Cannabis Health News Magazine graciously printed my last essay titled, “Kiefair Keepsakes, Who we are, how we came to be, Why we give back” in their February/March 2010 issue. In that article, I talked about my dream of self sufficiency and the journey that led me to open my (now closed) business of Kiefair Keepsakes. In that article, I said that Kiefair Keepsakes was the stepping stone to a dream… I really didn’t know just how correct that statement happened to be for me until just recently.
Kiefair Keepsakes as a business may have failed miserably. I didn’t have the funds to invest in it properly. The little woman behind that business, certainly did not fail. Let me introduce myself to you properly. My name is Breedheen O. Keefer. I frequently write under the pen name of Breezy Kiefair.
When I began Kiefair Keepsakes, I had a simple idea, sell goods, take at least 10% of the profits and donate herb to those in need. I thought it was a wonderful idea, and it was. As I said, I didn’t have the financial stability to make that idea fly. I created my own website for free, but couldn’t afford to get fancy buttons on it so it was user friendly. The result was obvious: nearly non-existent sales. I became painfully aware that I just didn’t have the income to help myself or anyone else. So, I “closed” Kiefair Keepsakes “door” and threw myself into full-time activism desperate to not only help myself, but to find a way to help others in my situation. I left the website up as an example of what I tried to help myself. I thought that maybe someone somewhere might be helped by the idea at least.
I told myself that my energy and skills served others better simply by my diligent probing letters to my representatives at the local, state and federal level. I also realized that I could serve the low income patient simply by sharing my own personal struggles openly and honestly. In January 2010 when Kiefair Keepsakes was still open and in its infancy, I attended the “Off the steps and into the house” rally in Denver. I rode the bus down from Longmont, eagerly protesting, knowing that few there had ever heard of me or cared to hear of me. I spent that cold January day there with my peers. I wished to stay longer, but then the pain crept in and said, “Breezy if you don’t leave now, you won’t have the strength to make it back home on your own.” I was dejected because I knew I had basically made the trip for nothing. I didn’t get to speak to my representative in person because of my illness. I went home and wrote a letter to them instead.
In the heated months that followed with the debate over HB-1284/SB-109 I wrote my representatives often and listened in to every debate on the topic that went out over the net (unless I happened to be off on a sick day). I often reported right through the pain and exhaustion for the benefit of those supporting MMJ who could work formally and didn’t have the time to listen.. I reported on what I heard. As I could, I gave my opinion online in real time whenever possible usually over social media because that was free. Compassion medication was, in retrospect, really easy to come by in those days when the laws regarding medicinal cannabis in Colorado amounted to Amendment 20 and no more. There were parts of those bills that I liked, and that made sense. Other parts I detested, but if you want to know those opinions, you can ask me yourself.
What I am trying to get to is the effects of this bill on a low income patient who is not a self-caregiver. If you are a low income patient, a caregiver (Medical Marijuana Center or Private Caregiver) knows that they can sign you as their patient and you can never, ever, buy as much herb as they can grow for you. This is particularly true if you have a disease that qualifies you for additional plants for edibles or opiate replacement. This was a fact of the low income medicinal cannabis patient’s life long before additional regulations were handed down. The caregiver can choose what plants to grow “for you” and pick something of particularly high yielding genetics even if that is NOT the genetics your disease requires. The next thing that generally happens is the low income patient comes in the door a few weeks or months later and says “Hey, I am broke. I need meds. Can you help me?” Now is the moment of truth in any patient caregiver relationship, even in a more traditional medical setting (lets think of the Hippocratic oath, which admittedly no caregiver is required to take). All too often, the low income patient is made to feel horrible for even having the courage to ask for what they need regardless of ability to pay. What can be an even bigger slap in the face to a low income patient is “false compassion”. What do I mean by that? Well it can go several ways…
- A caregiver might allow a patient to run up a huge tab that they could never pay on their income, making the low income patient worse off in the long run (stress kills).
- A caregiver might throw the low income patient a very small amount of free herb each month of their most degraded, lowest quality medication regardless of what is medically needed for the patient. Most low-income patients are all to happy to take that “unmarketable herb” because over-dry under potent medication is better than none at all. We smile and are genuinely grateful, but know there is something seriously wrong with this picture.
