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He Who Goes to Law Takes a Wolf by the Ears

My internet has been down all weekend. But I am finally able to take a break and come to the Woody Creek Store to post the wisdom for today and give you the update on the party I had at Owl Farm yesterday to celebrate Hunter’s relationship with NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and other Criminal Defense Lawyers.

It was a great day. NORML had been hosting their legal conference; they were kind enough to let me attend the lectures even though I am not a lawyer.

It was actually a mutual admiration celebration. There were about 50 lawyers and 50 civilians. We had great live music, including Jimmy Ibbotson (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) and Rick Rock (local musician) and good food and drink and other various goodies. Hunter’s son Juan showed up, which was nice. Steve Cohen of L.A. (who built the gonzo memorial) was also a guest.

Hunter agreed with Bob Dylan that “to live outside the law, you must be honest,” and it doesn’t hurt to have a good criminal defense attorney or two on your side at all times. Hunter did indeed have the best lawyers money and long years of friendship can buy. Hal Haddon (the magic counselor introduced in my first blog entry) and many other famous and brilliant lawyers graced Owl Farm, which of course made the rest of us feel like champions. Hunter’s presence was there, as always, shining bright and powerful as ever.

Hunter received a posthumous award from Keith Stroup, the head of NORML, which he presented at a party hosted by Chris Goldstein the night before. I hung the plaque up in the kitchen. It reads:

The Board of Directors of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) hereby awards this special NORML Board of Directors award posthumously to Hunter S. Thompson for his more than three decades of service on the NORML Advisory Board, his lifelong public advocacy for decriminalizing drug users, and his willingness to challenge state and federal drug policies, regardless of the consequences.
Hunter S. Thompson was a brilliant writer and journalist, and an inspiration to all who care about ending the drug war and stopping the senseless arrest of marijuana smokers in America.

It really is a beautiful award, for all of us.

Here is today’s wisdom:


“I am not a criminal defense lawyer, but I have what they call ‘a very strong background’ in the criminal justice system, and much of that background is based on extremely personal experience. I have taken that wolf by the ears many times, and I have learned many powerful lessons along the way. It is not the most desirable and certainly not the most efficient means of gaining an education in law. I would not recommend it for my son, for instance, or for anyone else’s children. There is no prestige in it, and sure as hell no money. It is like getting an education in electricity by wandering around in a lightning storm with a long steel rod in your hands.”

–Hunter S. Thompson

That is from a story about the first time he took the wolf by the ears at age nine, when Federal Agents came to his house for tipping over a huge mailbox in the path of a speeding bus. Instead of giving in to their intimidation, he had a question of his own “What Witnesses?” He never saw those FBI agents again! (KINGDOM OF FEAR)

Until tomorrow, your friend in Woody Creek,
Anita Thompson

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