Pubdate: Sat, 11 Jan 2014
Source: Middletown Press, The (CT)
Copyright: 2014 The Middletown Press
Author: Bill O'Reilly


It seemed like a good idea at the time: The Compassionate Use Act of 
1996 allowed Californians to use marijuana with a doctor's permission 
to alleviate pain. The act was put on the ballot and California 
voters passed it 56% to 44%, making California the first state to 
legalize weed for medicinal reasons.

Almost immediately, thousands of pot "clinics" opened across the 
Golden State. In San Francisco, things got so out of control that 
then-Mayor Gavin Newsom, a very liberal guy, had to shutter many of 
the "clinics" because drug addicts were clustering around them, 
causing fear among city residents.

Some California high school kids, with the emphasis on "high," found 
a huge loophole in the law. Incredibly, there was no age requirement 
to secure medical marijuana and no physical examination was required. 
So some teens just told a friendly doctor that they had a headache, 
paid $150 for a card, then bought all the pot they wanted. 
Unbelievable, but true.

A prosecutor in San Diego told me at the time that some "clinics" 
were even marketing medical marijuana under names like "Reefers 
Peanut Butter Cup" and "Baby Jane." Cheech and Chong would have been 
proud. The unintended consequence was that some kids made an industry 
out of it. Hey, why work at Burger King when you can sell pot cards?

After years of chaos, in 2013 some California legislators, at least 
the remaining few with a dollop of sanity, introduced a bill laced 
with common sense. It would have created new rules for growing and 
dispensing medical marijuana. But because medical weed has sprouted 
into a multi-billion dollar industry, complete with the usual 
"special interests," the bill went up in smoke.

And by the way, medical marijuana is no longer just for the folks. A 
Los Angeles veterinarian, aka the "Vet Guru," has led a movement to 
dispense pot to ailing dogs. That's right, cannabis for canines.

As is often the case, and for better or worse, much of the nation 
followed California's lead. 20 states have legalized medical 
marijuana to some extent, while voters in Washington and Colorado, 
oblivious to the dangers, approved pot even for recreational use. 
It's worth noting that a 2-year-old toddler was hospitalized just 
last week in Colorado after munching on one of her mom's pot-laced cookies.

And now it's New York's turn at the plate. Governor Andrew Cuomo 
wants to legalize medical marijuana for chronic pain and other 
serious conditions, but pledges to keep a tight rein on the weed. 
Doctors in New York will be required to certify that a patient meets 
strict qualifications, and review boards will, in theory, confirm 
that the prescriptions are merited. The Empire State has apparently 
learned a thing or two from the other coast's unbridled "compassion." 
Whether or not the kids in New York will really be protected remains 
to be seen.

Of course, there is nothing "compassionate" about kids being 
intoxicated. It changes them forever.

Once a child alters himself with chemicals, childhood vanishes. If 
marijuana can help those suffering with debilitating diseases, 
doctors should have the power to prescribe it and licensed pharmacies 
should carry it. But storefront "clinics" run by irresponsible adults 
aided by compliant doctors are a joke that only a confirmed stoner 
would find funny.

Bottom line: Be careful what you vote for. Compassion can easily turn 
into corruption and chaos.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom