Published by Simon Spotlight Entertainment/Simon & Schuster
The morning of February 24, 2003, at 5:30 a.m. in my home in the Pacific Palisades, California, an event happened that changed my life forever. I was asleep at the time, having a wonderfully weird dream—the kind that makes you want to sleep long enough to find out how it ends. I dreamt that I was with beautiful naked women who were all trying to attack me sexually, and more naked women were outside banging on the glass door, demanding to be let in. My wife nudged me awake with her foot and whispered softly, “There’s someone banging at the door.”
Unsure if I was awake and responding to my wife’s words or still dreaming and answering the call of the naked ladies, I got out of bed and made my way down the stairs. I crossed over to the glass front door, where I could see a group of armed men wearing helmets and visors standing on the landing. They looked like a group of oversize trick-or-treaters in alien costumes.
One of the men yelled at me to open the door. For a brief moment, I thought, They must be going from door to door warning people of some impending disaster, or maybe an Enron executive has escaped and is running wild, so I opened the door. And as I did, the armed men rushed into my house and started going from room to room, shouting orders at each other.
The leader handed me a piece of paper and informed me, “This is a raid. And this is a search warrant giving us the right to seize what is listed on the warrant.”
I took the paper and tried to read it, but without my reading glasses it was just a blur. In fact, the whole raid was a blur!
One of the men yelled at me, “Is there anyone else in the house?”
I answered, “My wife is upstairs.” By this time my wife had slipped on a robe and was coming down the stairs, asking me what was going on.
“I think we are being raided.”
“What for?” she replied, halfway down the stairs.
“I don’t know. They won’t tell me,” I answered back.
“We will tell you in a minute,” the leader replied.
Shelby joined me at the bottom of the stairs, and we watched the armed men run from room to room yelling, “Clear!”
“This is just like a movie,” Shelby said. I looked at her and saw excitement in her face. My wife always amazes me with the absolute cool with which she handles everything. She even gave birth to our three children in a very cool way. She is always under control in panic situations. Little things like losing her favorite sweater will send her to therapy immediately, but a situation like having her house raided by 20 or so armed men was really no big deal.
“This is not a movie! This is the real thing!” the leader shouted. He seemed to be sticking close to us to see how we were reacting.
“So, are we under arrest?” my fearless wife shot back.
“No, you are not under arrest,” the leader replied... He hovered around us, directing his men as they searched the house. Shelby went back upstairs to get dressed while I stood and shivered next to the leader.
“Do you have any drugs?” he asked.
I looked at him for a beat, thinking, This can’t be about drugs, can it?
“Yeah, I have some pot,” I answered, still shaking like a wet puppy, while thinking, Of course I have pot in the house. I’m Tommy Chong!
“If you tell us where the drugs are, it will go faster.”
“Let me think.” Well, I know I have a big bud in the basement and some homegrown up in my office and a taste in the kitchen, now where else? The cop looked at me with a big smirk on his face. I could see I was making his day.
“I better call a lawyer,” I said, not knowing what else to say.
“You don’t need a lawyer,” he answered back.
I don’t need a lawyer? I thought to myself. I was a bit amazed by his response, because in every movie I’ve ever seen, the perp always refuses to talk to the cops until he sees his lawyer.
“You are not under arrest,” he answered back, still smirking. “We will tell you when you can call your lawyer.”