Ahhhh…. 4/20! The day “secretly” known as the day to relax, kick your feet up, and smoke a doobie, blunt, joint, bowl, or one of the many names associated with smoking marijuana (legal name cannabis). From the early days in 1971 on a San Rafael, CA campus, to present day, 4:20 has become the socially accepted time to light one up and relax from a stressful day.
The country has come a very long way since “Reefer Madness” of 1936 and the “Say no to drugs” campaign of the 1980s. Millions of dollars have been spent on the so called “War on drugs”, creating mandatory life sentences for non-violent offenders, deaths for many innocent people who are caught up in drug wars, families have been broken apart due to parents spending time in jail (even for small amounts of cannabis) and they find it more difficult to find a job or go to school due to financial laws based on drug arrest, and then there’s asset seizure of personal property, taken without a warrant or a crime being committed. All this time, hate, and waste of human life, yet, in all the years of the “war” marijuana use has yet to kill one person from the direct use of the product.
The insanity of the so called “drug war” and the crimes committed against the people of the US by the government are inexcusable.
I won’t go into the boring details about why and how cannabis became illegal in the first place and how it was less about abuse and more about bureaucracy. How it was less about saving lives and more about making money. How it was less about protecting the health of our nation, and more about arresting minorities to keep them away from the perfect white boys. I won’t go into the boring details of all the injustices since that time.
But I will tell you this, if you are legally smoking, drinking, eating, or ingesting cannabis today, please take the time to lift one in the air for all the people who put their lives and their reputations fighting for your right to do so.
Don’t forget many states do not have legal access to the one medicine which could help so many patients, including children and Veterans. In the middle of your healthy snack run or your third bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, take the time to sign online petitions, donate to a cause, petition in front of city hall, or donate to help send sick children to legal states, so they may be able to enjoy the medical benefit so many take for granted.
Prop your feet up, break out the ole debit card, and help others have the same freedoms you do.
Here is an organization who had been fighting for the right of legal Cannabis since the 1970s. NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws)
So there you go. As you contemplate how you can help others, I’ve provided the answer, and you don’t even need to leave your couch. You’re welcome.
For all of you in legal states, have fun today! Burn one for the rest of us!
For the rest of the country, don’t forget, tomorrow is still a work day!
Until next time…be safe, be kind, and always be happy.
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!
Opinion Piece: Enjoy Memorial Day as a celebration of life and freedom.
I am torn by the constant reminder, in the news and on the internet, that Memorial Day is not about hot dogs and picnics, but, only to remember the fallen Soldiers in our history.
Yes. There are plenty of US Citizens, who do not live near a military base, who do not know a military Veteran, and who are not familiar with all that goes into being in the military. They are going about their weekend in blissful happiness that they are able to take a long weekend and spend some time with the family. That is all they know. The main things they are looking forward to is time off and spending time with the family. They might attend the local parade, and hang up their American flag, and eat, drink, and be merry during the whole weekend.
Is that really so bad?
As a career Soldier, it honestly makes me very happy there are families in small town America who can go about their lives and never know the pain, suffering, and lose that Soldiers feel every day. I didn’t join the military so that I can tell those families what to do. I joined the military so they could do what they wanted to, at any time, without fear of oppression and war in their own backyard.
In my mind, I see Memorial day as a Celebration of Life for Soldiers who have gone before us. We remember their lives and their sacrifice by not sitting around crying all weekend, or in solemn prayer all weekend, but in celebration for what they did on the battlefield, and how they served their country very well.
Throughout history, armies did not remember their lost brothers (and now sisters), by spending their entire mourning time in tears and sorrow. They spent the appropriate time in sorrow, but, after the tears, they partied and told grand stories about their fallen comrades. The more mead or wine which was poured, the bigger the stories became. They danced, they ate, they drank, and they made love, while being thankful for the freedom they had due to the Soldiers who died in their place.
This Memorial Day weekend, let’s not condemn those who are spending time with their families, who are fishing with their children, who are drinking, eating, and seem like they don’t have a care in the world. Let’s be happy that, we, as Soldiers, and the ones who went before us, are able to provide the freedom for those people to have a happy weekend. We shoulder the pain, suffering, and sacrifice time with our own families, so they don’t have to. The fallen Soldiers (and their families) have shouldered the ultimate sacrifice, so those families could smile, love, and be together in a free nation, without fear of condemnation of others.
So, go out and have a huge Celebration of Life for the lost Soldiers from our past, and enjoy the freedoms they gave to the American people. While you are having a beer, have one for them too, but, don’t condemn those who are loving, living, and laughing in the free nation those Soldiers stood, and fell, for.
It makes my heart happy to see families together in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
If you wish to post the name of a Veteran you have lost, I will make a photo for them and post it on my blog.
TN You have failed your people again!!
It is sad that in a 1st world country, the boundaries between states is what determines if someone can receive medical help or not. It is sad to know the mileage of driving from one area to another determines the level of health care a patient can receive. It is sad that a state, which professes to love life and love babies, continuously makes decisions to kill the same people they claim to protect. TN, come out of the dark ages, you look like hypocrites.
This is the exact stuff many Veterans have to put up with when going to the VA.
Now, let me ask you, if your civilian nurse or civilian DR treated you like this, would you put up with it? Heck no! You would find a new office, but, many Veterans have no choice but to go to their local VA for medical help. The local nurses and Drs in those offices know those Veterans have no choice and treat them as second class citizens.
I hope this nurse never finds another job dealing with any patients. This is not the way to treat any patient, especially a Veteran!
When will the VA fix these issues? They keep promising to get rid of people like this, yet, these type of stories pop up almost every week. These issues need to be fixed sooner rather than later.