Volume #27, Issue #5


     During the past five years, I barely noticed a drop in correspondence from incarcerated Deadheads serving mandatory minimum sentences for first time non-violent drug offenses. This summer, it seems the numbers are back up. The DEA and local police agencies have taken fondly to targeting areas where grass roots festivals are taking place. And regrettably, but not surprisingly, the arena acts are being targeted as well. Phish Heads take heed. We Deadheads have been on this road before, and it's a take-all-prisoners kind of war. Be careful out there.

    It's time to take our responsibility to the scene seriously. We can't lose sight of the fact that not everyone out there is family or a friend. The War On Drugs rages on, and we are its victims. The more that drugs are discovered in our community, the fewer places there will be left to go. The word is out, and it's dark behind those walls. So for your sake and ours, take stock in what we have and what we stand to lose.

      Police are profiling us-looking for tell-tale signs of who we are. If you have stickers on your car, wear tie-dye and have long hair, be smart in what you carry. Out of town license plates are also a clear indication that you're just truckin' on through. So be aware that we are being watched. I'm not telling you to change who you are, just be cautious in advertising your personal choices when you're out on the road.

     I wish I could be more optimistic in saying we are welcome everywhere, but it just isn't true. People in the mainstream are still as close-minded as ever, and could care less about what your rights should be. The government has moved far more slowly than one would wish on this matter. Maybe with the next election, we'll get someone to recognize the injustices in the War On Drugs and do something about it! But for now, watch each card you play. Drugs are still illegal, and we have no rights when it comes to the bureau-cratic laws that stifle our individuality. This is a cause worthy of your voice, but you won't be heard from inside those iron gates.

     The first year of the new millennium is winding to a close. We have lost some more friends along the way. Allen Woody of Gov't Mule is the latest loss to the music community. (see page 54) Our mortality grows more obvious as each day passes. Live each day to its fullest, and remember that there's nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile…

     As fall unfolds in its kaleidoscope of colors, enjoy the beauty that surrounds you.

In peace, love and light,
Toni A. Brown, Publisher

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