In the great state of Ohio, a county sheriff has taken to billing the federal government for the illegal aliens that he busts and therefore must prosecute and detain. On one hand, that makes sense; the government fails to do it’s job of defending the borders and as a result, Barney Fife has to lock up every illegal alien in the county. He thinks the feds should foot the bill and who am I to disagree? My usual reaction to such a problem would be...whatever.
But, it occurred to me that these illegal aliens are being busted, prosecuted and detained for the same reason FAR too many people are being busted, prosecuted and detained...the vile, malevolent and wicked weed...marijuana. African Americans, European Americans, Asian Americans and the entire politically correct assemblage of min/maj-orties (My own little word that politically correctly refers to ALL peoples in their proper min/maj-ority status, whatever that may be at any one given time. It implies neither positive nor negative connotations and it should offend no one. As everyone is either a minority or majority of any given group, you could technically swing back and forth between minority status and majority status. So, you see, this term is non-restrictive and therefore, very DE-scriptive.) The one thing, and the ONLY thing that these people have in common other than their crimes, it is that they are all relatively poor. Rich people don’t go to prison for possession. But some would rather see us bicker among racial lines because it’s just easier and it takes the heat off of the real problem...that of holding down...not the black man...not the Hispanic man...not even the white man...nowadays the offensive group is people of limited means. Also the group of limited education as well, these people are easily manipulated into a frame of thinking that revolves around blaming another group for it’s own problems. As long as they continue to bicker amongst themselves, whatever the ethnicity...they will continue to be “put down” because there is no one to organize them and organization is the only way to wield power in this society...just ask the women.
Anyway, far too many people are locked up for smoking a bit of the wacky tobacky while countless others imbibe on the equally wicked, yet legal to purchase, consume and abuse...alcohol. On my planet, this makes no sense. In this, the most enlightened society ever to walk upon YOUR planet...it is a crime to roll up even a medicinal doobie and this...I find dreadfully offensive.
In the 1980’s I worked on a cancer unit and we were participating in pharmaceutical trials involving Marinol, a pill form of some of the ingredients required to stimulate our endocannabinoids and therefore increase our appetite and curb nausea and other unpleasant symptoms. It worked to some extent, but nowhere near as well as plain, old fashioned marijuana worked for the people that I visited when I did hospice care. Those folk were dying and they didn't mind telling you that they feel as well as they did because of their marijuana. Even if they COULD find a doctor to prescribe Marinol, there’s absolutely no guarantee that it will work for them and actually, chances are, it won’t.
I didn’t keep numbers, that wasn’t my job...but in my experience, nothing worked as well as marijuana for a majority of those patients. Then...along came Nancy and her ever so Marie Antoinette...“Just say no.” After a few generations of teenagers dabbling in drug use and dangerous drugs at an all time high...the best we can tell them is to “Just say no.” Damn...why didn’t my parents think of that?
Anyway, the pharmaceutical testing stopped toot sweet and has never come back. The political atmosphere is the only thing that’s changed in the years between now and the day that marijuana was first restricted in the west to keep the Mormon’s out of states. And today, marijuana is placed on the dreadful Schedule I narcotics listing. That means that it is “of no medicinal value.“ That’s crap and there are too many people who know that it’s crap for the crap to continue.
Certainly in California, there are many doctors who understand the benefits but apparently, some are abusing the privilege which is a shame but it’s also possible that the people really benefit from it and the government sets too high a standard for use, pardon the pun. Of course, I haven’t investigated the claims so I don’t know how true the assertions of abuse are. But I sure don't see street crime on the rise over this. Every joint that someone gets from the pharmacy is one less joint that a drug dealer sells.
I had a pretty serious illness a couple of years ago and I totally lost my appetite. My husband left in the middle of it all and that certainly didn’t help my appetite. I was losing so much weight that I was frightened. I didn’t WANT to lose weight...I just couldn’t eat. I came across a friend who had “connections” and went right home and watched a little Gilligan’s Island until I felt like going to get a McDonald’s milk shake. After that...I went from about 90 pounds to over 110 and then I was able to eat on my own again. If I hadn’t run into that guy, I can honestly say that I might not be here. Who knows where that would have ended? So, as far as I’m concerned, the crap saved my life when nothing that the doctors were doing was helping.
