Pubdate: Wed, 26 Apr 2000
Source: Mountain Xpress (NC)
Copyright: 2000 Mountain Xpress
Contact:  PO Box 144, Asheville, NC 28802
Fax: (828) 251 1311
Author: Ervin Dargan


[The April 12] Mountain Xpress was poignant for me because, on that day, my 
friend Jean Marlowe was sentenced to 10 months in prison, after confessing 
to a federal judge that she considered marijuana (cannabis) to be a gift 
from God to use for her health (see Genesis). Jean has an inherited liver 
disorder called porphyria that manifests in pain, nausea and muscle spasms.

Cannabis relieves these symptoms, as well as helps the efficiency of her 
liver, by what her doctor calls "micro-circulation" - the vascular-dilation 
effect of cannabis - helping to bring oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the 

Her doctor, who testified in her defense, said that Jean is "like the 
canary in the coal mine" in regards to [the effects of] synthetic medicines 
(often toxins) on everyone's body. Have you noticed how the side effects in 
drug ads often list liver damage? These pills are slowly killing us. Of 
course, the pill-pushers are happy, because we have to buy more pills to 
counteract the side effects.

Law-enforcement officers say that they are just doing their job until the 
laws are changed. This is not true. As Jean has pointed out, they take an 
oath to uphold and protect the rights of the citizens, above all else. This 
is what this country is supposed to be about - these unalienable rights 
supersede temporary laws. The U.S. government gives medical marijuana to 
eight patients (George Bush illegally closed the IND program in 1991, when 
thousands of AIDS patients applied), yet prosecutes others. This is a clear 
violation of the equal-protection clause of the 14th Amendment. They are 
not doing their jobs. They are lackeys for the pharmaceutical companies and 
the prison/industrial complex, and they should hang their heads in shame.

Abe Lincoln said, "a prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles 
upon which this country was founded." Thomas Jefferson warned that tyranny 
advances in small steps, and that it is our duty as free citizens to stand 
against it. If we don't stop this madness, we can kiss the great American 
experiment in individual freedoms good-bye.

Ervin Dargan, Mill Spring
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