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Law Enforcement Does Not Mean Opinion Enforcement

Sam Sabzehzar 2010-09-21 0 comments

As we descended through the Sierras on our way back from Burning Man, we decided to forego the hot springs along our way and instead spend the night at our friends beach house in Pismo. For all that was going on at Burning Man, and all that goes on in the world, those extra days to decompress were much needed.

One morning we were walking down to the beach and I was medicating when a motorcycle officer seemed to disagree my actions. ¬†He asked me if I was smoking marijuana as I exhale smoke and reply, “cannabis, yes. ¬†I’m a patient and this is my medicine. ¬†Is there a problem officer?” ¬†With a teeth-grinning smile he asked me to sit on the curb and¬†proceeded to take away my medicine and issue me a citation; a fight I assured him I would continue and went so far as to let him know he, and not me, would be the example. ¬†(I do recommend this type of interaction with law enforcement for all people, but you know if you are the type of person that can speak with authority on this topic)

After a short twenty minutes later, that cop learned a little bit more about our rights, and about checking his opinion at the door.  He gave me my medicine back and said I was the first person he had done that for.  Only because I had my Health Department Card was I able to have my words carry weight but I did make clear that an oral recommendation would suffice and that might not even be necessary in a couple of months.

The officer had never heard of our body’s endogenous cannabinoid system, and I insisted on correcting his language with every opportunity, constantly referring to my cannabis as my medicine. ¬†We need more of these opportunities to talk to those who practice the enforcement of opinion as if it were law, especially the strict followers. ¬†The police officer didn’t even want to look at my California State-issued card at first, nor did his ‘back up’ understand the rules but I imagine there are better ways to send 3 officers out and spend tax dollars doing so.