The Fourth Brings Raid on Sacramento Restaurant, Farmer’s Daughter
Kym Kemp / Wednesday, July 4, 2012 @ 1:04 p.m.
An opinion by Kym Kemp:
About 10 this morning, Sacramento County Sheriff’s began raiding a popular restaurant in Sacramento area, The Farmer’s Daughter. The restaurant is known for its delicious soup, sandwiches, homemade desserts, and fresh roasted coffee. What it wasn’t as well known for was what neighbor and cannabis comedian, Ngaio Bealum called, “a very discreet, open secret.” According to Bealum, the business “had a little farmer’s market collective in the back…people got together on a weekend.” There, marijuana may or may not have been exchanged.
Amid raves about the food and worries about the service, some people may have observed some oddities. A review on Yelp this past June notes, “… for some reason this place REALLY weirds me and my co-worker out each time we have come. Why are there so many cameras? Why are random people coming in and going to a backroom that is locked? Each time we have come we are the only ones eating and it is during lunch hour. However many people come in, are let into the backroom, are in there for about 5 to 10 minutes, then leave. Is this place a front for some other type of operations running behind closed doors?”
On the other hand, another reviewer raved, “Farmer’s Daughter is helping local community members access natural, organic, and healthy meals, produce, flowers, artwork and health services from fellow community members. They also host a weekly Veteran Support Group for local veterans looking for support from the community, as well as a career councilor to help veterans with job placement and career advancement.”
Bealum says the raid began this morning and he hurried over. “I live right up the street. They pulled up front with three or four detectives and a dog.” Later, he said that a least one sheriff showed up wearing an identifying shirt and a ski mask. “That creeps me out,” he said. Why do they do that? he wondered. And he wonders why is law enforcement raiding this little business.
Depending on your point of view, a person may see one side or the other of the marijuana debate (if you can call it a debate when one side can be arrested by the other) as creepy or weird. One side has the advantage of federal law and law enforcement backing it. The other side has a rising tide of public opinion.
When I think of The Farmer’s Daughter being raided on the Fourth, I feel weary that what should just be another business welcoming customers was instead apparently forced to hide some of what it was doing. This secret left other people, their own customers like the first reviewer mentioned sometimes feeling uncomfortable. Now, the owners and its employees, are treated like criminals. They may end up arrested or lose their place of employment. In the end, society loses as yet another productive group of people are broken because of a law that criminalizes pleasure.
As long as we as a society continue to legislate against behavior of consenting adults, we’ll find ourselves wasting money, resources, and emotional capital trying to destroy something that can never be totally stamped out (history shows that.) And we gain nothing. In this case, a productive business in the community is at least temporarily shut down. A neighborhood is disrupted and once again the police are pitted against what many in the community view as an asset. That is a dynamic that is not good for law enforcement and not good for society in general.
Follow @ngaio420 for his views on cannabis.