On June 28, 2006 the 109th United States Congress voted to allow the Drug Enforcement Administration to continue raiding, arresting and prosecuting patients and caregivers for medical marijuana in the 11 states where such laws have been passed.
After spending about 5 hours watching these buffoons waste billions of taxpayer dollars I find myself longing for the power to make some elected officials spontaneously combust LIVE, on Color TV. Wouldn?t that be a cool power to have?
I?d start with the first one who got up and said ?Marijuana has no medical value because it is a Schedule I drug like heroin, cocaine and meth, blah, blah, blah,?
Like this guy. Rep. Steve King ? (R) Iowa:
?I thank the chairman for yielding and the chance to address this issue. We heard from the other gentleman from Iowa, Mr. Latham, that the Food and Drug Administration has classified marijuana along with heroin, LSD, methamphetamine, hashish (as if hash is a different drug than pot) and a lot of other drugs as Schedule I drugs. That?s because they carry a high potential for dangerous abuse and so doctors in most states even prohibited them from being prescribed for medicinal purposes. That?s the standard that?s the national standard.?
Excuse me. Methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug meaning the D.E.A. has decided it has medicinal value. Please see
US DEA Schedule of Controlled Substances.
Methamphetamine in prescription form is sold under the name Desoxyn. It is prescribed for severe Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, depression and obesity. So, according to the FDA it is perfectly ok to use meth if you are fat, sad or hyper but not ok to consume a natural plant if you are in the agonizing throes of cancer or AIDS.
Why a bunch of assholes with Federal badges and guns are deciding anything medical is still beyond my ability to grasp. Additionally, doctors are NOT the ones who wrote the Schedule of Controlled Substances and they are not the ones who prohibit anything from being prescribed. They are, in increasingly alarming numbers, being arrested and prosecuted for prescribing the very drugs the DEA has said it is legal to prescribe. Anyone care to take a stab at the circular logic behind that one?
It should also be MANDATORY that any Rep. voting on any bill about drugs, drug use, drug abuse and/or drug addiction/treatment at the very least KNOW what the schedule of controlled substances says. Christ, is that just too much to ask? If they get it wrong like Rep. King did then their vote should not count because their reason for voting was not an EDUCATED one. After their vote is disqualified they get ZAPPED for being unjustifiably and willfully stupid and lazy.
Next up in the ZAP line is Rep. Tom Latham – (R) Iowa:
?Thank you Mr. Chairman. I rise in strong opposition to this bill. Let?s be clear marijuana is not harmless as some claim. It is a Schedule I drug under the controlled substances act meaning it has no accepted medical use in treatment and has a high potential for abuse. In fact, marijuana continues to be the most widely abused drug in the US. Those who anecdotally claim that marijuana has a medical benefit do not differentiate between THC and whole marijuana. Whole marijuana contains hundreds of chemicals many of which are harmful to ones health. An evaluation by several federal agencies concluded that no sound scientific studies supported marijuana?s medical use and smoking marijuana is not approved as legitimate medical use by the FDA.
“The bottom line is marijuana is an addictive substance that is linked to cancer and respiratory ailments and problems with the immune and reproductive system. And let me say that as a member of the speakers drug force, or drug task force or for drug free America, marijuana is the drug that will tell whether or not someone is going to get on meth, it is the precursor the gateway drug for heroin use, uh, as we continue to fight this battle on illegal drug use this is the drug that gets people started and anyone whose trying to send a message to our young people today should be embarrassed by having an amendment like this because this is telling people that this is ok, that its socially acceptable. That you can start here and it wont hurt you and, in fact, medically, scientifically, that is dead wrong. And the message we are sending to our children today is very strong whether we support legal use of marijuana as a precursor to methamphetamine to heroin ? this is the message we will be sending if we approve this. I strongly urge my colleagues to vote against this (pause) amendment.? (said with distaste and a shake of the head)
It is so easy to take apart what Rep. Latham said. For instance this comment: ?Whole marijuana contains hundreds of chemicals many of which are harmful to ones health. An evaluation by several federal agencies concluded that no sound scientific studies supported marijuana?s medical use and smoking marijuana is not approved as legitimate medical use by the FDA.?
The first red flag is that federal agencies are notoriously famous for discounting studies that do not go along with what they want. They will commission a study and then throw it out when it does not say what they want and then they will proceed to waste more of our money commissioning more studies until they get the answer they desire. As for being approved by the FDA, well lets all remember that the FDA gave us VIOXX, which killed or injured 155,000 people, and a host of other drugs stamped with their approval have done the same or worse. Marijuana has never killed or injured anyone anyone.
