Ronnie Naulls was a friendly local businessman, he had a wife and four kids. He only wanted to make it in the world and help as many people as he could along the way. He and his family were fortunate to have The Human Solution when they needed something like it the most. Only 18 months after opening their doors for business, Ronnie’s compassionate and professionally run dispensary, Healing Nations Collective, and Ronnie’s home, were both violently raided.
In the early morning of July in 2007 Federal Drug Enforcement Agents with automatic weapons drawn, savagely kicked in doors, and with helicopters flying above, tore apart their home. The agents handcuffed Ronnie and his wife Anisha, placed them in separate vehicles, then proceeded to take everything, including their children. In an instant, everything they had was gone.
About a year later during the Freedom Fighters is where The Human Solution went into action. Members from The Human Solution and others, came together and not only supported Ronnie with their physical presence in court, but as each member filled in the courtroom in support of the Naulls family, so did the Solidarity Ribbons. The judge could hardly miss us and our proudly displayed Ribbons, our badges of courage and honor. Nor could evil Judge Virginia Phillips ignore the huge support that these badges, and these people provided.
As we squeezed in together to fit in just one more person on the bench in the courtroom, the staunch security guards grew nervous. It was apparent that this simply doesn’t happen often, especially not for a cannabis hearing. What more could we do but sit a little taller and smile a little broader? As Ronnie and his lawyer stood up to defend his freedom, The Solidarity Ribbon and The Human Solution literally, had his back.
The Human Solution vowed to step in and help again when Ronnie’s family found themselves unable to pay the exorbitant fine of $14,557. Half of that due within just a few weeks or his plea bargain would be revoked and he would face federal prison on cannabis charges. Ronnie was however placed on house arrest yet again, this (extending his total house arrest to 3.5 years) seriously obstructed his ability to earn money.
The enormous support of the members from The Human Solution created two beautiful fundraising events with not much more than their bootstraps, each other, and just barely enough time. Since everything is volunteer based and their organization non-profit, everything comes from the goodness of people’s hearts. From the food, to the paper plates, the service and entertainment, to the ease of laughter and friendships old and new, and not to be forgotten…the most beautiful setting.
The venue, Willow Creek Springs, a beautiful botanical garden on over two acres.
The first of the fundraising adventures, a BBQ in the gardens. With a band playing in the center of the garden, shady spots and places to sit, everyone mingled, talked, ate and drank. The admission was free, and the entertainment and atmosphere was amazing. As you walk around the peaceful setting that is The Human Solution’s workplace, you get a feel of the magic that happens here. This surreal environment is where you will meet the kindest people from all over various cannabis communities and organizations. Whether you find them actively working on solutions by having their weekly work meetings, making by hand all of the Solidarity Ribbons, avidly discussing their next goal, or hosting a fundraising event, it’s here that you can find comfort, peace, and progress. The Human Solution’s members are a collaboration of knowledgeable patients, activists, doctors, lawyers, moms, dads, grandparents, collectives, and growers alike.
During the BBQ event I watched as seniors shared recipes and sipped tea, I witnessed new friendships form, and as the leaves around me rustled, butterflies would flutter past or a gaggle of children would laugh and run by. Everywhere is quaint and park-like, it’s no wonder that many hummingbirds call this home. A marijuana radio station broadcast live, and around the path the sound of the flamenco guitar led me to the beautiful Desert Rose sitting and playing in the center of the garden. Children were swimming, a few dogs were running around the bend where alpacas corralled in their shaded paradise, chewed nonchalantly. Collectives and patients from all over California took the day off to sit and talk together, to share ideas, laughter, and help a fellow patient and collective manager in need.
Even with it’s fabulously successful BBQ, a little more money was still needed to save Ronnie’s family from losing their father. With some help from Palm Springs activists, a 2nd. fundraiser event was planned. Held away from home and against a beautiful desert background instead of the green serenity of Willow Creek…
The Palm Springs Flower Power 60′s Cannabis event made history! It was the first of it’s kind to be given an official city permit for. We paid $158 and we couldn’t be more proud of the bill.
What a change of pace! But as the invites were given, and the word of another Human Solution event got out, people from all over southern California trucked out to the middle of nowhere to live out loud for a good cause, under the stars. As difficult as it was to hold an event away from home, astonishingly the members proved that they could embrace any environment and have a successful event no matter where they went. For they found that it’s the people that truly make the events special, every time.
As everyone enjoyed each others company in the warm night air, under the night sky in their 60′s best, the flower power party began! The outfits and peace signs matched the atmosphere, the music from the live DJ got your attention and moved your feet. The atmosphere and people around you sparked joyous laughter and ridiculous happiness. There was face painting, relaxing, talking, sharing, eating, laughing and dancing. And as you flaunted your bell-bottoms and vied for huge gift baskets and giant televisions to be raffled off, cannabis vendors plied you with free massages and tasteful treats.
