‘Florida does not need Cheryl Shuman to come into this state.’
~ Irv Rosenfeld
Cheryl Shuman, the self-styled “Martha Stewart of marijuana” who runs the Beverly Hills Cannabis Club and reportedly sells $750 ounces, has announced she’s starting a marijuana super PAC (political action committee) to join the campaign medical marijuana in Florida. But some leaders of the Sunshine State’s medical marijuana community, including federal patient Irvin Rosenfeld, are less than enthusiastic to have her “help.”
Shuman bragged to Broward Palm Beach New Times reporter Allie Conti about her star-studded Beverly Hills clientele, including “celebrities like Justin Timberlake,” and other clients who are “people who cannot go to dispensaries or be exposed as a pothead,” Shuman claimed (and here we were thinking they were medical marijuana patients, but what do we know).
The Beverly Hills blond is ambitious; in fact, she says she wants her company to become the Mercedes of marijuana, and she sees passage of Florida’s Amendment 2 as one step toward her goal. But does she care about patients, and the other activists who are fighting for safe access? That may be a different matter entirely.
“I called Ben Pollara [who’s in charge of the United For Care campaign, behind the Amendment 2 effort]; he had no idea who Shuman was,” federal medical marijuana patient Irv Rosenfeld told Toke Signals Monday morning. “I said, ‘Have I ever said a bad word about anybody?’ He said no.
“I said, ‘We cannot align ourselves with Cheryl Shuman, period,” Rosenfeld told us of the scandal-ridden celebrity’s attempts to inject herself into the Florida debate.
Rosenfeld said he’d spoken with a Florida member of Cannamoms, a group formed in May to raise awareness for children whose lives would be improved by safe access to medical marijuana. Although Shuman claimed affiliation with Cannamoms in the New Times article, Rosenfeld told us the mom with whom he spoke denied any affiliation at all with Shuman.
“From the standpoint of helping my child who has cancer, she is not going to be helpful, period,” Rosenfeld said the mother told him.
“She said ‘If it was just me, I wouldn’t care,'” Rosenfeld told us. “But the problem is, it reflects on me, my family, and my kids,” the mother told Irv. “I will not work with her, at all.”
Perhaps Shuman plans to deal with Cannamoms the way she dealt with Moms For Marijuana, another formerly grassroots organization which suffered a hostile takeover at her hands. Shuman’s ham-fisted takeover of that group, which began late last year and was apparently completed last May, alienated much of the group’s core supporters and resulted in the departure of the entire Board of Directors. During that debacle, entire chapters of Moms were tossed out of the group, told their years of hard work were now irrelevant if they were unwilling to march in lockstep with Shuman’s new regime.
The Beverly Hills diva told New Times‘ credulous reporter than plans for a “Moms For Marijuana” Super PAC were only finalized last Thursday, and that she plans to register with the Federal Elections Commission this week.
“Florida does not need Cheryl Shuman to come into this state,” Rosenfeld said. “Going by the New Times article, her boutique dispensary or delivery service or whatever she has, charges $750 an ounce, wrapped in 14-karat gold. New customers get ‘star treatment,’ according to the article — and that is exactly what the opposition here in Florida will utilize,” Rosenfeld said.
“I’ve told the campaign that while we cannot stop people from coming into the state of Florida, we will not work with Cheryl Shuman,” Rosenfeld told us.
In the meantime, real activists like Rosenfeld have their work cut out for them. The Florida Sheriffs Association has come out against Amendment 2, with 63 of 67 sheriffs statewide opposing the measure. “The Florida Medical Association has come out against us, and a group of drug rehabilitation clinics has come out against us,” Rosenfeld said.
Rosenfeld, who has smoked upward of 136,000 U.S. government joints since 1982, told Toke Signals he’s challenging the opposition to a public debate.
“I’m sure the public would be very interested in seeing and the press in covering a medical marijuana debate, in a public forum,” Rosenfeld told us. “If they don’t want to do that, what are they scared of?”
“Bring in all your heavy guns!” Rosenfeld challenged the anti-marijuana forces. “I’ll tear them apart, just little old me.”