Dennis Peron, the medical marijuana champion who was evicted from his 10,000-member pot club in San Francisco and later began a marijuana growers’ cooperative on a rural farm in Northern California, continues to fight prohibition with creativity and humor.
Peron’s farm, where cancer and AIDS patients grow their own medicine and live communally, was raided last spring and robbed of 238 plants by the DEA. Ever defiant, Peron quickly replanted 151 plants, some of which had grown to more than 10 feet tall in the hot summer sun when DEA agents again raided his farm on August 14.
Agents held a dozen patients at gunpoint while they ransacked the farm, cutting plants which had stalks the size of small trees. According to witnesses, some of the agents called an African-American patient a “nigger”, and locked him handcuffed in a car for an hour during the bust.
“I will not repeat the stupid and vicious things they said, and I don’t want to remember the terrible things they did while they were here,” commented John Entwistle, a Peron advisor. “Let’s just say that they were obnoxious, they arrested nobody, they are doing nothing but politically persecuting and stealing from a group of unarmed, innocent people who are upholding the law.”
Snatching victory from defeat
Besieged by raids and persecution, Peron is perfecting the art of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. The weekend after his farm was raided, he held a huge party which attracted 300 people.
“It was sweet,” Peron said. “We had people swimming in the lake, trading war stories, donating clones. So we are planting a third crop. The DEA can keep coming and stealing our plants, and miraculously, more will appear! We even had old people from all over this area coming up to visit with their own pot. This is a rural area, and you might expect people to be a little prejudiced about a bunch of hippies from the City, but they love us. I think we are building a family here. The DEA can’t stop the love.”
California cops target Peron supporters for special harassment.
Ed Learn and Will Larson returned to their Sonoma County home from Peron’s farm to find that Sonoma County Sheriff Detective Robert Gordon had visited their house.
“My plants were murdered. They killed our medicine,” Learn said, choking back angry tears. “We were growing for both of us because we’re ill, and for Robert, a 72-year-old Korean War veteran who recently had his leg amputated.”
Learn and Larson had bona fide written physician’s recommendations for marijuana, and Gordon knew it before he broke into their house and took 52 small pot plants, Larson said.
“We made no secret that we were medical pot people, Peronistas acting legally under 215,” Larson said. “We’d talked with Gordon and shown him our doctor’s statements. He kept insisting that we didn’t have a prescription for marijuana. The law doesn’t require that we have a prescription. Doctors can’t legally prescribe it. They can only recommend it. He knew we were totally legitimate, and he still robbed us.”
Larson says Gordon also took the men’s Medi-Cal cards which allow them to get state-assisted medical care.
“I went to the courthouse and demanded they return my property. I haven’t been charged with a crime. But they said that because I hadn’t been charged I couldn’t file a motion. Now I have to go to the county Board of Supervisors and plead for my rights and my property. I can’t get medical care because they took my card, and I haven’t got any medicine. I’ve been working with Dennis for years, and I know how cruel the government can be, but this is just totally wrong,” he said.