Making Way for the Feds
Imagining a Bush-Era Crackdown on a Different Kind of "Evildoer"
December 2001/January 2002
"Good afternoon, Los Angeles, and welcome to Eyewitless News. Our top story this hour is now dramatically unfolding on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood. Let's go to the scene and hear from our reporter Tricia Le Pew. Trish, can you hear me?"
"Thank you, Jerry. I am Tricia Le Pew, and, yes, I'm standing here at the scene of a story breaking in a dreary stretch of commercial property in West Hollywood. Just moments ago, a veritable squadron of jackbooted federal agents traveling by government-issue undercover tanks pulled up in front of this plain-looking building and charged inside. Additional agents descended upon the roof of the building in a helicopter."
"Trish, that certainly does sound dramatic. I'm sure that many of our viewers may be wondering: Are invasions of non-descript commercial buildings in West Hollywood common?"
"No, Jerry, I am told that these types of invasions are not common. And amid all of the recent terrorist activity, it may not be reckless to speculate that this extraordinary raid could have a connection with the Bush administration's war on evildoers."
"Trish, have you seen any people enter or exit the building since you arrived on the scene?"
"No, Jerry, I have not. Let me try to get some information from one of the many bystanders watching this event unfold. Sir, are you a resident of this neighborhood? Did you witness the raid that occurred here just moments ago?"
"I am and I did."
"Sir, what can you tell our viewers about the occupants of this building that has just been raided by federal agents? Is this building a cell of international terrorism? A training facility for hijackers? Could Osama bin Laden himself be holed up in a secret lair in the Creative City?"
"I do not think so, pretty TV news lady."
"Thank you, sir, for that ignorant assessment of this internationally explosive situation. Jerry, just arriving on the scene is a group of people who appear decidedly annoyed about what is taking place here this afternoon. Let me try to get a comment from one of them. Sir? Could you share a few words with our viewers?"
"Absolutely, Tricia. I represent the local Chamber of Commerce and I would like to declare publicly that an assault on one of our members is considered to be an assault on all of our members."
"Sir, are you saying that the evildoers just raided by agents of the federal government are members of . . . the Chamber of Commerce?"
"Tricia, no evildoing is occurring in this building. Its occupants are upstanding members of our chamber and our community. And furthermore. . . ."
"Sir, if I may shove you and your parochial biases to the side, I see someone walking through the front of the building that has been raided. Sir! You have just exited the scene of a dramatic raid by federal agents. Tell me and our viewers: What kind of sordid malfeasance was taking place behind that door?"
"Malfeasance? Naw. No malfeasance at all. Just a bunch of us people with AIDS and cancer picking up prescriptions of medical marijuana to help us deal with the debilitating side effects of our miserable illnesses."
"Oh. I see. Well, there you have it, Jerry. Agents of the federal government have raided and closed down a major distribution site for medical marijuana for people who are sick or dying."
"Reporting from occupied West Hollywood, I am Tricia La Pew and I am flummoxed. Back to you, Jerry."
This article was provided by AIDS Project Los Angeles. It is a part of the publication Positive Living.