By: Tisha Casida, That’s Natural!
9:47 AM, sunny day on Hwy 82, getting ready to get onto I-70 to deliver a gallon of raw milk to a friend. I am going from Pitkin County, to Garfield County, to Eagle County. About 71 miles, 2 hours total time on the road and completing the pick-up and delivery.
About 5 miles later, east-bound on I-70, there are flashing blue and red lights behind me. I am terrified. My stomach immediately sinks, and I begin thinking and wondering if I have all of my documentation to show that I am “legal” to drive and operate vehicle in the State of Colorado. Drivers License, Proof of Insurance.. are my plates/tags up to date? My heart is pounding and my hands sweating. I was going the speed limit… under the speed limit. Sh**, sh**, sh** – what did I do wrong?
I pull into the right lane and slow down. The State Trooper buzzes past me. He wasn’t going after me, this time, thank God.
Why is it that I felt like such a criminal? Why is it that I felt like I was doing something wrong? The inside of my car looks quite chaotic, and then my raw milk jars peeking from the cooler in the back-seat – do I really have the makings of a criminal? Why is it that I get so scared and nervous when there are flashing lights behind me, when I am doing nothing wrong? Is it conditioning? Am I supposed to be scared? Is it all in my mind?
My heart tells me that we, as a society, are being driven by fear, and make many decisions based off of this idea that we may be punished if we don’t “follow the rules”. Well, “following the rules” is fine and dandy until the people making the rules make it impossible to survive. Income taxes, property taxes, licensing of vehicles, licensing of businesses, registration of everything – all with special rules and associated costs. All in the name of “protecting” others with the heavy hand of force to issue punishments to those who do not follow the rules. Is it honestly bad for me to drink raw milk, to deliver it? Is it dangerous? Does it hurt others when I drink it? Is it constitutionally illegal for me to deliver raw milk to people who want it, who willingly take responsibility to consume it? Is it bad for me to want to make a living, to engage in enterprise – to sell my services to others who willingly pay for them?
Today, while driving on I-70, I went through all of the normal reactions a criminal would have – heart palpitating, hands perspiring, body engaging in fight or flight reactions. There is just one problem – I am not a criminal. And I should not be afraid of the very law enforcement that is there to protect my property. It is time we engage our law enforcement and work together, peacefully, to achieve the “appropriate” use of force on our streets. Check out the Peaceful Streets Project which is doing just that.