Pubdate: Wed 17 Feb 1999
Source: Little Rock Free Press (AR)
Author: Christopher Jon Largen - Denton, TX 76201


I am writing to you from the "underground", as one of millions who are
disenfranchised by the current sociopolitical climate in the United States.
Although I am not behind bars, I am a political prisoner in my own country,
as my private behavior is dictated by laws which I did not participate in
creating, and I am governed by officials who were elected in a political
process fueled by money and handshakes. My direct democracy is limited to
voting on irrelevant local ordinance propositions, and my ideas are not
reflected in most corporate-owned media sources.

I am grateful for the First Amendment rights I have, and I am morally
compelled to exercise them, struggling against apathy, cynicism, and

Federal legislators recently decided to subvert democracy by refusing to
tally the election results on Initiative 59, after nearly 70% of Washington
D.C. voters decided to allow medical marijuana in their district.

By appealing to an constitutionally specious law which forbids them to
spend any money on relaxing marijuana policy, our legislators are playing
politics while cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, and spinal cord injury patients are

They refer to legalistic obligations, but the past decades have
demonstrated that they are willing to break the law when it serves their
economic and political interests.

If "conservative" Republicans want to "get government off our backs", they
could start by hopping off the back of the quadriplegic spinal cord injury
patient I provided personal care to. I personally witnessed the benefits of
medical marijuana on this Vietnam veteran.

He experienced painful spasms from retracted tendons and atrophied muscles,
but after using marijuana the spasms completely subsided for the remainder
of his physical therapy.

It does not serve the cause of justice to deny relief to the sick, or to
deny voters the right to democratic due process.

When will our government prioritize compassion and democracy over
paternalistic control and arbitrary morality?

It seems unreasonable that we throw people in prison, strip them of their
right to vote, confiscate their property, destroy their families, allow
patients to suffer, and subvert democracy, all because we cannot tolerate a
natural herb which has no fatal side effects, was used medically for
thousands of years, and is less harmful and addictive than tobacco and

Our descendents may one day mock our folly. 

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