As many of my readers know, I support medical marijuana a.k.a. medical cannabis.
Our entire generation was bashed against the head with the whole “Say No To Drugs” campaign. It was this campaign, the war on drugs, and mandatory prison sentences for non-violent offenders, which led to the corrupt and over-burdened privatized prison system we have now. The families of the non-violent offenders and the families of very sick patients have all suffered due to the lies we were told since “Reefer Madness.” The story is long and sad, and with so many political dollars supporting The War on Drugs, it is very hard to pick apart the history from the rumors we were force-fed for so many years.
The laws are broken, the medical system is broken, and even the political process concerning legislation against marijuana is broken.
At this point, I won’t go into too many details concerning the damage which draconian marijuana laws have cost the American people, but suffice it to say, no human being should spend years on a mandatory prison sentence for a natural drug, when murderers and rapists are allowed to cut deals and many times are released after serving only a fraction of their sentence.
The laws in America are broken, and we can work to fix those laws if we get rid of mandatory prison sentencing for non-violent offenders including those using marijuana, investigate the relationship between judges and prison system owners, and increase non-judicial options for those who are first time non-violent offenders.
According to Tennessee Law , possession of any amount of marijuana, even as little as a single gram, can lead to a sentence of one year in prison with a mandatory fine between $250 and $2,500. It is important to note that a prison sentence isn’t the end of the punishment. Many times these small crimes will also come with a sentence of probation and community service, even after the prison sentence is completed.
A gram is an incredibly small amount of marijuana, yet this amount can lead to a person being put into prison and losing their careers, their voting rights, Pell Grants for higher education, and so much more. These punishments aren’t just for a year or two, or only for the time they spend in prison and on probation, but these punishments last for their entire lives. When compared to rapists and murderers, the punishments do not always add up. Not only do small time drug offenders face all of these punishments and more, but with the laws of “property seizure” put into place, anything owned by the individual while in possession of a drug, even a gram of marijuana, can be seized by the police and sold at auction to fund their “War on Drugs” programs. Police do not seize cars, homes, or others items they find when arresting criminals involved in murder, assault, or rape. How does this seem fair? How can a small time drug offender, especially one with a drug which is legal in many states and countries, face harsher punishments than violent criminals?
Throughout the next few weeks, I will lay out the story, from beginning to end, so you, the reader, can make an informed decision when you visit your Doctor, when you make medical decisions for your family, and most importantly, when you go to the polls in November.
While I address each issue, there are some questions we all need to ask ourselves. How is it the US government owns the patent to cannabis for medical purposes (US Patent number 6630507) and still continues to claim there are no medical values associated with medical marijuana? Why are police and communities allowed to seize the property of those who are non-violent criminals and demand mandatory sentencing for non-violent offenders, but these same policies are not put into place for violent offenders? With the huge amount of research available to the US and the world, why is medical marijuana not allowed for every man, woman, and child who needs this medication to live a more productive life and to actually survive diseases?
The American government, the FDA, and even the CDC have all been denying the truth about marijuana and how it can be used to help the people of this nation. People have died from ailments which could have been cured, patients have suffered from excruciating pain which could have been lessened with Medical Marijuana, and children with brain destroying seizures could have been saved if the US government had been honest with itself and with the public. It’s time the American people demand the truth.
I will be covering these questions, and more, in my new weekly update, Medical Marijuana in the United States.
For now, I leave you with part one of CNNs special on “Weed.” If you haven’t watched it, please do. There is a part two, and three I will share in the coming weeks.
As always… Be safe, be kind, and always be happy!