Chuck Miller

CHUCK MILLER

Howdy Y'all! My name is Chuck Miller. I also use the Internet persona of DaMago (May-go) Man, Chuck Mago or just plain Mago. Not only am I a Cannabis consumer but I also sit on the Board of Directors of Texas NORML. My official title is Veterans Liaison and I carry an Oregon NORML member’s card also. Texas Outreach is the title on that one and it has no expiration date. I also have the totally rewarding pleasure of driving the Austin TruthCar.

The Austin TruthCar is the second Truth Enforcement vehicle in what I hope to become the "Texas Fleet" of Truth Enforcement vehicles. Dallas and Austin have "Crown Vics", Ford Crown Victoria police interceptors. Retired law enforcement vehicles decked out to resemble cop cars.  San Antonio NORML has a Smart car. Cute but it ain't a Crown Vic with a green light bar. All these vehicles are for the purpose of starting the conversation about the re-legalization of cannabis, to promote NORML and the local NORML chapter. It seems to me, the lawyers that sponsor them are more interested in the business they bring to them, and so it is in a capitalist world. But how many capitalist you know who are trying to put themselves out of business?

You'll find them at many local events and I hope more events state wide. The last couple months, Austin Truth car lead the Austin Texas Marijuana March, from Austin city hall to the gates of the Texas State Capital. Then attended the Houston Art Car show (along with the rest of the fleet), Dallas TruthCar, SA's Smart car and a Crown Vic Houston NORML is just getting started on. We were applauded by thousands of folks. Only a few didn't applaud. There were lots of winks and smiles too.

Then it was off to Kerrville Folk Festival for the celebration of songwriters. For 41 years, many open-minded folks have gathered for 18 days of fun and Folk music in the sun at Quiet Valley Ranch in the Republican stronghold of Kerr county Texas, home of Lamar Smith. Hundreds of Volunteers from across Texas and the Nation show up a few days early to stake their spot at Land Rush. If they showed up for work weekends and\or RSVP’d in a timely manner.  It’s a hell of a party before the party even begins.

I found it, Interesting, that the Texas Hemp Campaign’s protest of Smith's offices was the same day as the start of the Folk Festival. Unfortunately, I was asked not to go by the local Peace Keepers. I ain't naming names, they know who they are. Instead, we hung out at the Ranch (Quiet Valley Ranch, www.qvranch.com) preaching to the choir and took pictures with the festival goers. We did make our presents known; a Fredericksburg newspaper interviewed RattleSnake George and mentioned the Austin TruthCar in the article but didn't interview me. They must have snapped a pic while I wasn’t looking.

I also explained the car to a fella that stopped me at the Mini-Mart and asked “What is this all about?” I explained, we were trying to get marijuana re-legalized. To which he said “me too”. I handed him a Texas NORML handout and returned to the car. At which time my passenger asked what he wanted, I explained and he remarks, “That’s strange, that is Officer Bob of the Kerrville PD.” He had arrested his brother on outstanding warrants a few months earlier. So we know we got Officer Bob on our side, should have given him a L.E.A.P. handout too.

After a month on the road that seemed like two, we finally got back to Austin. But for me, it's back to the Ranch, I fell in love with the vibe and the Ranch. If you have an event that you would like to have the Austin Truth car attend, please contact Jamie Spencer or Texas NORML. The Austin TruthCar can also be seen on the distribution route for The Austin420 magazine.

Since I’m the first Veterans Liaison to sit on the Texas NORML BOD (board of directors), I get to write my own mission statement.  And I hate paperwork.

I don’t discriminate from GIs and those who are Vets of the Drug War. Most of those guys, who like me, are over 50, are many and flung far and wide, some GIs, some ex-patriots that just never came home. This was never more apparent to me than when I was spending time with my Brother, Happy Jack. I would never give up good Intel, and I’d never tell his secrets. Jack’s favorite drug dealer saying/Jackisum, “There are two kinds of drug dealers in this world, those with forklifts and those without.” Jack is old Rainbow Family. Way back when all my Heroes were outlaws, Jack ran with them.

There I was hanging’ out when a fella about my age showed up. I’d met him before, out and about, at Ruta Maya.  Always thought he looked familiar and sure enough. He was one of the partners of the Jet-Ski rental at Blue Lagoon motel in Key West, the same time I was stationed on a 95 foot Coast Guard Patrol Boat (1980-82). He told stories of running as a blocker. His job was to draw the LEOs (Law Enforcement Officers) off so the real load made it through. I told stories of getting recalled from the strip joint to chase shrimp boats that were already tied up. In fact, I swear I drank with those guys one afternoon. Now we are both too old, mean and beat to work but too young to collect social security. And because we consume cannabis, we ain’t peein’ in a cup for a job, any more. We got our weed and use it freely, as we want. For GI’s it’s a different story.

For Military Veterans in the US, access to medical cannabis is available, if they live in one of the legal Medical Marijuana (MMJ) states, without risk of losing their benefits. How is this possible you may ask? It’s because the VA was able to decide that they would not prosecute and cause Vets to lose their benefits? Nope, Consult VHA DIRECTIVE 2011-004 Date January 31, 2011. I like to think Obama had to have signed off on it.

I recently found out a friend and Vet in Ohio had lost his benefits due to his open use of medical cannabis and his outspoken work as MMJ Activist, while living in a non-MMJ state. They would be re-instated, if he pees clean. He says fuck them. This is one of the reasons Texas vets give for not being more outspoken, losing their benefits. Our closest MMJ state is New Mexico. Which is also one of the few MMJ states that has dispensaries. Their law is also written so if you live too far from a dispensary, you can apply for a Personal Production license and grow at home. I have looked over their law and couldn’t find the exact distance that would qualify as, too far.

I am sure it’s there, http://nmhealth.org/idb/medical_cannabis.shtml.

I’m not saying all you Texas Vets should run for the border. We need to stay here and work. We need more Vets to become more vocal, here. Too many people are scared to speak out and standup and with good reason. We have to lead by example.

Other Vets in other states are speaking out. Recently Kentucky Vets backed a bill to bring Medical Marijuana to their state, " Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act". They can be found at FaceBook, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kentucky-Veterans-for-Medical-Marijuana.

A group of Oregon Vets are working to set up a camp to give Vets with PTSD, a place to come and medicate freely. I would like to mention at this point, Oregon issues permits to out-of-state folks. http://www.operationcampcvat.org/ is where you can find out about those folks. It would be great if a rich Texan stepped up and made it happen for them. Their program could become a national model.

My current mission is to get Kerr county Texas, NORML-ized. I’ll be staying out at Quiet Valley Ranch, www.qvranch.com, Home of Kerrville Folk Festival and the Texas Folk Music Foundation. The Ranch staff are great folks and I can't think of a better way to spend my free time till next Festival, than working with them.  At least their dust doesn’t contain dried dog feces and urine like Auditorium Shores dust does. I can also use the exercise. Not to mention, they have a very good VA hospital out there and I ain’t real happy with the VA doctor I have in Austin.

I hate paperwork, remember? But I like to tell a story or two. You weren’t really expecting a mission statement were ya’? Till we meet again, Be Safe. ~