Memorials to Tom & Rollie of Rainbow Farms, MI 

Memorials to Tom & Rollie of Rainbow Farms, MI 
Posted by FoM on September 22, 2001 at 22:04:07 PT
Rest In Peace
Source: Rainbow Farm
On Saturday, September 15th, the Rainbow Farm Campground held a private ceremony for the family and friends of Tom Crosslin and Rollie Rohm. On a sunny day, the loved ones rolled in and gathered by the old stage to celebrate the lives of our fallen heroes. They brought flowers, pictures and stories to fill the afternoon. Many long time friends made pilgrimages from across the country to share in the memories and pay tribute through word and song. They gave away rainbow ribbons and necklaces strung with tiny jars marked "Rainbow Farm". 
Intended to hold a little bit of Rainbow Farm, people gathered dirt from unforgettable locations that were personal to them. They wandered the campground trails and fields recalling warm tales of love, peace and friendship here on the Farm. Though if you wandered to the front of the property, the crime scene tape surrounding large areas reminded you that a terrible injustice had occurred.The service began with an opening prayer from Reverend Steven Thompson from NORML -- -- (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws). As well as his eloquent message, he had performed a blessing and prayer circle for the families of Tom and Rollie when they first gained access to the campground. Derrik Decrane assumed his usual roll as MC. He is a natural on this stage, but an occasional pause let you know he was choking up inside. Santos from Buddha Fulla Rymez then added his touch with a slow, beautiful guitar solo of the Star Spangled Banner.Local friends spoke, recalling humorous stories of the guys we loved. Tales of the first Christmas on the Farm, when times where tight but love came through. Tales of festivals and first meetings. But most of all, tales of the generosity of Tom and Rollie. These men went out of their way to help their fellow man kind. When strangers pulled into the Farm in need of help, they had come to the right place. Tom and Rollie clothed, fed, and housed countless people, whoever was in need. The stories kept coming. They bought us a new tent, they found us a place to live, and they gave us a job. They took care of us. They were family. Thanks to Travis Hopkins, Woe Boy, Moses, Shayla, Marvin Marvin and all others who shared their special memories.Long time manager of Rainbow Farm, Doug Leinbach, spoke of his friendship with these men and asked God to bless them. Throughout the day Joe Mellot, who often sang and played guitar for Tom and Rollie, played the songs that they had most often requested. "My Beautiful Reward", "Without Vail", and "Trying To Get Up That Great Big Road" were all favorites on the Farm. Friends reminisced about Joe's guitar playing on the numerous hay wagon rides around the Farm.Other musicians also took the stage. Buddha Fulla Rymez, who had often performed at Rainbow Farm festivals, graced the stage again for several songs. Friend and supporter Debra Anne sang an a cappella, homemade version of "Lord Won't You Buy Me A Mercedes Benz." Her version told of the tragic events of the Farm, but was sung as sweet as an angel. Jody Schwan read passages from Kahlil Gibrain's "The Prophet". The pieces encouraged you to balance your passion with your reason in this time of turmoil. She also read a poem requested by the family. Hundred of emails have been pouring in from around the country. Messages were read from Texas to Oregon, New York to California, pot smokers and non-pot smokers alike. They spanned the globe, coming from Africa, England, and Europe. They were ministers, lawyers, police officers, teachers, military personnel, moms, dads, and concerned citizens. All expressed their disbelief and sympathy at this outrageous event and the actions of our government. Poems were sent and offers of help continue to roll in. They were all touched in some part by these great men.Steven Gaskin and his wife Ina Mae drove from Tennessee to offer their respects and condolences. Steven spoke lovingly of Tom and Rollie and their quest to obtain their ideals. He spoke of how he has been treated as an advocate of marijuana, and how to overcome certain problems. Know your neighbors and local officials. Be friends and help them understand your goals, while allowing them to see you as a peaceful individual. Become involved with the media. As your friends, they can help fight the fight. Keep the battle alive and we can prevail. This misfortune cannot be in vain. Ina May, celebrated for her participation in the midwifery movement, spoke about families, caring and nurturing. Her stories of protest related to those of Tom and Rollie. Her message was one of love and working for a change.Organizations took a large roll in this as well, for Tom and Rollie's generosity was extended not only to people in need but entire groups and institutions. Richard Lake from -- -- (Media Awareness Project) sent a heartfelt letter to be read, as family matters kept him at home. The MAP website provides vast amounts of stories on drug and marijuana issues. Please check out his website for media stories about the Rainbow Farm and other important issues relevant to government today.  