High Five K: I was living in Morgantown, WV, a member of WV Norml, and in the online communities of SSDP, ASA and LEAF. I knew a sick old lady with a lot of neurological problems who smoked weed. She said it helped. See, she had a stroke in a parking lot in Florida, and when she woke up, she couldn’t think straight any longer. She couldn’t get her words to mean what she thought. She was developing different physical problems that struck seemingly without any reason, from skin bleeds, a goiter, semi-paralysis, hallucinations, and severe memory impairment. She moved in with her sister, who died, and, on her own, couldn’t bear her existence. She felt ashamed, was often in pain, and struggled to live day-to-day. So, she started smoking weed, and she felt better. Her depression lifted, her appetite returned, she found she wasn’t so terrified of her strange new world, and knew that people cared about her, and felt good about things. Without weed, she stayed up all night lost in a deep funk, avoiding regular meals, sleep and medical needs. This lead to seizures and hospitalization. She had tried all sorts of mood drugs and antidepressants, but guess what? That’s right. She wanted her weed. That made her life better. So, I organized a race for a sad old lady to raise awareness about current legislation heading to the floor of the West Virginia House of Representatives. I called Mike Manypenny, an advocate working on the bill. He had a background in agriculture and wanted to also make folks aware of its significant economic impact, especially concerning the value of hemp. You know, what the constitution of the original draft of the Declaration of Independence was written on. I wanted to put on the race for my sick friend, and thought I should educate myself on why she should have the right to be happy. So, I started to read about why people thought marijuana was bad.
Turns out that, for about 10,000 years, people didn’t think it was bad. Then, in the beginning of the 20th Century, beginning with the League of nations, at the behest of powerful companies, governments drew up trade agreements that allowed for the prohibition of certain markets to be open for trade, and, in fact, declared certain commodities illegal to be used at all. this included marijuana. India and China weren’t going to really benefit from the League, so they opted out of the agreements involving its legalization. Remember, weed was a mysterious plant used by brown people, like opium. White America knew about booze. Booze would be made illegal, and people gave exactly no sharts about that law, so it was repealed again. However, while it was in effect, many people died and were made rich, ended up in prison, and used as puppets in the government because of the incredible black market wealth found in illegal trade. The government used weed to suppress minorities, strip them of their rights, and turn ordinary citizens into reprobates in the eyes of their fellow tax-paying citizens. As long as fear fed the ignorant fires of hatred, criminals profited from trading a plant that had been used since the beginning of civilization. I realized prohibition of marijuana was destructive, wasteful and the product of a fear-mongering campaign that had sucked the voice from American liberty, like stealing the breath of a baby. If we can’t have our civil liberties, then what’s the point of civilization? To put each other into bondage? To feed us lies and invite discriminatory policy that drives communities to ruin their very foundations? After reading about its history – what a load of horseshoe – I read about the history of the War on Drugs i personally grew up with, the one that put the word Just Say No on candy boxes I marveled at as a child, that showed pans of eggs frying and talked about dead monkeys. I found out the dead monkey responsible for Ronald Reagan’s big witch hunt against weed had been forced to inhale the equivalent of 65 joints worth of smoke in five minutes. That’s a joint every 8 or 9 seconds for five solid minutes. If I was inhaling that much smoke from anything I’d be dead, too. I read that marijuana cured certain forms of cancer, was an analgesic, an anti-inflammatory substance, and helped the body metabolize a wide variety of useful hormones to aid in tissue repair, to clear the body of waste material, and other useful things. It also made people feel happy.
I decided to legalize it. I have people from every walk of life on my side. The best experience I had on this campaign has been the absolutely unanimous support I get face-to-face with people when I tell them about the High Five K race. They love it. They want marijuana to be legal. I didn’t know people, everywhere, want it legalized. I went out in the street, on the radio, and online and talked to people about it, and invited people to read up on it and make their own minds up. I went ahead and organized the race, and 48 adults showed up, with ID, and ran 3.1 miles in the freezing cold of a January 28, 2012 morning in a small town in wild and wonderful West Virginia to support medical marijuana legislation. funny thing was that many of the people had come from out-of-state. One woman drove 158 miles to run a 20 minute race. Are you kidding? A man in his 70s ran his ass off. Did he come in last place? Nope. The winner hit the finish line in under 18 minutes, if you want to know how fast the winner was. I couldn’t believe it. I distributed T-shirts I made myself to every person who ran. I even mailed them to people who couldn’t make it. I also mailed one to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, a size XL, because he’s a big guy.
When I wear the race shirt, everyone smiles when they see it.
It’s like this, people. We live in The Information Age. Wise up and take back your civil liberties. Take care of yourselves and each other. I don’t care what you do by yourself if it’s not hurting anyone else. It’s none of my concern. I haven’t been sick but twice in three years since I started running. I love running. If yo If it floats your boat, be your own captain and sail on. If you’re reading this, and I’m still alive, I probably ran that very day. I absolutely love running. As a matter of fact, I ran six miles in the snow this morning and felt incredibly lucky and happy to be alive. Perfectly legal activity that hurt no one else, and it makes me feel happy. Take back your lives, learn about the good earth, and take your medicine. Peace.