July 29, 2017
Heading home after a whirlwind outreach trip, my head is spinning with the potential that has been spawned from the past three days. As often happens, things turned out a little different from original plans but so much more productive than expected… I had planned to attend an attorney’s conference in hopes of gathering some support for THSi’s legal clinic but this did not materialize. Instead, I got an opportunity to speak before a group of activists and industry folks alike… I wrote about this a little and more is to follow. I attended a golf tournament sponsored by the cannabis industry.
Wow, I just flew over an area that was recently burned… looks like the moon out there.
This tournament was quite an experience. A group of us that I will get into much more were here as guests. None of us were golfers but we all had. A common thread. We were here to support the event and meet some folks. I was blown away as some years ago I participated in a similar event in California. Although California led the way in passing a law to allow some protection of cannabis use, there was no public consumption allowed at the event. I remember that we were taking half of the proceeds raised and donating to a cancer charity. This was 2012 and we couldn’t find a charity willing to receive funds from a cannabis event…
This one was so much different as there was open consumption on the course in fact most of the sponsors were giving out samples of cannabis products and concentrates. I am so blown away by the combination of good work and bullshit that exists in this world of regulations. Products purposely mislabeled because “the public just doesn’t understand” to testing facilities that are not ISO certified bragging about their cleanliness and abilities.
I had the good fortune on this trip to meet some veteran activists and advocates that shared some similar experiences with the flakiness , arrogance, nepotism, scandal and skullduggery that is so prevalent in the cannabis “movement.” We shared horror stories, laughed, and got to work. I was so moved by the quality of character, experience, drive and willingness to work together that I took the risk of being pushy at a breakfast meeting and took point on creating a coalition and a project.
I am actually moved while thinking about this as it is so similar to the genesis of The Human Solution only on another level, you see THSi was formed as a local solution with a greater purpose, this group is already nationwide and is going for the end game from the start. Yes the end game of a world where No one is imprisoned for a plant anymore. We had one of the most productive meetings that I have ever been a part of and created a 5 page document outlining our mission, goals, team both current and future. We have a plan to reconvene in Atlanta for the netroots convention in a couple of weeks and I am very eager to share more of this in the near future. I am so very excited to be working with these folks, we all agreed that what we have been doing just hasn’t been working well enough and the time is ripe with all of the political and global antics as well as a rise of social discontent! As always I am deeply grateful to everyone that has either purposefully or casually become a part of the solution!
This is a time with likely the most possibility to do the most good towards reaching our goals, please reach out to me if you are willing to help in any way!! 951-436-6312
July 28, 2017
Before heading out to Denver for the first leg of this outreach tour, my wife and daughter made up a batch of 100 or so fresh solidarity ribbons. You see part of my message when reaching out to new people is the message of solidarity, the importance of a unified message and of course our amazing solidarity ribbons.
The first part of the story of the ribbon left off after the first freedom fighters fundraiser and the precursor arm band that was worn at this event. You see the event was supposed to be raising funds for legal defense fees for my case and another defendant’s. As it turned out, we only raised about $1200 total and this was not enough to really help my case or the other defendant’s so we put the call out to the organizers of the event and those that made it sat down at a table… a very large table.
As a defendant that was facing seven to ten years on this first case, I had a dog in the fight. This made me very motivated to get something real that would benefit my case and hopefully others. However I experienced so much heart and hard work and sacrifice that was put into the making of this event that I did not want to “Lead” it….I had this notion that something amazing could originate naturally in true organic fashion if the right pieces were set into place.
This is the story of the ribbon so I’m going to try and keep it to the ribbon however this is a part of the genesis of the human solution and in my opinion an important piece of the picture. On a short side note, I should have taken this as an omen but the very first drama or controversy came from this meeting. There was a handful that spearheaded this event, a couple from the other defendant’s camp and a couple from mine… we had common goals of raising funds to pay the lawyers but as I mentioned things just didn’t pan out as planned. The couple people from the other camp were insistent that the money was used as planned but we decided to take it to a vote and seeing as we had a substantial group together poised to act, the vote was to decide if we wished to evolve beyond a coalition and become a new group…. We voted yes and the first accusation of “improper management of things” was spawned…. I should have taken this as a forecast of things to come but I just wasn’t that bright.
We decided that the focus of the group was to provide education and support to cannabis defendants and those in need, a greater goal of ending prohibition was the mission from the beginning. Having already made the first appearances in court, I knew that having supporters was going to be important if I wanted a fair shake.
The discussion about court support and the arm bands began… we realized that a militant symbol or shirt design would not likely be effective in this effort. This was 2009 and the ribbons to show support for various causes were prevalent. There was a ribbon for every cause… We figured that a universal symbol could be shared and not owned by anyone so it was voted and decided. The green ribbon seemed obvious but the ribbon by it’s self was already a symbol for a couple of conditions. We had discussion about several different additions but ultimately came up with a red cross… first off most of the people were advocates of medical cannabis and since California had a medical law, it made sense. We also discussed the notion of the “first responder” being as we showed up to observe and protest raids, and we ran to help anyone in need after being raided or arrested, and we went to court where the fire burned, it seemed to make sense….. we voted and approved the idea of a green ribbon with a red cross….
The details of the first crosses and the evolution of them till their current incarnation will be divulged in the next post