Category Archives: New Jersey

Why I STILL Give Back!

April 18, 2012

The average person on social security disability or state assistance due to illness goes under-medicated and often COMPLETELY un-medicated for several weeks out of the month…. At current market prices, few can afford anywhere near their medically necessary doses particularly if they are using cannabis as a part of an opiate reduction/replacement therapy.

Meanwhile, their caregivers grow plants in the names of these low income patients and profit off of the cannabis the low income person is incapable of purchasing for themselves. This “excess” herb goes into concentrates or edibles in the best case, and into the black market in others. Often, the low income person’s medicine is sold out of state where it is worth more. I have been on the registry since June of 2009.
When I began writing for the cannabis cause, I received SSD, SSI, food stamps, medicare and medicaid.  My husband was on disability as well. After the state began encroaching on our benefits by reducing/removing programs without cause or explanation, My husband left me. Under social security, if you are both disabled, you are a single person, not 2 people. He was more capable of paying into the system, so he got a larger check than I.
I was left living on $350 a month plus food stamps. Together it gave me $17.42 to live on. At the beginning of the 2012, I got a cost of living DECREASE. In March, my food stamps were cut to nothing without explanation again. I broke my pelvis and went to the emergency room where I found out I no longer have medicaid. I have been left to live on $10.61 a Day! How am I supposed to afford my medication? I was on the highest legal dosages of medications like Fentanyl. I’ve had opportunity to be with others who are better off than I am and have seen benefits from 7+ grams daily treatment of cannabis via ingestion, smoking, and topical applications. The cheapest dispensaries charge about $25 for 3.5 grams. This means that my medication costs nearly 5 times my daily budget for all my needs  combined (housing, food, clothing, transportation, medication ect.)
How is this in any way sane or compassionate?
It has been a really long, difficult journey. Peraps some people need to be reminded of the road I have traveled. Here are several essays I have written on this topic in chronological order. Please remember that I share my story on behalf of other people who choose not to step forward.

“A Long Strange Journey of 1 Cannabis Patient’s Colorado Cannabis Activsm”
or
“All About Breezy Kiefair”
some of you may have already read most of this on my fb/various blogs/in print magazines… but…. for those who didn’t here goes….. your gonna need a few bowls and maybe
some tissues…. just saying
Article I wrote to be published in Cannabis Health News mag

January 2010 at 2:58am

How KiefAir Keepsakes came to be

Copyrighted material  All Rights Reserved see message at the bottom of essay
Recently, a portion of this essay was published in Cannabis Health News Magazine
You can read that portion of the essay on pages 37-39 here

I tell you this story, not for myself, but for those in similar situations without the strength or ability to speak.

I’ll begin with an Untitled Poem

I sat in the forums
my voice screaming anxiety
My last path of recourse
after failed by society

And then came a Storm-crow
took me under her wing
with a word of kindness
and a link to a forum

Now desperate in my searching
in page after page
I grew angry and shrewish
till time tired my rage

I followed that link
to the place with verdant Passion
Where the welcome is kind
And politeness the fashion!

Once there, I heard the call
of a tired woman in the west
Her heart tired and sore
So I helped her how i knew best.

Now this place was surprising
So different and new
It’s truly a place
Where dreams go to come true.

And along came a sprocket
renegade of the system with his kind words
my heart insisted I must trust him.

I found a Canadian angel
who lived on a farm
Like a mother I’ve always wanted
Keeping all from harm.

And I came to this place,
at first to be heard, then to help business
but what I found there instead
Was warm Love through cold Christmas

The woman in the west
became my morning companion
Alone, in the desert
she was a friend when I had none.

I befriended The renegade sprocket
and what did I find
but exactly the help I needed
Man was the almighty on time!

it’ss a place
to help you get medicine to grow
But what grows alongside
are our dreams and what we know

My name is Breezy Kiefair and I am a writer, artist, and Medical Marijuana Activist from Longmont, CO.
In this essay, I will explore with you the journey that led me first to Medical Marijuana, and then to Medical Marijuana Activism.
Let me begin with some background information. I am a female over 25 and under 40. I have severe and debilitating Fibromyalgia. My illness is of a severity that forces doctors to shake their heads and prescribe one ineffective man made medicine on top of another while I waste away and my quality of life diminishes. The onset of my symptoms began almost instantly after my birth in Canon City, CO in the late 1970’s. I was allergic to my mother’smilk, and for the first 2 years of my life I lived on a strict diet of goat’s milk (and
goat’s milk yogurt), bananas, and whole wheat bread made home-made from whole wheat ground by my mother, and honey. I was allergic to practically everything, and could not tolerate to be in the same room with many everyday substances. I grew stronger as I got older, and a bit less allergic, but I remained fragile.

