Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries.”     James Madison

March 15, 2007

Raich’s Options: Die or Go to Jail

by Stephen Littau

Doug has already written about how our courts have denied Angel Raich her right to life but I think this is such a fundamental miscarriage of justice that it deserves further discussion. Angel Raich suffers with a brain tumor, chronic pain, seizures, Scoliosis, TMJ and other medical conditions; her physician has determined that cannabis is her only effective treatment option for these conditions. According to Raich’s website, from 1996 to 1999 she could not move the right side of her body and had to use a wheelchair. After smoking the cannabis as recommended by her doctor, she was able to ditch the wheelchair and better manage her pain.

Cannabis has done more than restore Raich’s mobility and alleviate pain. According to her physician Dr. Frank Lucidio, taking her off her cannabis regimen would cause “imminent harm” which would likely lead to her death by starvation or malnutrition. Yet somehow the powers that be in their infinite wisdom have determined that Raich’s life is not worth saving. Their precious prohibition of marijuana is more important.

It seems that Raich will have to risk going to jail if she wants to live. This isn’t the first time Raich has had legal setbacks regarding this issue. Back in 2005, SCOTUS ruled against her 6-3 in Gonzales vs. Raich. The majority opinion even acknowledged that without the cannabis she could die. The following is a post I wrote on June 9, 2005 at Fearless Philosophy for Free Minds in reaction to this disastrous ruling.

State, Economic, and Individual Rights Up in Smoke
I cannot say that I was surprised with the unfortunate 6-3 Supreme Court ruling (Gonzales vs. Raich) in which the court determined using marijuana for medicinal purposes violates federal law. In the process of fighting the war on drugs, civil liberties of this great country have been compromised over and over again from courts all across the land. My interest in this case initially was due to my opposition to the war on drugs. The reasoning this court used to justify the ruling, however; should disturb every capitalist, supporter of states’ rights, fiscal conservative, constructionist, and those who value limited government, irrespective of how each views the war on drugs.

In the majority opinion delivered by Justice Stevens (joined by Kennedy, Souter, Ginsberg and Breyer; Scalia wrote his own opinion concurrent with the ruling), the ruling recognized that Respondents Raich and Monson may indeed benefit from using marijuana for their conditions, written as follows:

They [Raich and Monson] are being treated by licensed, board-certified family practitioners, who have concluded, after prescribing a host of conventional medicines to treat respondents’ conditions and to alleviate their associated symptoms, that marijuana is the only drug available that provides effective treatment. Both women have been using marijuana as a medication for several years pursuant to their doctors’ recommendation, both rely heavily on cannabis to function on a daily basis. Indeed Raich’s physician believes that forgoing cannabis treatments would certainly cause Raich excruciating pain and could very well prove fatal. (p. 3, paragraph 2)

So what’s the problem then? If Raich’s condition could become fatal because she stops using marijuana, she now has to risk arrest by federal agents or chose to die by following the law? What happened to this ‘culture of life’ conservatives like to talk about?

Despite the benefits as determined by the court’s majority, the court still managed to find reason to rule against a law passed by the people of California. As disturbing as denying medication to those who truly need it is, the reasoning is even more cause for alarm. The ruling reads:

Our case law firmly establishes Congress’ power to regulated purely local activities that are part of an economic “class of activities” that have a substantial effect on interstate commerce…As we stated in Wickard, “even if appellee’s activity be local and though it may not be regarded as commerce, it may still, whatever its nature, be reached by Congress if it exerts a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce…When Congress decides that “’total incidence’” of a practice poses a threat to a national market, it may regulate the entire class. (p.13-14, paragraph 3)

What kind of flawed reasoning is this? This so-called interstate commerce is grown, sold, and used locally. How does this local activity affect commerce in other states? It appears that this bad court decision is based on a few other bad court decisions, loosely interpreting the ‘commerce clause’ (Section 8; Clauses 3 and 18) of the U.S. Constitution. The obvious problem is that the court is granting power to the congress to manipulate the economy however it sees fit regardless of if the commerce is interstate or not. This is frightening. Using this line of reasoning, any activity one could choose to participate in or not participate in could be considered an ‘economic activity,’ subject to the will of the U.S. Congress!

If you think I am being an alarmist, read Justice Clarence Thomas’s dissent. Thomas gets straight to the point writing:

Respondents Diane Monson and Angel Raich use marijuana that has never been bought or sold, that has never crossed state lines, and that has had no demonstrable effect on the national market for marijuana. If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything-and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers. (Justice Thomas Dissenting, p.1 paragraph 1 or p.62 paragraph 1 in the pdf. format)

What does Thomas mean when he states that “…under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything…” ? Thomas continues:

If the majority is to be taken seriously, the Federal Government may now regulate quilting bees, clothes drives, and potluck suppers throughout the 50 States. This makes a mockery of Madison’s assurance to the people of New York that the “powers delegated” to the Federal Government are “few and defined,” while those of the States are “numerouse and indefinite.” (Justice Thomas Dissenting, p.13 paragraph 1 or p.74 paragraph 1 in the pdf. format)

It is truly amazing the lengths our Federal Government will go to continue fighting the war on drugs. The casualties in this battle are people such as Diane Monson and Angel Raich who must find an alternative treatment for their conditions (though by the court’s own admission, marijuana is probably the best treatment available for these women), the California voters who passed the proposition, the free market, the States, the Constitution, and ultimately, everyone who believes in limited government.

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48 Comments

  1. Obviously it’s her call, but I believe Raich shoudl choose to go to jail ;-)

    After all once she’s incarcerated the Federal prison system will be legally responsible for her medical care. They’ll have to give her the pot.

    Just a thought.

    Comment by Mike — March 15, 2007 @ 3:03 pm
  2. Well written article. It makes me sick the Federal Governemt would rule like this. What makes me even sicker is that the people in this nation would allow this to happen. We need to write letters and let them know how we feel. The people of California that voted this in need to protest, Pro-lifers need to protest. When will this country wake up?

    Comment by Rick Wagner — March 15, 2007 @ 3:08 pm
  3. Alas, Mike, that sadly isn’t so. There is another gentleman currently dying in a California jail, thanks to the DEA. He was recently extradited from Canada.

    Comment by Castaway — March 15, 2007 @ 3:15 pm
  4. We’ve all just gotten another look at “compassionate conservatism” in action. The main reason marijuana is illegal is that the pharmaceutical companies can’t figure out how to control its use and make immense profits from its sale. They are also unable and unwilling to fight the stigma that has been so firmly attached to it and defended by the federal government. In demonizing this weed the feds have hurt themselves by making it almost impossible to legitimize its use and realize tax proceeds from its sale. To do that they’d have to admit past mistakes and admit that their policies are outdated. It’s just another example of the Bush administration’s unreasonable reluctance to correct their antiquated thinking concerning our public welfare. In the end, it’s always the little person, the one without huge financial backing or political clout who ends up getting hurt. The sick & the poor will have to wait a couple more years before they can begin to hope for a better life, if they last that long.

    Comment by Dan — March 15, 2007 @ 3:16 pm
  5. It is a terrible shame that Ms Raich is considered a criminal by the Federal Government,but allows the dealers of maryahanna who have less than 500 pounds to go free, accoding to yesterday’s CNN report.

    Comment by arno becher — March 15, 2007 @ 3:20 pm
  6. This is yet one more example of the U.S. Federal Government’s loathing of the American people. In addition, it is very telling of the direction in which our country is taking, influenced seemingly on a weekly basis by our government’s manipulation of and thumbing its nose at America, our constitution, our bill of rights, and the needs of a society of 300 million.

    As for the alleged “war on drugs”, didn’t we incarcerate two border patrol agents for shooting a Mexican drug smuggler? Clearly, the Supreme Court establishes and protects law for the sake of law, and not for the furtherance of a civil society.

