The Human Solution Helped to Keep One Family Together
By Catrina Coleman from The Human Solution
Ronnie Naulls was a friendly local businessman, he had a wife and four kids. He only wanted to make it in the world and help as many people as he could along the way. He and his family were fortunate to have The Human Solution when they needed something like it the most. Only eighteen months after opening their doors for business, Ronnie’s compassionate and professionally run dispensary, Healing Nations Collective, and Ronnie’s home, were both violently raided.
In the early morning of July in 2007 Federal Drug Enforcement Agents with automatic weapons drawn, savagely kicked in doors, and with helicopters flying above, tore apart their home. The agents handcuffed Ronnie and his wife Anisha, placed them in separate vehicles, then proceeded to take everything, including their children. In an instant, everything they had was gone.
About a year later The Human Solution went into action. Members from The Human Solution and others, came together and not only supported Ronnie with their physical presence in court, but as each member filled in the courtroom in support of the Naulls family, so did the Solidarity Ribbons. The judge could hardly miss us and our proudly displayed Ribbons, our badges of courage and honor. Nor could Judge Virginia Phillips ignore the huge support that these badges, and all the peaceful people, provided.
As we squeezed in together to fit in just one more person on the bench in the courtroom, the staunch security guards grew nervous. It was apparent that this simply doesn’t happen often, especially not for a cannabis hearing. What more could we do but sit a little taller and smile a little broader? As Ronnie and his lawyer stood up to defend his freedom, The Solidarity Ribbon and The Human Solution literally, had his back.
The Human Solution vowed to step in and help again when Ronnie’s family found themselves unable to pay the exorbitant fine of $14,557. Half of that due within just a few weeks or his plea bargain would be revoked and he would face federal prison on cannabis charges. Ronnie was however placed on house arrest yet again, this (extending his total house arrest to 3.5 years) seriously obstructed his ability to earn money.
The enormous support of the members from The Human Solution created two beautiful fundraising events with not much more than their bootstraps, each other, and just barely enough time. Since everything is volunteer based and their organization non-profit, everything comes from the goodness of people’s hearts. From the food, to the paper plates, the service and entertainment, to the ease of laughter and friendships old and new, and not to be forgotten…the most beautiful setting.
The venue, Willow Creek Springs, a beautiful botanical garden on over two acres.
The first of the fundraising adventures, a BBQ in the gardens. With a band playing in the center of the garden, shady spots and places to sit, everyone mingled, talked, ate and drank. The admission was free, and the entertainment and atmosphere was amazing. As you walk around the peaceful setting that is The Human Solution’s workplace, you get a feel of the magic that happens here.
This surreal environment is where you will meet the kindest people from all over various cannabis communities and organizations. Whether you find them actively working on solutions by having their weekly work meetings, making by hand all of the Solidarity Ribbons, avidly discussing their next goal, or hosting a fundraising event, it’s here that you can find comfort, peace, and progress. The Human Solution’s members are a collaboration of knowledgeable patients, activists, doctors, lawyers, moms, dads, grandparents, collectives, and growers alike.
During the BBQ event I watched as seniors shared recipes and sipped tea, I witnessed new friendships form, and as the leaves around me rustled, butterflies would flutter past or a gaggle of children would laugh and run by. Everywhere is quaint and park-like; it’s no wonder that many hummingbirds call this Willow Creek Springs home.
A marijuana radio station broadcasted live, and around the path the sound of the flamenco guitar led me to the beautiful Desert Rose sitting and playing in the center of the garden.
Children were swimming, a few dogs were running around the bend where alpacas corralled in their shaded paradise, chewed nonchalantly. Collectives and patients from all over California took the day off to sit and talk together, to share ideas, laughter, and help a fellow patient and collective manager in need.
Even with it’s fabulously successful BBQ, a little more money was still needed to save Ronnie’s family from losing their father. With some help from Palm Springs activists, a second fundraising event was planned. Held away from home and against a beautiful desert background instead of the green serenity of Willow Creek.
“The Palm Springs Flower Power 60’s Cannabis Event made history. It was the first of it’s kind to be given an official city permit for… we happily paid the $158 permit fee with pride!” — Joe Grubine
What a change of pace! But as the invites were given, and the word of another Human Solution event got out, people from all over southern California trucked out to the middle of nowhere to live out loud for a good cause, under the stars. As difficult as it was to hold an event away from home, astonishingly the members proved that they could embrace any environment and have a successful event no matter where they went finding that it’s the people that truly make the events special, every time.
As everyone enjoyed each others company in the warm night air, under the night sky in their 60’s best, the flower power party began! The outfits and peace signs matched the atmosphere, the music from the live DJ got your attention and moved your feet. The atmosphere and people around you sparked joyous laughter and ridiculous happiness. There was face painting, relaxing, talking, sharing, eating, laughing and dancing. And as you flaunted your bell-bottoms and vied for huge gift baskets and giant televisions to be raffled off, cannabis vendors plied you with free massages and tasteful treats.
The Palm Springs event was going to be a night to remember! As the music started and the laughter died we looked up to find that some of the men from our group were strutting out, in drag! In an incredibly delightful debut, the LumberJills tool to the stage, led by a professional drag queen fresh from her retirement, giving a spectacular performance that absolutely topped off the night of fun.
With their pride tucked away, these gentlemen had a good laugh at themselves to help a fellow friend, a husband, a father, a brother, someone’s son. Knowing that it all transpired with just a few days of planning, not only was the night an enjoyable breath of fresh air, but impressive as well. Joe Grumbine, the group’s leader, still has nail polish on his toes months later I hear, but don’t tell him we noticed!
To make the event even more successful, many people generously donated rare and valuable items to be auctioned off since most of us had little else to give – this truly was a rare opportunity to discover valuable, never-to-be-seen-again finds. Vintage comic books, crystal dishes, beautiful hookah pipes, jewelry, and even a signed Bob Marley print from Ronnie’s collective that once proudly helped over 3,000 patients.
The Human Solution is something to be very proud of. While helping raise funds they’re also more than capable of supporting each other in court, defending their patient rights, advocating for change and appropriate policies, as well as educating each other and the public in the process.
The Human Solution and The Solidarity Ribbon continues to grow and amaze itself and onlookers. With noted mentions in JEMM magazines, NORML News and many others – it wont be long before you’re seeing The Human Solution on the cover of every magazine.