Gone to pot
January 10, 2007
Shredder, columnist, New Times SLO (CA)
I've been doing some home improvements lately nothing fancy, just a little paint here, a new bookshelf there. I'm not what anyone would call a handyman by any means (for more reasons than one), but I get the job done. Barely. As long you don't set anything heavier than a couple sheets of paper on my latest creation, it should stay standing.
My biggest lack in the whole carpentry department, though, is my accuracy. About one in three hammer hits actually lands on my thumb. And you know how it is. Once you smack it, you're going to smack it again. And again. And again. Until it's so swollen you can't not smack it.
It's just like when you bite your tongue, or the inside of your cheek. It swells a little, and you bite it again. And again. And again. Until the blood flows.
Or it's like when you rob a house on Fredericks Street in San Luis Obispo. Then you rob it again. And again. Until the occupants are probably expecting the ski masks and the guns.
Well, maybe it's not like that, but it's certainly like a can of Pringles. Once you pop, you can't stop. You think you're just going to eat one, and then you What's that? Go back to the part about the robberies? Well, okay.
It seems that when this new year was just a week old, somebody reported a couple of guys trying to get into a safe in a house on Fredericks Street. The whole incident should trigger a major deja vu for those of you who've been paying attention, because the same house was successfully robbed in practically the same way back at the tail end of November.
Now, I know what you're thinking. And I have to say: My thumb is fine. It's a little sore, but the nail's not falling off or anything. Thanks for being so concerned. I'll be all right, but I don't know if I can say the same thing about the victims on Fredericks Street and not just because they've been robbed once or twice.
See, at least one of the robberies involved more than cash and game consoles. The late-November action brought a little bit of the ganja into play, although in this case, the more appropriate term would probably be pharmaceutical cannabis. And you know how the cops get when glaucoma-fighting botany enters the scene. They boo and hiss as if a villain just took the stage at the Melodrama. If they spy with their little eyes something green on the "items stolen" list, their eyebrows go all funny and scrunchy.
The November robbery prompted our men in blue to report that suspects made off with two pounds of marijuana (a figure disputed as too high by the stuff's owner) and a lot of cash from a safe and, oh yeah, the bad guys probably hit who they hit because they knew what was in the house.
Oh, and double oh yeah, one of the victims "appeared to be a legal provider of medical marijuana for the Central Coast Compassionate Caregivers in Morro Bay."
More words from the police implied hint, hint that the pot probably wink, wink was what attracted the robbers nudge, nudge to do what they do so well, despite the fact that other people on the street have reported that robberies on Fredericks aren't exactly uncommon.
Local medical marijuana defenders, like attorney Lou Koory, bristled at how quickly the police drew the line from an armed robbery to a marijuana dispensary. Granted, the line is there I mean, pot was stolen, and Capt. Dan Blanke aptly pointed out that media types would be suspicious if the department just glossed over where it came from, where it was going, and why but more than a few folks at New Times scrunched up their own eyebrows at the explicit finger pointing. Why? Because, lo and behold, yet another house on Fredericks Street was robbed recently (this one in early December), and that robbery involved pot, too. For some reason, though, police left that incident on the blotter and off of any press releases sent to New Times. Someone from this paper had to practically trip over the December robbery to find it.
Let me sum up: At least two houses on the same street are robbed. Pot is reportedly taken from both. Police believe that the marijuana from one house was possessed illegally and the marijuana from the other house was being held by someone with paperwork confirming that it's okay to do so. Police make a big deal about the caregiver and virtually clam up about the other incident.
Look, you know and I know that there's still some confusion when it comes to law enforcement and smokable healthcare. Officers were all taught to "Just Say No" for so long, some of them aren't willing to let the slogan go and embrace the fact that lawmakers might actually want people to be healthier with help from weed, thus the heavy-handed approach to all things dispensary related.
After the most recent robbery, the SLOPD noted that "cash and narcotics" were taken during the previous go-round. Narcotics? Somehow I doubt that the inference was supposed to fall on the "makes you sleepy and relieves pain" side of the definition, as opposed to the "illegal drug" side. I say this because I'm familiar with local cannabis-related history. Does anyone else remember last summer when the department didn't want to give back patient Ben Breschini's confiscated property even after possession charges against him were dropped?
Cops, it's time to move along. There's nothing to see here, besides some poor folks who seem to be victims of location, location, location and a system that still treats a legal substance like a scarlet letter. Move on to something else, you know? Isn't there some rapist on the loose?
The same goes for you robbers. Make like lightning and don't strike the same place twice. Or, better yet, turn yourselves in and return the goods so some suffering patients can finally get their legal relief. By the way, my thumb still hurts. Where can I get a prescription?