May 26 2010

Sitting in judgement

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Casper Leitch of Time4Hemp

On April 5th I spent nearly an hour on the phone with Casper Leitch, of Time4Hemp.   He was rather perturbed by an article I’d written on 30 Aug 09 where I cited his show Time for a Tax Revolution.

This show came to my attention through an article by Bruce Cain, and I found it notable as the only instance to my knowledge of any media giving voice to anyone of any prominence in the movement opposing the current cash-cow madness over marijuana.  In it, Ed Rosenthal and Dennis Peron emphatically denounce the taxation of medical marijuana. According to Cain’s article, the show was broadcast on 25 Aug 2009.

But when I went to the Time4Hemp site in order to link to it in my article, I couldn’t find that show listed among any of the archives, and particularly not in the podcast archives, where it should be.  And so, when I wrote the article I noted that Bruce Perlowin was a sponsor and presented the possibility that his sponsorship could have something to do with this particular show being misplaced.

Perlowin is the front-man for Medical Marijuana Inc. (MJNA), and it appears I’m not the only one writing less-than-flattering articles about him and the company.  On 8 Mar 2010 Salon.com published:

Who better, in that case, to blaze a path than the King of Pot himself?

As it turned out, the answer, even from some of his friends, was “almost anyone.”

The Time4Hemp podcasts are numbered and conform to a simple format where the file name begins with an index number followed by a descriptive title,  of the form:  “99-a-podcast-title.mp3”.

They begin with 01 Allen St. Pierre – Part 1 and end with 53 Christmas 2009.

While the index numbers form an unbroken sequence, presumably in reverse chronolocial order, what should be “31-Time-4-A-Tax-Revolution.mp3” is “31-Time-4-The-The-Holidays-2008-Pt-01.mp3”.

Notice that the 2nd filename has a different format, with the year after the descriptive title.

The show where Dennis Peron and Ed Rosenthal condemn the taxation of medical marijuana appears to have been replaced with the Christmas 2008 podcasts.  After those two Christmas 2008 podcast, the file names continue, in the original format with no year appended to the end, evidently in reverse chronological order.

During the course of our telephone conversation Leitch, most graciously, did inform me that Perlowin was his first paid sponsorship after many years of producing Time4Hemp.  The sponsorship lasted for four months and was $180/month.  During that time his show went from a podcast to an online radio show listed with American Freedom Radio, with 50,000 listeners.

It was the next show after “Time for a Tax Revolution” that Time4Hemp went live.

Leitch couldn’t tell me where on his site the podcast was, claiming to be a failure as a computer nerd.  I looked for it at least 3 times between April 4th and today and couldn’t find it, spending probably an hour each time.  I just now, at 10:15 am on May 25th, found it on his Music Archives; 10) – Time 4 A Tax Revolt!

On my behalf I should point out that Leitch couldn’t tell me where on his site it was, and there are two other pages named “T4H 2009 Today Archive” and “2009 Live Radio Archive”, and that I did look for the podcast on those pages, and neither the title nor the subject have anything to do with music.

Not unless a “tax revolution” is music to your ears.

Leitch wanted me on his show but, as I recall, it was to discuss my insinuation.  My immediate response was that the only thing I was interested in doing on a broadcast, his or anyone else’s, was to have Judge Jim Gray answer my concerns about Oaksterdamn U’s Tax & Regulate.

What he offered, instead, was to have me on with Dennis Peron.  And he wanted me to write something nice about him.

I was expecting the show to be within two weeks.  I assumed I would get a phone call or an email when he confirmed with Peron.  He actually called Peron’s home number while talking to me, but instead of Dennis got his brother who told Leitch that Dennis was in Los Angeles.  Dennis was in Los Angeles at the time renovating The Normandie to be the world’s first medical marijuana friendly motel.

Previous to the conversation with Leitch I had received an email or two that claimed Dennis had a stroke.  I had sent him an email asking about this and he responded on April 5th, several hours after the telephone conversations with Leitch, saying only that  rumors of his demise had been greatly exaggerated and he was fine.

Dennis was scheduled to speak at The International Cannabis and Hemp Expo in San Francisco on Sunday, 18 Apr 2010.

I expected him to deliver a blistering denunciation of the so-called marijuana legalization initiative dubbed “Tax & Regulate” which qualified for the November ballot in California.

There was a media blintz about the Hemp Expo, with most of the articles centered on the fact that for the first time at any such event there was an accommodation made for medical marijuana patients – a designated area for them to medicate.

This is ironic since one of the reasons I blasted L.A.’s HempCon was because there was no accommodation for medical marijuana patients.  That may seem like a small thing, but it indicated to me that the people who are planning these things don’t really get what medical marijuana is about, nor do they care.

I could find nothing in the media about Dennis even being at the Hemp Expo in San Francisco, much less saying anything.  And I hadn’t heard anything further from Leitch about the agreed upon show with Dennis.  And, in the meantime, Jack Herer died on Tax Day, 15 Apr 2010.

More than one article mentioned the irony that Herer succumbed on Tax Day.  His last words were uppermost in the minds of many, including his family and some reporters.  Allan St. Pierre, Executive Director of NORML, delivered the ultimate insult to Herer on 420 (20 Apr 2010) by donating $420 of his money to the campaign to pass Tax & Regulate in honor of Herer.

Five days before Herer died, on 10 Apr 2010, I finally got a response to my inquiries regarding The Jack Herer Initiative on Chuck Jacobs’ Facebook wall.  Jacobs filed the Jack Herer Initiative with the California Attorney General and is the official proponent.  While Michael Jolson did most of the ‘talking’, Jacobs chimed in at the end in a manner that indicated he agreed with everything Jolson said.

The final day to turn in the signatures to qualify The Jack Herer Initiative for the ballot was 19 Apr 2010.

The most salient points of the exchange with Jacobs and Jolson were that Herer was scheduled to speak at WAMMFest in Santa Cruz nine days after HempStalk in Seattle, that it was expected he would announce the signature drive to put his initiative on the ballot at WAMMFest, and that no serious attempt had been made to get the signatures to qualify for the ballot.

On April 26th, upon successfully completing surgery, Peron announced that he had suffered a stroke about a month previous and that this was why he didn’t speak at the Hemp Expo in San Francisco.  It also explained why I didn’t hear anything more from Leitch regarding doing a show.


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