And Yet Another Letter To Ed

“Ed” being the editor of the local paper. I’m not sure why they call these Letters to the Editor when in fact the author is really writing to the subscribers… but I digress.

Anyway, I wrote the following a week or so before I wrote to my legislators (previous letter, posted a moment ago). As you can see, it follows the same vein. Yawn? Keep in mind the LttE are restricted to 200 words.

Letter: Support marijuana cultivation

Of the seven states with recreational cannabis laws (plus the District of Columbia), only Washington and Nevada don’t have a provision for home cultivation. Here in Washington last year a legislative bill addressing that was killed in committee by former Rep. Christopher Hurst (HB 2629 would have allowed six plants).

Home cultivation isn’t merely related to recreation. It’s interrelated to medicinal application. Especially when one takes into account the changes Sen. Ann Rivers’ SB5052 (2016) made to this state’s medicinal laws (69.51a RCW).

The specific change I’m writing of speaks to the relationship between a patient and health care provider. The law now states, “In order to authorize for the medical use of marijuana under (a) of this subsection, the health care professional must have a documented relationship with the patient, as a principal care provider or a specialist, relating to the diagnosis and ongoing treatment or monitoring of the patient’s terminal or debilitating medical condition.”

That looks good on paper, right?

And what if the patient is of limited means utilizing the VA for their health care? Not so good, right?

As a vet myself, I ask you to implore your legislators to pass a cultivation bill.

Letter Time!

The Washington State Legislature is currently in session. I sent off the following (email) several days ago to my two district Representatives and Senator. Interestingly, I got a response from one of the Reps. crew just a couple hours later (no other response at the time of this posting). Megan suggested I keep an eye on the Commerce and Gaming Committee in the House. Says the cannabis stuff goes through there. “Commerce and Gaming?” Huh. I dunno.

Anyway, the letter follows.

Good day staff.

Can HB 2629 be resurrected? Apparently it was “killed” in committee by former Rep. Hurst last year. Are there any other bills in the works that would provide for home cultivation of cannabis by adults?

Of the seven states (plus the D.C.) with provisions for recreational cannabis markets, only Nevada and Washington don’t allow home cultivation. I simply wished to point out we and Nevada are alone amongst the other states with sensible legislation on the books, before going forward.

Actually, I’m writing of the handicap Washington’s laws present to folks utilizing cannabis and or derived cannabinoids for medicinal purposes. Yes, there is a connection here, since SSB 5052 was passed and homologated into 69.51a in 2016.

You see the law now reads, (69.51A.030(2)(b)(i) “ In order to authorize for the medical use of marijuana under (a) of this subsection, the health care professional must have a documented relationship with the patient, as a principal care provider or a specialist, relating to the diagnosis and ongoing treatment or monitoring of the patient’s terminal or debilitating medical condition” (paraphrase).

This looks good on paper, but there is an unintentional repercussion. Prior to the passage of 5052 there was a health care professional model where physicians were practicing solely (or nearly so) for the purpose of assisting individuals in obtaining a medicinal cannabis recommendation. These practices no longer meet the letter of the law.

The fallout here is United States military veterans and/or other individuals subsisting on meager means and utilizing the Veterans Administration for their health care.

Though there have been bills in Congress that would allow V.A. doctors to discuss and even suggest cannabis as an alternative or adjunct medicament nothing (as of this writing) has come to pass. Therefore (in this state) these patients no longer have an avenue to legally provide themselves with cannabis: unless, of course, they patronize the company store as a recreational customer.

Remember, I used “meager means” above. The company store’s prices don’t align with “meager means.” I know for a fact an individual using only fluorescent shop lights, a couple of timers and 16 square feet of space can provide themselves with an ~ounce of usable material nearly monthly, with a six plant count. I know the cost for that ounce amortizes out to $20.00. That’s power, soft costs, etc. I’ve ran the numbers: done it.

A provision for home cultivation would allow many vets (though not all are able) the ability to legally provide themselves with the palliative herbal remedies they couldn’t financially support otherwise.

General and veteran health care, along with cannabis (in general), are hot topics these days both in the political and citizen arenas. I write urging you to address these issues with your boss. Heck, maybe even hand her this communiqué?

