There are two methods you can go about this letter writing campaign.
The first is to click here and be taken to a change.org petition. This is the easiest way to get the letter circulated
The other way to help in the letter writing campaign is to use the information I have provided below to send the letters out. Many of the people in power we are addressing require that you enter your email via their personal website. Those people do not have email addresses listed publicly. When filling out a contact form, please be sure to use the zip code of the jail holding Ronnie so that they don’t toss your concerns out for being from out of state.
To whom it may concern,
I am writing to you about freedom. Merriam Webster defines freedom as:
Definition of FREEDOM
1: the quality or state of being free: as
a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action
b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : independence
c : the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous <freedom from care>
d : ease, facility <spoke the language with freedom>
e : the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken freedom>
f : improper familiarity
g : boldness of conception or execution
h : unrestricted use <gave him the freedom of their home>
a : a political right
b : franchise, privilege
But we all know that Freedom Means so much more than that.
In the united states, the word freedom has attained a near holy status since our founding fathers so long ago so boldly declared their independence from the crown and said,
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. “
The passage came to represent a moral standard to which the United States should strive. What great word and ideal is standing behind those words? Freedom.
Our constitution is similarly tied up in this idea of freedom. The People are free, that is why we fought England, to be free. So concerned are we as a people with freedom, that we amended that sacred document with the Bill of Rights.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
We have this amendment so that people can follow their conscience. We have this amendment so that people can make up their own minds and speak it. This amendment is perhaps one of the most powerful sentences ever written. For, what free person could tolerate anyone getting between them and their understanding of a creator (or their firm belief in atheism for that matter).
Yes, we as an American people are taught to love freedom and speak about our love of that freedom from an early age.
Sure, we all love freedom, but why am I really writing to you about freedom?
I am specifically writing to you on behalf of a prisoner in the great state of Arizona. The Right Reverend Ronnie Lee Smith was stopped while traveling through your state and was detained for possessing medicinal and sacramental cannabis. The Reverend Smith holds a medical recommendation from Dr Eidleman from California. Dr. Eidleman is well known for his natural medicine. He has been in the natural healing field for over thirty years. Dr. Eidleman traveled all over the world, learning a lot about natural ways of healing the body, the mind, and the spirit. Dr. Eidleman believe that these approaches to healing and to prevention and to awakening can be a boon to each of us, and to the country as a whole.
You can read more about Dr. Eidleman here: http://dreidelman.org/Health/bio/
Colorado and California state laws both protect patients who have a doctor’s recommendation but who have not registered with the state. Reverend Smith was legal for his medicinal and religious cannabis where he was visiting in California, he was legal where he was headed (home to Colorado). The state of Arizona does have reciprocity for their state. The Reverend Smith was just passing through the state but was arrested for his sacrament and medication.
Not only is Ronnie Smith a Reverend in his own right, he is also a member of a church in Colorado called Green Faith Ministry N.A.C. Headed by Reverend Brandon Baker. The mandates of Greenfaith Ministry are as follows:
*Cannabis Is a Healing Sacrament of green faith ministry, and is
MANDATED FOR ALL PATRONS TO PRACTICE SACRAMENTAL
CANNABIS BURNT OFFERINGS FOR BLESSINGS OF HEALTH for
reasons as follows:
*HELPS EVOLVE THE SOUL Sacramental Cannabis augments ones faith and
contributes to the evolution of one’s soul as one communes with ones inner self
and ones spiritual connection with the universe.
*IS AN EXERCISE IN ACQUIRING SPIRITUAL ATTRIBUTES BY
SHARING. Sharing Sacramental Cannabis contributes to communion with Spirit
and fellowship with others in the spiritual association of the brother/sisterhood of
humankind. This practice leads to the discovery and creation of one’s spiritual
*CREATES PEACE The hand cultivation of Sacramental Cannabis exerts an
ennobling and expanding influence on people. The agriculturist is a peace loving
person. A nurturing association with the Sacramental Cannabis plants instills
patience, quiet, peace, reverence, meditation, spiritual awareness, enlightenment
and awareness of the life force. There is great therapeutic value in growing your
own sacrament when it is done in conscious partnership with collective human
*ENHANCES SPIRITUAL RECEPTIVITY One’s inherent imagination and
spiritual receptivity is influenced by growing harvesting and ingesting the
Cannabis Sacrament. The bio-electro-neuro-chemical effects of ingestion enhances
the interface between mind and spirit and augments spiritual receptivity. The
effect maybe likened to what happens to the image in a microscope when a drop
of oil is added on an oil immersion lens. It is magnified and amplified to the eye of
*SERVES HUMANITY AS A MEANS OF HEALING People benefit from
utilizing sacramental Cannabis in conjunction with the body/mind healing values of
Cannabis. Cannabis Sacrament as medicine/nourishment for the body and the
spirit should be available to those who need it for relief from AIDS, glaucoma,
nausea from radiation & chemotherapy, stress, muscle spastics, asthma, loss
of appetite, migraine headaches, menstrual related discomforts, and many other
human maladies. One of the THC Ministry’s(as well as green faith ministry’s)
Holy duties is to provide the blessing of its Cannabis Sacrament to those suffering
and in need of its benevolent blessings.
