09/04/11 Jeff Studdard

Oaksterdam Cannabis Fest II w/ Jeff Studdard, Chris Conrad, Mikki Norris, Doug Carter + +

Program: 
Century of Lies
Date: 
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Guest: 
Jeff Studdard
Organization: 
LEAP
Download: Audio icon Col_090411.mp3
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Transcript

Century of Lies / September 4, 2011

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DEAN BECKER: The failure of Drug War is glaringly obvious to judges, cops, wardens, prosecutors and millions more. Now calling for decriminalization, legalization, the end of prohibition. Let us investigate the Century of Lies.

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DEAN BECKER: Alright, this is a special edition of Century of Lies. We’re broadcasting from Oakland, California – Oaksterdam, if you will - where they had a major Cannabis Street Fest. Basically, on the steps of City Hall.

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DEAN BECKER: OK, I’m still here at this cannabis gathering and lo and behold I run into one of my band of brothers from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Mr. Jeff Studdard. How are you, Jeff?

JEFF STUDDARD: I’m doing great. How about yourself?

DEAN BECKER: I’m good. Now, Jeff, you were L.A. County Sheriff Deputy but now you’re doing something entirely different. What are you up to, bud?

JEFF STUDDARD: I’m co-owner of Medi-Cone. It’s a company that provides pre-rolls to patients at medical cannabis clubs.

DEAN BECKER: Now I’ve seen them around. They’re getting to be everywhere I guess, right?

JEFF STUDDARD: Yeah, we’re in southern California, Palm Springs to Sacramento, San Francisco – we’re all over the place.

DEAN BECKER: For those who may not quite know what we’re talking about, what are Medi-Cones again?

JEFF STUDDARD: Medi-Cones are a pre-rolled medical cannabis joint for people who can’t roll them themselves. It already comes pre-rolled. It’s in a package and it’s in a tube so it’s sealed for freshness. It’s distributed to the patients that way and the patients seem to love it.

We have approximately 17 different strains and we try to keep our prices low, as extremely low as possible. Right now we’re actually distributing coupons for Blue Sky which is one of our best accounts in Oakland and is honoring a $2 discount off our Emerald Triangle Blend. This is an outdoor and indoor blend, a mixture of sativa and indica.

DEAN BECKER: Most folks would not comprehend…I’ve been to these kind of things many times and it’s still hard for me to comprehend the diversity of the commerce that’s involved in the cannabis industry these days. It’s amazing, isn’t it?

JEFF STUDDARD: It is, absolutely. It’s diversed to a point that here, myself, I never thought I’d be here. I have law enforcement in my veins. My father’s a retired L.A.P.D. and my brother is currently on the department down in southern California and I have a nephew on the department.

If it wasn’t for me breaking my back and going through what I through and becoming a patient because of where I was at in my life and the pain issues and other issues that I went through. I became a patient and it totally turned my life around. For me, as a law enforcement officer, I see people who are white-collar to teenagers and everywhere in between and it is a great diversity of different people and a great group of people. The people are more friendly than I’m used to dealing on the street.

DEAN BECKER: Jeff, that brings to mind, I’ve asked this question to many law enforcement officials, “Who would you rather bust – somebody who’s drunk out of their mind or somebody who happens to have a big bag of weed in their pocket?”

JEFF STUDDARD: Let me say this. I’d rather deal with somebody on cannabis or them have cannabis on them than any other drug. I’ve never know a law enforcement officer to respond to a domestic violence call when it involves just cannabis. It always deals with either alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine or even just prescriptions. But never, never do you deal with just cannabis on issues dealing with violence or hostility.

DEAN BECKER: Jeff, Is there a website where folks can learn more.

JEFF STUDDARD: You can go to LEAP. LEAP has links to ASA. ASA is Americans for Safe Access. NORML is a great link for getting information. Going to the Attorney General, Department of Justice and getting the guidelines from the “horse’s mouth” and looking at it yourself.

Also, I highly recommend, if you want to spend some extra time getting more educated – go through Oaksterdam University. They teach you everything you want to know. They teach you about the laws and how to handle the basic cannabis industry.

DEAN BECKER: I’ll probably leave all that in but I’m wondering if you want to promote Medi-Cone.

JEFF STUDDARD: I’d love to promote Medi-Cone. Medi-Cone is there for the patients. Our motto is “Patients First.” We’re trying to lower the prices so that it’s affordable to someone that’s on disability or someone that can’t afford…It’s the highest quality, pre-rolled joint that you could ever find out on the market right now.

