FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

How Many Wins Can We Take?

 

It’s not so much whether you win or lose, it’s how you control the spin. Thus the medical-marijuana movement honchos seem quite pleased with themselves, even though the Supreme Court turned down the Raich-Monson bid to obtain and use under California law, and then Congress turned down an amendment directing the DEA to honor medical-mj laws in the states that have adopted them. The vote in Congress was 264 to 161.

“‘We pick up votes each time as we continue to educate the public,’ said Steve Fox, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project.” This perfect example of Beltway elitism was quoted in the Associated Press story on the defeat in Congress June 15 of the Hinchey-Rohrbacher amendment. We pick up votes as the public continues to educate Congress. And picking up nine votes is nothing to crow about in the year of our Lord 2005. Rep. Barney Frank told the AP’s David Whitney “that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had been working the issue hard among Democrats and that he felt certain there would 180 or more votes for the amendment.” By turning losses into wins, “reform” bureaucrats keep up the morale of their funders.

“Even Without a Federal Push, California Reins in Marijuana” read a 2-column headline above the fold in the New York Times June 15. The 43-inch story, dateline San Francisco, by Dean Murphy, asserts that cities are now “struggling with the excesses of the law’s success.” What success? More than eight years after we legalized marijuana for medical use, only about 120,000 Californians have availed themselves of the right by getting a doctor’s approval. Opposition from law enforcement has been unrelenting and support from the medical establishment has been nonexistent or weak. If most doctors weren’t afraid to approve cannabis use by their patients -or unwilling to out of humility, since they have never been educated on the subject- the number of Californians now using cannabis for pain and depression would be at least a million.

Murphy writes, “Advocacy groups reported that a handful of small dispensaries closed last week.” Advocacy groups apparently kept from Murphy news that nine clubs, including the busiest in Oakland and L.A., folded abruptly June 6, the day the Raich ruling was announced. The activists thought somehow that news of club closures might cause some members of Congress to vote against the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment!

Journalist Ann Harrison (a Counterpunch contributor) says she was under pressure from some activists to not report the closure of Compassionate Caregivers. She did so anyway in the S.F. Bay Guardian June 15. Harrison had gotten a tour of Compassionate Caregivers Oakland headquarters from Manager Sparky Rose last month. She described it as “an efficient corporate operation with purchasing, human resources, IT, and shipping departments that delivered medical cannabis to the company’s cannabis clubs. According to Rose, the shutdown put approximately 225 employees out of work and impacted about 7,000 dispensary members and almost 15,000 other patients and caregivers across the state who purchased cannabis from the seven clubs.”

Rose told Harrison that the owner’s biggest fear was a tax claim by the IRS in which the cost of marijuana could not be deducted as an expense. Harrison reported that “Valerie and Mike Corral, founders of the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) – which provides free medical cannabis to about 200 chronically sick and dying patients in Santa Cruz – are being audited by the IRS, which has referred the case to its criminal division for possible tax evasion charges.

“The Corrals said they are being audited for the year 2002, when 30 armed DEA agents raided the group’s cannabis garden. In 2003 a federal court granted WAMM an injunction against federal prosecution. In the aftermath of the Raich decision, Corral said he expects federal authorities to petition the court to lift the injunction.”

The Ballad of Prop 215

Have you heard of our law called Prop 215?
Passed by California voters just saying what we mean
Marijuana eases pain and grief
There’s many a condition for which it brings relief

The State could not wait to cover up its ears
Long-robed judges said the wording isn’t clear
The cops and D.A.s held a council of war
In secret to dis-implement the new law

Put heat on the doctors that’s the whole strategy
Said Attorney General Lungren then he flew off to DC
To meet with Cardinal Constantine and Rabbi Alan Lesh-
ner Reno and Shalala like a scene out of MacBeth

It was back in December, 1996
General McCaffrey announced the big fix
California doctor, your license is at risk
Big Janet and the neckless nun all tsk-tsk-tsk

What were their names, what were their names
The docs who believed their patients claims?
What were their names, tell me what were their names
The docs who stood up for the patients?

