By "Radical" Russ Belville
At the Wheeler Conference in Helena, Montana, former US Attorney for the state, William Mercer, serves as the perfect example of reefer madness tunnel vision. Sure, marijuana may be medical for six or seven really sick people, but it makes it harder to put the healthy pot smokers in a cage!
(Great Falls Tribune) The federal government has spent huge sums of money in its war on drugs but fears those efforts will be undermined in states where medical marijuana is legal, says a former federal prosecutor.
Since the 1970s when the federal government began its war on drugs, its main focus has been cutting off supply, not prosecuting individual users.
“The role of the federal government when it comes to drugs is not to go after users,” Mercer said. “The focus of the U.S. attorneys in the country and the focus of the DEA … is to go after those big organizations.”
Oh, that must explain why 88% of all marijuana arrests are for mere possession, not cultivation, trafficking, and sales. To be fair, he’s not exactly lying; most of those arrests do take place at the state and local, not federal level.
Mercer believes the federal government would be comfortable with a medical marijuana system in a state if the law was written so a very narrow slice of people, only those who would truly benefit from it, could legally use marijuana.
“I think you’ve really got to tighten up those categories,” Mercer said.
Hmmm, only the people who would truly benefit… let’s see, those categories would include Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Chronic pain, Diabetes mellitus, Dystonia, Fibromyalgia, Gastrointestinal disorders, Gliomas/other cancers, Hepatitis C, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Hypertension, Incontinence, Methicillin-resistant Staphyloccus aureus (MRSA), Multiple sclerosis, Osteoporosis, Pruritus, Rheumatoid arthritis, Sleep apnea, and Tourette’s syndrome, not to mention PTSD, anxiety, depression, and cachexia.
Since those are all proven beneficiaries of medical marijuana and dwarfs Montana’s list of qualifying conditions, Mercer must have meant “tighten up those categories to just the most visibly sick people who’d make for bad visuals on the evening news if our automatic-weapon-toting body-armored SWAT police threw them to the ground for using marijuana.”
What Mercer and other law enforcement are fighting against is a growing realization by Americans that the toxic, side-effect-laden pharmaceuticals pushed on us by our TV’s and corrupted doctors are not the only option for personal healthcare. They’re learning that cannabis is safe and effective for a wide variety of issues and provides better quality of life than being in a doped-out stupor on heavy pharmaceuticals. They see growing patient rolls as “abuse” because they still see marijuana as a deadly dangerous Schedule I drug and its users as dirty stinky criminals who must be culled from society… unless they’re so sick that dragging them off in handcuffs appears cruel.