Alabama the backwords is at it again. The Senate judiciary committee has approved a medical marijuana bill that is so problematic it can only be construed as an effort to sublimate the public support for legal pot. This has been their tactic since they first legalized a bottle of fishy pot oil for use by five people approved in Alabama.
The new bill that reportedly has broad senate support is not as restrictive, but is too restrictive nonetheless. The people who would be allowed to use pot for medical reasons would still have to have a doctors approval. The categories are still too narrow and would still only allow for homogenized snake oil like products. No smoking.
One big argument for medical pot has been stimulating the appetite of cancer patients that experience nausea when attempting to eat. They need the nutrition to keep them strong and motivated while fighting their illness. Fishy snake oil doesn’t seem appetizing to me. According to people in Denver, actually smoking weed not only reduces nausea with a sense of euphoria, but causes a condition referred to as “the munchies” whereby the participant experiences the impulse to snack on anything within reach.
And that’s the continuing problem with legalization efforts in Alabama. For too many, and especially those who should be able to self-medicate if they so choose, the dope is still out of reach. Who needs a doctor to tell them they have pain that might be alleviated by smoking weed? And the unfortunate reality is that many of those who would likely qualify for a prescription wouldn’t even be able to afford the trip to the doctor. And why do they need a doctor’s approval, the debilitating side effect called “the munchies?”
The same old tired, and ridiculous, argument comes up again. “It’s a gateway to heroin.” People who make this absurd argument are actually selling heroine as “might as well.” They are obviously not even close to the same and yet opponents literally, and very irresponsibly, place them side by side in the same category. The only gateway is the illegal dope dealer who eventually pushes whatever drug is in his goody bag, that really is addictive, to ensure you are hooked and will keep coming back.
Media reports also suggest that while the senate seems in favor of passing the medical marijuana bill, there is still strong opposition in the house which has a habit of pigeon holing unto death. It’s a familiar good cop bad cop routine by the legislative bodies that seem to be most successful at circumventing the will of voters with their smoke and mirrors.
The truth is, not legalizing pot is not a moral, ethical or even a health question for Alabama legislators. It is about their fear, and the fear of their high stakes economic contributors, of losing their authoritarian, plantation like, control over the people of Alabama – who are clearly in favor of legal pot for both medical and recreational use. In the meantime, the rest of the country is cashing in on a lucrative cash crop, increased tax revenue, and a new billion dollar industry.
Alabama is supposedly one of the most conservative “red” states in the union. To my way of thinking, that means individual liberty, freedom and rights. The right to self medicate and to enjoy a little incense – damn the munchies.
Alabama legislators appear to be again setting the stage to do a disservice to the conservative, independent people of Alabama with their self-serving, ridiculous, plantation perpetuating arguments.
©2020 – Jim Casey