But, if things had gone a tad awry...it’s possible that I could have gone to jail over that. Me, a middle aged grandmother who rarely leaves her home except to buy green peppers and moth balls. I spend my time tending to my spice garden and my fish...not wilding or engaging in rumbles. I harm no one that I should happen upon and the most pressure I place upon society is an occasional letter to the editor and yet I...this woman who has raised 3 decent children and is enjoying her grandchildren, could have ended up in jail by self medicating like I did.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (a part of the Justice Department) over four fifths of all drug crime is for possession alone. When addressing marijuana, arrests for sale or manufacture of marijuana total a whopping 5% of all drug arrests for sale or manufacturing of illegal substances. Yet marijuana represents a whopping 39.2% of all possession arrests, with heroin AND cocaine combining for a total of 22% coming in a distant second. These numbers are all from the Justice Department’s own web site. Who are we arresting and what is the problem with marijuana?
I’ll scream if I hear one more nimrod exclaim, “Marijuana leads to harder drugs.” DUH. If you ask a bunch of drug addicts if they ever smoked weed, they’re gonna say yes. THEY'RE FREAKING DRUG ADDICTS! But if you ask a bunch of college students, that number will be high as well. Once again, pardon the pun. But if you ask everyone who has every smoked a joint if they went on to become street walkers and drug additcs, chances are most will say, "Nope."
So, that argument is just a bad one and far too easy to dismiss. Where are the victims of this drug? Where are the bodies of strung out pot-heads, dead in the gutter with giant, suicidal sized blunts hanging out of their mouths? Where are all of the stoner sniper dudes...sitting atop bell towers, taking out one innocent person after another over some marijuana induced hallucination? Hell, prozac can do that and any one of us...particularly the less balanced of us, can obtain a prescription for that mind altering drug simply by complaining of some psychiatric disorder. That’s a frightening thought...isn’t it? The only people who even DO get the mind altering drugs legally are, by definition, are...how shall I say this...walking on a freshly waxed floor, mentally speaking. Yet they get all kinds of drugs legally just because some doctor who never smoked a joint or some politician who did but didn’t inhale...doesn't understand the idea of a nice, mellow weed buzz and therefore, none of us can smoke any. But, that doctor and that politician can put back as many Buttery Nipples as they’d like to. Once again, on my planet, this makes no sense.
But, in Ohio, as with everywhere else, illegal aliens and...everyone else...are being incarcerated because of some silly political atmosphere that has never, ever existed in the history of man or weed. So, when the good Sheriff from Ohio asks the government to pay for a few of his annoyances, why doesn’t he get all righteous over the people who are locked up for no reason other than possessing marijuana? Possession and other crimes associated with obtaining possession are actions that were never considered crimes as recently as 1937.
Before that, there were states that had outlawed the weed but not because of any altruistic motives that they may have possessed...the laws banning marijuana were then, as they have always been, based in racism. That comment comes from a died in the wool conservative so don’t think that I’m jumping on any bandwagons here, I know of what I speak.
Mormons, Mexicans and Blacks have all been targeted by the development of drug laws and there was a time when it wasn’t politically incorrect to say so...so they did. In 1927, a Butte Montana newspaper quoted a Montana legislator as saying, “When some beet field peon takes a trace of this stuff...he thinks that he has just been elected President and he starts to execute all of his political enemies.” In Texas, a legislator said, for the record, that “All Mexicans are crazy and it’s this stuff that makes them crazy.”
In 1934 newspapers editorialized, “Marijuana influences Negroes to look white people in the eye, step on white men’s shadows and look at white women twice.” Then, as well as now, the government uses our fear of each other and our concern for our children when they portray all drug dealers as predators, skulking outside of schools approaching our innocent little children.
Our innocent little children don’t need such a skulky character...they have their friends. In all my born days, I have never seen a dark, hooded character lurking in the shadows possessing the key too all that is evil on this planet. I had Cindy...my girlfriend since 8th grade who was as hippy as hippy can be while I was just putting away my Barbie dolls. Smack dab in the middle of suburban Chicago 1970’s...Cindy was wild and SHOWED me my first marijuana...I didn’t touch it, I was afraid. I had that healthy fear that silly shit like Reefer Madness put into the minds of children my age.
After all the years that I’ve seen marijuana use in one form or another...the worst "crime" that I’ve ever seen committed relating to it was done by a drug rehabilitation clinic. They charged a 17 year old boy $27,000 to cure him of the ills of cannabis. That was hideous. They totally preyed upon that family, their ignorance concerning marijuana and their love for their kid. Yet, in Ohio and everywhere else, the jails are full of folks who smokum the peace pipe and that’s just stupid. And it will continue to be stupid as long as the people who make these laws continue to drink martinis.