- Sometimes they promise to teach the low income patient how to grow for themselves. When the caregiver makes claim to teach, this is basically promising the patient self-sufficiency when it comes to their necessary medication. Later, they tell the patient it is too expensive to do on that patients income (generally they say this to keep control of their plants). A caregiver might also gift a clone of a particularly fussy strain of cannabis plant to a low income patient as if to say, “Here… lets see you succeed in growing for yourself with that.”
- When it comes to growing, Cannabis can be a picky plant, but if you choose your strains wisely, you can grow very easily, cheaply, and yes even quickly. For example, I harvested a nice Low Rider 2 auto-flower plant: I grew it in soil that was less than $2 a bag. I used the sun and some CFL bulbs for lighting. I used a planter purchased at a “dollar store”. You don’t even need to pay for grow containers. You can get great grow containers by going to most any bakery by asking for waste icing buckets, or recycled buckets of any kind that have not been used to store chemicals. I feed mostly on black-strap molasses and my vegetable food waste composted by fishing bait worms. I planted the Low Rider 2 plant in March and harvested at the end of May.
- The story goes many ways, but the end result is the low income cannabis patient is left without medication or severely under-medicated. The patient is made to feel as though the caregiver doesn’t see their need for medication in the light that they should. Meanwhile, that same caregiver gets to make cash off selling the low income patients medicine. I am speaking of medicine grown in their name that they can’t afford to buy for themselves. There is much fundamentally wrong with the above scenarios.
Before those regulations handed down in SB-109/HB1284 became law, dispensary owners, private growers and caregivers, and people in the medicinal cannabis patient community all seemed to have more of a heart for the low income patient. As soon as the ink dried on these two bills, all anyone seemed to be able to think about was the almighty dollar and how to pay all the fees that are now required. Before the bill became law, I could walk in to most any dispensary and walk out with a few grams of cannabis free of charge so long as I promised to review it for them on youtube or put up a status on social media that I was smoking a specific strain from a specific place and give the contact information of the compassionate party. I was basically doing an advertisement for that compassionate party for the price of a few days medication. The month the bill went into effect, my sources of compassion dwindled to about 4 places/individuals. A month later, only 2 individuals were willing to help me with my medicine regardless of my ability to pay…
In the wake of these regulations, a few new options popped up for some. Religious cannabis organizations sprang up over night. There has long been a religious cannabis movement, but it too saw a boom similar to the recent dispensary opening boom here in Colorado. These religious organizations that were already established saw higher demand and fewer donations. They had established and dedicated themselves to providing free medication/sacrament, but found it harder and harder to serve the demand. Some of these Cannabis as a religious sacrament organizations give herb away completely free of charge, others were little more than a front to sell medicinal grade herb to anyone who wanted it at a slight discount off of dispensary prices.
Let me be clear that I believe in cannabis as a religious sacrament on many levels. Just look up the work of Anthropologist Sula Bennet for a Judeo-Christian perspective regarding the plant cannabis. Religions all over the globe have been using cannabis to aid in communicating with their understanding of a higher intelligence since the stone age. I will defend to my death the right of all to posses and use cannabis on a religious level, medical level, and yes, even a recreational level. That being said, an organization that promotes itself as a religious organization should not be just another loophole in the law for shwag smokers to lay hands on medicinal genetics. If that shwag smoker (an un-carded individual) is getting spiritual guidance, and aid that would be expected of most any church or spiritual organization, then it is valid. If all that organization provides is access to herb, then I personally take issue with them.
There are cannabis as a religious sacrament organizations out there that do meet as a community on a regular (weekly or bi weekly basis) and some do actually offer spiritual guidance. Others who meet are little more than a large “circle” of smokers hanging out on a Sunday afternoon. I do not doubt that these circles of smokers have strength, and are a good thing. However, in my mind it would be more appropriate for these organizations that do little more than smoke and talk to label themselves as “Cannabis support groups” rather than terming themselves as a faith based organization. Some of the leaders in the cannabis as a religious sacrament community have been to formal seminary of some sort, others have little more than a blessing on their “ministry” obtained online for a price. Even among those who got there ordination online are those who genuinely do good. Some have filed as non-profits, others have not. Its hard to know who to trust. Many great things have come from humble beginnings. It was hard for me to know who to lend my pen to. Especially when I generally write for free, or review for barter of a few grams of medication.