    I think that this government’s record over the past decade or more, is pathetic and begs the question, what are we doing in Iraq and what type of “democracy” are we claiming to be fighting for. How many times has our “articulate” President Bush claimed that the war on terror is to protect “Freedom”, I’m sure he can’t count that high. It is clear that Freedom to this government means that it can run rough shod over its people, civil liberties, the Bill of Rights and has nothing to do with the freedom of 300 million people.

    Comment by Burrill Gray — March 15, 2007 @ 3:24 pm
  7. I am VERY Republican and even idiot Clinton could not get Marijuana legalized. It is safer than alcohol. You don’t pick up your newspaper and read “Man crazed on Pot Kills family of four in car crash”. Thats alcohol and hard drugs. The drug companies and liqueur companies have strong lobbiest. We need to tax the hell out of it like cigarettes & beer. Free up the courtrooms, jails and focus on hard drug dealers. It does heal.

    Comment by Sherry — March 15, 2007 @ 3:32 pm
  8. You want to send real criminals to jail- send Bush and Cheney- they have commited more crimes than this poor woman .

    Comment by cindy — March 15, 2007 @ 3:51 pm
  9. The stupid argument of the court resembles the false argument from “what if everybody did it?”
    This a false argument that losers who know that they are losing the argument use in order to cloud the issue so that they can sneak away in the fog. For example: A argues that people should have the right to drive down Main Street at 1:00 pm. B, opposing this right, and, sensing that they cannot win this argument, puts forth the “what if everybody did it?” falacy. Obviously, if everybody drove down Main Street at 1:00 pm, there would be a mammoth traffic jam. Therefore, B contends, no one should have the right to drive down Main Street at 1:00 pm. The falacy in that argument is not everyone, indeed, not even most people, will drive down Main Street at 1:00 pm, so there will be no traffic jam, and so there is no need to outlaw driving down Main Street at 1:00 pm.

    Why am I not surprised at how dumb judges can be?

    Comment by Fred Ledoux — March 15, 2007 @ 3:54 pm
  10. If it was illegal – then her DOCTOR would not have prescribed it for her- Pot is an HERB you morons- if giving this lady a little pot eases her INCOMPREHENSIBLE pain – then I’m all for it. This is not recreational use by some dumb teenager- it is saving her life. Get real people !

    (Anyone who has taken care of a critically ill person will understand what I am saying and why)

    If you are one of the lucky one who has not….count your blessings and hope you are never in this woman’s shoes.

    Comment by jane — March 15, 2007 @ 3:57 pm
  11. I´ve got loads of friends who´ve been puffing on the Magic Dragon for decades who haven´t made the news. They have been discreet and all just in the cause of recreation…..not as a survival technique. Would it not be better to hang the legal principle, (given the fact that the government in this instance as in too many other instances is simply unprincipled) use discretion and smoke away as millions of others do? As for me I tried it once but I didn´t inhale!

    Comment by Rene Wholefuncker — March 15, 2007 @ 4:10 pm
  12. What if the Supreme Court used the same reasoning to allow Congress to outlaw racial discrimination in local motels and restaurants? It did that in 1964.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_of_Atlanta_Motel_v._United_States. This is not a new or unusual interpretation of the Commerce Clause. We just don’t like the result here.

    Comment by martin — March 15, 2007 @ 4:12 pm
  13. HEY,
    if she wants to stay stoned, medical reasons aside, isn’t that what freedom and civil rights are all about.

    Comment by dennis — March 15, 2007 @ 4:22 pm
  14. [...] post by Stephen Littau and software by [...]

    Pingback by Economic Articles » Blog Archive » Raich’s Options: Die or Go to Jail — March 15, 2007 @ 4:27 pm
  15. I have been following this case off and on since I left Cali. This is inhumane and shows a true lack of critical thought in our judicial system. The law is meant to protect people, not harm them. I voted in favor of prop. 215 that should have protected these women. To see them undone by a truly malicious federal government as we have is an outrage! All I can say from a distance is that I hope karma pays these pigs a visit sooner than later.

