I’ve been so busy trying to wring money out of people whom I esteem, that I haven’t properly acknowledged the feelings that course through me each time I open the mail to find another pledge of backing, often from someone no more capable of philanthropy than I. My humble gratitude is the most I can offer as quid pro quo until we see whether the goal is met. If it isn’t, of course, the credit card charges by Amazon payments will be withdrawn and we’ll all go on as if we dreamed the whole thing. All except me. I’ll spend some time scrawling letters on hand-painted sheets, that acknowledge my affection for you who tried to help.
I’m optimistic, still. There are three days left, and I’ll continue to nudge friends, family and strangers alike to respond to the appeal, in all its parts. Foremost of these is the fund and its intended use, in a word, “airfare”. It’s the most expensive occasional purchase we make, living where we do, the round-trip KoreaUS air ticket. One per year is the norm.
One of the ideas I toyed with in the preparation to launch this, came from a look back into history. When I was a young journalism student, I was fascinated to learn of the “Penny Papers” that appeared in 1830. A newspaper then contained news, short stories of fiction, long biographical stories and a myriad of other content that, today, comes spread among radio, TV, Internet, telephony, magazines and assorted other print materials. It cost about 6 cents then. In today’s money, several dollars. A newspaper selling for a penny, then, was an idea doomed to succeed, and for a time, while the competition hastened to adjust to the new business model, it thrived. It’s secret: sell advertisements (hence my choice of the word “doomed”). It altered the world of printed newspapers, and subsequently other types of reporting, forever. Those who advertise don’t want their pitch to appear alongside stories about the bad environmental practices of their industry, or their mistreatment of workers, or fatal results of using their products, or their violations of law in the sacrosanct name of business. You understand, I know.
So, for “Tales of Mary Jane”, my initial idea was to ask for ten dollars from each backer, and to offer each the reward of several-times-weekly windows on the world of prohibition, in real time, as I go about collecting the information that my informants have agreed to share, openly, or in confidence. Without giving away too much, I can promise there will be no follower of this trail of crumbs, if the money goal is reached, who will not hoist an eyebrow at some of these revelations of activities that have gone on, so to say, under our noses for many years. How could it be otherwise, when a switch is thrown by vote, from prohibition, to regulated permission, for this still controversial activity surrounding every aspect of cannabis in society?
If you are reading this, you may have already helped. In that case, I will always be proud to know there are such people as you, even if I don’t get to collect your backing. I’m determined not to give up trying before the last grain of sand is rolling down the talus. I’ll be asking my “friends” (quotes for FB connections i haven’t met face-to-face, but want to) one after another, to jump in for a buck, five dollars, ten. I am already amazed at the warm reception they have given the idea.
If each of them (or you) can convince one other person to do the same, as well as convince one more to follow suit and spread the word, three days is a large enough window for this animal to jump through. A little poke in ass with a sharp stick, and you may be the one to make it happen. I know one thing beyond a doubt; no person who is behind bars as the result of a marijuana violation, would not empty his or her pockets to support this project if they had a chance, especially if it might increase the chance for them to see their children again sooner.