Monday, April 12, 2010

* WHO AM I? by Kay Lee

My full name is Kay Lee, I have 5 grown children, another who died at age 13, 15 grandchildren, and three great-grandsons. I'm a southern lady but have been living in Wisconsin for the past few years. Gosh, it's cold up here and the summers are so short. 

In my earlier years I did little but bear and raise children. But when the last one left home, I was able to attend 3 years of college. The education I received opened my eyes. 

First I did an honors term paper on marijuana because I used to suffer severe depression until an Indian girl gave me a joint as I was grieving after my son died (I was 38 - he was 13). She said, "It won't hurt and it might help." Truer words were never spoken! 

So I knew it was medicine for me, but didn't know about others. My research for the paper (which turned into a small book) made me gasp at the level of political propaganda, which led to my wakening to all the other subjects they were lying about. When I became convinced that everyone was NOT doing their jobs properly and our quality of life was severely affected by it, I left college, sold everything I owned and hit the road. 

My first public effort was a film for Kentucky cable tv in which I admitted my need for cannabis. I was lucky enough to find an apartment across from the Kenton county courthouse in Ky. I used my windows to post messages of hope to the prisoners across the street. I used the sidewalk to set up a table urging citizens to write letters to Rep, Jim Bunning asking that he support Barnie Frank's marijuana bill. 

Some of those citizens asked me to write their sons in prison and thus my prison ministry, "Making The Walls Transparent" began. They told me stories that made me laugh, cry and work even harder to change the prohibition laws - and reform American's prisons. 

A quadriplegic on probation for pot use in Toledo Ohio asked me to come help him while he waited to get a county nurse. While I did the duties of nurse/housekeeper for him, he complained about Ohio governor's lack of compassion on the marijuana issue stating, "Boy, I wish I could ride my wheelchair right up to his office." I replied, "Well you should...I'll go with you!" - and there and then, the "Journey for Justice" was born. 

I barely got the first group of wheelchair patients to the Ohio capitol when I was called to Wisconsin to help another very sick lady organize another journey across that state. Then I was beckoned to the beautiful Florida Keys to help an AIDS patient who was dealing with a trial. I stayed a year and a half, attending his court appearances, keeping house, doing his computer work, helping him run the Key West Cannabis Club, and enjoying his company until he died. 
In the meantime, one of my Federal drug war prisoners was traded to Florida and began to tell me horror stories about the prisons there. When he got put in the hole at FSP with murderers for writing about the mess to the Miami Herald, we began the site, "Smuggler's Tales From Jails". When one of the condemned at that prison was brutally murdered by nine guards, I began vigiling FSP on a monthly basis, which led to my meeting with my next housemates. 
They were very interested in the journeys I had done so I did another through Florida to train them. They went on to organize a journey through Texas in which I got to just ride along and educate people. The last journey I was adviser for was the recent cross-country bicycle ride medical patient Ken Locke did. 

I was hosted by a prop 215 patient (I'm one myself), retired Berkeley professor and criminal justice man, Dick Korn for two years until his death. Then I moved into the Atlanta home of Fat Freddy and 'Marijuana Man' for four years, where we went to a lot of hempfests, did a lot of public speaking and in general, raised the roof about medical cannabis. 

Now, life is a bit quieter - sometimes a little too quiet, because I miss the road. I still go once a year to house/pet set for a couple of old farmers in the northeast, but because I can no longer be trusted behind the wheel, I do little of anything else for the movement except slowly build on the Cannabis Research site. But I get to hang with my granddaughter a lot and I like that. 

I had quadruple bypass two years ago, an emergency situation that happened while I was visiting my second oldest daughter in Wisconsin. That was probably the beginning of my move up here. Also got arrested for the first time in my life because a cop lied his way into my daughter's home and smelled my pot. I was glad I was arrested for my cause and not for anything immoral. Charges were reduced to a city ticket. 

After surgery I took Karate, wore the orange belt before I gave it up and I think that helped my recovery time some. Now, other than losing my breath too easily, weak back and terrible eyesight, I'm doing okay. 

My ex-husband, father of all those children, had triple bypass surgery last year in the Houston VA hospital.  I don't know if my use of pot and the fact that he didn't had anything to do with it and I'm sure his care wasn't as good as mine but either way, he never got out of the hospital again - he developed MRSA in his lungs and after six months, died, still in intensive care. 

I went to Houston and hung with him while he was on the ventilator and we became fast friends after not seeing each other for the last 15 years. I'm glad we got that opportunity. 

Looking Forward,
Grandma Kay Lee
Eau Claire Wisconsin

1 comment:

  1. This is a very good summation. I'm proud of what you've done for Medical Marijuana and Prison Reform.


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