Thanks,

A River Runs Through It

As the previous post (in this category) indicates gnarly legislation has been introduced at Washington State’s capitol. The worst of the bunch has been proposed by one Senator Ann Rivers.

Her little gem has sections on (cannabis) recommending health professionals so arduous I wouldn’t jump through all of the hoops. The portions related to patient grows and possession limits are needlessly throttled back so far a person would be lucky to have enough material to make tinctures, topicals, and other “extracts.”

Get this; part of the legislature’s intentions is to regulate the now mostly unregulated medicinal market. I get that, but Rivers original bill didn’t allow for the sale of whole flowers at a medicinal retail outlet! Her stated reasoning was it just isn’t a good thing for a person to smoke anything. Yeah, I know…

It was when she was pandering to the media another aspect of her utter ignorance was revealed. That’s what prompted the following LttE (The Columbian). Ignorance.

Washington folks, I beseech you, please write, email or call your district’s legislators and ask that while they are attempting to bring medicinal retail out of that ‘grey’ area they not shove legitimate patients back into the dark closet.

I find the lawmaking process interesting. For instance, did you know a legislator can introduce a proposal making sweeping changes to current law without having a basic understanding of the repercussions it would have on thousands of people? It’s true. I’ll give you an example: Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, and Senate Bill 5052.

This proposal is not only aimed at the current retail medicinal marijuana outlets, but makes drastic changes to the law as it pertains to individuals utilizing cannabis for medical treatment. Yet, during a media interview (after her bill was heard in the Senate Health Care Committee), Rivers said a citizen’s testimony was “Specious at best.” That particular citizen had complained the residual contaminants on the cannabis he had purchased at a I-502 store had sickened him.

Just prior to her slight, she claimed the citizen should have seen on the package that pesticides had been introduced, but then she stated, “…in each of the three grows I’ve been in, they do not use pesticides or fungicides because they’re indoor.”

The senator obviously never looked at the packaging — that didn’t list pesticides. Nor is she aware a successful indoor grow without chemical pest deterrents is near impossible.

Interesting, eh?

It’s That Time of Year Again

The Washington State legislature convenes January 12th. I’m a tad bit anxious about what may transpire with medicinal cannabis law(s) during the coming session.

If you’ve picked up a newspaper in the last year, or surfed the intertubes, or maybe shot the shit with your buddies you must be aware that Washington is waaaay behind the curve when it comes to cannabis: recreational or medicinal.

Too much bureaucracy is screwing up the whole “party time” side of things while not enough seems to be an issue with the “medicinal dispensing” arena. So seems to be the general consensus from the pundits, anyway.

So the state legislature is gonna ‘fix it.’
And that tells you why I’m anxious, eh?

On the medicinal side, last year some heinous legislation was introduced, making it to the 11th hour before it was nixed in a political cat fight over money. Whew! ‘Patients’ in this state took a collective big sigh — but here we go again.

So I wrote a letter.

Initially, my draft had items of contention I wanted to address and then offered up possible solutions. There were a lot of items. I decided it was just a tad verbose (TL;DR) so I pared it down quite a bit to just a few high points.

In this particular copy and paste Moeller is named in the header. I sent the same letter (via USPS) to my other representative and district senator as well.

Representative Jim Moeller 12-31-14
P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, WA. 98504

Good day, Representative Moeller, hopefully this correspondence has found you well.

I’m quite sure you’ll have your hands full this coming session with issues such as transportation and education. Unfortunately, marijuana (both recreational and medicinal) is going to be on the agenda as well.

As an individual legitimately utilizing cannabis in the treatment of a neurological malady I’d like to touch on that subject. Hopefully the staffer currently skimming this has the time to read my communication and it passes muster to be relayed on.

I’ve two points to touch on with recreational cannabis, as it’s currently regulated:

1) It isn’t tenable given the tax structure. The present scheme is folly in a free enterprise system in that retail prices can’t meet or beat the current street price, or that of a “medicinal collective” of your choice. Something needs to be done to make retail store pricing on par AND allow store owners profit while adding to the state’s coffers.

2) Washington is the only state out of the four (plus D.C.) that doesn’t include a provision for minimal home growing. This should change, if for no other reason than the positive repercussions it would have to individuals with minimal needs at the medicinal end of the cannabis controversy.

Said provision wouldn’t have any effect on the State’s coffers. As I’m sure you’ve heard numerous times a non statistically significant number of people brew their own beer, and less grow tobacco.

