Tuesday, March 02, 2004
Ever Feel Like You're Banging Your Head Against a Wall?
Why oh why must these drug crusaders continually torment me on a daily basis?
Today, the Illinois legislature will hear testimony on medical marijuana. Rep. Larry McKeon, a Democrat from Chicago has proposed legislation that will allow anyone diagnosed with a debilitating illness to possess six marijuana plants and an ounce of usable marijuana without fear of prosecution. This builds on a 1978 law that makes it legal for physicians to prescribe marijuana for certain conditions. The proposed bill contains all the usual safeguards surrounding medical marijuana use - registration with the state health department, licensing cards, etc.
The drug crusaders, opponents of all rational, informed, and considered thought, are of course, against this measure. Displaying their stereotypically baffling "logic", opponents of the bill have stated that "if marijuana is perceived as a medicine, youth will no longer see any harm to this drug". Right. Just like all the other medicines out there with ten pages of side effects listed on their labels, per FDA requirements. Acknowledging the medicinal purposes of a substance does not automatically negate any of its potential harmful side effects, nor does it mandate that these side effects should be ignored. Morphine is a Schedule II drug in the U.S. for god's sake, meaning that the government has acknowledged its medicinal value. I don't think anyone would argue that people in severe pain who need morphine for relief should not be given the drug because some wacky teens might possibly get their hands on it. Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning it has no medicinal value in the eyes of the government, despite several studies reaching conclusions to the contrary.
Good luck to Representative McKeon in his fight towards a more reasonable drug policy in this country. And shame on those who use hysterical rhetoric to deny sick people medicine and lock up law-abiding citizens for using a substance that the crusaders have deemed "evil" for no good reason.