Thursday, June 21, 2007

Rell Vetoes Medical Fatties

For those of you who have the fever for the flavor of a fatty, and were hoping that you'd be able to roll a big fat stinker in the name of pain relief by the end of the year, you'll need to wait a little longer. Hopes of the pro-marijuana crowd were drained like old bong water when Governor M. Jodi Rell vetoed a measure that would permit marijuana use for medical reasons earlier this week.

That's right, if you were hoping to get stoned with a wink and a nod from state government... maybe next year. More likely when there is a Governor Blumenthal or another Democrat.

This bill would have allowed for someone suffering from things like glaucoma, or cancer, ALS, or another terminal disease to own up to four potted marijuana plants, and to administer the resultant drug to themselves, should a doctor prescribe it.

Never mind that this is against federal law, so if the state law were signed, the owners of the plants could still be charged federally. Also, you can't get marijuana at a pharmacy. As House Minority Leader Larry Cafero said... "How do you get it? You gotta make a drug deal, baby!"

This bill wasn't really about helping suffering people, though I do believe many advocates had that intent. It was merely an attempt by the "legalize it" crowd to make pot more mainstream, and help pave the way for legalizing it recreationally.

I for one am pleased the bill was vetoed. I think the veto may have prevented an unforeseen up-tick in fifteen-year-olds being mysteriously diagnosed with glaucoma.

1 comment:

Robert said...

Yeah I've always been on the fence on this one. On the one hand Mary Jane is (in my opinion) less harmful than alcohol and certainly less harmful than other more "chemically enhanced" narcotics; and it does give real relief to people with some very serious medical conditions who otherwise suffer terribly.

But. There are no controls in place. No system for managing this. And as HH points out the Fed's really don't like it when states buck thier system (everyone remember the crackdowns in California when they passed a similar law?).

Just like DeStefano has brought all kinds of (unnecessary) immigration heat down on the residents (illegal and otherwise) of New Haven with his silly law this would only ensure the transfer of dozens of DEA agents to our fair state.

I'm all for state's rights. And considering that Pot is a natural substance not refined or manufactured I don't see an issue with state's deciding on their own how to regulate it. But the Federal Government has so much invested (trillions of dollars and who knows how many lives) in the war on drugs that asking them to concede something like this is unthinkable to those who have been in the trenches.

It's a tough call. At least from a state law perspective Pot for personal use has largely been decriminalized for a very long time. Changing the law before the Feds are ready to let that happen seems unnecessary.

Change on this issue needs to come from Congress. Once Federal law has been changed to permit the use of Medicinal Pot then the state should begin to implement a system to distribute and control the substance to those who need it.

Before that, they are just going to have to continue to make their drug deals.

But honestly I can't imagine a judge in this state beating up on a granny with glaucoma or some ALS patient because they had some personal use pot on them. If that were happening I think I would be more inclined to push for reform.