Sitting in a federal courthouse in 2003, Bronx-born Ed Rosenthal faced the potential of life in prison. What heinous crime did the 59-year-old man allegedly commit? According to the New York Times, Mr. Rosenthal grew "marijuana to be sold for medicinal uses under the auspices of the City of Oakland's medical marijuana ordinance."
Sure, California voted to legalize medical cannabis seven years earlier with Proposition 215, but the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) didn't care, and it wanted to lock him up through his late 60s. The judge's verdict? He sentenced Rosenthal to one day in prison, and then waived the sentence for time served. The courtroom went nuts!
The LA Times quoted Rosenthal as saying, "I take responsibility for my actions that bring me here today. I took these actions because my conscience led me to help people who are suffering." The same article quoted others describing the grower as a folk hero.
As a cannabis grower for nearly half a century, the man known as the Guru of Ganja authors books, writes magazine columns, developed pest-control products, teaches at Oaksterdam University and inspires other growers around the world. He wrote the first grow book reviewed by the New York Times, and he serves as Executive Director of Green Aid, an organization that exposes the hyper-militant excess of cannabis-related SWAT raids.
Or as the cannabis icon describes himself in Modern Grower, "My name is Ed Rosenthal, and I'm a researcher, writer and political activist."
Modern Grower host Felix Fang visits Rosenthal to see how the legend destems, trims and manicures buds. This includes different techniques based on the bud's purpose (e.g., concentrates, smokable flower) and the use of modern technology like the GreenBroz dry trimmer. Rosenthal even demonstrates how growers in India destem their cannabis plants.
"It was really an honor to meet him today," say Fang, who joined Rosenthal in trimming some plants.
The PRØHBTD docu-series Modern Grower introduces viewers to leading-edge companies making innovative strides in the grow, extraction, edibles and infrastructure industries within the cannabis marketplace. Click here for more episodes of Modern Grower.