Jack: I would like to speak to the person in charge of busting potheads.
Jack: That’s why I’m here.
Jack: Why are you coming down on the Medical Marijuana Industry now?
PICOBP: Where to start? This is a very smoky issue for us. (Laughs)
PICOBP: First, it looks like it is working. For 15 years your people have been at this…If we let it be, it could just be successful.
Jack: You mean the way that violence is actually reduced when a dispensary opens in a neighborhood?
PICOBP: That and the other drugs, meth, coke and heroin, they’re too hard to find. With your marija-wanna, it smells like wet hay and takes like a truck to move it. Jeeze with those little pills and powders…Do you have any idea how hard we have to work?
Jack: But those pills and powders actually kill more Americans.
PICOBP: Do you know how hard it is to bust a ton of that shit? No headlines! We get money with headlines and the more weight we can show.
Jack: Why go after dispensaries that are helping people, patients with their afflictions?
PICOBP: (reaches in lower drawer for bottle of government swill) I’d offer you some, but I know you potheads don’t drink.
Jack: I drink; I just don’t drink and drive.
PICOBP: The reason we’re going after dispensaries is that if we accept that your marija-wanna has any medical value…do you have any idea how much that would upset the Pharma Lobby? See it has nothing to do with your sickies…Too much could change hands if it went the other way…
PICOBP: Follow the money. What are you smoking? Sheeze. First the cops. Have you ever met a country law enforcement official who didn’t own property somewhere else? You think they’re into it for the cause?! They want out after the end of their shift and eventually, their career. You think they believe in Prohibition? They do what they’re told. The people can vote anyway they want. What Washington says, goes.
Jack: So cops are on the take?
PICOBP: No, not all. But there is so much money to be made by keeping it illegal that if it was to become legal…we lose a ...
Jack: A revenue stream?
PICOBP: I didn’t say that. Is it warm in here? (Refills tumbler with government swill) Plus the War on Drugs. Hey you think we’re wasting time in Afghanistan? See how little the American people care about the War on Drugs? Sheeze Louise. We’ve been at war for more than 40 years trying to stamp out marij(burp)wanna, spending more on arresting and hunting down our own countrymen and women, much more than we gone after the Taliban with…
Jack: That’s sickening.
PICOBP: Taliban a funny word when you’re drunk.
Jack: What about our rights giving to us by the voters of California? Allowing for the establishment of dispensaries?
PICOBP: What about it? I already said that a bunch of us don’t like the law.
Jack: How can that be?
PICOBP: We don’t smoke the shit and it scares us.
Jack: No, I mean, how can you usurp the voting process and the democratic system??
PICOBP: You act like the voters are in charge.
Jack: Who is then?
PICOBP: I may be tipsy, but I’m not that drunk. [Whispers] I CAN’T TALK ABOUT THAT HERE.
Jack: You know you’re shouting, not using your inside voice.
PICOBP: Listen here, “Cheech,” don’t tell ME how to be…
Jack: Easy, Tiger. What about Attorney General Eric Holder?
PICOBP: Eric Holder, John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzales, Mike Mukasey, even the Flipper, Mark Flip. All of those Attorney generals… it don’t matter…They could give thousands of guns to the Mexican drug cartels and nothing would happen to them. They’re protected. You can say whatever you want about them, it don’t matter.
PICOBP: They get their marching orders from the top.
Jack: The president?
PICOBP: No, the lobbyists. That’s why nothing gonna change until you freaks can change the way the country thinks. We’re busting more of you than ever before in the history of the Unites States. Does anyone care? We can’t build the prisons fast enough. Sons and daughters, mostly of color, still some whites get in there…still go to jail. Do people care? Uh-uh. Nada. So we can virtually do what we want.
Jack: What about making criminals out of everyday citizens?
PICOBP: What about it?
Jack: People are losing their lives and families over this issue!
PICOBP: Then don’t do it.
Jack: People have been smoking marijuana since the dawn of man. Why do you think you can eradicate it?
PICOBP: Who said anything about eradicating it?
PICOBP: Okay, Peter Fonda, let me es’plain it to you. Have you ever played craps in Vegas?
PICOBP: Then you know how it works. It is not about a player who can win, (burp) but who can have the longest run throwing the dice.
[Minutes go by.]
PICOBP: Lord love a hippie. It about the play and keeping it going. We have no intention of getting rid of marihooney, we plan to keep this cash cow going until our kids are out of colleges.
Jack: Here let me put a little more in your glass.
PICOBP: Everyone’s crying about that Steve Jobs today. He was one of your bigger dope smokers. Has any paper mentioned it? Your governor, pothead. Hypocrisy? Never. People don’t care about you potheads. They think you’re a joke. Sheeit, even your socialist president smirks and laughs you off. And he said he inhaled. But then again he said that he’d leave you potheads alone. And you bought it. I tell you how we got you…
Jack: Go on…
PICOBP: Your side…(looks around) PLAYS BY THE RULES.
Jack: Inside voice.
PICOBP: Your side plays by the rules. We don’t. We bloody well change them as we feel. If we tell you that it is okay to sell your pot, you believe us. We tell you it is safe to sign up on a list, and you believe us. Then it’s like low hanging fruit. You can smell a marijuana salesmen a mile away. Plus, if you were a cop, who would you rather go after, some schizoid high on meth or a college kid scared out of his or her mind, ready to cry and our biggest struggle is when to call mom and dad to pay us and pick up Archie and Veronica. Cops could get hurt going after other drugs. When the last time you saw a headline bringing down a meth lab or a heroin ring? Not sexy. No money in that. No mari-wanna pays goooood, boy. No, as long as the American people don’t care, we don’t care.
Jack: What happens if we take to the streets like the Wall Street protest?
PICOBP: Oh boy, we’re scared…[presses intercom] Marjorie, interrupt in another five minutes and get this hippie out of here…
Jack: Again, I’m right here.
PICOBP: First of all, we’re taking your guns. And then what do you think? We’ve faced the biggest financial meltdown since Roosevelt and we were able to keep those dope smokin’ commies out of the papers for 30 days. Who do you think is going to care what happens in crazy California with the hippies’ pot?
Jack: What about all the legislation we’ve been working on? In California, we’ve worked with law enforcement trying to come out of the shadows for almost 15 years now. What about all the time, energy and money we’ve put forth?
PICOBP: Like ah said, you potheads are like the fat boys at a race. You’re easy to catch, comparably. Law enforcement never likes to run after a perp. Don’t make us run after you boy. You know what happens when you run from cops?
Jack: I don’t get it. Why now? Why can’t we have our medicine?
PICOBP: Do you think if my wife is going through chemo, I’m not going to get her medicine? See… America is set up to help a certain strata no matter what. A Congressman’s kid won’t get busted. See, medicine is not for everyone. There’s collateral damage in every war. Your problem is the ones who really need it, like the…
Jack: The poor, the infirm, the weak, the military vet who is contemplating suicide, the ones who don’t have a voice.
PICOBP: Exactly. But hey, I don’t make the rules.
Jack: But you do—that’s the problem.
|Photo: Jack Rikess|
|Toke of the Town correspondent Jack Rikess blogs from the Haight in San Francisco.|Jack Rikess, a former stand-up comic, writes a regular column most directly found at jackrikess.com.
Jack delivers real-time coverage following the cannabis community, focusing on politics and culture.
His beat includes San Francisco, the Bay Area and Mendocino-Humboldt counties.
He has been quoted by the national media and is known for his unique view with thoughtful, insightful perspective.