Sidewalk Ghosts / Richard — Agent Of Change

“I became some sort of pot hero, like Cheech and Chong,
Willy Nelson, Snoop Dog.”

_64A0739We are all in the thing together. A statement that is cornerstone to Operation-365s mission: The grounding principle that asks each of us to look at one another in a basic acceptance of of one overwhelming fact. Every single one of us is built of basically the same DNA structure. Our blood runs the same red, our lungs require the same 02, and every one of us is subject to world’s plagues and disease.

The scientific and medical communities spend millions of dollars and mind power studying petri dishes, conducting case studies and innovating new treatments and medications.

From Herbology to radical and evasive procedures, the list of proven and unsure cures is daunting. That, blended to bottom line profit of the pharmaceutical companies and modern legislation the line between real and fabricated is blurred, leaving many hurting people to feel like pawns on a chessboard of unimaginable scale.

Some of us sit patiently, quietly involved and awareness as we throw our votes and actions where it counts. Others protest loudly at levels the decibel of roaring lions. But for both, the combined outcome can be remarkable in facilitating change, whether it be for better or worse.

Right or wrong will always remain a matter of circumstance and popular opinion; and yes, sadly at times, the side with the deepest pocketbooks prove to be the victor. But for those who stand strong in their beliefs. Those who have the stamina to stay true to their point-of-view with conviction, with passion and with compassion; those of who are willing to bravely look into the eyes of the storm and proclaim, “This is how I see it. Hear me!” Today we meet one such beacon to the passion of a cause, our new friend, Richard.

_64A0743“A little plant named Marijuana saved my life,” Richard begins with unstoppable zeal, “ living with Aids for 20 years, and many friends of mine living with Cancer, Glaucoma, MS and 6000 illnesses across this nation. Marching from a little humble place in West Hollywood and San Francisco, across 22 states and the District of Columbia, and being in the room with two presidents, one that inhaled and one that didn’t. My name is Richard Eastman, I’m honored that you took my picture, and it’s all about freedom for Marijuana, freedom for the people, freedom for the planet.”

Y_64A0756es, Richard is on the front lines of one of the hottest legislative, religious and social topics in the county: The legalization of Marijuana. But looking deeper into his message his ambassadorship digs much deeper, into the very right to choose. The undeniable commonality that we are all equally human: Freedom of choice.

“We need more freedom, not just freedom for our planet. We need freedom to express your mind, to occupy this planet. Freedom to have food, freedom to have a place to live, freedom to work, freedom to just enjoy life on a planet called Earth that’s spinning around in the atmosphere with an untold amount of planets that we are just discovering, and the fact have a Cannabinoid in us that is in a plant that’s been on this planet longer than man. Putting the handcuffs on it. To put people in jail because of their skin color was unjust not only to me, but to Mother Nature.

Who is our worst terrorist? Not Osama Bin Laden. Mother Nature, earthquakes, storms, tornadoes, you know, to put a handcuff on a plant. To put a handcuff on the people, is to destroy the planet.”

Calling Mother Nature a terrorist, was at first, a claim that I found uncomfortable to stomach. But in respect to Richard I took a second look at his comparison. I settled down and as I did a clearer view opened. Richard was telling us this. He called them handcuffs, and yes, he was relating it to the plant called Marijuana. Or was he?

Maybe I’m justifying a perspective, maybe I’m not. But as I see it, I’ll look at the terrorist reference as a call to action. What I mean is this. The Earth has immense power. As Richard mentioned: Earthquakes, storms and tornadoes. She is unstoppable. Her ability to destroy is as real as her gift of immeasurable beauty. A warming that as we try to legislate her, to control her, to manipulate her, that in some way we are setting ourselves up for her repercussions. Not that she is a maiden with an unjust hunger for retribution, but an injured soul doing what she needs to do in order to halt her attackers.

I know, your possibly thinking, “what a poetic reach Mr. Radstone, where talking about pot here?” Well again, are we?


Now, back to pot, and Richard’s history. “’Many years ago High Times Magazine called me the ‘Green Lantern.’ The real Green Lantern, and in the 40+ year history of that magazine, and this Lions Lair (where Richard and I met); over 40+ years, and me, just a hippy from San Francisco that’s 61 years young. I’ve been smoking Marijuana 51 years. I started when they killed my president, John F. Kennedy; and then I grew up to be a hippy in San Francisco, and I saved the Hollywood sign and I grew up gay and knew Harvey Milk and I knew Dennis Peron and almost died from Aids, and then I was called upon to open a Marijuana shop. I did, and in LA there were more than 1000 of them; more than Starbucks. So you can imagine if I did this for money, I would be one of the wealthiest people on this planet. But no, I’m just an agent of change. Like president Obama said, ‘we are all agents of change, and there is no luck’ He said, ‘there is no luck.’

Ultimately, whether people think I am from another planet, or just some guy that fell into the pawn game of life and the chessboard of the United States Government, and the illness called Aids. Well, aids didn’t kill me, the government didn’t kill me, and ultimately I didn’t jump off the roof and kill myself; because my mission isn’t done. When it is done’”, he starts to sing,break on through to the other side, nobody gets out alive!!!’ Jim Morrison, nice to do this little interview with you.’”


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