Pubdate: Tue, 3 Jun 2003
Source: Daily Californian, The (CA Edu)
Copyright: 2003 The Daily Californian
Author: Alicia Wittmeyer, Contributing Writer
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)
Bookmark: (Rosenthal, Ed)


Marijuana martyr and self-proclaimed "Guru of Ganja" Ed Rosenthal spoke to 
a packed crowd at Cody's Books on Telegraph Avenue Sunday, where he 
lamented the unfairness of his trial and exhorted audience members to work 
toward the legalization of marijuana.

The crowd, clad in hemp and cannabis paraphernalia, greeted Rosenthal with 
hoots and whistles as he stepped up to the microphone.

Rosenthal, who has written more than one dozen books on marijuana and 
penned the "Ask Ed" column for High Times magazine, faces sentencing 
tomorrow on a conviction of marijuana cultivation related to his 
involvement in Oakland's medicinal marijuana program.

A federal law barred Rosenthal from using medicinal marijuana as a defense.

Rosenthal said the trial was unfair and called the judge "a prosecutor in 

"He's taken the robes of honor and turned them into soiled rags," he said. 
"I was told what I was doing was legal, and then I was tried for it."

Rosenthal then proceeded to reel off his reasons for legalizing pot in 
promotion of his new book, "Why Marijuana Should Be Legal."

"It goes on the premise of 'No law should be more harmful than the behavior 
it's trying to regulate,'" Rosenthal said.

Legalizing marijuana would increase government revenues from taxes, create 
new jobs and free up resources that should be used to combat violent crime, 
he said.

Although most audience members laughed and were enthusiastic throughout 
Rosenthal's speech, some did not appreciate his irreverent tone.

Rosenthal combined the campaign for the legalization of medicinal marijuana 
with the legalization of recreational marijuana-two issues that need to be 
kept separate, said Pleasant Hill resident Jeffrey Bockser.

"You're making a mockery of the issue," Bockser said. "It's separate. You 
don't have credibility anymore."

Rosenthal said the federal government had already mixed the two issues.
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