US to Outlaw Vitamins

Lyle Burkhead (
Fri, 01 Nov 1996 02:49:20 -0500 (EST)

In reply to my statement,

:: A marijuana garden in a mansion in Beverly Hills
:: is not illegal in the same way that a garden in an apartment is illegal.

Davin Enigl writes,

> But don't forget there was an LA millionaire who was killed by
> (DEA-LA?) when his neighbors reported possible drug activity
> on his property. It turned out it he was just eccentric and had no
> illegal drugs. But, he still was shot and killed by police.

Good point. I had forgotten about that incident.

This reminds me of something that happened in Berkeley about
1970 or 71. The cops raided a house in the Berkeley hills. A woman
and her son were sitting quietly in the living room, watching TV.
CRASH #1 -- the police smashed the door with a battering ram.
CRASH #2 -- the chandelier fell to the floor and shattered into a million
pieces. A dozen cops swarmed through the house with drawn guns,
and found no one except the woman and her son, who were not amused.
The cops had come to the wrong address. The next day, the chief of
police had the unpleasant task of going to see this lady and her husband,
and apologizing. As I heard the story at the time, the pig's ears burned
for weeks afterward. These people were in a position to call an idiot
an idiot and get away with it.

Nevertheless, the cops did raid a house in the hills, and if it had been
the right house, there would have been no apologies.

Even billionaires are not entirely above the law (as Michael Jackson
and Michael Milken both found out).

I think the man you refer to who got shot lived in Pacific Palisades,
which is a beautiful area, and a good place to conceal a garden, but
not quite the kind of neighborhood I had in mind.

There are some houses in Beverly Hills where such a raid would be
almost impossible. The cops would have to use a tank to get in the
front gate. In some parts of Beverly Hills, the Hollywood hills, and
outlying areas such as Palm Springs, all kinds of outrageous things
go on, but the cops seldom get involved unless somebody gets killed
(as in "American Gigolo"). In these areas, the neighbors aren't
going to be reporting drug activity, because they can't see over the wall.
Besides, in these areas the neighbors aren't the kind of people who
would report drug activity to the police even if they knew about it.
They respect each other's privacy.

The question is whether it is possible to have a nark-free neighborhood
without spending $20 million for an estate in the hills or the desert.

There is an entirely different way to approach this.

Hara Ra wrote,

> Miracles require absolute forgetfulness.
> I've had a few personal experiences which though certainly
> not scientifically rigorous, fit well with this idea.
> Also, it is easy to demonstrate than once there is a miracle,
> it always has a plausible causal explanation.

This is a strange and subtle idea: a miracle with a causal explanation.
In what sense is it a miracle?

Here is an example. In 1989 I met Leslie Graves, my favorite pin-up
girl, and eventually she became my (more or less voluntary) sex slave.
Does this qualify as a miracle? I would say so. It doesn't contradict
the laws of physics, but it is an extremely rare and wondrous event,
and it was something I had concentrated on and anticipated for years.

Another possible example, which will bring us back to our subject:
Twenty years ago, cigarette smoke was ubiquitous. If someone had
said, in 1976, that there would be a time when smoking would be
illegal in all restaurants in Los Angeles, and entire shopping malls
would be smoke-free, most people would have thought they were
crazy. And yet, here we are. I think this qualifies as a miracle in
Hara Ra's sense.

Twenty years from now, there may be marijuana plants growing
on the White House lawn. This seems impossible now, but
no more impossible than the idea of smoke-free malls in 1976.
Miracles do happen.

There are also examples of people who have gone through the midst of
war -- the war on drugs or any other war -- and emerged without a
scratch, while everyone around them was getting cut to pieces.
This too is a "miracle" which is compatible with causality.

I am not wedded to the idea of focusing on money. Being rich is
one way to have freedom, but not the only way, and not necessarily
the best way. The best way to deal with the DEA is simply(!)
to make it disappear. Imagine a nark-free world, and walk into
that reality. Miracles require absolute forgetfulness... Miracles also,
paradoxically, require a deep understanding of causality (but not
necessarily an articulate understanding).

E. Shaun Russell quotes George Bernard Shaw as follows:

> The men who dream at night do just that --dream,
> but the men who dream at day are the ones who can
> turn their dreams into reality.

What about men who have lucid dreams in the daytime?