DEAN BECKER: And the website for Medi-Cone?

JEFF STUDDARD: http://www.medi-cone.com

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AMANDA RAFIK: My name is Amanda Rafik. I own Edible Ideas Cooperative. We’re a medical cannabis company.

DEAN BECKER: Now, it smells absolutely wonderful here at this booth. Tell us what goes in to these products.

AMANDA RAFIK: The product that we’re making here today is a non-medicated version of a product that we sell – it’s called a Stroopwafel. It is a Dutch coffee house pastry. What you do is you take a piece of dough which has yeast in it so when you press it in a waffle press it rises and creates a bubble. You cut that in half and you put caramel in the center and you squish it down into a sandwich cookie.

DEAN BECKER: And somehow, maybe not here, but the cannabis gets infused.

AMANDA RAFIK: Yes. It is infused with butter. The dough itself is infused and the caramel in the center is infused with butter. We also take pieces of pre-made waffle and grind those up and put those back into the caramel as well. So it’s actually got three levels of dosage in that particular product.

DEAN BECKER: And this is becoming more common - less people smoking, more people chewing, right?

AMANDA RAFIK: It is definitely catching on - the movement of edibles as an alternative to smoking.

DEAN BECKER: Is this sold in various locations? How is it distributed?

AMANDA RAFIK: We’re representing Oaksterdam Bakery today. It is a collective of some of the best edible purveyors in the state, mostly in the bay area. We’re all coming together with Oaksterdam to join forces and to provide people with a place to buy strictly edibles and non-flower products, tinctures, pills, extracts, etc.

DEAN BECKER: Is there a website where folks can learn more?

AMANDA RAFIK: We’re still working on it. You can always look at the Oaksterdam website which is the marijuana school/university here in Oakland. Coming soon there will be an Oaksterdam Bakery website.

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DOUG CARTER: Hi, I’m Doug Carter. I’m the Executive Director of Angel’s Care Collective in Santa Clara, California. We’re at approximately 9,000 patients. The patients come first. We’re doing this as an education awareness event to help patients help themselves – to be educated and aware of their rights, help them grow their own medication, so on and so forth.

DEAN BECKER: There’s many similar dispensaries, compassion clubs in California – now around the nation – what is it like in your locale? Are your county officials cooperating?

DOUG CARTER: That’s a good question. We ran for a straight year. My third quarter we paid the state $133,000 in taxes. 3 days later I was raided. It was a County task force called SCCSET who have nothing to do with the state officials. It had nothing to do with anything that we’d done wrong.

What they had done was lied to the doctors and got recommendations and then came in and acquired medication from me and then tried to charge me for giving them medication because their recommendations were false.

My attorneys informed them and the courts that we followed all state procedures. Them lying to the doctors was the only thing that broke the law. We’re still fighting it in court a little bit but we’re back open and running strong. We’re about 50% of what we were before the raid. But we’ll be alright.

DEAN BECKER: It’s odd, isn’t it, that the government is allowed to lie, cheat, steal, commit crimes…

DOUG CARTER: Let me respond to that. In California right now they’ve got these SCCSET task force which are run by all the police department and the sheriff’s department of that county. There’s two of each of them.

There are like the old Marshals in the old west. They don’t answer to the state, they don’t answer to the government, they can even tell the District Attorney “No, we don’t want to do that.” So it’s just like being a Marshal back in the old west. They steal from us, they accuse of things in the newspaper and yet we have no repercussion. We can’t sue them because they’re not a state entity. They’re not a city entity. They’re a governmentally funded Nazi camp as far as I’m concerned.

DEAN BECKER: Some kind of paramilitary…it’s odd, in the old west Billy the Kid started out as a “Regulator” which meant he was paid by the County to go out and kill people.

DOUG CARTER: Just like the U.S. Marshals were. They have free rein to do whatever they want. Just like you said, “the Regulators.” They work for the country – not for the people.

We’re here for the people. We have a right to be in Santa Clara and we’ll fight until that right is recognized.

DEAN BECKER: I’m a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and we consider ourselves to be true Regulators. We want to actually control these so-called substances.

DOUG CARTER: I commend you for that, sir. We need more people like you that sees both sides of it. We got a real good District Attorney in Santa Clara County that’s telling them, “You can’t pick a sentence out of a law and exploit that sentence or you can’t exploit that phrase. The whole thing is the whole law. If you’re going to try to prosecute somebody by it, you have to use the whole form.” He said publically that our raids’ were in violation. He said even the search warrant was tainted.