    Comment by Victor Lazlo — March 15, 2007 @ 4:32 pm
  16. Martin got it right–that’s why it was the liberals on the court who effectively voted to Federalize persecution of medical pot users. And liberal commentators approved of it, because they liked the results in “heart of Atlanta”, in “Lopez” (gun free school zones act) and other cases where the Democrats like Federal intervention. No need to badmouth the conservs on this one–Thomas voted in Raich’s favor.

    Comment by gkc99 — March 15, 2007 @ 4:40 pm
  17. 2 reasons it will never be made legal

    1.) Being high makes you question authority.

    2.) People that smoke are less materialistic

    Comment by hbogey31 — March 15, 2007 @ 4:42 pm
  18. gigity gigity gigity goo!!!!!

    Comment by Bow-Chicka-Bow-Wowv :) — March 15, 2007 @ 4:45 pm
  19. this sux get bent

    Comment by lol lick me hoe — March 15, 2007 @ 4:49 pm
  20. commenting on dennis: like he said its really no 1′s buisness what she does so they should just letter do her thing 4 a bit!

    Comment by Marc — March 15, 2007 @ 4:51 pm
  21. If it helps ease pain and suffering then it should not be denied, whether or not someone thinks it’s right or wrong.

    Comment by Jeff — March 15, 2007 @ 4:53 pm
  22. [...] post by Stephen Littau and software by Elliott [...]

    Pingback by Rasta Boys » Blog Archive » Raich’s Options: Die or Go to Jail — March 15, 2007 @ 4:58 pm
  23. Just one more way to keep the slaves down.

    It was made prohibited not through ‘right and wrong’. Marijuana shouldn’t even be on the A list. Anslinger played on the majority’s fear to convince legistlature. Racism plays a severe role in its prohibition. Pres. Johnson had no way to stop the protests of countless protestors to the Vietnam war so he pushed for more punishment and criminality towards marijuana. One could compare the ‘war on drugs’ to the war on Iraq. It started out illegitimately and now we’re paying out the @$$ for it.

    Sure hope god is happy. He’ll be getting a few more souls soon.

    Comment by Patrick — March 15, 2007 @ 5:46 pm
  24. True the giants behind the pharmaceuticals and alcohol lobbyists have their Machiavellian interests very well guarded—and advanced. Ever more-so, an industrial-government complex that I believe to be active in their camp, and a more powerful foe to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness–in other words opponents of the common man to feel human–are the bureaucracies and the corporations whose power and wealth derives from staffing, maintaining, and constructing of incarceration facilities.

    (I heard KBR Inc.–prior provider to the de facto U.S. President, Richard Cheney, with a lucrative CEO position–is a major contractor as-well with the federal government to build and privately staff prisons.)

    Is it true the United States has the highest incarceration per capita rate of any country in the world—to include Russia and China?

    I have personally witnessed over a day of incarcerations in the Salt Lake County Sheriff Jail. I was extremely awed by its efficient processing of brought-in groups of arrestees, somewhere around 15 to 30 individuals, that were inducted by the hour. The in-processing area was impressively, purposely designed to dehumanize. To have an analogous feel and perception try to imagine the same of management and staff working the operations of a very large fish cannery.

    Comment by beanpunker — March 15, 2007 @ 7:05 pm
  25. wait a sec. is the sheriff not the law of the land? why does he allow the fedgov to impose the federal law on citizens in his county? its his job to see that their (fedgov’s) warrents and such, are legal in his county. he is resposable for upholding the laws passed within his county. see: http://www.gunowners.org/op0021.htm it is his duty to protect these ladys!

    Comment by drew — March 15, 2007 @ 7:25 pm
  26. The “war on drugs” is nothing more than the government protecting the profits of the pharmaceutical companies. Since drugs are a complement good to healthcare, a government run healthcare will only result in even more profit protection for the healthcare industry. Both of these industries should not be immune to market economics.

