I've witnessed reefer madness on a personal level, but never at the governmental level, till now.
The city of Kent, Wa. has gone rogue against the will of the people, deciding what's better and safer for you. It was interesting to see government in action, one moment you're recognizing Johnny's little league game win, the next you create a black market, an underground right in your own backyard. One that could put their family and/or neighbor in jail, all while still believing booze and cigarettes are safer than marijuana.
A year ago the city passed a moratorium hiding behind the State vs. Federal issue. The issue being to uphold the will of the people and law, or at least that was councilman's Bill Boyce's stance when he voted no again. Apparently, that means Federal Law trumps State Law, which makes no sense to me unless you don't care about your state. The people have spoken, but its bad politicians who don't listen.
This year on June 5th at something o'clock the council voted again, this time 4 to 3 against the dispensaries, again.
Prior to the vote, there were heart felt testimonies, pro and con. The cons were feeble, but the crowd was passionate and couldn't hold back some of their cries as a beaten down, substance abuse counselor cried against marijuana because he lost a child apparently to alcohol. Marijuana is not a gateway drug sir.
The first to speak to the city council was a clean cut gentlemen in a suit. His words made my heart glow as he spoke of not being a consumer, or in any other relation benefiting financially from the marijuana biz and that he was there only as a concerned citizen against bad laws. People like this tell me we're winning the war on drugs, slowly but surely.
There were plenty of heart felt testimonies of family and personal pain, all eased with the use of cannabis. One 66-year-old lady speaking of how she uses her rub. Another was an asthmatic, and than there are the diseases that no one ever hears the telethon about, but are given relief thanks to pot.
The good people of Sensible Washington and The Northwest Leaf were there showing support with banners and magazines as we witness the political time machine go backwards. One by one, the council members defended their stance, I already told you Bill Boyce's. Dana Ralph went with "Why are we voting on medicine?" - There really wasn't much to her defense either. There really is no argument for making marijuana (medical or not) illegal. Marijuana does not create the crime, the bad law does.
Now grant it, the "no's" are a bummer, and that's why I saved the yes's for last. Its funny how you can't judge a book by its cover and now-a-days, I really think so. The pro-marijuana crowd was just as diverse as the governmental board, black, white, male, female - it didn't matter. As I watched the council, there was one I thought for sure was a no. Her name is Elizabeth Anderson. At first glance she looked like a conservative soccer mom, but when she spoke there was nothing but passion and vigor for the individual.
Her stance was "this is what Washington wants, this is what we do." She shared an amazing story of visiting Boston and recognizing the efforts of local citizenry and comparing that to all thew supporters.
Next was Jamie Perry. Who I imagine was the youngest on the council with lots of hope of the process, encouraging the folks to press on to the capitol and so forth. The nice thing about Jamie and Elizabeth are they both acknowledge that they are mothers and that they don't fear a world full of weed.
Finally there was Dennis Higgins. This guy possesses the power of common sense, noting recent events in New York on potential marijuana decriminalization. I thought this guy was a no too, but you just can't judge a book by its cover.
Only the patients of Kent will suffer here, and that's unfortunate. There are only two collectives (dispensaries) in Kent and there are patients in crippling conditions. Charles Lambert, the man that runs Evergreen Holistic Center was there, and I can say he's only been doing good things for patients. Tears for him and for the law were shed after the decision was made.
Charles assured me this fight isn't done yet, but it does wear on a man. He's been fighting this fight for a year now, not doing the thing he really loves. Instead he fights bureaucracy. Thank you Charles and half of the city council for taking a stance. And than you Cannabis Defense Coalition who dropped some paperwork suing the city, let's see how this goes.