MINNESOTA: Randy Quast built a hugely successful trucking company, then sold it and retired at age 37. He didn’t become a political activist until police knocked in his door and arrested him.
Quast had smoked marijuana “very discreetly” for years to control anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I would never have had the business success I did if I didn’t use marijuana,” said Quast. “It calms me down when I need it.”
The day that turned him into an activist, he had bought a quarter pound of pot (an atypically large amount for him) from a young dealer. The dealer saw him put the weed into his safe, and pull out the money to pay him.
Quast later ran some errands and came home to find his home surrounded by police cars. Someone had broken into his house and dragged the safe into the yard before being scared off by a neighbor.
Police saw Quast’s new Audi in the garage, and thought they had a major drug dealer. They hauled away the safe, found the 3.5 ounces of pot and returned.
“They were in the yard and had the red dot [laser scope] on me,” said Quast. “I saw them come up to the door with the battering ram.”
Quast called his lawyer. Charges were eventually lowered, and he was given probation.
I’m a rich white guy,” he said. “That doesn’doesn’t for a lot of people.”
The incident motivated Quast to help start the Minnesota chapter of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML), of which he is now executive director.