Friday, August 15, 2014


There once was a young Egyptian man named Hussein. A very kind and gentle man, a true non-violent Muslim who lives the Quran for Allah. He could not find work in his own country to support his family so he paid for a job in Saudi Arabia in the Kafala program, where he works long hard hours paid as a driver but doing the accounting of several men for his sponsor.

He found me on yahoo awhile back and asked if I could help him learn better English so that he could improve his work conditions. Since his intentions were honorable, I gladly took him on as a student.  In exchange, Hussein taught me about Islam, his beloved Egypt and the peaceful way of life.

We have been close for over 4 years now. I have watched him work until he is so weary he cannot even fall asleep for the 3 or 4 hours allowed to him. I’ve seen him almost die more than once in sickness from mosquito bites, and fight the mice in the humble worker dwellings in the sand.  I’ve watched him through the depression of not being allowed to go home to visit his family for 3 long years. And I have been touched by his desire for freedom.

Listen to his words. Do you feel them with your heart? I cannot even imagine living like this, yet he does it year after year with amazing patience, always gentle and helpful to everyone. 

"Sometimes wish to feel and remember that iam human. iam not animal to only work and eat and sleep but only these i know like animal;
and the animal is better than me, can make intimate with the other and i can't.

Wish live good life, not high standard life but wish do my best in my work and find the good reward to satisfy my needs and my family needs. iam not lazy but wish mix my life with work and enjoying my time.

Wish breathing Freedom air."
 My name is Kay Lee, with no middle initial.

"Kay" means rejoice, and "Lee" means "Shelter fom the storm". so Kaylee means "Rejoice for the shelter from the storm". 

For Hussein I pray to be his shelter from the storm. I would like to bring him to America and watch him create a good life for himself and his family. I know, after all he's been through, that he would celebrate and appreciate freedom more than most of us born into it.

If there are any out there who know enough about immigration laws toguide me in this endeavor, please contact me at  
I would give anything to find someone who could and would help improve Hussein’s life. Insha Allah there is such a person.

Saturday, May 10, 2014


Saudi Arabia has a work sponsorship program you don't know about. Millions of migrants from other countries have had to buy jobs there because their own country's economies have been destroyed by leaders. It is no small thing: The numbers are estimated up to 80% of Saudia's work force. They have become slaves who can't go home at will, who can't change jobs, who are overworked, underpaid and blatantly mistreated. 

Some employers in this program see themselves as slave-owners. They keep their worker's visa, denying them the right to return home. Beatings, rapes, and other forms of brutality are inflicted on many workers.  If an employer choses not to pay earned money, workers have no recourse. A worker who doesn't show up at the job can be turned in as a runaway and jailed. Young men get desperate, try to swim to freedom and drown. Others commit suicide from harsh conditions and homesickness.

Female workers have been brutalized and killed for 'disobedience".  Men have been beheaded for supposedly looking at an employer's wife. What may have started as a noble effort to pair workers with employers has become a vile and unjust system of slavery. 

Not all employers in the system are corrupt. But there are enough bad ones to discredit the entire program. Human Rights Watch workers have tackled this situation with few results and backlash from employers have forced most activists in Saudia to go underground.

"The kafala system is responsible for a lot of ills going on ... and is going to be on its way out .... The majority of Saudis are totally against such type of behaviour, but there are people in our society who have misused the kafala system." ~ Al Jazeera

America is not immune to bad leadership. Look at the size of our prison population. Look at the growing number of people without jobs or homes. If we don't pay attention, one day we, too, might be yearning to breathe Freedom's Air.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

HOW I ‘CAME OUT’ by Kay Lee

I was visiting my mother when an aunt dropped by. I listened casually to their chatting, but when my aunt said, "I've been having trouble with my son. He's flunking in school, skipping and smoking that marijuana,”  my ears perked right up.
I had been using pot for about year:  I was 39, I had never paid much attention to it’s legality or lack of, neither  before nor after I began using it. I was unaware that it was medicine for many. I didn’t even know that there was a movement to make it legal, although I had read Jack Herer’s book,  “Emperor Wears No Clothes”.  Read it, heck. I had highlighted and double-checked and made notes and references all over that dog-eared book.
But all I really knew for sure was that marijuana had raised the quality of my life drastically. So of course I’m way more curious than I’m letting on. 
My mom listened to the whole drama about her nephew, then replied as if it was a fact, “Pot will make you stupid, you know.” 
Now, I knew my mother as an intelligent, very honest, a pretty open-to-new-knowledge kind of person, so I was more than a bit surprised by her response.
I sat a bit stiff, words bursting to get out, until my aunt left. My mother began washing dishes at the sink with her back to me. I took a deep breath.
“Mom, do you think I’m stupid?”
She whirled her surprised face around, almost dropping the dish in her haste to say, “Of course not. Why would you ask such a thing?”  She shot me a reassuring look and turned back to the sink like the matter was settled.
I paused, then as gently as I could, I responded, “Because I smoke marijuana.”
I could see the stiffening in her back and shoulders, hear her double fast scrubbing on the dish in her hand.  There was one of those silences that feels like it lasts forever, then her voice, subdued and a little shaky, questioned, “Do you buy it?”
I flinched before I replied, “Well, mom. If you’re going to smoke it, you’re going to have to buy it.”
Again the silence.  Then she surprised me.
With her back still to me, she quietly said, “I always thought I’d like to try marijuana ... if a doctor was there to make sure nothing went wrong.”
I said nothing. I had no words. Everything Jack Herer had wrote was true:  about prohibition...about the hysteria created to make the plant illegal... about the misconceptions and misinformation promoted to keep it illegal. Oh, that all these years later, people still thought like that. I was stunned and angry that they had planted all that prejudice and ignorance in my beautiful truthful helpful mother’s head. How dare they!
That’s when I knew I had to learn to articulate my principles... I had to share the truth with people like her before more harm was done. 
Thus began my personal ‘journey for justice’. 
That's how I 'came out' of the closet. What’s your story?

Monday, June 25, 2012

"Prohibition's bitter fruit is never a Nation's sobriety. Instead it is Crime, Corruption, and Disrespect for Lawful Authority."

How the US Government, Banks, Prison-Industrial Complex, Corrupt Officials, Businesses, Law Enforcement, Racists and the CIA Profit From Illegal Drugs


Once upon a time there was a very young girl who looked with wonder upon every new thing.  The mere act of waking up brought a smile to her face. She would leap from her bed with excitement over what new and wonderful experiences the day would offer her.
Every moment of every single day was a celebration of life. The sweet smell of her favorite blanket soft under her nose, the feel of her clean clothes brushing against her body, the taste of her cereal and juice; Everything brought her joy.  
A tree dropping a leaf on her head could make her laugh. A bird singing its early song could make her sigh with pleasure. Music made her dream and the rain made her dance. She was born to experience life and she did it beautifully.
But then... It happened to her much the same as it happens to everyone:
Her parent's arguments began to drown out the birds; her society frowned on rain dances so she stopped; her school took away her love of learning; bullies took away her confidence; her church destroyed her unbridled faith; her job stifled her creativity; her leaders brought fear to her mind and their rules limited her freedom...
...and she slowly, without noticing, climbed into a box much too small for her, curled up and became an imitation of what she was expected to be.
She lived many years in this fashion; alarmed by the clock every morning, struggling for a paycheck to pay for her box, driven by advertisers and propagandized by anchormen and dictated to by rich men with power. The world began to make her tired. She was very discouraged, and in this manner, she grew old, had a heart attack and died.
When she was revived, doctors said, "We saved your life." She thought, "What for?" and began to question all that had brought her to this point. 
And then she woke up. She threw away the alarm clock, turned off the tv, climbed out of the tattered box that had become her life and began to live again.
She expanded and grew into the child she once was. People called her eccentric and hinted she was senile, but she couldn't hear them over the songs of the birds. She began to wake with a smile, find the beauty in each day and once again danced in the rain with great joy. 
The End.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

FORFEITURE COPS - Flash Fiction by Kay Lee

"Looka there. Why, ya reckon, would old man Gates throw his best boots in the kindlin' pile like that?"

"He's always braggin' how he "marched mor'n 25 hundert miles in dem dere boots. Stood up and talked 'bout it on ever Vet's Day. Showed dem damn boots to everbody."

"Yep, never thought he's let nothin' happin' to dem boots - like they was gold or something'. Nope, never thought I'd see 'em outta arm's throw, but dere they lay."

"And I ain't seen him in what...three, four days."

"Last time I seen him was last Wednesday over at Johnson's buying' polish for these very boots. Said he ordered it special from L.L. Beans' catalogue."

"Looka dere. Dem boots ain't shined at all. Now why,  you reckon, would he be buyin' polish lessen he meant to shine dem boots?"

"Don't know. Never shine mine. Never buy polish neither. Waste of good money ya ask me."

"I'm thinkin' somethin' ain't right."

"I'm with ya, boss. Whadda we do now"

"We keep our eyes open, ears to the ground, nose to the grindstone so to speak."

"You got it, boss."

"Yep, somethin' just don't smell right."

"I thought I saw a marijuana roach in his ashtray in yonder. Hey boss, reckon if Gates don't show up, I could have them dere boots?"

With humor in a humorless situation,

Grandma Kay Lee

Friday, June 18, 2010


My name is Kay Lee but thousands call me Grandma Kay. I'm a minister. I'm also the Wisconsin director for the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis and creator/organizer/director of the Journey for Justice (J4J) and Making The Walls Transparent (MTWT).

Most important, I'm a mother, great and grand, to 20 nice people, five of whom have found marijuana to be essential to their quality of life. I have worked solely in non-profit reform efforts for the past 15  or so years, exchanging my abilities as caregiver, companion, house/pet/child keeper and organizer for room, board and an internet connection.

Some amazing people have hosted me. They taught me new skills and truths regarding the effects of bad laws and policies on good people. With these skills, I created the marijuana patients' project 'Journey for Justice' and the prison project 'Making The Walls Transparent'.

Marijuana actually came into my life as medicine, although I now respect the creative and spiritual aspects of Cannabis. The plant literally saved my life, because I was born to a depressed mother, grew up a depressed child, spent seven adult years allowing 'professionals' to dose me with whatever drug they could prescribe, and became more suicidal all the time.

It wasn't until I was 38 years old, after my eldest son's death, that a young Indian girl gave me Cannabis and immediately and forever, my life changed. No more doom and gloom for this tough old bird. Marijuana allowed me to raise my remaining children. Thus far they've all been able to stay away from the 'injustice' system, which actually goes against statistics.

Three years ago, right after my heart surgery, I was arrested for the first time in my life. A cop lied his way into my daughter's home, smelled my 'medicine' and handcuffed me in front of my 7 year old wide-eyed grandson. Charges were later dropped to a city ticket, but it was an injustice none the less: I don't hurt people intentionally, I don't take their stuff, I help where I can, yet prohibition has reduced me to a common criminal in the eyes of the law.

In my younger years, I did little but bear and raise children. When they began their own lives, I attended college for three years, where I learned that not everyone in politics is doing their job properly. I know now that some laws are unconstitutional, and political choices are negatively affecting citizens, not just of America, but in countries all over the world.

I learned about political manipulation to bolster bad policies such as Prohibition, like propaganda, demonization, division of the people and enforcers who enjoy busting non-violent people far too much to insure justice.

I discovered that Prohibition has a long history of failure and that even during alcohol prohibition, it was not forbidden for medical use. I learned that our current prohibition is based on lies and those who passed the original laws against it were deceivers furthering their own agendas.

I was raised as most of my generation were - Fiercely believing in my country and its leaders. Frequently during my education, I was stunned to tears and over-whelmed by a sense of betrayal.

When I finally brushed off my skirt and stood up to share my new-found knowledge with others, I encountered first hand stories of prohibition's effects: Corrupt enforcers, courtrooms bent not on truth and justice, but on punishment; prisons that try to turn people into animals; destruction of individual lives and entire families by a system originally and specifically designed to protect them.

The old people I talked to were indignant, young people were scared or defiant, mother's and fathers begged me to write to their sons in prison and my education continued.

I discovered that prison sentences for non-violent people are mostly unnecessary and far too long; that prison care is dangerously substandard for human beings; that rehabilitation has been replaced by warehousing; and that as many prisoners are returning to the world shell-shocked from this homemade war on drug users as young men in the military are from foreign wars.

I learned that there are better ways to control the harms of drugs. That is why I am here. To let those who are suffering know they are not alone; to help set our nation on a common-sense path; to make the future gentler for the next generation - and particularly to save those I love from the consequences of terrible policies like Prohibition.

Looking Forward

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

* Something So Wrong

The laws against Cannabis are so wrong that there are millions of people engaged in 'criminal activity'. Prohibition laws are unenforceable - every prohibition failure in history is proof that you cannot legislate the 'morality' ordered by authority. The current prohibition has been going on since before I was born, and for heaven's sake, I'm old now.  There has been no reduction in the amount of marijuana available, no reduction in the number of users, nor children using it; no reduction in related crime. Corruption among law enforcers is at an all time high, despite the fact that our prisons are bulging and our school budgets are lacking.. So, you tell me - What's it all been for?  How much longer is such a terrible policy going to be applied in the land of the free?  Well, that's pretty much up to us.  End Prohibition Now! Enjoy the song.

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

* POT THOUGHT #1 by Kay Lee

I loudly proclaim PEACE, but my solitary voice cannot survive the clamor for war.

 I cup my hands and yell, REMEMBER THE CONSTITUTION, but my words fall, softly unheard, on the shreds of our founding documents.

 I call out, FREEDOM FOR ALL, but my weary voice echoes in the empty halls of justice, dies in the crowded courtrooms, and is buried in the bulging prisons.

 I request JUSTICE, but my voice is muffled by the dirty hands of Congress.

 I demand TRUTH; I passionately denounce the lies, but my fellowman covers his collective ears.

 I beg for SANITY, but my lonely voice is lost in the chaos and confusion.

 I cry for COMPASSION, but my weeping is drowned out by the painful mockery and cries of despair.

 I know silence is certain destruction and eventual slavery. I cannot go into that dark place quietly, and so I use my eternal voice to PRAY, Father forgive us. We know not what we do.

Kay Lee
 Freedom has a thousand charms to show, That slaves, howe'er contented, never know.

* WHAT'S A NICE GIRL LIKE ME Doing In a Place Like This? by Kay Lee

I died two years ago - heart attack during an angio-whatchamacallit. Code-blue-dead until they got the old ticker going again. So what do you reckon I was brought back for?

Before my death I was prolific: Building websites, helping hundreds of people, bringing down criminal authorities, standing up for my beliefs, and being arrested for my cause (which is the only good reason for being arrested).

Since my death, I have done nothing much except hang out with my two year old granddaughter. We play silly games, sing funny songs and dance to whatever music is emanating from whatever electronic device is turned on. We laugh together at the most absurd things, like racing through the house on my 'scooter' or playing her "Amy-Rissa-Amy-Rissa" game... (She calls me 'Amy' because she didn't learn to say, "Grandma Lee".) I am, to Rissa, her very favorite toy.

So I keep thinking, what am I supposed to be doing? Should I be writing my memoirs or trying to save the world? Whatever I'm here for must certainly be important to have me die twice to do it, but for the life of me I haven't been able to get properly inspired to do anything but play with Rissa.

Whatever I'm doing, I like to do well, so you know what? I'm just going to put my heart and soul into Loving my grandbaby and being the best toy I can be until the final Code Blue is deemed permanent. 

Who knows, maybe I'm already fulfilling my mission. I really hope so. I’m rather enjoying this.

Grandma Kay Lee

Sunday, April 11, 2010


"Yuck, 'Amy'", two-year-old Rissa calls urgently. "A bug." I squat down because my old eyes need to be near the source. "It's a ladybug," I tell her. "Isn't it pretty?" She sits on the ground beside my feet, puts her face close to the ladybug, not quite touching it. "Awww, red, pretty, ladybug," then says again, "Yuck!"

Rissa has always loved the outdoors so when she's visiting me, we spend more time outside in a day than I usually do in a week.  Before this, I had a renovated farmhouse in the country with a really big yard, cornfields and pastures all around. We had a separate garage, a basement and a wooden deck we could have coffee on. She enjoys her morning coffee time with 'Amy' - (That's me. She started calling me 'Amy' when she was too young to say 'Grandma Lee'.)

She loves to roam and that place had lots of possibilities for a small explorer and her dog. She ate apples from the tree, played on the picnic table, picked loads of dandelions, rode the wood pile and examined rocks from the driveway and flowers in the flower beds. When the corn fields grew tall, she would stand at the edge and peer inside as if there were something to see besides corn: In the winter when the corn was no longer there, she would take off across the plowed field, long-striding confidently, sure she'd get somewhere amazing.

She imitated the birds and played with the dog and piled sticks by the cooker. We'd often sit quietly on the post at the edge of the road and watch the little creek below us. The water was still, just a tiny shallow creek, but she would sit very still and stare down into it for a long time as if she saw great things.

Of course I would walk with her if I could, or, if my hips were giving me a problem that day, I could sit on the deck and keep an eye on her in comfort. I like to walk with her because she invariably makes me laugh, but some days I just can't.

It was a wonderful place to be, peaceful, quiet, pretty. Birds sang softly while they darted busily from here to there; breezes carried the sound of the corn rustling on the stalks; occasional there'd be a distant whinny from the horses grazing in the field across the road. There were blue skies in the daytime and lots of stars at night. Nature filled the silence with wonderful melodious sounds and Rissa's laughter was part of it.

Now, I live much closer to her, at the edge of the city, in a small upstairs apartment. I worried because her favorite thing is to be outside and, as I
mentioned, I am not very ambulatory. I worried because she's a friendly child and there are a lot of people whom I don't know yet.

There's also a fairly busy highway in front of us, so, since she's still slowly learning the boundaries, if she goes outside, I would always have to go with her. I need to make sure she's safe. She'd be limited here by what I could do and I foresaw nothing much for her to do at 'Amy's new house'. I was worried she wouldn't enjoy coming over as much.

But, all that worrying was silly: Like most kids, Rissa makes her own fun out of anything. The first time we went outside, I  briefly explained why she had to stay where I could see her and that we'd go back inside if she went too far or didn't come when I called. She listened patiently. Then I sat down on the steps and she, feeling her freedom, began immediately to run, back and forth past me on the sidewalk. The large grin covering her face spread to mine when she breathed loudly as she passed, "Amy, I can't stop running."

I might enjoy sitting in the sun, but she likes to explore. The 'yard' includes a sidewalk that circles the building with a hill of grass in between the two parking lots. Since I have to rest frequently while we walk, she only gets to explore the area where I can see her from where I sit. I know it's certainly limiting for a small child, so I give her as much freedom as I can. We've had to take a few trips upstairs, but I am patient and she is finally figuring out I need her to keep me in sight.

The front of the apartments consists of a row of rocks in a flowerbed along the building about two feet wide. Then a sidewalk, then a sloping, grass-covered hill maybe 15 yards deep that ends down at the sidewalk, which is a couple of feet from the highway. She's not allowed on the lower sidewalk because it's too near the road. But she enjoys watching the traffic and the people on the sidewalk make her happy when they wave back.

