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Time4Hemp with Irv Rosenfeld
By Casper Leitch "Time4Hemp" (California)
Time For "My Medicine"
Casper Leitch has been hosting "Time 4 Hemp - LIVE" (http://www.AmericanFreedomRadio.com) since 2009. "Time 4 Hemp" made its television debut on January 5, 1991. Known as the "Father of Marijuana TV", Casper has featured nearly every cannabis activist; Willie Nelson, Dr. Tim Leary, Sen. Mike Gravel and Congressman Barney. Checkout Casper's website (http://www.Time4Hemp.com) for these interviews and many more.
This interview, "Time 4 My Medicine", was first aired on June 28th, 2010.
Casper: Thank you for taking Time 4 Hemp, I am your host Casper Leitch. On the program today we are
celebrating the medical marijuana initiative in California (Proposition 19) and we are trying to let people
know the truth about this remarkable plant and how many wonderful things that marijuana, medical
marijuana can be used for.
Some people think it's just for chemotherapy, some think it's just for glaucoma. A friend of mine, who I'm
lucky to call a friend, is a member of a Federal Program...I.N.D.?
Irv: It's called the Compassionate Care Investigational New Drug Protocol.
Casper: There are four surviving members and, who you just heard me talking to is Irv Rosenfeld.
Irv has written a great book that I think everybody out there listening should make it a point to get.
Casper: Irv, I want to thank you for taking Time 4 Hemp.
Irv: It's my pleasure.
Casper: Thank you. You just finished this book and it's an excellent read. I know that people will be
interested in getting an autographed copy as well. Why don't you tell our audience just a little about it.
Irv: Well, my book is called "My Medicine" because that is what I have been saying for the last 38 years;
that marijuana is my medicine. The book is about my life story...of being told at age 10 that I had a severe
bone disorder...that I may not out live my teenage years.
I had numerous operations. I took all the different drugs that the pharmaceutical companies made...with
marginal benefit, but i did survive.
Irv: In high school in the late 60's, I was an advocate against illegal drugs, including marijuana. I would
speak in different classes at my school. Then in '71, I went off to college in Miami. My apartment complex
was all college students, and they smoked (cannabis). I wasn't making friends, so I gave in to peer
pressure and tried it. I didn't get high. But, about the tenth time i did it, I sat and played a game of Chess.
That was the first time in five years that I sat for more than ten minutes. Immediately I wondered why I
didn't take away all the prescriptions. I hadn't taken any that day. All that I had done was smoke
So, the book is a ten year struggle of learning that marijuana worked and then taking on the Federal
Government. The rest of the story is about being one of the few Federal patients in the country. It's also
the history of the medical marijuana movement in this country as seen through my eyes.
Casper: Now that’s kind of ironic considering that as you didn't smoke herb...didn't make friends because
you were the guy who didn't get high. ...only to discover years later that you are the “poster child” for the
government (IND) program.
Irv : Yes, it's kind of ironic. I mean, when I went to college in Miami, I had a girlfriend that was supposed
to move in with me for two weeks before going off to college. The second day that she was in my
apartment, she pulled out marijuana, and I said, “You need to leave.”
A month later, you know, i started smoking.
Yes, I am the “poster child” and really, that’s what I’m hoping to be. When people hear about marijuana
or medical marijuana, they often think of a long haired hippie gettin’ high. And that’s not the case. I mean,
this is a medicine. And what am I? I'm a stock broker. I handle a lot of money on a daily basis; always
looking for the good accounts. I teach disabled sailing. I want people seeing this...that when they hear
about marijuana, they don't think of a hippie getting high, but of me in a suit using my medicine.
Casper: You were in Fortune 500 magazine. If you were a brain dead “stoner”, I don't think that would
Irv: No, that's exactly the case. I was very proud to be in Fortune magazine. That was an excellent article
on all aspects of marijuana regarding economics and medical. I have also been in Newsweek and on
many talk shows. That's how you educate.
