Texas family confronted with police scare tactics after trip to Colorado, are forced to leave the state
Fight or flight is an automatic response to threats of survival. When a threat is perceived, the human nervous system kicks into overdrive, allowing the adrenal cortex to release endorphins and stress hormones. We all have a level of familiarity with this automatic response, as it is natural.
Activists for the reform of marijuana laws in Texas, Copperas Cove residents Sheena Marie and Minister Mike were faced with a situation triggering their fight or flight response. A recent vacation to colorful Colorado proved to be the catalyst.
Like many activists from Texas, a vacation to Colorado is an educational opportunity to discover the practices of the legalized marijuana industry. Not only is it educational, but some call it spiritual as well.
In Colorado, any person over the age of 21 is allowed to purchase and consume marijuana in a safe manner. Usually this occurs inside a hotel room, a private residence, or at a private party, like the High Times Cannabis Cup. All activists in Texas understand that driving under the influence of marijuana is a serious no-no in Colorado. Other serious crimes related to Colorado’s legalization of cannabis include taking Colorado marijuana over state lines into a state that prohibits the plant.
Sheena, a US Army Veteran, is a proud member of multiple NORML chapters, and is one of the face-forward, tall-standing women of the NORML Women’s Alliance. The NORML Women’s Alliance is an organization that helps people, though mostly women, find the fine line of balance between personal / home life and activism. Sheena has spoken publicly about the benefits of Colorado’s legalization, and the dangers that Texans may face as a result. Her most recent speech was the ‘do’s and don’ts of traveling to Colorado.’
Minister Mike, partner in business and life with Sheena, is a full time employee in his trade, as well as an activist and business owner. His business, Grow Your Own, is designed to bring environmentally friendly products and healthy alternatives for the folks in their home state. As an activist, Minister Mike appreciates the opportunity to challenge the thinking of Texans, and Texas law makers.
As everyone is aware, April 20 is a holiday among cannabis culture. 4/20, as it’s often referred to, was celebrated in Denver in a way America has never seen before. Sheena and Minister Mike took a short vacation to Colorado to celebrate this historic event. In the company of over 30,000 other cannabis believers, they made the legalized choice to participate by using cannabis.
Upon their return from Colorado, they spoke at the Killeen NORML Alliance meeting on April 23. The very next day, plain-clothed officers driving a mustang greeted them at their home. The officers said they had reports that Sheena and Mike may have brought illegal substances back from Colorado.
Sheena was quick enough to respond in the same way that is always encouraged by our activist friends. She politely refused to allow them to search the home, since there was no warrant.
The threats and intimidation by the officers began.
Sheena reports that the officers responded by saying, “well, we can come back with a warrant, and CPS.” Sheena and Minister Mike were obviously shaken by the threats, intimidation and scare tactics. They made the decision to seek legal advice, let the weekend pass, and reassess the situation in the coming week.
The following Monday was the impetus for seeking exile. The family’s neighbors came running to tell the Sheena that police had just left their residence. The neighbors claim that at least three police cars, and a car that looked to be CPS were rummaging through a closed and latched storage shed, and had left moments prior. This is the moment that their fight-or-flight response kicked into overdrive. The decision was promptly made to withdraw their son from school in Texas, and pack up the family car for an overnight drive to Colorado.
After contacting friends in Colorado, swift arrangements were made for temporary housing. Sheena, Minister Mike, and their son were able to take over a basement apartment at their friend’s house.
Many people would see these events as panic-inducing, fear-laden, and beyond acceptable stress. The story of tragedy for the family doesn’t end here. The first morning at the friend’s residence turned sour quickly. Upon return from the grocery store, the family vehicle, a Toyota Prius, was totally destroyed.
An uninsured driver made the choice to take to the road that day. Following the decision to drive with no insurance, this driver made the choice to drive dramatically over the speed limit while chatting on the phone, and these decisions led to the wreck of the family car.
Threats of taking their child, seeking exile in Colorado with little to no help, the total destruction of the family vehicle, and withdrawing their son from his favorite teacher are too much to deal with.
Since the move, their pets were kidnapped by animal control in Copperas Cove. One of their three dogs is a Chihuahua who has been missing an eye for over ten years. A vet treated the dog at the time of the injury a decade ago. Family in Texas had taken on the task of watching over the pets while Sheena and Minister Mike are in Colorado. When the family members went to animal control to collect the animals, there was another attempt to gain entry to the family home.
Animal control and local police claimed to have seen a kitten through the window, and said entry would be necessary to evaluate the level of care for the pet. They also claimed that the dog had been neglected, and a warrant was allegedly issued for Mike because of said neglect.
Let’s sum this up. Police claim illegal products MAY have been brought to Texas from Colorado. Police make threats involving CPS. Police and CPS seem to violate the privacy of the family by searching a storage shed without permission. Swift packing and driving to Colorado lead to the total destruction of the family vehicle. Police realize they don’t have enough substance to fulfill their threats, and involve animal control to remove the pets.
This story is the perfect example of the unnecessary destruction of property, lives, and families as a result of failed prohibition policies. Unfortunately, this story is not uncommon. Similar stories are arising all over Texas and other states. The State of Colorado is the refuge for these families. Until Texas steps up to protect Texans, we will continue to see this destruction.
If you would like to help assist this loving family, please share this information, dig into your pocket and make the best donation your heart allows by visiting http://www.gofundme.com/8u5ysc.
This is not the first time this family has run into problems with local officials. Originally they simply wanted to start a community garden, but due to their involvement in the cannabis movement, they were constantly harassed.
You can read about that story here.
By: By LC Smith
This story was contributed to and edited by Stephen Carter.
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