Breezy’s Bio and Background

One day when I was about three years old, I walked up to my mother with a “Little Golden Book” and began reading. My mother was of course flabbergasted as I read page after page of a story about Donald Duck and Chip n’ Dale. I kept reading to her and finally finished the story. “You memorized that didn’t you?” My mother probed. “No mommy I read it.” I demanded back. I could tell by the look on her face that she thought I was making up a story, so I said “I’m not lying mommy! Give me that paper I’ll prove it to you.” Imagine her surprise as her three year old, sickly, undersized, underweight, little girl began reading the business page to her.
A few months after the day I began reading in the kitchen, my parents decided to get a divorce. Not long after that, the entity then known as the Colorado Department of Social Services (hereafter referred to as DSS, known by several different names since then) began their influence upon my life. They began with regulations on visitation between myself, my siblings and my father. In later years, DSS became my parent.
When I was about 8 years old, I began having problems with headaches and losing consciousness. When I first began to complain of headaches, my grandmother thought it was brought on by my early menstrual cycle. When I continued to complain at all times during my cycle, I was fitted for glasses. When glasses did nothing to stop my complaining, I was taken back to the allergist’s office for years and years of treatment. I was diagnosed with regional inhalant allergies causing asthma, sinus headaches, and a whole host of other symptoms including chronic fatigue and chronic head pain. I was treated me with allergy shots and a barrage of nasal sprays and pills. Years later, when I was still in pain, x rays were in order and they first discovered a tendency for pre-cancerous/cancerous growths in my body. Polyps were removed from my sinus cavities once in childhood and once in adolescence along with the correction of a deviated septum, and removal of my wisdom teeth from my sinus cavity. They fixed all of the “physical deformities” they could find, and yet I was still in pain.
Concurrent with all this allergy history, I was taken away from my family entirely by the State of Colorado. I was placed in a series of foster homes and finally into a totalitarian girls school. During this same time period, the State decided as my sole legal guardian to place me on disability. The state of Colorado had “adopted me” in a sense. My name was changed legally and my parents rights to me as a child were formally, legally and permanently terminated. None of it was my choice (except the name change after years of foster care), it was not discussed with me, I was a child. Let me clarify, the first time I was put on disability, I was in middle school and the State decided as my sole legal guardian to place me on disability.
My medical care as a child was much as it is now, only with the exception that kids get a bit more coverage. Children get dental benefits, I have to wait until a tooth can’t be saved or has a massive infection to even be seen. Being on the program at a young age, I did not accumulate much in the way of work money in my SSI account, although I did attempt to work several times. Unfortunately every time I did try to work, an employer or doctor would get tired of me being sick and put a stop to it one way or another. That is why my monthly amounts from SSI/SSD are so low, not because I am disabled, but because I couldn’t work to pay into the system like the people who receive these benefits only when they reach retirement after a full life of paying in.
Also did you know the government actually penalizes people for getting married if you are both on disability? They treat you as one person and give you one person’s pay! For love, and for spiritual reasons I decided that was a risk I would just have take. So, I married my love who happened to be on disability also anyway, but we will get to that.
In 1994, while I was living at the totalitarian girls school, I wrote in a notebook almost constantly. Nearly every day, my notebooks were confiscated by one staff person or another as “contraband.” They confiscated it not because of what it was, but because of the words I had written in them. There were a few staff members however, that encouraged me to write as much as my muse would allow.
One day, a staff member who was usually very encouraging confiscated my notebook. I was devastated.
This was one of the ones who usually slid me more notebooks on the sly. Little did I know that staff lady had a purpose for confiscating my notebook. She entered some of my poetry in a contest for underprivileged youth who also wrote poetry, and I won the honor along with several other teens!
I was awarded Ginsberg Scholarship up at Naropa University (then the Naropa Institute) during the 20th anniversary festival. For nearly 2 weeks I got out of that hole every day. I got to sit at the feet of Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and many of their contemporaries and learn. There were writing workshops taught by the writers, poetry readings, lectures, so many wonders my poor head just swam with delight. It was an opportunity of a lifetime and I drank deep from its cup.
The first night we were there, the event was a poetry reading. I wanted an unobstructed view, and they had the first 3 rows of the auditorium blocked off for Ginsberg Scholars, so I took a seat in the front row. When the lights dimmed, there was no one on either side of me. When the lights came up for intermission, I looked to my left and there sat Ed Saunders (descendant of Edgar Allen Poe and in the band “The Fugs” and to my right sat Allen Ginsberg. I looked him dead in the eye and said, “You’re Allen Ginsberg aren’t you?” (what a dumb question I thought to myself)
He replied, “Yes I am, and who are you?”
I eagerly gave him my middle name (my birth middle name…. I went by my middle name at the time and my name hadn’t been legally changed yet) He and I and several other Poets and Ginsberg Scholars headed out the door for a smoke at intermission.
Several days later, Mr. Ginsberg and I walked outside together. I seem to remember him making a comment about one of the boys in the group (who happened to be right walking directly in front of us) being sexy. When we got outside, we shared a cigarette. I had none and they were strictly prohibited at the girls school, but the staff person who should have been monitoring me happened to be away. I happened to have a big 4 inch thick binder of poetry. The staff at the school decided to let me have my accumulated confiscated poetry for this special event only.
As we were smoking, Mr. Ginsberg noticed my binder and asked if he could have a peak at it. My trembling hands offered my poetry to this famous, brilliant man. He thumbed through randomly, reading with little expression on his face other than peace. He asked me to point out some of the poems I thought were particularly nice, which I eagerly did. When he was done, he spoke.
“Laura,” (my middle name at the time) he says with a peaceful smile, “If you should ever stop writing, I will haunt you whether I am living or dead, until the day you die.”
That is all he said to me about my writing. In 1997, a few months before I graduated High School, Allen Ginsberg passed away. I was devastated, but I continued to write, never forgetting his threat to haunt me. Life circumstances, prevented me from attending Naropa right out of High School, but the dream of attending this University stuck with me.
During my senior year in 1997, I got a strange illness that nearly prevented me from graduating. I was sore and tired all the time. My head hurt constantly and all I wanted to do was sleep. I was working as an Au Pair for some nice people with 2 boys suffering from ADHD. The mother of the family was a nurse and she took me in to be tested for Mono. All the docs were sure I had mono, but the test came back negative. No one had any answers.
After High School, I did a Jack Kerouac on the road type journey and ended up in Washington DC. I had awful headaches, and aches and pains in general.
“I’m too young to feel like this.” I’d tell myself.
However I had the benefit of youth, and my condition was in remission most of the time.
While living in DC, I met and married a man. We had a child the doctors said could not happen. I began contacting in my 5th month of pregnancy, but I held that baby in until 5 weeks before term. Hearing Westley cry for the first time was one of the biggest highlights of my life… Especially considering the 14 miscarriages before him and the 2 after.
My husband was abusive, so when my son, was 4 months old, I left his daddy to try and prevent abuse. I will skip ahead a bit and just say that Westley was murdered when he was nearly 19 months old. The person I suspect for the crime was tried and acquitted due to an oversight on the part of the prosecuting attorney when giving instructions to the jury.
I spent time in the Pueblo State mental hospital and in jail on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter. The charges against me were deemed unworthy for me to be bound over for trial, but the whole process (from arrest in a mental hospital in Colorado, to 2 weeks in shackles during extradition, to the dropping of the charges in Michigan) took nearly 6 months. I had to stay in Michigan so I could testify, but I had no place to go.
I was placed in the mental hospital again because I was homeless, and the state thought I would be more comfortable in the mental hospital than in a shelter. Grief over my son’s murder was a convenient excuse to have me committed again. Eventually I was placed in an “Assisted Living Home” and I went back on Supplemental Security Income,/Social Security Disability (hereafter SSI/SSD). I did not want to be on these programs at all, but I was too ill to work, and really had no other option if I wanted help from other agencies.
I stayed in that roach infested hole, and watched my condition deteriorate until the trial was over. While I lived there, I met a woman who did some work in exchange for room and board. She was dying of Lupus and cancer, and she smoked cannabis as a medicine to ease her suffering. It was illegal at the time, but I tried it and it did help. However, I was unwilling to be breaking the law on a regular basis. When the trial was over, I found a more affordable and cleaner living arrangement. The woman suffering died a few months after I moved out.
Finances dictated that I stay close by, and I did for 6 years. I had a partner at the time, and we were engaged to be married, but I also had this other friend who was in love with me. He waited 6 years for me to make up my mind about the man I was with. My Fibromyalgia (although we didn’t know to call it that then) progressed from just headaches and a few body aches every sporadically to constant driving pain.
On August 21, 2002 I had my last pain free moment. I have not been in “remission” since then. I have not had one moment completely free from pain since this day. I know because I keep detailed records on my condition. The doctors had no answers for me. They couldn’t even tell me what I had. Yet, they handed out prescription after prescription…… Narcotics, anti-seizure medication, muscle relaxers, nausea pills, blood pressure meds (used off label), anti-depressants (even though I wasn’t depressed,) migraine drugs, on and on until I was taking 20+ different pharmaceuticals every day!
I was accepted into Lansing Community College intending to get a certificate in American Sign Language (ASL). I did this so I could be an interpreter. I was also pursuing a BA with a major of Ancient History with a minor in literature. I got stellar grades, but my doctors pulled me out of school before I could earn one single credit.
I went to the ER frequently out of sheer desperation. I went just so I could get comfortable enough to have a bit of sleep after a week or more of lingering in a painful place that seemed to be located in deep within the realm of a narcotic distorted pain haze, a no-where-land that seemed to be somewhere between life and death. The doctors in the emergency room and elsewhere often treated me as though I was an addict, and not a pain patient, AND I WAS MISERABLE!
During this time, my oldest brother, Shannon, died. He’d suffered a severe brain injury years before and was in pain constantly. One doctor wasn’t paying enough attention to his prescription pad and he prescribed my brother’s death (unintentionally). My brother had tried cannabis in his earlier years, but was trying to be a law abiding citizen. He was not educated on his rights to use the plant (CO did have a small registry ad the time) and died due to his pharmaceuticals.
I often wonder if he’s still be with us if he had only used cannabis instead of some of the medications he was on.
After my brother had passed on, I visited some biological family in Colorado in the winter of 2006-2007 and decided not to come back to this man, except to collect my things. I went back and collected what was important and started over in Colorado. I also sent a letter to the sweet man who had been waiting for me all this time.
My future husband #2 sold all of his possessions except what he could carry on the bus, and came to Colorado just to have a chance to be my love. We moved to Boulder, CO just blocks away from Naropa University where my life had been influenced so much. I dreamed for years of attending, but my health prevented it. I finally got stubborn and bullied my doctors into letting me go.
I was accepted into Naropa University almost immediately after I applied. For two semesters in 2007-2008 school year I made an effort to get a degree (Major in Writing and Poetics, with a double minor of Art History and visual Art. I had hoped this degree would give me access to jobs more suited to my bodies abilities. Unfortunately, my immune response is weak, and was pulled out by my doctors both times. My grades were stellar. Naropa wanted me there, I wanted to be there, but government programs required I be enrolled a certain amount of credit hours (beyond the abilities of my body) in order to keep my funding.
I married my sweetheart in April of 2008. I attempted a semester at Grand Canyon University online in Fall 2008 to the same effect. Now I have many thousands of dollars in student loans I can’t pay because I attempted to get a degree so I could have a job my body could handle.

Breezy with a Medical Marijuana License

Currently (Feb 2010), my sole health insurance is provided to me is under medicare/medicaid. This is because I am completely disabled and the doctors do not allow me to work, or even to attend school any more. I assure you that this is only for the time being… I am getting stronger all the time! Before I was placed on the Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry in June 2009, I would have to visit a doctors office several times a month, sometimes several times a week, sometimes with several appointments booked the same day with specialists and tests, painful and difficult physical therapy that seemed to harm more than hurt, etc., and there were to many trips to the emergency room to count.
Since I was approved for the medical marijuana registry I haven’t needed near the amount of services from the medicaid/medicare program. In fact, I’ve had to see a doctor twice since June 3, 2009 when the doctor signed my forms. Once to have 14 teeth pulled, a little bit of dental work made necessary by a combination of years of no dental benefits unless my teeth couldn’t be saved and needed to be pulled, being on narcotics for almost a decade, and dealing with severe nausea/vomiting/malnutrition.
The other doctor visit (and medications that followed) were for a bad cold that I caught at the dentists office. I haven’t seen a doctor at all otherwise, although I do call my family doctor to check in and let her know I am doing well.
Before I was on the MMJ registry, I was on so many medications (20 plus medications taken at various intervals though the day) that I felt like I was taking a pill every 2 minutes…. Number of traditional prescriptions I take daily now – TWO. (non narcotics) For 6 months, I didn’t need any pharmaceutical support, but I am having trouble keeping my proper medication (MMJ) in the house, so I had to get something to fill in the gaps. These medications are cheap (together it cost under $5 for a month supply with my medicare part D.)
The taxpayers were paying for all those medications I was on before through medicare/medicaid, plus all the doctor visits to get, maintain, and change dosing on those prescriptions right? Some of those medications by themselves cost the government thousands of dollars a month! Many could not have refills on them by law and required a doctor visit every time I needed more.
I always felt guilty about my personal burden on the American Taxpayers. But now I don’t have to feel guilty cause I have given a present to the American Taxpayer. I got on the MMJ registry. Now I do not go to the mainstream doctor unless I need antibiotics. I am off all prescriptions. I had tobacco quit (been trying for 20 years to quit) until I was without medicine too long and got stressed out, but I plan to quit again.
The government of the United States and the State of Colorado (as well as other states) are all saving a ton of money due to the growth in the medical marijuana industry and so are the dispensaries and caregivers. As a patient caught in the middle, I decided that I may have a unique perspective on this issue and have decided to throw my two cents in on the topic.
If you listen to the news, it seems to be the government officials vs. the dispensary owners. here in Colorado. This should not be the case. The patients needs should be at the heart of this discussion, particularly the needs of low income medical marijuana patients on Social Security Disability and Social Security Income (SSD/SSI)
When I began to write the essay that I posted in the online forums, I decided that my joining the Medical Marijuana Registry was my Christmas Present to the American Taxpayer for the year 2009.  And posted the title as “My Personal Christmas Gift to the American Taxpayer.”
I posted much of the content you have read above and will read below all over the internet in an effort to help myself and others in my position. I sat in the online forums begging:
“Is there someone, anyone out there who hears my plea and wants to help me actually do something other than sit in online forums and complaining about the problem and hope someone does something”
I was heartbroken to find little positive response and a lot of negative/cruel responses by persons who clearly are recreational users and not medical users. The treatment of women in some of these cannabis forum rooms was often appalling. I finally decided to stop beating a dead horse and set up a store front to help me get the funds I need for my own medicine, food and other needs and to donate 10% of our profits to provide medical marijuana for free to low income patients in need
A nice lady with the screen name Granny Stormcrow took the time out of her busy day and posted a link to http://www.GreenPassion.org
I followed that link and found a true forum where people can debate and discuss this controversial subject maturely. Check it out if you have the time…. But I digress.

The Government is Saving/Making a Ton on the MMJ program!

