Pubdate: Mon, 12 Aug 2013
Source: Journal-Inquirer (Manchester, CT)
Copyright: 2013 Journal-Inquirer
Author: Chris Powell


Ecclesiastes says there is nothing new under the sun, and while the 
Bible did not anticipate fluorescent grow lights, its broader point 
may be well taken as an unidentified company scouts the Hartford area 
for a facility for growing marijuana indoors in accordance with 
Connecticut's new law authorizing medical use of the plant.

It's not clear why anyone would invest in such an enterprise while 
federal law on marijuana still conflicts with state law and federal 
agents could smash up any "medical marijuana" operation.

Even if the current national administration declines to enforce 
federal marijuana law in "medical marijuana" states, a new 
administration could. But "medical marijuana" seems to be following 
the largely forgotten path cleared during the alcohol prohibition of 
the 1920s, when federal law made exceptions for sacramental wine and 
"medicinal" liquor.

Soon there was a religious revival as thousands of people presented 
themselves as members of the clergy requiring sacramental wine and 
small bribes could persuade doctors to issue liquor prescriptions to 
people who only wished they were sick enough to qualify for a stiff drink.

Largely because of "medicinal" liquor, during Prohibition the 
Walgreens drug store chain expanded from 20 to 520 stores.

It seems foolish to expect that the requirement for prescriptions 
will keep marijuana "medical" any longer than alcohol was kept 
"sacramental" or "medicinal" during Prohibition. The indoor growing 
facility purportedly contemplated for the Hartford area would have a 
hundred or so employees.

Would each be carefully searched at the end of his shift?

If so, by whom, and who would search the searchers?

Would shipments be closely monitored?

And as many doctors already overprescribe narcotic drugs like the 
powerfully addictive Oxycodone, will they not prove just as malleable 
in regard to marijuana, a far less addictive drug?

So who is really being fooled here? "Medical" marijuana is just the 
conscience salver for politicians who suspect that drug prohibition 
is as futile as alcohol prohibition was but who lack the courage to 
advocate even an audit of that failure.

It's no matter to most politicians that the legal drugs, alcohol and 
tobacco, cause thousands of deaths for every death caused by the illegal drugs.

The legal drugs bring huge profit to government through excise taxes 
and pension forfeiture and they're OK because ... well, because 
they're legal. While there is nothing new under the sun, everything, 
as Harry Truman suggested, can look new if history is ignored.

Hooray for the University of Connecticut, which has just adopted a 
policy forbidding intimate relationships between university employees 
and students after having received what a university official calls 
"years" of inquiries from students about the propriety of professors 
asking them for dates.

Maybe all the bonding done by state government for the university 
over the last decade left UConn administrators no time to think about ethics.

The university was compelled to act at last by rumors that a UConn 
professor molested children many years ago while working at a summer 
camp and later enjoyed sex and drugs with students on UConn's campus. 
The professor has been suspended with pay and barred from campus 
while police and the university investigate. Though the professor has 
not been properly accused of anything, the university has publicly 
identified him with the suspicions being investigated and so news 
organizations have identified him too. But the child molestation 
rumors involve supposed incidents that appear to be beyond the 
statute of limitations, and if incidents involving sex and drugs with 
students were consensual, the university may have trouble finding 
anyone willing to go through the trouble of swearing out a complaint 
and enduring cross-examination.

That would leave the university obliged to bestow a lot of money on 
the professor so he might not insist on getting his job back or press 
a defamation claim.

Then it will be hooray for UConn again. ----- Chris Powell is 
managing editor of the Journal Inquirer.
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