For a city apartment, we are lucky. There are bushes to hide in and trees to try to climb and even a stone picnic table that she loves to dance on. She leans on the trees, frolics in the leaves, lays in the grass, digs in the dirt or rolls on the hill.

She's discovered the row of garages behind the apartments and struts up the drive, merrily knocking on each and every garage door. Nobody has ever answered of course, but she likes to knock.

There's even a few occasional moments of excitement. Like the day she was playing in the grass when a lady jogger ran by on the sidewalk below us. Without a sound, Rissa sprang to her feet and began running on the upper sidewalk, little legs whirling, keeping pace with the lady below us. The lady looked up at Rissa, then at me, and we both laughed out loud. They ran together like that until they reached the drive. Then I had to make Rissa stop so she wouldn't get hit by a car. But all the way back. she chattered about her and the lady running. "Good job," I told her.

She investigates the edge of the small woods every chance she gets. The other day she saw two ducks waddling just a couple of yards from her. She called out, "Amy, Ducks!" in her excited little voice. I could barely see the tops of two somethings just above the weeds, couldn't tell what they were, but she was so excited I had to grin. She walked carefully over the branches and leaves towards the bobbing little heads.

They in turn, walked leisurely just ahead, evading her, but staying just close enough to let her think she was catching up. After a few vain attempts to reach out for them, she ran back across the drive towards me yelling, 'Amy, DUCKS, I need to hold them!" I walked to the edge of the woods, with Rissa running ahead, to see for myself. Sure enough, it was two wild ducks with heads the color of drakes (could have been drakes for all I know about ducks). So we got to have a nice talk about ducks and animals, wild and tame.

Sometimes, in the late afternoon after school, the apartment children come out to play. We can hear them below the window and immediately Rissa wants to "go see the kids". I don't mind because it's always easier to keep up with her when she's got someone to play with. Their parents limit them to the area below us, so Rissa is happy to be where I can see her. She loves the 'kids', which we didn't have in the country.

So, I live in the city, can't have a dog anymore, am limited in space and movement, but Rissa's okay with it. And so, I am.

It's true: Life is much better when you have someone to hang with,
Grandma Kay


It was Fourth of July, Independence Day, 1995. I was giving out flyers to the huge crowd, announcing an upcoming medical marijuana debate. I passed nearby an older gentleman who had been quietly watching me and offered him the information. He said, "This is for marijuana? I cannot take it. I'm a minister, a man of God."

  I replied, "I, too, Love God and put my trust in Him. I try to stay very close to His Spirit." He suggested I go home and pray about what I was doing. I looked deep into his kind eyes so he could see the truth when I said, "I have."

  "I see," he whispered, and took the flyer.

  Years earlier, at the age of 30, I had made my quiet decision to use marijuana medically. I had given the doctors their chance: All their medicine was making it harder for me to control my life. I had researched marijuana, tried it, and it worked for me. I didn't feel the need to stand up for my medical choice.

  But, when the medical marijuana issue touched my 24 year old daughter in the most intimate of ways, I fell to my knees, and prayed a mother's agonized prayer for her child. "God, should I tell her about marijuana? I think it will help her, I know it is safe, but what if it helps her? It will make her a criminal in the eyes of the law. What should I do?"

  She is losing the use of her internal organs, delivered into her world of depressing pain by a physician's clumsy hands. When her doctors told her that the only real relief available now was an expensive surgery that her insurance company would not pay for, she wiped away her tears and worked desperately hard to accept what she could not change. I prayed for her strength.

  When the doctors told her all they could do was order her a wheelchair, and prescribe her pain killers that burned her stomach when she took an effective dose, or made the constipation worse, or made her arms and legs twitch, or her mind nervous, she began to pray for strength. I secretly wondered if marijuana would give her less stressful relief, but I still I said nothing.

  However, when a doctor refused to give her the pain medicine because he was afraid of the government, I knew I had to do something. Her pain was my pain. It felt desperately wrong in my heart not to tell her about marijuana.

  So, how I prayed, on my knees and in tears. And He answered me. I told her everything, helped her try it, and rejoiced when it worked. When I finally looked up from my daughter's situation, I saw millions like her in pain from these policies. Bad laws really do hurt lots of good people. I prayed about that too, and He has been by my side ever since, guiding me every step of the way.

  I do nothing without the Energy of all that is Good, I pray long and hard before taking any action, and I feel in my heart what He wants me to do. He blesses me greatly, and I know without doubt that I'm doing what He needs.

  This prohibition on medicine, on God's creations, and on compassion has to be put to rest. God created this plant, God created us, and despite what many people think, 'God don't make no junk.'

  I continue to Pray, for those in pain, for those causing pain, especially for those who have power over us. And I continue to look forward to a spiritual healing of our nation.

