By. Eugene Davidovich
Among the many great freedom fighters and advocates who have graced this community with their involvement and determination to fight for safe access to medical marijuana in San Diego is Cletus â€˜Kronâ€™ Greathouse, a man whose name will surely be remembered by many for years to come.
Mr. Greathouse, among other things, is a father, patient, advocate, and himself a victim of Operation Green Rx and the continued fierce fight by San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis against medical marijuana patients.
Originally from St Louis, it was the desire to make a good life for himself as well as his family combined with a series of circumstances in 1998 which brought Mr. Greathouse to San Diego, where he settled and within a couple years founded Golden Towing Service. At the peak of its operation, the company employed as many as five vehicles, two storage yards, an auto shop, and almost a dozen employees who all relied on Mr. Greathouse for their livelihood as well as his leadership.
In 2002, when Mr. Greathouseâ€™s daily pain from an old shoulder injury he suffered years ago, and the severe anxiety he was experiencing forced him to seek a doctorâ€™s care, he was placed on a series of pharmaceutical drugs including opiates, muscle relaxers, and a variety of others. The pain subsided briefly, but the side effects outweighed the benefit Mr. Greathouse gained from the pain medication. This is when he started looking for alternatives and found medical cannabis.
Knowing that medical marijuana is legal in the state and effective specifically for the ailments he suffered, Mr. Greathouse went to a physician, was evaluated for his chronic pain, and received a recommendation for the use of medical cannabis. He began cannabis treatment and was successfully able to deal with the pain as well as continue running his blossoming company.
In early 2006, Mr. Greathouseâ€™s life took another serious turn. He suffered a horrible accident which left him with a serious back injury, completely debilitated, and no longer able to run his company. He was ultimately forced to shut down the business. The physicians treating his back explained to Mr. Greathouse that he would need at least two separate back surgeries to fix the damage. The injury forced Mr. Greathouse into the hospital and returned him to using more pharmaceuticals. After the first surgery, Mr. Greathouse found out that his insurance wouldnâ€™t cover the second. The only thing he could do was remain on the pain pills and try to save the thousands of dollars needed for the second surgery.
Again, the pain pills left him in a constant pharmaceutical state and not able to function. Through the use of medical cannabis, Cletus was able to relieve his pain and maintain a somewhat normal life.
Since there were hardly any means for legitimate patients like Mr. Greathouse to obtain the medicine that helped them, he decided to learn how to cultivate it himself. Mr. Greathouse studied for months researching both the legal aspect of growing as well as the different cultivation and production techniques. He took this knowledge and put it into practice, forming a collective association of patients in San Diego known as Chronic Care Providers, whose purpose was to legally cultivate and distribute medical marijuana to the patients in need of it most.
The collective provided both a facility where patients could gather and obtain their medication as well as delivery of the medicine to patients homes. Members of the collective who had the ability to drive would deliver the medicine to the other members who were not able to get to the facility themselves.
In August 2008, the collective was raided, and Mr. Greathouse was dragged through the courts for several months. When he began to speak out against the persecution he was facing, he was thrown in jail and told that the only way out was through a plea bargain.
He accepted the offer against his will and was released from Jail. Since then, Mr. Greathouse has made the cause his own and has become an Icon in the community. He is now a writer, events coordinator, consultant, and instructor; he was also â€œVoted Bestâ€ by San Diego Cannabis Clubs & Cannabis Club Network. He helps represent Chronic Candy, Chronic Ice, and a number of other amazing projects in the city.
NUG Magazine caught up with Mr. Greathouse a couple of weeks ago at The Henry Hemp Collective (THHC) in San Diego, one of his consulting projects. The collective shines with beautiful murals and a friendly team of members ready to help patients.
Mr. Greathouse has been and will continue to be an inspiration to many in San Diego. His efforts and work are greatly appreciated and commendable.