Irv: When I first became legal, there wasn't any California (medical legislation) or anything like that. I
mean, in 1982 there was nothing. Bob Randal, the first (IND) patient, and I helped lead the way toward
getting state laws changed. Today, we have 14 states that have passed laws. And California might pass
a Tax and Regulate Law (Proposition 19). All this is coming forward because of what i think Bob Randal
started back in 1976.
Casper: Now, a lot of people would think that reinitiating that particular Government program would just
be the ideal thing to redistribute marijuana to medical patients on a Federal basis, but it seems that you
disagree about that.
Irv: No, I wouldn’t go that far. I think the Compassionate Care Protocol has served us (Federal legal
patients) very well and I think it could serve a lot of people. The farm (IND grow facility) could grow
enough marijuana for thousands of patients. So, reopening the Compassionate Care Protocol would be a
step in the right direction.
Granted, they aren't going to be able to serve everyone. Not everyone can get the doctors; not everyone
can find a doctor in their communities because doctors aren’t taught this (medical cannabis therapy) in
medical school. So they must learn it afterwards or from their patients, if they even care about it at all.
It’s not that easy finding a physician. So, if we were able to grow our own Federally, that would probably
be the best situation.
However, I have always argued that this is a medicine. And just like any other medicine, it should be
prescribed. Granted, marijuana is a little different. It’s an herb; a medical herb. So it really comes down
to, do you even need a prescription for it?
The whole point I was trying to make, especially to my opposition, when they say, “It’s harmful, it's deadly;
it does this to you, it does that to you”, I tell them, “Ya know, i wanna help you prove your point. Why don't
we reopen the Compassionate Care Protocols. 50 research centers - one in each state, and take 50
different patients that we think marijuana works for; Crohns, Paraplegia, AIDS - we'll pick 50 patients. And
then we'll study them for two years. At the end of two years, it should show that these 2500 are worse
than their peers. Then I'll admit that you're right and you can stop my protocol, and we can thank God we
only harmed 2500 nationwide to prove how bad it was. But if at the end of those two years, these patients
are better off than their peers, would you then admit that you are wrong?”
But they won't do that, because they know they're wrong.
The sad thing is, I have been using it (Federally supplied cannabis) for almost 28 years and you'd think
that the Federal Government would want to test me or something. Yet, they bury the reports that my
doctor sends in every six months. They don't want to know. And that's the sad part about it.
I mean, are we just there to use something to get high?
Irv: I'm on a special diet for arthritis. I don't eat Nightshades (white potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and
eggplant), because there is a chemical in them and it’s not good for arthritis. I discovered it seven years
ago and I adhere to it religiously. It works tremendously.
Let’s look at this. I love potatoes, but my health is what means most to me and if these (Nightshades) are
bad for my health, then I’m not going to do it. But if marijuana is positive for my health, my God,
recognize that this is why I use it.
Study me. Learn from me. But they don't want to test it. They don't want to study it. And it's sad.
Casper: Well, there's a lot of people who risk jail time because it is that important to them physically.
Irv: I think, of all the elderly who can't afford their prescriptions, plus how the drugs all interact with each
other, not to mention the side effects that can happenEif only these people knew that they could cut out
over half of their prescriptions if they smoked marijuana.
Lord knows they could sure grow it. I mean, a lot of elderly people love growing plants. And here's this
benign substance, marijuana, that could be very positive and cost effective and yet, nope.
Irv: Six, maybe seven years ago, there was this huge article that was written by Erick Bailey of the LA
Times; a huge expose on marijuana for AARP. And they didn't run it because of pressure from some right
What was the pressure? The editor for AARP used to work for High Times like 30 years ago. Therefore,
you see, he was one of those hippies putting that article in this paper. And with their pressure AARP
caved in. I'm shocked by that. They caved in and didn't run it and wouldn't give Erick their permission.
It was four years before they finally gave him permission to run a shortened version in the LA Times.
Casper: Wow. What's even more frustrating is that when you’re old enough to subscribe to AARP, you
don't care what people think and you speak your mind.
Casper: Now, you say there is an autographed copy of this book waiting for anyone who logs onto your
website and buys a copy? And you said if they mention Time 4 Hemp what happens?
