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  It Is Time for Medical Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on December 04, 2009 at 11:34:55 PT
By Paul Carpenter 
Source: Morning Call 

medical Pennsylvania -- Not a single lawmaker from the Lehigh Valley had the guts or the integrity to join him. John Ray Wilson, 36, of Franklin Township, N.J., has multiple sclerosis, an incurable disease. He has no medical insurance, so the only way he could ease some of his agony was with a few marijuana plants he grew in his yard.

Now he faces the agony of 20 years in prison, and the jury in his trial, set to begin Dec. 14, will be prevented by a so-called judge from knowing the truth about his reasons for having those pot plants.

(Marijuana -- less addictive than coffee or alcohol -- is widely regarded as an effective way to lessen the horrors of MS, glaucoma, cancer and other ailments.)

I once lived in Kendall Park, N.J., and Franklin Township was just across Route 27 from my house. That was before Wilson was born, but the plight of somebody in my old neighborhood struck a nerve.

I'm not the only one. Outrage over the ruling by Somerset County Judge Robert Reed galvanized the public, and New Jersey is expected to be the next state to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana for valid medical purposes.

According to this week's Wall Street Journal, Reed has prohibited Wilson from explaining to a jury why he used marijuana. The jury will be left to infer he merely wanted to party or to sell it for profit. Motive is not relevant in Reed's court.

That appalling lack of common sense and decency helped move legislation to let people use marijuana when it is recommended by a physician. The bill, said the WSJ, is expected to pass the state Assembly soon, and lame duck Gov. Jon Corzine indicated he will sign it by next month.

That means in a few weeks, residents of the Lehigh Valley region may be just a bridge away from a place with an enlightened attitude about helping people who are suffering from terrible illnesses.

According to a story on the front page of The Morning Call on Thursday, similar legislation ''faces long odds in Pennsylvania,'' where the power structure is contaminated by hordes of Judge Reed types.

A House committee, it was reported, held hearings on a bill to allow some people to buy marijuana for medical use.

The measure was introduced by state Rep. Mark Cohen, D- Philadelphia, with six co-sponsors. Not a single lawmaker from the Lehigh Valley had the guts or the integrity to join him as a co-sponsor.

''More than a dozen states,'' Thursday's story observed, ''have legalized medical marijuana.'' Cohen's measure, House Bill 1393, would establish state ''compassion centers'' to help ease the pain and nausea of various diseases, including the torment of chemotherapy for cancer victims.

''A qualifying patient shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution or penalty in any manner,'' it says, ''for the medical use of marijuana, provided that the patient possesses a registry identification card and no more than six marijuana plants and one ounce of usable marijuana.''

Control freaks immediately opposed HB 1393. ''More lives stand to be ruined [by marijuana],'' state Attorney General Tom Corbett was quoted as saying, oblivious to lives now being ruined by draconian laws that serve only to enrich drug dealers and the government officials they bribe.

A main force behind legalization of medical marijuana is the Marijuana Policy Project, based in Washington. In a drive to support such legislation in Pennsylvania, MPP cited five articles, including my Aug. 16 column, in which I recalled how I got stuck in a traffic jam outside the 1969 Woodstock music festival, where marijuana was everywhere and was ignored by police.

I contemplated what a disaster that would have been if alcohol (which triggers obnoxious and pugnacious behavior), instead of marijuana (which triggers gentle amity), had been the drug of choice there.

I must confess I tried marijuana a couple of years after Woodstock, but I did not care for it. I'm also not much of a boozer. I prefer to get high in other ways, such as skiing or riding a motorcycle through Monument Valley. Obviously, for most of us, marijuana did not lead to other drugs.

If I ever get MS or need chemotherapy, however, I shall try it again, legalization or no legalization -- and Reed, Corbett and all the other control freaks can go to blazes.

Speaking of judicial depravity, Thursday's paper also had an item about a third judge in Luzerne County being charged with corruption. Previously, two other judges were charged in a multimillion-dollar scheme to take bribes for putting innocent juveniles into commercial jails.

The new charges are not what is most depraved. That county is now down to seven judges, prompting President Judge Chester Muroski to say, ''Clearly this action deals a severe blow to our already shorthanded Luzerne County Court.''

He's worried about being shorthanded ? How about the severe blow to thousands of lives ruined by a corrupt judiciary? Where does the court system come up with people harboring these kinds of perversities?

