Medicinal Cannabis Divergence
by S. Brook Reed
A focused UFO laser beam drills down onto a prefab movie set. The lush, makeshift cannabis field an objective, a hovering being’s quest for grass results in one jesting farmer’s premature harvest. Individually, the frantic gardener’s radiant seedlings torpedo up into a luminous spacecraft. The hair -lipped Mexican’s long, red mane streaming in the wind, he is forced to watch his entire herbal empire evaporate.
Fictional raid scenes from Cheech and Chong’s 1980 comedy film Next Movie pale beside a harsh medical marijuana reality: Federal intervention. Green and pur- ple Maui Waui buds reach for summer’s final sunlight – only to recede and wilt against this national opposition.
At 9 a.m. on a bleak September Wednesday, James Anderson, 25, peered out his kitchen window to see guns. Eight of them, each of various size and/or caliber, aimed intently at his Gold Hill, Oregon home. Seventy-five per- cent of his family was inside. “I’d just put my six-year- old on the school bus,” the visibly shaken father of two lamented.
Accompanied with unsettling silence, the men in black stood precariously before a spotless white Ford van, their shark-like eyes fixed on the face in the window. Grim and shameless, your Mother warned you about people like this. Systematic mercenaries to some; cringe-inspir- ing hell hounds to others. Each moment suggesting that Anderson’s medical marijuana crop may be at risk, the men were plainly not there for breakfast.
Utilizing a battering
ram, as averse to pressing the door- bell, they accessed the residency.
“It was silent chaos the
moment I stepped through that broken door, “ Anderson stammered, growing flushed with the memory. “There was no dialogue. No one read us our rights; no one even flashed a badge.” Yet the words Federal Agent embla- zoned across the back of each of the men’s identical Kevlar jackets spoke loudly. Anderson was handcuffed outside.
Rushing indoors, a DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agent proceeded to slap the confining chrome bracelets on Anderson’s wife, Ashley, also 25, with little consideration for the child in her arms. “They didn’t even let me put my 11-month-old down first,” the blonde exhaled hastily, her wholesome features contort- ing. The couple was not being cited for any infractions.
Nor were they under arrest. Detained and humiliated in their own front yard, which promptly faces southbound I-5 traffic, they were defamed as second-rate desperados. Observant rubberneckers slowed traffic to a snail’s pace, some curious motorists choosing to pull over. The Andersons were on display for over six hours. The cou- ple, and their adjacent others, many believe, were unnec- essarily pillaged, terrorized, and violated.
Implicitly disrobed and exposed to the world, in a trau- matizing display of dictatorship, some say, the family’s state rights were disregarded. But without question, the safety of their neighborhood was sacrificed for dated, poorly itemized traditionalism. And as rapidly as myste- rious men substantiate solemn impression, one may later decline in favor of grave comedy.
“A large caliber shot was fired, “ James’ voice trembled. Sadly, the buffoonery behind the discharged weapon is funny for all the wrong reasons. “One of the agents had suddenly stooped to tie his boot – and his gun went off! My family and neighbors have no sanctuary,” he said turning white, pointing to a bullet hole in the ground, then revealing a slug in his open hand. “The official was discreetly escorted off the property.” Pre-coffee rookies at their bumbling best.
Notwithstanding, the next 10 hours would offer no quar- ter. Plundered of pocket cash, cell phones, and defunct firearms, the most unfortunate of circumstances involved the indefinite number of prime medical marijuana plants. “An entire season of hard work was about to pay off and benefit many patients,” James said.
Yet there were mathematical errors. The U. S. Department of Justice-inspired anti-pot brigade, spawned by Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, maintained that nearly 500 cannabis trees had been uprooted. “They were counting virtually every twig,” Anderson, who uses medical marijuana for pain stemming from metal hard- ware in his left arm, retorts of the exaggeration. “They’re not horticulture nor cannabis experts.” Head-counting pot plants is not DEA specialty; Expressionless Allure 101 completes their basic training.
a battering ram, as averse to pressing the doorbell, they accessed the
residency. “It was silent chaos the moment I stepped through that bro- ken
door, “ Anderson stammered, growing flushed with the memory. “There was no
dialogue. No one read us our rights; no one even flashed a badge.” Yet the
words Federal Agent emblazoned across the back of each of the men’s identical
Kevlar jackets spoke loudly. Anderson was hand- cuffed outside.
Moreover, James M. Cole, the deputy AG who condones busting cancer patients for therapeutic pot, is also said to abuse his federal leverage by enforcing national anti-drug laws against medical marijuana. Spontaneous raids are his icy diss on medical weed.
Washington DC-based National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML) representative Allen St. Pierre said, “It’s routine in Washington and California – agents regularly bust medical marijuana growing sites.”
Now carving its way through Southern Oregon, the empty-eyed shark has no remorse.
Predator infestation of this sort is typically repelled by keeping your plant numbers below 100, as per the state’s 96 limit. But Anderson’s segment of the 350-plus planta- tion was a scant 42, the largest of ten, individually- owned, fenced-off fractions.
Still, Ashley, a victim of
post-accident pinched spinal nerves,
validates the overall count. “With all
of our cul- tivated enclosures, together, it would have treated 80 patients, many of whom have terminal illness. Most
of our people have severe pain yet have given up prescrip-
tion drugs all together. They’re 100 percent reliant on the safer alternative. Now they’ve been left to hurt pointless- ly.” Seven of the 80 ailing subjects were to depend on Anderson’s harvest.
