Letters to Slingshot

Dear Slingshot,

Wow! Someone must really like me, since mail call produced your “fine” newspaper.

I’m a P.O.W./victim of the “War On Drugs.” Another statistic whose crime was “furnishing” the “killer weed,” marijuana to sick and terminally ill patients who belonged to my cannabis co-op.

I was charged with four (4) counts of sales, but was convicted of two (2) counts. A total of 3/4 of an ounce to a 73 year old terminally ill cancer patient who has since passed away.

I noted in P.B. Floyd’s article “Marijuana Updates” (summer ’98 Slingshot) that the son of Tony Blair’s home secretary was busted for sales, but released with a warning. Gee! What do they know in Europe that we don’t know here? One thing is for certain however, and that is I will join a half a million of my brothers and sisters that are arrested annually for marijuana offenses alone.

As a member of this movement from it’s conception, (compassionate use) I have made it my goal to keep updated on “marijuana facts and figures.” Some that you and your readers may or may not be aware of are: There has been a 700% increase in drug related arrests since 1980. That 70% of all state prisoners are in for non-violent offenses, (majority drug possession), that over 100,000 people die per year from overdosing on legal prescription medicine, and one million are hospitalized annually. “No one” has ever overdosed on marijuana, no one, nada, nein, nyet. Marijuana is safer than aspirin. The fastest growing business in California is corrections. (1. Chicago Tribune, 2. Calif. Dept. of corrections 1997 annual report, 3. same as number 2, 4. U.S. news and world report March ’98, 5. New England journal of medicine editorial Jan. 1997, 6. same as 2 and 3) and by the year 2003 there will be a 73% increase in the states prison population from 183,000 to 234,000 plus. (Calif. Dept. of corrections.)

On November 5, 1996, 56% of the registered voters in California who bothered to vote passed Prop. 215, the compassionate use act, now HS11362.5.

As of this date, no state governmental agency has implemented any way of distributing safe, mold and pesticide “free” cannabis to those who have doctor’s recommendations to use it. The Federal government, along with state Attorney General Dan Lungren, have succeeded in prosecuting and closing down the San Francisco Buyer’s Club, San Jose, San Diego, Marin, Hayward, Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, Oakland, and Flower Therapy. Peter Baer, Scott Imler, Dennis Peron, Marvin Chaver, Jeff and Scott (San Diego), Todd McCormick, and Lynette Shaw are all awaiting trial for furnishing, sales, distribution, etc. This is not what the voters intended and it is not what we were about. Having to “buy” our supply, we asked for a donation of $20 per quarter (7 grams) limit of one ounce per week. If you could not afford to donate it was given to you for free!! No questions asked. Simple as that. We only wanted to cover cost! Now I face six years in prison for “sales” of 3/4 of an ounce or 21 grams.

Not pounds, not kilos, but grams, and less than 28.5 on top of it. Oh well!! Not as bad as some of my fellow P.O.W.’s but still a little stiff.

I was denied Prop. 215 as a defense as well as “medical necessity,” so I have no effective defense. My public defender is appealing, but it will take at least two years to get into the appellate. All of our volunteers are die-hard activists, and we knew what was involved when we got in to this. Still, I feel my time is nothing compared to “Move” and Geronimo Pratt, and Aim, and some of the others, but we are still not free! Even after it was voted in to law. So our fight and struggle goes on too!

Thank you for putting me on your mailing list, and one day I will gladly repay you through a donation. Till then, yours in the cause!! David Herrick

P.S. I’d love to get letters:
David Herrick #1750882
550 N. Flower St. J-4-4
Santa Ana, CA 92703

P.S.S. I have a written recommendation to use cannabis from a bonafide Calif. Physician, but that was not the issue. Caregiving and sales was!!