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An interview with ELVY MUSIKKA and RICHARD DAVIS

by R Givens c 1995

Note to the Reader: Elvy Musikka, interviewed in the story below is one of only eight people in the United States legally allowed to use marijuana as medicine. She obtained her status after being arrested for cultivating marijuana to treat her glaucoma. Her trial judge ruled that she would be insane under the circumstances NOT to break the law and that she should do whatever is required, legal or illegal, to maintain her sight. She receives a supply of marijuana cigarettes on a regular basis from the Federal Government. She is also a tireless and quite vocal activist for the cause of a sensible drug policy toward sick people. It is in this context that the following incident occurred. Richard Davis runs the Hemp Museum, a mobile educational exhibit which demonstrates the history and uses of hemp.

On 21 June 1994 around 7:30pm, RICHARD DAVIS and ELVY MUSIKKA, a legal marijuana user, were heading west in the Hemp Museum on I-70 near Salina, Kansas when a Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) car began following them.

RICHARD DAVIS: He stayed on my tail or came up beside the truck looking at the stickers for 15 or 20 minutes. When he stopped me, he said I wasn't driving so good, but he followed me for a long time and a lot of traffic went by, so he wasn't too concerned until he decided to stop me. He came over all steamed up, accusing me, "Look at you. You're all fucked up. Your eyes are red......" He had an attitude right from the start. He had me stand behind the truck and went to talk to Elvy.

ELVY MUSIKKA: Officer Patrick introduced himself and said, "I stopped you because your boyfriend has to be stoned. He's driving 60mph." It was a 65mph zone and Richard was driving slower because the wind was blowing the truck around. A minute later Officer Patrick was telling me that Richard was being arrested because "He told me that he smoked marijuana." (laughs) As though I was fool enough to believe Richard would ever say something so stupid to a highway patrolman. (laughs) I knew right then we were dealing with liars.

As soon as we stopped, I pulled out the Parade Magazine (12 June 1994) with my picture on the cover, so Officer Patrick and the rest of them knew from the very beginning that I receive LEGAL MARIJUANA from the government. He asked what the maximum I can carry is and I told him I can have a three-month supply, which is a lot, because I'm expected to smoke 300 joints a month. Then Officer Patrick wanted to check my pouch, so I showed him my prescription bottle. He smelled the weed and said it smelled very good. He thought it was too good to be government pot. I guess he had read enough to know that the government only gives out trash. He wondered about them being hand-rolled, but the government marijuana is freeze dried and I have to wet it and re-roll it because it's too harsh.

Officer Patrick never questioned that I was a legal smoker, but he was determined to arrest Richard no matter what. He was upset because Richard chose to exercise his 1st Amendment Rights with his bumper stickers and the hemp plant on top of the truck. Cops like Officer Patrick think they are above the law. This was proven by the way they harassed us for the next five hours.

RICHARD DAVIS: Within 20 minutes four squad cars were there. Patrick started out threatening me with jail and they kept asking for consent to search the back of the truck. Every once in a while they would come over in a group and seriously discuss getting permission to search. They asked several times, but I refused. They said they were going to take me to jail anyway. Officer Patrick was convinced that he was going to get in the back and nail me for 200 pounds of weed he seemed to think I had in there. (laughs) They kept saying, "Let us take a look. If it's only a little bit for personal use, we don't care." They hinted that they would just take the weed and let us go, but they weren't giving any guarantees. They finally decided to get a drug dog. If the dog got a positive response for marijuana, that would be their probable cause.

ELVY MUSIKKA: (laughs hard) There I was dressed in HEMP, we are driving a HEMP museum, they already know I'm a LEGAL MARIJUANA USER (laughs), and they needed a drug dog to determine there was some HEMP there. (laughs) As soon as the dog arrived, it was time for my medicine, so I lit up and smoked a whole joint. By then we had been detained four hours.

