I met Dennis twice, both times after my bust. One of those times was on an election day, perhaps in 1994, I don’t remember. I went to his apartment and met him and John Entwistle (not the John Entwistle of The Who). We walked to Dennis’ local polling station and back while discussing selling him the last ten pounds of herb I had left after my bust. (The cops tore up my place looking for the stash, but they didn’t find it. I have a picture of one of them standing right over where it was hidden.)
Defense attorney Tony Serra is mentioned here, but I wouldn’t call him “flamboyant,” as the article does. He struck me as the most humble professional man I’ve ever met.
Before my bust, completely coincidentally, I worked on a Hollywood movie based on one of Tony’s cases, “True Believer.” (released 1989) I was cast as a well-dressed gentleman in a fancy restaurant, supposedly in New York City, but filmed in San Francisco. In several takes, the director told me to sneer at the Tony Serra character, (played by James Woods) but that little moment never made the film, although I can still be clearly seen at the next table over.
A year or two later, while I was still growing, I asked my regular lawyer for a reference and went to Tony as a client. He gave me some advice, but wouldn’t take any money for it. I also visited the former head federal prosecutor for the Santa Rosa federal office, who had become a private defense attorney. He took $200 for an hour of his time.
Then, when 17 cops burst into my home in January of 1994, they handcuffed me behind my back, naked, on one of my dining room chairs. We were shouting back and forth, and one of the first things they yelled was, “Even Tony Serra can’t save you now!”
They threw me in the federal prisoner section of the maximum-security, high-tech Alameda County jail complex for 8 days until I made the full $70K bail. My cellmate, Ron Sacco, was a west coast mafioso who had been extradited from the Dominican Republic for running an international gambling ring. He was shocked at the sentence I was facing. He took me, “a college boy,” under his wing and warned me not to let some defense attorney milk me for a hopeless cause. I told him that my attorney was a personal friend of Tony’s, and that Tony told me he was “a good man.” That was all it took for the mafia man to agree that I had a good attorney on my side.
The amazing thing this article understated, although it gives numbers, is the extent of the open sales Peron did before there was any kind of medical MJ. AIDS had swept through the town like the Black Plague. San Francisco was in another revolution, and even the feds were holding back. Or maybe those macho cops were just afraid to raid a place full of AIDS-infected queers.
Brownie Mary is barely mentioned here. Mary was a 70-something woman whose only child had been killed by a drunk driver. Her actual name was “Mary Jane.” She baked pot brownies for AIDS and cancer patients, who she called “her kids.” I saw her name in the paper a lot, and the city declared a “Brownie Mary Day,” in her honor. Check out her Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownie_Mary
The Emerald Cup this article mentions was held last weekend in the Sonoma County fairgrounds “Hall of Flowers” the same spot where one of my old favorite events, the uber-fancy Sonoma County harvest festival wine tasting is held every fall. No doubt the pot smokers were celebrating the arrival of a new flower to the hall. 4,500 people attended the two-day event.
I’m just sorry I wasn’t involved with Dennis before my bust, but I stayed far away from the publicity the medical people were generating.