Irv: Well, all you have to do is go to my website, “mymedicinethebook.com” and order a copy. There is a
place for you to write your name and what you want me to write - who you want me to autograph the book
to. There is also room where you can put “purchased because of Time 4 Hemp”. If you do, I will donate
$4.20 to Time 4 Hemp. And tell your friends to mention “Time 4 Hemp” when they order it and I'll be glad
to do the same.
Casper: That's very nice of you, Irv. Now, there are a couple of things in your book that are very
informative when it comes to dealing with medical marijuana. The struggle you had with the United
States Government to get them to really pay mind to what was going on with you, and then, the struggle
that you and the others had putting together this research.
Irv: Very much so. It was a ten year struggle, taking on the government. A lot of setbacks. Tremendous
setbacks. Trying to fight the FDA for five years; trying to write my own scientific project with my doctor as
the “researcher” and me as the “patient”. And then, meeting Bob Randal and turning it from a scientific
project into the Compassionate Care Protocol.
We were saying that my qualified physician believed it worked better as a medicine than anything else
and that, out of compassion, the Federal Government would give it to me, which they had no intention of
I had to get the University of Virginia Law School behind me. I helped change state law in Virginia. I had
the head of the Crime Commission, the head of the State Police, and my congressman behind me.
Finally, after ten years and under the threat of a law suit, the FDA decided to hold hearings for me and I
won those hearings. The book explains how all that came about.
Then, once we got up to 13 patients (in the IND Program), Bush had the audacity to shut the program
Irv: The struggles we have had as Federal patients and just what happened to usEand we're legal. We
could only imagine what happens to other people who aren't legal.
We try to present to the government because there are only four of us left now. Study us. Look at us.
Irv: We're not the only ones in this country who are immune to the negative side effects that you
supposedly believe marijuana causes.
It used to be, when it was just me, the opposition would say that it causes lung damage; that it causes
brain damage, that it does this, it does that.
I would say, “You seem very knowledgeable. If you’re that intelligent, explain it to me.”
And they would always say, “Well, you have an 85 year old man who smokes three packs of cigarettes a
day say, ‘ what do you mean cigarettes cause lung cancer? Look at me. I don't have lung cancer.'”
Irv: So it took a study that we did in Missoula in 2001 with four of us patients to see if there was an
anomaly or if other people benefited. All four of us showed prolonged benefit.
And so I often wonder if the opposition believes out of everyone harmed we are the only four in the
country that weren't.
Casper: The four of you are super heroes. That must be it. You're immune to everything except your
Irv: Yeah. It's something we are very proud of... and we take it very seriously. It's also something we wish
that we didn't have such an exclusivity. Hopefully, one day it won't be.
Someone said, "What if we pass a national law to make marijuana legal? Would you lose your protocol?"
And I said, "I don't know. I have no idea. But you know something? I wouldn't mind finding out."
Casper: Well, if it were legal would it matter?
Irv: Right. At that point it wouldn't really matter. But what I'm trying to say is, that's why I wrote this book. I
mean, the book is my story, but it really is a story for everybody else to utilize. This makes a great
lobbying tool. You can talk to anyone in the opposition; a legislator, the rotary club, whatever. You go and
you talk and you show them my book.
"Here is a medical cannabis patient. Look at him. Look at this. This is real. This is what we want for us."
That's what is so important about this book. I'm really hoping that this book can help change society.
Where the average individual would open the book, look at it, and say, "Wait a minute. Where's the
danger with marijuana that I have been told about all my life?"
Casper: You have the kind of occupation that you can do from almost any state in the union and be
successful. So why is it that you don't move to California and get medical marijuana. And start growing
your own for that matter. Wouldn't you have better control over what you actually do get to smoke?
Irv: Well, that's a good point. However, all of my family is on the east coast, so California is a long way
away. Plus the weather is not as conducive as it is here in south Florida. I also teach disabled sailing and
that's one of my passions every Saturday. The water is not as cold as it is in California.
Irv: I went sailing in San Francisco. We had the same special boats as BADS, (Bay Area Disabled
Sailing). We took out paraplegics, quadriplegics; any type of disability and we sailed the boat. And the
water was freezing! The spray came into the boat and it was freezing, and that day it was 80 degrees.