    Comment by k_the_c — March 15, 2007 @ 7:40 pm
  27. You people aren’t very bright. Where is the medical evidence that pot is her only option? Do any of you bother to ask that question? You think pot is going to cure her brain cancer? Look at how emotional you all get. Using extremes in place of rational judgment. You use all these catch phrases like, “racism”, and “freedom” … I mean it’s total propaganda. Her physician, this whole court case is a ploy. Everything about you people is propaganda. No thought. Just living off a high. It’s time for you all to come down to earth. Pot is like your religion. You’re all fanatics. Fundamentalist drug users. Desperate. Dependant. I guarantee if it came down to civil war, you would all be the first to run away. You could never legitimately handle defending our liberty. Making pot legal is not how to do it. Why don’t you fight for real issues? Cause you like the drugs too much… you like thinking that liberty means you can be completely useless…

    Comment by TheKing — March 15, 2007 @ 7:51 pm
  28. Re: TheKing: you are an idiot. I don’t do the stuff, but I will defend the right of others to do so, because it is their right to ingest what they wish and it is their fundamental right to seek the best health options for themselves. The so-called propaganda of the lost drug war having its roots in racism is well-documented history–the same as marriage licenses, BTW. fact is it relieves pain, shrinks and eliminates cancer tumors, helps on glaucoma and AIDS, and because it grows naturally like other natruopathic remedies Big Pharma can’t control it (and profits from it!) so they pay off the FDA to outlaw it in favor of their synthetic trash. It’s a plant, it’s produced and consumed locally, it’s not interstate commerce, SCOTUS is just wrong AGAIN, so ignore it and do what we may, using mass negation to move forward to what is right, beyond what is legal.

    Comment by Tannim — March 15, 2007 @ 8:17 pm
  29. OK, now, can someone explain WHERE the fedgov got the power to declare things illegal?

    With prohibition they had to pass this and states had to ratify it. The important section is #2 that grants CONgress power to enforce it. WHERE is the amendment that deals with “illegal” drugs?

    Amendment XVIII

    Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

    Section 2. The Congress and the several states shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

    Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several states, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the states by the Congress.

    Oh, and why the hell doesn’t the fedgov just give her a tax stamp?

    Comment by hairyhobbit — March 15, 2007 @ 8:38 pm
  30. Most of you will have to defend ourselves against our Government your lifetime.

    Get Ready.

    http://www.wikiprotest.com/index.php?title=Main_Page

    Comment by Jeffrey Henderson — March 15, 2007 @ 8:58 pm
  31. IT’S ILLEGAL BECAUSE OF CELLULOSE!!!! This is never reported in the major media. Marijuana advocates almost NEVER point this out. Marijuana is a variety of hemp. The hemp plant produces four times the cellulose, per acre, that trees produce. Making paper from hemp requires only 14 percent of the chemicals that tree-paper needs. Tree-paper chemicals are made by DuPont. These chemicals account for 80 percent of their rail-car shipments of chemicals. To legalize hemp/marijuana would devastate DuPont’s sales. Their stock price would plummet. THIS IS WHY POT LAWS WILL NEVER CHANGE! The pharmaceutical companies are a small part of the equation. Legal recreational drug companies (alcohol) are a small part of the equation. The question is this: Do we legalize it before or after all the trees of the world have been ground into paper? It takes 40,000 trees every Sunday to print that day’s national edition of the New York Times. Multiply that by every edition of every newspaper in the USA and you get the idea. Boycott all newspapers untill they report the truth. Read “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” by Jack Herer, preferably the hemp paper edition. The whole story is bigger than what I have written here.

    Comment by Arne — March 15, 2007 @ 9:10 pm
  32. [...] about the 9th Circuit’s recent decision that leaves a woman with terminal brain cancer with the choice of dying in pain or going to prison.   [...]

    Pingback by Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » Between A Rock And A Hard Place — March 15, 2007 @ 9:48 pm
  33. Huh? Do you people really believe that “Big Pharma” or Dupont or anyone else can’t figure out how to make immense profits on marijuana if it were legalized? Hell, all they have to do is look at RJ Reynolds for their business model. Cannabis is already the third largest cash crop grown in the U.S., behind only corn and soy beans. There is no “vast right-wing conspiracy” to keep it illegal. The reason it has repained illegal –despite reams of evidence that decriminalizing it would benefit society medically, economically, sociologically and environmentally — is simple: around 50% of all people are of below-average intelligence (for those of you unfortunates who fall into this category, this is what’s known as a “tautology”). As we all saw so painfully in Florida in 2000, it takes a lot fewer stupid people than there are nationwide to sway an election. Nearly every politician in the U.S. knows that regardless of its true merits, supporting legalization will result them losing their jobs.

