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Too Legit To Quit

Daily Dose 2011-04-15 0 comments
By Tiffani Knowles |  Published in Newd

Bruce Perlowin, also known as the 'King of Pot' shipped 500,000 pounds of pot under the Golden Gate Bridge.

Bruce Perlowin, widely known as the “King of Pot” and one of the country’s leading activists for medical marijuana, is chief among them.

In March of 2009, Perlowin founded the company Medical Marijuana, Inc., for the purpose of providing advanced business solutions to the rapidly expanding medical marijuana industry. But, he wasn’t always so legit.
About 25 years ago, Perlowin was busted as the kingpin during a federal government investigation into one of the biggest and most sophisticated marijuana smuggling organizations in the country. He ran a 200-man international organization and smuggled 500,000 pounds of marijuana into California right under the Golden Gate Bridge.
“My training ground was actually in North Miami where in the late ’60s and ’70s, I smuggled in about a half a million pounds there. That early stuff never made the media,” said Perlowin, who grew up in North Miami and was the captain of the gymnastics team at Norland Senior High School during the 1960s.
The mild-mannered, self-assured 34-year-old took a 15-year prison term rather than snitch on his former employees who helped him import $150 million worth of marijuana, mostly high-grade “Punta Roja” (red bud) product from central Colombia and Thailand.
To traffic that much marijuana into the country, Perlowin had a fool-proof operation.
He contracted over 90 marine vessels, a human resource base comprising fishermen, boat stagers, radio men, computer technologists, professional salesmen and even included his own “counter-intelligence” unit, which monitored the movements of Coast Guard craft and kept track of DEA and FBI agents.
In prison, he read 100 books per year, garnered 5 college degrees and was released nine years into his sentence.
“When I got out, I became somewhat of a media sensation because on my resume it said ex-marijuana kingpin needs job,” said Perlowin. “I was all over the media and one day a high school teacher called me up and said would you do a drug talk to my Current Affairs class… I said yes, but I’m gonna tell the truth.”
Perlowin later teamed up with the FBI agent who arrested him and they did drug talks all over California.
Championing the fight against crack cocaine and educating teens on the effects of various illegal substances, together they became the most sought after drug speaking team in America for the next 18 years.
Today, Perlowin does not use marijuana, but he claims that the substance has countless health benefits – so much so that he began the first organization to ensure that growers and dispensaries of medical marijuana are complying with all government regulations.
“I watched a woman double over in pain from Hepatitis C. She was about to go on Interferon. And, they gave her some marijuana tea. I watched her unbend, straighten up and say, ‘Oh, wow, the pain’s gone,’ without taking Oxycontin. This is in front of me so it’s hard to watch that happening and say there’s no medicinal effects. There really is,” said Perlowin.
In the case of marijuana tea, the water – however – dilutes Tetrahydrocannabinol or (THC), the main psychoactive substance found in the Cannabis plant.
“Drinking the tea won’t produce mind-altering effects, but smoking definitely will,” said Dyrie Francis, a former Nurse Educator/Organizational Development Specialist at one of Miami’s largest city hospitals and former adjunct faculty member at the University of Miami’s School of Nursing.
The way it works is this: the THC acts primarily upon the central nervous system where it alters brain function, resulting in changes in perception, mood, and behavior; this is why a user has those feelings of euphoria (“a high”) or increased alertness. Studies show all you need is 10micrograms of THC per kilogram of body weight to feel the high.
The widely known short-term physical effects include bloodshot eyes, a dry mouth, an increase in heart rate, lowered blood pressure, appetite stimulation and fatigue.