Back when my mom was sick, we had a deeply uncomfortable conversation about whether I could find marijuana for her. It was deeply uncomfortable because (1) it showed me that my very traditional and straight-laced mom, a very anti-drug junior high school principal, was very ill and in a lot of discomfort from chemotherapy, and (2) we both knew that, as the world's biggest dork, my access to marijuana was roughly comparable to my access to the nation's nuclear launch codes or to Angelina Jolie's bra strap. She passed before the topic came up again.
Medical marijuana had been legal in California for two years then; now it's been fifteen years. Yet anyone looking for medical marijuana still has to wrangle with both lawless local drug warriors and hostile federal law enforcement. Even in California, even fifteen years after Proposition 215, even in a nominally federal system, anyone looking to obtain (and, especially, to provide) medical marijuana is rolling the dice with their freedom and future.
The Obama Administration could be saying smart things about this, making an effort to change the national conversation and move it incrementally towards a sane policy. Instead, President Obama thinks that decriminalization is an issue worthy of snickers. And his Drug Czar, Gil Kerlikowske, is doubling down the stupid by arguing that even acknowledging the existence of medical marijuana will encourage our kids to toke up.
"People keep calling it medicine," he said at a press conference today, "and that's the wrong message for young people to hear."
It's not enough to the drug warriors to prosecute medical marijuana providers. Now they want to widen the pointless, ineffectual, and long-since lost War on Drugs into a War on Language as well. They might have better luck with that particular skirmish — bureaucrats are good with linguistic slap-fights.
Through the link, over at Reason, Jacob Sullum demolishes Kerlikowske's bad logic and junk statistics. Check it out.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- Free Speech Triumphant Or Free Speech In Retreat? - June 21st, 2017
- The Power To Generate Crimes Rather Than Merely Investigate Them - June 19th, 2017
- Free Speech, The Goose, And The Gander - June 17th, 2017
- Free Speech Tropes In The LA Times - June 8th, 2017
- I write letters - June 1st, 2017