    Comment by Theus — March 15, 2007 @ 10:10 pm
  34. TheKing,
    Even if the marijuana has no physical effect on her illness, placebos can be powerful. It what works. There is no virtue in suffering.

    Comment by VRB — March 15, 2007 @ 10:18 pm
  35. My Mom has osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. She takes an unbelievable amount of pills and it’s only an amount of time until this gets her organs (unless a miracle happens– like finding a cure). I’m talking maybe 20 pills of all different sorts a day just so she can take care of herself (like washing). She is in a wheelchair more often nowadays. I spoke with a doctor who said it’s a shame that she can’t use pot. Not all, but most of those pills could be replaced. When she ‘comes down’ from those pills, it’s not like she’s just a little tired, she’s down until the next pill. I should also mention that her generation believes pot is equal to heroin or cocaine though, and she’d only take it if a doctor she respected prescribed it to her.

    Comment by BEP — March 15, 2007 @ 10:40 pm
  36. There was a time in the libertarian movement when legalizing drugs was advocated with vigor. Then came the mainstreaming. All of a sudden a lot of moderate libertarians decided that people just weren’t ready for ending drug prohibition and it might alienate the law and order fascists.

    Guys like Neal Boortz ridiculed libertarians for advocating marijuana legalization, claiming they were hemp jacket wearing hippies that were destroying the LP. Presidential candidate Steve Kubby is currently being marginalized because of the marijuana issue – hardly his only issue.

    Maybe it is time for libertarians and conservatives pretending to be libertarians to re-examine this strategy regarding drug prohibition – especially in light of the fact that America is now the world’s largest jailer. How can conservatives claim that America is the beacon of freedom when it has more prisoners than any other nation in the world?

    Marijuana should have been legalized over 30 years ago!

    Comment by Tom Blanton — March 15, 2007 @ 10:53 pm
  37. I’m not commenting on whether marijuana should be legal or not, just on the medical statements made. No where is a terminal condition mentioned. They do not state she has cancer, but a tumor. Tumors can be benign. In any case, marijuana does not cure brain tumors, period. Nor does it cure or improved seizures. TMJ and scoliosis are extremely common, non-lethal conditions—jaw ache and a curve to the spine. Probably a majority of those reading this have a little of both.

    those trying to push for legalization should choose a better poster child, this woman is essentially saying she needs marijuana for a sore jaw, usually treated quite easily with motrin and/or a mouth piece.

    Comment by an amused physician — March 15, 2007 @ 11:34 pm
  38. Well, if she is terminal and definetly going to die, then she should say F-it and smoke anyway. And when the FEDS show up, blast’em outta their shoes, and go down with a fight, taking out some mindless Stormtroopers. If our government is permitted to control our lives all the way down to where it affects our personal health are we really free? We have to accept the fact that they do not have our best interests in mind and sometimes that will conflict with what is right for you or your family. If a government mandate is passed and it puts your children in harms way will you obey or will you fight?

    Comment by LocDogg — March 16, 2007 @ 12:00 am
  39. For what its worth, I did find this article on The Boston Globe website: http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2007/03/01/marijuana_as_wonder_drug/

    I found this paragraph particularly compelling:

    “The study, from the University of California at San Francisco, found smoked marijuana to be effective at relieving the extreme pain of a debilitating condition known as peripheral neuropathy. It was a study of HIV patients, but a similar type of pain caused by damage to nerves afflicts people with many other illnesses including diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Neuropathic pain is notoriously resistant to treatment with conventional pain drugs. Even powerful and addictive narcotics like morphine and OxyContin often provide little relief. This study leaves no doubt that marijuana can safely ease this type of pain.”