Martha Suggs from the Underground Railroad Museum and Historic Site of Vandalia was impressed with Tom from the day they met. Her stories demonstrated Tom and Rollie's charity and giving, supplying them not only with money but by providing food and drink for all at gatherings for her events. Stephen Hager of High Times Magazine sent a message to be read (included below). The devastation in NYC has required his immediate attention there. You can read his remembrance on the web site. Jodi James of the Florida Cannabis Action network gave a passionate speech on organizing local and grassroots events. Her message was that everyone can make a difference. You just got to try.Dan Wilson, founder of Parents for Children, spoke on how the message will be kept alive and what they will be doing to help. Attorney Kevin Zeese also sent a memorial message to be read which is available on the web site (included below). Attorney Greg Schmidt, Director of PRA (Michigan's Personal Responsibility Amendment to decriminalize marijuana), spoke with great emotion, remembering his friends. He spoke of men who listened and supported the idea of PRA when no one else was listening. He said Rainbow Farm was directly responsible for the support PRA now has. The Farm allowed Mr. Schmidt to come and spread his message to the people. He has said many times that Rainbow Farm is the "spiritual" home for the PRA in Michigan.As Derrik came to the mike one last time, he chose not to say goodbye to Tom and Rollie. Instead he realized that Tom and Rollie are forever going to be with us. They'll always be there for us in our times of need. They always have. The Reverend Steven Thompson closed the ceremony with a blessing and a sunset prayer circle. Throughout the day emotions had moved from belly laughs to sobs. But it was a good day to celebrate the lives of these brave and loving men. Everyone joined hands in a circle of peace and power. Even as we shed tears over the Reverend's last words, the children played and laughed within the circle, reminding us that the innocent love and good energy of a new generation was still alive at the Rainbow Farm. They can never kill that. We finished with a call to the sky, everyone yelling out their love and support for Tom and Rollie. They are blessed.We want to thank again the families of Tom Crosslin and Rollie Rohm. In this most difficult time they have done their most to help everyone. The supporters who have set vigil with signs of protest, vowing not to forget. Dan Wilson and Janet Wilson who have offered there legal and public relation skills to help in this time of need. Travis, Jeff, Steve, Buzz, Amy, Ben, Chuck, Melody and many others have watched over the property and helped keep the scene safe. And the hundreds of supporters who have sent messages of love and sympathy for the farm. All these people have provided invaluable services, without which we could not have prevailed. Thanks again for more than we can mention. You too are blessed.The Friends of the Rainbow FarmMemorial message from Stephen Hager - Editor of High Times MagazineTom and Rollie were loving, caring people and good friends of mine. They created a space where large numbers of people could congregate, primarily to build a counterculture community and fight for legalization of cannabis. For years, they faced intense police harassment. When Rolliešs 12-year-old son was taken in May, it was a cause of tremendous pain for them. Facing a hearing in which they knew they would be placed in jail with no hope of bail, they decided to stay home and devalue their property. Having put years of blood, sweat and tears into the site, they couldnšt stand seeing the state reap the benefits. The police arrived in overwhelming force to create a Waco-like scenario. They brought in a tank and helicopters, and squads of black-masked, professional snipers wearing camo gear. If the police had not over-reacted with this display of brute force, Tom and Rollie would be alive today. In the four years it existed, Rainbow Farm Campground built up a huge fan base and a great many cultural traditions. I believe the site vividly demonstrates why the counterculture is a real, persecuted minority group, just like the so-called "witches" (midwives) murdered during the Inquisition, or the Christians fed to the lions in Rome. Currently, our culture is not allowed to assemble, hold ceremonies or share sacraments. The jazz pioneers started our culture rolling, the beatniks picked it up and helped start the civil rights movement. Then along came the hippies, who helped end the war in Vietnam, and now itšs time for a new generation to pick up the counterculture spirit and end the war on drugs. Tom and Rollie were trying to provide a space for that new generation. My favorite Rainbow Farm tradition was the Sunday Sunset Prayer, a group circle for world peace. Tom always joined hands in that ceremony, and I felt his strongly peaceful nature and desire to live nonviolently. But Tom was a warrior, too, and I know he felt the police invasion of his life was not justified, but a result of his political activism. He also felt justified in defending his property from any invasive force. My deepest sympathies go out to Tom and Rolliešs families, and I hope Rolliešs son will be returned to his family. If Rainbow Farm had not been harassed, it would have become a major force for change in the drug laws in Michigan. If anything, I hope everyone will use this tragedy as incentive to fulfill Tom and Rollie's vision of Rainbow Farm.YOU ARE FREE(Read by Travis Hopkins during the Memorial)'Twas