A Day At the Bus Stop(s)

June 24, 2011: Because of the mail strike, we had to go to the UPS store over on Merivale to mail off this $10 million Ontario Human Rights Complaint against the Ontario Government. For those of you unclear as to why I am doing this; an OC Driver harangued me on January 20, 2011, for using my medicine in public, and the province is, ultimately (I feel), responsible for this.

So we go outside about 10:30-10:45 or so, to wait across the street for a bus. We had to wait for more than 20 minutes because, well, this is Ottawa.

25 – 30 teens – ostensibly from the nearby St. Pius X High School on Fisher Ave. – because the only other schools around here are for kids of lower ages – were milling about, being teens.

I was wearing my “MEDICINAL” shirt with the pot leaf in the “A” – the camouflage one. I almost always wear one of my “MEDICINAL” shirts in public in hopes that it will prevent me from getting assaulted by a cop.

So this 15-16 year old kid comes up, fingering a five dollar bill. He has a giggling twinkle in his eye, and says, pointing to my shirt, “Do you have any of THAT…?!?!”

My chest and right arm went tight as I envisioned myself breaking this brat’s nose, and then kicking him until he goes still, right there on the sidewalk.

I squinted at him. “Seriously? You walk up to strangers at a bus stop and ask for dope?”
“Ye-ah-HAH!” he says with a giggle.

Christine says “Your friends put you up to this?”
“…yeah…”
“Tell them to FUCK OFF!” she barks.

“Jesus fucking christ but you are stupid.” I say, loud enough so everyone can hear. “Would you do that on camera? Walk up to strangers and try to buy drugs from them?”

By this point, he is back milling with his friends, pretending nothing happened.

So we get on the bus and go mail the thing.

Then we get back on the bus and go to Billings Bridge Mall.
We get our supplies.
We go up to the bus platform, and have to wait 24 minutes for our bus.

Luckily, this time, we were able to get a bench, but I was in a lot of pain and really wanted to medicate.
It was crowded but quiet in the station for a change, so we just sat. Bus-arrival time approached, so I tell Christine “we should get out on the platform”.

I stand up, look out the window at the lower platform (behind me), and what do I see? A group of 6-7 uniformed drivers, milling about on the edge of the very same platform that I was harangued on jut six month earlier. And what are these drivers doing? Well, at least two of them are smoking! One was on the grass next to the platform, and one, I suppose, lit up on the platform and then was walking along the sidewalk… but both of them ON OC Transpo property.
I got some pictures, but you can’t see much from them. Should have shot video.

Anyway, that is a good illustration of why and how I got to hate and resent society and reality so much: The very day I go to mail off my complaint, not one but two!! complaint-related things happen to me in under 90 minutes. Also they both happened because of “chance” and the almost-made-it-but-didn’t randomness of Ottawa Bus schedules.

So I wrote this letter to the school and board:

To Whom It Concerns At St. Pius X High School and the Ottawa Catholic School Board,

On June 23, 2011, I was standing on the corner of Meadowlands and Fisher, waiting at the 4504 OC Transpo bus stop for a west-bound bus.

As a Federally Licensed Medical Marijuana User, I usually wear a shirt in public that says “Medicinal” with a little pot leaf in the hole of the letter A, in hopes that police will be gentle with me in public when I medicate. By “medicate”, I mean “smoke pot in public”.

I was not smoking pot in public that day, but a student – one of about 30 who were milling about at the bus stop, ostensibly from your school – comes up to me and my wife with a $5 bill in his hands. Giggling as if he had been dared by his friends, he asks; “Do you have any of THAT!?!”, pointing to the word on my shirt.

I squinted at him and asked “Seriously? You walk up to strangers at a bus stop and ask them for dope?”
“Yeah-hah!” the boy says, laughing.
“Your friends put you up to this?” My wife asks him.
“Yeah.” he says with a giggle.

So she told them all to “(fornicate) off”.

So, to recap: one of your students, at the urging of his friends, offered to buy drugs from a stranger who publicly identifies as a “medical” user, at a bus stop, in broad daylight.

I might also add that I often see kids smoking tobacco on – or near – school property when I go by on the bus. I also see them smoking at the various bus stops on this intersection and on the front lawn of my building as I wait for my bus, and the stink often disturbs me.

I am sure I need not remind you that it is illegal for anyone under the age of 19 to be in possession of tobacco, and it is also illegal for anyone over the age of 19 to allow someone under the age of 19 to procure or use tobacco. But the fact that kids are openly smoking on – or near – your school’s property suggests that you knowingly allow your students to possess contraband and even allow them to bring it into the building. The fact that students are asking people for drugs in broad daylight in front of dozens of witnesses suggests emphatically that your drug “education” policies are failing miserably.

The boy who spoke to us was 15-16 years old, about 5’10”, moderate acne, black hair cut short on the back and sides, but kind of coiffed on the top and front, and was wearing a white button down shirt with black check-type lines, with a t shirt underneath. We could easily identify him, and I am sure a quick run-through of your front door security camera tapes for that time period (9:30 – 10:30am, June 23, 2011) could help us spot the culprit easily.

Or should I simply report it to the police and the media?

Call me. I am home all day.

Russell Barth
Educators For Sensible Drug Policy
Federally Licensed Medical Marijuana User
………….

The vice principal called me a few days later. He agreed that he did have some stoners – like any school – but it is not as big an issue as other schools. He said that the tobacco users on or near property – their parents tell the school to lay off! He tells me that when cops and drug counselors come in to talk, the kids “zone out”. When some “don’t do as I do” person with a bad past comes in, they listen hard. I told him all about Educators For Sensible Drug Policy and so on.

So I told him my story of misery and redemption, and told him “You give me one hour in front of your student body, and I can cut your drug use in half.” I would have those kids’ undivided attention the entire time, looking and acting like I do, and saying the controversial things I say.

But I will not rest on this issue until I get a satisfactory resolution, and the minimum I will ask for is an hour in front of one class.

But there is no way the trustees are going to allow a long-haired, 10-gram-a-day pot user to come in and directly contradict everything they have been teaching kids for 40 years. Not gonna happen, even if he lobbies on my behalf. But they owe me a little something for the humiliation I got from these kids. Their kids.

So we will see what happens. I may have to lobby the kids directly by postering  the area with my website and picture… word will spread fast….

Stay tuned.

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About russellbarth

Trying to end marijuana prohibition, and educate people about marijuana, diet, prohibition, and sustainable living.
This entry was posted in Politics and mental illness and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A Day At the Bus Stop(s)

  1. Pingback: The Policy-Propping Nincompoops In The Ottawa Catholic School Board | Russell Barth's Blog

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