Friday, August 19, 2011

Cannabis and the American Way

In July of this year, DEA denied a petition, nine years in the waiting, asking the federal government to reschedule marijuana out of Schedule l of the Controlled Substances Act. This, is a reasonable thing for the federal government to do, but as expected, there is not the apparently necessary landslide of interoffice opinion that would force the hands of those in power to only do what is right.

These DEA officials have overruled their own judge, leaving marijuana in Schedule I, ignoring the fact that scientific studies show no evidence for it to be classified as a Schedule I drug. In 1989 a DEA judge, cited Cannabis as one of the safest therapeutic substances known to man, and that it is currently being used as a legal medicine under the laws of 15 states and the District of Columbia. The incoherence of this governmental department simply boggles the mind. They seem to have the attitude of, "I just don't want it to be so, so science has no bearing." They are missing the forest for the trees.

This sounds like a plantation owner who, having heard of emancipation, is going to continue to beat his slaves into submission, simply because, "that is the way it has always been and no one is going to change what is right." Lunacy.I does however, make things like what is going on in Arizona, a little more understandable. The Lunacy down there regarding Law and immigration, could lead one to believe one has entered into the Twilight Zone.

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Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, filed a suit as plaintiffs against the federal government, requesting permission to move ahead with Arizona’s medical marijuana program implementation. But in an unexpected Motion to Dismiss brief, unexpected in such that just because it's reasonable, it is unexpected, shot down her suit. They shot it down, with prejudice.

The brief dismisses Arizona’s suggestion that Arizona state employees are subject to federal prosecution as “mere speculation” (p. 15). It sums up this argument when it says:
Plaintiffs identify no prior instances in which the federal government has sought to prosecute state employees for the conduct vaguely described in Plaintiffs’ complaint. Without evidence of such prior prosecutions, Plaintiffs cannot credibly show a genuine threat of imminent prosecution in this case. (p. 15)
This message from the DoJ is heartening, along with U.S. Attorney Burke’s clear statement that going after state employees “is not a priority for us, and will not be.” This brief also comes on the heels of the statement of former U.S. Attorney and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who said definitively about his decision to implement the state’s medical marijuana program:
I don’t believe the United States Attorney’s Office in New Jersey, given the narrow and medically based nature of our program, will expend what are significantly lessening federal law enforcement resources in the context of the federal budget, on going after dispensaries in New Jersey, our Department of Health or other state workers who are helping to implement this program.
It is pretty entertaining to read. Dry, but actually humorous in a judicial sort of way.

Our government has taken a penchant for acting like right wing, Christian fundamentalists, uneducated, with their views shaded by what is understood to be ancient and religious beliefs. But that is not the case at all and in the end they are only making ill informed decisions using outdated, outmoded, statistics, science, medical and psychological, and legislative principles.

Please, read a book. Open your minds. Not in the "mind expanding" way the Hippies used to talk about related to "pot", because that is the level of these people's comprehension; but in the scientific, forward thinking, rational and economical, sane way we need to starting thinking, and acting.

It's a new world. Cannabis is not healthy to smoke but there are smokeless ways of "smoking" it. Cannabis is not a gateway drug, but a plant that when used properly, can supply us with an amazing amalgam of products, relief, cost benefit and yes, entertaining. So, lighten up. And start seeing the forest, and the trees.

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