Not all of these examples/results of new regulations effects on the low-income cannabis patient pertain to me personally. I have spent many hours listening to my low-income peers carefully and I know of at least one individual that fits one, or more of the examples I have listed.
By July 2010, I was feeling rather defeated. It seemed like I was under attack by both sides of the cannabis issue. The Lawmakers had seemed “put out” to even speak to an individual like me. The legal latitude given to the counties and cities of Colorado demanded even more of the cannabis patient. Now we had to go talk to city council. Now we had to go vote to stop the madness in our own back yards after we fought so hard to get some sense at the state house. Meanwhile, the pro-cannabis side of the issue seemed to treat me, and those like me, as if we were a stone around their neck due to our inability to pay for medication we clearly need. Why? Because HB1284/SB109 made me us a stone around their necks.
With the new licensing fees and regulations, I saw really awesome medicine growers with hearts of gold go out of business, or sell their hard built shops. I saw really skilled edible/hash artisans loose their dreams… not for lack of will or determination or ability, but for lack of funds. Many had been to culinary arts school, or owned commercial bakeries previously and were no danger to anyone as far as safety. They just couldn’t afford an infusion license. Those who could hold on, those who managed to get the required red tape satisfied,could no longer get their necessary edibles into my hands because they couldn’t afford the MMJ center license to sell to a patient directly.
As defeated as I felt, however, somewhere in my heart I wanted to believe it was all just a nightmare that I could somehow wake up from. We are not naive down here in low-income land, we know if we go in to a regular doctor’s office or the hospital, we run the risk of punished for my honesty about medicinal cannabis with poor medical care. If we go to the state and local authorities for help with food and funds because those doctors all agree we are incapable of formal work, we risk being punished with painfully little help, or no help at all. If we try to earn our medicine through activism for the cause, as soon as money becomes an issue, we’re the first to go without the strength giving herb we need.
I began posting my artwork in hopes that perhaps I could find a patron or two. I did one painting for an agreed price of $50 cash, but in the end he was so happy that he traded me about a half ounce of legally grown medication. I let another long held painting go for only $10. People mistook my digital photography with artistic edits for real paintings. It was all very flattering, but did little to help me raise funds for my fast approaching re-certification on my license. Websites wanted to post my work, but then found my images unsuitable because the source photography was taken with equipment that was beyond obsolete. I was asked for higher quality images of my “paintings” but didn’t know how to say it was not within my power to provide.
So here I live, I’m already living hand to mouth like so many others who draw disability. I’ve been sick since I was a child, and while my husband and I together bring in about $1,000 a month. There’s a little more when you count the food assistance we had to fight to win back. I personally am only worth about $325 a month. I require at least 1/8 oz of cannabis per 2-3 day period to keep me barely comfortable. Even in the most bargain of dispensary, I am still not going to be able to buy as much medication as I need. It’s enough to make you cry and scream and go a little insane. I personally did go a little bit mad with the stress and pressure. I threatened to stop activism all together on more than one occasion. I kept sheepishly picking my pen back up because I knew people like me needed a voice. I knew I had been gifted by my understanding of a creator a skill-set. That skill-set could give them the voice they needed even if it couldn’t give me the money and medicine I needed for myself. My obsolete little red web-book went down over and over. I patiently worked it back to life with myself for tech support again and again. I even sacrificed many long held files to get myself back up and running.
With my openness on social media, and my picture in the local paper, people on the street in my little town were talking. Talking was a good thing. I was happy people were being more open about it. Too long has it been a topic that was only discussed behind closed doors. However, I also have post-traumatic-stress-disorder from various traumatic events in my life, and the razor’s edge I lived on in the city felt mighty thin. I continued to try to educate wherever I went. I had a lot of great conversations with both cardholders and non-cardholders. People were not always kind. I did not expect them to be. Their unkindness was hard on me nonetheless. I tried not to let it bother me. I did my best to behave as though I had a thick skin even when my heart was breaking.
Near the end of August 2010, my husband spotted an property on eBay. 2.56 acres of high mountain desert (pinion pines and sagebrush) in Costilla County Colorado. It was only $3,000 total price. Low down payment, low, low, low, monthly payments. No interest. It sounded too good to be true. We had been searching and searching for a bit of land that even we could pay off with no problem. There it was. It was just sitting there, so much like what I had imagined as I wrote last winter that I cried for joy. We bought it on faith that it was real and it was ours.
