Friday, November 6, 2009: Thirteen years ago the day after the state election when voters passed Proposition 215 and made medical marijuana legal in California. It has been momentous, a slow moving earthquake that is convulsing around the world.
Dennis Peron, now a San Francisco icon, was honorably discharged from the armed services and arrived in San Francisco with a pound of Southeast Asia’s best. He first realized marijuana was also a medicine when it helped his life partner as he died of AIDS before the antivirals were developed. Soon after he opened up the first dispensary and put himself on the line, Dennis decided to start an initiative. The rest is history, or I should say, current events. But pinch yourself; we are in an historic moment.
When Dennis opened his dispensary he created an avalanche that is still reverberating around the world. Every dispensary owes its creation in some way to this man. Yesterday, I was down in Los Angeles and happened to pick up the L.A. Times. I was surprised when I read a headline “Pot Seizures Quadruple in L.A. County”. But that doesn’t tell the full story, it was accompanied by a graphic that showed that between 2004 and 2008 the number of plants seized rose from 1 million to more than 4.5 million– and this wasn’t Iowa ditch weed either. (Iowa: Fields of Opportunities!)
You would think that cops might get the idea that people think pot should be legal. Here in California gym classes have 60 students, schools are dropping their after school enrichment programs, The California State University System gets a “furlough holiday” once a week, the physically disabled are being thrown off of welfare, nutrition programs for pregnant women have been cut. With such a high rate of pot seizures, one could assume that California law enforcement has solved virtually every murder, rape, or robbery in the state, why else would the cops have been able through all of this to spend so much time on pot?
As I looked at this, I was sort of detached from it in that I didn’t have a direct one to onr relationship with this – or to translate that, I wasn’t growing a large pot field out in the country, so I wasn’t worrying about any pot being seized.
That was yesterday, November 5th; the 13th anniversary of the vote, today is November 6th, 13 years to the day the initiative became effective. I went to the airport to fly back to Oakland, and of course I was carrying my pipe and pot as well as my medical marijuana ID card and as fate would have it, I was stopped because of it.
The TSA assistant directed me to remove the contents of my right pocket and I pulled out my wallet, when he asked me to empty the contents of my left pocket I pulled out my pipe.
“What’s this?” he asked, “It’s my medical marijuana pipe, ” I said. He asked me to step aside and escorted me to another location where we were accompanied LAPD. “Obama, Obama, Obama,” I muttered under my breath.
The TSA and the cop conferred and decided that they would be confiscating my pipe.
“You can’t have this pipe, it’s my pipe,” I said.
They then informed me that they would not only take it, but would be citing me for having it.
“If you take my pipe, you will see me in court because there is no law you can cite me for.”
The TSA tell me that because he is a TSA he has to take it.
I say to the cop, “Are you going to arrest me or is he going to cite me?”
I turn to the TSA agent, and say “There is no law which either of you can cite or arrest me, that’s why it is my pipe.”
The two of them conferred again and decided I could go, with my pipe.
Most people they would harass would just have given up the pipe. I wouldn’t be surprised if these bullies don’t have a business selling stolen pot and used pipes. I picked up my carry on and as I was leaving I said to the cop, “You know, people wouldn’t resent you if you treated them with respect and didn’t hassle them about pot. Have a nice day sir.”
In that moment I realized something, he had distanced himself from the situation just as I had the day before – he believe he had nothing to do with the headline “Pot Seizures Quadruple in Los Angeles County.” Did they think if they took my pipe and pot I would stop using it? Just think of it, they are helping the drug trade, because if they seize my pot, I am going to replace it and they can keep the price high!
So there is only one solution to this problem- overgrow the government!