King of Pot Books Pleads
Innocent to Marijuana Charges
She Who Remembers
"Don't hate the media, become the media"
~Jello BiafraFrom: Peter Webster email@example.com
Date: Tue, 05 Mar 2002 18:26:54 +0000
Subject: [DN] King Of Pot Books Pleads Innocent To Marijuana
Pubdate: Mon, 04 Mar 2002
Source: Associated Press (Wire)
Copyright: 2002 Associated Press
Author: Michelle R. Smith, Associated Press Writer
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/pot.htm (Cannabis)
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/find?115 (Cannabis - California)
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/mmj.htm (Cannabis - Medicinal)
KING OF POT BOOKS PLEADS INNOCENT TO MARIJUANA CHARGES
To generations of marijuana enthusiasts, Ed Rosenthal is the answer man,
his mind brimming with information on how to grow the world's best buds.
To the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Rosenthal is just a big drug
Caught in a struggle between federal and state authorities who have been at
odds since California and other states legalized medical marijuana,
Rosenthal freely admits he was growing the 600 pot plants that agents
seized from an Oakland warehouse on Feb. 12.
"The laws against medical marijuana put anyone with a conscience in the
middle of a major conflict," Rosenthal said. "You want to help the
patients, but the federal government says it's illegal."
On Monday, Rosenthal pleaded innocent to conspiring to grow 1,000 or more
marijuana plants, federal charges that carry a minimum 10-year prison term.
The DEA also raided the Harm Reduction Center, a medical marijuana club in
San Francisco, and arrested its director, Richard Watts, along with another
alleged supplier, James Halloran of Oakland. Halloran also pleaded innocent
Monday. Watts is awaiting arraignment.
The U.S. Attorney's office won't comment on the case. But Richard Meyer,
spokesman for the DEA in San Francisco, said Rosenthal and the other
defendants simply were breaking the law.
"Our job is to enforce the federal drug statutes and we're committed to
doing that," he said.
Rosenthal, 57, says he's anything but a drug dealer out for profit, noting
that the plants agents seized didn't have buds -- the part of the plant
normally smoked for a high. He planned to give out cuttings to seriously
"I was growing clones so patients could clone their own," he said.
Rosenthal, who helped found the National Organization for the Reform of
Marijuana Laws and used to write the "Ask Ed" column for "High Times"
magazine, has researched and written nearly 20 books on marijuana.
Millions of copies have been sold, mostly in the United States, with titles
such as "The Growers Handbook," "The Big Book of Buds," and "Ask Ed:
Marijuana Law. Don't Get Busted" which offers tips on avoiding arrest.
"It worked up until a few weeks ago," he says, with a wry smile.
He and his wife, Jane Klein, run their publishing company, Quick Trading
Co., out of their rambling Victorian home on an Oakland hill.
The self-taught expert in botany spends much of his time in his garden,
tending to his orchids, pineapples, olive trees, and dozens of other legal
A letter on his office wall thanks him for the lettuce-growing tips he
published in "National Gardening" magazine. But primarily, Rosenthal is
known for being what another letter on his office wall calls him -- "the
Michael Jordan of pot."
Lately, he's used that expertise in a radio talk show on Berkeley's
KPFA-FM, talking up how pot can help people deal with chronic illnesses,
AIDS or other painful conditions.
"If I don't help them, it will be a sin of omission," he said.
On the Net:
Rosenthal site -- http://www.quicktrading.com
DEA site -- http://www.usdoj.gov:80/dea/pubs/factsheet/factsheet2002.html
Distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in
receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
MAP posted-by: Beth