The government is saving many thousands of dollars a month on me alone, and yet I have to struggle to obtain this money saver for the American taxpayer. With much cut in government spending on the part of an individual… all SSI/SSD MMJ patients should get a medal or something. Now think how many individuals are saving the government this money in the State of Colorado alone…. Let alone the other 13 states and the District of Columbia! We all need medals or medicine at the very least!
How many others are there like me? Meanwhile, the price of my medicine increases as the MMJ movement grows. My family and I have been stuck having to make really hard decisions like, do we pawn our wedding and engagement rings to get my medicine? Or do we pawn them and buy some food? Or do we keep the rings for sentimental reasons, lay here and just starve and have seizures from pain and lack of medicine/food.
I ended up pawning all the rings, having already sold else of value to the pawn store and bought both medicine and food. The money I received for my treasured bands did not buy nearly enough of either medicine or food. We promised ourselves we would get them back, but I ended up crying my eyes out when I realized I just can’t afford to get them out of hock. The deadline to get them back passed weeks ago. I live in a Winnebago and have been in real danger of starving to death at times. Now don’t get me wrong, my life has been profoundly changed by this medicine, and any hardship I may have to endure is truly worth the benefits of this plant. I will not compromise and go back to the narcotics and other prescriptions just because I can get them paid for or for any other reason. I would rather be in pain when I am without my medical marijuana than take a morphine and get sicker.
Now I ask the members of the Government of the Great State of Colorado, and the Government of the United States of America, if you had child who was sick all their life and was suffering would you leave them to languish in pain and poverty just because they are an adult it was no longer your legal responsibility?Would you turn your child in to go to prison if that child chooses the use a plant that allows them to function again? Of course you wouldn’t. You would do whatever was in your power to make your child as comfortable as possible.
As an adult child, I now boldly but humbly step up to my adopted parent, the Government of the State of Colorado, and by extension the Government of the United States of America, and ask, “Guardian Government, Your ward respectfully asks of you, do you it intend to focus on the dispensaries who are the money in this discussion, or do you intend to focus on your citizens whose LIVES are being saved by this plant? You discuss care giving so much in this debate, but the treatment of patients on the part of many in this debate has proven differently. I know you have hearts, please use them as you consider these policies. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue. This should be a people issue.
Medical Marijuana therapy works. I am now well enough to manage a website as well as volunteer and be an advocate for others in need. I have regularly traded my services in clerical/office/computer work in dispensaries for medications when I am strapped for cash. All of these things would have been impossible for me nine short months ago when I was all but bedridden and and in so much pain I had to keep myself from overdosing.

Medical Marijuana, Social Stigma, and Family/Friends

Sometimes family members and the community can make it very hard to be a low income medical marijuana patient too. I have heard many stories of people not living with family/friends any longer because they are shunned for their medicinal use. I’ve experienced this shunning first hand myself. The stereotype of the “typical” marijuana user is further damaging these people with no where else to turn!
This herb is profoundly changing lives! It is healing people, body, mind, and soul. Yet its legal users get treated as if they are using it for recreation. I believe recreational use is a VALID use of the plant, further I feel it be legalized and would be an important source of revenue for America if it were to be legal once again. However, that is not why I personally NEED this plant.
This plant allows me to eat, to sleep, to get out of my bed, to manage my pain enough to have a job, to be involved with life instead of living in a nightmare world just praying for the end to come soon. If you happen to be a Fibromyalgia patient praying for the end, you can be praying for a long time as this is not a terminal disease.

My Disease… Fibromyalgia

The Mayo clinic website (see footnote 1) describes symptoms of Fibromyalgia as including
Signs and symptoms of Fibromyalgia can vary, depending on the weather, stress, physical activity or even the time of day.
Widespread pain and tender points
The pain associated with Fibromyalgia is described as a constant dull ache, typically arising from muscles. To be considered widespread, the pain must occur on both sides of your body and above and below your waist.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by additional pain when firm pressure is applied to specific areas of your body, called tender points. Tender point locations include:
Back of the head,Between shoulder blades,Top of shoulders,Front sides of neck,Upper chest,Outer elbows,Upper hips,Sides of hips,Inner knees
Fatigue and sleep disturbances
People with Fibromyalgia often awaken tired, even though they seem to get plenty of sleep. Experts believe that these people rarely reach the deep restorative stage of sleep. Sleep disorders that have been linked to Fibromyalgia include restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea.
Co-existing conditions
Many people who have Fibromyalgia also may have:
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Depression
Endometriosis
Headaches
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Lupus
Osteoarthritis
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Restless legs syndrome
Rheumatoid arthritis

And a whole host of other conditions not on the Mayo clinic list.

Modern Western medicine can’t even agree on the causes/mechanisms of this disease because they don’t understand it.
It has been suggested that this is a psychological disease only, a psychosis created when a hypochondriac hears about Fibromyalgia. The advocates of this theory say that the symptoms of this disease are all in the patient’s head. I do not personally believe in this theory, but even if this disease is all in my head, the medical marijuana still helps.
Other sources on Fibromyalgia suspect that this disease has been around for all time, a genetic disease with a trigger, and its symptoms are found even in individuals of remote tribes of Africa and the Amazon who have no contact with the west. So why should I use new untested man-made medicine created by people who don’t understand my disease and possibly believe it doesn’t exist? Especially when that disease has been treated with herbs known to posses pain relieving qualities for many generations of humans?
I am confident that If I had the proper medicine, I would have pain free moments again. This herb doesn’t just treat pain sensations, it helps correct causes. Perhaps with the right regimen, daily pain could be a thing of the past for me.
My disease, Fibromyalgia, may not kill you on its own, but it can certainly make you wish for death. There are near epidemic levels of Fibromyalgia patients and pain patients in general who are hurting so bad they are suicidal, or worse succeed in taking their own life.

MMJ works, we just need to make sure people get appropriate dosages.

We need a program to help low income patients get their medicine!
If you are low income and can’t afford your “mainstream pharmacy” medicine, you can go to various organizations and they will help you to buy your medicine, sometimes even on a regular basis if they are necessary and not covered by insurance, but that doesn’t include medical marijuana.
If you are brave enough to speak up and ask for help getting your medicine at these organizations, you will probably find the door closed firmly in your face. You may also find that other services from the organization become difficult or impossible to obtain as well. This is out and out discrimination in my opinion. If your medicine is MMJ no one is willing to help you unless you happen to be lucky enough to find a care giver who actually gives a care if you have medicine or not! I recently had it out with Boulder County Food stamp office, and I suspect me listing my MMJ expenses on the form without shame is the root of the problem.
“So what,” you say? Well let’s look at this… The high price can force a person in my position to go back to buying their medicine off the street where it is less expensive, but also less potent, less safe.
1)You never know what has been added to you herb to increase the genetically weak herbs potency artificially with other street drugs or various substances to make it seem as though there is more weight to the medicine.
2)It is much more dangerous to obtain, and the process of obtaining it can be a risk to your health in many ways. Long periods in the cold and encounters with strange germs can put a person right back in their sick bed or the hospital.
3)The money spent on street grade medication often goes back to fund gang and criminal activity. This is something that most medical marijuana patients do not want to support and got on the registry to stop supporting. I personally counted avoiding purchasing on the street as one of the largest pluses to getting on the registry, and yet I see people like me being forced back there.
4)The price of cannabis on the street directly influences the costs of Medical Grade in the Dispensaries. In this respect, Cannabis is a commodity like any other, and as such is subject to price fluctuation when artificially influenced. It doesn’t really have anything to do with how much it costs to grow it and transport it to the patient. It has to do with how much it costs on the street.

What is to be done if you have no medicine? Where can you go?

There are few funds or organizations willing to help people like me get my medicine when I can’t afford it, and you have to really dig in your need to find them. When I did find them, they could only help once or not at all due to the demand. Many patients do not have the strength for this search when they are lacking appropriate medication. It took me months of daily web crawling to dig any up organizations up. Now people who wish to help provide medicine to people in this position can buy something for themselves or someone else, something they may have bought anyway and someone gets medicine.
If someone who has medicine/money wants to help a person in my position, likewise there is no way for a person who wants to help to donate money to people in a position similar to mine. Right now low income persons only relief seems to be individuals/churches/caregivers being kind. So I created this gift company, and here we are.
One church I know of is greenfaith ministry. The Reverend of greenfaith ministry is also known as the 420 Reverend. I have had contact with Reverend Brandon Baker from this organization who is a great man. He drives over 50 miles to get me some medicine for free. Unfortunately he is one man and the demand is high. Rev. B Baker is quoted as saying, “Tell the (Denver City my edit) council a majority amount of local churches support un-regulated access for all needy mmj patients, give them my name and number if they say they want to meet with any of the spiritual mmj community church leaders!”

Dispensaries are necessary, but not without a social conscience

Now the other side of the coin. It is no secret that the people who own dispensaries are making money on patients like me too.
We need these dispensaries for a variety of reasons.
1) What would a patient do if their caregiver had a bad crop and was without medicine? If that patient was restricted from seeing other caregivers they would have no where to get their medicine but the street.
2) If Our caregivers are restricted to a small number of plants they can grow for you, thus if you become tolerant to the genetics of one strain of medicine quickly and need to change the genetics of you medication often, it may be difficult for your caregiver to have/maintain the variety you need.
3) Competition strengthens customer service and prevents patients from being in a form of bondage with their caregiver. If we restrict patients from going to other dispensaries, how are they to know if the medicine they are receiving is the best quality available for them. If we restrict the number of persons a dispensary can serve to a tiny number and prevent patients from seeing other medical marijuana providers, and in addition the number of times a year they can change their caregiver, then patients must settle for whatever medicine a particular caregiver is giving them whether it is effective or not.

How does Kiefair Keepsakes indigent program work?

We encourage dispensaries and caregivers to join with us in our efforts to ease the suffering of low income MMJ patients. The funds raised through sales in my online store will be held in trust and dispensed when/where they are needed according to the needs and location of the patient in question. A patient from your area would contact me, then I would contact you to confirm you have the stock necessary for the patient and to confirm availability of time, I would then deposit money for their medication into a Paypal account owned by your dispensary. Discounts on medications are welcome, but not mandatory. The patient could then come in and pick up their necessary medicine.
I require no investment on your part. Patients would have the option of reporting to me on the quality of your medicine and I would then write their reviews and forward their recommendations (no names attached) on the net. Everybody wins. People who wish to provide money for the trust can purchase anything in my online gift-store or my personal catalog. 10% of my profits go to this fund. Hopefully a larger and larger percentage of profits will got to the trust when my personal finances allow me.

