Vandalia Pair's Crusade Continuing in Cyberspace

  Vandalia Pair's Crusade Continuing in Cyberspace

Posted by CN Staff on September 02, 2002 at 12:06:36 PT
By Peter Carlson, The Washington Post  
Source: South Bend Tribune  

It all began back in the early '90s, when Grover "Tom" Crosslin bought the 34-acre farm and an adjoining 20-acre woods. Crosslin grew up in Elkhart.When he got out of high school, he became a truck driver, got married in his teens and divorced a couple of years later. He started a successful business installing flagpoles and then began buying run-down properties in Elkhart, fixing them up and selling or renting them. 
He did good work, winning an award from Elkhart's Historical and Cultural Preservation Commission in 1995.Crosslin loved to smoke dope, his friends say, and when he got stoned, he'd launch into loud libertarian rants about how the government had no right to tell people what they can or can't smoke. He used to toke up with his construction crews after work.One of his workers was Rolland "Rollie" Rohm, a quiet, easygoing guy with long blond hair and a big, happy laugh. Rohm had fathered a son at 15 and was briefly married. Soon, Tom and Rollie became companions.Crosslin bought Rainbow Farm Campground in Vandalia as a place where he and Rohm could escape their urban life in Elkhart. They loved to pick blueberries, fish in the pond and just stroll the hills with their dog.In the mid-'90s, Crosslin bankrolled Rohm's legal battle to gain custody of his son, Robert, who was then about 6 years old. When Rohm won that fight, the two men began raising the boy in Vandalia.On April 19, 1995 -- the day of the Oklahoma City bombing -- he was arrested for assault in a local bar.These days, Crosslin's supporters claim he was defending himself against gay-bashers. But at the time, witnesses told police a different story: Crosslin was ranting about the bombing when a woman told him to shut up. Cursing, he shoved her and then hit her with the bartender's club before the owner wrestled him to the floor.He pleaded guilty to assault and served several months in the Cass County Jail.When he got out, his anti-government views had hardened.He channeled his anger into the movement to legalize marijuana. He turned Rainbow Farm into a campground and began holding pro-pot festivals every Labor Day and Memorial Day weekend."We consider this a war on us and we are fighting back," Crosslin once wrote on the farm's Web site at: http://www.rainbowfarmcamp.comThat war ended with Crosslin's death at the hands of an FBI sniper on Sept. 3, 2001, and with Rohm's death at the hands of a Michigan State Police sharpshooter 12 hours later. Both were angry over the ongoing focus of Cass County Prosecutor Scott Teter and Cass County authorities on their lives at Rainbow Farm, with allegations of illegal drug use and distribution and the loss of "their" son, Robert, because of it."In a way," says local attorney Dan French, "it's our own little Waco."Rainbow Farm Campground's operation may be no more on Pemberton Road. And the Rainbow Farm telephone hot line has been disconnected.But a memorial Web site dedicated to the late Rainbow Farm Campground owner and his companion continues in cyberspace at: -- the successor to Rainbow Farm Campground's old Web site. Its message, emblazoned with "In Memory of Rainbow Farm: Tom Crosslin and Rollie Rohm," remains as solid as if Crosslin and Rohm were pushing it themselves.Those Rainbow Farm festivals over the years had a serious political purpose -- proselytizing for Michigan lawyer Greg Schmid's Personal Responsibility Amendment (PRA) -- -- designed to decriminalize marijuana. Schmid had set up booths, where he gathered signatures on petitions to get the amendment on the Michigan ballot."Rainbow Farm was the conduit for people interested in marijuana law reform," Schmid says. "The best petitioners I met, I met through Rainbow Farm."That petition continues on through Rainbow Farm, too.The PRA Committee, based in Saginaw, Mich., is seeking to raise $45,000 to begin a petition campaign to get the measure to decriminalize marijuana on the state ballot in 2003."This one campaign has the potential to do more towards forwarding the cause that Tom and Rollie died for than all other groups and efforts combined," according to Rainbow Farm's Web site."Tom and Rollie were some of the very first promoters of the PRA back in 1998. They believed in it wholeheartedly."Note: Web site dedicated to Rainbow Farm pushes for legalization of marijuana.Tribune staff writer Rick Martinez contributed to this report.Source: South Bend Tribune (IN)Author: Peter Carlson, The Washington Post Published: September 2, 2002 Copyright: 2002 South Bend TribuneContact: vop sbtinfo.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Tom & Rollie Memorial Page Still Have Doubts Farm Going Up for Auction Revisited Agent Kills Rainbow Farm Owner

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Comment #1 posted by Richard Lake on September 04, 2002 at 04:00:47 PT:

Thank You Jo-D!

On behalf of Doug and the rainbow farm tribe:Thank You Jo-D Harrison for volunteering webmaster the Rainbow Farm memorial website old website was owned by Tom and the estate folks, appointed by the state, were not interested in turning it over or paying the bills for it, so there was no choice but to set up a new site.See the webpage for access to an announcment list of memorial activities.
Jo-D's webpage
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