The second outright LIE is this: ?The bottom line is marijuana is an addictive substance that is linked to cancer and respiratory ailments and problems with the immune and reproductive system.?
However, according to the Washington Post; The largest study of its kind has unexpectedly concluded that smoking marijuana, even regularly and heavily, does not lead to lung cancer. The new findings “were against our expectations,” said Donald Tashkin of the University of California at Los Angeles, a pulmonologist who has studied marijuana for 30 years. “We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use,” he said. “What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect.”
Federal health and drug enforcement officials have widely used Tashkin’s previous work on marijuana to make the case that the drug is dangerous. Tashkin said that while he still believes marijuana is potentially harmful, its cancer-causing effects appear to be of less concern than previously thought.
So, as we see here, Dr. Tashkin?s studies were sound and scientific when he was espousing beliefs that fit the prohibitionist way of thinking, but now that he has changed his tune his research is no longer sound or scientific. I think I?ll trust the judgement of a physician with a medical degree instead of some cornhuskers-turned-Congressmen from Iowa, thank you very much.
No offense to the good people of Iowa. I have no room to talk when it comes to ?bumpkin Representatives? in D.C., seeing as how my own Senator Jeff Sessions once stated that he thought the Ku Klux Klan was ok until he learned some of them smoked pot. I was lucky that none of the Representatives from Alabama got up to speak in opposition. Thank God for small favors, eh?
Third. Is anyone really worried that some sick, little old lady cancer patient is going to suddenly run out and start snorting coke or smoking meth? From the arguments put forth on the House floor yesterday by those in opposition to this amendment you?d think that it was preordained by God Almighty that medical marijuana would lead to just that.
There were a couple more Reps who spoke in opposition but I won’t nauseate you with the hurl-inducing details. The best comment of the day came from Rep. Dave Obey (D) from Wisconsin when he said:
?If I am terminally ill it isn?t the business of anybody on this floor how I handle the pain or the illness associated with that illness. With all due respect to all of you Butt Out! I didn?t enter this world with permission from the Department of Justice and I?m certainly not going to depart it by seeking their permission or any other authority. The Congress has no business telling a patient how they can manage their pain or illness. I would trust any doctor in the nation before I would trust some of the Daffy Ducks in this institution to decide what I am supposed to do if I am terminally ill. The idea that we are somehow creating a gateway to drugs like meth is a JOKE. I detest meth. I?ve seen what it does. It is a plague on my district and especially in the Mid-West. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the management of pain and misery for people who are sick and dying. When is this congress going to recognize that individuals in their private lives have the right to manage their problems as they see fit without permission from the big guy in the White House and the big guy in the Justice Department or any of the Lilliputians on this Congressional floor? Wake up!?
My take on this is very much like Rep. Obey’s. I am sick of asking these bastards for permission. Asking them to grant permission is also giving them to power to say NO… as they continue to do. Not to diminish any of the hard work done by all of those groups and individuals who have lobbied, called, emailed and visited their congressional representative in person. I may be counted among their numbers… but it?s time for us to get off our knees and stop begging our slave masters for permission to ease our pain, or alter our consciousness for recreational purposes for that matter. That is not theirs to decide.
Why aren’t there more of us running for office at state and federal level? There are MANY members of various organizations as well as individuals in the United States of America with enough political experience gained through drug policy reform work to step up and RUN. I?m running for the highest office in the State of Alabama with much less experience than most of my drug policy reform colleagues and I am having a huge impact despite all of the obstacles placed in my way by those currently in power. Imagine what some of you could do in a state with less restrictive ballot access laws?
Others running for state and federal office in the 2006 mid-term elections with a drug policy reform plank in their platforms are:
? Ben Masel for Senate in Wisconsin
$1 contributions can be sent to:
Masel for Senate
1214 East Mifflin Street
Madison, WI 53703
To me this is the only way we will ever get what we want in the halls of our government… we have to BE the GOVERNMENT… either that or just damn defy them in mass numbers come hell or high water. I know some of you will say. ?Well, I am not a politician and I don?t know how to do what they do.? Guess what? They don?t know what the hell they are doing. One thing I have learned in my very limited experience in politics is that it?s all make-believe. None of this is real. Anyone can do it. The people currently elected to public office are not special. They are not superhuman. They are not smarter than you. In many cases they are dumber than rocks and so far out of touch with their constituents that it is disgraceful. These people are not Gods and they do not belong on pedestals.
