My first act of cannabis activism at 17 was sending money to Keiko Bonk’s campaign after reading about her campaign in High Times. It was only 5 dollars, but it’s what I could do. I always have felt it was essential to support people willing to be in power and support legalization. What better way to change the machine than to be a cog?
Between 18 to 21, I lived in New Jersey and California; it was in California, where I had the opportunity to help gather signatures for legalization. I answered an ad stating get paid to legalize marijuana. I thought fuck yeah. After a week of gathering a couple hundred signatures, it was questionable whether I was to receive any monetary compensation, so I walked away, chalking it up to experience and as a form of helping the cause.
I eventually joined the Navy out of necessity, which ultimately became duty. During this time, I consumed on an intermittent basis. After the Navy, I worked for Raytheon in their cal services department. I helped maintain the machines that make America’s missiles. The missile portion of Raytheon is located in Tucson, Arizona, America’s gateway for all things illicit. Questionable things go from Nogales, Mexico to Nogales, America than on through to Tucson, Arizona.
Fresh out of the military, I wanted to smoke freedom weed. Weed that didn’t have a looming piss test. The ability to smoke without losing my job consequences due to no random drug tests. If the tech sector ran like the manufacturing sector of America, there would be no innovation or employees. People aren’t robots and truth be told; it’s the manufacturing industry and hospitality industries that deserve it the most. I love cannabis and alcohol after a long day of cleaning shit.
Fresh out of the military with my new job secured, I wanted to smoke weed and enjoy my day, but I couldn’t find any cannabis. At the time, it was easier to find coke than marijuana because the cartels funnel everything pass Tucson while keeping the local population in control through coke and money.
It drove me crazy that even when I did find a connect, it was shitty MS13 weed at a 150 a quarter-pound with probably a third of the weight in seeds. During this time, I tried to change the world online and in real-time. There was a Tucson Chapter of NORML fighting for legalization long before it is what it is today. This chapter was seeking donations to make signs for either picketing or marching; either way, I want to help, but being a DOD contractor at the time, it was not in my best interest to do. So I did what I could by taking all the cardboard boxes to be thrown away and donated them.
Then there’s the writing and online trolling. MySpace was the dominant site at the time. A time where bands were blowing up off their MySpace page that also acted as a personal website with embedded players and whatnot. I joined various writing groups, where I learned to build confidence to share the things I put down. They were mostly poetry groups, but it still takes a lot to share anything you do.
The internet was young, and people were learning they had the world at their fingertips. I wrote a lot about legalization and the injustices I saw daily; it was here I decided I wanted to find an outlet.
When I was younger, I went to the Hightimes offices with pages of poetry and my brilliance, only to be handed their magazine plan for the next 12 months and told to submit them accordingly. Even though this popped my bubble, I also realized that a magazine is a business, and one can’t bank on the willy-nillieness of a writer.
There weren’t many cannabis websites at the time; there was, of course, High Times, Hail Mary Jane, Toke Of The Town, and one that we shall call The Brick Weedblog, to show the sentiment of what happened through the course of its existence. I thought Brickweed looked well done, so I reached out to them. This is what started me on the path where I am now. At first, I would submit articles from around the world. Why? Because the cannabis conversation wins when it can be centralized. Now every “legal” state paper has a “Weed” section. I flooded them with so much info and opinion; they gave me a login. I could now write and submit articles, but I couldn’t publish them. Which was fine, some were released right away, others sat in the queue for a week or so, the guys got busy, but eventually, some sat for months.
When articles started sitting for months, I grew frustrated and expanded to other cannabis websites and content for activism. During this time, I never had any personal interaction with the founders of the site. So didn’t know what was going on behind the scenes.
During the early days of the internet, if you were smart enough to secure everyday use words as URLs, you were bound for riches, and if you had good content with that, well, then you’re killing the game. Websites like Marijuana.com sold for millions solely for the name, which is now Weedmaps.