The medicinal end of that controversy is where I’ll go now.

There will undoubtedly be several proposals introduced this session to both “rein in” the supposedly grey medicinal market and meld it with the recreational system. As far as retail sales go I’m fine with whatever the legislature comes up with. However, I believe innocent medicinal folks are at risk of getting caught in the crossfire.

From the various proposals I’ve seen there are several points of concern.

1) There is absolutely no need for a mandatory registration. Especially if minimal grows are allowed under “502.” Mine and my doctor’s name are on my prescription medication containers. A valid doctor’s recommendation serves the same purpose. There have been cases in other states of law enforcement officials cross referencing registries endeavoring to subvert a patient’s constitutional rights. Let’s not set up a system here where the same can be abused here.

2) There are proposals that preclude a clinic from specializing in cannabis recommendations; this is problematic. Yes, I don’t agree with some doc tossing up a tent at Hempfest and charging $50.00 a head to write medicinal cannabis recommendations. This, as well as other behaviors by profiteers, undermines the integrity of 69.51.a. Howsoever, not allowing “specialty clinics” would be crippling to some. The Veterans Administration won’t currently allow its providers to make a recommendation. Many private health organizations (Kaiser?) won’t either.

Specialty clinics are nothing out of the ordinary. Myself, I’ve been to pain, physical therapy, hematology, neurology, dermatology and the same cannabis clinic for the last seven years. The V.A. is my health care provider.

In my opinion bad actors (physicians) should be addressed by their peers and regulatory agencies, not the legislature.

In closing;
There are other quibbles I might have, but from what I’m seeing my biggest concern is the legitimate self providing ‘patient’ taking a beating with this legislative session. I would ask that whatever comes down the pike, however it is decided on what to do with the current medicinal retail operations, the taxing structure and disbursement in regard to retail recreational stores, modifications to 69.51.a, etc… you keep in mind the intent of nearly 60% of the citizens of this state when I-692 was drafted and passed back in 1998.

Thank you,

Misinformation

You know, in heated discussions it’s not terribly unusual. That is, for a person on the losing end of a debate resorting to red herrings, straw man arguements or even pulling statistics out their butt. It’s almost like death throes or something; where the soon to be departed gives a few useless kicks before lying there defeated and growing cold.

But that normally happens in a real time “face-to-face” discussion. I must wonder why an individual would feel the need to misinform, in some last ditch effort to win allies, when pressure isn’t an issue.

Especially when in today’s world, where a few mouse clicks can confirm or discount an individuals claims. I suppose the president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine figured no one would bother. Hey, if you read it in the paper then it must be true, right?

Heh.

Following is my LttE questioning said president.

In a Los Angeles Times article appearing in The Columbian (7/29/14), Pot: U.S. sees profound cultural shift, Stuart Gitlow, president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine is quoted thusly, “When you look back at Prohibition, what you see is that per-capita use of alcohol during Prohibition dropped by more than 50 percent; as a result of that, alcohol-related deaths dropped considerably as well. Prohibition was an enormous public health success.”
This is where the adage about not believing everything you read fits.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, alcohol related deaths increased during that period from 1 per 100,000 in 1920 to 4 per 100,000 in 1928.

Also, crime was rampant during that period as is indicated by this quote from Henry Hilfers, the president of the New Jersey State Federation of Labor (before the Senate May, 1926), “The Volstead Act has been the direct result of creating more crime in the State of New Jersey than there ever has been before.”

Shame on Gitlow for perpetuating a falsehood. Alcohol prohibition was an abysmal failure. I’m rather bemused it appears nothing was learned from that catastrophe.

Pimping One’s Self

Or something like that.

I’ve been drinking this evening. I’m on my third beer. There. I said it. ‘Hic.’ Man, that was hard to say while the gas was rising. You know what I mean, the pipes go all tight and then the next thing you know it feels like a golf ball is moving up and it’s, ‘Hic?’

Yep. Been drinking.

I’m one of those beer drunks you don’t want in your place when you’re just trying to have a casual evening with a few friends and it’s like, “Who brought him?”

But I’m not at your place. I’m at mine. And I got’a keyboard. And I got the beer rage ‘a goin’ on.

So, I wrote a letter.

