I am currently a patient of Oregon's medical marijuana program for chronic pain. I would like to take some time to talk about the lies, the questions, and the failure of the American war on drugs.
1. "Over 40,000 people are using medical marijuana in Oregon. Surely, most of those must be frauds."
I'm sure there are people who lie to doctors to get pain medicines. Does that mean we stop prescribing Vicodin and percocet? Of course not. People will always game the system. However, it is much easier to get a prescription for Vicodin than it is to get a medical marijuana card. Walk into an ER, complain of a tooth ache, and 9 times out of ten, you're walking out with at least 2 opiates and a prescription for more. Go to a "weed doctor," and the first thing you have to show is documented medical history, at least two doctors visits that are 90 days apart but not more than a year old. Then, you have to pay the state a bribe (that's what it's called when you pay the government for the priveledges not afforded to the rest of the masses) of $120, then you get to wait 3-4 months for your card. Then you can legally buy weed at whichever dispensary hasn't been shut down by the Feds yet. So is it possible that some are faking it? Sure. I've never met any of them, but hey, "they must exist." When I walked into the weed doctor's office, I felt like a fraud, because I didn't have it nearly as bad as the rest of the people waiting in that office. And I am constantly in pain.
2. "These people (dispensaries) are just trying to make a profit off marijuana."
Some California assembly person or committee chair or whatever she was actually said that. Apparently this woman has never heard of something called the free market. Hell, I'd be surprised if she had ever once considered the profit margins of the company that makes Vicodin. Let me break it down for you: if they don't make a profit, they don't stay in business. If they don't stay in business, it falls back to the black market. The whole point of the medical marijuana program was to get the people who actually needed it away from the black market. To get the sick and dying off the front lines of the drug war. I'd like to see how this bitch would handle picking up her scripts from Rite-Aid. She must have conniptions at the profits those stores make.
3. "They make a marijuana pill that doesn't get you high."
This one isn't exactly a lie. They do make Marinol, a chemical pill that removes the euphoric feeling that thc delivers. So why am I including it in the lies? Because no one, NOT ONE of these assholes has ever complained about the way pain pills make you high. Are they going to remove the euphoric feeling that Morphine gives you? No? Then shut the fuck up. It's classic misdirection.
1. "Why don't you just take pain pills?"
Why don't I stop taking a medicine that works and is non-addictive, and start taking addictive opiates that have so many side affects, it would crash blogspot if I tried to list them all? Well, aside from that sarcastic response, let me tell you why: aside from chronic pain, I also live with Celiac Sprue Disease. If 3 molecules (like half a crumb) of gluten, the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, gets into my body, I spend the next week or two glued to a toilet. In other words, my insides are fucked up enough as it is. Taking pills that cause liver damage, constipation, and intestinal damage isn't on my list of things that "make me feel better." Also, they're highly addictive. Someone very close to me lost her daughter to the foster system because of her addiction to pills.
2. "What about your kids? Do you want them to know you're always high?"
Honestly, if the schools would stop lying to my kids about marijuana, this wouldn't be an issue. If people would stop lying to my children about the addictiveness, crime, violence, and gateway drug nonsense, it wouldn't be an issue. And it isn't an issue with my kids. They know I take medicine, they know it smells bad, and they know that after I smoke, I'm more able to play with them.
3. "What about people driving stoned?"
What? That's still a crime. Driving intoxicated is against the law. Just like driving while on Vicodin is against the law. Should that stop doctors from prescribing it? This is just an all around stupid argument.
The Failed War On Drugs
Right now, 1 in 6 people in prison are there because of possession of marijuana. That's not even including all the other nonviolent drug offenders. That's just for weed. Our last 3 presidents have admitted to smoking marijuana, and the the current and previous presidents were coke heads. Yet we treat someone smoking a joint like the scum of the planet. Heroin is cheaper, stronger and more readily available (and if you can't find a dealer, there's always the emergency room for all of your opiate needs) than before the war on drugs began. Even though more white people use drugs, more black people are in jail for drug offenses than whites. If that isn't evidence of systemic failure, than maybe Fast And Furious is. See, in the governments quest to end drug trafficking into America, they decided to arm the drug cartels with thousands of automatic weapons. Over in Afganistan, the first thing the Taliban does when it takes over a province is burn the poppy fields. Contrary to what the propagandists would have you believe, the Taliban are actually hardcore religious fanatics who despise anything that makes the body unclean. So our troops are over there protecting the poppy fields. The Taliban aren't using heroin to fund their crusade; we are.
The war on drugs is about control, power, and of course, money. It's about eliminating the competition. It's about giving police another reason to arrest you. It's not about protecting you. And we are seeing that goddam slippery slope in action: Nanny Bloomberg's soda ban. If the government can dictate what you are allowed to ingest, then there is literally no limit to what they can't control. We've sacrificed liberty for safety, and we lost both. Truly, we deserved neither.