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San Fran Ed We Love You, We Support You Feb 3rd-9th, 2003
By Team Pure Hemp 2/6/2017 12:41 PM Comments

Hey Now, Ed Rosenthal was found guilty for growing more than one hundred marijuana plants last week in the Federal Court here in San Francisco. Key information was withheld from the jurors because it was inadmissible evidence. According to Federal law, intent has no bearing on the legality of the act. Ed Rosenthal has been deputized by the City of Oakland and is protected under proposition 215, California’s Medicinal Marijuana provision. "I think the judge thought I was a butterfly; Some hippie pot grower who was just fluttering along and as he clapped his hands together, the judge realized that I’m more of a hornet!" - Ed Rosenthal, when we were talking about his case. Rosenthal was breeding and cloning hundreds of babies which were to be distributed to Oakland’s Medicinal Marijuana Communities. This includes growers who supply the compassion clubs as well as those patients who were to grow their own. Ed Rosenthal is and has been at the forefront of the growing Medical Marijuana Movement. Behind him are the Cities of Oakland (SafeAccessNow.org) and San Francisco as well as the State of California, figuratively speaking. I found out about the guilty verdict on Monday, reading that he is faced with a mandatory minimum of five years and could face up to 85 years behind bars. Reading this, my heart went out to him. I was like I wish there is something I could do! Before long, I’d read on to find out that there was a rally the next morning in San Francisco. Wow! Perfect! I arrived at the Federal building at around 10:30am to find a sparse group of dedicated supporters holding up banners and placards, waving at cars, trucks, buses and pedestrians. A dedicated bunch we are to be sure! Everyone was waiting for the decision from the Judge as to whether Ed would have to wait for his sentencing hearing in Jail or out on Bond. The judge ruled he wasn’t a threat to society or anything, so Ed was released on a $200,000 bond. This, a landmark case has drawn a lot of media attention, so there was a press conference called in which five jurors of the trial denounced their decision and called for a new trial. One Juror said "It was the worst mistake she’d made in her life". Another said that "Until this experience, he’d had faith in the American Judicial system. Now he feels as though a grave injustice has transpired". Essentially, the Federal Court, with its zero tolerance on "drugs" does not allow medical use as a defense. Here in California, medical marijuana is accepted and even promoted by city officials. Ed was deputized by the City of Oakland in order to supply legitimately ill patients with their herb but NONE of the jurors were allowed to know this, and when they found out, they felt like they had convicted an innocent man. The lawyers were saying that they’ve never seen a jury come out of court, only to announce that justice has not been served! Five jurors and one alternate spoke, saying there were two others who wanted to be represented there as well. The judge set the sentencing hearing for June, so there’s lots of time for an appeal, or for the feds to drop the charges. This case is close to rocking the Drug War at its roots! There was a period of time, before the press conference, while we were waiting for Ed and the Jurors to emerge from the federal building, that all of us activists, who were the backdrop for the press conference, could address the cameras and the media. Whether they were recording or not, it was a powerful several minutes. People took turns saying their bit to the media. People are very passionate about the med-pot issue here in San Francisco, because there is real suffering and there are real benefits to patients who use Cannabis. We chanted "ED, WE LOVE YOU, WE SUPPORT YOU" amongst other chants. I got to throw in my environmental slant, I said America, take a look at yourself, this isn’t working! Climate Change is happening. I charged the DEA with responsibility for clear-cuts, the DEA as responsible for ongoing Oil wars. I charged the DEA as responsible for keeping Cannabis Sativa from being grown and consumed around the world! I can’t remember what else I said, but it felt good to get it all off my chest, especially into the media, who may look deeper into the cannabis reality. Who knows, maybe it was actually recorded. After the press conference, I met Pebbles, who had an info booth, and she let me put out my papers and stuff. All morning I’d been slipping the activists free papers and samples of Hemp seeds care of of the good peeps at Manitoba Harvest, so now was a good opportunity to get back some donations. People responded well and filled my pockets with a bit of loot! A little is a lot when you have close to none. I raised some coin to donate to the cause, and was able to score a book called "Human Rights and the US Drug War", it’s written by Chris Conrad, Mikki Norris and Virginia Resner. I knew that the DEA had exacted a toll, but this book goes into horrific detail of how the drug war has shattered lives and broken apart families. It tells the stories of everyday people, some who used or grew marij uana for medicinal purposes, being thrown in jail, for obscene periods, or for what ends up as life because their bodies cannot survive the harsh prison system or the harsh pharmaceuticals without the healing herb. This drug war is an absolute travesty and must be acknowledged as such! On February 18th, 2003 a national movement to evict the DEA will be underway. See what you can do. One thing we can do to sway public opinion is to show the public who we are. Tokers are from all walks of life, but still the general public won't admit to being hip to Cannabis. By normalizing our actions, we help to remove the stigma attached to cannabis use. We all need to come out of the closet, and proudly stand up for this wonderful plant! The establishment is big, lofty, and heavy, but it’s built upon a rotten foundation that is about to collapse beneath it’s own weight. I am happy to be a part of the growing hemp movement. Last night I saw Robert Walters 20th Congress at the Elbo Room in San Francisco! I found out about the show at about 10:30pm and was inside the venue before midnight. I tell ya, they don’t call it the Elbo(w) Room for nothing! The vibe was tight, but definitely UP. The bluesy, funky grooves were what this cat needed to go off! I hadn’t danced really for about a week, so you could say it was high time. They got us into outer space before setting us back down on the San Francisco Ground. Once the show was over, I Hempified outside, traded some papers and gave out hemp seed samples to people. Even though Hemphry wasn’t there, people really dug the stickers, and what I’m up to. Some people, myself included, feel that "Old Glory" is blasé. I bet that ever since they took the hemp out of the flag, America has compromised her core values, which though built on genocide and slavery, had a shred of decent intention. The team at Pure Hemp is currently working on a new batch of stickers and you’ll start seeing them near Hemphry this Spring.

~ Johannes Chapman, Pure Hemp Caravaner 1.0

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