    Never in this post did I say anything about marijuana curing cancer or curing any condition for that matter. What medical marijuana does do is allow people who are suffering to have some relief. As Raich’s doctor pointed out, if she were to be taken off this regimen, she could die of malnutrition or starvation.

    If you still think this is far fetched, take a look at what happened to Peter McWilliams whenever he was denied his right to use medical marijuana for his conditions: http://www.petermcwilliams.org/articles/WhyWasPeterMurdered.html

    He would still be alive today if not for the arrogance of our government.

    Comment by Stephen Littau — March 16, 2007 @ 12:26 am
  40. Fascinating thread…just one more thing to consider…

    The federal government (and probably several big companies – like pharmacutical and chemical companies – has repeatedly suppressed legitimate scientific research into the medical benefits and risks of marijuana. They have not been so controlling with “hard” drugs such as heroin and cocaine, simply because those “hard” drugs are CLEARLY dangerous. Marijuana isn’t, and so they suppress research on it. They are afraid that if enough research is done, the scientific community, as well as the average Earth-citizen, will realize it is not dangerous. You can check this out yourself. Do a search in the various medical journals comparing marijuana-articles to alcohol- or tobacco-articles. The powers that be suppress this research because they fear people will see the “emperor has no clothes on”. If everyone came to realize that it is FAR LESS DANGEROUS than alcohol, lots of people would put away that 40oz and light up a joint.

    Comments are welcome at monstermattxl@yahoo.com

    Comment by MonsterMatt — March 16, 2007 @ 12:31 am
  41. Theus: Cannabis forests were found growing 10ft tall in Afghanistan. You know what else grows in Afghanistan? Rocks. If people can get relief from pain, or even benefits (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4286435.stm) from something they can grow and cultivate in their back yard, what is the economic motivation, especially for lower income people, to buy expensive synthetic drugs?

    Tom Blanton: Somehow I doubt Boortz is a “libertarian” in the laissez-faire, non-coercive sense.

    amused physician: Simply decriminalizing would suffice. Plus, it doesn’t have to be about “curing.” What if marijuana relieves her pain economically? I mean, do you propose prescribing her more expensive, possibly more addictive, medication?

    MonsterMatt: All the potent “legal” pain killers are opium based…

    To Arne’s point, simply follow the money. Things are “illegal” because someone else is benefiting from such coercive government intervention to keep it so.

    Comment by k_the_c — March 16, 2007 @ 12:40 am
  42. Good point Matt. I challenge anyone to find me one documented case where someone has overdosed and died as a result of smoking pot. I assure you, you will not find one.

    Comment by Stephen Littau — March 16, 2007 @ 12:43 am
  43. [...] Die or Go to Jail (The Liberty Papers) [...]

    Pingback by Just another casualty of the war on (some) drugs « Blunt Object — March 16, 2007 @ 1:52 am
  44. Everyone should look at the events surrounding the criminalization of marijuana. Drug cZar Anslinger used racial bigotry and total disregard for medical professionals in a quest to make the herb illegal.

    Comment by joe schmoe — March 16, 2007 @ 2:45 am
  45. The only reason marijuana is not legal in this country is because you can easily grow it yourself. There is no way for the government to put a hefty tax on it, no way for the pharmaceutical lobbies to make a killing.

    Comment by Tony LaRocca — March 16, 2007 @ 6:30 am
  46. Anslinger, and the congress completely ignored the scientific evidence when first developing the legal machinery of drug prohibition. And it is a fact that the first drug prohibitions were aimed at Mexican and Chinese immigrants. The newspapers,with the help of William Randolph Hearst, contributed to the public hysteria. But now, drug laws are so ingrained in law and public perception, with vast bureaucracies instituted for their perpetuation, no amount of contradictory scientific evidence will induce change. This is especially true with regard to marijuana.

    Comment by charles — March 16, 2007 @ 7:13 am
  47. test

    Comment by Hal Ferguson — March 17, 2007 @ 5:21 pm
  48. http://www.autodogmatic.com/index.php/sst/2007/03/15/stalinist_police_state_gone_wild#c3862

    Comment by js290 — March 21, 2007 @ 1:18 am

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