the last day of August we'll never forget, And a warm, pleasant day as the weekend came near. All the town-folk were chattering closed-minded thoughts Of a man lost his mind falling off the deep end. As I looked to the East a black cloud funneled up And it was a sure sign that it began the end Of a man's selfless dream of a heart-warming place That for years stood so strong and they'd come from afar To this farm in the country surrounded by corn For a long, peaceful weekend of hastleless highs. Not a soul would they bother, not a one bothered soul, Not a handful of violence, not a breath full of hate, And the music would spill as the bands took the stage. Hippies preached words of freedom and downed prohibition And downed the suppressions of our "wonderful" nation. It was all just too right to be possibly wrong, And the farm grew much bigger, and then thousands would come. But we all know that all good things come to an end; Though we don't understand why our freedom has limits All we know is we must obey all their rules. But not Tom, he stood proud, though the prosecutor Put a price on his head, be it dead or alive. From their terrorism he began to rebel, And he posted his message to be seen by all: "Those who deny a peaceful revolution Demand a violent one" and we all knew he was real. So they then got their wish on that warm, summer day. And as smoke filled the air so did birds of the man, So the dogs marched around and around Rainbow Farms Scratching at their ears, wondering what to do now, And the paper-pushers hold their news conferences Boasting wishes of peace oxymoronically, For peace is all he sought but they wouldn't let go. For four days and three nights they surrounded his land With the country's top shooters waiting for green lights. In marched tanks, armored 'Bourbons, all but the kitchen sink, And we watched them drive through, and we knew what it meant. And the protesters shouted aloud through their horns, But we all know the man never listens to us. So they let loose the dogs, offered him one last chance. And refused to conform and abide by their Communist ways. Let be known that he died not only for his freedom, But for all of our freedom. And he'd do it again and again and again, And with every downed soldier, we all die a bit. And we thank you sir, Tom, for the farm that you built And the times that we had and we'll see you someday In the only place that you are totally free. YOU ARE FREE!!!!!Love, Light and Peace - Memorial message from Kevin B. ZeeseI am sorry that I cannot be in Vandalia to join you in remembering Tom and Rollie - two compatriots who were not afraid to stand up and call for an end to the senseless war on marijuana. I had planned on attending this Memorial to remember their work at the Rainbow Farm - concerts, hemp fests, advocacy, community outreach - but the events of recent days have made air travel impossible. But I am with you in spirit and have asked a friend and colleague - a fellow Journeyer for Justice - to read this statement.Obviously, I do not know what happened on the day Tom and Rollie were fatally shot by police agents - none of us here know what actually happened. Indeed, I encourage all of you who cared about Tom, Rollie and their work to use your voices and influence to ensure that there is a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding their deaths. We need to know the truth so that deaths like these do not occur again.We do know that if there were no war on marijuana Tom and Rollie would be here with us, planning the next concert on the Rainbow Farm. We also know that they had been peaceful people who seem to have been changed by the marijuana war - the threat to their liberty and property was too much and they courageously fought back. In their honor we should continue our advocacy against the war on drugs. It is time for this war to end - we should not be fighting an unjust war against our fellow citizens over what they put into their body, or how they want to affect their consciousness.We also know that the prohibited drugs are one of the biggest, multi-billion dollar industries in the world. Thanks to prohibition we have created a market that fuels crime, violence and terrorism around the world. As Interpol has reported "Drugs have taken over as the chief means of financing terrorism." So if we want to injure terrorists we need to end the war on drugs that provides them with the fuel for their terrorism.The tragedies of recent days, the tragedy of Tom and Rollie and the tragedies of the other drug war deaths in the US and around the world bring to mind the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from his book "Strength of Love:""Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiples violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction . . . "Let us all pledge to stop the hate with love, drive out the darkness with light and never resort to violence. Tom and Rollie's death highlights a lesson we must all learn - non-violent resistance is the only sensible and strategic approach to ending the violent war on drugs. We must stop the spiral of destruction by constructing sensible and peaceful methods of dealing with marijuana and other drugs. And, we must not forget Tom and Rollie.Rainbow Campground Shooting Crosslin & Rollie Rohm Memorial Memory of Tom Crosslin and Rollie Rohm Articles - Rainbow Farm