Meds for free? What about Caregivers and Growers needs?

Now, I have no problem with the idea of paying for my medications… The person who grows it provides a service that a dollar amount really can’t be placed on and should be compensated, and so should everyone involved in getting the medicine to me. That is only fair. But I want know the money I spend helps others like me or at very least the movement in general. I also don’t need to be paying 50+% of my income to stay barely comfortable. I’d like to be able to pay a reasonable percentage of my income and have all the medicine my body requires. I know that may seem a little unrealistic, but a girl in pain can dream. lol

Here in Colorado it is the wild wild west right now. If I happen to have to go somewhere other than my primary caregiver, my $ will probably end up in a growing bank account of some green gold rush eyed caregiver who could really care less if I have effective medication or not. In fact, it seems like the only green anyone cares about is dollar bill green and the green of greed. Yet the right to visit a dispensary other than your caregiver is a necessary one. What happens if your caregiver loses a grow? What do you do if you need a different strain of medicine than what is available that day? What if they are out of the product that helps the most? Would you refuse to let me go to W@(m@rt if W@lgr33ns was out of my prescription?

So the government ignores the money it saves, and many (not all) of the dispensaries in the area seem to have little social conscience about the price a person like me can pay to have their medicine.

A Big social Problem, and Yet We aren’t the Issue, money is.

When your total family income is at or below poverty levels, you can absolutely be forced back on the streets to get your medicine. My medical condition requires a minimum of 1/8 oz of smoke-able every 2 days to just to keep me off narcotics and other prescriptions that do more harm than good, not crying, not having seizures caused by pain, and not be stuck in bed.
This dosing by no means keeps me comfortable it is important to note.
I have NEVER had the pleasure of having enough medicine on hand to decide on what a good “comfortable” dosing schedule would be, even though I do have a compassionate caregiver. I just don’t want to put my poor caregiver out of business taking care of my needs. I have a friend who says her appropriate dosage is 7 grams a day (through edibles and smoking) If her herb costs $10 an ounce (a very cheap estimate), Then she will need to find $70 a day for her to treat her condition… that adds up to $2,170 a month… much more than many on SSD/SSI make in a month, and much more than it would cost to grow the plant with even with top notch gardening supplies..
What I am trying to say is that there is something fundamentally very wrong with the fact that there are so many people who are to poor to even know what the appropriate dosage of medication for their amount of pain, yet the government is saving a bunch of cash and the Medical Marijuana industry is getting the “lion’s share” of the rest of their income.
It is frustrating to feel like you and others are falling through the cracks even further. Many in my position were barely hanging on before the economic downturn, and now see no light at the end of the tunnel. SSI/SSD keeps you far below the poverty line if you have been unable to work enough many living on $1000 a month or less for their whole family.
 It is frustrating to see others get wealthy off of you and others while your tier of society starves. Sometimes I feel invisible, and I know for a fact I am not the only one out there feeling this.
I was born in the State of Colorado. My family has lived n this state for 4 generations (or more.) My grandmother owned and operated the Historic Stirrup Ranch near Canon City, Co. for many years. I love Colorado, but I live in an RV and I am so desperate to be in a place where I can have food and medicine that I am willing to move to any state with a registry because the social climate here is so difficult for poor patients right now.
I have a plan so that if I were able to obtain some land, I could be self sufficient (NO MORE SSI/SSD and I could actually contribute to charities instead of needing help from them!) and never have to worry about being hungry or without my necessary medicine. In time, many others could be helped with food and medicine grown on the land. I could be fulfilling needs rather than begging to have my needs filled.

Kiefair Keepsakes, stepping stone to a dream

My dream is to be able to get some land and set up an initial grow op in earth ships (a growing movement of building practices with an all environmentally friendly building/management philosophy.) This initial grow op would end up growing into a Nonprofit Medical Marijuana retreat/community/caregiver for patients like me to be able to get their medicine and/or live in a more affordable and kind setting, using their personal talents and abilities to benefit the community. I want to focus on what a “disabled person” can do, not their limitations. I want to create a place where it is safe to be sick on a daily basis with no fear of hunger, lack of medication, or fear of the loss of a job/home due to illness.
While I have the heart and the ability to do this work (given time and medication), I unfortunately have no capital for such a venture and am praying the universe will see fit to make it happen.
I have researched many aspects of this and it is very feasible, however getting investment in such a venture is not my forte. This kind of setting would be great tool for a “for profit” dispensary to use. It would be publicity, demonstrate social conscience, and you could also offer my nonprofit medications cheap to their own low income patients. inquire further at kiefair.keepsakes@gmail.com
I just wanna say Thanks to all the people out there helping to make it possible for people who need this medicine to have it. Whatever you celebrate this or any season, may it be meaningful and may Blessings come to you all! Thanks for listening!
footnote 1 Retrieved from the Mayo clinic website 1/12/2009
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/Fibromyalgia/DS00079/DSECTION=symptoms
Copyright 2009,2010 by Breezy Keefer, owner Kiefair Keepsakes All Rights Reserved
Please copy and redistribute with attribution of source!

