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October 2006
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The federal government’s lack of credibility on medical marijuana raids

There have been a rash of medical marijuana dispensary raids by the feds in California recently. And each time, the government comes out with statements about how much they’ve seized in cash and other points to improve their public relations by making the public feel that all these dispensaries are nothing but fronts for criminal activity.
The Drug Czar’s “blog” in its post: So Who Profits from so-called “Medical” Marijuana? seems to make much of the fact that one of those arrested (Sparky Rose) had a Porsche.
What are you driving, Mr. Walters? (That is, when you’re not being chauffeured in a taxpayer-provided limo?) And what of leaders of pharmaceutical companies? Don’t they have a few bucks to spend on cars?
If Mr. Rose provides medical marijuana to patients at a price they can afford and is able to make a good living at it, I am much more sympathetic to the deservedness of his earnings than I am to the Czar, who makes money from lying to and harming people.
Sparky Rose may be a scumbag who is manipulating the medical marijuana situation for his own profit. I don’t know. What I do know is that I won’t take the Federal government’s word for it, because they have proven time and time again (particularly in regards to medical marijuana) that their word is worthless.
As long as the Federal government continues its unreasonable war on medical marijuana patients (as part of a larger strategy to protect its drug war budget and pharmaceutical company patronage), every action they take is suspect, and the most base criminal’s word seems… cleaner.
Unfortunately, the mixed legality of medical marijuana has the potential of attracting criminal activity. But the only way to solve that is through clarity. Give the state of California the power to manage their medical marijuana programs without interference and they’ll have a better chance of doing it well. Better yet — legalize and regulate and take all the value away from criminals.
Anthony Gregory has a great OpEd on this subject yesterday at Lew Rockwell: Medical Marijuana and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments

However, none of this should have to be argued. The fact is people have a human and Constitutional right to control their bodies: self-medication is a Ninth Amendment right “retained by the people.” And since there is no enumerated power of the federal government to regulate drugs and medicine, the federal government certainly has no right overthrowing local medical marijuana laws and imposing its centralized authoritarianism in their place. With the latest disgrace of the Bay Area pot club raids, individual rights and federalism have once again been demolished by the DEA. If ever we are to restore anything resembling a working Bill of Rights, of which the Ninth and Tenth Amendments are perhaps the crowning jewels, the DEA should be one of the first agencies to go.

While you’re in the Anthony Gregory mood, he’s got another major OpEd today on libertarianism and the drug war: The Drug War’s Immorality and Abject Failure:

Although it is a politically incorrect point, we must recognize that people have a right to put what they want into their bodies, and no one has a right to forcibly stop them. Not only does this truth flow axiomatically from any proper understanding of the human rights to life, liberty, and property; it offers the best explanation of why the drug war has been such an abject failure. Something as abjectly immoral, as contrary to human nature as the drug war cannot bring about happiness or order or civilization or progress. It can, however, effectively destroy lives and turn the country into a much worse place to live.
Americans may not think they’re ready to end the drug war, but the immoral crusade is doomed to fail. The sooner we recognize this, the sooner we can begin the process of restoring the precious American freedoms that have been eroded in this very evil war.

[thanks, Sukoi]

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