Posted by Jonathan Lustig, a resident of the Castro City neighborhood, on Apr 23, 2010 at 7:40 pm
Many know my story.
I am a 4th generation Mountain View resident.
After traveling for years throughout several states and countless cities I found myself moving back to the city that I fell in-love with as a child.
I am one of those “No one loves this city more than me” types of people.
Unfortunately, recent events have forced me to criticize and oppose some of the insensitive and unjust actions of a few of the elected and appointed leaders in our city.
My commitment to the cause of medicinal cannabis comes from my own experiences, the lives of those I’ve been able to help, and the possibilities that exist to help alleviate the suffering of many more.
At an early age, I was consistently prescribed an array of medications for common problems, and, sadly, the detrimental side effects of that cocktail of doctor-prescribed drugs, continue to adversely affect me.
In contrast to the harsh and corrosive prescription drugs of my youth, the healing powers of Cannabis have worked amazingly well for my medical conditions.
I now fight so that Cannabis can help others as it has helped me.
What convinced me to join this struggle was knowing that there are others out there with worse ailments than my own, and that they could find substantial relief from their pain and anguish using Cannabis.
In the beginning of early January, we create a state certified non-profit organization here in Mountain View to accommodate those suffering patients who lack safe, affordable, and practical access to Cannabis and other herbal alternatives.
Our state certified non-profit organization is called Top Helps Communities.
Our patient base consists of fellow citizens who are afflicted with ailments which range from sleeping and psychological disorders to multiple sclerosis and cancer.
I am proud of what has been established and the potential benefits not only for sick patients, but for the surrounding community as well.
We have built and have been maintaining something beautiful.
Our patients donation levels for their medication are 20-50 percent lower than most collectives for the same quantity and quality medication.
Once the city establishes ordinances and guidelines and we feel comfortable becoming fully operational, Top Helps Communities hopes to annually donate to Mountain View 10s of thousands of dollars and perhaps even more.
We will help sponsor events, activities, and services for all ages as well as donate to local foundations and charities.
I have been in several different facilities over the course of the last decade and the wellness center here in Mountain View is second to none.
Everywhere you look inside the collective you find something inspirational or educational.
Our patients leave empowered and enlightened.
This is a place that every one of us Mountain View residents can consider a blessing.
Because my impression of our own city council in February was that they were going to take a responsible approach, allowing the incorporation of other wellness centers into the city at a future time, our collective decided not to advertise or market ourselves (even though it was within our legal right to do so) and only accept referrals from our current patient base.
We were attempting to respect the council’s decision while still serving those who we had already built up relationships with.
Now several months into this endeavor the patients are beginning to be unnecessarily and aggressively harassed by our local law enforcement.
The current dilemma of Anthony Contento, co-founder of Top Helps Communities and also a 4th generation Mountain View resident, is a prime example of the police department’s blatant disregard for the will of the citizens it serves, as well as our laws and our ethics, and the constitutional rights of Cannabis patients.
There have been many lies and falsities stated about Mr. Contento’s case and our local authorities should be ashamed of their unwarranted actions against him and others.
His life has been turned upside down and now people think he is some scummy “for profit” drug dealer.
This is far from the truth.
He has successfully owned and operated multiple businesses over the last 10 years and because of his character, work ethic, abilities and potential I decided to collaborate with him in establishing Top Helps Communities.
Normally I respect, admire and support the work and dedication of our local police department.
Unfortunately the illegal and malicious policies and procedures conducted by our police against Mr. Contento have shaken my faith in them.
These are not appropriate actions for the police department and when it acts this way, it becomes a police department that our great city does not deserve.
We deserve a just and humane police department that protects not harasses, that serves not silences, that is just and fair not distortive and dishonest.
The true facts about Mr Contento’s case will come out in criminal and civil court and I would like all of Mountain View to pay close attention to them.
This case and the issues at the heart of it, concerns us all.
It concerns us because it is about how we help those who are suffering and how we defend those who have been mistreated.
I hope the pride I feel for my city has not been misplaced.
I hope people will soon understand and be outraged by the injustice of recent events.
We, as a community, have an obligation to assist those who are suffering, not punish those who are trying to help.
Embrace those around you today as if tomorrow will not exist.
Peace be with you all.
Top Helps Communities