"Government exists to protect us from others.
When government goes wrong is when they seek to protect us from ourselves."
For that matter, why have Will Rogers' fellow statesmen been the most obstinate to learn the hard lessons of failed prohibitions? Will we ever end our penchant for projecting our own weaknesses into a criminal code which needlessly imprisons others?
I get that the people over fifty are not as open to the culture of the younger folks. My own uncle used to gripe;
"What's with all these hippies with their long hair, scruffy beards, tie-dyed shirts, bleached jeans, and the hemp! Why can't they dress decently, get a haircut, and enjoy a six-pack?"
My uncle was fighting a culture war. A generational war, and a religious conceit empowered him. That was a time when rock & roll was of the devil and kids were burning their draft cards. My uncle didn't care that Vietnam was a screw up sold to us as a threat to our very existence. Sadly, Oklahoma's Republican Party is caught up in a surrogate war and losing. We are losing our younger generation because we failed to make them just as bigoted as we were brought up to be.
I invited my oldest son to the Republican Mens Club luncheon, today. We listened to two groups present the pros & cons of State Question 788. When I got my turn to ask a question, I sought to find some obvious common ground on both sides. I asked the 'vote no' panelists;
"If you could be reasonably assured that this reform would not pose a real public safety problem, and if you felt assured that it wouldn't lead to more child exploitation, would you want the licensed physicians to have access to prudently utilize the cannabis medicines for their patients?
They all said they would, but one opponent of the measure drew back and said; "No, because there is no medical benefit to this. Anything good is already legal. When the other side cited physicians who refuted his cited source, he walked out .
Then a woman from the back of the meeting hall (also a 'vote no' advocate) asked her question. But she wouldn't stop after the panelists responded. She ignored the moderators and just started yelling her predictions of civic downfall. Eventually several in the audience chastised her for the behavior and she stopped.
The opponents have many perspectives. Some of them would advocate a return to liquor prohibition. I have a certain respect for their consistency. It's far more honorable than those who essentially say;
"My vices are fine, but yours are weird so I don't want yours to be legal."
And then there are those who say that criminalizing any sin is an act of godly discipleship. They have a real problem when they read the instructions that the Apostle Paul tell his 'teetotaling apprentice, Timothy, that the physician who'd been treating his stomach condition (Dr Luke) was instructing him to regularly take a moderate amount of wine "for your stomach's sake". My fundamentalists friends get all twisted up in their rationale about that legitimate use of intoxicating substance.
This is not a proposal for love-ins, dropping out, tripping, or frat party experimentations. It's an attempt to free our state-licensed physicians to finally use Cannabis Medicines for treating patients for whom medical science will show some effectiveness. There are many different Cannabis medicines which each contain various strains of effective ingredients. The science is only now beginning to emerge. Lawyers & politicians would be committing malpractice, should they ascend themselves to the role of dictating proper medicine to our state's MDs & DOs. That should only be done by the licensing boards and only when clear dangers require such prudent limitations.
Opinion of the Editor
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David Van Risseghem is the Director of Sooner Politics.org. The resource is committed to informing & mobilizing conservative Oklahomans for civic reform. This endeavor seeks to utilize the efforts of all cooperative facets of the Conservative movement...