Pubdate: Sat, 19 May 2001
Source: Athens Banner-Herald (GA)
Contact:  2002 Athens Newspapers Inc
Author: Ed Tant
Bookmark: (Oakland Cannabis Court Case)


"Compassionate conservatism'' was shown to be just another conservative
canard on Monday as the United States Supreme Court ruled against the
growing movement for medical use of marijuana. The same Supreme Court that
gave America its "selected not elected'' chief executive, George W. Bush
showed no compassion for the legions of ailing Americans who use
"medicannabis" to fight the ravages of such diseases as AIDS, cancer and
multiple sclerosis.

"I have to go home tonight and tell my children that the government has just
given their mother a death sentence," lamented Angel McClary, a cancer
sufferer from California. She added that patients should have "safe,
affordable access" to the drug without having to deal with illicit sources
of marijuana.

In spite of the setback at the Supreme Court, medical pot advocates are
vowing to continue their movement which has seen nine states make
medicannabis legal in the last few years. Along with California, medical
marijuana initiatives have passed in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii,
Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Several other states have
"decriminalized" the recreational use of marijuana since Oregon pioneered
pot law reform nearly 30 years ago. In the harsh light of the Supreme
Court's Monday decision, look for the traditional July 4 pro-pot rally near
the White House to be bigger and more militant this year.

Conservatives who tout their mantra of states' rights should be concerned
that the high court is waging war on weed in a nation that pays lip service
to its vaunted but not valued ideals of "life, liberty and the pursuit of
happiness.'' Though the new Supreme Court decision does not strike down
medical marijuana initiatives around the nation, it does show once again
that the federal government is overly worried about marijuana in a nation
that is rapidly going to pot.

George W. Bush backers and boosters should be disappointed but not surprised
that their man who was put into the White House through a judicial coup
d'etat now is following the same failed drug war policies as his despised
predecessor, Bill "I Didn't Inhale" Clinton. While many states have eased up
on penalties for medical or recreational use of marijuana, arrests for the
weed still are at record levels. Last year, some 700,000 Americans were
arrested for marijuana, mostly for possession of pot for personal use. While
conservatives and liberals alike talk about freedom, every minute of every
day another American is arrested for marijuana here in the land of the

In the June 21, 1995, issue of the prestigious Journal of the American
Medical Association (JAMA), Harvard Medical School Professors Lester
Grinspoon and James Bakalar wrote an impassioned but accurate article titled
"Marijuana as Medicine -- A Plea for Reconsideration." in the article about
medicannabis, the authors wrote that patients have found pot to be "useful
as an anti-convulsant, as a muscle relaxant in spastic disorders, and as an
appetite stimulant in the wasting syndrome of human immunodeficiency virus
infection. It is also being used to relieve phantom limb pain, menstrual
cramps, and other types of pain, including migraine." A March 17, 1999,
report by the National Academy of Sciences echoed the JAMA article by the
Harvard professors, saying that medical pot can relieve the nausea of cancer
chemotherapy and the appetite loss associated with AIDS.

Still, the foolish, failed and fascist war on weed continues no matter which
political party is in the White House. As medical marijuana patient Elvy
Musikka says, "It is ignorance that blinds US."

MAP posted-by: Doc-Hawk