Marijuana Reform: the good, the bad and the very ugly

medical-marijuanaBY OLIVER STEINBERG

As far as the Minnesota “medical cannabis” law, it is a FALSE STEP to reform, not a first step, and we ought to be emphatic about that!
It is unequivocally a BAD law, repeating the mistakes of the 1980 THC Therapeutic Research Act, which was a dead letter as soon as it was passed.
This is a substitute meant to discredit the reform it purports to achieve—and that sabotage is intentional, not so much on the part of the sponsor but certainly on the part of the obstructionists like Dayton, Thissen, Murphy, Flaherty, Franklin: political manipulators who dictated all the provisions of the bill that the governor signed.
This bill is primarily a public relations gimmick to counteract the negative publicity generated against Mark Dayton by the news stories about desperate parents with suffering children.
A few of its flaws:
It denies equal protection of the laws by allowing cannabis therapy only for certain diseases—excluding nine-tenths of patients who benefit from cannabis.
It involves the police directly in making decisions about medical care, that is, no other diseases can be added without approval by a committee that is weighted with “law enforcement” members.
It requires patients to buy a license for the privilege of obtaining medication—$200 every year!
It attaches more new criminal penalties, and more severe penalties, to cannabis use by patients, when public opinion actually favors ending prohibition.
It wedges state bureaucracy between doctors and patients with burdensome monitoring and reporting requirements.
It denies patients the most convenient, inexpensive and efficacious methods of administration and self-titration of dosage amounts and frequency.
The bill promises to supply therapeutic cannabis extracts, oils and other “non-smokable” compounds, in forms and calibrated doses not necessarily even available or producible yet. It will require expensive testing and research, the outcome of which isn’t assured, before patients can, in theory, receive the preparations.
Why do this when 20 other states already allow patients to receive and use natural herbal cannabis and its tinctures and extracts with proven safety? Patients who need cannabis need it now, not a year or two or three from now.
These are some but not all of the problems with this bill.  Its purpose is to provide political cover for Dayton and to discredit therapeutic use of cannabis by cluttering it with absurd restrictions and unreasonable roadblocks; and in doing so, to dissipate the public interest in and public demand for reform.
In good faith, patients and their allies have sought legal permission for medicinal use of cannabis since 1991 in Minnesota.
In bad faith, prohibitionist special interests and cowardly politicians have defeated all the bills since 1991, and this year when they could not sidetrack it and bury it in the maze of the legislative process, because of public outcry, they cynically perpetrated this fraudulent bill and now they hope the news media won’t expose the deception.

2 Comments:

  1. This is so true. The Minnesota Senate actually passed a far better bill that covered the majority of conditions of that are helped by cannabis and allowed both a reasonable possession limit on actual cannabis plant material as well as a functional dispensary network. Did I mention that the Senate’s version, which was scrapped in committee due to Governor Dayton, actually paid for itself unlike the House version that passed? This bill was nothing more than political cover for Dayton so he could keep his pledge to the Law Enforcement Lobbyist Dennis Flaherty. The law passed for Minnesota is not a meaningful reform and fails the vast majority of Minnesotans. In closing I would like to ask you to vote for a new Governor. Dayton has been abysmal; our state’s economy is performing well in spite of, not because, Governor Dayton. He often behaves erratic and has shown his ineptitude not just on the Stadium or Medical Cannabis but countless other issues as well. There are some great candidates running on the Independence, Libertarian, and Grass Roots parties that have robust platforms and most important viable visions on where to lead Minnesota into the future.

  2. This is so true. The Minnesota Senate actually passed a far better bill that covered the majority of conditions of that are helped by cannabis and allowed both a reasonable possession limit on actual cannabis plant material as well as a functional dispensary network. Did I mention that the Senate’s version, which was scrapped in committee due to Governor Dayton, actually paid for itself unlike the House version that passed?

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