LLR Pages

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Michigan's Medical Marijuana Referendum May Come Before Voters in November 2008

A pro-medical marijuana group, which bills itself as the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care, is lobbying to put up a ballot initiative that would legalize pot for medicinal use before Michigan voters on Election Day in November 2008.

According to the following article in the Detroit Free:

Michigan voters may get a chance to vote next fall on whether to decriminalize the marijuana use for medical purposes as supporters of the idea submitted nearly a half-million petition signatures to state elections officials today.

The group, Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care, said it gathered the signatures of 496,000 registered voters, far in excess of the 304,000 required, to put the issue before the Legislature and, if no action is taken, to state voters.

Dianne Byrum, a former state legislator from Ingham County now working with the marijuana coalition, said the use of medical marijuana enjoys broad support around the country and in Michigan.

Twelve states currently allow citizens some access to medical marijuana, allowing seriously ill patients to grow and/or possess and use the drug. Voters in five cities in Michigan — Detroit, Flint, Ann Arbor, Ferndale and Traverse City — have approved similar local ordinances in recent years.

But use and possession of marijuana for any purpose remains illegal under state and federal law.

Byrum said the Michigan initiative has been narrowly crafted to restrict marijuana use to those who have specific, serious illness certified by a physician. It has been endorsed in concept by resolution of the state Democratic Party, said Byrum, a former Democratic state senator and representative who now runs a political consulting firm.

The following sentence from the Free Press states the following:

But it is unlikely Democrats or Republicans in the Legislature will rush to embrace the measure.

While I'm in favor of medical marijuana (meaning the federal government should simply stay out of the issue and end its practice of waging war against drugs altogether), why only limit the use of marijuana for a "specific, serious illness"? And why should it be "certified by a physician"? Why not just call for an abolition of the War on Drugs at the state and federal levels? How about pushing for a referendum that would call for the complete legalization of marijuana and hard-core drugs like cocaine, heroin, etc., which would result in the end of the black market culture propagated by the War on Drugs (which is also fueled by the War on Terror)?

Isn't freedom about putting whatever substances into your body without government intervention and prosecution of any kind, even if those substances could cause direct harm to your person? Isn't this about the issues of private property rights and the right to self-ownership? Don't we own our own bodies? In the eyes of the vile, tyrannical state, we don't. Of course, this is the same state that has no qualms about enforcing eminent domain on us -- a policy which runs roughshod over our private property rights and our Fifth Amendment protections from eminent domain as well.

According to the MCCC's website, this is what the initiative would do:

* Allow terminally and seriously ill patients who find relief from marijuana to use it with their doctors' approval.
* Protect these seriously ill patients from arrest and prosecution for the simple act of taking their doctor-recommended medicine.
* Permit qualifying patients or their caregivers to cultivate their own marijuana for their medical use, with limits on the amount they could possess.
* Create registry identification cards, so that law enforcement officials could easily tell who was a registered patient, and establish penalties for false statements and fraudulent ID cards.
* Allow patients and their caregivers who are arrested to discuss their medical use in court.
* Keep commonsense restrictions on the medical use of marijuana, including prohibitions on public use of marijuana and driving under the influence of marijuana.

Are these people out of their minds? How can we trust law enforcement officials who, if marijuana were "legalized" under the provisions of this initiative, "could easily tell who was a registered patient" and who wasn't, and who could "establish penalties for false statements and fraudulent ID cards"? What if state officials decide NOT to play by the rules? What happens from there? What makes the MCCC think that the feds won't try to circumvent the state law "legalizing" marijuana for "specific, serious illnesses" the same way they've been trying to circumvent California's state law which "legalizes" marijuana for medicinal purposes?

Rather than "legalizing" marijuana for medicinal reasons, it's time to push for an abolition of the War on Drugs. That would be far better than just going for a shoddy quarter step towards freedom or even the same when it comes to a half step towards freedom.


Silent Vampyre said...

Again my friend, I couldn't agree more. If a woman has the right to have an abortion then I should have the right to smoke some weed! It's my body, right?

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