Archive for the 'medical marijuana' Category


A giant cop out by the LA Times

When I clicked on the link to read Sandy Banks’ recent Los Angeles Times column, “What it’s like to buy medical marijuana,” I was excited about our city’s main newspaper giving some major ink to the medical marijuana issue. Early in the piece, I got a glimpse of the kind of writing I was going to be subjected to.

I’d dismissed the claim as a marketing gimmick. But it left me wondering: Could you really just walk in off the street and get marijuana?

Yes, Sandy. And it’s been that way for years now. Did she think that the 1996 Compassionate Use Act–which she says she voted for–was some sort of ruse to lure pot smokers out into the open only to round them up and cart them off to jail?

Banks then details her visit to a clinic in West Hollywood were she got to visit and actual real live doctor who told her that marijuana could help ease the pain from her arthritis. Shocking!!! After visiting a dispensary and making a purchase, she takes her weed home. That’s where the wheels fall off entirely.

At home, I couldn’t get the bottle open. My fingers weren’t strong enough to pop the top. Which is just as well.

I’m not going to smoke it. The feds don’t recognize California’s medical marijuana law. The DEA has been raiding dispensaries here; I don’t want federal agents knocking on my door.

So, on Friday, I brought the bottle into my office and my editor watched me flush it down the toilet.

The experience left me with so much to think about, it’s best I’m clear-headed while I work through it.

Just like that, what could have been an actual honest examination into the medicinal effects of marijuana on someone with a real condition that millions of people can relate to is immediately turned into a toothless piece of pablum that might be remotely titillating to the Readers Digest crowd. This kind of cowardly writing is one of the main reasons that newspapers are giant, lumbering dinosaurs destined to be rendered obsolete by the present media age. Who the fuck wants to read some middle-aged mother giggling over the shocking–SHOCKING!–revelation that it’s legal to by grass, man!!! Only to discover that she doesn’t even have the guts to smoke it.

Ignoring the fact that the DEA doesn’t arrest patients or dispensary owners in the raids, Blanks cites fear of prosecution for the reason she flushes the marijuana down the toilet. Which is exactly what they should have done with this column.

Sandy, do yourself a favor. Go back to that dispensary, get an 1/8 of the kindest shit they have, take it home and get really fucking high. And then tell your readers about that.


A letter to Henry Waxman regarding HR 5843

Monday, April 21, 2008


The Honorable Henry Waxman
2204 Rayburn House Office Building
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515


Dear Representative Waxman,

Last Thursday, Rep. Barney Frank introduced HR 5843.  As you are no doubt aware, this legislation would do away with all federal penalties for the possession of up to 100 grams of marijuana.  I am writing to strongly urge you to support this long-overdue, common sense policy change.  Your political science degree and years of civil service mean that you’ve likely forgotten more about the history and inner workings of this great nation than I’ve ever known.  However, I would like to remind you of two key moments in the history of our drug policy.

In 1944, the LaGuardia Committee concluded that:

The practice of smoking marihuana does not lead to addiction in the medical sense of the word

The use of marihuana does not lead to morphine or heroin or cocaine addiction and no effort is made to create a market for these narcotics by stimulating the practice of marihuana smoking.

Marihuana is not the determining factor in the commission of major crimes. 

Almost 30 years later, in 1972, President Nixon’s National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse issued their report titled, Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding.  Their findings:

The Commission feels that the criminalization of possession of marihuana for personal is socially self-defeating as a means of achieving this objective.

Considering the range of social concerns in contemporary America, marihuana does not, in our considered judgment, rank very high. We would de-emphasize marihuana as a problem.
The existing social and legal policy is out of proportion to the individual and social harm engendered by the use of the drug. To replace it, we have attempted to design a suitable social policy, which we believe is fair, cautious and attuned to the social realities of our time.

And yet, here we are.  36 more years have passed and our elected officials have flatly refused to do what they are charged to do; craft legislation that is in the best interest of their constituents. I hope that you keep these points in mind when considering whether or not to support this legislation, and are not swayed by the campaign of willful ignorance, racism and corporate interference that has long been waged against both the plant and the citizens who choose to use it.  Right now, thousands of your constituents in Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood are partaking of marijuana in the comfort and safety of their own homes, harming no one.

Why continue to treat them like criminals?




Nick Adams



Citizens of Lima, Ohio, you may now rest easy


The dangerous evil-doers who lurked the streets of your city have been put to justice.  And by "put to justice," I mean their entire life savings has been taken away even though they did no harm to anyone.

From The Plain Dealer:

Last summer, two violent intruders broke into the Rickses’ house. Luther and his son fought with the burglars. After his son was stabbed, Luther broke free, got his gun and saved the family by shooting one of the intruders and scaring the other off.

When Lima police arrived, the Ricks’ nightmare should have been over – but it was just beginning.

The police entered the house and discovered the family safe. Because a small amount of marijuana was inside the home – used by Luther to ease his painful arthritis, hip replacement and shingles – the officers decided to confiscate Meredith and Luther’s entire life savings, more than $400,000.

Shortly afterward, the FBI got involved – not to help the stricken family, but to claim the money for the federal government.

The author is Bob Ewing, the assistant director of communications for the Institute for Justice, a property rights legal advocacy group, so this quickly becomes an editorial about the evils of civil forfeiture; which I’m sure are varied and awful.  Of course, the government would not have looked twice at the Rickses’ marijuana if it were legal, as it would be if this country was capable of discussing this issue in an honest, rational fashion.  The only thing these people did wrong was engage in profoundly unsound financial behavior. 

I have a message for you, America:



There are no tags associated with this blog