Sometimes it is hard to speak the truth. Especially when policy becomes personal.
Right now in Mendocino County, CA the government is running an extortion racket charging $25 per tag per marijuana plant. If you have 24 or fewer plants and have a tag on them, the sheriff wont come and get you. On the other hand, people who refuse to pay this illegal, unconstitutional tax, even though they are already legal under state law, are threatened by possible sheriffal activities.
I happened to be on a panel with one of the leaders of an organization that worked this arrangement out or is at least cooperating with it. He said “ Well, what can we do? We are stuck.” I have heard the same sort of whining from all over the country. The reason for all this is a concerted effort by the Department of Justice to coordinate a rollback of medical marijuana businesses and patients’ rights. It gets down to the personal where in Mendocino County the sheriff and the government are trying to exploit the situation.
In Montana, the state legislature with the acquiescence of Governor Brian Schweitzer, has passed legislation that rolls back the rights of patients and dispensaries. The marijuana proponements didn’t whine about it they quickly collected a fund to fight in court and are now planning another initiative that will roll back the repeal.
This is the exact kind of action that I advocate. First of all people are getting together to fight for their rights, they are willing to put up resources for it, and they are willing to hire professionals to help them do battle. They are not conceding to Medical and Financial Terrorists.
When medical marijuana advocates ardently try to negotiate they don’t realize that as far as marijuana is concerned these officials have two fingers crossed behind their backs. They can’t be trusted, they aren’t honest and they are subject to pressures that frankly I don’t understand. They have engaged in blackmail, embezzlement, violations of civil rights, violations of ordinances and zoning laws. The list goes on.
As far as marijuana is concerned I am much more inclined to leave it up to the people to vote to remove politicians abilities to violate peoples rights using the initiative process.
There is a practical reason for this too. With the Obama administration still practicing its bait and deceive politics, the cost of lawyers protecting the people could become astronomical. With initiatives, some of these costs and risks could be shifted to the states and localities. And then there is the cost of lawyers. It is really much cheaper to run an initiative in most places, especially in small towns and cities, than to pay the hourly legal fee, which as anybody who has experienced these knows, can run up pretty quickly. It is like a taxi meter run wild.
So when people say what can we do? How can we cope with this I say go local, write initiatives take the politics and cops out of it. Put it in the hands of the county health department. Let me explain. It is under the health and safety laws but right now the police are enforcing these laws and there is no reason why this part of the code should not be enforced by the health department. We need to take the criminal justice system out of the picture as far as medical marijuana is concerned.
So I know that this blog did not sound too witty and did not have the trememndous irony and sarcasm that you usually think of when you read my columns. I promise in the future that I will try to continue that, however, this is such an important matter and so immediate that I wanted to put it in a vernacular that nobody could misunderstand. If you really get it you, will start organizing.