Medical Marijuana Madness
This caught my attention in today’s news: Reverend Charles Edward “Eddy” Lepp, of Upper Lake, California, was convicted of growing 24,784 marijuana plants, and faces a mandatory sentence of at least ten years in prison, when he is sentenced on December 1, 2008. Lepp was arrested because (surprise!) his plants were visible from a highway near his home.
Eddy Lepp’s attorneys, Michael Hinckley and Lidia Stiglich, plan to appeal the verdict. Lepp claims the plants were grown with the help of 2500 members of his congregation, Eddy’s Medicinal Gardens and Multi-Denominational Ministry of Cannabis and Rastafari. Chris Thompson, who was identified as Lepp’s book editor said his attorneys “feel they have 80 appealable issues.”
What I found most interesting, was that Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, who once told Lepp to go to Amsterdam, and never return, released him on his own recognizance. Lepp said he was going to Portland Hempstalk to discuss the legalization of marijuana. I found his name on a poster advertising last year’s event.
The whole thing is ridiculous.
Gatewood Explains It All
I never understood why marijuana is illegal, since I attended Woodstock in 1969, where a half million people smoked marijuana, without any arrests. That changed last year, when I read The Last Free Man in America: Meets the Synthetic Subversion by Gatewood Galbraith. In this book, Galbraith explains why the pharmaceutical and energy industries do not want marijuana to be legalized.
Similarly, I never understood the concept of medical marijuana, until my dear friend Ellen was stricken with pancreatic cancer in 2003. Marijuana relieved Ellen’s nausea from chemotherapy, and pain medications, better than anything that was prescribed by her physicians. For several months, Ellen, who was in extreme pain, would throw up her pain meds, unless she was able to smoke marijuana after taking them. Although Ellen eventually tolerated Dilaudid and Roxanol, without marijuana, she was able to live at home, instead of a hospital or hospice, by smoking marijuana.
Now that marijuana has also been found to kill MRSA – staph infections, which are spread by casual contact, and are resistant to antibiotics, it is time to stop the madness, and legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes as soon as possible.
Americans Deserve Medical Marijuana
There are currently twelve states, Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, where Americans can fill marijuana prescriptions.
However, residents of our other 38 states, will be able to join them, if Congress passes H.R. 5842: Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act. This bill, was introduced by Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), and co–sponsored by Representatives Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Shelley Berkley (D-NV), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), William Clay (D-MO), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Sam Farr (D-CA), Bob Filner (D-CA), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), James McDermott (D-WA), Eleanor Norton (D-DC), Ron Paul (R-TX), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Steven Rothman (D-NJ), and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA). Unfortunately, it was referred to the Subcommittee on Health on April 17, 2008, and still has not been scheduled for debate.
It is absurd that (e.g.) Los Angeles has 400 marijuana dispensaries, while patients in other cities are being arrested for smoking marijuana.
On August 25, 2008, California’s Attorney General, Edmund “Jerry” Brown, Jr., released Medical Marijuana Guidelines for Law Enforcement and Patients, which “will help patients and law enforcement better understand California’s medical marijuana laws.” Now it is time for the rest of our Attorney Generals to follow his lead.
Oh, I forgot to mention that California made $100 million in taxes on marijuana last year, while other places complain about the cost of prosecuting marijuana users.
Help Turn Criminals Into Patients
NORML has a form, to make it very easy to tell your representative to support H.R. 5842 at:
Please take a minute now to use that form, and help Americans who can benefit from medical marijuana.
Someday, it just might help you too.