Cannabis Health News Magazine graciously printed my last essay titled, “Kiefair Ke
epsakes, 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 t
hat article, I said that Kiefair Keepsakes was the stepping stone to a dream… I re
ally 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. Keefe
r. 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 1
0% 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 i
dea fly. I created my own website for free, but couldn’t afford to get fancy butto
ns on it so it was user friendly. The result was obvious: nearly non-existent sa
les. 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 ac
tivism 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 dilige
nt 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 o
wn personal struggles openly and honestly. In January 2010 when Kiefair Keepsake
s was still open and in its infancy, I attended the “Off the steps and into the ho
use” rally in Denver. I rode the bus down from Longmont, eagerly protesting, knowi
ng 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 cre
pt 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 tr
ip 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 m
y representatives often and listened in to every debate on the topic that went o
ut over the net (unless I happened to be off on a sick day). I often reported ri
ght 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 hear
d. As I could, I gave my opinion online in real time whenever possible usually o
ver social media because that was free. Compassion medication was, in retrospect
, really easy to come by in those days when the laws regarding medicinal cannabi
s in Colorado amounted to Amendment 20 and no more. There were parts of those bi
lls that I liked, and that made sense. Other parts I detested, but if you want t
o 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 w
ho is not a self-caregiver. If you are a low income patient, a caregiver (Medica
l Marijuana Center or Private Caregiver) knows that they can sign you as their p
atient 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 pla
nts for edibles or opiate replacement. This was a fact of the low income medicin
al cannabis patient’s life long before additional regulations were handed down. Th
e caregiver can choose what plants to grow “for you” and pick something of particula
rly high yielding genetics even if that is NOT the genetics your disease require
s. 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 h
elp 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 a
dmittedly no caregiver is required to take). All too often, the low income patie
nt is made to feel horrible for even having the courage to ask for what they nee
d 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 se
veral ways…
1.
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 (stres
s kills).
2.
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 t
o take that “unmarketable herb” because over-dry under potent medication is better t
han none at all. We smile and are genuinely grateful, but know there is somethin
g seriously wrong with this picture.
3.
Sometimes they promise to teach the low income patient how to grow for themselve
s. When the caregiver makes claim to teach, this is basically promising the pati
ent self-sufficiency when it comes to their necessary medication. Later, they te
ll 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 t
o say, “Here… lets see you succeed in growing for yourself with that.”
*
o
+
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 exa
mple, I harvested a nice Low Rider 2 auto-flower plant: I grew it in soil that w
as 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 was
te icing buckets, or recycled buckets of any kind that have not been used to sto
re 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 ha
rvested at the end of May.
1.
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 f
eel as though the caregiver doesn’t see their need for medication in the light tha
t 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 t
he above scenarios.
Before those regulations handed down in SB-109/HB1284 became law, dispensary own
ers, private growers and caregivers, and people in the medicinal cannabis patien
t community all seemed to have more of a heart for the low income patient. As so
on as the ink dried on these two bills, all anyone seemed to be able to think ab
out was the almighty dollar and how to pay all the fees that are now required. B
efore the bill became law, I could walk in to most any dispensary and walk out w
ith a few grams of cannabis free of charge so long as I promised to review it fo
r them on youtube or put up a status on social media that I was smoking a specif
ic strain from a specific place and give the contact information of the compassi
onate 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, on
ly 2 individuals were willing to help me with my medicine regardless of my abili
ty to pay…
In the wake of these regulations, a few new options popped up for some. Religiou
s cannabis organizations sprang up over night. There has long been a religious c
annabis movement, but it too saw a boom similar to the recent dispensary opening
boom here in Colorado. These religious organizations that were already establis
hed saw higher demand and fewer donations. They had established and dedicated th
emselves to providing free medication/sacrament, but found it harder and harder
to serve the demand. Some of these Cannabis as a religious sacrament organizatio
ns give herb away completely free of charge, others were little more than a fron
t 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 leve
ls. Just look up the work of Anthropologist Sula Bennet for a Judeo-Christian pe
rspective regarding the plant cannabis. Religions all over the globe have been u
sing cannabis to aid in communicating with their understanding of a higher intel
ligence since the stone age. I will defend to my death the right of all to posse
s and use cannabis on a religious level, medical level, and yes, even a recreati
onal 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 t
o 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 chur
ch or spiritual organization, then it is valid. If all that organization provide
s 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 of
fer spiritual guidance. Others who meet are little more than a large “circle” of smo
kers hanging out on a Sunday afternoon. I do not doubt that these circles of smo
kers have strength, and are a good thing. However, in my mind it would be more a
ppropriate for these organizations that do little more than smoke and talk to la
bel themselves as “Cannabis support groups” rather than terming themselves as a fait
h based organization. Some of the leaders in the cannabis as a religious sacrame
nt 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 wh
o got there ordination online are those who genuinely do good. Some have filed a
s 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 g
rams of medication.
Not all of these examples/results of new regulations effects on the low-income c
annabis patient pertain to me personally. I have spent many hours listening to m
y 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 b
y 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 o
f 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 af
ter we fought so hard to get some sense at the state house. Meanwhile, the pro-c
annabis 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 n
eed. Why? Because HB1284/SB109 made me us a stone around their necks.
With the new licensing fees and regulations, I saw really awesome medicine growe
rs 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 d
etermination or ability, but for lack of funds. Many had been to culinary arts s
chool, or owned commercial bakeries previously and were no danger to anyone as f
ar 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 h
ere in low-income land, we know if we go in to a regular doctor’s office or the ho
spital, 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 fo
od 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 i
ssue, 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 happ
y that he traded me about a half ounce of legally grown medication. I let anothe
r 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 t
o help me raise funds for my fast approaching re-certification on my license. We
bsites wanted to post my work, but then found my images unsuitable because the s
ource 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 wit
hin my power to provide.
So here I live, I’m already living hand to mouth like so many others who draw disa
bility. I’ve been sick since I was a child, and while my husband and I together br
ing in about $1,000 a month. There’s a little more when you count the food assista
nce 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 comfo
rtable. 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 press
ure. I threatened to stop activism all together on more than one occasion. I kep
t 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 sk
ill-set could give them the voice they needed even if it couldn’t give me the mone
y and medicine I needed for myself. My obsolete little red web-book went down ov
er and over. I patiently worked it back to life with myself for tech support aga
in and again. I even sacrificed many long held files to get myself back up and r
unning.
With my openness on social media, and my picture in the local paper, people on t
he 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-disor
der from various traumatic events in my life, and the razor’s edge I lived on in t
he 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 we
re 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 payme
nts. No interest. It sounded too good to be true. We had been searching and sear
ching 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 wi
nter that I cried for joy. We bought it on faith that it was real and it was our
s.
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 Bree
zy 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 di
sabled 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 ju
dge 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 i
nvolved in our wedding ceremony. At that time I had a doctor’s notation in my char
t 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. W
e had to change a coil off her alternator a few times and she drank gas like cra
zy. When we came back out of the valley, Frieda all but died. We “boon-docked”for we
eks 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 m
et several cardholders there too. A shared bowl between those in a harsh existen
ce 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 need
s 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 wri
te 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 loa
n
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 clea
n
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 mad
e 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 ol
d 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 w
ere 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 issu
es. 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 t
o write:
I send a text to Sir Ands a lot. It has just become my bio sister’s birthday and l
aw 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 fal
len asleep. First the lights, but I can only see white flashing in Frieda’s RV rea
r 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 for
gotten I’d stretched my medicine some in rolling tobacco. (A wretched habit that w
ould 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 one
s 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 ski
pped 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 t
he 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. The
ir Rv description sounded like mine. They were reported to be in the same locati
on 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 ch
ange. They warn about more knocks at my door. They tell me to do just exactly wh
at 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 fin
ally 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 sp
ecial for much less than she was worth. Before we could even get all of our thin
gs out, she was sold. The baby-boomer gentleman handyman who bought her patientl
y waited as we got the rest of our things out. Then he patiently waited for us t
o 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 poe
m 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 t
he pain and exhaustion got to be a constant issue. I did not publish a word agai
n 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 doct
or’s fee? I know will not be covered by medicare and/or medicaid? Why do I even ha
ve to re-certify when even the Social Security Administration admits I have no h
ope of ever being able to pull in a paycheck for myself? Shouldn’t the money peopl
e 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 deceive
d in no way about what the cold can do in this area of Colorado. My family has s
urvived in this area of Colorado in remote locations before. I was gifted a goos
e down comforter by a canna-brother and sister to ensure my warmth. I dubbed the
se particular individuals Sir Ands ALOT and Lady G. They know who they are and t
heir generosity knows no bounds. I was not as worried as all my social media fri
ends and regulars seemed to be.
We were out of options, and desperate enough that we’d rather risk dying on our ow
n land than linger in the city any longer. We used part of the proceeds from Fri
eda 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 e
lectricity, 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 o
f dry goods over the past few months and figured that even without transportatio
n, 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 tha
t I knew life in the high mountain desert would be harsh, I could feel burdens l
ifting off of me with each mile marker. I knew I was no longer renting. I no lon
ger had to pay money month after month and worry when someone would say, “Move alo
ng 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 rea
lly 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 cannabi
s patient going through the same thing and likely worse. We are on the buses wit
h you who do not partake, we are among the homeless, we are the some of your nei
ghbors 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 medicat
