Drugs Are Bad, M’kay?
The Florida Sheriffs Association, heretofore a bastion of hedonistic libertarianism, took a vote and decided it does not appreciate all this talk about the Devil’s Weed. And so last week, the FSA blasted out a press release kindly asking you medical marijuana people to knock off this legalization bullshit, because (deep breath!) “approving broad exceptions to current state and federal law that would allow doctors to authorize use of marijuana for virtually any reason with little regulation will hurt children and families and lead to a lower quality of life for all.” (Commas are your friends, guys.)
Marijuana, you see, has “no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,” [pun intended?] and relaxing prohibitions will lead to a rash of teenagers developing carpal tunnel to score dope from shady strip-mall dispensaries. Won’t somebody please think of the children?
Here we feel obliged to inject a little rationality: The sheriffs are wrong. Marijuana does not in fact have a high potential for abuse. It does in fact have medicinal qualities (and often fewer side effects than pharmaceuticals, and without a single recorded fatal overdose). And while it’s true that many of those qualities can be obtained in pill form — we certainly wouldn’t want to deprive Big Pharma of its precious lucre — the fact is, the government only classified pot as a schedule I drug in 1970 because “there is still a considerable void in our knowledge of the plant and effects of the active drug contained in it.”
We should also remember that this country’s 80-year prohibition on marijuana was conceived in racism; the godfather of the drug war, Harry Anslinger, direly warned good white folks that “most [pot users] are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.”
We know more about pot now. And presumably we’ve come further in terms of race relations (even if marijuana laws are still enforced primarily against blacks). But the schedule 1 classification has remained intact not because of indisputable medical evidence but because of inertia and political cowardice, with the result being that you buy cancer-causing cigarettes and liver-destroying spirits at any corner store, no problem, but a joint? To the big house with you, scofflaw.
So much logic there.
Speaking of medical marijuana, United For Care, the group pushing the proposed constitutional amendment, announced last week that it’s obtained probably enough signatures to make the November ballot. (“Probably” because the more than 1.1 million signatures the group has collected in the last year still have to be verified.)
Now all that’s left standing between us and a dystopian hellscape of zombie-stoned children and white women seduced by black jazz musicians is the Florida Supreme Court’s approval of the ballot language. That ruling should come by April 1.
Light a bowl and cross your fingers, kids!
God’s Gift to Us
Last Friday, State Attorney Angela Corey, she of the George Zimmerman prosecution and bizarre press conferences and all-around pleasantness, gave a little speech last Friday to the First Coast Tiger Bay Club and, boy howdy, was it revealing.
Did you know, for instance, that she doesn’t read newspapers? She prefers her information carefully spoonfed by lackeys: “My people tell me what I need to know,” she told the group, according to the Times-Union.
Corey’s also not a huge fan of the state’s pesky Sunshine laws, those things that let the press — and, thus, you — keep tabs on how she’s handling cases. She doesn’t, for instance, like media outlets reporting on cases before they go to trial, because information Corey deems irrelevant might leak out before she wants it to: “The public doesn’t need to know anything about a case before it goes to trial.”
Accountability and transparency, you see, are for suckers, not Angela Corey, who is beyond reproach. (Corey is presently being sued by a former IT worker she fired after he told Zimmerman’s lawyers about evidence Corey tried to withhold from them.)
Oh, and she’s also state attorney by divine right: “I’m where God wants me to be.” Thanks for that, God.