Sunday, September 14, 2014

THE SNORE OF SONORA



LA POT DECLARATION HAS A SOFT OPENING

Temecula, CA – As promised, this reporter covered the official press release proclaiming an end to cannabis’ unlawful right to be publicly utilized. Although the day trip would later lead to meeting Amelia
Earhart’s artist nephew, an around the campfire story, the called press event concerning LA’s Mexican Sonoratown [now Chinatown] pot bust 100 years ago did not draw anywhere close to the expected audience. In fact, you almost got the feeling that the event was a pay-for-view presentation to be presented somewhere else for viewing.

There was no commercial network media though marijuana legalization is the number one topic, or elephant in the room. People may be talking about ISIS, the Middle East, Ukraine, and the botched procedure that led to Joan Rivers’ untimely death, but the real gorilla in the room is still cannabis and will continue to be. The cloud of smoke around marijuana continues to befuddle the periphery of those who would look in on this latest opening round legal effort.

Some old friends were there, some social acquaintances, some expected players, and they even brought in the token black from the token safe organization. It was a great day weather-wise, like, a poster day under clear unsprayed blue city skies. In fact, there weren’t even helicopters flying. That’s how nice a day in LA, DTLA, it was last Thursday, or Thor’s Day. So who was there and what does this all mean? All that, right after the jump.

Like in the song, I took the morning train for a hassle free commute and decided to walk from Union Station to City Hall, the place I spent about two months at during Occupy LA. The air was cool despite the forecast of 90 for a high. Also getting in at 9:30AM meant the air was still cool so walking over to the site was very pleasant. 

Getting to the area on Spring Street [west side of City Hall], the first person I saw that I knew was Sunshine
File photo: Richard Eastman
[Occupy LA, activist, ex-Hollywood person]. We exchanged pleasantries and her dog didn’t bark at me. I guess the Ren lookalike remembered me, though he didn’t the woman directly behind me who also greeted Sunshine. In the city always the pace is fast, 25 words or less.

Moving right along, I spied Richard Eastman [LA NORML, old school activist], late photog for the diminished JEMM, then LA JEMM, back to JEMM, now the Marijuana Magazine. There is no word of Eastman being involved in the latest variation of JEMM. Having his ‘spot’ set up, he was selling ‘pot flags’ to help finance his return to Washington and another session of talks for the cause. Since we both had wares for sell, we quipped the way frienemy vendors do.

I had a loose plan to maybe hang around by Richard, akin to sitting in the last pew at church but Fate, it seemed had another plan for this gonzo journalist, and it started when I went over to say hello to Judge Gray, the representative for LEAP, an organization for retired police chiefs who see the error of their ways for busting heads their whole careers. I first saw him years ago in Lake Elsinore at Wayne Williams’ open forum on cannabis, the one the city council refused to even attend.

As a journalist I walked over and introduced myself and the Calendar. I asked him about the program’s initiative and his reply was, “I don’t know anything. I just go where they tell me.”

The next person I met was Dale Gieringer, Dir, California NORML and board member CCPR, an organization I think we may hear more about in the future. You see, Sports Fans, weed will become legal in 2016, it’s just a case of who is going to bring it about, the North or the South of California? Now I was starting to see the players in this legal weed movers behind this ‘pot proclamation press conference’ commemorating the first recorded pot bust ever. This state divide has been noticed before and is the final frontier to be welded in forging a statewide legal weed ballot win. 

As the logistics were playing out in my head, the gonzo aspect of my reporting took over and I wound up holding up one end of the Jack Herer CCHI banner behind the speaker’s podium throughout the press conference. Words from all the speakers wafted in and out as different people made their commitment to the cause of legalization for this reason or that, all of which were overly familiar to this choir member and author of Memoirs of Mr. Pete


The state fracture lines of location explained the absence of much So Cali crowd besides OLA’s Sunshine, NORML’s Eastman, Bruce Margolin and the Old Pirate. However because of ‘volunteering’ as ‘torch bearer’ for Jack Herer’s banner, I made a new friend named, The Ganja Queen, herself friends with HempOvations’ Patrick Moore and artist Jeanette Perez before dashing off.

Perhaps in light of the present level of visual racism [the latest ‘shoot first if black’ incident] arising from Ferguson, Dayton, and now Utah, I paid particular attention to the token Negro the pot press conference had to renounce the status quo prohibition. Yes folks, there was one black there and he wasn’t a person who happened to be black. He was a 'safe Negro'. This was the representative of the LA branch NAACP, presumably assuming leadership after the last black leader resigned in shame having bestowed awards and honors on racist Jew Donald Sterling, who brought to light the squalid treatment of black Jews in Israel by Ashkenazi [white-skinned] Jews there.

Mr. NAACP, a speckled-gray haired dark brown skinned man made an impassioned plea from recently hearing a woman tell him about her imprisoned black husband as his motivation. His body language and voice was so safe it made my gentle friend Will Rodgers seem like Idi Amin. As he appeared genuinely stressed over the situation, I wondered if he was really Rip Van Winkle in disguise. There are probably people who haven’t heard of Jesus who know blacks, Mexicans, and people of color are regularly rolled for drug busts, having been disenfranchised unjustly since the 70s. Not everyone is Afroman.

As I listened to a speaker that sounded if he had just awakened in Missouri instead of living in the heart of the second biggest city in the country probably his whole life, it was hard to believe someone like Snoop Dogg and this guy could come from the same planet, much less the same mega-city area and culture. 

Suddenly I realized how people could be so removed and blinded by their own identity as to miss any signs of true racism in others. Accordingly, Mr. NAACP and his organization were racially slighted by omission in name on the official press program. I doubt this nut thump was even noticed by the ‘white-ish’ LA NAACP.

Things broke up around noon and after I linked up with Jon, whose shop carries Memoirs of Mr. Pete in stock, it was off to a chance meeting, unexpectedly to come upon Cullen Earhart, the nephew to Amelia Earhart. 

I love LA.

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