I read that a decriminalization bill was approved. What’s the deal with that? Can we can smoke weed out in the open now?
Not quite. The legislature’s judiciary committee approved the bill, but it’s not a law yet. And even when it is, you can still get hit with a ticket (much like a speeding ticket) for smoking in public, which may be novel the first time, but it’ll get old fast. The next step for the bill is to go to the Legislative Commissioner’s Office to be checked for constitutionality and consistency with existing laws, to the Office of Fiscal Analysis to assess the bill’s cost (this one will save law enforcement funding, so no problem there), and then to the floor of the house for more debate. Finally, when approved there, it goes to Gov. Malloy for his signature, which he has already assured us he will provide. (M. Jodi Rell had always insisted she would shoot down such a bill if it ever arrived on her desk, otherwise this would’ve happened years ago.) Provided the language doesn’t change in these next few stages of the process, the decriminalization will hold for up to half an ounce of weed. Beyond that, you’re on your own.
Why would a politician deny a suffering terminal cancer patient a medication that makes them feel better, no matter what the medication is?
I don’t know, man. That’s one of the reasons I write this column. To call them out on that. When you’re a politician you have to say that illegal drugs are bad or else you won’t be in office very long. They must think that backing down on the so-called drug war in any way will be seen as a sign of weakness that will alienate their voters. But to deny a person who is suffering a medication that relieves their pain (an organic, all-natural medication at that) in order to preserve one’s own political standing is a real chicken shit thing to do.
Just think … the key to the patient’s comfort could be growing for free in a container at their bedside, but instead they’re forced to take some expensive pharmaceutical created in a lab with a list of nasty, sometimes-fatal side effects that last for the length of an entire TV commercial. Thankfully, with the legislative OK of a medical marijuana bill in CT a couple weeks ago this issue should soon be a moot point.
In the Hartford Courant (“Medical Marijuana Bill Advances,” April 5), one opponent of the bill, John W. Hetherington, R-New Canaan, said that he’s in favor of anything that will help people who are suffering, but that going against federal law isn’t the way to do it. So yeah, federal law is also a very real roadblock. “What kind of message are we sending to the young people?” he said. “‘We don’t like the federal law, so we’re simply going to disregard it?’” He makes a point, and in theory it’d be great if the feds changed their laws first. But it’s not a matter of “liking” federal law. We don’t disregard the law, but we can change it when it’s unjust. That’s why our constitution is amendable. And sometimes the changes must begin on a state level. If we couldn’t change unjust laws, then women still wouldn’t be able to vote and black people would still have to sit in the back of the bus.
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