We did our best to prep the old 1967 Winnebago we called Frieda for a long trip. It was nearly harvest time, and there were those who said, hold on a while Breezy and we’ll send you south with a bunch of medicine. My husband and I went up the Poudre River valley for a week to await harvest. I hold a “lifetime golden age disabled pass” to our National Parks Service. It allows me to take advantage of the beauty of nature at a discount of at least 50% depending on location. We thought camping there would be a cheap option while we waited. We have a Kiefair family tradition to stop there once a summer anyway, and we had not yet been there in the summer of 2010. We go there to remember our wedding. We were married by a judge in Cheyenne, Wyoming in April of 2008. Then we returned to Colorado. We held our own private ceremony, giving ourselves to each other and the service of our understanding of the creator in a cabin at Glen Echo Lodge. Yes, cannabis was involved in our wedding ceremony. At that time I had a doctor’s notation in my chart that I was using cannabis medicinally, but didn’t yet have the protection of the “red card.”
Old Frieda went up Poudre valley to the campground with only a few complaints. We had to change a coil off her alternator a few times and she drank gas like crazy. When we came back out of the valley, Frieda all but died. We “boon-docked”for weeks in spots we found friendly to the homeless.. Boon-docking is an RV dwellers term for parking in an area where no one cares if you sleep in your vehicle. I met several cardholders there too. A shared bowl between those in a harsh existence is a beautiful thing. It doesn’t really matter what the strain in the bowl is. The feeling you get when you find someone to share a bowl with, someone who needs to ease their pain, and you share it with them, or they with you it is sublime.
I even went crawling to family begging for help I feared would not be offered me unless I bent on the medical/religious cannabis issue. I could only bear to write about the treatment I received from my blood in poetry, my first love in the writing world. Below follows my account of my last encounter with family.
The fever’s high, and my pen is cold.
2 members of the bio family show
The matriarch in her flex-fuel coach
and her husband/coach man to ensure me move a block
My ’68 home sits at a standstill
And I’m desperate enough to be so bold
To put in a call and share vulnerable woe
So I sit and hear my reproach
And hear about her needs that she can’t fill.
She keeps telling me cannabis is evil
And I keep sticking to my guns
I know there would be help for me
If I pretended I’d done wrong.
But I can’t deny what I know to be true
even though the times are hard
And I can’t lie into her face
Even though her heart gets hard.
So I took her jump-start and two fivers
As if my flowers were crack rock
And turned them into two clean sets of clothes
Up on the clearance rack.
I could have bought myself a joint with the help she had to give
But I had to prove to her, and to myself, that I’m not the things she said.
Then racked with cold and fever; for more than a week we waited
We begged, We worked, and we waited through tech issues till we got a payday loan
We waited another day for parts, Then that holy smoke rolled in
We’re not back on the road but progress has been made
I believe I passed a test this week and soon the sailings good
We were provided bags of hope at night
By day we did our best
To figure out which step was right
What action could bring us rest
On Sunday we learned we were welcome here as long as the parking lot stayed clean
And trusty Sir Ands Alot showed, with clean legal herb for me,
as the bags of charity food passed round
So boldly he lit his bowl for me as the cars too passed round
I knew I was safe and hadn’t a care
Amendment one time just for us
Amendment 20 is only a plus.
We bought a chilton manual for our engine, and did our best to fix the RV. I made beaded necklaces and earrings and signs to sell them. I sold none in the end, instead I gave them as gifts of thanks to the people around me who were kind. It became very clear, however that it would take more funds than we had to make old Frieda worthy of the high mountain passes. In fact, she could only go a block or two at a time before refusing to budge like an old stubborn mule. It was also clear that the only people that were gonna help Mr. and Mrs. Kiefiar get home were Mr. and Mrs. Kiefair, perhaps with the exception of intercession on the part of the creator. I took a trip to the hospital for severe abdominal pain, bloody stools, dehydration and rapid weight loss, and other such unpleasant bowel issues. When that got me no answers, I was about ready to break emotionally.
A few days after the hospital incident, we got a visit from law enforcement, as if we didn’t have enough to juggle. On September 27, 2010 at 12:14 am I had this to write:
I send a text to Sir Ands a lot. It has just become my bio sister’s birthday and law enforcement officers have just left my Rv’s front door. It’s Sunday evening, and I’ve just finished consuming communion bread and wine, my smoky sacrament, and fallen asleep. First the lights, but I can only see white flashing in Frieda’s RV rear window. “Here we go.”, Hubby said.