  Looking Forward,
  Grandma Kay

* BEST PART of WAKIN' UP by Kay Lee

I'm not a kid anymore, but I still get that 'wake-up-early-excited' feeling during the holidays when my children visit. Especially when they bring the grandchildren.

It's the day before Christmas. I wake smiling when my two-year-old granddaughter, Rissa, leans over me, lays her soft cheek on my aged face and whispers, "Mornin' Amy" (her word for 'grandma lee'.) 

No one else is awake yet, so we tiptoe hand in hand, passing quietly through the living room dimly lit by the Christmas tree, into the cozy kitchen. I turn on the lights to start our coffee and with the two of us together, it is immediately cheerful.

While the pot perks and the smell of fresh coffee fills the kitchen, I get out my favorite cup while she fetches one of her 'baby doll cups'. We put napkins and spoons at our places: She sits her doll on the table to celebrate with us. Everything is a holiday when she is here. 

We sit at the table, waiting patiently and I laugh as she tries to copy the finishing bubbling sounds the coffee pot is making.

I pour my cup full and put a few drops in hers with milk to top it off. The sound of her doll spoon clinks quietly as I seat myself, draw in a deep breath of steam rising from my cup. 

We both sip. Ahhhh, the best part of wakin' up really is that first cup of coffee with Rissa while all the house is still asleep except us.

Grandma Kay Lee

Friday, April 9, 2010

* DAMN THE LAW by Kay Lee

Fifteen years ago I didn't question the laws, nor the people who make and enforce them.  I assumed everyone was doing their job properly, that public servants were really serving the public and all was as it should be.  Mine was a late-in-life rude and painful awakening.
The truth that set me on my path was a simple one: Bad laws hurt good people. Tonight I cannot sleep because defenders of one of those laws are wrongfully crippling someone I love, a very good person who is in a great deal of pain and is being denied relief by those around her because they are afraid of the enforcers of a very bad law.
She's only in her 30s but already her fingers are swollen and twisting painfully with advancing crippling arthritis.  She cries with the pain.  I cry because I know there is a much maligned plant that eases her pain without the side effects she fears from man made medicines.  A tiny amount can make her feel better for days.  It loosens her joints and elevates her mind above the pain so that she can enjoy the little chores of life,  and it's possible that, over time, the plant could slow or halt the progress of her ravaging disease. 
But her husband refuses to let her use it because dangerous men could come into their home and take his child.  He felt forced to make a choice between his child's future or his wife's. I doubt that the choice will give him comfort in a few years when she can no longer write her wonderful stories for his son, or when she has to cut her long hair that he loves so much because she can no longer brush it.
In the bible are a number of verses that lead me to believe that everything we need to sustain life, to ease our pain and heal ourselves is already here -  created for the use of mankind, woven right into nature by some wonderful force that obviously intended the benefits of the plants for all who suffer.  Everyone knows it - that's why our medicines are based in nature, culled from the growing things around us.
So it is confusing to me that a relatively small group of people could have claimed total ownership over portions of a nature they didn't create and can't even come close to imitating.  I weep because those people stand waiting to destroy a very good person and the people she loves should she dare to reach in her anguish for one of those plants.
For all the 65 years I've lived on this earth, I've watched the ritualistic celebration of grown men who dress up like toy soldiers and tromp through the fields with scythes raised high to wage war, not on evil human beings, but on medicinal plants and the people who use them.  My gosh, even manmade alcohol wasn't denied to doctors and patients for medical use during that prohibition, yet plants made by God are withheld from everyone, no matter how badly they need them.
I don't give a damn about immoral laws, drug wars, pharmaceutical profits or an imaginary drug free utopia!  What I do care about is people, particularly one beautiful little lady who fears the deformity of her hands will mimic her grandmother's in coming years, and her husband, who should never feel pressured to make such a choice between his son's security and his wife's pain.
It doesn't even matter how a group of men slunk in and used awful lies to take total dominion over the plants of the field.  What matters is that the masses, meaning you and I, continue to allow them to hurt good people, continue to feed their never-ending lies to our children, continue to finance such absurdity as a war on plants, and continue to believe that liars, cheats, and underhanded profiteers are going to create a perfect world for us with their guns and handcuffs and prisons.  To hell with the drug warriors!
I say end the Pain of Prohibition NOW! 

Grandma Kay Lee

Saturday, April 3, 2010


I didn't go to college until my kids were grown, and I was the most receptive to education I'd ever been. It was there that I first realized things were NOT really right with our country. I found out about millions of people struggling against bad laws*, the economics of the drug war, the inhumane conditions in our jails and prisons, the dwindling constitution, and America's lost sense of freedom and justice for all. I was crushed.

How many times over the last 10 years has another truth brought tears of disappointment and anguish? Soon, I found out that to know the truth hurts worse if you do nothing about it. So, I looked to the spirit within myself, thought of my grandchildren' future, and asked with passion, "What can I, one small, shy grandmother, do?"

...And my journey began.