***Mandates by and for members of g. f. ministry, and all other div. of
*Special thanks to: All Div. Of thc-Ministries World Wide, and The Religion of
Mandates retrieved from: http://www.greenfaithministry.com/whatISgf.html
more church mandates: http://www.greenfaithministry.com/more_mandates.html
More on Greenfaith ministry here: http://www.greenfaithministry.com/
To whomever is reading this, I want you to consider three things about “state of Arizona vs smith”
- Ronnie Smith is a medical cannabis patient. He has nerve damage and is a cancer survivor. He uses this plant to treat pain and to prevent the return of cancer. (Google search “run from the cure” if you have not yet heard of cannabis use to cure cancer)
- Ronnie Smith is a Reverend protected by the first amendment and a member of a religion who mandates smoked offerings.
- Ronnie Smith was travelling with minimal amounts of his medicine and sacrament, clearly not warranting any element other than personal possession
21 usc 802(2) The term “administer” refers to the direct application of a controlled substance to the body of a patient or research subject by—
(A) a practitioner (or, in his presence, by his authorized agent), or
(B) the patient or research subject at the direction and in the presence of the practitioner,whether such application be by injection, inhalation, ingestion, or any other means.
(3) The term “agent” means an authorized person who acts on behalf of or at the direction of a manufacturer, distributor, or dispenser; except that such term does not include a common or contract carrier, public warehouseman, or employee of the carrier or warehouseman, when acting in the usual and lawful course of the carrier’s or warehouseman’s business….
(10) The term “dispense” means to deliver a controlled substance to an ultimate user or research subject by, or pursuant to the lawful order of, a practitioner, including the prescribing and administering of a controlled substance and the packaging, labeling or compounding necessary to prepare the substance for such delivery. The term “dispenser” means a practitioner who so delivers a controlled substance to an ultimate user or research subject….
*(27) The term “ultimate user” means a person who has lawfully obtained, and who possesses, a controlled substance for his own use or for the use of a member of his household or for an animal owned by him or by a member of his household.
I humbly beg the representatives with the power to do so in the state of Arizona to drop the charges included in case number J-1304-CR-201300774
who to send it to:
Please use the Jail address instead of your own address when sending msgs via the websites
list of representatives whom serve Yavapai County, Arizona
at the time of posting, each one has already gotten an email from me.
GOVERNOR JANICE K. BREWER
The Honorable Janice K. Brewer
1700 West Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phoenix Office: (602) 542-4331
Tucson Office: (520) 628-6580
Fax Number: (602) 542-1381
In-State Toll Free: 1-800-253-0883 (outside Maricopa County only)
Sen. John McCain
RSOB- Russell Senate Office Building, Room 241
Constitution and Delaware Avenues, NE
Washington DC 20510-0303
Sen. Jeff Flake
RSOB- Russell Senate Office Building, Room B85
Constitution and Delaware Avenues, NE
Washington DC 20510
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick
CHOB- Cannon House Office Building, Room 330
Independence Avenue and 1st Street, SE
Washington DC 20515-0301
Rep. Paul Gosar
CHOB- Cannon House Office Building, Room 504
Independence Avenue and 1st Street, SE
Washington DC 20515-0301
Your State Representatives
Rep. Andy Tobin
Rep. Karen Fann
Rep. Brenda Barton
Rep. Bob Thorpe
Sen. Steve Pierce
Sen. Chester Crandell
please call 1-888-988-4768
and put funds on the name Ronnie Smith
Facility id: 90
or you may donate though wepay via the following link:
- Help Defend Ronnie Smith! (kiefair.com)
- Free Ronnie Smith (kiefair.com)
- Over 420 People say FREE RONNIE SMITH (kiefair.com)
- Atmos Rx Vaporizer Review and Dixie Med-A-Mints vs. Growing Kitchen’s Chill Pills (kiefair.com)
- As Internet Freedom Fades, Is it Time to Take Your Data Abroad? (canadafreepress.com)
- “Restore the Fourth Amendment” Movement to Protest Surveillance (news.softpedia.com)
I’m Steve, a friend of wonderful Breezy. She asked to add a little content here, since she likes my thinking sometimes. I am in fact a pot activist and have been for decades, but not exclusively so. You can expect me to have stuff to say about other things here, for example this piece about my trial and conviction for camping on public property during an Occupy rally last October. I apologize that there is a bit of a back story that would be unwieldy to give, but you can find it if you poke around the links some [I’ve discovered these links aren’t here. They are here, if you care to look: .http://hipgnosis21.blogspot.com/2012/08/high-crimes-and-hijinks.html%5D Part of my reason for airing this stuff here is to enable me to refine my own thinking through feedback and questions. I already know I’m an asshole and an idiot so if that’s all you have, start your own page and don’t clutter ours, please.
