Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Bill Ehlert's Oregano

The following article was published in the May 20, 1966 (Volume 2, Number 20) of the Berkeley Barb. It is a story about the Jolly Blue Giant, or simply Jolly, Bill Ehlert who was the owner of the Jabberwock - a coffee house on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley.

Sadly Bill passed away in October 2007, but he did tell me that he never got his can or oregano back.

“Pot” Bust beat With “Lie” Test

Bill Ehlert, owner of the Jabberwock coffee house, passed a "lie detector" test on Tuesday. Charges of possession of marijuana were dropped the next day.

Ehlert told Barb he was asked a number of questions about possession, use, and sale of marijuana. Then he was asked whether he had knowledgeable possession of an envelope of fresh-cut marijuana. He told them "No".

"The polygraph and its operator both said I was telling the truth, which I was," Ehlert said. The polygraph measured his respiration and blood-pressure.

The "possession" charges were made on February 23, after the Jabberwock management called the police.

"I had left the Jabberwock about 2 a.m., and left William Tallman alone to clean up. Around 3 a.m. Tallman pounded on my door and said three cats were at the Jabberwock smoking pot, and wouldn't leave" Ehlert said.

"I went back with Tallman and we asked them to leave .They wouldn't. I signaled Tallman to call the police. When the police arrived, I placed the three under citizen's arrest.

"The police searched them and found roaches in their possession and in the ashtrays where they were sitting," he said. "The police looked for a stash on the premises, and left.

"Then Tallman and I discovered a pan and strainer with fresh debris. We called the police again, they returned, and searched again. This time they found another strainer with old, dried debris, and a pan with 20 or 30 seeds and a cigarette roller in it. We were arrested.

"Later, at the jail, they told us they'd found an envelope of raw, fresh-cut weed in plain sight on the floor of the main room. Ehlert paused in his narration. Then he said, "Oh yes, and they confiscated a five-pound can of .oregano-which I still haven’t gotten back.

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