Paul Carpenter's commentary appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Source: Morning Call (Allentown, PA)
Author: Paul Carpenter
Published: December 4, 2009
Copyright: 2009 The Morning Call Inc.
Contact: letters@mcall.com
Website: http://www.mcall.com/
URL: http://drugsense.org/url/81rgOkD9

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Comment #9 posted by FoM on December 05, 2009 at 05:48:06 PT
Yanxor
We moved from eastern PA in 73. We couldn't afford to buy a house back there. Everything was so expensive. Car inspections cost a fortune too. We don't have required car inspections in Ohio.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #8 posted by Yanxor on December 04, 2009 at 19:14:59 PT
Gah, Lehigh Valley
Don't get me started on Lehigh Valley, I was recently charged $110 dollars for having my far beams on as I was driving on I-76 and looking out for dear, it was completely dark and intensely woody.

The judge and police officer joked in front of me, before and after the 2 minute hearing.

Pennsylvania is just like America in that there's something on the east and west coasts, and a whole ton of nothing in between. The ton of nothing sure is gorgeous, especially in the fall.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #7 posted by FoM on December 04, 2009 at 17:47:16 PT
The GCW
Thank you for the link.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #6 posted by The GCW on December 04, 2009 at 17:26:27 PT
Legend of Crazy Horse
FoM, Another horse CLASSIC I like a lot!

?"Control freaks"? Political control freaks?

SCREWED over and over again; it doesn't ever stop.

J.D. Blackfoot's, Legend of Crazy Horse (the full version) -agrees.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Xh5GUkK0u4

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on December 04, 2009 at 15:39:35 PT:

"Control freaks"
This reminds me of something I read a long time ago:

"Political tags--such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and. so forth--are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort." - from the "Notebooks of Lazarus Long" from the novel "Time Enough for Love" by Robert Heinlein

And that is what the prohibs are...and have always been. Control freaks. People whom the great social critic H. L. Mencken described as suffering from Purtitanism: "The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy." People who were caricatured by the anti-Prohibition forces of his day as being cheerless, joyless, perpetually glum 'Mr. Dry' http://tinyurl.com/yeq6dlh

And here's more examples of the modern-day prohibs' direct ancestors: http://tinyurl.com/cyoyu And, then as now, they're responsible for far more misery than they claim to wish to 'save' you from...by 'saving' you from yourself.

Control freaks. Haven't we all had enough of them?

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #4 posted by The GCW on December 04, 2009 at 13:09:09 PT
rally at CO state Capitol
US CO: Medical pot supporters rally at state Capitol

Webpage: http://www.summitdaily.com/article/20091204/NEWS/912049998/1078&ParentProfile=1055

Pubdate: 4 Dec 2009

Source: Summit Daily News (CO)

DENVER — Acknowledging that they have an image problem, supporters of medical marijuana held a rally at the Colorado Capitol on Friday to support better regulation of their industry.

About a dozen people braved subfreezing temperatures on the west steps of the Capitol to speak on behalf of the Colorado Patients and Providers Coalition, which says it wants to reassure Coloradans that the medical marijuana industry is legitimate.

Coalition president Josh Stanley says the industry has a problem because of a lack of regulation and abuse and the group is working with state lawmakers on reforms.

“We have to acknowledge we have an image problem. What we're trying to do is provide a level of legitimacy and we need to weed out those who are abusing the system,” Stanley said.

Stanley said his coalition is working with Colorado state lawmakers to write regulations that will go before the Legislature next year.

Colorado Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver, said he plans to introduce legislation in January that would require dispensaries to buy licenses, as well as pay the state's 2.9 percent sales tax.

He said giving the state the ability to regulate the industry will give dispensaries more legitimacy.

CONT.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #3 posted by Hope on December 04, 2009 at 12:22:44 PT
Somerset County Judge Robert Reed
Somerset County Judge Robert Reed, and others like him, is in dire need of some sort of serious humanity and common decency rehabilitation.



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on December 04, 2009 at 12:05:59 PT:

"Hear, hear!"
"If I ever get MS or need chemotherapy, however, I shall try it again, legalization or no legalization -- and Reed, Corbett and all the other control freaks can go to blazes.

And there it is. A shot fired across the culture warrior's bow. 'Freedom', as a favorite author of mine once wrote, 'means being able to tell busybody bureaucrats to go fly a kite!'

That was the voice of freedom heard loud and clear. The voice of an adult who doesn't need bureaucratic patronizing or hand-holding. The voice of a citizen, not a subject.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #1 posted by Storm Crow on December 04, 2009 at 11:46:30 PT
Is it justice or Just us?
"the jury in his trial, set to begin Dec. 14, will be prevented by a so-called judge from knowing the truth about his reasons for having those pot plants" VS "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth". You can't have it both ways!

How can that judge sleep at night after grossly perverting justice that way?

[ Post Comment ]


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