Below this little intro is a conversation i had with my lawyer, kinda; some stuff i wrote to explain myself to her, and have since edited into near unrecognizability. Had i been able to clarify the whole bit better before the trial things may have been different, but probably not. When i was first arrested in Colorado Springs on 18 October of 2011 for the heinous crime of camping on public property, i figured lawyers from the ACLU or something would swarm me like rats on a dying prisoner in the Bastille. I mean, really– advocates for the homeless have been up in arms for years over these no-camping ordinances, and i did the thing as an “Occupier,” rendering the political motivation for my act as obvious as a drag queen’s Adam’s apple. I thought hard about doing the thing pro se, but when i’ve taken that course in the past i wound up trapped in a paper maze of procedure. So i contacted the National Lawyer’s Guild, (NLG), and they connected me with the one attorney in Colorado Springs hot to take an Occupy case pro bono, Patty Perello.
Almost all the Occupiers involved have argued passionately that our actions, including my setting up a tent in specific violation of Colorado Springs’s “no-camping” ordinance, were protected by our First Amendment free-speech rights. I knew this was futile since the U.S. Supreme Court has already shot that line of thought down, and sorry, but i agree with their reasoning. Though other U.S. municipalities experienced more direct 1st Amendment oppression, we were always free to stand around with signs in Colorado Springs, as the argument goes. Occupying, camping, and even merely sleeping on public land are activities that cut much closer to the quick, as it were, boring through several layers of political patina to make painful and deeply suppressed connections in people’s consciousness, and in some ways tying the bulk of the Occupy message into a tight package.
The business of land use and ownership has been high on my list for years and, i think, key to much of what grieves us.It’s why i write about Henry George sometimes. I hoped to get this point across to Perello, but none of this was ever heard by the jury. Also critical is the troublesome 8th Amendment angle. More stuff silenced by Spottswood Williams.
Anyhow, i’m about to start to say again what i only meant to introduce. Below this is some stuff i wrote to explain myself to Ms. Perello. It’s the gist of what i actually wanted to say in court, but was barred from so doing. I can still explain myself on a street corner or here online if i want to, but not in a courtroom:
With a seemingly inexorable inevitability homelessness–poverty– is becoming criminalized in the United States of America. The phenomenon of Occupy protests brought to light in lurid, graphic terms the country’s sensitivities concerning land use, civil disobedience, liberty, and ideas and expression that make us uncomfortable or seem to threaten our aesthetic and ethical sensibilities. The widespread and oppressive action against Occupy encampments by law enforcement was necessary to maintain the prevailing political logic because it was simply an extension of currently habitual oppression directed toward the very poor, i.e. homeless people. There can be no Occupy permitted, because our “aesthetic” experience may be sullied by those wretches that will surely coat-tail upon any license to physically occupy public space in such an objectionable manner. This may be the essence of why the homeless population is both integral to and alienated from the Occupy phenomenon worldwide, since even many participants don’t get the connection.
The past several years have seen a proliferation of categorical laws designed to harass the homeless. The National Coalition for the Homeless, The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, and The National Homeless Civil Rights Project have produced reports that thoroughly document the national trend to discriminatory law-making, selective enforcement, and generally mean-spirited gestures toward those at the bottom end of society’s economic score sheet. We assert that the attached reports provide an apt description of exactly the sort of directed antagonism toward the very poor embraced by the City of Colorado Springs when it so carefully worded its ordinance to allow the pursuit of the homeless while slithering around the spirit of the Constitution. While we understand that protestation and occupation are not necessarily the same, the congruences with the Occupy protests rendered problems with the City’s “no-camping ordinance” germane, and are simply too pointed to allow full separation of the two matters. Bad law put in place as a means to directly truncate the liberties of a particular class of people was brought to bear on another distinct but overlapping set of political protesters engaging in behavior included in the previously established ordinances, resulting in still further loss of natural rights by everyone.
We recognize that no-camping ordinances in general and Colorado Springs’s in particular have been thoughtfully crafted to avoid curtailing First Amendment rights. As has been observed, i have every right to express political views at the spot i was arrested for camping, (although the City’s implication that one ought engage in such expression without provision for safety or comfort is of as suspicious motivation as the suggestion that no-camping ordinances apply to all and not merely to those whom they are likely to affect). We argue that nonetheless the no-camping ordinance is unconstitutional because of its inherently discriminatory nature, and contrary to the spirit of American foundational principles, as well as modern ethics.
