By Steve Elliott ~alapoet~ in Culture
Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 10:07 am
|Toke of the Town correspondent Sharon Letts, author of this article, at last week's court support day for medical marijuana defendant Joe Grumbine in Long Beach, California|
By Sharon Letts
For several years I've watched from Northern California as fellow Cannabis activists painted signs, rallied and gave support for those incarcerated and held for good medicine throughout the medically legal State of California.
Recently, I had the good fortune to join those in the cause at the Long Beach County Courthouse in support of an above board dispensary and co-founder, The Human Solution's Joe Grumbine -- held pending bail on Cannabis charges in the cannabis-conservative County.
It was exciting to meet friends I have only known on Facebook, but it was even more curious to see what the curbside faction was like up close and personal. It's long been known that those in the forefront of the failed war on drugs are outspoken, to say the least.
Rally in a Box
"WHAT DO WE WANT? JUSTICE! WHEN DO WE WANT IT? NOW!
It takes purposefulness to keep a box of signs in the trunk of your car for that last minute rally.
Purposefulness, passion and a whole lot of caring come to curbside with each activist showing up for court support for those incarcerated and/or on trial for a plant.
Sick? Grab a Sign
It takes a certain kind of person to stand at curbside and yell at the top of their voice for a change that's way too long in coming. Especially when every story told of nearly every raid on a medical establishment sounds unfair and unjust.
It doesn't hurt to be sick either. What may or may not be well know is, a large percentage of those fighting for the cause are not well - including this writer.
The list of illnesses benefited by Cannabis is as long as the list of personalities with illnesses showing up with signs. For those sporting the green ribbons and red crosses of the cause, protesting prohibition is a matter of life and death - literally.
"Crazies:" Making a Difference for you and me since the beginning of time.
Traditionally, the eccentrics of the world have been in the forefront of change. The seemingly crazy liberals of the world are the ones who actually begin the conversations that lead to change.
Think of that wacky biologist Rachel Carson and her 1962 DDT tell-all "Silent Spring." Chemical companies of the day denounced her four year study of the devastating toxin calling the outing "hysterical."
The wacky, hysterical book began a congressional investigation that led to a ban and subsequent passage of both the "Clean Air," and "Clean Water" Acts in this country, ten years after publication.
Or what of "Govenor Moonbeam," otherwise known as Jerry Brown's first run in the Governor's seat in California. When he wanted to put a satellite dish on top of the State Capitol he was horribly ridiculed, but did it anyway.
Just heard he is taking radiation for the beginning stages of Prostate Cancer. Hey, Gov. Moonbeam... why the silence on Cannabis as good medicine in your own legal State? I'd give anything to hear his views on Cannabis. It seems he's a bit soft for protest in his old age.
"But you know those environmentalists. It's always gotta be something. If it's not clean air, then it's clean water." ~ The American President (Rob Reiner)
Clean air, clean water, and all those nasty regulations everyone kvetches about were brought about by people standing up bravely with the conviction of their beliefs, with the loudest voices, forcing others to listen.
Why do we need regulations? In my mind, humans are the ultimate lab rats. Junk food, bad porn and designer drugs are proof - we will push that button until our fingers bleed and then beg for more.
Sometimes it takes religion to light the fire under a cause. After all, those affiliated with a church or God have been the most harshly persecuted throughout history, right?
Doctor Mollie Fry is such a person. Passing on a plea bargain, she took the full and mandatory five years in Federal Prison in the legal State of California for the plant.
A devout Catholic, she knows Cannabis is God's medicine, and further denounced 18 months that would have been shaved from her sentence after dropping out of the peer run Drug Treatment Program.
Crazy or passionate about what she believes in? Some call her crazy. I call her a dedicated friend of the cause.
Doc Fry hails from seven generations of physicians from both sides of her family isle, Dr. Fry used her knowledge and background for good, only to be silenced by the Federal Government and the powers that be - mainly aggressive prosecutors tired of seeing her cause one lose after another, testifying to good medicine for patients.
Takes One to Know One
Stephanie Landa is founder of "Landa Prison Outreach," supporting those incarcerated in California's Federal Prisons for Cannabis by sending books, magazines and letters. Her empathy hits close to home, as she served time herself after a legally operated dispensary in San Francisco she ran was raided.
Also patient, Landa suffers from chronic pain stemming from an automobile accident. Her pain at curbside during court support for Grumbine is not apparent, as she holds two signs up at once, screaming at the top of her lungs for Joe.
"I choose to do court support because I have seen the courts act differently when you have people watching," she said of her activism. "No one should go to prison for a plant. We should be standing up for our felon heroes."
Tired of the Rhetoric? Grab a Sign
Those willing to put their money where their mouths are do so willingly. Others need a nudge. Don't wait until a family member or friend is incarcerated for Cannabis. Start painting your own sign now.
Until we come out of the smoky closet of prohibition, there will be no power in numbers. If you are in a legal state, get a doctor's recommendation, support your local dispensary, and find out about good medicine.
If you want the right to relax with Cannabis recreationally, the drill is the same - paint your sign, because no one will do it for you.