As a Medical Marijuana/Hemp/Marijuana "Activist", you assume certain risks when you decide to speak out against ignorance and injustice. The biggest risk of all, is of course imprisonment for choosing to exercise your free will and harm none! Well, after 3 full years of speaking out, I finally had a bullseye put on my back. Recent Occupy Nashville activity on my part, led to my cell phone being lifted, perhaps by an undercover police officer or plant. I had my twitter account linked to the phone @hempamerica, it has a huge "Pot Freedom" marijuana leaf as my icon and inserts itself into text messages sent from my cell phone. Supposedly, the person who stole my cellphone was arrested for something else entirely and had my phone, I'd apparently also given him one of my Southern Alliance for Medical Marijuana business cards and he had that on his person as well. So, when they came to talk to me about my phone, 3 of them, I opened the door and they said they "smelled marijuana" so had probable cause to enter. The rest went down hill from there and before midnight on November 9th, I was handcuffed and put into a squad care with a bad case of the flu and taken to the Davidson County Jail to await processing and bail. Thankfully, I only spent 6 hours in "lockup", which was really just a big room with men on one side, and women on the other. You were not allowed to lay your head down anywhere and when you used the bathroom in a nearby cell that had water and toilet paper all over the floor, you had to leave the door open 6 inches while you tinkled. There was no privacy, there was no respect. I was even told that if I needed my pain medicine I wouldn't get it, "we don't give pain meds out here, even with a prescription." I quickly reminded the so called nurse, who was likely a certified medical assistant at best, that not giving my medicine would be a violation of my rights to safe access to my medication. She made the stupid mistake of saying, "Why do you need all this medicine just for MS anyway?" That's how I knew she wasn't a licensed nurse. I told her I'd give her my neurologist number and she could ask him.
Had I not had the cash to bail out that night, the migraine I had the next day would've been debilitating and leaving me in that pain would've been cruel and unusual punishment. I couldn't help but wonder how many people in the room were there for simply trying to self medicate their pain or anxiety? And, I wondered how many were there for marijuana possession that wouldn't be able to make bail for some time, or didn't have family support like I was lucky to have. What about their pain? What about their rights as human beings? We already know that 70% of the prison population is there for minor drug crimes. If that doesn't speak volumes, I don't know what does.
I always knew it could happen of course, but I figured surely they had better things to do than to harass a middle aged woman with MS and Chronic Migraine Disease that only wants to seek comfort and offer some compassion to a small group of other sick friends. But what you need to understand is that the drug war is not over and in Southern states like Tennessee, the penalties for growing, smoking, selling or giving away this herbal medicine are extreme!
I had people ask me of course out at the TN Legistlative Plaza if I could get them some marijuana, I always said no. In fact, I do recall my phone thief asking me to get him something twice and I still said "No!".
About 20 min or less before Metro Police showed up, somebody called asking for some "Dro", again I said, "You must have the wrong #, please don't call back" and then...minutes later they were at the door! It was one of the officers I realized pretty quickly that had called asking for "Dro" and of course, I had not taken the bait but they came anyway...with the reasonable cause that they could smell it when I opened the door.
That's about all I can share about my case at this point but I have decided to go all the way with this case! I am requesting a trial by a jury of my peers and I don't care how long it takes! I plan on being quite vocal from here on out, even more than I've been before. I want to do this for every other "marijuana criminal" in the State of Tennessee and in the South! I've talked to 6 attorney's so far and I've heard some powerful related stories of people much sicker than me that have been taking pee tests for 2 years or more to make sure that they don't "use" again! People with Cancer, Parkinsons, MS, ALS and other serious diseases.
The law as stated in Tennessee is a violation of our civil liberties therefore is not a legal law in my opinion. Other states have proven this, and Tennessee will too! But, only with the help of others who, whether they smoke marijuana or not, believe that a person has a right to smoke, (or eat or drink marijuana) , especially when suffering from illnesses that Marijuana has been clinically and scientifically proven to help, not just palliatively, but curatively as well. The science is THERE but as citizens, we keep our heads in the sand and hope there will never be a day that we or our loved ones will need this mild medicine in the way that so many others DO need it NOW.
Because I want to make this case a precedent in Tennessee, I am humbly asking for donations for my legal fund. Some funds will also be used to capture media attention, and finally get The SAMM legally off the ground so that we will have a voice. If you want your fund used for legal only, please note it.
Please also write your State Congressmen and Senators and ask that they pass Compassionate Act laws of protection in your State or residence if you don't have these laws protecting your fellow citizens yet. The time is now for a Revolution!
See www.thesamm.bbnow.org to donate online via paypal OR Mail Checks To:
P.O. Box 1195
Smyrna, TN 37167
Be sure to follow me here for updates and add me to your contacts on twitter @hempamerica.