M.J. and Dan, (the CSPD “Homeless Outreach Team” cops that actually arrested me), have both characterized the City’s ordinance as an important if not now tending toward indispensible “tool” for dealing with the “homeless problem.” The fact that they express their sense of the ordinance’s purpose and use thusly is really just sort of a semantic Freudian slip, but it derives from the same mindset i found at the planning meetings i attended at the United Way wherein “The Homeless” are a problem, rather than “homelessness.” The no-camping ordinance was conceived as and is now being utilized by the C.S.P.D. as a specific means to move the visibly homeless from the aesthetically offended public eye. Although cities including Colorado Springs have avoided utilizing terms such as, “homeless,” that would reveal the unconstitutionally discriminatory nature of similar ordinances, it remains that laws banning necessary, life-sustaining behavior such as sleeping, eating, bathing or storing belongings in public are likely to affect only those members of an economic class that finds itself forced into the targeted behaviors by circumstance. I observed and participated in the process of development when this ordinance was under consideration, and if anyone wants to get up and say it is not aimed directly at the homeless, i’ll stand in open court to call them a liar.
It remains that whether or not one possesses the means to do otherwise, a camping restriction places constraints on a heretofore traditional civil liberty that had been closely entwined with a central thread of American foundational principles. I wrote previously about my perception of the rights involved with camping ordinances as proto-constitutional. A homeless camper’s pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness are at stake in opposition to any restriction, and have been found weightless in the face of public demand for “aesthetic” sophistication, [Joel v. City of Orlando, 232 F.3d 1353 (11th Cir. 2000), cert. denied, 149 L.Ed.2d 480 (2001). Can’t find a free link to this one; it’s summarized here]. We don’t deny that a legitimate tension may exist between societal quality-of-life preferences, (i suspect in these instances this amounts mostly to the quality of perceptions held by the business associations that invariably champion anti-poor-folk laws), but we assert that those ought not carry so much weight as to eliminate the very last of life’s options for those with none other. While it is true that the physical presence of a camper diminishes the ability of others to enjoy the specific space he utilizes, the same is true for any park user at any time given the restrictions of physics. Parks are “first come first served,” to the limits of available space at all times. So, the primacy of uncomfortable business advocates is dubious
If i have a house i can set up a tent in the yard and spend the weekend screwing around out there with my kids. If i have no house i may not do so, not even to stave off frostbite, hypothermia or death, and certainly not as an expression of political sentiment. Ahem. The right to “aesthetic” comfort for the business class currently trumps the rights of the very poor to simply exist. They are required by law to be very poor somewhere out of the line of sight of sensitive society.
If, as is the case with Colorado Springs’s ordinance and others i can’t decline, being forced into “shelter” is the same as incarceration. To further bolster this perspective, the conditions at partially available shelters in Colorado Springs are awfully reminiscent of those at any jail or prison, if not worse by some measures. Also, because i lack the ability to pay a fine, i and others in the same circumstance face incarceration anyhow. All sorts of similar ordinances criminalize necessary behavior. We argue that incarceration or any sort of punishment for carrying out necessary activities where necessary is “cruel and unusual,” and violates the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. [e.g. State v. Folks. No. 96-19569 MM (Fla-Cir. Ct., Duval County, Nov. 21, 1996)]
The cynical establishment response to the 8th Amendment argument has been to assert that ordinances with provision for forced sheltering and the like cannot be unconstitutional since the force takes place prior to conviction of any crime, i.e., it is not punishment. That gimmick is such bullshit that i had to pause after writing that last sentence to keep my head from exploding! Unlike the 1st Amendment argument, this one is both more pertinent, (IMHO), and not entirely settled. Although the ridiculous semantic tango above has emanated from courtrooms, delivered with straight faces no less, some adjudicators have called a duck a duck, so higher courts may well be influenced against some lower decisions in the future. [State v. Folks, linked above].
Anyway, the deed is done and i am a convicted camper, as we expected from the City court. I have a month from last Friday to file an appeal, which can yet afford hope for change. It remains to be seen how much support exists for this cause. I don’t think i can pursue the thing alone.
Finally, i’ve made suggestions above that i have yet to really substantiate. I’ve been quiet a while, sorting things a bit, but this stuff in my head deserves an explanation. Expect more.
- Colorado Springs may limit begging (denverpost.com)
- Formerly homeless couple marries in Raleigh’s Moore Square (newsobserver.com)
- Homeless influx raising concerns (gazette.com)