The people of California voted for medical marijuana almost twenty years ago. Now that there is finally a system in place for all of those participating, from the grower of the medicine to the patient and every part of the process in between, the police have discovered it’s far easier to go after legitimate medical marijuana collectives than it is to go after the street drugs, back-logged rape kits, unsolved violent crimes, etc.
Instead, however, they find that the tax dollars spent on the charade of ‘criminal justice’ means that just that: justice is criminal, and they get to enforce the machine that protects that fact.
Look at it from the point of view of Joe Grumbine. He’s being harassed by the city of Long Beach for operating a legitimate medical cannabis collective.
Joe has been called the Mother Teresa of the medical marijuana movement because of all he helps in the war on drugs; the patients and providers that fall in the cross hairs of the aristocratic warrior structure’s efforts to eradicate a weed… a futile and impossible task never meant to be won but rather to be sustained.
Joe, a father, a husband, and an all around humanitarian, founded of The Human Solution to work as a human powered network of people that helps many in need, in various ways. Joe also has an organic garden about an hour east of Los Angeles where he teaches classes, hosts events, and has an entire nursery of botanical wonders of beauty.
Because of Mr. Grumbine’s gardening experience, he also knows how to grow what Lester Grinspoon calls ‘the wonderdrug of our time’, Dr. Robert Melamede calls ‘the elixir of life’ and what Michael Pollen highlights in his book ‘The Botany of Desire’ where he explains cannabis from a botanical perspective, coupled with chemistry as it binds to our Endocannabinoid System; Cannabis.
Now he finds himself in those cross hairs.
In fact, Joe recently posted bail; an amount that even the judge admitted was mostly likely ‘stacked’ and which she later reduced by nearly half.
Which brings me to my point.
The (stacked) charges are police officers spending our tax dollars going after a legal medical marijuana collective by going to a collective and paying for legally. Joe, being charged with selling marijuana to an undercover cop at a legal dispensary, is meanwhile separated from his family during the holiday season no less while they are forced to pony up the ‘ante’ that the state is asking for.
By posting bail ($120,000, down from 200K) he gets to be free, and the state gets their money (for now). They were used to an inflated war on drugs budget and now these same trigger happy hunters have their scope set on anything that will defend the uninterrupted flow of cash funneling it’s way to their line item.
But there is no real finger on the trigger. Just some calfs sucking at the nipples of the cash cow. As The People of the State of California Vs. Joe Grumbine plays out, we will find out just how much money was spent sending an innocent mail to jail (twice) just for the luxury of feeding a baby cow more money. The People will lose. Joe will win…
And if The People won, the people lose twice; once to the dollars we spent on a war against our own patriotic family man and local humanitarian, and a second time by the system itself, failing at the very core of the institution designed to be the safe keeper of our democratic tools.
But in the meantime, another seriously ill patient is frightened from pursuing a plant that could potentially change for the better their quality of life and will not harm them. Instead, the harm is in allowing our elected officials the chance to spend our money, our tax dollars, sending police officers to someone’s business to buy something legally and then arresting them for selling it to them anyway.
Once Steve Cooley spends all sorts of our money on resources raiding and destroying plants and people’s dreams, scaring families and drawing guns on the families of his constituents, he’ll be looking for a new job, Joe will be out of jail and helping others again, and perhaps those defending the war on drugs for budget’s sake will find themselves campaigning for George W. Bush’s War Crimes Defense Team which by then may be looking at a bigger pile of paperwork than even Cooley and his cohorts can imagine.