ion. 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 r
eceptive, most are closed shut like an antiquated bear trap on a surprisingly yo
ung stereotype regarding my medication. The best way to open that mind is to sha
re with it a real person’s experience. I am in the company of such historical figu
res 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 Qu
een 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 oc
casion 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 th
e 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 affect
ionately 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. W
e got to what was represented as our land after dark on October 3, 2010. There w
as an awesome lightning show in the sky that night, and it seemed the creator wa
s matching us hit for hit. The next morning, we cleared sagebrush, set up the te
nts, 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 Be
th 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 provide
d 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 respo
nded 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 inexplicabl
y 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 he
lp us stand watch. I didn’t know what to think. When I was able to get no directio
n 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, low
ered my payments for a year and promised to help us move. My husband and I clear
ed 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 c
arried them up the dirt road and to the proper lot. I kept wanting to help, he k
ept reminding me to save my strength. A neighbor came by and inquired what he wa
s doing. He and my neighbor used her car to move the rest. We gave thanks we wer
e 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 dollar
s. 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 know
ledgeable and always does his best to give me medication with the effect I happe
n 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 t
hey 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 hear
t. A phone call from Mr. Lauve to La Casa was all it took to get me some compass
ion. 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 w
ords, tears of gratitude stream down my face. I am in awe of how the creator kee
ps providing for me, first the land at a price we could afford, then lowering th
e 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. Leonar
d 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 watch
es over me. We have plans to build a wooden structure with a Teepee architectura
l style and an open fire pit. Once the wooden frame is up, we will wall it in wi
th 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 d
on’t know where the lumber and mortar are coming from, but we have faith our creat
or 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, b
ut sometimes I win some back. Whatever my body may have in store for me, at leas
t I seem to be back to my peaceful self. I do not know how or if I can re-certif
y my license when it expires in a matter of weeks and should have been taken car
e 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 be
lieve what I like when it comes to religion under the constitution of this count
ry. On that I stand. In the first amendment I wrap myself and hope. I am gratefu
l that cannabis helps me enter my creator’s throne room grateful for what I have i
nstead of seeing all the wrong all around me and nothing more. If I had seen onl
y the bad in this story, I never would have made it all the way to my land. I wo
uld 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 wa
y 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.
Leaving Mesa Kamp Kiefair
In early October 2010, things seemed to be picking up and making a turn for the
better in my life. Behind me were the days of sleeping in the RV in abandoned pa
rking lots and worrying when we’d have trouble from the law. I’d sacrificed a lot, b
ut finally had my land under my feet .Life was harsh, but good. I enjoyed living
at nine thousand feet immensely. The wildlife in the area was a constant source
of joy to me. The wild horses and human raised but released to the wild horses
often visited me. Each morning I woke before dawn to greet icy morning and the b
eauty of the sunrise. Every morning the tiny footprints of the chipmunks and gro
und squirrels covered the space outside my shelter. I had an alarm set each even
ing to remind me to step out and enjoy the sunset.
Beneath the surface, all was not well up on the property I dubbed “Mesa Kamp Kiefa
ir” (MKK) I was often cold. The expense of propane more than our budget to bear. W
e had built a large fire pit outside the canvas sided pop up camper, but it was
rarely used to its full potential. My husband often didn’t feel like gathering fir
e wood, or starting a fire. At the same time, he didn’t want me engaging in those
activities, stating that I was too sick and weak to do them for myself. So I rem
ained cold and hungry. It was much the same with cooking responsibilities. There
were many days, often several days in succession when we went hungry with perfe
ctly good food frozen solid in their tin cans in the pantry.
Inter-personally, things were not going well between Mr. Kiefair and I either. W
e fought all the time. We couldn’t seem to agree on anything, and the dysfunction
between us made my disease flare and my emotions and behavior run away with me.
I take responsibility for some pretty bizarre behavior during this time. After a
fight that left me quite insane, I was so distraught that I took off walking ac
ross the mesa in the snow wearing nothing but my boots, my my hat, my walking st
ick and a grim expression on my face. He had goaded me into going out onto the m
esa in the snow with the intention of letting mother nature take my life due to
exposure. I should not have played his game, and I feel horrible for having done
such an extreme and dangerous activity. I just wanted out of the world I found
myself stuck in. A world where I was right next to someone I loved a great deal,
yet feeling that I was not loved in return. A world where my MMJ license was al
lowed to expire because he didn’t want me to have it. Yet, I was also not allowed
to seek pain relief from a medical doctor via pharmaceutical medications either.
He even called the police on me the day my license expired telling them I inten
ded to set fire to all the sage on the mesa. I had never said any such thing. I
lived in a world where anger was thrown at me and brought out of me on a daily b
asis, especially when I was trying to do any writing, activism, or art work. One
day in early December 2010, it all boiled over.
It was a warm night in comparison to the bitter cold early December nights we ha
d been having up at 9,000 ft above sea level on the wind swept mesa in Southern
Colorado. For the time being, the wind had blown itself out, and the storm had a
bated. I sat at my neighbor’s geodesic house by the fire waiting for my husband to
return from town with supplies. The glow of the fire felt like heaven itself to
my cold and fibromyalgia pain ridden bones and muscles. We had not been able to
afford propane for the stove in the Coleman tent trailer in some time. Most nig
hts, a down comforter and body heat were the only source of warmth as I slept ba
ck to back with my husband, always with nearly a foot of space in between us. In
the dark of those cold nights, I often cried myself to sleep. I was so cold. Th
e anguish in my soul sprang from the inherent knowledge that the man I loved lyi
ng next to me did not seem interested in holding me; not for the sake of body he
at, nor for any other reason. My soul’s ache kept me awake at night more than the
cold did.
My neighbor’s adult daughter wanted to feed me, but I wanted to wait on my husband
, knowing he would be angry if I ate without him or wasn’t hungry for whatever he
brought home. She had seen my weight plummeting since I had moved up to the mesa
. This was due in part to my chronic wasting associated with my disease, but the
real root cause was my husband.
As I said before, we had food, but it was frozen solid in their cans or needed t
o be prepared over heat. We rarely built a fire to warm ourselves and cook on. I
t was enough to drive a saint insane. My husband had made it very clear that did
n’t want me building fires or gathering wood. On this day, it had been a full 4 da
ys since I had eaten anything. I eagerly awaited his return from town because I
relished the promise of something to eat, hopefully something fresh. My optimist
ic mind salivated at the thought of a Caesar salad and some protein.
When my husband finally walked through my neighbor’s door, it was much later than
I had expected him. He tossed me a pack of the most expensive cigarettes in town
(for which I was grateful. I smoke tobacco when I have no herb to fill the gap
in meditation), and a pint of “Dr. Magillicuty’s vanilla liqueur”, which I quickly put
into my coat. He had a pack of cigarettes for himself, a 30 pack of bush beer,
2 pints of Jim Beam, and some Southern Comfort. No food. I was furious, and took
off into the night for home, not waiting for my neighbor who had offered to dri
ve us both the 0.08 miles back to our place. I had hoped that the walk would coo
l my temper. It did not.
When he came through the door, we immediately began fighting. “This is your idea o
f supplies?” I screamed at him with tears running down my face. “We cannot live on l
iquor and tobacco! Well, maybe you can, but I cannot.”
I slammed the door of the little canvas trailer as if it were the door to some g
rand house and set myself to defiantly building a fire. The bottle of vanilla li
queur was still in my jacket, and found its way to my hand. I began to drink it
thinking, “If drinking on an empty stomach were his plans for the night, who am I
do disrupt that part of it. At least tonight I intend to be warm.”
I sat outside by my fire as he and I screamed at each other long into the night.
I screamed at him about so many things that had been eating away at my broken m
y heart lately including: his refusal to be affectionate to me, him quitting wor
k over a year ago and refusing to find more work, him wanting me to stay in bed
all the time like an invalid, the bitter cold and no heat, about the hunger and
food within reach but frozen, being surrounded by sage wood that burns quickly b
ut hot and yet never having a fire to be warm near, my medicinal cannabis licens
e expiring because he would not allow me to renew my state ID and we hadn’t the mo
ney to pay the doctor’s fees, him not allowing me to get pharmaceuticals to fill i
n the gap of pain that the lack of cannabis caused. I’d had enough! I could deal w
ith all these hardships if only I felt like he loved me, but that feeling was lo
ng gone. He screamed at me about how unreasonable and irrational I was being.
I can’t remember exactly what I said, but suddenly, his 6 foot frame came out of t
he trailer, towering over my nearly 5 ft self, and knocked me to the ground. He
took the fire extinguisher, and put out my triumphant fire. Still on the ground
in shock from him knocking me down, I got up, and we continued to fight. He slap
ped me, knocked me to the ground again, and began dragging me to the road. As he
pulled my tail end through a prickly pear cactus patch I knew he was aware was
there, he said, “You are going to leave this mesa. You are going to walk out of he
re, and I don’t want you to ever show your face on this property or on this mesa e
ver again. Now get out and don’t come back!”
I limped down the road in the dark down the dirt road towards the next dirt road
. I was terrified that the coyotes would spot me in the dark and make a dinner o
ut of me. I didn’t even have my walking stick, let alone anything that would actua
lly be effective against a predator for protection. I walked up the road to the
junction with the main mesa road and maybe 2 miles up the road. I was exhausted,
and so, I sat on a kindly old rock and had a cry under the stars. I sat there i
n the dark and cold for perhaps a couple of hours. When I sat down, I thought I
would wait for dawn and then head down the mesa, but as I pondered in the night,
I decided to go back.
When I got back home, he was still awake, and the door was unlocked. I went insi
de, humbling myself and graveling begging for one more chance. After me begging
for some time, he finally relented and said, “Alright, but if we get into it one m
ore time, YOU are leaving this mesa on foot immediately.” I humbly agreed and lay
down to find sleep.
Dawn broke cold the next morning, and I was so hungry and sore after the previou
s night’s exertion. I asked if he would build a fire so I could make some breakfas
t. This began another fight. It was a minor spat compared to the previous night’s
flare. He left and headed to our other neighbor’s place. Even though it was early
morning, I knew he had gone to drink Crown Royal Bourbon. I set about clearing t
he fire extinguisher covered ashes out of the pit, so I could build a fire any w
ay and make something to eat. As I did this, I thought about the night before, a
nd about how he had been so willing to toss me to the coyotes quite literally. I
grabbed the backpack that I used as a purse, my walking stick and headed for th
e neighbor’s place where he went. Once I got there, I asked him to give me my food
stamp card, and when he came outside, I explained to him in the privacy of the
outdoors that I intended to fulfill the terms of his late night ultimatum based
on the argument the morning of December 5, 2010. There was a cruel smile on his
face of when he said, “OK, if that is what you want. I hope you are happy with you
rself.” He knew that wasn’t what I wanted, especially after last night’s begging sessi
on that got me back into the house. He also knew that I really didn’t have any pla
ce to go but homeless shelters.
I set off walking for town. I knew it was a long hike that I really had no busin
ess making with my medical issues. I stopped frequently to rest. I didn’t even hav
e any water with me. Partway down, I found an old bottle of what I thought was w
ater someone had tossed from their vehicle. I was so thirsty I took a swig, then
promptly spit it out. It was moonshine, I’d had the pleasure of drinking good whi
te lightning before, but this tasted to be dangerously bad shine at that. I dump
ed it out to save someone else from it and continued on my way. My gut was on fi