I am not saying that lobbying efforts should cease. I am saying that in addition to lobbying efforts by groups and individuals there should be a massive battle being waged on the election front. Our elected officials understand one thing and one thing only. FORCE! When we stand up and begin to FORCE them out of a job then we will begin to see the results we are striving to achieve.
To see how your representative voted please see the Roll Call. If your representative voted to keep Uncle Sam and his Hell Hounds out of your garden and your medicine cabinet, then send them some money and a thank you note. They deserve it. If your representative voted to keep pain mandatory, then start organizing a campaign against their re-election. Consider running for office yourself. Stop begging. Get off your knees. Pick up your ?I?m gonna kick your ass out of office” club and start swingin? it. Sorry if my militant message pisses anyone off… but damn… my knees are sore.
Your Compatriot in the Fight for Liberty,
Other notable quotes from the day.
? Rep. Maurice Hinchey ? (D) NY:
“This amendment has to do with two things. It has to do with compassion. Compassion for people that are very seriously ill or dying. And the ability of those states in which they live to provide means by which their suffering can be relieved. It also has to do with one other point and that is states rights. The ability of the states to determine how medical care will be regulated in those states. We have 11 states in this country Mr. Chairman who have determined that it is in the interest of the people in those states that they be allowed to use marijuana for medicinal purposes to alleviate the suffering of such things as AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, MS, those states are Alaska, California, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Hawaii, RI, Vermont & Washington. The federal government has decided that they are going to intervene and prevent those states from carrying out the laws which were passed in two cases by the state legislatures and in 9 cases by referendum by the people of those states. We will hear from the people who oppose this amendment that marijuana has something to do with a gateway drug in other words it introduces people to other drugs. This amendment has nothing whatsoever to do with that. This amendment has nothing to do with drug addiction, this amendment has nothing to do with the potential for drug addiction. This amendment simply has to do with the ability of states to relieve the suffering of their citizens without federal intervention and the right of states to pass laws regulating medical practice without federal intervention. It is a very simple amendment and it ought to be passed. Those people here who believe in small government should support it. Those people here who believe in the issue of states rights ought to support it. Those people here who believe that state governments and the people in those governments have the right to take care of their citizens and alleviate their suffering?those people in this house ought to support this amendment as well.?
? Dana Rohrabacher – (D) California:
?Thank you Mr. Chairman. I rise in strong support of the Hinchey/Rohrabacher amendment. Our amendment would prohibit any funds made available in this act to the Dept. of Justice from being used to prevent the implementation of legally passed state laws in those 11 states authorizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Our coalition of freedom minded Republicans and Democrats on this issue is based on compassion for those who are suffering, a commitment to personal liberty and a firm belief in the principles of federalism.?
? ?The use of marijuana to ease the pain of victims of a wide variety of medical conditions is well known and increasingly documented in the media and in medical journals. For many of these people medical science has not been able to relieve their pain. Just recently a friend of mine and a friend of many years passed away. Lyn Nofziger. And many of you here probably know him. He was Ronald Reagan?s first Press Secretary. I went to see him after he got out of the hospital with his treatments for cancer. He had his good days and his bad days. I saw him about a week before he died, and I asked Lyn about it and he said, ?Yes, sometimes it?s bad other times its not but I couldn?t get myself to eat and I had this pain no matter what they did for me.? And I said, ?Did you ever try that medical marijuana that we have been talking about and debating about?? and he got a twinkle in his eye and he says, ?Yes I did and it brought my appetite back and I slept like a baby.?
? ?Don?t tell me that we should have fed law enforcement people come in to a state where people have approved and if a doctor agrees and get in the way of Lyn Nofziger and any other people who are suffering and use federal money and federal resources that should be used should be going to fight crime in order to create that obstacle. That?s a travesty. Individuals who live in the 11 states affected by this amendment have been granted by their voter in these states the legal right to use marijuana to alleviate their pain if a doctor agrees. If the voters have so voted and the doctor agrees it is a travesty for the government to intercede, for the federal government to allocate our scarce resources to fighting this..getting in the way of someone using something to alleviate their suffering. This is something that should be left to the states as American tradition dictates. Sandra Day O?Connor stated it best when she stated that states should serve as a laboratory so that people can try certain new ideas out to see how they work. Well, this federal government shouldn?t get in the way of what is going on in these 11 states to see how this works. The most recent decision of the Supreme Court has thrown the ball into the hands of the US Congress. Justice John Paul Stevens made it clear. ?The voices of voters may one day be heard in the halls of Congress on behalf of legalizing medical marijuana. 11 states have already acted.?