I was thinking, "My God, how do you sail down here?"
I'm a fair weather sailor. I want to be in a bathing suit and t-shirt. So that means a lot to me.
We have friends here. I mean, I have tons of friends in California, really. But Florida is where I have been
for the last 25 years and Florida is where I'll stay.
Casper: Now, you say you teach disabled sailing? A few nights ago i had a member of LEAP on and he
lives in Palm Springs. A former police officer, he had fallen off a roof and broken his back. He needed to
use medical marijuana.
I wanted to say to him, "If I woke up one day and I couldn't move; didn't have my legs, didn't have my
arms, the ability to run, walk. I don't think I would want to live."
How do these people find their inspiration to go on?
Irv: Well, you know, I have often thought the same thing. But they go on because we have one life to live.
And there is still joy in life no matter how bad off you are. You survive. You deal with what you have and
you make the best of it. That's what it comes down to.
With our organization, we get the wheelchairs on the dock and then in the sail boat. If they were, say,
paraplegic, they sit in the back of the boat. They have a tiller extender that goes to the rudder and that's
how they steer the boat.
If they were quad, and they can't hold it but they can move their arm, we tape the rudder to their arm.
It's a very inspirational experience.
Irv: We are connected to the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. There was an 18 year old boy that came to
a tournament in Miami with his junior college baseball team. The morning after he arrived, he went down
to the beach and jumped into the water. It was too shallow and he broke his neck. He became a quad.
Two weeks later, he was on my boat.
He had an attitude you would not believe. I mean, This kid was like, "Oh well, that's what happened.
Now i have to make the best of it."
Then there was a girl who was a quad. She had jumped out of the second story window at the University
of Miami trying to kill herself. So here are these two people and they are both the same age. And so we
talked about it. She had such a bad life and the boy had such a happy life and now they are both quads.
Casper: I hope I'm never put to the test. I think I would wake up angry at God every day.
Irv: That's how I felt when my bone disease hit me severely at the age of 13. I was like, "Why would God
do this to me?"
I was one of the most religious kids in the synagogue. My father is the ex-president of the synagogue
and yet, the religious Jews in the community would come up to me and say, "Be thankful it's not worse."
Later on, good things started happening that God made special like trying to get marijuana legal. I
realized that there was a reason for it; a cause for it and I can accept things now much more easily.
Irv: I think we are really an eclectic group (the four surviving IND patients). We are totally different from
each other...completely. And I think that it's good that we can show that we are so different, but it comes
down to one thing that we all have in common. Marijuana helps us medically. And we are not the only
ones who benefit. We are also helping others and that makes us feel better.
Casper: How many marijuana joints have you received from the United States Government?... 80,000?
Irv: No, I'm up to almost 120,000.
Casper: WOW! The U.S. government has given you 120,000 joints, but they are bustin' people left and
right for smokin'. I don't get it, do you?
Irv: No I don't. That's the irony of it. It's sad but true. But hopefully, with shows like this, people will learn
just how stupid it is, the laws will change and, hopefully, one day we'll be celebrating.
Casper: Its makes so much sense to me just to hear it once through. Have you sent a copy of your book
to the White House, or do you think that would be foolish because no one would read it.
Irv: No one would read it. I have a new congressman coming into office. I'm hoping to give him a copy to
give to Obama.
Casper: We don't know what surprises our future holds so who knows where this journey might end up.
Irv: Hopefully it leads to victory, because we know we are right. And that's what it comes down to. We
know we are right. We're right about the medical aspect of it, the hemp aspect of it, about the food aspect
of it. I mean, we know we are right. It's just getting other people to realize that.
Casper: Jack Herer's book has been sent to every member of Congress. We know that people like Al
Gore and Bill Clinton have said that they have read Jack's book. And they know about hemp and so it's
not that the people in congress are ignorant about the facts. I guess they are just politically afraid to do
Irv: Well they are politically afraid plus it's the money. The big money is against it. You have the big lobby
organizations like the pharmaceutical industry. They don't want to see medical marijuana become
available because then people won't buy their drugs. And if medical marijuana becomes available then
hemp would be next. And you have the petro chemical companies that make nylon. They don't want to
see hemp. You have the oil companies. You have "BP". They don't want to see hemp. They want us to
use their oil.
