As I think about the world, I know it’s finitely placed. We orbit around our daily sun, never often thinking about more than what is in front of us. The day’s events take a mental priority for reasons we all narrate as stories of our lives. Each of us makes our decisions and we walk paths toward ends that warrant expenditures of our time. I see the nature of our species and how our history teaches us lessons to clarify definitions of ourselves. “Humanity” means many things to different people.
Change in our world comes with new technology, ideas, and movements we collectively create. In working with the CSMCC, I’ve seen firsthand the new change taking place on the frontlines of America’s war on drugs. As in California, Colorado’s cannabis patients make easy targets by being open about their medical marijuana use. They also make convenient human shields for 80 million recreational users who cannot defend their drug of choice because the plant is illegal.
People are finally coming around from being blindsided by lies about cannabis over the last eighty years. It’s as if we are finally waking from a stupor of our own disbelief. It’s not all our fault; ignorant elected officials started the war in the first place.
Just a year ago, patients and supporters of medical cannabis rejoiced. President Obama issued a memo directive asking federal prosecutors not to harass medical cannabis patients, caregivers, and businesses in compliance with State laws. As medical cannabis is a constitutional right in Colorado, this directive allowed the start of the fastest growing industry in Colorado today.
This has lead to millions of dollars worth of commerce, hundreds of new businesses, thousands of patients, and positive market potential. All during the Great Recession. Now Obama has delivered the change he promised in his campaign. He’s changed his mind on medical cannabis.
When cannabis prohibition began in 1937, the American Medical Association was the only dissenting voice to testify. Dr. Woodward was the head of the AMA at the time and offered stout protest in defense of medical cannabis. His testimony is powerful truth.
He cites hundreds of years worth of known medical knowledge about the cannabis plant and the lack of evidence of social disorder. Today, the AMA once again supports the medical benefit of cannabis for potentially hundreds of ailments, diseases, and health conditions. Most politicians will say they agree with the AMA’s stance.
With the plethora of problems Alcohol causes, it’s a wonder we hold a double standard when both “prescription medication” and drinking are socially acceptable forms of drug use. Vicodin is the number one LEGAL drug in the United States according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
Yet Obama seems to think that arresting 800,000 people a year for cannabis possession is necessary. His Drug Czar, Kevin Sabet recently said, ““How can we imagine that a dangerous, illegal drug like marijuana should be voted on by the people? “
In a free democracy, how can we not?
We pay an average cost of $32,339 a year, per inmate to incarcerate people for recreational cannabis. That’s $24 billion a year by the way – not counting the billions spent trying to fight a plant from growing and coming across the violent border. All too often, federal mandatory minimum sentencing requires years of tax payers incurring these costs. With nationally skyrocketing debt, this is one MAJOR area of needless expense. It’s also a major opportunity for revenue and economic growth if regulated correctly.
Why can’t we pay teachers instead of covering the living expenses of non-violent cannabis criminals in overcrowded prisons?
Should marijuana possession, cultivation, and use be a FEDERAL crime at all? Maybe it’s time we seriously asked our government these questions.
At least Colorado understands the medical benefit for sick people to use this plant. Many other states will follow suit as people demand this service and right from government. 14 States so far… and counting. The truth of compassion speaks loudly.
We should ask leaders why they refuse to give medical cannabis patients justice in federal courts. HR3939 is sitting in Washington awaiting approval to give patients a federal defense when complying with state medical cannabis laws. That’s a fundamental issue of State’s rights and the right thing to do.
Still this bill sits as patients are prosecuted federally. Now Colorado government threatens to tag patients with radio identification chips and require biometric identification to access medical cannabis centers. Since when were sick patients equated to criminals and why are they treated as such?
Aren’t they only criminals because federal government deems using a plant a crime?
At least the founding fathers understood Genesis when God said, “I give unto thee ALL seed bearing plants.” George Washington told the colonists to take the Indian hemp seed and “sow it everywhere”. Ben Franklin owned a byproduct manufacturing plant and milled marijuana. The Declaration of Independence is written on hemp paper.
Ironically, these double standards have no basis of logic when prescription drug commercials advertise “heart attack and stroke” as possible “side effects” that “could lead to death”. Those are pretty powerful statements from Big Pharma about patented drugs that cost millions to develop. The cannabis plant cannot be patented to protect profits.
Prescription Drug advertising tells you the product is dangerous, yet we “ask our doctor” just like the commercial tells us to. Numerous articles and reports indicate the rising sales and use of prescription drugs. One could argue we’ve become hypochondriac as a society. If there is a natural alternative that could avoid nasty side effects like death, why wouldn’t we encourage people to seek relief in a safer substitute?
These reasons are exactly why Obama’s new stance on medical cannabis should be outraging voters, states, and patients tired of government intruding on the health and liberty of people who choose to use a safer alternative that helps them.