See, it stems from something I read in the local paper about a certain Senator Anne Rivers hiring a combat vet. Yes, that’s only newsworthy because undoubtedly the good Senator did a press release, or something. So, we now know the Senator has a “token” vet. Yawn.

Click here for the article

But…but, that pet bill (5887) she had going in the last legislative session would have been detrimental to vets! To put it mildly. You know, that bill that would have supposedly merged the recreational and medicinal cannabis “markets.” I’ve been seething for a couple of weeks now.

And then I drank half that third beer.

What was it Hemmingway said, “Write drunk, edit sober.” Something like that. The letter is in the envelope. It’s staged with the morning’s outgoing mail. Maybe I should read it before I put it in the box?

I’ll go ahead and post it here now though. I can edit this anytime. ‘Hic.’

Senator Anne Rivers 5-7-14
405 Legislative Building
P.O. Box 40418
Olympia, WA. 98504-0418

CC: Senator Annette Cleveland
49th District

Senator Rivers,
It was last month (the 25th) I read an article in the Columbian newspaper touting your new hire, a combat veteran (I see it’s on your website, as well). The article mentioned a bill you had proposed in the last session giving veterans preference in school security positions. To quote, “For me, to talk about veteran hiring practices and how we need to support returning veterans and not hire one seemed hypocritical.”

So, now you’ve got a “token” vet? I suppose from a marketing standpoint the publicity of your new hire is good hype. Yes, hype. But then, I guess a person can’t very well hire a dead vet now can they. So, hiring a living breathing veteran, probably, really is, a good thing. The stats say 22 died today of their own hand, and yesterday, and maybe tomorrow.

Your pet bill from last session (5887) would most likely help in keeping that statistic right where it is. You see, Senator, there were provisions in that bill that would have a medicinal cannabis recommendation for an individual relying on the VA near impossible. And what could that have to do with mortality rates among returning vets? Well, I’ll tell you.

Great strides have been made in Israel in treating people with PTSD with cannabinoids.
The University of Arizona is hoping to begin studies on the effects of cannabinoids on PTSD.
Many veterans report (anecdotal) relief from the administration of cannabis for their anxiety.

And you would tell them to just go to the neighborhood retail store (if they are lucky enough to have one within 100 miles) and pick something off of the shelf.

You, Senator Rivers, are either disconnected from the world, or…you’ve some sort of undisclosed agenda.

I have six to twelve cannabis plants growing at any time. There are three different varieties (or strains). I’ve chosen those varieties through trial and error over a seven year period. I harvest (net) an average of an ounce a month. I know exactly what those plants have been exposed to. From the produce I make several different types of medication.

I calculated the monthly power cost for the fluorescent lighting I use for my indoor cultivation. It came to eighteen dollars and change. With soft costs (water, nutrients, soil, etc.) I figure that ounce a month cost me around $25.00.

Though my VA doctors can’t make a cannabis recommendation, they have suggested I continue my regimen.

And you would strip me of my medical defense, my ability to provide for myself and have me go to “the company store” where an ounce will (undoubtedly) run well over $200.00? Senator, I’m broken. I’m on the dole drawing a meager stipend from some socialist program. I’d really rather that program wasn’t the county jail.

Did your new hire have to pass a pre-job U.A., Senator?

Letters, Letters and More Letters.

This one would be one of those Letter to the Editor letters.

A few things before I copy, paste and go all italics on you. At the time of the writing I might have been confused about what bill was the biggest threat to the patient community. There were several, 2149, 6178 and 5887. As things progressed it was the 5887 headed to the Governor’s desk. But then the House killed it over a money squabble. Or so it would appear on the surface.

I’ll talk about that more over in the Prohibition category; in the next few days, I’ve chicken that’s been marinating for two days I intend to toss on the grill here in a few minutes.

So, anyway, here’s the letter that never meant shit because it was the wrong bill and everything died anyway (Washington State, mind you).

I’m writing in an attempt to bring a travesty in the making to the general public. That would be Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2149. I would ask citizens to contact their legislators and ask this proposal be tabled.

The legislators will tell you 2149 is an effort to abide by the memorandum released by the U.S. Attorney General’s office relating to both medicinal and recreational cannabis in participating states. In my opinion, that’s a half-truth. The whole truth is the Legislature is attempting to monopolize cannabis in an effort to maximize market share: taxes.