The Palm Springs event was going to be a night to remember, as the music started and the laughter died…we looked up to find that some of the men from our group were strutting out, in drag! In an incredibly delightful debut, the LumberJills (—-insert link to video here—–) made their debut! Led by a professional drag queen fresh from her retirement, they gave a spectacular performance that absolutely topped off the night of fun. With their pride tucked away, these gentlemen had a good laugh at themselves to help a fellow friend, a husband, a father, a brother, someone’s son. Knowing that it all transpired with just a few days of planning, not only was the night an enjoyable breath of fresh air, but impressive as well. Joe Grumbine, the groups leader, still has nail polish on his toes months later I hear, but don’t tell him we noticed!
To make the event even more successful, many people generously donated rare and valuable items to be auctioned off since most of us had little else to give – this truly was a rare opportunity to discover valuable, never-to-be-seen-again finds. Vintage comic books, crystal dishes, beautiful hookah pipes, jewelry, and even a signed Bob Marley print from Ronnie’s collective that once proudly helped over 3,000 patients.
The Human Solution is something to be very proud of. While helping raise funds they’re also more than capable of supporting each other in court, defending their patient rights, advocating for change and appropriate policies, as well as educating each other and the public in the process.
The Human Solution and The Solidarity Ribbon continues to grow and amaze itself and onlookers. With noted mentions in JEMM magazines, NORML News and many others – it wont be long before you’re seeing The Human Solution on the cover of [every] magazine.
My name is Joe Grumbine and I need your help. My partner Joe Byron and I are innocent men caught in the middle of a surreal legal nightmare that has been dragging on for over two years.
It all started back in 2008 when we opened a legal medical marijuana patients’ collective. Not only did we safely provide access to medicinal cannabis, we also provided needy patients with food, clothing, wheelchairs and other medical equipment, and sometimes just a shoulder to cry on. Despite following the rules and being a nonprofit legally compliant collective, I was arrested and charged with three cannabis related felonies. I found myself financially crippled due to the high cost of legal bills and the fact that collective’s property had been seized.
After a year long battle, a Riverside, CA judge ruled that I had indeed been operating in compliance with the law and dismissed the case. He even ordered the Riverside County Sheriff to return my property and cash. Upon presenting the sheriff with the order to return my property, I was informed that they had given my cash to the feds and if I wanted it back I was now welcome to sue the DEA (federal Drug Enforcement Agency).
Thinking my troubles were over (aside from the significant financial losses), imagine my shock when less than 5 weeks later we were raided in a terrifying SWAT style raid involving 120 agents, dogs, helicopters and locations in three counties. Seventeen people were arrested including staff members and even some construction workers who just happened to be working for us at the time. When the dust settled my house was trashed and my toilets were full (literally) of law enforcement dung. My wife Liz was left traumatized by the incident, especially when agents informed her that all cannabis users should be “put down like animals.”
Bail was set at $25k, an amount my uncle was graciously able to post, since I had been left with no resources.
Almost a year went by with no word from the DA. Then, finally, in November 2010, Joe Byron and I were called into Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley’s Long Beach office where we were offered a felony plea bargain. With less than 24 hours notice I was informed to not only prepare for a new bail to be set at $300K , but also that Joe and I could no longer share a single attorney., as we had been In other words, we had less than 24 hours to find a second attorney or face the court on felony charges with nothing but a public defender between us and the wrath of anti-cannabis zealot District Attorney .
After two pleas to reduce bail, mine was lowered to $120K although Joe B’s remains at at 300K.
By the grace of God and the amazing generosity of a few individuals, bail was posted and we were returned to the free world to defend ourselves from these outrageous charges. We called out to The Human Solution and friends and family and managed to scratch together $3000.00 for council. We appreciate Allison Margolin for her willingness to come aboard, on such short notice, for such a low upfront amount. And we are now in the difficult position of raising over $
20,000 $18,000 more by by August or one of us will be forced to use a public defender.
Joe Byron and I were, and are, law abiding California citizens. We have cooperated with the authorities at every step in this ordeal. Despite following the rules and doing everything by the book, we’ve been terrorized, arrested, prosecuted at great expense to California taxpayers, and given bail higher than what Los Angeles County recommends for rapists, kidnappers, and child molesters! Neither of us have any prior convictions whatsoever, so taking a plea to a felony crime we did not commit is simply not an option. Yet we find ourselves in the desperate predicament of having raise funds fast or lose our attorney.
Any donations are greatly appreciated. We would also most welcome an attorney willing to donate time! Please help.
Blessings in advance!
Joe Grumbine & Joe Byron