I learned during this time that guys were wooed left and right for a piece of the website. They were flown to places and treated like kings; things like this make you think you’re a good businessman when you haven’t sold anything yet. My friends eventually got involved with someone who they ultimately found out is only good at bullshit like his wife.
The site went from a million unique hits a month, and the reputation of creating the cannabis conversation to now its strongest asset is a Facebook page with a million likes. Added value has been lost through gaslighting and bullying over control of the website made by my two friends. I learned about all this after the fact like I said; in its prime, I had no contact with the creators. They were busy doing website things while living their best lives, and I was busy learning about missile systems and trying to be a family man, fresh out of the military. When I did occasionally communicate with one of the founders of the site, he would tell me he appreciated my efforts and that as soon as they get paid, I’ll get paid. In the end, no one got paid because of a greedy married couple who helped raise funds for Oregon’s legalization.
TheBrickweedblog was my street cred. Even though my articles weren’t getting published and had notoriety, I had one other thing with the login, an email. Miggy420@theweedblog.com was the email I would use to communicate with cannabis businesses and for activism. It made it hard for prohibitionists to find me and let cannabis business know I had serious inquiries. That email at the time was the equivalent of having an @HighTimes email or @Microsoft for those in tech.
My articles on Brickweed weren’t getting published, but I was able to use the email to write for others and build support for those behind bars for pot while communicating with them through Coorlinks until one day I wasn’t. Now, if you wonder why I have such disdain for the married couple that stole a website through gaslighting and court, it’s because of this email situation.
I didn’t know there was a power struggle for control of a website I didn’t create, just helped build its reputation. I didn’t know the names of players and investors; all I knew was that my articles weren’t getting published. I didn’t know anything until I tried to log in to my email to continue a conversation I was having with a prisoner through Coorlinks. For those not in the know, Coorlinks is the prison email system used. Prisoners are charged for its use per letter; its a pain in the ass to sync with prisoners, but many knew my Miggy420@ email, and it was easier for them to contact me than most.
The website email was being used to help pot prisoners, so when I was cut-off warrantless, and needlessly, it pissed me off — just another example of greed hurting something doing good. The end of my email was not the end of my activism, it just made more exposed, and I no longer had access to those I had been communicating, a bummer but not an end-all, end-all. In fact, I’ve done some pretty cool things when it comes to helping others in the name of justice.
Not all my articles and writes are bangers; in fact, some of my best work I feel will never get seen. Those are the letters to Judges and Lawyers in support of victims of prohibition, letters written in support because every American voice counts or so I was taught to believe.
I’ve also helped reduced sentences. I even helped get a case dropped on spiritualist Joy Graves, by finding a picture of the prosecuting attorney standing in front of a Legalize It mural giving the peace sign and another simulating smoking cannabis while on a Mormon mission in Africa, it was a slight conflict of interest and representation.
If you made it this far, I appreciate you. I am prematurely ending this one because I can go on for days on ways to help, but most importantly is the fact that you do something, anything. One more thing is more than the nothing that is presently occurring. If you made it this far and like what you read, please share with others and if you would like to share your story with me, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, subject My Weed Story.
Glenn Keeling and Peggysue Kimmel’s continuing saga of the misguidance of justice is not a unique one in America but is another example of prohibitions’ failure to catch bad guys or even to make America better. Their case is one of the many reasons we have been fighting so long for our inalienable rights and human dignity, that still doesn’t exist in America. Glenn has been made a target and is being made an example by Ohio law enforcement and prosecutors of “Don’t speak up for others.” He has been a long-time vocal advocate for the legalization of cannabis in Ohio, which might as well be 1930.
Listen to our conversation with Glenn, as he talks about his past activism and present fight. Prohibition hurts the lives of citizens everywhere in America. Glenn talks about his previous efforts with NORML, and now his presence fight with The Human Solution International.
Watch or listen to our conversation with Glenn as he streams from his non-mansion with his non-butler. The State of Ohio is actively harassing and prosecuting two Americans for their involvement with a plant while dismissing other cases, still with prejudice, but not for over the years it’s taken Glenn and Peggy to see American justice.
