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My Brush with Greatness



This is an excerpt from my autobiography, (I guess it's not only the "Great" people write who their own life story.)
This is but a tiny fraction.
                "Ed lived in an apartment on East 10th Street about a half a block from Tompkins Square Park.
I stayed there for about one month, though I would see him only from time to time as friendships in the
Lower East side were tenuous because there was a lot of population shift and many were transient.

The "Summer of Love"  had died in New York as the harder drugs moved in as well as those who took
advantage of the young misplaced people."
                "One day at Ed's house we had a little surprise. Ed's day job was on Wall St. as a broker.
His avocation was selling marijuana to his fellow brokers. We waited for a connection  to show who would
bring one pound of pot for Ed to carve up and he arrived on time. He came in the apartment and sat down.

As things got started he reached into the bag and pulled out a gun and demanded Ed's money which he surrendered.
He turned to me and demanded I give him all my valuables too. At this point I started to laugh. It was not bravado.
I could not believe the irony of the situation. The only time in my life I had been robbed and I had absolutely nothing
of value. He looked at me like I was nuts and I thought he might shoot me. However he just took the money and left.
It first made me realize  that the culture of peace and love did not really exist there. Long hair does not a comrade make."

                "Fifteen years later I was lying in bed half asleep as Morton Downey Junior played on the TV.
I heard a raspy unmistakable familiar voice. I immediately knew who it was,  Ed Rosenthal. As I watched I
learned that Ed had been associated with NORML, had written the "Ask Ed" column for High Times magazine
and was the author of the "The Marijuana Growers Guide", the bible for pot growers."

               "In 2002, federal agents arrested Rosenthal, who previously had been deputized by the City of Oakland
to grow marijuana for medical use. He was convicted, and some of the jurors denounced their own verdict after
they learned Rosenthal was acting as an agent of the City of Oakland, In a surprise setback for the federal government,
Rosenthal was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer to only one day in prison; time already served.

In 2006 the 9th Circuit Appeals Court subsequently overturned Rosenthal's conviction. Months later the U.S. Attorney's
office re-indicted him. Although, the judge has promised to sentence Rosenthal to no additional prison time, a new trial
commenced on 14 May 2007.

                On May 31, 2007, it was announced that Rosenthal had been convicted again on three of the five charges
against him: one conspiracy count; one count of cultivation, intending to distribute and distributing marijuana; and one
count of using a commercial building as a site for growing and distributing marijuana. He was acquitted of growing and
distributing marijuana at the Harm Reduction Center medical-marijuana club in San Francisco. The jury deadlocked on
whether he had conspired to grow and distribute marijuana at the Harm Reduction Center. Judge Breyer once again
prohibited Rosenthal's lawyers from arguing before the jury that his work was sanctioned by Oakland government
officials, a main point of contention for the jurors of the previous trial." (Wikipedia)
  Jack Gianola

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