Monday, June 06, 2005
The New Cruelty, Extreme Pain Edition.
In a terrible decision, the US Supreme Court decided by a 6-3 vote that the federal government is the only entity qualified to decide how much pain severely ill patients can suffer, and exactly what substances they can use to alleviate some of that pain. Sad Yahoo News excerpt:
WASHINGTON - People who smoke marijuana because their doctors recommend it to ease pain can be prosecuted for violating federal drug laws, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, overriding medical marijuana statutes in 10 states.
The court's 6-3 decision was filled with sympathy for two seriously ill California women who brought the case, but the majority agreed that federal agents may arrest even sick people who use the drug as well as the people who grow pot for them.
Justice John Paul Stevens, an 85-year-old cancer survivor, said the court was not passing judgment on the potential medical benefits of marijuana, and he noted "the troubling facts" in the case. However, he said the Constitution allows federal regulation of homegrown marijuana as interstate commerce.
Then why not regulate it the way you would regulate any other crop that grows all over the goddamned country and stop acting like we are asking you to turn your own feces into gold bullion.
The Bush administration has taken a hard stand against state medical marijuana laws, but it was unclear how it would respond to the new prosecutorial power. Justice Department spokesman John Nowacki would not say whether prosecutors would pursue cases against individual users.
Bullshit. They'll go after every poor slob they can. Look at what that asshole Ashcroft did to Tommy Chong for selling bongs over the Internets.
In a dissent, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said the court's "overreaching stifles an express choice by some states, concerned for the lives and liberties of their people, to regulate medical marijuana differently."
Can you believe that? Justice O'Connor acting in a sane and sensible manner! Just as shocking is that fact that Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justice Clarence Thomas dissented along with Justice O'Connor.
The problem here is that we have a loud segment of the Family Values Asshole Brigade pissing and moaning about a bunch of people they don't know and will never meet to the extent that they have insinuated themselves into those persons lives in the same way that Tom DeLay and President Useless tried to o in the Terri Schaivo case. Rather than address what is a medical issue, it has become a law enforcement one, which is truly ridiculous.
Of course, this might never have been an issue if this country would come to its senses and adopt a policy of total and effective health care coverage, but we mustn't think such thoughts as long as Senate Majority Leader Frist continues to insist on screwing the very constituents he claims to be helping when he lies about the true costs of Medicaid. But what the hell, its just another useless federal program like Social Security...
I'll end this rant with this declaration: To criminalize behavior that by it's very nature is beneficial is the real crime, and thanks to the suddenly federalist Supreme Court, nobody can decide how to manage extreme pain by themselves. Funny, but I don't recall any such moral ambiguity over the "interstate commerce" aspect of firearm distribution...