Pubdate: Wed, 12 Feb 2003
Source: Ocean County Observer (NJ)
Contact:  2002 Ocean County Observer
Author: Nelson Randolph Jr. Toms River
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


I read with interest a recent article about Jim Miller's efforts to secure 
medical marijuana for his wife, who has been crippled by the curse of 
multiple sclerosis, which is a painful and debilitating disease.

Miller has vowed to continue his crusade to legalize marijuana for the 
benefit of his dying wife Cheryl and others who are suffering. It is his 
position that he has received little or no help from government sources in 
his effort to relieve Cheryl Miller's pain, suffering and other maladies.

This comes, to me, as no surprise.

Miller is placing his family and himself at risk even admitting that he has 
any knowledge whatsoever of possession of a controlled substance or its use.

He subjects his loved ones to the whim of some overzealous law enforcement 
officer who might take it upon himself or herself to strike a blow for the 
survival of mankind and drag a sick, suffering and dying woman from her 
home in handcuffs.

For those who doubt that the aforementioned scenario could or would take 
place, it recently did in California, where a sick and dying woman was 
taken from her home handcuffed in her own bed by law enforcement officers 
who burst into her home while wearing masks, carrying automatic weapons and 
screaming obscenities.

In 26 years as a policeman I never found it necessary to wear a mask to do 
my job. All this is and was being done in the interest of public safety and 
for our own good, of course.

Whether or not the prevailing medical community accepts marijuana as having 
"accepted medical use" is of little or no consequence as it does, in fact, 
work for some people who suffer from a plethora of medical afflictions.

I grow very suspicious when the government does something for my own good 
or purports to work in my best interest.

When I think of some of the best times I have ever had in my life, I 
recognize that none of them were for my own good. Several states already 
have approved marijuana for medical use, but the federal leviathan ignores 
the will of the people; so much for states' rights.

Hauling sick people from their beds or locking people away for long periods 
of time, or anytime, for smoking, eating or possessing small amounts of 
cannabis in the privacy of one's own home, in the interest of public 
safety, is government at its worst.

We have learned nothing from the 18th Amendment or the prohibition of 
alcohol in the '20s and '30s. Alcohol, a far worse substance in regard to 
its destructive effects on society, brought nothing but corruption to law 
enforcement and the legal system in general. How many people, including 
those in law enforcement, can honestly say that they would not take the 
same action that Miller is taking if it were one of their loved ones who 
were suffering and dying before their eyes (may it never be)? Even now 
doctors and medical professionals are unable or unwilling to prescribe 
sufficient analgesics or pain medication to suffering patients because of 
the thuggish practices of the Drug Enforcement Administration and other 
state and federal bureaucrats who have taken it upon themselves to decide 
just how much relief is appropriate for a suffering human being. Once 
again, I'm certain that they take the position that it's for our own good.

After my operation two years ago, on the gurney in the recovery room, I 
asked the doctor for something for the pain, as my procedure was what I 
shall cautiously term somewhat invasive. He responded by stating, "Oh, just 
take some Tylenol." Needless to say, I now have a new urologist.

Even if the government refuses to yield to the will of the people and 
legalize this substance for medical use, it is at least their obligation to 
not place it on the short list of crimes against the state.

Baghdad balks, North Korea threatens and terrorists pour across our open 
borders every day. Our threat level stands at orange and the federal 
government suggests that we purchase duct tape and plastic to seal our 
windows in the event of chemical or biological attack.

Surely the authorities have better things to do than spending their time, 
limited resources and tax dollars pursuing the ill and the infirm.

Nelson Randolph Jr., Toms River
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