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Hey, hey, DEA! How many patients have you jailed today?

OK, as promised, here’s the report from the past few days of cross-state rabble-rousing. The big event was a protest at the DEA offices in Montgomery, as part of a national day of direct action at about 60 DEA offices across the country, fighting back against the federal government’s nation-wide crackdown against medical marijuana dispensaries.

We drove up to Birmingham on Monday night to petition at the primary election polling places to get Dr. Jimmy Blake on the ballot as an independent candidate for Jefferson County Commission in the November general election. The sun was beating down on us all day, and the breeze couldn’t bother itself to blow for more than about five minutes. Nevertheless, the pay was good, and Vestavia Hills was a hopping place for getting signatures. One poll worker said she’d sign the petition because she supported Jimmy Blake, but she didn’t think we should be outside a primary polling place to petition. Well, OK, I thought, and I don’t think you all should be using state funds to subsidize the internal party business of the two major parties. I’d be glad to stop petitioning out front of primary polling places if Demopublicans actually had to go through the same shit to get on the ballot that independents do. But I held my tongue. A signature is a signature.

On Wednesday morning we drove down to Tuscaloosa and began to plan the big event for Thursday 6/6.

Thursday we met Floyd Shackleford in Wetumpka The Montgomery TV press had arrived thanks to the efforts of the media collective assisting ASA, and we got a chance for some great film of Floyd delivering our Cease & Desist order from 73% of the American people to the DEA. We held a banner (DEA: Stop Arresting Patients) and distributed the fake WANTED posters I put together for the event, while Floyd and I talked to the interviewers.

We had prepared Burma-Shave signs which we hoped to hold by the side of the road for passing motorists to see, but we arrived a bit late and all we had time to do was deliver the Cease & Desist order and talk to the press. We had also run off lots of copies of flyers to hand out to passing pedestrians, but the DEA building was off in a office building ghetto a bit off the main streets, so there was no foot traffic for handing out our flyers. I was a bit disappointed that it turned out to be more of a press conference than an actual demonstration. Nevertheless, the newsmedia coverage was a lot more sympathetic than I thought it would be, and it came together pretty well for something we had thrown together in less than a week of active planning. The day was beautiful, the drive home peaceful, and the remainder of the day restful.

Take action! Thanks to the publicity from participating in the national event, we are quickly gaining contacts around the state for future actions toward taking the high ground in the drug war. If you are in Alabama and would like to join the network we are developing of activists who are fighting to end the federal government’s assaults on states’ rights and compassionate care, get in touch and ask me to add you to the contact list.

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