If you would like to help or learn more about Glenn and Peggysue, below are some extra links;
*Edit: I copied and paste a Facebook post that directs more for their support
Please call Mercer County Ohio Prosecutor Matt Fox’s office this morning @ 419-586-8677 and /politely/ ask that he “Please drop all charges against Peggysue Kimmel and Glenn Keeling.” Then, please call Ohio governor Mike Dewine’s office this morning @ 614-644-4357 and /politely/ ask that he, “Please stop the persecution and prosecution of medical cannabis patients in Mercer County Ohio, Peggysue Kimmel and Glenn Keeling.” This is an injustice, no one should be facing over 50 years in prison for a plant. Any time is fine, you can leave a polite message if you don’t get an answer.
Pre-trial is TODAY (Thursday, October 31) @ 1:00 p.m. – If you are in the area, please consider going and showing your support to Peggysue and Glenn – they sure need it. Address is: 101 N Main Street, Celina, Ohio.
The war on drugs mirrors the failed war on alcohol: it did not stop use, it increased use, harder use, use-related deaths, and violent crime. Embracing your individual rights (your life, your liberty, and your property) is /not/ a crime. Voluntary relationships, free association, and free markets are /not/ a crime.
It’s hard to describe what I do for legalization; I’m famous or at least infamous for being a nice guy when in reality, I’m kind of a dickhead, but I try to use that dickhead energy to change the world. One of the things I try to do is bring hope to prisoners.
Wars are won through changing the minds of the enemy while your people have hope that they are not alone nor in the wrong, as they sit alone behind bars surrounded by killers and rapists.
Every cannabis consumer in their own right is an activist. The money you used to buy that weed went to feed a farmer; there’s no workaround on that.
Whose in jail for weed? If you listen to the government, its the bad guys, but this isn’t the case. Its fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers all sit behind bars; Farmers, transporters, go-betweens, and ancillary supporters for operations that are the same as what is legal for recreational consumption in multiple states and our Nation’s Capital.
I use to participate in a pot prisoner podcast with my friend Kristin Flor, whose father died behind bars while serving time for a medical grow and pot P.O.W Eugene Fischer, a man who was serving life for a marijuana trafficking but managed to jailhouse lawyer himself out.
One of the most powerful things he said that kept him alive in prison was hope. We do this every day by trying to make a difference in public policy and perception. You can do this by reaching out.
There is no one database of pot prisoners. We don’t know exactly how many people are serving cases, just the ones whose families have been fighting for them and the ones your lucky to find out about because none of these should people deserve to be forgotten.
How many other causes put your work life at risk? Places of employment aren’t doing random kid fucker checks. There is less stigma around kid fuckers than cannabis users; this isn’t right.
The heart of my activism has been championing for people I don’t know. Lives disrupted some even ruined by a bad law. I share people’s stories online through social media posts or articles in some cannabis medium; there is never enough time to do so for everyone effectively.
As an American, as a human, I believe everyone is not guilty. Whether your life is ruined by prohibition through incarceration or for the lack of medical options, I believe all possession and ingestion of this plant is none of my fucking business.
Marijuana activism is depressing as fuck. It’s a fight for common sense, I don’t have to know you to say not guilty, but because people are assholes, not every cannabis activist are created equal. Some hold grudges or judge how one lived their personal life; I don’t care about any of that.
My activism and perception of the “cannabis community” changed when I became unemployed and was able to write about Lance Gloor’s trial first hand plus showed court support.
People, known people in the cannabis community, people highlighted in magazines like High Times and other large media outlets, told me either not to support Lance or felt he deserved what he was getting. No one deserves to be locked away and treated like cattle. My approach to marijuana activism is simple; if you’re in trouble for cannabis, you are innocent.
I watched Lance’s trial proceed, one where all the evidence presented was cannabis. Lance was following suit for Washington State at the time. There were over a thousand medical dispensaries in Washington State at the time, and Lance owned three of them. How the Federal Government got involved is a pretty fucked up tale, you might want to put on a tinfoil hat or take a deep toke on this one.