Then Bang, Bang Bang on my door.
“Just a minute.” I answer.
“Longmont PD” they replied
“One moment officer. We’ve been resting, and its been awfully hot.”
“OK, get decent. Do you know L*****?” they queried
“No sir, I do not sir.” My husband replied.
My husband stepped to the door and they asked to see ID.
“Let me grab my wallet officer.” He said
I reached for mine as well.
“Can you step outside please sir.” said an officer
Then quickly on its heels, “Could you come outside with ID ma’am”
“Not an issue sir,” I said nodding my head expectantly, “I have it in my hand.”
I step outside and hand over my ID and my red card.
“Do you have a cat?” they asked
I was toking a “blended” tobacco roll your own. I’d re-lit it. I was half-awake. I’d forgotten I’d stretched my medicine some in rolling tobacco. (A wretched habit that would be long broken if I but had the herb to not need to stretch it with tobacco!)
I said, “Sure officer. I have three.”
“Are they ok?”
“Sure I said. They’re watered. They’re fed. They love Rv living.”
He probes me further, “Listen. The quickest way for us to be sure you aren’t the ones we are looking for is to let us take a look inside.”
The pain in my gut was sharp and deep. And I nearly gasped in pain. My heart skipped a beat. I half wanted to ask for a warrant but instead I found the words to say, “You need to be aware that I am a medical cannabis patient, and you will see paraphernalia, but ok.”
The younger officer looks at me like a light has gone on in his head.
“We’re not here for that right now.” he smiles and says.
And the older officer goes in to see my Social Security squalor. He got to see the disorder caused by disease at play.
I’m so ashamed but without apology I say, “Outside my medicinal cannabis activism, I know no one in Longmont.”
And then they tell me of the one they ARE looking for. I saw them yesterday. Their Rv description sounded like mine. They were reported to be in the same location as I. The LEO assure me we’re causing them no grief. I get the message its all ok. They warn us of cracks we could fall through when it comes time for shift change. They warn about more knocks at my door. They tell me to do just exactly what I did, and promise I’ll do fine. “Do you need help to get going?” We just smile and say, “No thanks officer, we’re doing just fine.”
We decided the land was more important than the RV and made the decision to sell her. We got my compassion delivery of early pull cannabis I got to trim myself. It was enough for about 2 weeks at my conservation dosing schedule. We were finally ready to make our move.
We packed all of our possessions, including our three cats into a rented moving truck. As we were packing the truck, I listed the RV on craigslist as a Karma special for much less than she was worth. Before we could even get all of our things out, she was sold. The baby-boomer gentleman handyman who bought her patiently waited as we got the rest of our things out. Then he patiently waited for us to deliver it. He made no complaints when she broke down in the intersection and he had to come tow her to his house. We even had a great conversation about how much medical cannabis has done for me personally. This is part of what I had to say to him:
Just to tell you how much cannabis has given me back, let me say this:
In 1997 I was inducted into the National Library of Congress at age 17 for a poem I wrote titled “The Sun is High” It was in a collection of poetry called Chambers of Time. It looked like I had a bright future in store for me. This was before the pain and exhaustion got to be a constant issue. I did not publish a word again until January/February 2010. Why? I was incapable. I got my medicinal cannabis license in June of 2009. It expires on November 22, 2010. How do I pay the doctor’s fee? I know will not be covered by medicare and/or medicaid? Why do I even have to re-certify when even the Social Security Administration admits I have no hope of ever being able to pull in a paycheck for myself? Shouldn’t the money people like me save the American taxpayer in those programs be enough to make this a little easier on me and my peers?
He agreed with me, even though he wasn’t sure how you got a card. He even gave me his email address and made me promise to write, and I intend to when I have the strength.
We were finally free to go to our land. We had a motor that would run to get us there, but now we had no shelter. I knew that winter at 9,000 feet is harsh. -15 degree days and nights are a real possibility on a regular basis. I was deceived in no way about what the cold can do in this area of Colorado. My family has survived in this area of Colorado in remote locations before. I was gifted a goose down comforter by a canna-brother and sister to ensure my warmth. I dubbed these particular individuals Sir Ands ALOT and Lady G. They know who they are and their generosity knows no bounds. I was not as worried as all my social media friends and regulars seemed to be.
