Goons Gone Gonzo-Part II
The most evocative response I received from the piece I posted yesterday, about the federal agent who got off on intimidation and threat, was the one which simply said “...What a shame...” The implication is that we have slipped backward, more than just a stride or two, on what has once again become a mountain, rather than a hill.
Since the days of Bill Stewart (May he rest more peacefully than he lived.), we have seen a gradual lessening of the chains within the marijuana universe. In recent years we have been free to pursue a medicinal planting of a perfunctory number of plants, to allow for personal harvesting of a commodity which brings relief to a long list of physical, mental, and/or psychological issues, which people face.
For so long folks have either had to grow their medicine in the shade, or face possible prosecution for growing in the sun. Though I realize that I am at odds with corporate America on this issue, I believe it is every person's right, to do what works best for him or her, when it comes to issues of personal health. As long as there is no money to be made by Big Business from marijuana, there is going to continue to be resistance to this medicine. I can live with that.
I have also lived for nine months * under the threat of having my house and twenty acres seized, by federal authorities, back in 1985/86, for the reprehensible crime of having thirty plants on my property. Later it was determined that the plants were not on my land. The federal government never charged me with a crime, never finger-printed me, and never so much as questioned me, and yet it posted a forfeiture notice on my destroyed front gate, stating flatly that my property was now that of the United States government. It took nine months and $17,500 1985 dollars, before the whole thing was dismissed by the Attorney General’s representative, here on the West Coast. I have paid my dues.
Now we are once again facing egregious violations of our most basic human rights, not to mention “American” rights. For some reason American rights always seem more elevated than human rights, because, well, everyone seems to think it should be that way. I lean toward the notion that human rights, if anything, should be the barometer by which these things are determined, but what do I know?
So when the comment, “...What a shame...” is made, I have to say it strikes a tender chord. Once again we must withstand some sort of political grandstanding on the part of the federal government, to prove that it can keep those pesky Californians in their place. It doesn’t seem to matter that the medical marijuana movement extends from ocean to shining ocean.
Right now, in Oakland, Stephen DeAngelo is also facing forfeiture of his assets tied into his marijuana dispensary, as of Wednesday, July 11th. He has stated, “We have no intention of closing our doors. We will never abandon our patients.”
Here lies my central point of contention: If California, in all of its infinite wisdom, has deemed the medical marijuana industry legal, what business is it of the federal government on any level? Every step which interferes with this industry costs the federal government vast unlimited amounts of money in lawyers’ fees, and the fees paid to thugs who patrol our rural-and not-so-rural-neighborhoods, in search of medical marijuana plants to harvest. **
I believe the time has come for the federal government to get off this particular soapbox, before it becomes any more painfully obvious that Big Business actually IS INVOLVED in the marijuana industry, only as an ongoing antagonist in the never-ending saga of “Reefer Madness.”
- I posted a piece entitled “It Came Out of the Sky” last spring, detailing this event.
** In yesterday’s piece, “Goons Gone Gonzo,” I detailed a federal agent running amok up here on the ridge. One of his stops included the confiscation of twenty-five plants, from a medical marijuana patient, who is an acquaintance of mine. I remain outraged on behalf of injustices that are so unwarranted, as this. The “perpetrator’s” crime? His homestead lies on the same road, as the originally intended target, a site with 1,500 plants on it. I have no problem with the big target, only with the aftermath of an ego gone gonzo. That agent did not have to go out of his way to confiscate those twenty-five plants, but he was just that kind of guy.