We live in a sad, sick world. Yesterday’s favorite sandwich pitchman enjoys child porn. The FDA thinks it’s a great idea to funnel OxyContin to pubescent kids. A couple of dozen people running for president are attempting to outdo each other using Marvin the Martian-styled hyperdestructive rhetoric to describe what they would do to governments in Tehran and Havana.
The moral compass? It’s broken and the warranty’s expired. Yet, the moralists soldier on. You can see them in that magic City Hall snow globe, doing the do in Council Chambers, where the great issues of the day are hashed out.
From whether it’s OK to back one’s car into a driveway to whether it’s OK to put up snipe signs to whether it’s OK to put a cover on your car, they tackle it all.
A big part of the problem is the sheer size of the Council: 19 people, representing close to a million people, many of whom have nothing in common with one another. Jacksonville, a half-century after consolidation, is still working through issues.
You see it in discussion after discussion. The thing is, Jacksonville, in addition to working through consolidation-related issues, also works through the impacts of being a Southern city with a code of zero tolerance justice that finds its roots in the Drug War, which in turn finds its roots ultimately in the aftermath of institutionalized slavery.
Proof of that: There’s a direct correlation between whether a state held slaves or not during the Civil War and the robustness of its prison-industrial complex.
Our politicians, Republican and Democrat alike, talk about marijuana like they’re auditioning for a community theater production of Reefer Madness.
This is true even for marijuana that effectively lacks THC, like Charlotte’s Web.
If you were one of the half-dozen folks in the audience at the City Council’s Charlotte’s Web Workshop, in which the Land Use & Zoning Committee hashed out the details of zoning for dispensaries and cultivation facilities with the Planning Commission, you’d have needed a blunt to make it all make sense.
The proposal, which passed LUZ without discussion or dissent: a partial moratorium on cultivation for 90 days (banned except in agricultural zones) and a full 120-day moratorium on dispensing the medication.
If Jacksonville could fill its potholes with the false equivalencies heard in that one-hour workshop, our roads would be as smooth as a stick of butter.
Pick your favorite. There was the one when the lady who, she assured us, had “spent some time out West,” actually talked about weed fiends in Denver. Apparently, they queue up outside the “grass stations” (converted gas stations, yo) and wait for the doors to open, veritable angelheaded hipsters, feening for their fix.
And then there was the one when doctors prescribing Charlotte’s Web — under a state registry, mind you — were compared to a methadone clinic on the Southside that apparently draws recovering heroin addicts morning, noon, and night.
I assume they were talking about the one on Emerson, a road that has more strip clubs than California has raisins.
There were concerns raised, also, about there being the potential for a “red light district” for CBD oil. Let that half-assed casuistry sink in for a minute. Kids suffering from seizures equated with grown men trolling for hookers.
To be fair, some comments were rational. Jim Love’s observations that “there’s a big difference between a medicine and something for recreational use. I don’t see this being sold in Publix except in its pharmacy” was actually on point.
Why does Jacksonville’s city government worry so much about this issue? It’s couched as a public safety measure. Bullshit. It is a matter of big government run amok, in no small part because these policy leaders are attempting to distract from the third world reality of the Bold New City of the South.
They can’t fix the potholes. Can’t deal with the gang problem. Can’t educate people outside of the magnet schools. Can’t fix the sewers or the drainage. Can’t stop domestic violence. Can’t find Lonzie.
What can they do? Run a scare campaign against a legitimate medicine, one that everyone from shamans to Shakespeare used, yet they want to play keep-away games with kids racked by seizures.