We were out of options, and desperate enough that we’d rather risk dying on our own land than linger in the city any longer. We used part of the proceeds from Frieda to buy a tent that appeared to be at least 3 season. I knew internet service and cell service would be spotty in Costilla County. We knew we would have no electricity, and no source of water. We bought a pre-paid web capable phone of a service the land owner said worked pretty well (it didn’t). We had laid in stock of dry goods over the past few months and figured that even without transportation, we had enough food to survive. Its not as if my body lets me consume anywhere near a normal amount of calories in a day anyway.
There was so much joy in my heart as we made our way south. Despite the fact that I knew life in the high mountain desert would be harsh, I could feel burdens lifting off of me with each mile marker. I knew I was no longer renting. I no longer had to pay money month after month and worry when someone would say, “Move along cannabis smoker. We won’t tolerate your kind here anymore.” The closer we got to the land, the more I realized that it hadn’t been myself I was angry for at all. I realized that each time I had gotten frustrated at my circumstances, I wasn’t really angry at what was happening to me. I was angry because I knew that for each hardship I endured, there were easily hundreds of others other medicinal cannabis patient going through the same thing and likely worse. We are on the buses with you who do not partake, we are among the homeless, we are the some of your neighbors you chat with, we work along side you. I also realized that I had given a lot of people my permission mentally to make me feel bad about my medication. I decided it had to stop.
Sometime the third week of September, I wrote a bit about this aspect of myself in my little composition notebook. This is what I had to say about giving others my permission to make me feel bad about my medication.
I choose to give no one the right to make me feel bad or guilty about my medication. I’d prefer to tell the truth even when it makes my personal life inconvenient or painful emotionally. I’d rather educate, then go medicate. Not every mind is receptive, most are closed shut like an antiquated bear trap on a surprisingly young stereotype regarding my medication. The best way to open that mind is to share with it a real person’s experience. I am in the company of such historical figures as Queen Victoria whose name alone can conjure in the mind an entire era of ridiculous stereotypes such as men being driven wild sexually by the sight of a table leg, hence the invention of table cloths to make the tables more “decent” And yet in that time, there was no stigma for cannabis use. At one time, the very Queen of England, the queen of decency and decorum herself toked a pipe at her “time of the month.” One can only surmise thatBuckingham Palace, has on at least one occasion hosted Our Lady Mary Jane or Cannabis Indica as Queenie would have called it. Don’t believe me? Look it up. Can’t find it? Catch me online and I have a link.
Queen Victoria is but one example. It’s a relatively recent one if you consider the lengthy history humans have had with cannabis. Just spend some time with your favorite search engine and you’ll be surprised at what you learn.
So toke well friends, Your in good company!
No matter what life threw at us, we continued to light our pipe in praise to our creator whenever we had herb to fill it. Often we filled it with what we affectionately call poor man’s hash ~ cleanings from our boiled bowls. Each day we would thank the creator for the strength to live and give another day. I’ve got a poem for that too, but I’m sure I’m running long.
Despite all the hardship, we finally were going somewhere that felt like home. We got to what was represented as our land after dark on October 3, 2010. There was an awesome lightning show in the sky that night, and it seemed the creator was matching us hit for hit. The next morning, we cleared sagebrush, set up the tents, unloaded the moving truck into the tent and ensured the cats were safe.
Not a week later, we were provided with a tent camper someone had left up on the mesa for anyone who might need shelter. Its canvas was worn and weather rotted in many places. Still we gave thanks and proceeded with patching and decided to sleep in the more intact end. We found that our two closest neighbors, Seanie Beth and Tom, each about eight tenths of a mile away, were kind beyond measure. I continued to be open and honest with those around me about my medicinal cannabis need. Neither of my neighbors had a card, neither really wanted or needed one, but neither looked down their nose at me for my medicinal use. Both have provided me with cash to walk into a dispensary for cannabis to ease my suffering. They even let me earn it so I personally would feel better about it.
