Aug 09 2005

Down and out in Santa Cruz


It’s been four months now I’ve been homeless.

I’ve been reluctant to write much about it, partly because it could jeopardize my having a place to sleep and partly because I don’t have much time to use a computer.

It is frustrating to be so limited. On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays I can get four hours at the mental health center, when it’s open from 9 ’til 2. I have to leave before 2 to be back at the homeless yard by 2:30 pm to stand in line for half and hour to get on the church groups, which generally leave about 4;30-5:00.

We spend a half hour or so on the freeway in rush-hour traffic to get to the church, where we put down our mats and sleeping backs on the floor. Lights out at 10. Up at 5. Back to the shelter at 6. Wait an hour for it to open…and the homeless yard is ‘closed’ from 10 till 2:30, so you must leave.

Finding a place to roll joints is a challenge. Pretty much the entire city of Santa Cruz is a no-smoking zone. They just declared the beach a no-smoking zone.

And it’s virtually impossible to really concentrate – either at the mental health center or the library. Just now someone yelled out “…giving up $3 million to smoke pot, now that’s a drug addict.” I don’t have a clue what that was about, or if it was directed at me, but I do care that it broke my concentration.

It’s been over four months since I’ve been able to sit at my computer and THINK. And smoke a cigarette. And smoke a joint. And just when I was beginning to concentrate on this – the same person starts it up again…

Last week Marc Emery was arrested for violating U.S. law in Canada and is now fighting extradition. At it looks like a friend of Wood Harrelson’s was arrested with him and so now Woody Harrelson is beating the drum for him on Overgrow and, particularly, on Cannabis Culture.

I don’t have time to read all the discussion but I did post the links to the CC forums threads where Emery threatens to narc people and where they smear Scott Imler.

Today in the news there’s a story about Jane’s club being robbed. The employees and some customers were tied up at gun-point with neck-ties. And there’s another article in the Bee highlighting it as a model of providing cannabis to patients that works.

Tom is quoted several times and there’s a picture of Emily.

Locally, the Corrals have closed down their garden and a dispensary has opened in Harvey West Park near the homeless center. I attended the city council meeting where it was given the stamp of approval. I had to leave early to get back to the shelter, which is probably just as well. I was pretty angry with the mayor and city council by the time I had to go. While I’m virtually clueless about the local political situation it appears that the county is more liberal than the city, and that the city of Santa Cruz has run WAMM and the Corrals out of town.

I only have enough medicine left for another 2-3 months, and don’t know what I’m going to do after that. The irony here is too bitter. For the first time in my life I’ve had a supply of medicine and can’t do anything with it because the state has made me homeless and stolen everything I have.

Meanwhile, all the money and support go to whores like Emery.

Pot dispensary robbed at gunpoint – Oakland Tribune | 26 May 2005
Marijuana health policy still a puzzle – Sacramento Bee | 8 Aug 2005

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