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Mitchell Colbert is a cannabis research journalist. He also writes about bike culture and Burning Man. You can read his writings on The Leaf Online,…
As a cyclist who has rode all around the Bay Area in a variety of urban/suburban situations (Santa Cruz, San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland), I have to say Oakland has some unique factors. Perhaps I am statistically lucky in Oakland, but I have had two highspeed chases fly past me while on a bike within a six month stretch this past year. I never once had that experience in years of riding in San Jose, which is a city more than twice the size of Oakland. Nor have I had that experience in any other city I have ever rode in.
Let's see, then there was last month with a gentleman drove the wrong way down the one-way section of Lakeside past the Lake Chalet. When I mentioned this to him he said "Don't worry I am only going down the block."
Then there was last week when some guys thought it would be awesome to spin a donut in the middle of the intersection of Lakeside/14th. Those same geniuses proceeded to tear down the road like it was a freeway nearly hitting several cars in the process.
I would say, based off my subjective experiences riding, Oakland is unlike any other city I have ever rode a bike in because the drivers give zero fucks. Sure, most drivers care; that is always the case. But the marginally bad ones here put the awful ones in San Jose to shame. When not in a car, I operate under the assumption that all people in cars are psychopathic murderers driving 5,000 pound death-sledges at highspeed within a few feet of me, and could snap and kill me for no reason. That is what it means to be a defensive bicyclist; never trusting cars, ever. I would have been hit last week by a truck if I wasn't watching behind me and didn't move my bike out of the bike-lane for them to turn onto MacArthur; they didn't even notice me enough to thank me. I'd love to leave my cyclist PTSD behind me but every day means new triggers as poorly designed roads and moronic self-centered drivers come inches away from being my death.
Here is to another day I am glad to be living and riding. My heart goes out to the cyclists who have been hit and killed, or worse maimed for life. While I am still nursing a broken wrist from a crash that I did not cause, I am lucky that it did not involve a car; in fact, none of my bad crashes involved a car hitting me. I am a rarity. In my two years working my most recent job in San Jose we had six people riding their bikes to work and I was the only one to not be hit by a car, and most of them were hit and runs. Any person who harms another in that way and just abandons them deserves to be put in the town-square in the stocks or left to the crows. They are not a human being but a monster.
If you were truly reading my words rather than blindly responding you would see I clearly stack the blame solely on the Federal government's bungling of their raids. I actually was defending the police at times. Learn to read sir, I know Californian's schools are bad these days, I graduated from them after all, but they still do teach people to read words in print.
I have no qualms with the police as a whole, I feel they can serve a valid social function, though often their power is abused and subverted against the public's best interests. That is neither here nor there, and my personal opinion (supported by much scholarship and fact, but that is a tangential debate I'd rather not engage in as this main debate is already failing due to your lack of reading skills).
I'm not trying to be insulting, just factual. I made it pretty clear the Feds were at fault and the police were harmed by their actions, thus I have no idea how you could author that last post in good faith unless you just didn't read my words at all or can't read.
Perhaps write a real response to the argument at hand, stop dodging the points with Red Herring slurs on the medical cannabis industry/Occupy, and learn to have a real debate sir.
"It's also true that the Oaksterdam raid, as Kevin Wiley's 2:26 p.m. email to Jeff Israel complains, resulted in "several priority calls being stacked." However, you lose me when you infer, based on nothing more than supposition, that priority calls relating to the Oikos shooting were among those that were stacked. Where is evidence of this?"
That is exactly what I was referring to when I said smoking gun evidence hardly ever exists. It's pretty damned obvious that if priority calls were stacked that priority call would be one of them, does it not? Unless there is a fast track for priority calls, do you have proof of that sir? Otherwise, we are left to assume it was stacked with all the rest, perhaps to be unstacked at a faster rate (but that is an assumption!).
I guess my inferences and assumptions are pretty terrible things. Like how judges and juries make inferences and assumptions about cases every day, based off incomplete knowledge, as imperfect fallible humans. I'm trying to help you realize that making inferences based off facts is how courts operate, because they do operate as such. Not just courts, science is also build up this way; as opposed to religion which is just assumptions, not based off any tangible facts.
I have offered the evidence of limited resources, a factual reality you continue to be ignoring, it would seem. What kind of facts do you want? An email from the Feds saying "Hey we know about this shooting, but ignore that and help us."? That kind of "smoking gun evidence" hardly ever exists in the real world. I would be curious what evidence you have to actually disprove my inferences based off facts (which is what courts do....). Fact, Oakland has limited funding for police. Fact, this Federal raid pulled a huge amount of police resources away from their normal activity, which would have included responding to the Oikos shooting. Fact, the only reason we caught the shooter was he turned himself in to a different police force (presumably because Oakland was too busy to respond).
What more facts do you need? I realize some people will never be satisfied, are you one of them? It would save us both time and effort to out yourself now.
Frank, it's beyond being an idea it is a fact of life. Limited resources are a reality faced in all situations.
Let me break this down for the Alan Kurtz's of the world, as a member of Occupy Santa Cruz, a Medical Cannabis "elitist", and an employee of the medical cannabis industry.
In this case, OPD only has so many cops to service the territory of Oakland. Oakland is a geographically large city with a diverse population and diverse needs; it also has an extreme lack of monetary resources, like most cities in California today. One can infer from these facts that Oakland's police force was already operating at capacity, dealing with Occupy Oakland and other ongoing protests like that of the Lakeview school closure. Based off this inference one can assume that a sudden, entirely unexpected event, like a massive city wide raid of 6 properties which drew additional protests, would be a severely unwelcomed burden. Similarly, an unexpected school shooting would have been an unwlecomed burden, but a manageable one, if the entire police force wasn't tied up with crowd control across town.
That is why this headline is quite accurate and rather factual.
If you support Harborside please sign their petition online. Go to http://saveharborside.org/, there is a link to the petition on the top right of the main page. You can also view videos and read about what has been going on.
They need all the help they can get in the face of massive federal pressure. The Feds have been abusing their power for too long, trampling on State's rights, they have seriously crossed a line here coming after a collective that is fully following state law.
To anyone who says, "dispensaries should know they are breaking Federal law and should be shut down," Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks broke the law quite a bit as well, would you have similarly said they should be "shut down?" Civil disobedience is how we stand up to a corrupt government that refuses to recognize our rights. The existence of a medical cannabis industry is a major action of civil disobedience, attempting to change the laws of this country back to how they once were. When this country was founded, many of the founders smoked pot and the majority had to grow hemp BY LAW in the colonies (read the Emperor Wears No Clothes, by Jack Herer). Let us return to being an America that embraces personal freedom, and an America that embraces science.
PS, the court is out, the ruling is in and prohibition has lost. We know for a fact that our current approach to drug gangs and drug policy increases crime, death, and torturous acts too barbaric to repeat here. There is no sane reason to continue this failed policy unless you are a nihilist and have no respect for human life.
Michael, if only we were bifurcated in CA. We are trifurcated and working on being split in five. I agree with you whole heartedly that California MUST rally behind one initiative. At this point it seems that Like Wine is the only viable candidate, the sooner the rest of the legalization community realized this and gets on board, the better.
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