Here's a brief history of this country's medical-marijuana laws: In 1996, California passed the first law allowing sick people to smoke pot with a doctor's recommendation. But the feds became perturbed when sick people began buying herb from cannabis clubs, so the issue was brought to the United States Supreme Court.
In 2001, the Supreme Court ruled against the distribution of medical marijuana, a decision that closed the cannabis clubs and forced sick people to grow their own weed.
Well, the idea of sick people growing their own weed also infuriated the Bush administration-because, were that permitted to continue, the world would certainly go to hell in a helicopter-and now, as of this writing, the Supreme Court is once again hearing arguments about medical marijuana.
This time the issue is whether sick people should be allowed to grow and smoke their own bud with a doctor's approval, and it seems like everyone who's campaigning against this issue must be, like, really, really stoned or something, what with all their arguments being so incoherent, lazy and/or absurd.
* Like this utterly incogitant comment from Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer (who is, understandably, concerned about enforcement): "When we see medical marijuana in California, everybody will say, "Mine is medical.' Certificates will circulate on the black market. The whole thing will be a mess."
Man, is Justice Breyer high, or what? By this argument, all drugs should be illegal since prescriptions can be forged. In fact, anything that requires licensing or documentation is vulnerable to fraud-driver's licenses, passports, welfare, social security, healthcare, Subway's Sub Club, even U.S. currency-is routinely counterfeited.
* And you know the Republican members of Congress must have all been pulling off the same hookah when they said sick people should not be able to grow their own marijuana because, according to USA Today, "more than 20,000 people die each year because of drug abuse."
Um, hey, Congresspersons, the issue at hand is marijuana, not all drugs. Of the 20,000 people who die each year because of drug abuse, only two of them died from smoking weed-there was that commuter-stoner in Massachusetts who was too ripped to react to the drunk driver who crossed into his lane, and a hippy in Oregon who accidentally rolled too much saltpeter into his joint.
* Here's another example of an argument that was clearly conceived inside a hazy cloud of fuming sweet-wheat: The Bush administration is saying that states should not be allowed to decide for themselves about medical marijuana because, according to CNN.com, it would "violate federal drug rules." In other words, the reason we shouldn't oppose an existing federal law is because it's against federal law to oppose federal laws?
Sheesh. All this secondhand smoke is making me dizzy.
* Further proof that the Bush people are having their meetings over at Tommy Chong's pad is revealed when they say that, according to ABC News, "Congress has found no accepted medical use of marijuana."
Did you say Congress has found no medical use? Congress? What does Congress know about medical value? Congress wouldn't recognize medical value if Medical Value were at the airport arrival gate wearing a sign that said "Hi, I'm Medical Value" around its neck. Care to know who does know about medical value? Doctors know. Doctors like the ones over at the American Medical Association, American Health Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Cancer Society, Kaiser Permanente, California Medical Association-and every single doctor, nurse or orderly I ever spoke with about medical marijuana-are in favor of it.
No medical value, my ass. Marijuana can ease chronic pain, suppress nausea and induce the appetite of people with cancer or AIDS. More than 100,000 chronically ill people are screaming from the rooftops that marijuana helps them stay alive, while the folks in the Bush administration are just wandering around in a cannibian blaze oblivious to anything beyond where they might score a box of Twinkies.
* How about this picket sign seen outside the U.S. Supreme Court: "A smoked joint never cured anything."
Man, you must be dusting your joints if this is the best slogan you can find for a picket sign. Of course smoking marijuana won't cure anything, dicknob. Insulin doesn't cure anything, either. Nor aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, propoxyphene, naproxen, diazepam, methylphenidate, percoset, morphine, cough syrup, Flintstones Chewables, Novocain, fluoxetine, paroxetine, doxepin, hydrocodone, trazodone, methadone and, come to think of it, 95 percent of all prescription drugs don't cure a goddamn thing. So what's your point exactly?
* I'll tell you who else I think smokes too much dope. Some of these anti-drug groups, with such joint-twisting arguments as this one from the Drug Free America Foundation: "Someone who smokes five joints per week may be taking in as many cancer-causing chemicals as someone who smokes a full pack of cigarettes per day."
Um, OK, sure, that's probably true-marijuana can be as bad for you as smoking cigarettes. But cigarettes are legal and have zero medical value, while weed is illegal and has some medical benefits, and I'm telling you, judging by the inanity of these arguments, these anti-medical marijuana dullards must all be potheads. And they must have an ulterior motive. I surmise that what they are really afraid of is that the sick people will get all the good shit and leave nothing but swag for the rest of us healthy people-which is really the most rational argument against medical marijuana I've ever heard.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and editor@SDcitybeat.com.