December 29, 2016 – I chose the Phoenix Rising as my personal talisman when I was a wee lass of 18 because I liked the image. If I wasn’t so adverse to needles, I’d undoubtedly have this image tattooed somewhere on my body. It encapsulates my belief that when one door closes, another door opens.

Feng Shui Master Lam Kam Chuen writes, “A mythical bird that resurrects from the ashes, the phoenix flies far ahead to the front, always scanning the landscape and distant space. It represents our capacity for vision, for collecting sensory information about our environment and the events unfolding within it.”

A reminder to choose your talisman with care!

This particular resurrection is bittersweet because it means I must relocate to Sutter County to start a “real” job (read for pay) as the Community Events Director for NC Holistic Care. I have been offered many positions over the years, but this felt like the best fit for me. However, after four decades of volunteerism, getting paid is a concept that is hard for me to wrap my head around despite a depleted bank account to show for my efforts!

This position will allow me to create a program for low income patients to ensure they get the medicine they need at little to no cost. To keep the program sustainable, teaching patients (who are able) how to grow and turn their six plants into medicine will be a central part of the program.

I will also plan community and educational events which is something I have always enjoyed. Homeless Vets are a big problem in Yuba-Sutter Counties because of their proximity to Beale Air Force base. So for my first project, I have teamed with Liz Cervantes, a local Blue Star mom, to assess how we can most effectively help our forgotten heroes through stand alone projects or by supporting existing programs.

This is also an exciting time of change for Nevada County. Heidi Hall will bring a fresh perspective to the Board of Supervisors as they gear up to create a new cannabis ordinance. Besides medical cannabis, they must now deal with complex issues like commercial licensing and recreational cannabis use. I’m concerned that patients’ needs will become marginalized unless they are well represented on the stakeholders’ committee. I strongly urge that Forrest Hurd, Dr. Sean Devlin or Dr. Stephen Banister, Stephen Munkelt or Heather Burke, be part of this committee.

Even though I have been involved in this effort from the beginning, perhaps it’s best that I am not part of this committee because I have to admit that I have become rather skeptical of the current administration after our past negotiations. I feel that they have never acted in good faith to find a solution, and instead have passed increasingly harsh ordinances even after Measure W lost by 20 points. They can only pull the football away so many times before you notice a pattern!

Nothing will change without new leadership.

Sheriff Royal is retiring, the District Attorney position will be open (Cliff Newell has not announced whether he is running for re-election), and three Supervisor’s seats are up grabs. If our elected officials do not perform to your liking (whatever your position), you will have an opportunity to voice your preferences with your vote.

Toward that end, In lieu of a good-bye party, I’d like to encourage my supporters to make a donation to the John Foster for Sheriff 2018 campaign. Donations can be sent to 356 “G” Providence Mine Rd, Nevada City, CA. 95959.

John has my staunch support for a variety reasons, not the least is that he recognizes that good regulations make good citizens, while bad regulations create criminals – no matter the issue. John was also a great support to my friend Pinky Zalkin while her son, Philip, was missing by offering sound advice and supplying comfort to a grieving mother. He is a good man and will make a great Sheriff for Nevada County.

Mere words cannot convey my gratitude to everyone who has supported me in our long struggle for patients’ rights. You were definitely the “wind beneath my wings” and the reason I got out of bed every morning. It was my privilege to serve beside you. As the torch is passed, I’m comforted by the new leadership that has emerged in the last couple of years. Please support their efforts by joining the NC Cannabis Alliance.

Here’s to new beginnings! Happy New Year!

2 replies on “Patricia Smith: New Year, New Era”

  1. Safe travels Pattie. Just a minor correction, there are only 2 Supervisors coming up next cycle. We had Anderson in 5, Schofield in 2 and Hall in 1 this year. It is 3 and 4 next time.

  2. As she leaves, Nevada County will be losing one the best, most hard working activists I have ever known in my nearly 30 years here. I first met Patti Smith when together, we began to stage events in support of Bernie Sanders. Almost instantly, we became quite close and I must say she has become one of my dearest and most treasured friends. During the recent crisis with the disappearance and ultimate death of my son, Patti was at my side, supporting me every step of the way. I won’t say she will be missed, because when you have a friend like Patti, no matter the distance, you remain close forever. Happy Trails, dear friend!

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