DEAN BECKER: It’s been great talking with you. Please share your website with us.

DOUG CARTER: http://www.angelscarecollective.com/ I don’t know if you remember me but about 3 years ago I was a student at Oaksterdam and you interviewed me briefly. Since then I’ve come full circle and now I’m Executive Director at Angel’s Care.

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DEAN BECKER: Alright folks, you are listening to the Century of Lies show on the Drug Truth Network. I want to say something. When I was attending that class at Oaksterdam 3 years ago I was actually offered the chance to move to California and grow weed and start my own collective. But, I chose to stay in Texas. I chose to fight for your rights all across this nation and up into Canada to grow, smoke and use marijuana as you see fit.

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CHRIS CONRAD: I’m Chris Conrad with the West Coast Leaf newspaper.

DEAN BECKER: Now, Chris, you guys have been at this for quite some time now. I see that newspaper everywhere even outside of California. It’s getting a lot of distribution, a lot of recognition. Tell us what the truth is doing for the medical marijuana community.

CHRIS CONRAD: Well the facts are getting spread around quite a bit by the newspaper. I think the newspaper is a reflection of the big changes that have occurred in the medical cannabis community itself because we originally come from a background of publishing books and publishing literature for people to give which is a long-term information. But, with the newspaper it reflects the fact that things are changing so fast that people need to keep abreast of what’s going on.
And what’s going on right now is we’re seeing this backslide on the part of Obama and we need people of America to push back again. If you’re not aware of that, which a lot people aren’t following this particular issue unless you get something like the West Coast Leaf - which is available at http://www.westcoastleaf.com/ for people who don’t have access to the paper itself. You start to understand that we have a certain amount of strength but we need to play our cards right in the immediate future.

There’s a lot of…several different efforts to get initiatives on the ballots in different states and as a cannabis newspaper of record we cover other parts of the country, other parts of the world as well. For example, what’s going on in Holland. A lot of people are not following the fact that in the Netherlands there’s been a big push back on the number of coffee shops there. They need to hear from some Americans, we need to get our interest into that issue too. Which if people don’t know about that they just aren’t going to take the steps that it takes to exert our influence on the changes that are ahead.

DEAN BECKER: Around the country there are still those naysayers, those people who want to return us to the days of past wherein there’s nobody out there selling it but criminals and cartel weed is going to continue to make profit for those barbarians, aren’t there?

CHRIS CONRAD: People have to understand that keeping marijuana illegal is causing all these different problems that we’re having. That goes also for the people who are afraid about the future as to what could happen is marijuana was legalized. It’s just going to become more normal in society. It’s going to be treated as a normal business and get regulated the same way as other businesses.

But it’s such a benevolent plant in the first place that we need to get that understood by people. It’s a fear that has been misplaced. The fear should be about the consequences of having your child or another generation winding up in prison over marijuana rather than the effect of smoking marijuana which could actually be beneficial medically and otherwise.

We have big road ahead of us but I think the facts are so much on our side, that’s what makes it a pleasure to work on something like the West Coast Leaf. Over and over again, the truth, the facts show that we are right in our stand. So that makes us more confident of the progress we have ahead.

DEAN BECKER: One more time, the website.

CHRIS CONRAD: http://www.westcoastleaf.com/

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DEAN BECKER: I’m with Mikki Norris, publisher/author. Mikki, what do you think? What’s going on here?

MIKKI NORRIS: We here at the International Cannabis and Hemp Expo in downtown Oakland right in front of City Hall. There’s a big cannabis event here. A lot of people milling around – some people smoking openly. The city has welcomed us here to have this event and it’s very peaceful and people are just having a really nice day. Listening to music and going to all the various booths that are here to show their wares and tell about their services and products.

I was on a panel earlier today on innovation. There were 5 women on the panel talking about various aspects. One of the things I was talking about today was about hemp You don’t see a lot of hemp here as the focus is more medical. I got a chance to talk about how far hemp has come since we got involved in this movement in the late 80s when there was only bird seed and string available. Then we saw Stoneware Shirts come here that was imported from China.

And then the whole industry started expanding and today we have Mercedez Benz with hemp in their cars. They’ve developed the technology in the industry going to hemp plastics.

We’re about to head over to the Oaksterdam cannabis museum that we’re involved in developing. Chris is the curator of it and we’re putting more and more information in it. Hoping that you’ll get a chance to come over there with us at some point and see what we have going on over there. Talking about the proud history of the cannabis plant and all of its forms – industrial and commercial uses, medical marijuana. All have a history in our medicine cabinets and we have some antique bottles and things like that there.

