Monday, April 12, 2010

Magistrate calls for medical marihuana

It's one thing when some wild-haired feral demands that marihuana be legalised (even though they may be absolutely correct), but it's another when a growing chorus of magistrates, doctors and law enforcement people do so.

The latest is a South Australian magistrate who laments having convicted in the last year 25 people who clearly used the drug as pain relief for an incurable or terminal disease -- in other words, medical marihuana.

The magistrate, Mr Clynt Johansen, has to get around what he sees as bad law by convicting without penalty, as in the case of 60-year-old Colin Linder who grew cannabis to provide relief from his fibromyalgia. Anyone who has that affliction, or has family members so afflicted, will know the intense and chronic pain it brings.

The magistrate even buys into the long-disproved myth that cannabis is a gateway drug, but dismisses it as irrelevant in the case of older people with terminal or chronic disease.

But the response of the South Australian government, which pursues a tabloid-driven anti-drug policy, is idiotic beyond belief to anyone who actually follows the research.

The attorney-general claimed allowing medical marihuana would "lead to cannabis for everyone"; and the health minister's office raised the mental illness bogeyman.

The fact that pot is already available at every high school in the country makes nonsense of the attorney-general's meaningless sound-bite; that any mental illness linked to cannabis is already occurring under prohibition does not occur to these prohibition dogmatists; and that alcohol causes far higher rates of mental and physical illness and untold deaths, but is legal, must not be mentioned.

But by repeating these fallacies, the politicians keep them alive in the minds of the ignorant public and the prohibition roadshow remains an electoral advantage. Or does it? The Adelaide Advertiser poll is running at nearly 60% in favour of outright legalisation; nearly 27% in favour of medical marihuana and only 14% wanting prohibition. You too can vote if you follow the link in the text today...

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