Rainbow Farm: Martyrs or Menaces?
Pubdate: Wed, 05 Sep 2001
Source: Herald-Palladium, The (MI)
Copyright: 2001 The Herald-Palladium
Author: Jim Dalgleish
MARTYRS OR MENACES?
VANDALIA -- To many, Tom Crosslin and Rollie Rohm paid an ultimate
and just price for drawing guns on law enforcement agents.
But to those fighting against America's drug laws, the two may have
died as martyrs.
"This is kind of like the shot heard around the world," said Gary
Storck, a medical marijuana user in Madison, Wis.
In a phone interview, the activist said he hopes the news will "light
a fire under the people" to legalize marijuana in Michigan "so things
like this don't happen again."
The Herald-Palladium already has received letters to the editor from
as far away as Florida and California challenging America's drug laws
and questioning authorities about the deaths. Storck was among the
Crosslin, owner of Rainbow Farm near Vandalia, was shot dead Monday
in a standoff with authorities. Rohm, Crosslin's roommate, was shot
dead Tuesday morning. The second death ended a four-day standoff.
Police had gone to the complex after Crosslin failed to appear for a
court hearing Friday on charges stemming from a May drug raid.
Though authorities were not releasing many details about the
shootings, police said the actions of Crosslin and Rohm left them
Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Risko said Rohm was repeatedly ordered
to put down his gun.
"In each occasion both subjects pointed firearms at officers, and I
don't know what else you would have officers do," Risko said.
Rainbow Farm for a long time has hosted music festivals called Hemp
Fest and RoachRoast, and its Web site states the complex "supports
the medical, spiritual and responsible recreational use of marijuana
for a more sane and compassionate America."
Storck, 46, said he has long known about Rainbow Farm and felt
disappointed having never seen it. Friends have told him stories
about how much they enjoyed the activities there.
Thanks to the Internet, Storck said, news of the deaths has traveled
quickly in the "cannabis community."
"There is a very somber mood out there. ... These were good people,"
Brothers Darren and Lloyd Daniel, who live less than a mile south of
the Rainbow Farm complex, wore their "Hemp Aid 2000" T-shirts as they
stood outside their home Tuesday afternoon. The shirts carried a
message endorsing the "Personal Responsibility Amendment," a failed
effort last year to decriminalize marijuana through Michigan's
A drawing on the shirt showed a house with a welcome mat reading
The California natives, who said they had never been at Rainbow Farm,
said the prosecution of Crosslin and Rohm typifies Cass County's
"I've got friends here getting busted with (marijuana) seeds and
stems," Lloyd said.
The two placed direct blame for the shootings on Cass County
Prosecutor Scott Teter. They put up a sign along their White Temple
Road home that read: "How does it feel to have innocent blood on your
Friends and family of Crosslin and Rohm continued to gather Tuesday
afternoon in a vacant lot at Michigan 60 and White Temple Road, about
a mile north of the complex. The mood was a mix of anger with
authorities, sadness over the deaths and weariness with the media
Several escaped the sun under a canopy while handmade signs along
M-60 lambasted Teter and police.
"That was private property. Never once did a neighbor complain," said
Dayved Watts of Elkhart. Watts said he built many of the buildings
Watts said the people who attended Rainbow Farm events merely
believed in "their constitutional right to pursue happiness ... their
right to gather in a peaceful manner."
Teter's office was referring all comment on the case to the FBI. FBI
spokeswoman Dawn Crenney could not be reached for comment.
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