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Medical marijuana: A small first step
A free person has dominion over what they do with their own body. They may choose to get a tattoo, or a piercing, or to wear a certain style of clothing. They may choose to get a seasonal flu shot, or they may assume the risks and forego said shot. They may choose to consume alcoholic beverages, either in moderation, or in excess, or choose to not imbibe at all. Freedom means personal responsibility. A citizen of the United States is allegedly a “free” person.
In contrast, someone who is not “free” is either a prisoner or in past times, was considered a “slave.” Neither a prisoner nor a slave has any of the aforementioned freedoms. Neither has dominion over what they do with their own body. They may not choose to get a tattoo, or a piercing, or to wear a certain style of clothing. They may not choose to consume alcoholic beverages, either in moderation, excess, or to not imbibe at all. Their choice was taken away from them. They do not have liberty. They do not have freedom.
Prohibition happens when persons in government use the powers of government to enforce their will upon the citizenry. When a person has their freedom of choice removed, under threat of retribution for failing to comply, they have in effect become either a prisoner or the property of those that have asserted control over their persons. They have in essence become a slave.
President Abraham Lincoln once said, “Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes.”
The prohibition of alcohol in the late 1920s and early 1930s was a complete failure, and so, too, has been the War on Drugs. Both the prohibition of alcohol and the prohibition of drugs fell victim to the Law of Unintended Consequences, where politicians pass a law with the intent of a positive outcome. Unfortunately, most laws written have failed to account for all possible unintended consequences, and thus fail to achieve their intended results.
While Alabama is now the thirty-seventh state to allow medical marijuana, Gov. Kay Ivey called SB46 an “important first step.” As adopted, patients must receive certification by a doctor to obtain a medical cannabis card for about 15 categories of conditions and symptoms: autism; cancer-related weight loss, or chronic pain; Crohn’s; depression; epilepsy or condition causing seizures; HIV/AIDS-related nausea or weight loss; panic disorder; Parkinson’s; persistent nausea not related to pregnancy; PTSD; sickle cell; spasticity associated with diseases including ALS and multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injuries; terminal illnesses; Tourette’s; and chronic pain for which conventional therapies and opiates should not be used or are ineffective.
The legislation says medical marijuana should not be the first option but should be used “only after documentation indicates that conventional medical treatment or therapy has failed unless current medical treatment indicates that use of medical cannabis is the standard of care.” Certification for a medical cannabis card would be valid for up to 12 months, and the only forms allowed are tablets; capsules; tinctures; or gels, oils or creams for topical use; or suppositories; transdermal patches; nebulizers; or liquids or oils for use in an inhaler. Unfortunately, raw plant material, products that could be smoked or vaped, or food products such as cookies or candies would not be allowed.
And herein lays my problem with this limited “first step.” … Thomas Jefferson wrote in our U.S. Declaration of Independence from Great Britain that, “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” And no one in our government bothered to ask me for my consent! And if the government claims that they have the authority to dictate what, or how, I choose to consume into my own body, they are asserting that I am either a prisoner or a slave.
I am not a user of cannabis, but I am curious if it has the capability to relieve my arthritic pains. I believe that as a free person, who owns my own property, that I have the exact same rights and liberties that our founding fathers had, except those that were rightfully terminated by an amendment to our Constitution. I would prefer to grow my own cannabis on my own property for my own personal use, without the fear of arrest, incarceration, or other punishment.
If it took an amendment to our Constitution to prohibit alcohol, and another amendment to repeal that amendment, then why did it not also take an amendment to our Constitution to prohibit the usage of cannabis and other drugs? The war on drugs has done more harm to our nation than helped and should be terminated immediately, and we the people be allowed to accept our own personal responsibility for choosing what we do, or do not, consume or ingest into our own bodies. For if we are denied that choice, we are nothing more than the property of our masters in the city of Washington, D.C.