The Journey for Justice is an empowering, enlightening, spiritually evolving trek through rural America. No, I don't mean the Christianity of a church particularly, but rather of the spirit of concern, compassion, and common sense that will lead us to a better way.

The first Journey for Justice through Ohio focused like a microscope on legal medical access to marijuana for patients, medical rights. The second journey, Wisconsin style, included the POWDs (prisoners of the drug war), who are really political prisoners: They've committed no violent act: They were imprisoned because they stepped outside "politically correct", snubbed the status quo (called "Freedom of Choice" in bygone years).

By the third journey through Florida, we had begun to find out about the conditions all inmates are living in, and realized that, for the safety of society, prisons should be a healing place. The Florida journey stopped at jails and prisons and churches and courthouses across the state. Our mission was to educate and enlighten the public about the conditions patients will live in when the long arm of the law sweeps them into the crowded courtrooms and bulging prisons.

The 4th leg, the Journey for Jubilee Justice traveled through Texas, evolved into a journey for peace, a national and international plea for a better way. We want an end to the thirty-plus drug war, the quick release of non-violent political prisoners, and a cleaning of our prisons so that they are places of true rehabilitation for people who purposely hurt others.

We want leaders with wisdom, mercy, vision and truth. We want candidates to discuss human rights, and harm reduction, and lifting the spirit of man, for we understand that it will be the healing of the people that will lead to the healing of the nation.

*It's not hard to spot a bad law: Anytime the law is in violent conflict with compassion and common sense, it is a BAD LAW and must be changed.

Sharing the vision in the spirit of Jubilee Justice.
Kay Lee

Condensed History of the Journey for Justice (J4J)


Kay Lee's Cannabis Research

Saturday, February 27, 2010

* DEPRESSION: The Bottom of the Mind

I lay my pain to paper only because my miracle medicine is still illegal.

Before 1992, twelve doctors proved in a court of law that Cannabis was vital to their patients’ medical care. The people representing NIDA and Health and Human Services still provide the few living patients with an ongoing monthly supply through their pharmacy. The rest of us go to prison.

It's important that you understand marijuana reform is not 'cheech and chong,' but a dead serious effort to tell the truth: Marijuana can be used as medicine to drastically raise a sick person's quality of life. The plant does not take lives, and in some cases it can actually save a life: I know... because it saved mine.

Now, due to unfair, immoral, and possibly illegal prohibition laws, I can go to prison any day for nothing more than using a God-given plant that heals me.

Because my medicine, so vital to my health, is illegal, I have learned as much about the drug war and the inside of prison as is possible, considering I have never lived in one. I have made it my business to know because I could be arrested at any time for what I do: I must repeatedly ignore a bad law in order to stay alive and useful.

In fact, while at my daughter’s home, right after my emergency heart surgery, I was arrested for the first time in my long life, handcuffed in front of my very frightened 7 year old grandson and taken to the police station for fingerprinting. The cops were ‘restrained’ as they confiscated my Cannabis, charges were later dropped to a city ticket, but something is very wrong when a person like me, who has never hurt anyone on purpose nor taken another person’s stuff, can be yanked from their home and treated like a criminal over a plant that raises their quality of life. And, yes, it can happen to any of us at anytime.

If I ever go to prison, I will exist in a cold concrete cell and my body will deteriorate. I will be deprived of marijuana, so my mind could sink into the small, cramped world of depression again. But, my spirit is strong because of my years of use and I do what I have to do. So, never, ever believe a rumor that Kay Lee killed herself. I am much too strong for that now.

I wasn't strong in my pre-marijuana life. I was very fragile. Depression is like a gray thread woven throughout my family, so I had a high chance of living with it. My mother suffered from it, and when I say suffer, I want you to understand that mental and physical pain are the same: They both hurt.

I'd been kind of a loner, inside myself all my childhood years. I grew from a withdrawn child, one my mom labeled "moody," into a broken adult. By the time I turned twenty I was having rages, followed by lots of tears, followed by periods of silence, where I could not speak, could not eat, could not respond. I knew I was flawed, but had no understanding of what was happening.

By the time I sought help several years later, I weighed 74 pounds. Suicide had begun to dominate my thoughts. It seemed the only way to stop the horrible sadness. The early attempts were weak, using generic pills that made me vomit but did nothing to ease the pain.

My first real breakdown sent me on a seven year journey into hell. When I couldn't stop crying for several days straight, I landed in a psychologist's office and was given Elavil, then switched to Melaril. We knew it wasn't working when I failed at my next attempt. I took pills and laid in the tub, and when it didn't work, I dressed soaking wet and ran barefoot aimlessly for nearly an hour on the frozen February streets.

I came down with pneumonia, almost comatose despair, and was graduated to the heavy stuff, Lithium, Librium, all kinds of vicious chemicals. And the sadness grew worse and worse. I could see myself losing control, but I didn't know how to stop it. Neither did the doctors, but I had insurance, and they were willing, even eager, to experiment with expensive new drugs.

