I prefer to operate outside the normal spectrum of life. I am first and foremost a saxophonist and weed toker. However to support this lifestyle and pursue another great enjoyment of mine, I have taken up poker and sports betting.
Recently I was able to win a nice amount playing poker and betting football. It has been my dream for some years now to hit the road with a nice bankroll and play live poker in LA and Vegas. When the LA poker classic rolled around (a series of poker tournaments large and small), I bought a car laptop and galaxy s3 and prepared my journey to Los Angeles and beyond to have a run at poker. First thing’s first… I need to stock up on weed for the journey!
I went to my local dispensary in Berkeley and got a few eighths of high grade, keef, hash, and a few edibles. I readied my car for the journey and off I went! To take on the poker gods and poker mortals in what would be an epic 2 day battle at the Commerce Casino.
The first night I slept in my car. I really didn’t want to spend too much of my bankroll on hotel fees as I know how much travel expenses can hurt your bottom line. So I found a nice residential area and laid low… didn’t get the greatest sleep though because it’s LA and I don’t think they like people sleeping in their car there as much as Northern Cali (hehe).
Anyways I did wind up playing some epic poker. The highlight of my sessions was when I decided to sit with $2,000 at a $60/120 mixed game with Men the Master. The game was getting capped all the time and was quite wild. I wound up dropping down to $800 and then won all the way to $2,800 and cashed out. I went outside, hotboxed my car and was just like – FUCK YES!! EPIC!!!!! Had to take my shot, just sorta like Rounders the movie.
I came back into the casino, won another quick $500 over the next 4 hours, and decided I needed more sleep. I figured it would probably be time for a hotel room. I drove a few miles from the casino in East LA (little did I know about the place it is 99% hispanic and not the best area). I parked a half block away from a fast food restaurant and across from a gym. I plugged in my smartphone and started browsing the cheap hotels in my area. I was there maybe 30 minutes just messing with my smartphone when two LAPD mexican women cops roll up. They meant business. They wanted to know my story.
I told the LAPD that I was from Berkeley and here to play the LA Poker Classic a few miles away at the Commerce Casino. They said my car smelled like marijuana and asked me to step out of the car. I told them I had my medical documents but they were in the trunk some where. They put me in the back of their cop car and said they were going to search the vehicle. About 5 minutes in they came back and found about .1 grams of hash and keef I had left. They said they had to arrest me and I was being charged with a felony for controlled substance concentrated cannabis.
I have never been arrested before. I had never even put this into the equation that I would be arrested for medical marijuana as a marijuana patient. This was a completely foreign concept. I was stunned… why me? Why do I have to wait with handcuffs in the back of a cop car in a foreign place watching my 1998 Mazda Protege being towed to an impound lot? What did I do to deserve this? What in the fuck is going on?
The cops acted like it was their day off. They don’t usually work together and they were just having a good time. It was very frustrating. They threw me into a holding cell and said I could call for bail and I might be released. So I decided not to fork over $1,000 to pay a portion of my $10,000 bail. My bankroll was not that big and I was assuming I’d be released within a few hours once they figured out I was a medical marijuana patient and in there for no good reason. But after a few hours they threw me in a holding cell with a bunch of gangster hispanic meth addicts and wife beaters. I thought, any moment now they’re going to let me out of this freezing dungeon.
But they didn’t. 24 hours passed and I figured out I was now being transferred to L.A. County Jail! LA County Jail!!! I’d heard a lot about this place, and it lived up to the hype.
So I was arrested Saturday at 9:00 PM and now it was Sunday 9:00 PM. Monday was a holiday and I wasn’t to see the judge until Wednesday morning. So from 9:00 PM until 5:00 am the next morning I was processed. This means trying to sleep on metal benches while they take your hair follicles for DNA, finger prints, mug shots, everything. All mixed up with a bunch of deadbeat gangbangers in one of the most miserable places on earth run by LAPD pigs: LA County Jail.
I was a high security level felon. I was transferred to the max security cell block run by Southern Mexican Surenos. In my cell there was a Sureno and a black gorilla original gangsta. They were relatively cool… both ex-meth addicts and dealers. The Sureno was one of the main gangsters of the block and would run workouts all day every day and call out and pass messages to the other surenos. Both of the people in my cell were doing over a year in county jail.I joined up with the Woods, the white group, in this racist jail. That’s just how this jail works and when in Rome do as the Romans do I guess. Pretty crazy. After 3 nights of counting the seconds I somehow managed to escape LA County Jail unscathed.
Finally I went in to see the judge. I was the only white person in East LA when they transferred me to court so I had to sit by myself in a windowless isolation cell for some hours. It was pretty insane. My Mom flew down from San Francisco and saw me come into the court with handcuffs on and a blue jump suit. It was shameful. The medical documents were locked in my impounded car by LAPD and I wasn’t able to get them out without paying $650 to get it out of the yard myself with my bankroll in cash.
So the judge let me walk a free man for a week to get the documents out of the car and come back to court. I wasn’t sure whether I’d receive punishment or not. I paid to get my car out of impound and I panicked. I went to Vegas and wound up blowing a ton of money chasing at Roulette in a severe depression. When I finally blew almost all my bankroll I went back to finish my court date. Low and behold all charges were dismissed and I now have no criminal record along with no cash.
So just remember folks, in another article I may write about how messed up the scam is between the federal and state laws and how it affects marijuana patients. But this is serious business and we need to continue fighting for our rights to legally own and grow marijuana and make what we want out of it.