Dozer, the bulldog

Dozer, the bulldog
Dozer: He was the best dog on the planet.

Bonding

Bonding
The author of Mark's Work with Ellie Mae

Guess who's coming for dinner

Guess who's coming for dinner
Blue heron, sitting on the dock of our pond

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.
Air-borne bees

BFF's forever

BFF's forever
Margie and Ellie Mae

Tomatoes and peppers are us.

Tomatoes and peppers are us.
Spicy salsa with roasted peppers, here at HappyDay Farms

Much love, John-Bryan

Much love, John-Bryan
Eric at 26 on the left, and John-Bryan in January of 1973.

Halloween fun

Halloween fun
SmallBoy and Dancing Girl

Our house

Our house
The snow season approaches...

Mahlon Masling Blue

Mahlon Masling Blue
My friend and brother.

Mark's E-mail address

bellspringsmark@gmail.com

Friday, January 20, 2012

Texas Hold 'Em

Texas Hold ‘Em
I am looking at a home-made flyer, detailing the sad case of Chris, a father of two, who was being held in Mendocino County Jail, on a Texas felony warrant.  Chris is accused of having in his possession, fourteen grams of marijuana, including some cannabis concentrate, and was returned recently to Texas, to stand trial in the case.
A little over four grams of what he had, was hash, made from marijuana, and this is evidently the nail that is going to seal his coffin.  The presence of hash makes this an offense punishable by 5-99 years in a Texan prison, because it was deemed that he had it for sale.
What we have here is a failure to communicate.  California and Texas represent two sides of a coin.  On the one hand, both represent states in the greatest nation on earth, one which purports to be the land of the free.  On the other hand, anyone over the age of seven knows that Texas and California are as different as the yin and the yang.
I am an open-minded person, and I want to view this mild political controversy with as much balance as possible.  After all, Texas has no reason to treat Chris any differently than any other political prisoner, does it?  I want to believe that Texas genuinely sees marijuana as evil, and that a person in possession of it deserves to be incarcerated for life.  But the thought that Texas could be so medieval in its approach baffles me.  Is Texas living in a vacuum?  Are there not medical personnel in Texas to educate those in need, that medicine comes in many forms, and not all of them come from corporate America? 
Texas is accusing Chris of having traveled from Texas to Mendocino County, for the purpose of bringing back “drugs” for sale.  Texas evidently believes that it would have been lucrative for Chris to have made a round-trip journey in order to infuse the unwary Texan populace with four grams of hash, not even the exotically imported variety from Turkey, just the garden-variety type (no pun intended) grown right here in Mendocino County.
Chris has a legitimate, documented California medical cannabis prescription, to account for the presence of the herb in the first place.  Unfortunately for Chris, the medical prescription has no validity in Texas, a state that the home-made flyer insists is “evil.”  I don’t think of Texas as evil, so much as inept, a bumbling idiot, full of self-righteous bigotry, an image that puts Texas in a negative light.  This is the twenty-first century; if I were Texas, I think I would rather be thought of as evil, than bumbling, or inept. Mighty Texas as a buffoon?  This is not the image one might think Texas would embrace.
To compound the problem, Chris has suffered from asthma since age two, and requires constant medical attention.  The flyer includes a statement from Chris’s doctor, stating simply that “Chris being sent to Texas is a death sentence.”  The flyer went on to say that he was denied basic health needs and medical treatment in the Mendocino County jail, with not even a rescue inhaler on hand to contend with the rigors of his medical condition.
Why bigotry?  The flyer states that the “Texas Highway Patrol admitted to profiling California license plates” in pulling Chris over in the first place.  In essence, Chris is guilty of calling California home, and that merited a look-see by the constabulary.  Yes, they found what they were looking for, and now two kids don’t have a dad in the home any longer, and there’s the real crime.  
By inflicting a narrow and antiquated law on its citizens and those of different states, Texas demonstrates that it is impervious to what is normal and decent.  “We’ll teach you people what happens when you bring 'drugs' into our state.”  It’s like the parent saying to the child, “Why?  Because I said so.”  More pertinently, it’s like a dude shoplifting at a liquor store, and emerging with a pack of baseball cards.  Only there are two children, and they are now without a father in the home.  If there is a crime being committed here, it’s one being perpetrated by the law enforcement agencies of Texas.  
As the cards are dealt, Texas holds all the aces, and Chris is a joker.  The only problem is that the pot contains the ante of two children’s lives, and that is too steep a price to pay.

7 comments:

  1. Ironically, I wrote this early in the morning (as always) the same day that Judy posted her movie quiz. I am here to tell you that I wrote this, before I saw her quiz, so there is a certain cosmic quality to my use of the phrase, "What we have here is a failure to communicate." Now I wonder if I shouldn't have placed quotation marks around the words.

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  2. Excellent commentary, Mark.. The one thing I would add - and I know you are well aware of it --is that not all of Texas is inept and buffoon-like. Overall, it appears from my perspective that Texas leadership is exactly the way you describe - righteous, arrogant, narrow minded, and unable to see that marijuana can hold relief for some medical conditions. Sadly, that position then puts Chris and others like him in prison, NOT RIGTH>

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  3. I understand the purpose of your post was to shine a light on the antiquated and severe laws of Texas.
    However, how responsible was it of Chris, a father of two, to take the chance of traveling into Texas, which apparently is well known for its tough stance on violators of their laws, with an illegal (in Texas) substance?
    I do agree, in this case, the punishment certainly does not seem to fit the crime. However, cruel as it is, currently that is the law of the land in Texas.
    While I am sure that the flyers are serving the purpose of making others aware that laws are different state to state and to also garner support for Chris, I hope he has a good ole Texas attorney.
    I hope Chris gets the justice he deserves and is back home with his family very soon.

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  4. There was so much to say, and I was trying to condense. Lynda, Chris was residing in Texas, and came home to replenish his supply. He was stopped on his return to Texas. JT, of course Texas is not all buffoonery-that's the point. Why in this area, and not others?

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  5. In this same vain, I am sure you have heard in the news recently about the profiling that has been happening in Nebraska on Highway 80 going East. In fact, when I was taking Myra back to Boston in October of 2008, we got pulled over in Nebraska for traveling "too close", which was bullshit; we weren't. But we were guilty of having california plates. I was "invited" to come and sit in the front seat of the trooper's SUV, where just by chance there was a "sniffing" K9 on the other side of the metal screen........as i got in the dog sniffed and just waved his tail, not smelling any of the "bad" herb. The trooper couldn't believe that a father would be transporting his daughter to the east coast for school. But, after numerous questions, "Did I have a return flight home already booked?" etc, he lightened up and decided maybe we were "OK" after all, and released us to go on our merry way. Hope Chris is able to find mercy rather than justice.

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  6. What we have here is a failure to communicate??! haha.

    But this is just a small example of why I want nothing to do with the "great" state of Texas.

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  7. Judy, I hear you, and the last thing I want to do is offend those who have warm and fuzzy feelings toward Texas. That being said, how many people with how much money, want to visit or travel through such an archaic Republic? And Noel, how baffling is that trooper's attitude, that it would be anything but normal to transport one's daughter off to school, especially through a road trip. What a marvelous way to "bridge" the gap between youth and adulthood. Good for you and Myra.

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