Monthly Archives: April 2014

Safety Check

For the third consecutive year, the University of Colorado Boulder will spend upwards of $100,000 to close campus on April 20 in its effort to smother anything resembling a 4/20 marijuana smokeout, which the university says has become too disruptive.

This year’s 4/20 marijuana folk holiday falls on Easter Sunday, a joyous Christian holiday welcoming Spring and rebirth, with roots in the Babylonian holiday celebrating Ishtar (“ees ter”), goddess of war, fertility and sex. It’s going to be a potent day. Campus officals, fearing reckless behavior,  are trying to prevent a celebration of what just last year was a protest. But it’s a valid fear; People, especially inexperienced people, will sometimes handle their medicine poorly.

There is a wonderful possibility hidden in this crisis, where both need and fear are satisfied. We will educate the inexperienced and guide them to responsible behavior. Rather than punishing future misbehavior, we will teach mindful indulgence.

From California surfer culture comes the concept of a “Safety Check”; speaking to a fellow on the beach you declare the present moment and space to be sacred, speak only beautiful and kind words, and smoke a joint. A similar ceremony could be created to acknowledge both the responsibility and bliss The Herb delivers.

Picture the sheriff, the chancellor, a Rastafarian and Catholic priest introducing the 420 celebration on Farrand Field, each with their own caution and blessing. There is a moment of silence, a moment of noise, and a moment of shared experience. I’d like to be there. Wouldn’t you?

In the News

There is a brief announcement of my candidacy in Longmont’s Times-Call which was also carried in Boulder’s Daily Camera. It is what I meant to convey, except for the part about focusing on justice for victims. When someone is injured my first priority is not going to be to avenge their injury, but rather to make sure they’re ok. I want the perpetrator to be ok too, even if that means putting them in time-out for awhile.

I suppose this all makes me look soft on crime, and in terms of individuals it is indeed my goal to avoid punishment and facilitate their wellness in the world. In terms of crime there are many that are being ignored by the justice system in Boulder County that I will pay close and loud attention to. This will mean challenging elements of the oil industry, the Federal government, the prison industry, and the banking sector. I am ready to do this, if you are ready to let me.


Wave of Action

I’ll be at the SW corner of Broadway and Canyon from 5PM to 7PM today, Friday April 4th, 2014, acknowledging the Occupy movement’s #waveofaction.

I protested the Iraq War in 2003, as did much of the world. It was, to the best of my knowledge, the largest global protest ever. And it had no effect. The Occupy movement has been portrayed as in incoherent protest. Luckily there is much more to it than that. They are creating new solutions and living them out. If you want to know more don’t wait for mainstream media to inform you. But in this age of the Internet Apocalypse, the answer is just a few clicks away.

I lived in South Korea for part of the 1980s when there were frequent protests and riots over the military dictatorship. For eight years clouds of tear gas drifted across Seoul and other cities, until the people’s will won out and previously jailed and hunted opposition leaders rose to power. Looks like a painful way to bring about change, and I’m looking for a gentler approach. It’s easy for protesters to see police and government as oppressors, and to view the protestors as enemies of social order. We’re all in this together, and I believe through patience and respect we will find mutually acceptable and effective solutions to the many crises we face.

But the next time Dick Cheney suggests we start a war, I’m getting a court order and putting him in the time-out room.