some conditions that I'm trying to deal with by using medical marijuana and we were just across the street getting my State ID Card and saw this place and come over to see what it's all about.

Another student: I've been partaking of medical cannabis for a long time. It's part of my spiritual and physical health regiment and interested in growing and just wanted to know and support the movement. I think it's time for it to be taxed and regulated and decriminalized, and that's my goal... is to seek information, grow my own medicine and support the movement.

Dean Becker: OK. Once again, Oaksterdam University. I'm here with a student that's in the middle of the semester course and he showed up for the evening to do his studies. What motivates you to do this work?

Student: Well, Cannabis has really been a part of my life, my entire life. My dad was a grower and my family has used it for medicinal purposes for generations. I thought it was really interesting that this class came out. I haven't actually worked in three years, because of the really bad economy, and with this being kind of tagged as the potential 'green rush', it looked like the best opportunity to have some kind of a stronghold into financial comfort.

Not to mention I really believe in the healing qualities and I believe that everyone who needs Cannabis should be able to obtain it safely, without having to go into bad neighborhoods, deal with shady people. I mean, that's really old fashioned and it's really dangerous, you know?

I've had friends that have gotten hurt, just trying to obtain medicine and when you're buying it on the street, you don't know where it's coming from, you don't know what cares taken with it - pesticides, mold, fungus. You know, it's dangerous on multiple levels to keep it illegal.

So, with this movement, in the position that it's in with the tax regulation movement in California and it being on the ballot this November, it just seemed like a golden opportunity to learn something about a plant that I love and a really good opportunity to become an entrepreneur.

Student: My whole motivation was to come and learn about the field from someone who's actually been doing it for a long time. Someone with some experience and to basically just to do it right and I've heard so much about Richard Lee and I live in San Jose and travel up here, because of him, and it's working out. So far, so good. But that was my motivation.

Dean Becker: We're up on the second floor of Oaksterdam University. I'm here with one of the instructors. We're looking at traffic going by below and if you would, tell us the type of instruction you give here at Oaksterdam.

Instructor: I teach student the basics of indoor gardening for Cannabis plants. So we start with germinating seeds and we move to propagation, which will be taking cuttings. We also teach students how to harvest their plants and dry them and cure them correctly.

Dean Becker: Now that's several procedures, that if one is not done correctly, the end product is not what you wanted. Am I correct?

Instructor: Yes, there's a possibility it will be substandard if it's not done correctly.

Dean Becker: You know the several steps you referenced that are necessary to obtain a good quality Cannabis plant and harvest, if you will, perhaps one of the most neglected, is the actual curing. Could you give us kind of a summary of some of the procedures that are necessary?

Instructor: OK. If you're harvesting your plants and your flowers are mature, you'll want to slow dry your plants in a cool and dark environment. So a temperature range in-between sixty-eight to seventy-two degrees, a totally dark environment, which helps to keep the cannabis resin glands intact, also helps to prevent the retarding of the resin glands.

You also want to keep a nice air flow wherever your drying space is so that you're able to prevent molds from developing as the moisture is being released from your flowers. Your cool and dark environment plus the good air flow for about five to seven days, checking your plants around the fifth and seventh day. You want it to feel spongy to the touch, when you check it.

At that point you can prolong the drying process by placing them in a sealed container. That's going to start to wick out the moisture that's at the stem of your plant, bringing that moisture out of the middle, to the outside. So you're going to slowly do that process.

What you're going to do is enclose your flowers inside of a glass container or some sealed airtight container in the same dark environment that's still going to be cool as well. You're going to allow that moisture to be wicked out of the middle of your stem. You're going to check your flowers daily to make sure that too much moisture hasn't developed on the outside, preventing that mold from happening.

In a period of about two to three weeks time of repeating this process of opening and closing your jar, checking for moisture allowing that slow dry. That's what creates that really good cure.

This is Chris. Professor at Oaksterdam University. I teach the horticulture lab here for the semester classes and also our ten week all horticulture programs.

Dean Becker: OK. Alright. I'm here with Mr. Steve DeAngelo, the Executive Director of Harborside Health Center in Oakland, California. How are you doing, Steve, here in this beautiful day at...

Mr. Steve DeAngelo: It's Fort Mason at the SSDP Conference and I'm just thrilled to be here with all these dedicated young folks from across the country, who are on the verge of building a new student movement that's going to put the movement of the '60's to shame.

Dean Becker: Exactly right, my friend. Now yesterday you gave a great speech to the tour I was on at your facility and a couple of things caught my attention. I want to address them , if you will. You're trying to, pardon this, clone the Harborside to other locations within California. Perhaps around this nation. Am I correct?

Mr. Steve DeAngelo: We are. We just opened our first franchisee in San Jose. Harborside Health Center of San Jose has been open since December of last year.

Dean Becker: You're also doing something else that I think will be of great benefit to professionalizing; to truly regulating this industry. You've opened up a new organization, Can Be. Could you give us a brief summation of that, sir?

Mr. Steve DeAngelo: Yeah. Can Be is a consulting and management company that was set up to help existing and perspective dispensary operators. Launch dispensaries that embody the highest principles of both professionalism and activism.

Dean Becker: Alright then and from what I heard from the staff and so forth is, it looks to be a great success. Now, you're also trying to recruit growers, if you will, that will grow a different strain. Here in California, it's grown to be much THC and very little CBD's. But, tell us why you're doing that, if you will.

Mr. Steve DeAngelo: Well, recent medical research has shown that CBD has some very, very powerful properties. Especially for patients with grave illnesses, especially cancers. We have four or five different studies now that indicate that CBD can actually stop, slow or reverse the growth of tumors in brain cancer, skin cancer and breast cancer.

So we're seeing increasing numbers of patients who want high CBD strains. Unfortunately in California, over the course of the last few decades, breeders have been concentrating on breeding high THC strains, rather than strains that have any CBD in them. So for the most part, about ninety percent of the Cannabis in California has no CBD in it, or so little as not to count.

So we've instituted a new program, the CBD project to identify high CBD strains, place them with trusted growers who would then propagate them to insure that we always have a supply of high CBD Cannabis for our most gravely ill patients.

Dean Becker: I was kind of thrilled to see some of my old friends from SSDP being recruited by your organization. Tell us why and what kind of workers these folks are.

Mr. Steve DeAngelo: Well, what we've found is that SSDP just presents us with our best possible pool of recruits for this industry. A group of people who are already very well versed in the industry, who are passionately dedicated to it and who've been spending the past two or three years educating themselves about it.

Alright, that's about it for SSDP. Be sure to tune into this weeks Century of Lies, which follows next on many of the Drug Truth Network stations, where we'll be hearing more much more about SSDP ...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, on behalf of engineer Laura Slaven, 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.

*avaunce - to profit

Submitted by: C. Assenberg of