Assembly bill SJR14, that would have called for an end to Federal interference into the California medical marijuana industry, was rejected by the California legislative body yesterday- losing by just 4 votes. While this is disappointing, what it shows is WE MUST PASS PROP. 19 to further protect patients. As lawmakers refuse to put their best foot forward on a simple piece of legislation that would declare Californian’s right to use cannabis, we have to evaluate if the current “every use is medical” actions are working in the bigger picture scheme of things. To put it simply- THEY ARE NOT.
Don Duncan form Americans for Safe Access wrote:
SJR 14 should have been a winner in a Democratic legislature – it costs nothing, does not change state law, and calls for action only in the federal arena. Unfortunately, ambivalence about medical cannabis is at a high water mark in Sacramento. Even legislators with a track record of support are worried about increasingly unpopular collectives, lenient doctors, or patients that “don’t look sick.” That is why some of the twelve silent Assemblymembers withheld their support for SJR 14.
We must not continue to allow lawmakers, cops, and District Attorneys to continue to play doctor and decide who is and who is not sick enough to use cannabis. By passing Proposition 19, we can separate the pretenders from the patients and the medical cannabis community can remove some of these stigmas that are apparent, not just in legislative circles, but also in the press, local blogs, and City Council meetings- where there is always a dialogue about “the ruse” of medical marijuana and how “anyone can get a Doctor’s note.” Like it or not, these complications make it difficult to justify the actions of the community at times and the term medicine gets thrown around pretty loosely in some circles. I do not mind myself, but I AM A CANNABIS ACTIVIST. The real issue is that we continue to lose credibility for real medical uses of cannabis because the system now forces would-be healthy users of cannabis to stretch their medical need to accommodate their desire to use cannabis legally.
I am not a doctor, nor will I ever be a doctor, and i do not try to judge a person’s medical need for cannabis. That is between them and their physician. But i am aware of some of the unethical practices happening with doctors that seem to believe that since the law was written vaguely and cannabis is extremely safe, that it is okay to recommend cannabis to anyone for any reason at any time. This was evident at the HempCon event where Doctor mills were pumping out patients with no medical history or ongoing relationship for rates of $40-$50. I appreciate a person’s right to use cannabis and believe if I did not have these 7 screws and steel plate in my heel and did not suffer from ADHD as a Ritalin child of the 80’s, I would also abuse the system and tell a doctor whatever he wanted to hear to get to use cannabis legally because JAIL SUCKS.
Which is why we need to PASS PROP. 19, so that this legality can be afforded to people without the charades of some people’s questionable medical usage. I think the medical cannabis movement has done a lot to advance the cause of cannabis freedom, but there is also a price to be paid; and the price we have seen is less confidence that there are real medical benefits to cannabis and that it is not being greatly abused. We have seen this in other States who mock California’s system.
Do not get me wrong. I am proud of Californians ability to provide safe access to patients. Everyday hundreds of thousands of patients have safe and convenient access to cannabis. That is a great thing. MOST of those patients are legitimate. But there are some who push the envelope in order to make themselves legal. There are others who simply choose to be criminals because they do not believe in lying to get a recommendation. Proposition 19 will begin to defuse this controversial aspect of our movement and hopefully in the future the Legislature will be more confident in passing resolutions like SJR14 that defends real patients rights.