Pubdate: Sat, 02 Oct 2010
Source: Anniston Star (AL)
Copyright: 2010 Consolidated Publishing
Author: Ron Crumpton


"Anniston man finds one state's medicine is another's illicit drug"
(News article, Aug. 18):

Michael Lapihuska is facing a jail sentence -- not for rape, burglary
or murder, but for the possession of a single joint's worth of marijuana.

Michael suffers from mental illness and has used cannabis for many
years to combat the symptoms of his illness, but after past arrests
for possession, he moved to California. There a doctor recommended
marijuana for his disorder, and he became a legal patient in that
state's medical marijuana program.

On Dec. 15, 2009, Michael was hitchhiking home from California to see
his family for Christmas when he was stopped, searched -- apparently
for no reason -- and arrested in Anniston for possession of one gram
of marijuana.

This has to make any rational person ask questions:

Why are we still arresting people for possessing a substance that has
been found to be less harmful than alcohol, tobacco or

Why would Alabama wish to intercede in an agreement between the state
of California, a doctor and a patient?

Even if it is against the law, what is the point of sentencing the
perpetrator of a victimless crime to such an exaggerated sentence?

Do you want to pay your part of at least $200,000 in taxes so that the
state of Alabama can house a prisoner for the possession of one joint?

Why would anyone want to put a patient in jail for taking his

Michael Lapihuska is not a criminal. He is a 37-year-old man with a
likable personality, a pleasant quality and is quite literally willing
to give you the shirt off his back. This is not prosecution, it is
persecution. If we are not willing to stand up and fight for Michael,
who will be willing to stand up and fight for us?

Ron Crumpton

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