The prevailing angle seems to be, with the passing of I-502 the medicinal cannabis laws can be made so onerous, making it near impossible for an individual to receive a medicinal recommendation or support them self with one, because anyone over 21 years of age will be able to purchase cannabis from a licensed retailer.

Whether it’s ignorance or greed driving this bill, the end result will be the same: people will suffer and folks in obscurity, who’ve been providing for their own medicinal needs for years under the law, will become criminals. I know this to be true, as a military veteran and ‘patient.’

That WSLCB Thing

I thought I had touched on this previously. I’d intended to simply copy and paste the letter below with a brief lead in. I looked around at the categories and discovered I hadn’t mentioned the ‘I-502 Washington State Liquor Control Board thing.

So much for the brief lead in.

Cannabis has gone to hell here in Washington State. I don’t know how else to write it. Both the new recreational thing and the medicinal cannabis are looking to be a mess.

As the letter reads, the WSLCB had a job mandated by the legislature. The WSLCB’s answer to the issue was to simply gut the current law, basically making 69.51a impotent. A limp noodle.

If you go here http://lcb.wa.gov/pressreleases/lcb-issues-medical-mj-recommendations and click on the word “recommendations” in the first sentence you can read them yourself.

You’ll note the Board’s whole foundation is retail sales. With a store on the corner, why would anyone even need a medicinal ‘waiver?’ Yeah, I know that’s screwed up on sooo many levels.

And a butt-load of municipalities in the state currently have moratoria on cultivation, processing and sales. Some, have even passed bans.

And the state’s attorney general has offered the opinion those are perfectly legal.

Not only am I alarmed at this turn of events, but I’m embarrassed. The world is watching Colorado and Washington and Washington keeps tripping on its shoe laces.

Currently, there are about 1/2 dozen bills in the state legislature related to ‘the issue.’ Everything from revamping 69.51a to not allowing municipalities to opt out, to making cannabis cultivation not qualifying for agricultural tax breaks.

A mess.

So, with that written I offer a pasted copy of a letter I sent to my legislators.

1-11-14
Good Day,…

As you are aware, during the 2013 2nd Legislative Special Session the Washington State Liquor Control Board was appropriated 66 mil. dollars in 3ESSB 5034 S Sec. 141. Those appropriations were contingent upon the proviso found in 141(2). That is, to make recommendations to the Legislature regarding the interaction of medical marijuana regulations and the provisions of Initiative Measure No. 502.

In my opinion this proviso’s intention was to both mollify Federal concerns and to maximize the return on recreational cannabis taxation.

This could be easily accomplished by simply enforcing the current law under 69.51a. 69.51a.085 (Collective Gardens) was never intended to accommodate storefront sales. The fact the governor vetoed any section of E2SSB-5073 (revisions to 69.51a) having to do with a retail market is plainly prima facie evidence to my assertion. As well as the fact a previous loophole in the law concerning designated providers was closed.

There is no “grey area.” Any operation in the “business” of providing cannabis to individuals with a medicinal recommendation is an illegal operation.

With that written, once again I will reiterate, simply enforcing the current law would meet the expectations of the legislature.
Unfortunately, the WSLCB was given eight areas to address. And address those they certainly have. By all appearances the Boards answer to mollification and taxation is the gutting of 69.51a.

I will ‘speak’ to those items of particular interest to myself: a disabled military veteran, dependent upon cannabis administered as an adjunct to pharmaceutical medication.

Item 2 (Authorizing requirements…). Why (after 16 years with a system that’s worked just fine) would the suggestion of a registry come up? From what I’ve read the written recommendations (on tamper resistant paper) have been adequate. I’m afraid a registry requirement would be an undue hardship on cannabis approved patients. Obviously, it would be they who would bear the cost. Not to mention more paperwork to fiddle with. Why fix what isn’t broken creating undue burdens?

Item 3 (Regulations regarding…). It’s more than obvious when physicians set up shop in a tent (at a festival) with the intention of making some quick money writing cannabis recommendations something’s wrong. I’m quite confident this isn’t what Washington’s citizens had in mind with I-692. I haven’t a clue why the medical profession doesn’t address this type of behavior. Most other professional groups would. There is a place for “cannabis specialists” however.