We even have a live exhibit there – a medical marijuana grow – which is unique. We’re hoping that Oakland and Oaksterdam itself will continue to be a hub, a center for the industry. I think the city council is on board with that concept. They like the revenues that this industry is bringing. They’re making millions of dollars now in licensing fees and different kinds of permits from the cannabis collectives. It’s very peacefully run, very well regulated and they’re not having any problems.

It’s a good model. Oakland has been in the forefront and they’re going to be in the forefront with things like this today - an outdoor street fair with the theme of cannabis.

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DEAN BECKER: Alright, I’m wandering the plaza here in front of City Hall. What is this called?

CHERYL SHUMAN: We’re INCHE , the International Cannabis and Hemp Expo.

DEAN BECKER: And your name is?

CHERYL SHUMAN: I’m Cheryl Shuman. I’m the director of Celebrity, Media and Public Relations for Kush Magazine.

DEAN BECKER: And standing next to her is Mr. Steven De Angelo of Harborside. How are you doing, Steve?

STEVEN DE ANGELO: I’m really well today, Dean. How are you?

DEAN BECKER: It’s 40 degrees cooler for me from Houston. It’s a nice day. What’s your perception first, Steve?

STEVEN DE ANGELO: I think it’s a historic day. For the first time we see a city government working hand-in-hand with the cannabis community to have a community-wide celebration of this amazing and very special plant. So I think it’s a historic day here in Oakland.

Once again, Oakland is showing the path to the rest of the nation. Demonstrating how a legal and regulated system of cannabis distribution benefits the entire community – not just cannabis patients. It raises tax revenues. It creates well-paying jobs. It reduces the burdens on our law enforcement – allows them to focus on violent crime – and reduces street drug sales.

What more could we ask for from one simple change in social policy. So, again, Oakland – the laboratory of the future – is an incredibly open-minded, visionary and courageous city. I’m so proud to be an Oaklander today.

DEAN BECKER: And your response.

CHERYL SHUMAN: This is my first trip to Oakland to see what it’s all about as far as an outdoor festival. With my work with Kush magazine my entire focus is on rebranding the face of the modern cannabis consumer.

To me it’s all about civil liberties, personal liberties and being proud of who we are. We are all making history. We are all out there on the battlefronts and I think it’s an amazing thing that we can be here and exercise our civil liberties and freedoms and be a cannabis patient and not have to worry.

When we decide to medicate outside of City Hall, the city government is OK with that. I think we need more mainstream events like this to show the general public that we’re your brothers, your sisters, your attorneys, your doctors – we’re just like everyone else and we want the same civil liberties as everyone else and we’re entitled to those. It’s about educating and sharing with other people and that’s what events like these are all about.

DEAN BECKER: I see more and more broadcast media, and by that I mean cable television, is starting to recognize, to cover to give examples of the progress ya’ll are talking about. I keep seeing you and the Harborside on Discovery and History Channel, Mr. de Angelo.

I think a few years back you gave me the first “official tour” of Harboside and it did quite well on the net. I wish I could get the money that they say you can get from YouTube but they say that because it’s cannabis they won’t allow it. We still have a few roadblocks, do we not?

STEVEN DE ANGELO: Oh, yeah. This is still very much a social movement. The nature of social movements for justice is that they are uneven. They sometimes have times when we move forward and achieve great change. There’s other times when change either stalls or we get pushed back a little bit.

What I’ve learned over the years is not to set any particular date or expectation that we’re going to get this thing done. Just get up every single day, put one foot in front of the other, do what we know is the right thing, be true the plant and know that in the end we will get to where we’re going.

DEAN BECKER: I like that. Kush magazine has tried to provide the information and to show that progress, have you not?

CHERYL SHUMAN: Absolutely. What we’re working on at Kush right now is exercising our media potential and resources. And that’s one of the things I’m very excited to see Steve doing. The fact that we have a great reality series such as Weeds where it’s focusing on the person that I feel is the role model for our community. I think it’s such a tremendous, tremendous advantage that we have that opportunity to share who we are. I’m thrilled that Steve is out there front-and-center and being the role model for us.

At Kush what we’re doing a lot of is called branded entertainment and product placement. We started our first series called Wilfred with Elijah Woods starring and Jason Gan (?). We were actually written into the script and we have really great product placement throughout the series. We also picked up for a second season on the FX network so we’re going to be working more towards integrating story lines to incorporate activism, medical marijuana patient stories and other ideas to make the script a little richer.

