Drug Wars

root - Posted on 31 December 1969

Cannabis Patients Strike back.

by Brother Y?/PNN

On February 29, 2008 the San Francisco Patients Co-operative, better known by its address 350 Divisadero, closed its doors due to the land lord receiving a forfeiture letter from the DEA. Ironically just a few days before this occurred the Page a cocktail bar a block away on Divisadero celebrated the end of Absinthe prohibition.

At the same time of the legalization of Absinthe in California, The F.B.I. conducted one of the largest narcotic raids [methamphetamine specifically] in California's history, leading to the harassment of the medical cannabis community by the D.E.A. and causing many of the patients at 350 Divisadero to lose their sacred community center.

In an effort to save the some of the center's community activities, the weekly writer's group, along with the healing quilts that once adorned the center's walls, found a new home on 9th Street and a new facilitator, myself.

I have decided to share the voices of these cannabis patients in their struggle for justice in a two-part series on PoorNewsNetwork.

Writers Group Week # 1

In our first meeting in a new home I thought that it would be fitting for each of us to write an I am statement, sharing with readers who we are, where we come from and why we use cannabis as medicine.

We begin with Louts. "I am Lotus, an original hippie from the 60s. I am from the universe, from the Goddess. Born in Washington D.C. I moved with my family to Santa Cruz, Berkeley, and San Francisco, my home. I use cannabis to relieve neck and upper back pain from a whiplash injury I got in a bike accident. I am vulnerable to clinical depression, and I suffer from stress related to past and present trauma. Cannabis helps with all of these, calming me so I don't further stress out my heart. My heart is injured with a ruptured valve. I also use it to intensify yoga ,meditation and prayer. I use cannabis as well as traditional western medicine. In treating my own health , I've always tried natural and herbal cures first, I prefer nature's pharmacy. No adverse side effects no toxins and no super rich doctors and drug companies at my expense!"

Next let's hear from Albert Blais who hails from upstate New York. "I use Cannabis for depression, headaches, sleep disorders as well as neck back and leg pain. Pharmaceuticals often cause severe side effects that require more pharmaceuticals that cause more side effects that require more pharmaceuticals. This is not how I wish for my conditions to be treated. I also like the fact that cannabis works instantly. Pharmaceuticals take hours, days and sometimes weeks before the effects are noticed."

One of the most poetic I am statements came from none other than Randi Webster one of the former program directors as well as former board members of 350. "Who am I? that's not yet clear, the best thing is at least I'm here, Where I'm from is anyone's guess, though Philadelphia was my address. Why do I use cannabis? To ease my pain, my mind, for bliss. Why cannabis rather than traditional approach? Because it works, oh yeah, got a roach? Medical cannabis patient from
Philly originally. Arthritis, scieraderma, multiple personalities, depression, stress, pain nausea gallstones and because it works! Randi's favorite quotes are as follows "Imagine"- John Lennon "Grok"-Robert Heinlen To love with love from love."

Next let us hear from Jonathan Beaver, the cannabis patient who once got 1000 signatures on a petition in one weekend. "I am Jonathan Beaver I am a native San Franciscan. I use cannabis for my condition, major depression or\ chronic depression.
It helps me sleep when I consume it in its edible forms. I use cannabis instead of Trazadome, as I understand it Trazadome has very bad side effects." Jonathan's favorite quote is his own and it goes as follows On this planet we do what we like to do,

It's hard to believe that our next patient has a heart condition being that he's all heart and a real class act. "I am Kenneth Harold Lima I am from Oakland, or at least that's where I was born, April 9,1969.I smoke marijuana because I was born with a heart condition. Every so often I bleed from my lungs due to this condition. I smoke marijuana rather than take pills or other pharmaceuticals drugs. My mother used pharmaceutical drugs and eventually they killed her." Kenneth's favorite quote comes from his dad. "I felt sorry for the man with no shoes until I met the man with no medical cannabis card."

Writer's group Week #2

On week 2 of writers group I am honored to open up with the I am statement of one of our elders. She is a very inspirational power of example of triumph over adversity. She is none other than Rosaura Kenyon.

"I am a 60 year old Mexican American widow. I was raised in a very conservative, very stereotypical church oriented Latin family of 10, in the Santa Clara Valley. I grew up very sequestered from outsiders and experienced culture shock when at 18 years of age I left home to travel to the notorious and fun city of San Francisco. That was the beginning of the trauma and shock. What? Nobody yelled and screamed, stupid or shut up! People actually spoke to one and other and communicated civilly. It was a wonderful time for me to be introduced to marijuana. In the household I grew up in it was known as "La Yerba Buena" It was usually kept in a jar saturated in alcohol and the herb or alcohol replenished when necessary. La Yerba Buena was used in poultices or for rubdowns. I had no idea it could be smoked. I was legally employed for many years and for many of those years cared for a child raised a family and buried a husband. Fifty years later hear I am. I consider myself at the very least a good judge of the good herb and am able to differentiate the effects of different strains and the medicinal benefits of each one. I have become an extremely vocal medical cannabis advocate and consider myself a soldier in the cause of making elected officials verbally supportive of their constituents. To quote the second paragraph and second sentence of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, "governments are instituted amongst men, deriving their just powers from those they govern."

Our second I am comes from Kitty and this is what she has to say, "I am Kathleen Nabozny I am from Detroit, Michigan originally and have used cannabis since I was 22 years of age. Cannabis helps me deal with the side effects of the painkiller that I use.
Cannabis helps increase my appetite so I can eat, as my pain relieve causes upset stomach and if I don't eat it is difficult to focus on anything. Cannabis even helps with the pain of arthritis. "Kitty's favorite quote is her own she explains, "When people ask me how I am I say I'm great cuz you're here."

Please stay tuned for more from the cannabis patients of 350 Divisadero.


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