To not allow reputable clinics specializing in cannabis is a real issue. As I mentioned above I’m a vet. I depend upon the V.A. for my health care. My primary care physician is aware of my cannabis administration, and approves. He, however, is prohibited from writing me a recommendation himself. Where does that leave me?

Tighten up the regulations, if you must, but please don’t restrict the health care professional’s practice. That would not only be horribly detrimental for me, but every other vet out there in a similar circumstance.

Item 5 (Possession amounts). The effort here, obviously, is to minimize diversion from personal use to other markets. I’ve no doubt a three ounce limit would meet that goal, because three ounces isn’t a sufficient amount for many patients’ personal use. Many individuals render down the ‘foliage’ extracting the volatile organic compounds for use in tinctures, topicals, and foodstuffs. I would recommend reducing the current 24 ounce limit by half (to twelve) and monitoring the result.

Something to note? If the “grey-market” no longer existed (through regulation, or otherwise) the only market left to divert to would be the black. That market falls under the authority of law enforcement. Black-market cannabis is illegal, regardless of one’s paperwork.

Plant count doesn’t necessarily mean material on hand. I can’t support myself with six plants. I ‘run’ nine or ten plants and harvest (net) an average of an ounce a month. I administer an average of an ounce a month.

When I starting growing, my goal was to be self sufficient for the least possible cost. I use only fluorescent lighting (as you might find in a shop), materials and supplies that can be had at any home improvement store. The impact on my monthly expenses is nil.

With six plants I would be forced to go with HID lighting. I haven’t the resources to buy or maintain such a system. I doubt it would be safe to install in my old home. No, that’s not an option.

In closing:
The WLCB is under the impression their recommendations will force “patients” into the recreational market. I’m of the impression that could happen with some, but many (if not most) will simply keep plugging along as they have. That could well create a whole new class of criminal. I don’t find that productive on any level.

The unscrupulous entrepreneurs operating under the guise of “designated provider” previously and now “collective garden” are what Jenny Durkan was referring to when she stated Washington’s medical marijuana system was not tenable.

Not me.
I would ask you give that some consideration.

Civil War?

No, that’s not quite right. When I think “Civil War” I think brother fighting brother. That whole North manufacturing thing vs. the South’s agricultural thing. Yeah, there was that whole slave thing, too, but that wasn’t what that war was about – this post either. Nope, this isn’t about the enslaved Irish a’tall.

It’s about puritanical elected officials ignoring the will of the people. “Puritanical” isn’t right either. The word just keeps coming to mind because I read it on a note. A note like a kid might pass to another in the classroom. Only, I was at a public meeting held by my state Representatives and Senator. A cute girl with braids passed it to me. She called the Powers That Be in Clark County (Washington) “puritanical.”

This is less about puritans and more about botanicals. Yes, I’m getting closer to the meat of this thing. Is that about all of the food groups? Yes, we do have cheese. ☺

The voters in this state passed an initiative called I-502. If you’re reading this, then I’m quite confident you’re hip to 502. I’ll not bore you with an overview.

And the rubber, she meets the road.
And the stench is sickening (imagine a big cloud of black smoke).

The Washington State Liquor control Board is in the process of issuing licenses for the growing, processing and retail sales of cannabis to the general public. Crazy, huh? Heh.

The municipal bans and moratoria on this activity are widespread across the state. The cities and counties claim they need direction from the state. They claim they don’t know how to zone these activities. They claim…

I was reading in the paper just a week ago the brewfest in downtown didn’t have quite the turnout the sponsors had hoped. They’re planning on investing a bit more into marketing for the next event. In the same paper I was reading about some sort of state legislation being required so wine outfits could peddle their fermented grapes in those “growler” things. No one batted an eye. Nary a peep.

Mention pot, though, and all of the sudden it’s about promises made. Promises made by elected officials to an entity that didn’t elect them. Trippy, eh?

I’ve seen it more than once. This last time prompted me to take to the keyboard. Oh, I haven’t gotten a reply. I won’t. They don’t. This I sent to the Clark County Commissioners:

Good day, Commissioners.
Though I’ve included Commissioner Stuart in this communiqué it is directed at Commissioner Mielke and the Commissioner of my district, Mr. Madore.