re from the alcohol I imbibed the night before, and had to get off the road seve
ral times to empty my bowels. Luckily I am a country girl and always kept some t
oilet paper in my bag. I didn’t have a shovel with me though, and was angry at mys
elf that I couldn’t bury it the way I would have liked. I kicked dirt and put rock
s over the mess at least.
I began to be concerned about dehydration. When I thought I couldn’t go any furthe
r without a drink, I found another bottle. This time it proved to actually be wa
ter. I was so grateful! I had left around 8:30 in the morning. I walked 7 of the
nearly 10 miles to town. An older Latin American man picked me up and gave me a
ride the rest of the way to town. It was so nice to have a gentleman take pity
on me and want nothing from me. By the time I got to town, it was late afternoon
. It felt like I walked 12 miles or more!
Luckily, it was the beginning of the month, so I stumbled into the little pizza
parlor and ordered a personal pizza. I ate but one slice, and my stomach was ove
r full. So full I was afraid I would loose my hard won calories. I got a to-go b
ox and walked down the street to put myself up in a hotel room for the night. De
spite my exhaustion, my body would not allow me to rest, so I treated myself to
several baths in close succession. I had so missed having water on demand and en
ough of it to soak in. My husband seemed to think 9 gallons of water a week were
enough for two adults and the dog I had given him for his birthday in November
(to replace the 3 cats the mesa predators had all claimed).
I called my husband several times, inviting him to come down and have a bath at
least. I hoped that perhaps if he got into a more comfortable setting and had a
bath that perhaps he and I could talk some sense into one another. He wanted not
hing of it. So, I had another bath, enjoyed the rest of my pizza while watching
TV, (a luxury I both missed and did not miss at the same time). I also called my
neighbor’s daughter who had just recently moved to town so it was easier on the c
hildren to get to and from school in town each day. The next morning, she took m
e into Alamosa and to the domestic violence resource who then put me up in the p
rotected part of the only shelter in town.
I had explained to both places that I have panic attacks from pain, and that som
etimes a cigarette was the best way to end that panic attack. I was assured that
if I needed to smoke in the night, I would be allowed, even though it was not e
xactly within the procedures of the shelter. Sure enough, my first night there,
the pain got out of control and I had nothing to ease it. I had a panic attack a
nd made my way down to the lower level to ask to go out to smoke. The message re
garding my needs had not been passed on to the cruel gentleman who was watching
the shelter that night. When he harshly refused me, he melted away in my panic,
and all I could see was every man who had ever hurt me. I screamed and soon the
police were called on me. I spent the night at the hospital, and left with a fir
m recommendation to continue my medical cannabis (despite not being legal to do
so) and a prescription for Lyrica to help ease the pain when I could not smoke.
The ER doctor even told me in the presence of the officers who had brought me in
that I should go buy some weed on the street to get my pain under control. The
mental health worker put me up in a hotel around 5 am. I had been assured that I
would have at least one night there. I bathed again, and went out to get my pre
scription filled and some food. When I returned, I promptly began getting calls
from the hotel to leave. They informed me that check out time had come and gone
and I was to get out. The cops were called on me again, and I ended up back at t
he same shelter I had been at the night before. I could only bear to be there on
e more night, and then left early the next morning for the bus station.
I had decided to head for Denver where I knew there were many more shelters and
many more services for the homeless. Before boarding the bus, I called my husban
d to make sure it was what he wanted. He refused to pick up the phone. It was al
ready mid afternoon when I got into Denver. I was dropped off at Union Station,
and made my way to the “tattered cover book store” on the 16th street mall. There, I
bought myself a cup of Earl Grey tea to settle my stomach and to justify to mys
elf the use of their wi-fi connection. I made contact with some people over the
internet and let them know my situation. I hadn’t been homeless in Denver since I
was a teenager and couldn’t remember all the good places. I ended up in “Writer’s Squa
re” on the 16th Street Mall. It was one of my old haunts from when I was younger,
but the vibe there had changed a lot and I was not comfortable sleeping out in t
he open air there as I once had been. I spit venom at other activists, probably
trying to self destruct. Luckily, a fellow sufferer from post traumatic stress d
isorder came to my aid and helped me get my things to Samaritan House. But there
was no room for Breezy at the homeless inn. They made arrangements for me to st
ay at a shelter for women and gave me bus fare and directions to get there.
I narrowly missed my bus, and sat on the bench patiently waiting for the next on
e. Across the street from me were several of my homeless fellows bedding down fo
r the night on the street. I am not sure why, but I began to serenade them with
Christmas carols and other songs I used to preform with choir as a child. Whenev
er I stopped singing, they asked me to continue, and I did. The bus finally came
, and I left them in the cold night, perhaps a little warmer for my music. I fin
ally got to the woman’s shelter I had been directed to, was let in and given a bed
for the night.
:dammit: :bong:
then i went to Maine…. and found out my husband shot himself (a drinking buddy sho
t and killed another drinking buddy the same night……. why my hubby shot himself, i w
ill never know). He also abandoned the property and left the dog behind. I began
making my way home, but not before a run in with the law….
RE: Civil Citations #xxxxxx and #xxxxxxxxxx
given on Jan 10, 2011
by Officer Christopher M Ross
Dept :WSO Officer # 23
Your Honor:
My name is Breedheen O’Rilley Keefer. I frequently write under the Pen Name of “Bree
zy Kiefair”. I am writing to you in regards to two civil citations I received in J
anuary 2011. Those citations are numbered #xxxxxx and #xxxxxxx. I am scheduled t
o appear before you on March 22, 2011 at 0830 am. I have never received a civil
citation before, and have no legal counsel, so I apologize if I am out of line o
n any procedural issues.
On the afternoon of January 11, 2011; I 911 called for assistance. I was distrau
ght. I needed help. I had been asked to leave the house where I had been renting
a room located at XXX Belfast Road, Freedom Maine 04941. The primary renter of
this property, Mr. XXXXXXX XXXXXX asked me to leave the premises due to a petty
personal squabble. I had come to stay with Mr. XXXXXX and his family in mid Dece
mber 2010 after a domestic violence dispute with my husband on property in Color
ado that I was purchasing with my husband. When Mr. Horton asked me to leave, I
obliged. I packed my things, carried them to the end of his driveway between Bel
fast and Freedom, Maine and called 911 to come give me assistance.
As, I stated above, I was distraught. I was suicidal. I needed help. Two officer
s responded to the call, Officer Ross who signed my citations, and another offic
er. The officers wanted to search my belongings, which I allowed after providing
the officers with my expired medical marijuana license from the state of Colora
do (expired November 23, 2010), a card from one of the cannabis as a religious s
acrament churches I frequent (copies attached). , paperwork from a Colorado Doct
or recommending that I continue my medicinal cannabis use even after my license
expired (this paperwork has been lost on the road) and contact information for a
Dr. David Austin of the Dr. Lovejoy Heathcare center (7 School St, Albion, ME 0
4910 Phone: (207) 437-9388 Fax:(207) 437-2557 http://www.healthrea…82&IDPractice=4
) I had seen in Maine who knew I was using cannabis medicinally.
I informed the officers that I was carrying my sacramental cannabis pipes and th
at there may be some flake/resin on me. I also notified the officers that I was
carrying 3 pocket knives with me. The officers transported me to the hospital in
Augusta, Maine for evaluation and wrote me citations for my cannabis pipes even
though I have made public the fact that I believe in Cannabis as a religious sa
crament under the first amendment of the Constitution of the United Sates of Ame
rica. I cited the translation work of polish born anthropologist Sula Benet (htt
p://en.wikipedia….wiki/Sula_Benet) as the basis for my belief in cannabis as a rel
igious sacrament. I called Reverend Brandon Baker (307) 221-2180 (http://www.gre
enfait…m/homepage.html) of Green Faith Ministry NAC to try to have him speak with
the officers regarding my religious cannabis use. The officers refused to speak
to Reverend Baker and told me that Cannabis as a religious sacrament was not rec
ognized in the state of Maine. My sacramental pipes and “useable marijuana” were con
fiscated and citations written.
I arrived back home in Colorado after leap-frogging my way home On February 23,
2011. I am disabled and live on social security disability. As I stated before,
have no legal counsel, so I apologize if I am out of line on any procedural issu
es. I do not know how I am to answer these charges from so far away. I live on s
ocial security disability and have no way to return to Maine. I respectfully req
uest that you give me some direction on how to handle these charges. I have prov
ided the best contact information for me in this letter. I live in a very remote
area of Colorado and it takes time for messages to reach me. Email is probably
the most reliable way I can be reached. My email address is xxxxxx
Respectfully,
B
i couldnt go back and defend myself, so i cant go to maine at all until i pay th
e fines…..
i went back to my land, and tried to make the best of it….
I even had plans for a big ass birthday party that never happened…
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 11:31am
Hey Kampers,
Last night, under the full moon, I put up alcohol based tincture for my birthday
in May and realized how quickly the party is approaching. I wanted to get a lit
tle group started amongst those who think that they will be attending my week lo
ng birthday party (even if you only plan to be here a day or two). I had a thoug
ht towards classes (basic survival, alcohol based tincture making, glassware cle
aning and care, gardening, and so much more) for those attending the party, but
soon realized that I probably don’t have the strength to teach for a week.
So, I ask you all… What are your talents? Do you have something you would like to
teach the rest of us?
I’d also like to remind everyone that you will have to pull sagebrush for your cam
psite (I can tell you how to do it, I have the tools, and even my weak behind ca
n do it). I am off grid… That means that I carry water from town 10 miles away and
have no power source as my generator was stolen in March’s robbery. We DO have ra
ttlesnakes up here, but they are rarely a problem and I will give you some safet
y tips when you get here. I’d advise everyone to bring boots with high ankles. Als
o, nights up here in the high mountain desert can be chilly. Please be sure to b
ring some warm clothes.
Other items you should think about bringing:
tents, tarps and rain chutes
water (a minimum of one gallon per person, per day… plus some to wash up in)
food
wood
natural soaps
toilet paper
cameras (the scenery here is not to be missed!)
solar or car battery charging packs for batteries/computers/high tech devices (I
have no way to charge them at present)
musical instruments for jam sessions around the bonfire
your medications (no herbal medication will be provided cause Breezy’s financially
challenged)
and Anything else you can’t do without for a week (or longer if you are planning o
n staying at Mesa Kamp Kiefair for the long haul)
Cell phone service up here is spotty at best. If you are on verizion, net10, str
aight talk, or tracphone, you have a decent chance at waves of signals that get
text messages out fairly well. Voice calls are a bit more difficult, but not imp
ossible.
Watch for more updates as we move closer to party time.
May you all be blessed and send me a PM or text me at 720-280-2183 if you are in
terested in teaching the rest of us something while you are at Mesa Kamp Kiefair
.
Respectfully,
Breezy Kiefair
Founder, Mesa Kamp Kiefair
so, i just resumed my activism work as best i could….. writing reps and such like
this”
Before I even begin, I would like to apologize if my wording in this letter seem
s harsh or angry. As I write, I am very ill, consumed by pain, unable to eat, an
d barely able to leave my sick-bed. I am lucky enough to have a laptop computer
I can use in bed. I have written many letters to my representatives since Januar
y 2010 regarding HB1284. After a year and a half of fighting both my government
and my own body’s illness, I’m pretty tired of the whole mess. I am certain that my
frustration and exhaustion cannot help but come through in my writer’s voice, and
I did not want you to misunderstand and think that I am being intentionally disr
espectful. We, as a community are sick individuals with varying degrees of disab
ility. We should not HAVE to be fighting with our state government about a plant
, its use & regulation.
Every moment we spend presenting our case to the powers that be, we should have
to focus on healing from our ailments. We beg for sensibility in the Medicinal C
annabis Program written into the Constitution of our great state. On more than o
ne occasion, I have spent long hours (more than 11 hours strait on one occasion)
listening to the debates over medicinal cannabis via the web from the Colorado
House of Representatives and the State Senate. I have spent many more hours corr
esponding with my representatives on this issue so very central to my life and w
ell-being. I have spoken to the Longmont City Council on at least 2 occasions. T
his spring, I was at the capitol for a debate over additional proposed regulatio
ns (HB1250). I missed my chance to speak because it took too long to get to the