You have the lumber industry. They don't want to see hemp legal. What about the trees they grow for 40
years that they make into paper? You can grow hemp in six months. Well, that would be detrimental to
their bottom line. So they don't want to see hemp. Therefore, they are against medical marijuana.
There is the jail system. The people who supply food to the jails. The more people in jail, the more food
they sell. So are they in favor of changing marijuana laws? Heck no. Put more people in jail. And the sad
part is that's what really controls this country.
Casper: Why is it that the American public hasn't stood up against this by now? We wouldn't be dealing
with the mess in the Gulf right now. We would be creating jobs. We wouldn't be spending billions of
dollars on law enforcement and incarceration. And we would be collecting billions of dollars in tax
I mean it's a "no-brainer".
Irv: They don't know the difference. All they know is what they have been taught; that marijuana is
dangerous. And you know, if you ask someone about marijuana in a state where it isn't legal, they won't
have any idea about it. It's horrible.
As a medicine, even if we make it legal tomorrow, there would still be millions and millions of people who,
if they went to their doctor and he said, "Well, I want to give you a recommendation for marijuana.", they
would look at that doctor as if he were crazy. But if that same doctor were to prescribe the GW
Pharmaceutical spray Sativex, which is made from marijuana, they would take it.
The government has done some great P.R. since 37. They have done a great job and it's not easy to
But, it's getting better. That's what these shows (Time4Hemp) are doing. Educating. That's what I hope
my book does. And you know, we're gaining. We have 14 states and if you think of that, that's about a
third of the country now under state laws.
Irv: I was "bothered" in Rhode Island two months ago at the (Patients Out of Time) conference doing my
PSA. The police their detained me for an hour because of my marijuana.
I was talking to the Captain who was going to make a police report that stated that I didn't have any proof.
Of course, I had tons of proof but they were writing a false report.
I asked them, "Well let me ask you a question, what do you do with a patient that has a medical card in
California and they get busted in Rhode Island?"
He said, "We just had that happen."
Apparently, what happened was someone from California came to Rhode Island with three pounds of pot
and they busted the guy. Then they did their research and they let him go, giving him back the pot.
That's what he told me. I don't know it's true or not.
Anyway, the point being is, it's getting better. It's getting a lot better. They only detained me for an hour.
That's some kind of improvement.
Thank God for the Internet. They just "Googled" my name and, of course, they saw, "Federal patient",
"Federal patient", "Federal patient" - as far as articles.
But we're not getting their fast enough. I mean, people are going blind that shouldn't go blind. And like
you mentioned, the money. When they go blind, my tax money is most likely go to pay for their welfare.
We should all feel guilty. Because we need to stop it. I mean, you see something that's wrong on TV and
everyone says, "That's terrible. Somebody should do something about that."
But who's the "somebody"? Not them.
"One person can't make the difference." Well, when all this started years ago, somebody HAD to do
something. That's what Bob Randal and I did. We were "that person".
Now we have all these other people that are standing up, too. So it's all of us together that are saying
"...that's terrible; we need to do something about that." And we're doing it.
Irvin Rosenfeld, 57, who suffers from Multiple Congenital Cartilagninous Exostoses, is
one of four surviving members of the Federal Investigative _ew Drug Program. For
the last 27 years, in cooperation with the Institute on Drug Abuse, Irv has religiously
used cannabis to treat his debilitating health condition. Along with Barbara Douglass,
who suffers from Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, George McMahon who suffers from
_ail Patella Syndrome, and Elvy Musikka, who suffers from congenital cataracts and
glaucoma, Irv receives his monthly legal cannabis from a "legal grow" facility at the
University of Mississippi. Irvin is a successful stock broker.<-->
© This article is copyrighted by Medical Cannabis Journal 03-28-2013time4hemp timeforhemp hemp cannabis marijuana casper leitch medical cannabis medical cannabis journal Irv rosenfeld
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