Intimidated to end safe access

root - Posted on 01 January 2000

Medical Marijuana clubs threatened to close all over California.


Since the time I was nine I have had regular suicidal thoughts. I started smoking marijuana regularly when I was fourteen. I smoked as a way to stay alive and to stay focused on the things that mattered to me in life. I smoked to be happy and get rid of my negative internal dialogue. Smoking also helped me stay away from hard drugs and excessive alcohol. Currently marijuana is my only positive outlet for daily anxieties about my past. I don't want to let go of my past, but I need a positive and productive way to deal with it and continue towards a healthy future.

In San Francisco and all over California the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has threatened to close Cannabis Clubs. This horrifies me because I need safe access to marijuana to help deal with my depression and my emotions. I am now the father of two daughters and I am constantly trying to move ahead in my life. I want to be as positive a role model for my daughters that I can. I want to create a home environment where they can come and stay with their father and feel a stability and consistency that I never really had.

Growing up in a trauma riddled environment I had to constantly remind myself there was light at the end of the tunnel in the distance that I couldn't even see yet. One of my first memories when I was only eight years old has stayed vivid in my mind.

"Take you're ass in the living room NOW!" My father's voice boomed through the house almost knocking me over.

It was all basically over a bill that was either not paid or paid a little late. I came home from school one day to my parents arguing or better yet pops yelling at my mom who was sitting on my bottom bunk weeping like a child. He was screaming at the top of his lungs about something I did not understand.

"Boy, take your ass in the living room now, before I whoop you too."

I sat there not knowing what was going on only hearing the screaming and screeching of my moms voice feeling helpless and powerless. I thought to myself as I heard my mother's cries, there is nothing I can do and how could my father do this.

Thinking back on memories such as these in my life, I end up with waterfalls running down my face. Marijuana calms and relaxes me so I can process and deal with these memories without the desire to do something that would end up hurting myself. Although I use marijuana for emotional support for some people with illnesses such as HIV and cancer medical marijuana offers an alternative to heavy medications or acts as a supplemental treatment. Many rely on marijuana to stay alive.

As Reverend Randi Webster recently said during a visit to POOR Magazine, "If Cannabis Club dispensaries close, I am worried that I will have to attend many more funerals."

I don't want to buy marijuana off the street risking jail or even worse. I also don't want to risk being sold laced drugs or running into old people, places or things. I don't want to risk starting my old habits again. I need 'safe access.' I know many people are in my position.

Jewnbug from POOR Magazine said, "350 Divisadero Cannabis Club saved my life. It's a place where I can medicate and incorporate artistic expression."

Similar to Jewnbug and many other people who have had to deal with trauma, marijuana helps me focus in all parts of my life especially in music, poetry, and acting. Marijuana helps me through the trauma of my past and present and keeps my mind positive.

California and the eleven other states that have compassionate use laws are being intimidated to end safe access. The DEA has sent letters to property owners who rent to dispensaries in San Francisco- and all over California- threatening them with property seizure. The San Francisco safe access community has unified behind a resolution to include the landowners in the city's sanctuary status for medical cannabis. The Board of Supervisors vote was postponed until Tuesday, February 26th. Axis of Love is calling for support at this meeting. The safe access community is calling for Mayor Newsom to join with Mayor Dellums of Oakland in support of the resolution.

The resolution sets the tone for political resolve and directs action from all local and state legislators to oppose intimidation measures lodged by the DEA against sick, disabled, and dying Californians seeking medical cannabis as a treatment. So far, San Francisco has been resilient and no medical cannabis co-op has closed its doors because of the DEA intimidation. The resolution was introduced by Supervisor Chris Daly and co-sponsored by Supervisors Ross Mirkarimi, Jake McGoldrick, and Tom Ammiano. The Harvey Milk Democratic Club, the San Francisco Green Party, and local patient advocacy Group ASA SF have endorsed the resolution.

I fear that if people who are in need of medical marijuana like myself, and other people who are sick and/or disabled lose their safe places to medicate we will be subject to the streets, violence, more police harassment, and other drugs. I fear, like Reverend Webster, that if Cannabis clubs are forced to close there will be many more funerals to attend.

RAM's second POORPress Publication, Another Broken Heart Mended is about the trauma Ruyata went through as a child which lead to his drug abuse and his recovery. For more information on his book or to order a copy please call 415.863.6306.


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