June 6th, 2005


What Montel taught me.....

A few weeks ago I volunteered for the MPP gala in Santa Monica to support medical marijuana legislation. That night I met Angel Raich, a very ill woman who found that cannabis was the only thing that relieves her paralyzing pain. Today she lost her case in the Supreme Court.

The federal government is now free to restrict states from setting their own laws regarding medical use. This is a sad blow to Americans who function thanks to the helpful medicine of marijuana....there are now no major barriers between a sane patient and prison.

At the MPP gala I also briefly met Montel Williams, a man whose presence in a room cannot be ignored. I remembered sitting in a large auditorium as a teenager as the man in uniform, Montel Williams, told me strictly not to use drugs. I believed him then and now. His passion today is just as convincing; since suffering with MS for years he has become an advocate for sane medical marijuana laws. He realizes that there's no reason why a helpful medicine should be considered a schedule 1 toxin in our current drug classification system, and he's collecting many thousands of people willing to stand up and do whatever they can to protect their health.

The feds now have the ball, they get to write the rules. If the "drug war" escalates the kids will eventually revolt, but sane laws are not a hallmark of our current administration. It's an unfortunate situation, chasing sick people around over a PLANT. I can understand the desire to carefully prescribe use, but full prohibition forces sane people to be criminals. There is no reason for the federal government to imprison good people like Angel Raich, and we must be very judicious as we craft legislation that makes sense for all Americans.

From the Controlled Substances Act of 1970:
(c) Factors determinative of control or removal from schedules. In making any finding under subsection (a) of this section or under subsection (b) of section 202 [21 USCS Section 812(b)], the Attorney General shall consider the following factors with respect to each drug or other substance proposed to be controlled or removed from the schedules:
(1) Its actual or relative potential for abuse.
(2) Scientific evidence of its pharmacological effect, if known.
(3) The state of current scientific knowledge regarding the drug or other substance.
(4) Its history and current pattern of abuse.
(5) The scope, duration, and significance of abuse.
(6) What, if any, risk there is to the public health.
(7) Its psychic or physiological dependence liability.
(8) Whether the substance is an immediate precursor of a substance already controlled under this title.