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February, 2007


Mad Apples
By E.J. Pearcy

Whoa Nelly !! You had to have been at the town meeting about the question of whether there is a problem with drugs here in Bolinas to believe what was said and by whom. "Marijuana is a dangerous, dangerous drug !! ;" was only one of the absurd remarks made by the gang who used the Bolinas Community Center to propel tired, old, dangerous lies into our group psyche.
About a half an hour into the first of these two public meetings; those who wished to complain and name names of their particular scapegoats, but anonymously, seemed to realize the futility of that intention during that specific meeting.

Still, the facilitator suggested that their meeting could simply be moved to another location which would be out of the public purview.

One man noted that such ideas seem like ones that Dick Cheney would be right at home with. The women in charge, who had already previewed their agenda based complaints in earlier private meetings, primarily sought ratification of their previous agreements.

Remember how rotten it seemed when V.P. Cheney made oil policy while sequestered privately with the oil company executives and their private agendas ?? This instance was all the more insidious because it was sponsored and led by the Bolinas Community Center staff and volunteers rather than the Bush White House! Or so it seemed.

Significantly, very few parents of teenagers were present to speak or listen; nor were there any young people participating in the first meeting. The second meeting's youthful participants seemed to consist of a coterie of young folks from the very drug abuse treatment program represented by one of the speakers.

At least one of the presenters and one of the at large teens called upon to speak seemed very stoned as they rambled aimlessly along ad nauseum.

Some of the better observations at the meetings included the need for improved education regarding the truth about drugs beginning with alcohol; and the real costs associated with their abuse. Providing popular activities for our teens as alternatives to drugs, mentoring our youths, encouraging parental oversight and responsibility, accepting community responsibility; and the trained improvement of parental communication skills with teens; were all offered as partial solutions to substance abuse by teens in Bolinas.

The "facilitator" paid excessive homage to Pam Dake. The woman who was very responsible for this meeting: Pam Dake. Pam, twice had to remind her that it was the community, not her, which had called for this meeting. O.K. then.

They opine that their lives have been made more difficult by the other. In this case the targeted scapegoats include but are not, of course, limited to young trouble makers, homeless alcoholics who crowd out the decent folks in our town, out of town "predators," beach partiers, meth heads - absurdly- marijuana smokers including those who are using medical marijuana, ,those who cuss too loud in public, and those who Terry Donohue, a local Realtor, says dress inappropriately.

One beflustered mother asked helplessly: " How can I tell my child not to use drugs when there is "so called medical marijuana ?!"

Oh, heck, why not just tell your child the truth: some people need drugs to relieve medical problems. Some of those drugs are against the law to use without a doctor's permission and are entirely legal with a doctor's permission. Marijuana is one noteworthy example of such a drug. Codeine, cocaine, methedrine, heroin, barbiturates, etc. are further examples. Drinking too much water has proven more deadly. Marijuana has never caused death or serious injury; but has been used for centuries for it's natural healing properties.

LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, peyote, and inhalants have no approved medical uses. Why weren't those extremely dangerous drugs mentioned?? Maybe because the marijuana critics there are especially partial to psychotomimetics.

Then it got surreal enough that it seemed as if Harry J. Anslinger was speaking! (He was the painfully ignorant man whose now laughably hysterical approach toward marijuana was immortalized in the movie: Reefer Madness) . At the first meeting Patty Bradford, a nurse practitioner, stood in for Anslinger ; since he himself, now dead, was unable to attend this meeting. Maybe next time ?!

At the second meeting; Dale Johnson, also a nurse practitioner here, repeated Patty's diagnosis of the problems. Patty had said, as though she was referring to some psychiatric knowledge in the public purview; that marijuana, not infrequently, exacerbates or causes bipolar/manic depression flare ups.

Next she flatly stated that marijuana can also cause psychotic breaks. (Is that more or less than abuse of refined sugar can cause ?) This reporter took the opportunity to question her sources for those astonishing remarks. She said her statements came from her experiences; and further vouched that a friend of hers, a psychologist, said so too. Hmm....

I came away believing that the energy behind calling this community meeting was derived partially from drug addict/alcoholics who blame their failed recovery attempts on others whose "inventory" they preferred to take instead of their own. Resentments and unconscious projections follow the denial of our own shames and shortcomings. Then we see our faults in others and not ourselves; and that sure seems handy to some folks.

That segued into the only half hidden agenda of Carmel-izing this town into the New Bolinas: a happy town of landed gentrification with no homeless, poor or shabby dressers allowed. Then real estate prices and commissions can skyrocket as they once did in Carmel!! You go girls!!

One partial solution to the overdosing by local teens who used unknown substances to do so will be the hiring of a drug tester, appropriately anonymous in this situation. S/he can be prepared to let anyone know reliably, quickly, and without charge the necessary descriptions of the sample(s) brought in for analysis.

We can do better and we should.

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