Jul 25 2008

We Need More COPPS!

Posted by J. Craig Canada in city council, greenway, Santa Cruz

Wednesday (I think it was) I read in the Sentinel online that Lisa Molyneaux is running for city council. Lisa is the proprietor of one of the dispensaries in town. One which I’ve had some problems with and who’s door I haven’t darkened in over a year now because of them. My view is they didn’t want me hanging around because I smoked marijuana in public, and whatever their personal views about the matter they had to kow-tow to a city council and government that was hostile to dispensaries.

As soon as I saw that she was running I knew I had to try to get on the ballot. I don’t really like the idea of politics, and having to be in public, particularly when I’m not up for it, can be … well, disastrous. But I made an appointment this afternoon to talk to the city clerk about ‘taking out papers’.

I do wish Lisa luck. It’s true I’ve had problems with some of her staff, and this may have been at her instigation, but I want to believe her heart is in the right place and that if she gets an office and a little power she will do the right thing. And this is exactly the kind of thing I think all dispensary proprietors and employees, and patients, should be doing.

Most local jurisdictions are run by boards and you might be surprised at how difficult the school board, or parks and rec, or the planning department can make life for medical marijuana patients. And many times candidates run unopposed for seats on these boards. Often someone with a small loyal following can win a seat on these boards without being annointed by the Democrats or Republicans.

I was sitting here thinking about why I want to put myself on the ballot, and if I want to put myself through it.

One major reason, of course, is that I am facing a battery of criminal charges and will very likely end up convicted of something. All because Santa Cruz has 1,000 units of transitional and emergency housing and not one for medical marijuana patients. I lived, literally, on the the sidewalk for years. There is a systematic malice against the poor and unfortunate in this town that I believe is wrong and unAmerican and I want to challenge it, and give those who want to challenge it someone to vote for.

I think it is wrong to not accommodate smokers. I do not think county or city employees, or anyone else, should be required to stand in the rain to smoke. And I think it is wrong not to provide ashtrays in smoking areas. And I think it is wrong that virtually every area that is sheltered from the wind, the rain, and the sun is designated non-smoking.

I think its wrong to believe that medical marijuana patients should sit home and watch Jerry Springer all day. Medical marijuana patients need to medicate every couple of hours generally. And they need to go to the grocery store, and the doctor, and the county courthouse and sit through trials – their own. Most of them use public transportation by necessity. And since most of them have difficulty getting around, and many are in pain, they need to SIT DOWN and medicate after spending an hour to get to a bus stop, board the bus, and probably having to stand for about an hour to get to the far edge of town to get their medicine at the dispensary.

And then there’s the equally grueling ride back.

And they probably need to use the bathroom.

There also appears to be an institutional bias against medical marijuana for mood and psychiatric disorders in the social services here in Compassion Central, U.S.A. This is wrong and needs to be challenged.

I found myself thinking about when, over ten years ago when I was first charged with marijuana crime and there was an article about me in the local paper that I had sent to my relatives, that my Uncle Bob called and asked if I was running for District Attorney…

You see, my grandfather and his sons were moonshiners. I think my uncle was brought up on charges and they raided my grandfather’s new still, but they didn’t get the one in my uncle Red’s backyard. So my grandfather started a church across the street from Red and his still, and ran for constable.

And he won.

I don’t expect to win. Maybe if I run again, and then again, and really worked at it I might. But I do hope to address some things I think are wrong and give others who think as I do a way, by voting for me, to influence the powers that be to remedy the situation.

Some time back I half jokingly stated I intended to run on a platform of C.O.P.P.S – Citizens Organized to Protect Public Sitting, and that seems as good a platform as any.

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