From what I gathered from the trial, Lance had issues with the local law, over cannabis. Eventually, a multi-agency task force known as WESNET got involved. WESTNET included local law enforcement and law enforcement from the local Navy Base.
(This portion is not in the trial, just my speculation as to why Pierce County Law Enforcement had a hardon for a guy making money like a 1000 other people were) As Lance became a successful businessman, the local authorities wanted their take in the form of campaign contributions and other small-town ways to launder money, and Lance didn’t want to play that game. He was a successful young businessman living his best life.
(Now back to the trial) What leads to Federal involvement is pretty fucking lame. The undercover investigating Sheriff testified that when he attempted to gain access to one of Lance’s stores that he was denied access due to not having a medical prescription as in accordance with Washington State law at the time.
He was denied access but pointed in the direction to get seen for a medical prescription. For an over 6 foot tall, out of shape, older white male, getting a prescription isn’t that hard with all the aches and pains incurred through life.
Once he received the proper documentation, he went back to the same dispensary and was allowed in the building past the security doors; this operation was not in hiding.
The undercover testified that he made multiple trips and made multiple legal purchases. Of his experience, he testified how he was intimidated by all the male staff and implied there was something nefarious by their presence, as opposed to when young women greeted him. This portion of his testimony was sexist and unnecessary.
Once the undercover State employee made his purchases, there was no crime they could pursue. Everything Lance Gloor was doing was up to par and then some with a thousand other dispensaries.
Since the State couldn’t make a case, the evidence through the interagency known as WESNET handed the evidence over to the DEA, who then was obligated to pursue a Federal crime.
Lance’s cannabis enterprise was solely Washington based; there was no need for Federal involvement, his real crime was being a successful businessman in America, who didn’t want to pay off law enforcement or snitch on co-conspirators.
The trial itself was a sham. All the evidence presented was that from the stores that were openly operating, there was no covert operation. They pointed to Lance’s lifestyle as guilt and even brought a showgirl to testify against him. During the trial, said showgirl found an article I wrote online covering the trial, she had it submitted for evidence with hopes of suing, but all I was doing was writing the truth of what I saw.
It seemed Lance was on trial for being a flashy young man with the presiding judge calling Lance, a flim-flam man during the verdict.
Lance was eventually found guilty and sentenced to 10 years behind bars. Ten years away from his daughter, mother, and step-father. Ten years to live in an eight by eight cell with no rights or luxuries. He was sentenced longer than some sex offenders for being in business with a plant.
Sometimes I feel like I’m too much of an idealistic hippie for this world, but then I think someone has to be.
Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires and Mass Incarcerations
Promote jury nullification; this is some civil rights shit, something that most people don’t talk about because it’s just not sexy. Jury nullification means that no matter the instruction given by the courts, as a citizen, it is your fundamental right to disagree with a bad law, thus in your opinion, that person is not guilty, no matter the “evidence.”
We hear jury duty and try to avoid it as an inconvenience, but this is your chance as a citizen, to make a difference for another and future citizens.
Promote jury duty and nullification; this is something I’ve done in booths at cannabis events and something you can do around a joint. People incarcerating other citizens for marijuana as a tool of justice can’t win.
When it comes to cannabis, there is no freedom until everyone is free. All good things take time and money. I think we’ve come as far as we had for common sense and normalization through advocacy what investor corporate cannabis has done for greasing the wheel to legalization.
While I smoke my “legal” cannabis, I think of how people are still serving time for business that is now “legal” in multiple legal states; before it was recreationally legal, its been someone’s medicine. The only acceptable form of legalization is the kind where no one sits behind bars for being part of a marijuana business, sanctioned or not. A kind where everyone is allowed to grow cannabis at home, homegrows.
Before it was “legal,” there were homegrows that led to jail. Now there are millionaires, homegrows for some, and prison for others. For years there have been many who have and still are ghosts in the machine. People helping others, educating, and voting. People speaking up because it’s the right thing, not the social media cred. I hope to make a series on how I’ve been a ghost in the machine, also known as an internet troll.