False witness against legalizers

Scott Morgan and Allan Erickson have already addressed this, but I wanted to comment as well.
In this post by Clara Jeffery at MotherJones.com (which has some good points), there is a really uncalled for remark:

As in so many things these days, one wishes for something approximating independent analysis. I don’t trust the government’s research on drugs; its hyperbole and scare tactics on pot in particular seemed design to defend status quos (border and prison policies) that worsen, not solve, larger societal problems at hand. Nor do I trust NORML et al, even, and perhaps especially, when, having gotten nowhere on legalization per se, they reframe the issue as a balm for the sick and dying. Allowing medical marijuana is a no-brainer in my book, but I just think it’s a little unseemly when perfectly healthy pot-positive types hide behind AIDS and cancer patients.

I would guess that I fit in the “et al” and regardless of whether I do or not, it’s an extremely offensive statement (not to mention exceptionally illogical).
Scott Morgan gets it right in his response:

Clara Jeffery, why is it ok for you to call medical marijuana a “no-brainer,” and not us? We spoke of compassion, and we then built compassionate policies out of thin air and against massive opposition. No, we don’t hide behind AIDS and cancer patients. We march with them.

It’s like accusing an environmentalist of “hiding behind rainforests” if they advocate saving them. To an environmentalist, saving the rainforests is a piece of the total effort. To a legalizer, making marijuana available to the sick is a no-brainer integral part of legalization.
Are we supposed to say “Legalize marijuana, but not for sick people”? That would be absurd. As a legalizer, I want marijuana legally available to any adult who wishes to use it responsibly. As a human being, I put a higher priority on at least making it available to the terminally ill and those who need it to get through the day medically. How can I be a functioning human being and not think that way?
The ignorance reflected in Clara Jeffrey’s post is similar to the unsupported ad hominem attacks by academics like Mark Kleiman:

If you guessed from the above that neither side of the drug-policy debate actually gives a rat’s ass about sick people, you’re a remarkably good guesser.

To be fair, Kleiman seems to have moderated his views recently — at least he hasn’t made one of these nonsense attacks in some time, when he used to do them regularly.
I have to believe that some of it is that people like Klara and Mark have been influenced by the outlandish lies from drug warriors from Barry McCaffrey on to the current characters — that medical marijuana is a cruel hoax — and are somehow tying it in to legalizers’ wish to have marijuana legal.
And, you see, that ONLY works if you believe BOTH these propositions:

  1. That medical marijuana is a cruel hoax — that it somehow gives false hope or prevents patients from following courses of treatment that would actually help them (things that are patently impossible for a drug that is primarily used as a symptom reliever).
  2. That legalizers know marijuana is a false hope that hurts patients and promote it as medicine anyway, in order take steps toward getting it legalized for recreational purposes.

Obviously, both propositions are completely false.
On the other hand, for prohibitionists to be cruel, the following propositions must be true:

  1. Marijuana actually helps sick people.
  2. Prohibitionists fight against medical marijuana, knowing that it can help people, because they’re afraid that it will lead to legalization of recreational marijuana.

Those statements are not only likely true, they’re provably true.
What’s the problem with Mother Jones?

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.