Despite the ease in which one may deny the suffering of another, Mrs. Anderson says many tears have been shed over this calamity. If some tag family and friends the finest dynasty one can experience, remedying a loved one is then vital. And everyone has a Mother. “The DEA asked if I had ever given the Andersons money in exchange for marijuana, which I’d never done. They also wanted to see my medical marijuana card. When I asked them when I would get my much-needed medicine, they laughed,” said an anonymous 65-year-old woman.
Twenty-five-year-old Ashley makes care giving a way of life for such folks. A full-time, CNA-licensed technician at Count Your Blessings assisted living center, the gentle girl extends humanity in a motto of non-synthetics. “I want to see elders exchange life-endangering pharmaceuticals for life-prolonging medical marijuana,” she said, her toddler climbing into her lap. “My mother agrees, has made the switch, and is upset for our loss.
“My parents are divorced, however, and my more conventional father has yet to grasp the medical marijuana concept.” While federalism applies to free speech, in theory, human preservation is liberty in a zip lock baggie, a
joint between your clenched teeth, or a plant in your closet. Thus James, Ashley, and their honorable hamlet, as they pay it forward.
Left with no medicine even for themselves, the All- American Anderson clan has received donations. “Some of the patients are sicker than us,” James upholds. “Everything we get goes to our people first.” In no man- ner of addicts needing a fix, they don’t mind going with- out medicine for a spell.
‘That’s what our medical marijuana community is all about,”” says Lori Duckworth, squinting in the sunny center of her 46-acre, greenhouse-equipped spread. The administrative manager of SoOr’s NORML, Duckworth and her organization advocate for medical marijuana. “Contributing medicine to those that have been slighted is not optional – you just do it.”
Damaged but not ruined, the local medical marijuana enterprises have simply been spooked. “Providers are suddenly very fearful,” Duckworth realizes. “Is the federal government going to show up and arrest people
– even within state limitations? Cannabis is merely another harmless agricultural product – and should be treated as such.
“Thirty percent of new medical marijuana patients will be lost to these raids,” Lori estimates.
Not if the White House has anything to say about it.. “Obama himself said the feds would not bully medical marijuana,” Peter Kaiser uttered between bites of soup in his nearby Cave Junction abode. Popular in SoOr for their home-concocted, organic strains, Brothers Peter and James Kaiser have never experienced federal search and seizure, yet offer optimistic insight on the issue. “If they keep pushing, it’ll come to a head,” James finishes for his sibling. “It’ll work in our favor.”
Medical pot may pave a road to equality. Having once thrived on pistol-whipping weed-tokin’ hippies, leaving them to the buzzards, even mean old federalist ranchers now accept medical marijuana — according to the Kaisers! Not to mention now-ozoned straight edgers, who once lived to pound the heavy metal kid for smoking a joint in the Agnostic Front show parking lot. Now well- disposed, they’ve incorporated a “bake” clause into their once-hateful, clean-and-sober self-theology. Is anti-racism next?
bridges gaps,” James K. says, sorting through
a gallon-sized freezer bag of the Cobb strain. “It’s becom- ing a major force in every walk of life. It inspires peace; it can unify all of us.” Perhaps a new, less violent world of longevity awaits — even for the contemptible DEA agent with the AK-47 branch wedged up his backside!
Nodding, Peter says, “This is becoming a valuable medi- cine for many people. Even chemo therapy patients are benefitting tremendously from some strains. And the feds can’t prove that we, nor the Anderson’s, have hurt anyone in any way by growing medical marijuana. We supply appropriate alleviation to those in need. I fail to understand the discord between country and state laws. If we’re not harming ourselves, or the public at large, leave us alone.”
Will the state of Oregon stand up to the federal aversion? “Well sure,” James K. says, pacing about, apparently agi- tated by the insolence demonstrated for the industry. “Why not pass an Oregon law that allows a pharmaceu- tical commission for this medicine — it’s not a charity. The state is the only entity allowed to profit from medical marijuana anyway.” While Washington State progresses with a medicinal grass farmer’s market, the earlier-rising Oregon remains a tax stand-off.
Although the state is exasperated by the disrespectful cen- tral government sideshow, unfortunately for the DEA, catching a touchdown pass while out of bounds does not reflect on the scoreboard. Voting liberally in 1996, U. S. citizens of Oregon made medical marijuana farming per- missible. “Now the grower is stuck in the middle,” State Attorney General John Kroger said.
Noting the affinity between medical marijuana and Oregon’s notorious euthanasia laws, Senator Alan Bates, of Ashland, possesses a degree to back his views. A man responsible for over 30 patients exchanging opiates for grass, uh hmm, Dr. Bates is standing by with his profes- sional, AMA-licensed physician’s opinion — medicinal weed promotes life.
Century-old remedial grass confirmation takes shape via American Medicinal Plants. A book originally written in 1886 by Charles F. Millspaugh, and re-issued in 1974, the age-old documentation features a seven-page chapter on pot’s curative properties and overall resolution. Portions of the section read as follows:
“The juice of the fresh plant is useful for pain and obstructions of the ears. The principle form of the Indian plant is called Ganja, or in England, Gauza. It reaches the American market through London, and from which our tincture of C. Indicia should be made. In India, the plant is known by names which translate into: ‘Increaser of Pleasure,’ ‘Laughter Mover,’ and ‘Cementer of Friendship.’”