Lying In Michigan: The Death Throes Of A Doomed Policy?
If you ever wondered how low the opponents of medicinal marijuana could possibly stoop, just check out the 30-seconds of vile propaganda above. (I recommend having a strong anti-emetic handy.)
For those of you who may not know, even though I’m NORML’s Deputy Director I live in California. Let me tell you that the claim that so-called “pot smoking clubs [are] in every neighborhood” is as false as it is absurd. Fact is, the county I live in (Solano County) doesn’t even allow for the establishment of dispensaries, nor has it — in four years since the passage of Senate Bill 420 — ever issued identification cards to state-authorized patients, as is required by law. Numerous counties and municipalities have passed similar moratoriums on patient dispensaries, and many others continue to resist issuing ID cards to qualified patients.
By contrast, those California cities that allow for the not-for-profit patient dispensaries have enacted strict zoning policies regarding where they can operate (“Just blocks from schools???” Please!), and imposing limits on the number of collectives that may operate in a community. (Just imagine if drug pharmacies like Walgreens were forced to endure similar restrictions.)
That is the reality in California, and that is why polls indicate broader public support for the legalized use of medical cannabis now than when Proposition 215 first passed in 1996.
Of course, those who oppose Proposition 1 in Michigan and who condone arresting and jailing patients for their use of cannabis are well aware of these facts — just as they are aware that Prop. 1, like the medical cannabis laws in eleven other states, does not even allow for the creation of licensed cannabis dispensaries. Yet in order to continue to prosecute and cage their fellow citizens, regardless of whether they are healthy or dying, our opponents rely on lying and fear-mongering — the same tactics that brought us marijuana prohibition in the first place.
Will the scare-tactics work? They haven’t in past. (Of the ten state medi-pot initiative campaigns since 1996, nine have passed.) Unfortunately, like in Massachusetts, the negative campaigning is clearly having an effect — with recent polls indicating a drop in public support from an estimated 66 percent to 54 percent. Believe me, as one who bases his written words on science and facts, it pains me to say that.
That said, like in Massachusetts, I am confident that a majority of Michigan’s voters will see through our opponents cynical and dishonest smoke-screen come Election Day, and will choose to make the ‘land of 11,000 lakes’ the thirteenth state to authorize the legal use of medical cannabis.
Why do I say this? I say this because for the first time in recent memory it’s become apparent that our opponents are desperate. They are desperate because they know they are losing — state by state, community by community, and voter by voter.
As Mahatma Gandhi said, “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” Well, it’s obvious that we are no longer being ignored, nor are we being ridiculed. Finally, with their backs up against the wall, the defenders of prohibition have decided to fight.
And we all know what comes next.
October 30, 2008