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Smoked Out

Lord Mong

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If there's one thing Jacqueline Patterson has learned about living in California, it's that they have better salad dressing. It costs $30, but a bottle of her favorite dressing comes packed full of pot. "It tastes good, too," she says.
The dressing comes from one of California's marijuana clubs, which supply weed for people who use it for medicinal purposes. Patterson moved to California from Kansas City back in February.

Other than the salad dressing, little has gone right for her since she moved.

I profiled Patterson back in June of last year for this story. She suffers from cerebral palsy, which causes a severe stutter and stiffens her joints, making it difficult for her to walk or move her hands. When she smokes pot, her speech becomes more clear and her motor skills improve.

In Kansas City, she spent much of her free time fighting to legalize medicinal marijuana in Missouri. But Patterson feared the state might take her four children if she continued her very public effort. Losing her kids would be too much, she says, especially after the crap she's gone through -- including a rape, a broken neck and the suicide of her husband.

Patterson says that shortly before she moved, a family member called the Missouri Department of Social Services and ratted her out as a mom who smokes pot. Patterson says a social worker paid a visit to her home in south Kansas City. When she told the social worker she was planning to move to California, Patterson says the social worker said that by doing so, she would avoid further action from the state.

So Patterson packed her kids and everything she could fit into a tiny Toyota Yaris. She headed to Bolinas, a place she'd read about online. It's a tiny fishing village 30 miles up the coast from San Francisco. The people there are famous for disliking outsiders; locals even remove highway signs that point the way to the village. The day after she arrived, Patterson enrolled the school-aged members of her brood (her kids are ages 11, 7, 5 and 3) in the Bolinas schoolhouse, and she says locals took to them immediately. "If I've screwed up everything in my life, at least I've raised my children really great," she told me by phone recently.

With $300 in the bank, Patterson and the kids moved into Smiley's Schooner Saloon & Hotel. The place is owned by Don Deane, who Patterson says has "raised, like, 90 foster kids." Deane took her in and gave her a place to stay for three months while she looked for something permanent. In May, though, he suggested she move in to a homeless shelter so she could be closer to social workers.

She's still there. The shelter is the Family Emergency Center in San Rafael, California. Patterson and her four kids share one room. "The shelter is essentially a dilapidated hotel room," she says. In the middle of her room, there's a doorway with no door; if she hangs a blanket, she can get some privacy from the kids.

She's applied for assistance to find an apartment through the Marin County Housing Authority. She says they told her the Housing Authority has no money available to help her. "They've basically left me homeless for six months."

At least there's one small relief from the hard life in California. Shortly after moving there, Patterson got a California driver's license and a physician's referral for medicinal marijuana. Those two things mean she can get pot from one of the many marijuana clubs. Mostly, she gets the salad dressing, but sometimes she'll buy the pot-infused candy bars or teas. If she buys the leaf variety, it's about what it costs in Kansas City: $50 for an eighth of an ounce. Patterson says that lasts her three or four days.

Patterson hopes to start her own company. She wants to produce documentaries and film one about her own life. She got inspired after filmmakers shot some video of her last year for an upcoming Showtime special, "In Pot We Trust." It's scheduled to air July 9.

Best-case scenario: She's working on her own documentary as soon as she gets her own place. Worst case scenario? She knows getting out of the shelter's going to be tough, and starting her own company is out of the question if she's still sharing space with 17 other families.

As for Kansas City, Patterson says: "I think about moving back every day, because there's no fire around the Kansas City medical marijuana movement. There is nobody to speak out for the patients. But it just isn't safe for me there."

This weekend, Patterson is scheduled to speak at a medical cannabis rally in Nevada City, California. The kids begin summer camp on Tuesday.

Newshawk: Lord Mong - 420Magazine.com
Source: Cannabis News
Copyright: Cannabis News 2007
Website: www.cannabisnews.com/news


New Member
That's truly a sad story. There is NO REASON this woman should have to live in fear for losing her kids. She seems to have an amazing will and I sure hope she can see the day when they finally legalize cannabis. :peace:

Da Great 1

New Member
I hope she finds a place soon and can do what she wants with the documentary thing.

Da Great 1

New Member
I wonder if this is the same woman in the documentary In Pot We Trust
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