sick people’s turn to speak & I became ill. I was frustrated because I had arrived
a bit early to ensure I was near the top of the list. When my name was finally
called (it was called first), I was a few blocks away resting & listening in via
the Internet. I am very ill, even on my best days and have often exacerbated my
symptoms by working too hard on this issue. It is a sacrifice I am happy to mak
e. This plant and it’s benefits mean that much to me and I have endured many sacri
fices for it.
I have been on the Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry since June 2009. Medicina
l Cannabis was initially suggested to me in 2007 by my pain specialist at the ti
me. He did so in one of his last sessions with me before moving home to France t
o teach. He said he was tired of fighting the DEA here, tired of worrying if he
would be punished for alleviating people’s pain because he happened to write too m
any prescriptions one month. He said he was going home where he could teach youn
g minds instead of argue with old ones. He said he was tired of the pay he got f
rom treating his Medicare/Medicaid patients, but to his credit, he still saw pat
ients like me. He had a framed check for $0.02 on the wall beside his desk with
a notation in angry doctor scribble that it was payment in full for 2 different
patients office visits. He was a doctor who really cared. He never signed a medi
cal marijuana license because he was a foreign doctor and feared his license wou
ld be revoked, but he confided in me that he wished he could. He then urged me t
o seek out a doctor who could sign for my license.
He said, “It will not make the pain non-existent, but then, nothing does that for
you does it? It will help you cope with your pain in a more natural way. You can
smoke or preferably eat all that you need to and you cannot overdose, you see?”
I am telling you this because I have seen many doctors within the State of Color
ado, both before and after I received my medicinal cannabis license. There are v
ery few I have spoken with who have a negative take on the medical marijuana reg
istry. Those who did have a negative perception of medicinal cannabis almost inv
ariably ended up being cruel as well in one way or another. Most cite fear of th
e DEA as their reason for not being willing to sign for medical marijuana licens
es.
I’ve personally sacrificed a lot for my medical cannabis license. Much of my famil
y found themselves unable to deal with my medicinal cannabis use and I have been
exiled from their lives for it. When I first became certified for medical canna
bis use, my husband had a decent job and made enough money that my health was ma
king great strides towards wellness. The cost was a burden to our budget even th
en, but it was a burden we were happy to take on once we began to see the result
s. I was even able to get off of more than 20 different prescription medications
at an astonishingly rapid pace. I stopped needing to see my doctor at all. I ha
d been seeing my doctor every week, or on bad weeks, several times a week with l
ate night trips to the emergency room thrown in for good measure.
My husband became unemployed in the fall of 2009. It was then that I discovered
the agony and full weight of my disease being 100% without medication due to pov
erty can brings. My situation continued to deteriorate through the following Sum
mer when the regulations of HB1284 went into effect. Up until that time, I had b
een supplementing my need for medication by doing reviews of medication I receiv
ed for free. I would record myself using the medication, say what I thought of i
t, what symptoms it is good to treat, some history on that particular species of
cannabis flower, and personal opinion on all things related to medicinal cannab
is news I was aware of. I would also post my opinion of the medication on social
media outlets such as FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter
along with the contact information of the compassionate party. Once the regulati
ons of HB1284 went into effect, it was almost impossible to find charity cannabi
s any more. Even from my caregiver who had begun an indigent patient program bef
ore those regulations became law.
Hours of web-crawling desperate to find aid in getting my medication had also le
d me to the spiritual cannabis community. I met Reverend Brandon Baker and learn
ed of his personal crusade to help low-income medical cannabis patients. He call
ed his church Greenfaith Ministry, and over the past year and a half or so he ha
s helped me immensely. On my first meeting with Reverend Baker in January 2009,
I had many questions for him. Being a deeply spiritual woman who had called seve
ral other “religious cannabis” organizations (who I found to be little more that on
demand sacrament dealers with a set price) I probed Reverend Baker deeply even t
hough he handed me a large quantity of medication free of charge. I asked him ab
out the basis for sacramental cannabis use in the Jewish/Christian tradition and
other religions throughout the world (even though I had done my own research in
to this topic long before). He answered my questions with articulate grace. Sinc
e that first meeting, he has shown himself to be generous even in the face of th
e ever increasing demand for medication by patients in situations similar to my
own and worse. I watched alongside him as the demand for his brand of mercy skyrocketed
after HB1284 went into effect. He was able to help me personally less a
nd less, but I knew he was helping a greater number of people than before and th
at his donations (from dispensaries) had all but dried up. Still, when my need w
as dire, he would show up. He even delivered medication to my RV when I was othe
rwise homeless and parking at night in places I knew were friendly to tourist RV
s for free (at least for a night or two). Reverend Baker has done so much more f
or me that provide pot. He has provided me with spiritual guidance when asked. H
e has provided me with food when I was hungry. He provided pillows and blankets
to make my sleeping arrangements more comfortable. He kept his eyes and ears ope
n as I searched desperately for a bit of earth to call my own. He has done so mu
ch for me that it is difficult to articulate it properly.
It became apparent to me when my husband initially lost his job that the only wa
y I could really ensure that I would have medication would be to find myself a l
ocation where I could grow my own medication. With all the uncertainty the new l
egislation brought, I thought that the only truly safe place to do that would be
on land that I owned. I searched for many months to find a piece of property th
at I knew I could pay off on my disability income. The piece of property I found
was not in any way an ideal grow location, but it was in my price range, so I t
ook it. It was a windswept 2.56 acre parcel of high mountain desert, but it was
mine. We had no choice but to sell our beloved RV and move onto the land tents.
The RV simply would not make the trip, we could not afford a rental truck to tow
it, so we sold it put out belongings into a truck rented with the money made fr
om selling the RV, and made the trip.
That was in October 2010. Winter was close on our heels as we arrived at our new
home. Luckily, someone had donated an old Coleman pop up tent-trailer (about ci
rca 1975) to one of the preachers who live up here. They gave it to us. It was w
eather rotted and made of canvas full of holes, but it was a better shelter than
the tent we’d purchased because it looked to be a 4 season tent & turned out to b
e a 1 season tent. We were grateful. Perhaps my husband was not mentally prepare
d for this harsh environment of the high mountain desert, or maybe he felt guilt
y for not being able to provide medication for a wife he knew was very ill when
he married her, whatever the truth of the reason my husband changed I do not kno
w. I will not bore you with the details of my still-in-progress divorce, but I w
ill say, that in it’s own way my medical marijuana license/activism played a part
in the events are costing me my marriage license and a friend/partner I once lov
ed dearly.
After I separated from my husband, I went on a trip cross country between Decemb
er 2010 and February 2011. I visited two other states with medicinal cannabis pr
ograms (Maine and Michigan) and one state where cannabis has been decriminalized
(Ohio). Out on the road, I dug deeper into the proceedings regarding medicinal
cannabis in other states. There I saw in practice what I knew to be true from my
research on-line. Many other states look to Colorado as an example for all MMJ
states. Our rules are often cited in their debates, sometimes as supportive of t
he movement, other times against it. As you decide this case, I ask you to consi
der the multitude of medicinal cannabis patients your decision will impact. Not
just the many cannabis patients within the State of Colorado, but also the medic
al cannabis patients of other states with programs and states considering medici
nal cannabis programs.
When I returned to my land after a the trip, I was robbed. I was staying at my n
eighbor’s house. They were away and wanted someone to watch their place. It was st
ill winter, and was bitterly cold. I was more than happy to stay in a real struc
ture for a few nights. The first night I was away, over $9,000 of survival gear
and personal property was stolen from me including: my wood-stove (meaning no he
at), my generator (meaning no electricity), my pots and pans and can opener, my
beloved pipe collection (almost all gifts made specifically for me), my cannabis
seed bank meant to produce my medicine this short grow season, my clothes and b
ible were thrown into the fire pit. They even tried to fold my trailer up and ta
ke it. I was lucky that the trailer jammed on them refusing to be folded up so i
t could be hitched to their vehicle with 4 different tires (according to the pol
ice who came up, took pictures, and forgot the entire ordeal).
I even walked to town (about 12 miles) to hand deliver a list of items stolen th
at I had tried to call in to the officer in charge of the case several times. I
was simply shocked both at the robbery and at the apathy of the officers charged
“to protect and serve”. I made the walk to town quite regularly hitchhiking as soon
as I reached the pavement with mixed results. I did this because I have no tran
sportation and I needed to take care of business. I needed to get my food stamps
reinstated after my long trip in other states and file for divorce. I budgeted
carefully and got a new doctors signature to renew my license in April 2011. It
had lapsed as a casualty of disagreements with my soon to be ex-husband in Novem
ber 2010.
Despite the fact that my sole income is around $350 a month in Social Security D
isability and the fact that I am on food stamps, Medicare, and Medicaid, I was p
aid the $90 fee I should have been exempt from under the new regulations in HB12
84 (one of the few positive changes made in the bill). The problem was that I am
in the middle of a divorce and some documents say my maiden name and others say
my married name. My Colorado State ID has my maiden name on it. It has had my m
aiden name on it for the entire duration of my marriage. When I applied in June
2009, my ID said my maiden name, and my application for a medical marijuana lice
nse listed my married name. I received my card without issue (except the state d
id not process my card and mail it to me until November 2009). In April of 2011
my ID said my maiden name, my MMJ license paperwork also said my maiden name, bu
t my SSD paperwork and food-stamp paperwork all were in my married name. When th
e Colorado Department of Health complained about the difference in the names, I
sent CDPHE a copy of my birth certificate, my marriage license, the first page o
f my “Summons for Dissolution of Marriage” (to prove I was in the process of returni
ng to my maiden name), my food-stamp verifications, & my Social Security Disabil
ity paperwork, and the $90 fee to ensure I received my red card. I mailed this a
ll off certified mail, return receipt at the beginning of June. I got the proof
it was received a few days later. I have yet to receive my proper license (it is
June 30, 2011 as I write). The $90 fee to the state ate up about 38% of my inco
me for the month of June. That money came straight out of my medication budget f
or the month. Reverend Baker and Andy Shaffner (and adopted brother) joined forc
es to take some of the sting out of the expense. I will be forever grateful to t
hem both.
I am also very concerned that genetically modified organisms (GMO) is beginning
to find its way into the medicinal cannabis shops. I urge you to ban GMO cannabi
s and require that shops label their medication if it is not organically grown.
I have multiple chemical sensitivities as a sister condition to my fibromyalgia.
Respectfully,
Breedheen O’Rilley
AKA Breezy Kiefair
I am going back to michigan to stay with my sister for the winter….. I’ll continue m
y canna-fight wherever I go.
The above is intellectual property, and such is copyrighted. If I wrote it It is
copyright Breezy Kiefair 2010 all rights reserved. If I didn’t remind me to quote
my source LOL
Think I’m paranoid for copyrighting every word I say?!?!..
I’m a starving recluse writer what do you expect?
occupation: Writer, Artist, Freelance MMJ Activist/Consultant
Even more about me and medicinal cannabis on my google + profile
https://plus.google.com/108039434993096331483
~ Do all that you can to cultivate peace within yourself, that it might
shine out from you, and plant the seed of peace in other spirits, for them
to cultivate.~
{Remember… it is when we choose act on the issues that are in front of
our faces, when we choose to get involved instead of looking the other way
as our fellow man struggles, when we choose to take those small simple
little actions, working on righting little wrongs in our everyday lives that
really make change happen, those seemingly small actions are what really
make the world a better place and are a catalyst for greater social change.}
~Both quotes by Breedheen “Bree” O’Rilley Keefer~

http://www.scribd.com/doc/64585829/%E2%80%9CA-Long-Strange-Journey-of-1-Cannabis-Patient%E2%80%99s-Colorado-Cannabis-Activsm%E2%80%9D-or-%E2%80%9CAll-About-Breezy-Kiefair%E2%80%9D

https://sites.google.com/site/kiefairkeepsakes/giving-back

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