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Comment #4 posted by xxdr_zombiexx on September 23, 2001 at 15:15:13 PT:
Tom and Rollie
I shall not be forgetting these guys. I never knew them..never met them before I learned that the standoff was related to cannabis. I was writing an article then about cannabis and how america "war on drugs" was warping judgement in law enforcement priorities and how our heavy-handed enforcment of these policies is isolating us from the free world. The stand-off took place on a weekend when ABC news has run a poll about the legalization of cannabis and I was posting info about the stand-off on the message board when the headlines came on that they had killed Tom.Later we learned the sheer number of Law Enforcement in attendence: over a hundred state Police and FBI. For 2 guys who wear tie dye, have bar-b-ques, and celebrate cannabis culture. Hell, Ill bet these guys would simply be outraged by the events that took place less than 2 weeks after they were killed. They'd have a flag raised.Tom and Rollie highlight the heinous failures of the War on drugs and the particular zealousness and fervor with which law enforcemnt has been encouraged to pursue cannabis smokers. Thier murders come on top of the arrest of 700,000 american each year - 4.5 MILLION under Clinton - many which are done in para-military style raids. War on America, indeed.The war on drugs is a gigantic useless black hole sucking up funds, law enforement personell, civil liberties, and national security. It is mindless, unfocused and has no defineable goals. Define a "drug-free" world. I dare you.And specifically, hard drugs aside, enforcing laws against cannabis have to be the lowest of priorities at this time. Potheads, however much you despise them, are not threats to anybody. America has millions of potheads - if they were a problem, we'd know by now. And given the seemingly awesome job the FBI has done tracking down people all around the world, I am more and more convinced they could have dealt with our 2 departed hippy friends and their .22 rifles in a more effective manner. No need to ever shoot them.The War on drugs is a war on Americans.Time to give it up. 
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Comment #3 posted by p4me on September 23, 2001 at 11:36:18 PT:
Tom & Rollie
A lot of people have forgotten the Rainbow Farms deaths in Michighan. I think they will survive in other ways. You know when cannibus becomes legal in Canada and elsewhere a lot of people will be putting it in their food instead of smoking. There needs to be some kind of food named for them. It seems like it should be a dessert. Something you roll up as in Rollie. My mom used to make a pretty simple candy for us using a butterry (as in cannabutter) pastry dough and topped it like a pizza except she used peanut butter (as in cannapeanut butter.) Then you just roll it up and cut it into slices. Rollie could be the pastry and Tom could be the cannapeanut butter. I would like to have a Tom and Rollie about now.  There is going to be a new vocabulary when it comes to cooking with cannabis. What do you think a Tom and Rollie should be. Maybe a brand name for the cannibus peanut butter in Amsterdam coffeehouses.How many nerve pills do you think American doctors have prescribed since the WTC disaster. I should be able to go down to the pharmacy and get some Tom and Rollie butter and peanut butter. Makes you sad doesn't it? 
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on September 23, 2001 at 10:57:03 PT
Cannabis Dave 
What you said is just about exactly how I feel. Here we go again. This is much bigger and that is hard to take.
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Comment #1 posted by Cannabis Dave on September 23, 2001 at 09:46:59 PT
The "sixties" all over again?
I'm an aging "hippie" who grew-up during the Vietnam war and then watched the cultural revolution of the 1960's fade away in the 1970's. The WTC tragedy on 09/11/01 was something I expected to happen, but I never dreamed it would be so HUGE. Now our government has announced we are at "war", but we aren't told who exactly the enemy is. Shadowy terrorist organizations based all over the world are the enemy, but rather than dealing with them using intelligence and special forces, our government seems to be leading us into a war using ground forces. I've already witnessed demonstrations against going to war on the local college campuses where I live, and I expect they will grow as the conflict grows. Perhaps some good will come from this after all, if the young generation in this country rises up to take the government away from the evil, greedy one party system that controls our country and much of the world. What happened at Rainbow Farm demonstrates what the government thinks of those of us who chose to use cannabis, and what they are capable of resorting to. We must learn from the tragedy at Rainbow Farm, and make sure the world knows about the evil our government perpetrated there. They are no better than the terrorists who attacked the WTC, in my opinion - perhaps much worse. I'm a patriot, but I'm disgusted at what our country has become and what our government does to satisfy its insatiable greed. If this doesn't turn into WW-III (a real possibility), then perhaps some good will come out of it if we can finish the revolution started in the 1960's, and throw the criminals out of power.
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