Coming Out of the Cannabis Closet

marijuana law reformBefore I go any further, I want to assure my friends in the LGBT community this is not intended to minimize your struggle, nor am I suggesting that being Gay is a choice people make, as is the case with using marijuana.

What I am suggesting is, the “Cannabis Closet” is very real.

It would be a pretty safe bet that President John F. Kennedy smoked weed at some point in his life. He socialized with the Hollywood elite of his time, many of whom  likely indulged, at least occasionally, in the Devil’s Lettuce. But, back then it was career suicide for anyone to admit to smoking pot, especially someone in the public eye.

Today, we have three Presidents who have admitted to smoking a little wacky weed in their youth. One has even admitted to past cocaine use..

And yet, despite that, many people who use marijuana still cannot admit it, and feel they cannot even advocate for it, even in places like Colorado, where recreational use is legal.

NFL players, for example, are prohibited by the league, regardless of where they live. Obviously police, EMS workers, etc., could easily lose their jobs for using– even in their free time.

All have to pass a drug screening just to get hired in the first place.

Those are all examples of conditions of employment; a contract between parties with everything spelled out. You want to play in the NFL? Don’t smoke pot.

The good news is, attitudes are changing, and people who once could have never spoken out in favor of relaxed marijuana laws– whether they personally used or not– are finally coming forward and saying, “This is the most harmless of recreational drugs, including alcohol.” Mayors, police chiefs, and even prosecutors are acknowledging this fact, and saying what they know is true. There is a growing consensus that policing marijuana violations is a waste of time and resources.

We still have a long way to go, but the signs are encouraging.

Ultimately, marijuana should be regulated the same as beer and wine– both of which can get a person way more wasted than weed–  and thereby remove the stigma we still have towards Mary Jane, so that NFL players can smoke some herb to ease the pain Monday afternoon.

It would be nice for anyone in a high stress position, such as police officers and attorneys, to have an option free of the harmful side effects associated with alcohol.

More and more people are stepping forward and saying we need to reconsider our marijuana laws — especially in light of all the evidence.

What really bothers me is how the government– most notably the DEA– is thumbing their noses at JUSTICE. The very thing they are sworn to uphold is completely subverted in outdated rhetoric and unscientific principles.

Twenty six states now have medicinal marijuana, yet the DEA refuses to admit it has medicinal value. This is clearly a contradiction that impacts our Constitutional rights.

If Congress refuses to take action, and the main agency in charge of overseeing drug policy blatantly refuses to acknowledge what is in fact OVERWHELMING evidence of the efficacy of medicinal marijuana, the courts must intercede.

The court is the last resort of the people in seeking justice.

The fact that 26 states have MM, in itself is proof. Beyond that, I am heartily sick and tired of the rigged game the government has been playing for the past 40-plus years with their utterly failed war on drugs.

The United States holds a patent on this worthless weed, yet denies it has value, despite the fact that the patent is based on the chemical composition of marijuana itself.

This chemical composition has been proven to be an effective medical treatment for a variety of conditions. Yet the DEA denies it, preventing further research, keeping the FDA out of the loop while acting like they have nothing to do with an outdated policy they cannot possibly defend in the light of day.

If the legislature refuses to act, our courts may be the only way to remedy this blatant injustice.

This is why I filed a Motion in the court of Allegheny county, PA., challenging the Schedule 1 classification of marijuana as being a violation of our Constitutional right to equal protection under the law.

This is why, many years ago, I came out of the Cannabis Closet.







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