I am writing in response to your statements regarding recreational cannabis businesses in Clark County; statements you made to people testifying on the subject at the meeting 12-10-13.

In the future, gentlemen, when a citizen broaches the subject –in the interest of transparency – I would ask you be honest in your statement. I would simply ask you reply you are staunch prohibitionists and will not entertain the thought of legitimate cannabis businesses operating in your back yard. That is the plain truth, isn’t it?

Mr. Mielke, and Mr. Madore, you both like to hide behind your sworn oath to uphold federal law. That’s normally your “easy out.” Have either of you ever questioned any ‘authority figure?’ In your lifetimes have you ever stopped and asked, “Wait a minute…”

Citizens in this Republic have the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. Organizations have been petitioning the government for well over twenty years to remove cannabis from Schedule I and address the oppressive cannabis law(s), to no avail. As I write this an individual will be arrested on a cannabis related charge every 32 seconds (average). Of those currently incarcerated for cannabis violations 80% are for simple possession.

Civil disobedience has a long history in this country; from that Boston thing to the civil rights movement of the ‘50s to… Well, you get it. That’s the way it works in a Republic gentlemen. “…of the people, by the people, for the people…”

What’s going on in Colorado and here is an extreme case of civil disobedience. We aren’t talking a few students demonstrating on a campus. We are talking the citizens of two states. Citizens who’ve repeatedly asked for change and been ignored, citizens whose families have been torn apart by a draconian (and some say racist) set of laws.

And, so you say you’ve sworn fealty to a government body, so therefore the health and welfare of the citizens governed under that republic have no standing? This is my interpretation.

So, in the interest of integrity, please don’t hide behind an oath. Tell the testifier the truth, you are a prohibitionist and have no interest in discussing the matter.

Oh, and Commissioner Madore, that whole tangent about addiction merely cements my opinion of your myopic views. Yes, about one in ten regular cannabis users will become psychologically addicted (there is no physical addiction). This “addiction” is about on par with caffeine. The myth about cannabis leading to ‘harder drugs’ has been debunked in several reputable studies. I ask you again, sir, please educate yourself in the matter.

Yeah, yeah, I know, “Vote the bums out!” I wonder if a change could be made so the next bums swear an oath to the citizens they represent? Crazy, huh? Heh.

Is it Time for Another Letter?

Sure, why not, eh?

I’ve probably already mentioned I read the local paper (The Columbian) every morning. If not, then I suppose I have now. I have my coffee, check my email lists and the various forums I’ve interest in. Mrs. D. leaves for work at about 0700, five days a week. We kiss at the door and she hands me the paper. I kick the cat out of my chair, settle in and pull the comics out setting them aside. I read those in another room.

The Flat-Earthers* are hysterical over Washington State’s Initiative 502. They cry it will be the doom of our children. The poor younguns are destined to become drug addicts and idiots. NIDA studies are quoted. Doomed…

I can only take so much before I gotta bust something loose. The following appeared on the editorial page here a while back:

A series of recent letters from cannabis legalization opponents have me scratching my head. In my opinion their arguments are in direct conflict with their intent: reducing juvenile cannabis use.

First, their contention is usually that cannabis is a “gateway” drug. This is ludicrous on a number of levels. More studies have discredited this theory than have supported it. There are other issues with it that I can’t delve into here.

Secondly, there’s the study resulting in a correlation between juvenile cannabis abuse and I.Q. reduction. That study is currently being questioned by research peers. Know the argument is a bit of a straw man in the first place because I know of no one in favor of teens “smoking out.”

Put out your torches, folks. Put down the pitch forks. Try to think logically rather than emotionally.

Cannabis regulation through legalization and (honest) education are our best tools in reducing juvenile cannabis abuse (the right tool for the right job, right?). Not hysterical proselytizing from a pulpit constructed of emotionally charged vituperation.

I‘d recommend to these folks taking a hard look at their current tactics. Record shows us the efficacy of the method to be worse than useless.

For 76 years the Flat-Earthers have been beating the same drum, “Marihuana…Assasin of youth!” It’s estimated 6.5% of high school seniors smoke cannabis regularly (NIDA numbers ;^). One would think if those numbers aren’t acceptable, then maybe it’s time to try something else?

One would think, eh?

 

*not to be confused with the true Flat-Earthers: http://theflatearthsociety.org/cms/

 

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