The raid on Dennis’s Cozy Castro Castle was not ENTIRELY about weed. Among the people he puts up are troubled youths. Many of them are tweakers, some of them are hustlers of one kind or another. Everyone on the premises was arrested ( TWELVE in all), including the apparent landlord.
It’s true that the August 4, 1996 raid on Dennis’s cannabis buyers’ club by the Bureau of Narcotics was intended to influence the Prop 215 vote (and backfired, thanks to Doonesberry). But I doubt very much that this one was intended to influence Prop 19.
I doubt with less conviction that the timing of the raid —just as the Castro was celebrating Vaughn Walker’s ruling that a ban on same-sex marriage in unconstitutional— was coincidental. (Not that it had been a night of celebration for Dennis. He has a word for friends who get married: “SIGS.” It stands for “straight-identified gays.”)
Those who scold Dennis for allowing young hustlers to hang out at his house should bear in mind that many of these kids have experienced starvation and would otherwise be sleeping in alleyways.
Some will say the episode proves the wisdom of those who usurped the leadership from Dennis in ’96. I say being driven out of the leadership was profoundly demoralizing and led to his present situation.
The charges, which have been dropped, involved running a house where drugs, including marijuana and methampetamine, were used. Dennis has yet to see the search warrant. He did not have a lawyer. (Terence called the DA’s office.) He has not fully recovered from the stroke he had in LA in February (approx). Still slurring his words and maybe not thinking clearly… He did not have a seizure during the raid but says he couldn’t breathe. He’d been having trouble breathing and had gone to the ER the day before the raid and been given inhalants, etc. Twelve people were arrested at the house —”including one guy they pulled off the street,” says Dennis… He thinks the timing was SFPD’s way of commemorating the 1996 raid.
Source: Fred Gardner