RICHARD DAVIS: We told them over and over that we would not approve a search. They knew full well that they were doing an ILLEGAL SEARCH. Elvy even asked if they had a warrant signed by a judge. Their answer was "No, but we can get one." They never did though.

We were a couple of hours into this before Officer Patrick snapped and read me my rights. He said I had the right to remain silent, so I shut up. Until then I was very cooperative and tried to educate them about hemp. All they did was threaten me with jail and constantly ask to search the truck.

After they got the dog they decide they could search the back of the truck. They thought I had the keys even though they patted me down right after they stopped us. One of the troopers took a one bladed swiss army type knife the Hemp Rope People gave me. I guess he liked the knife until he found out I wasn't going to jail. We had to wait an extra hour while the officer brought the knife back. Anyway, the keys were in the ignition, so they got in without breaking the lock.

Once they got in back, they went through Elvy's stuff and found a half pound of good bud and some very good leaf a dealer GAVE her because the government shorted Elvy a month's supply on her prescription. When they found that they said, "we've got him on sales!"

ELVY MUSIKKA: They were in MY suitcase threatening Richard with "sales." My suitcase was totally locked. They destroyed the zipper and went through ALL of my personal belongings. It was a violation of my privacy in every way.

They were opening sealed containers and poking through EVERYTHING. They had the audacity to open my government marijuana can, which was sealed exactly the way I get it. I purposely keep it sealed so if anybody gets in there it has to be an ILLEGAL SEARCH.

I had a few government joints on top and some good bud and some very good leaf for baking. I like cookies because of the hassle of smoking on the road. Anyway, according to the court order of Judge Markey Bolin, I am entitled to do WHATEVER it takes LEGAL or ILLEGAL to preserve my sight. That's in the Judge's decision.

They took the good marijuana and left me a few days supply of government trash. they even stole my government prescription marijuana container. Officer Patrick and the rest of them may be interested to know that they definitely put my vision at risk by stealing my medicine. I have a tolerance to the standard glaucoma medicines and if my doctor hadn't arranged an emergency shipment, I would have been in real trouble. The stuff the troopers left only lasted a few days.

RICHARD DAVIS: Now, let's get this straight. Elvy had that bud because she was shorted a month's supply by the government. THEY admitted as much when they Federal Expressed 300 joints to a Motel 6. Those highway patrolmen weren't satisfied with harassing us for five hours in the middle of the night; they had to take a glaucoma patient's medicine before they were happy.

I feel sorry for people like Officer Patrick because this War on Drugs completely compromises their morality. It absolutely destroys their integrity going around lying and abusing citizens rights. I would be amazed if all the pot they took ended up in the DA's office. The property receipt they gave us was so illegible that it says absolutely nothing about what they took. You can't read a word. Maybe that's their idea of honesty.

They know damn well that marijuana isn't dangerous. At no time did these cops act as though they thought we were a threat. They never handcuffed me and they left me alone several times while they badgered Elvy. They thanked us over and over for being so courteous. After being detained for five hours and being robbed by a gang of thieves with badges, all they did was give me a warning citation for a cracked windshield that doesn't require any action.

They took over a half pound of marijuana, but they never arrested ANYBODY for ANYTHING. How can they do that???

They broke a bunch of stuff in the Hemp Museum during their search. They offered to put everything back, but they made it pretty clear that they would wreck everything they could if they had to clean up their own mess. So I stood out there in the middle of the night trying to get everything back in the truck.

ELVY MUSIKKA: Officer Patrick and the other highway patrolmen might be interested to know that they made me feel like I was in some foreign police state where you don't have any rights. Those troopers made me feel I was in a very different country than the one where I took an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution. I became a citizen by choice, not chance, and I know my rights. Seeing these Kansas highway patrolmen trample on the Constitution made me feel very bad. They knew our rights, but they didn't care if they violated them. Officer Patrick and the rest of them knew right from the beginning that I have a legal right to have marijuana, but they didn't let that stop them. I'm considering a civil rights suit.


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