Our neighbor Tom loaned us a plot map of our section of the mesa. We discovered by October 18th that we were on the wrong land! I called the only lawyers I knew, cannabis lawyers. I only needed some direction on which way to jump. I knew I was squatting on land I did not own through no fault of my own. I knew that one of the land owners took personal issue with cannabis users. I listened and responded calmly as one owner detailed every perceived wrong cannabis users had ever committed against them. I was scared. I was tired beyond measure. I knew that I was in the middle. Things necessary for survival had come up missing inexplicably and I truthfully still don’t know who was responsible. My cats died one by one. I cried like a mad woman, then I got my husband a dog for his birthday and to help us stand watch. I didn’t know what to think. When I was able to get no direction from any lawyer, I called the property owner and showed him what I saw on the map. In the end, he saw it too. He knocked some money off my purchase price, lowered my payments for a year and promised to help us move. My husband and I cleared sage once more. In the end, our land owner moved the tent-trailer and no more. My husband moved much of our things by hand. I wanted to cry as he patiently carried them up the dirt road and to the proper lot. I kept wanting to help, he kept reminding me to save my strength. A neighbor came by and inquired what he was doing. He and my neighbor used her car to move the rest. We gave thanks we were finally in the right spot.
I went to all the cannabis shops I could get rides to, and only found one worth giving the respect of a mention. La Casa Canna “bis” at 205 Main Street in San Luis, Co. This dispensary has been were I have chosen to spend my few cannabis dollars. It has been a joy to work with them. They keep their herb in glass. They keep that glass refrigerated. Their selection is really awesome. Even in the city I would be impressed with the number of strains they offer. Their bud tend is knowledgeable and always does his best to give me medication with the effect I happen to need that day. It doesn’t matter if I need it for an appetite, to reduce pain so I can sleep or write, or whatever else I may need that day. They always have something with the effect I need that day medically. I’d also like to note that they carry my favorite strain, lamb’s breath on an almost continual basis. That is a real rarity in my personal experience. Even better than that, they have a heart. A phone call from Mr. Lauve to La Casa was all it took to get me some compassion. Mr. Lauve graciously offered to donate advertising space in Cannabis Health News Magazine in exchange for medication for me from La Casa. As I type these words, tears of gratitude stream down my face. I am in awe of how the creator keeps providing for me, first the land at a price we could afford, then lowering the purchase price, now providing me with medication and friends in the desert. I am grateful. I’d like to send a special thank you out to not only Jason Lauve, but also to all the staff and growers at La Casa, along with the owners, Mr. Leonard Garcia and Mr. Arian Maestas.
The tent camper is often cold. We still do with out things we need on a regular basis. We ran out of propane before we even got to the right land. I don’t mind. I have peace of mind that I am where I am meant to be, and a loving creator watches over me. We have plans to build a wooden structure with a Teepee architectural style and an open fire pit. Once the wooden frame is up, we will wall it in with the native volcanic stone and mortar. We plan for this to be our guest house. and to get us through the winter. We’re building our earth-ship when we can. We don’t know where the lumber and mortar are coming from, but we have faith our creator will lead the way. The doctor down here is sending me to a specialist to have my growths biopsied and my gut checked over. I still loose weight like crazy, but sometimes I win some back. Whatever my body may have in store for me, at least I seem to be back to my peaceful self. I do not know how or if I can re-certify my license when it expires in a matter of weeks and should have been taken care of months ago. Mr. Lauve graciously is trying to help me there too, even as he runs around trying to help us all at the Department of Revenue. He understands I don’t want to have to choose to go back to prescriptions I can afford or choose to “break the law” and use what my body needs.
I have faith that I will not have to make those choices. I know I will not give up my sacrament, I will not deny what I believe to be true. I have freedom to believe what I like when it comes to religion under the constitution of this country. On that I stand. In the first amendment I wrap myself and hope. I am grateful that cannabis helps me enter my creator’s throne room grateful for what I have instead of seeing all the wrong all around me and nothing more. If I had seen only the bad in this story, I never would have made it all the way to my land. I would have surely given up somewhere. Cannabis helps me medically for sure, but it is also a big part of the faith that keeps me hanging on through all the pain. I don’t worship a plant, I worship the creator of that seed-bearing plant. Kiefair Keepsakes was the stepping stone to a dream, the path just didn’t play out the way I thought it would. I still wouldn’t change a step. As hard as the path may have seemed, we didn’t take one single step alone. Sometimes its hard to do the right thing when faced with hard choices. Trust the good in you, make a leap of faith every now and again. I’m sure glad I did. Especially when I see the wild and human raised (but returned to the wild) horses in my meadow some afternoons.