My Medicine Is Free
There is a cannabis crisis in our community. Illegal grows wreak havoc on the environment, suck water from our watershed, and insert fear into the hearts of unsuspecting bystanders. Legitimate, hard-working, good people, also grow cannabis, but do so utilizing ecologically sound methods, with water that has not been pilfered.
I use the term crisis, because if you are an individual who has seen your doctor, been prescribed medication that had insidious side-effects, and then found that cannabis not only assists in fighting your illness, but has no side-effects as well, then you might consider it a crisis if you could no longer obtain it because it is not legal. Continued propaganda about all cannabis growers being impervious to anything but making profits, simply clouds the fact that cannabis helps countless people in pain.
I found after going dutifully to the VA heath clinic and experiencing unspeakable side effects from the prescribed medication, that cannabis helps my mood spectrum disorder, or what old-schoolers call being bipolar II. Cannabis helps it a lot. I used to make oatmeal cookies using cannabis oil just as one would use butter, but oil made from an assortment of strains serves only a generic purpose for aches and pain, whereas specific strains of cannabis provide a much more accurate manner with which to fight specific symptoms of an illness.
One strain does not serve all. There are as many varieties and uses for cannabis, as there are for any of a plethora of medicinal herbs that are used for salves, such as St. John’s Wort. I do not differentiate between the two, except to note that medicinal herbs serve my medical needs. And it doesn’t cost me anything, because I grow my own.
Since my retirement, I have grown medicinal cannabis and been able to serve my own medical needs for the most part. When I flipped the quad going up the hill in the snow and ice, with the firewood loaded, front and back, I did have to make a trip to the clinic, before returning home to my bong.
Now Casey has decided to come out of the weed closet, having been out for many years here on the mountain. Our community is tight-knit, and has been for the thirty-two years that I have been up here. We play baseball together, we celebrate together, and we have provided hospice care for many individuals over the past three decades. And yes, cannabis is a part of our lives, in the good times, in the hard times, in the sad times, and in the joyous times.
While serving his eight-week sentence in the Mendocino County Jail, Casey began reflecting on his upbringing and the parts of it he cherished, and how that conflicted with his felony cultivation issue. He read voraciously, worked on the jail farm, and began to form a plan. He pondered cannabis and carrots, cannabis and corn, cannabis and tomatoes, all mingled together, and grown for the betterment of his community.
Out of this brief period of time, came the foundation for Happyday Farms and the CSA, which provides produce for Northern Mendocino County residents and their families. Between the CSA, the farmers market in Laytonville, and the quarry market on Wednesdays, Happyday Farms is very busy. Growing any kind of crop in quantity is challenging, but keeping the whole rotational nature of starts, burgeoning growth, and harvest, meticulously orchestrated, is what Happyday Farms does best.
Our farming methods are organic, we use minimal machinery in the day-to-day operation of the farm, and we put in a pond last year to supply us with water. The pond filled up when we got the torrential rains last February and March.
Now we are on the threshold of cannabis becoming fully legal. It’s only a matter of time since both Washington and Colorado are leading the charge. As I used to teach in eighth grade US history, this is a classic disagreement between states and the federal government. Here at Happyday Farms, we choose to follow the mandate of the state of California.
The purpose of the film crew, which spent the weekend documenting what our farm is all about, was to create a short clip of information, to provide for dispensaries who distribute cannabis, a guide for patients to be better able to align their medicinal needs, with the specific strains that are available to contend with the symptoms of their affliction.
We embrace a transparent model for the future: sun-grown, values-based, cannabis production. We will continue to support the small businesses in our local community, by purchasing those goods and services that are available to us.
The time has come to stop punishing good people for providing medicine for the betterment of the community.