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I Comitted At Least 2 Marijuana Crimes 20 Years Ago: Enjoyed Myself and Helped a Sick Man Feel Better

What's more caustic to this society? Marijuana, or thousands of people suffering in needless and entirely preventable pain?
 
 
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Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com/Pavel Ilyukhin

 
 
 
 
The following article originally appeared on Truthout.org
 
Homegrown's
All right with me
Homegrown
Is the way it should be
Homegrown
Is a good thing
Plant that bell
And let it ring...
- Neil Young

It was late September in 1993, and my friends and I were at a campground to enjoy a weekend away from the world. It was unusually cold as I shrugged my way out of the tent, and after answering an insistent call of nature just inside a line of trees to the east of our campsite, I set about the work of getting the fire going again. One by one, my friends emerged from their own tents in various stages of disrepair - the previous night had been a doozy, and more than a few of my crew looked and felt as if they had been devoured and shat out by wolves - to warm themselves by the flames.

Once the coffee was going and the blood was flowing, a joint the size of New Jersey began making the rounds, as was tradition, a soothing balm for the tragically hung-over among us. After a fashion, I happened to notice a man two campsites over giving our little campfire circle a long, hard stare. One didn't have to be stoned to be paranoid about smoking marijuana twenty years ago, and my first thought was, "Cop." I quietly told my friends to cool it, cool it, something's off with that guy, and everyone immediately began doing the I-Ain't-Doing-Nothin' Shuffle.

When the man started walking towards me, I began to do an inventory in my head of the cash I had on hand, the cash my friends had, in the event I wound up needing bail money. He presented himself before me, put out his hand, and introduced himself.

I hope I'm not intruding, he said. Not at all, I told him with trepidation flying around my head like I was Tippi Hedren. I offered him some coffee while my friends milled around the campsite pretending they weren't baked and had important stuff to do, casting furtive glances my way as they waited for the hammer to fall.

Listen, he said, I noticed you guys were smoking a joint.

Uh-huh, I replied.

I don't know anyone who smokes weed, he said.

Uh-huh, I replied.

My father has cancer, he said. It's bad. He can't eat because of his treatments, and that's as bad as the cancer. His doctor pulled me aside last week and mentioned marijuana as something that could help him.

Uh-huh, I replied.

You don't know me, he said, but I was wondering if you could give me some, so I can see if it helps him. I don't know anyone else I can ask.

I was still. This is either a set-up, I thought, or this guy is for real. As a NORML supporter, I knew full well that what he was asking for could help his father, but the very last thing I needed was a drug arrest on my record. I took a moment with his eyes, and decided to make a leap of faith. I told him to wait there, went into a tent, dug our little green bag out of a backpack, and handed a portion of the contents to him. His face broke out in sunshine, and he shook my hand again. While in the tent, I had also grabbed a pen and an English Lit notebook that happened to be down in the pack.

Here's my number, I said, scribbling. If that helps, call me, and I'll introduce you to some friends of mine.

 
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