Saturday, May 17, 2014

No, For Pete's Sake, We Don't Grow Pot

It's a rare week that goes by when we don't get the "cannabis question", most disconcertingly... by strangers knocking on my front door. Friends and unknowns alike: just because I know how to grow sprouts, avocados and well...a whole lot of edibles...doesn't mean I'm WHATSOEVER interested in breaking federal law or have even the first degree of technical knowledge of how to grow medical marijuana; which is a highly specialized crop. Check out Robert Duncan's story below. As a farmer, I never bought the subterfuge that it is legally safe to be involved in the cannabis business in California, and no one bothering to become informed should, either. Many farmers believed the current administration's promise that state laws would be honored in regards to marijuana legalization. That promise, however truly heartfelt...has not played out in the real world.  The problem can't be blamed on President Obama personally; this blog isn't an indictment of President Obama... who is on record for supporting a reduction on the failed War on Drugs; particularly in regard to marijuana use. Which is my point...despite President Obama's position, things have continued status quo.  People's lives are being ruined because they think they can rely on state law, a lawyer's sunny advice....or President Obama's stated "hand's off" position.  The issue is much larger than a single American president. Enormous sums of money are being made directly from the War on Drugs, from privatized, stock-holder owned, profit-based prisons..largely populated by drug "violators", as well as militarized law enforcement agencies demanding pricey gear happily sold to them at staggering tax payer costs so they can "fight" the War on Drugs...... an openly admitted federal policy failure. No matter...a tiny number of profit-based organizations...including the Mexican Cartel...have considerably more sway than any American president or the majority of Americans who want to see legalization of marijuana and a shift of focus to crime fighting that involves actual bad guys, not farmers and cancer patients. Can you imagine if the young man below was your son or grandson? How would you feel if you knew the prison he was headed to was privately owned and profit-based? Violated? Betrayed?

It's so easy to write propaganda supporting the Drug War; it's child's play. But that propaganda supports an incomprehensible evil that can land at your front door, checkpoint, or business and harm you or your loved ones without warning. The collateral damage....the harm done to total innocents, continues unabated. The concept of prohibition is a complex one, as this country has seen before....and when we don't look at how our laws affect us all, the simplistic  propaganda forwarded by a tiny cadre of profit based organizations is legitimized. There are unintended consequences of all prohibitions, including the War on Drugs, and those consequences have to be weighted and balanced. Every innocent's dollar lost defending against false accusations should be recompensed. Every door bashed in because a law enforcement agency ooops.... got the wrong address...s is a cruel reminder of the costs we all pay. Every terrified young person separated from their families at a checkpoint because some so-called trained dog "signaled" that drugs are present....and subsequently forced to strip and submit to cavity search....let's call a road side "cavity search"   what it is: rape....could be your family member next. (Little known fact: almost all American currency in circulation is contaminated by the scent of some drug, so don't think that your complete and total innocence protects you, it does not.) Educate yourself on this issue...google "forced cavity searches".  See this. And this.  Oooh, and this. Some law enforcement agencies don't settle for failing to find drugs after "drug raping" a traveler; some, after finding no drugs.... defend forcing their victim to submit to a surgical colon inspection...  and just as amazingly...doctors and some hospitals are complicit....actually sending the bill to the traumatized victim. What happened to a doctor's oath of "doing no harm?" How can this be the United States I grew up in?
Numerous documented cases have been published regarding victims being completely innocent after enduring these procedures. And here's the thing....even if by continuing road side drug rapes...we discover some people have stashed their drugs in their bodies, are we willing to put our entire nation, ourselves, our families, our loved ones at risk of being forced into an invasive procedure to "get" those that have drugs on their person? How much personal danger are we as a nation willing to endure to prosecute possible drug possessors? Surely we can all agree that having this happen to yourself or someone you love would be devastating.

And here's a final thought: if finding every last hidden stash of drugs requires stripping, raping, hand cuffing and dragging a traveler to a nearby rogue hospital for a surgical exploratory procedure...do we as a society need to find every last hidden stash of drugs hidden up travelers behinds? Is it THAT important to us? I'd rather keep my panties on, I'm just saying....and I'm willing to venture a guess that a vast majority of Americans concur. So, then, whose running this show?




Robert Duncan moved from Los Angeles to Northern California in 2010 to manage marijuana growing operations for a collective of medical marijuana dispensaries. Although California voters legalized medical cannabis more than 17 years ago, the plant remains illegal under federal law, and the Obama administration launched a renewed crackdown on marijuana in California in 2011. 

Read Robert's Story Here


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