By Stephen C. Webster
Speaking to a crowd gathered Saturday for Michigan’s annual “Hash Bash” and marijuana legalization protest in Ann Arbor, former “High Times” columnist and self-proclaimed “Guru of ganja” Ed Rosenthal declared that the successful legalization initiatives in Colorado and Washington last November have “cured” him of his need for medical marijuana.
“Up to then, I had been using marijuana medically,” he said. “Then, when the polls came in and it showed that marijuana was made legal, I found that I had been cured. Cured! I would no longer need a prescription to get it. Hallelujah!”
Rosenthal’s joking issuance of a clear
prognosis is likely to give ammo to drug reform critics who say that medical marijuana legalization is just another step down the road to regulating adult use and over-the-counter purchases. Still, thousands of onlookers cheered wildly as he spoke, laughing along with his sarcasm.
“Marijuana needs no defense,” Rosenthal insisted. “Talking to people about how good marijuana is here is like talking to the choir. Amen?”
The protest, held on the University of Michigan campus, also featured Michigan state Rep. Jeff Irwin (D), calling on reform advocates to begin communicating their desires to officials at all levels of government.
“I believe we need to legalize marijuana,” Irwin said. “The amount of blood and treasure we’ve spilled in this drug war is an embarrassment to our country.”
He added that numerous local initiatives across Michigan in recent years inspired him to move on drug reform in the legislature. “When I saw that kind of activity, I said, ‘I need to step up and do my part,’” Irwin explained. “‘I need to introduce a decriminalization bill in the state legislature.’”