“As perplexing as the current legal environment is for medical marijuana patients, one thing is quite clear: despite administration statements, little has changed with regard to federal enforcement of marijuana laws, even in states where it has been decriminalized.”
I am going to a fundraiser for the Marijuana Policy Project tomorrow night at the Playboy Mansion. It should be interesting. In thinking tonight about the more serious issues surrounding marijuana prohibition, it occurred to me that there’s one rather proactive medical recommendation that (I assume) anyone ought to qualify for. Here’s my attempt at a first draft:
“I, Doctor Whomever X. Wherever, have thoroughly evaluated and assessed Patient Doe. In light of this assessment, and my solemn duty to protect the privacy, dignity, and best interests of my patients, I hereby affirm that, in my best professional judgment, my patient’s physical and psychological health are best served by her never spending a single day in prison.”
Michael Phelps has nothing to apologize for. I understand the reality he faces, however, and why he has to say what he said. But let’s go beyond the breathless theatrics and think about the core issue. “He broke the law,” the pundits are saying, as if that is necessarily the end of the conversation. Sorry, but Phelps was not wrong; our marijuana laws are wrong. Really wrong.
Growing up, there was a book that first got me excited about computers. I’d never really forgotten it, but over the years it had faded deep into memory. And fond memories they were – the book was whimsical, full of strange artwork and far-out metaphors. It really helped me – a middle-school kid in the middle of nowhere trying desperately to think big – to see outside my small world and into a universe of infinite technological possibility. I was probably 12 or 13, just starting to tinker with TRS-80s and early Apples and really having my mind opened up by these strange little boxes.
A few months ago – for some reason – that book popped back into my mind. Who was that guy? What was that book? And off I went to figure it out.
This is an issue that affects all of us. We spend billions of dollars enforcing marijuana laws, and distract good cops from enforcing real crimes. Almost a million people are arrested for marijuana possession each year. Many of them end up with permanent criminal records and are barred forever from receiving federal student aid. People don’t just have their lives ruined; some have even died as a result of marijuana law enforcement (e.g. shot to death in paramilitary style raids – yes, it happens.)
The criminalization of marijuana was pure foolishness driven by racism, hysteria and corporate special interests.
Anonymous reader asks about Amsterdam (my girl,) “how’s the pot?” Well, I actually didn’t smoke any pot while I was there. Now, you’ll need to find the easter egg in that sentence, thus freeing me to file a fuller report later on. I have just spent 15 hours on a train and arrived not-so-fresh in Vienna, still feeling the motion of the train. More soon.