I think through series like the FX network and what Steve is doing with the Discovery channel…I think those are the types of things that will go through people’s minds and literally change the course of history.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah, the changing history, changing the whole dang world, if you ask me…we got to walk away from this prohibitionist mentality, your thoughts, Steve?

STEVEN DE ANGELO: I couldn’t agree with you more and just to pick up on some of Cheryl’s comments. November 15th is our airdate for Weed Wars. This will be a documentary series that follows me, my family, my staff, the patients and the growers of the Harborside Collectives as we go about our lives in the actual real way that we do it. For the very first time, America is going to have a chance to see behind the veil. To see what the war on cannabis looks like from the other side of the battlefield.

For the first time many, many people who have never been able to see firsthand what a cannabis patient looks like or what a well-run cannabis dispensary looks like will have an opportunity to do that. I think it’s going to change the terms of the debate in this country.

DEAN BECKER: Any closing thoughts?

CHERYL SHUMAN: I wanted to expand on that. I know Steve’s collective has a saying. It’s “Out of the shadows and into the light.” For mainstream people there’s that misconception that a marijuana dispensary is run by cartels and these deep, dark, shady creatures and that’s why it’s so important that people have this first opportunity to go into an amazing dispensary that’s clean and welcoming and has so many different services to offer the patients. I think it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing that people are going to be able to walk in as if they are patients themselves. I think they are going to be enlightened for the very first time and I’m very excited to see what’s going to happen and I’m proud to know him.

STEVEN DE ANGELO: Thank you, Cheryl. Thank you very much.

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DEAN BECKER: If I could get you to give your name and your rank.

MICHAEL POIRIER: It’s Michael Poirier…P O I R I E R

DEAN BECKER: Yes sir. We’re here at this cannabis street fest. Have you had any problems to speak of?

MICHAEL POIRIER: No, none at all.

DEAN BECKER: None at all?

MICHAEL POIRIER: No.

DEAN BECKER: This is right here at City Hall and the State Building and is embraced by the city, county or state, I guess, or allowed – what’s the response from law enforcement? Is this something you guys just cope with or is it something you don’t mind at all?

MICHAEL POIRIER: Medicinal marijuana is legal in California. The event organizers and the city of Oakland police officers worked closely to put this event on. Law enforcement views it as a legal issue and we don’t have any issues with the event or medicinal marijuana.

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DEAN BECKER: OK, we’re going to close this out with some humor from Umguyo Baylo (?) who was on the main stage here at the cannabis fest.

UMGYO BAYO: Here we are at the International Cannabis and Hemp Exhibition in downtown Oakland, California. It’s amazing – thousands of people enjoying themselves, partaking of the medicinal plant, the wonderful thing that is marijuana.

Apparently the hash is kicking in because I know I’m rambling right now. I’m still kind of disappointed that Proposition 19 didn’t pass. I worked very hard on it. I know a lot of people did. I went door-to-door in my neighborhood for Proposition 19 – like a Weed-hovahs-witness. I have good news about weed, can I share it with you?

I’d like to talk to you about my personal relationship with cannabis. Have you accepted pot in your life? I have some papers here. I was very well received because I’m not a real Jehovah’s Witness, I don’t show up that early. I get there in the late afternoon…watch the game…you know what I’m saying?

You gotta be social. That’s the beautiful thing. I don’t know. Apparently, statistics have shown that marijuana is not a gateway to harder drugs but I’m pretty sure that marijuana is a gateway to Reggae music. Because, damn, you hear it a lot anytime there’s a lot of cannabis smoking going on. I wonder what came first – the weed or the Reggae? Probably the weed.

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DEAN BECKER: Opening up a can of worms and going fishing for truth – this is the Drug Truth Network – DrugTruth.net

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ANNOUNCER: This is your Drug Czar. Do not listen to the Drug Truth Network. It’s evil - pure evil.

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DEAN BECKER: Well, that’s all we got time to edit for. I appreciate you tuning in to this week’s Century of Lies and please remember there’s no truth, justice, logic, no reason for this drug war to exist. Please visit our website http://endprohibition.org. Prohibido istac evilesco!

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For the Drug Truth Network, this is Dean Becker asking you to examine our policy of Drug Prohibition.

The Century of Lies.

This show produced at Pacifica Studios at KPFT, Houston.

Transcript provided by: Jo-D Harrison of www.DrugSense.org