For seven years I tried to destroy myself. I hid in a closet and chopped my long hair off to the roots. I threw my beautiful paintings and art supplies into the river. I slept too much or too little, cried too easily... and raged. And I faithfully, obediently took their pills day after hopeless day.

I became repulsed when touched and that really hurt my children. When I began smelling myself and washing numerous times a day, I withdrew further from everyone. When I went to see the shrink, I sat way across the room. When he found out why, I was admitted to the psych ward of an expensive hospital. I stayed for a month and began the perfectly legal 'Haldol drool': This stuff 'drug' me down so deep, I couldn't even remember to swallow.

For seven years I let them try whatever they wanted. Every time they took me off another medicine to get ready for the next, I'd have withdrawal. Each drug has its own hell, and some would set my arms and legs to twitching; some made me vomit. Haldol, my nomination for devil drug, did something to my brain. For awhile, I could see the words of a book, but I could not make any sense of them.

For seven years I grew sicker and sicker. As they changed my medicine, all the old leftover medicine had gone into a shoebox in the top of the closet, but it was as if someone else had put it there: I never consciously thought about the pills, even as I stashed them. Then one night, without awareness, I slowly consumed all of them as I bathed the children, put them to bed and meticulously cleaned the house.

Through a series of extraordinary interventions, which included my mother 2000 miles away, her neighbor, my doctor, and ma bell, I did not die, but I came as close to success as I was ever going to get.

I vaguely remember a fireman, who had broken down the door to get into my home, walking me, dragging me like a dead weight up and down the hallway. "Wake up....stay awake," he kept saying, but I retreated to nothingness.

The next memory I have is the blindingly brilliant emergency room, fighting to keep them from sticking the tubes into my nose and mouth. When I heard the ambulance driver say, "Opps... There's lunch," I gave up and sought sleep. I would not be allowed to die this time either.

Three days later, I came back to the world at the sound of my doctor's voice asking the nurse, "How long has she been like this?" My body was sitting up, alive, but my mind had been somewhere far away and quiet. He sat down beside the bed, and asked me simply, "Why?" I could not speak and had no answer I was willing to share because I did not understand either.

He told me that he had saved me this time, but that next time I did this, the state was going to lock me in their very unhealthy mental ward. I numbly told him it didn't matter, because it was the truth. Nothing mattered.

For the few next years, I lived in a fog. I quietly played my mother role, but I was numb from medication, nearly paralyzed by depression, just existing. I did what I had to do, but had lost hope that life would ever be more than bearable.

In 1977, when my 13 year old son drowned, the doctors asked me if I was a danger to myself. I told them that if a big Mack truck hit me, I could at least find out where my son was. So, they put me in the mental ward overnight.

I lay awake in the dark, hearing the moans and commotion of the disturbed people around me and their sounds were a reflection of the way I felt.

I went home and mechanically put together my son's funeral, but the essence of me was not there. I was 39 years old and I felt already dead.

After his cremation, an acquaintance handed me a joint and said, "it might help and it certainly won't hurt". Not only was I desperate, but I instinctively knew the truth. So, I sat out back alone on a stump and lit the marijuana.

I had taken only a couple of puffs and a humbling thing happened: I heard, felt, sensed a voice and it said, "If you can handle this [my son's death], you will be able to handle anything."

...And my closed and shadowed mind opened like the petals of a flower and was flooded with sunshine. I had not realized how dark it was in there until marijuana turned on the light. I felt warm and at peace for the first time in my life. I felt strong and clean and whole and capable of dealing with whatever was before me. The feeling of total peace stayed with me for three days, the humbleness forever, and the strength continues to grow with everything I 'handle'.

I didn't know to call it medicine back then, but I took that shoebox full of perfectly legal and very dangerous drugs that had slowly refilled and buried it deep, deep in the earth near the lake. And I have never, ever looked back. I thank God and His plant for the healing. He said everything I needed was here and He meant it.

I made plenty of mistakes, but I raised my five remaining children virtually as a single mother, and did hard decent work to support them. I stood strong during one daughter's three month coma, and helped birth nine perfect grandchildren. At the age of 50, I managed three years in college, mastering four honors courses.

I did in-the-trenches research and learned about the lies, until I realized that I was supporting harmful policies with my silence. When the last child was no longer dependant on me, I began my own journey for justice. I, shy grandma that I was, stood in public places talking about 'politically unpopular' truths, debunking the myths, challenging authority, and comforting the people whose lives had been or could be altered and destroyed by marijuana laws. I devoted myself to the plant, its creator, and its people. Can you blame me?

I rejoice in living without doctors, without debilitating drugs, without the constant overwhelming depression. My mind is no longer filled with cobwebs and fog. My God, why would anyone want to take this from me?

What could motivate anyone to want to throw me back into that darkness and make me useless to others?

I just don't understand...

If you don't know enough about marijuana to help change the laws,
learn more.

Kay Lee