From up in Crescent City down to San Diego
Many a physician had to just say no
Unless you got cancer or AIDS better yet
A letter of approval could prove difficult to get

Paxil and Statins they are eager to prescribe
Viagra and estrogen dispensed like a bribe
The detail men offer them jaunts to here and there
And the board never questions their standard of care

But those brave physicians whose plain common sense
Leads to respect for anecdotal evidence
Get called Dr Feelgood like it was a bad thing
And made to feel fear every time the doorbell rings

They helped a lot of people in a wide range of pain
The data they’ve collected should not be in vain
Sabotage of research, when’s it gonna stop?
The practice of medicine is not up to the cops

What were their names? What were their names?
The doctors who believed their patients’ claims?
What were their names? What were their names?
The doctors who stood up for their patients…

FRED GARDNER can be reached at journal@ccrmg.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Fred Gardner is the managing editor of O’Shaughnessy’s. He can be reached at fred@plebesite.com

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

Weekend Edition
April 19, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
What Will It Take For Trump to Get His Due?
Roy Eidelson
Is the American Psychological Association Addicted to Militarism and War?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Time is Blind, Man is Stupid
Joshua Frank
Top 20 Mueller Report “Findings”
Rob Urie
Why Russiagate Will Never Go Away
Paul Street
Stephen Moore Gets Something Right: It’s Capitalism vs. Democracy
Russell Mokhiber
Why Boeing and Its Executives Should be Prosecuted for Manslaughter
T.J. Coles
The Battle for Latin America: How the U.S. Helped Destroy the “Pink Tide”
Ron Jacobs
Ho Chi Minh City: Nguyen Thai Binh Street
Dean Baker
Fun Fictions in Economics
David Rosen
Trump’s One-Dimensional Gender Identity
Kenn Orphan
Notre Dame: We Have Always Belonged to Her
Robert Hunziker
The Blue Ocean Event and Collapsing Ecosystems
Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr.
Paddy Wagon
Brett Wilkins
Jimmy Carter: US ‘Most Warlike Nation in History of the World’
John W. Whitehead
From Jesus Christ to Julian Assange: When Dissidents Become Enemies of the State
Nick Pemberton
To Never Forget or Never Remember
Stephen Cooper
My Unforgettable College Stabbings
Louis Proyect
A Leftist Rejoinder to the “Capitalist Miracle”
Louisa Willcox
Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic and the Need for a New Approach to Managing Wildlife
Brian Cloughley
Britain Shakes a Futile Fist and Germany Behaves Sensibly
Jessicah Pierre
A Revolutionary Idea to Close the Racial Wealth Divide
George Burchett
Revolutionary Journalism
Dan Bacher
U.S. Senate Confirms Oil Lobbyist David Bernhardt as Interior Secretary
Nicky Reid
The Strange Success of Russiagate
Chris Gilbert
Defending Venezuela: Two Approaches
Todd Larsen
The Planetary Cost of Amazon’s Convenience
Kelly Martin
How the White House is Spinning Earth Day
Nino Pagliccia
Cuba and Venezuela: Killing Two Birds With a Stone
Matthew Stevenson
Pacific Odyssey: Guadalcanal and Bloody Ridge, Solomon Islands
David Kattenburg
Trudeau’s Long Winter
Gary Olson
A Few Comments on the recent PBS Series: Reconstruction: America After the Civil War
Ellen Lindeen
What Does it Mean to Teach Peace?
Adewale Maye and Eileen Appelbaum
Paid Family and Medical Leave: a Bargain Even Low-Wage Workers Can Afford
Ramzy Baroud
War Versus Peace: Israel Has Decided and So Should We
Ann Garrison
Vets for Peace to Barbara Lee: Support Manning and Assange
Thomas Knapp
The Mueller Report Changed my Mind on Term Limits
Jill Richardson
Why is Going Green So Hard? Because the System Isn’t
Mallika Khanna
The Greenwashing of Earth Day
Arshad Khan
Do the Harmless Pangolins Have to Become Extinct?
Paul Armentano
Pushing Marijuana Legalization Across the Finish Line
B. R. Gowani
Surreal Realities: Pelosi, Maneka Gandhi, Pompeo, Trump
Paul Buhle
Using the Law to Build a Socialist Society
David Yearsley
Call Saul
Elliot Sperber
Ecology Over Economy 
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail