Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
———Karl Marx, 1843
Marijuana is much in the news these days. As in so many socio-political diatribes, debates, mythological propaganda and discussion of civil liberties and”the right thing to do” (see Barack H. Obama for edification) we hear appeals to our sense of fair play and decency on one side or the other, allusions to Constitutional precepts, States’ Rights, personal freedom, no fault-no foul arguments and all the rest.
Colorado recently went all in for Pot (a socially acceptable slang term for marijuana, the derivation of which you can look up at your leisure.) They legalized its possession and use. At least those folks were somewhat honest in that they approved it for recreational use and did not couch it in some compassionate, tenuous and smokescreen-clouded justification on “medicinal grounds.” In Colorado, everybody can get stoned.
Ostensibly, not so the case of Massachusetts. Massachusetts, following the example of trend-setting, bankrupt California, has declared for the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes and for the establishment of marijuana “dispensaries”, licensed facilities to sell or dole out the leaves of a green plant to the suffering population of Massachusetts for the palliation of all sorts of physical and mental complaints.
Massachusetts has allowed for the operation of 20 marijuana dispensing stations across the state. The suffering must be massive in Massachusetts, a rather small state with a population of 6 million people. Somehow that suffering apparently was not addressed by either Romneycare or Obamacare, because the people need their Pot so badly Herculean efforts are underway to get it to them.
Even at that, some proponents are decrying the effort as puny, saying the need is so great that a paltry 20 joints, er, dispensaries, across the state is woefully inadequate to alleviate the pain and assuage the indigestion of Massachusetts residents.
But the state Friday chose to approve just 20, spread across 10 of Massachusetts’ 14 counties. Left out were Berkshire, Franklin, Dukes and Nantucket counties, which did not receive a dispensary in this initial round.
“Eight highly qualified applicants who were not granted their proposed location will be invited to seek a change of location to a county without provisional approval for a Registered Marijuana Dispensary,” the state health department said in a statement. “This phase will allow the Selection Committee to review high-scoring applicants who wish to seek a change of location to an underserved county to maximize patient access.
‘Registered marijuana dispensary.’ Gee, why not a registered morphine dispensary? Or a registered Xanax dispensary? Or a registered Maalox dispensary? Wouldn’t have anything to do with ….social and cultural conditioning, would it? We made so much…..progress….in the 70’s, didn’t we? We digress. But not too far.
We presume that the advocates will not rest until there is a handy marijuana dispensary on every corner of every village in Massachusetts, so that the chronically afflicted will not have to be transported five or ten miles to the next county to receive their doses, but can bike or jog on down to the corner shop.
Though some may consider it nitpicking, here is what the President of the Massachusetts Medical Society had to say about these developments:
Dr. Ronald Dunlap, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, said there is a lack of scientific information about the safety of marijuana when used for medicinal purposes, and he noted that the marijuana does not undergo the rigorous testing required for prescription medications by the Food and Drug Administration.
“Claims for its effectiveness have not been scientifically proven,” Dunlap said in a statement. “It poses health risks of toxins and cognitive impairment, the last condition being especially risky for young patients.”
Hmph. Doctor. What the heck is a doctor doing sticking his nose in it, anyway? But the good thing is, it’s good for business, as the article quotes Massachusetts government officials, state and local, as being giddy at the prospect of increased….wait for it…revenue! But of course, the state is going to need that revenue because once you start dumping that much dope out on the street, control, enforcement monitoring and cleanup after unintended consequences might require some additional budget outlays. That is, of course, unless they don’t really give a crap about consequences. They have either thought it through…..or they haven’t.
This guy (you have seen him in the news hundreds of times over the years mouthing Leftwing Democrat talking points like a good little trooper) is just as happy at the Massachusetts trough as he was at the Federal table, and now he’s a happy dope dealer:
Also among those who received good news was former US representative William D. Delahunt, who successfully won all three of the licenses he sought to open dispensaries in Mashpee, Taunton and Plymouth. Delahunt, who represented Cape Cod and much of the South Shore for 14 years, is part of a company called Medical Marijuana of Massachusetts.
Look, everybody feels better when they’re high, or sedated. This is true whether one is suffering from a physical ailment, some kind of psycho-depressive disorder or just stressed out. Does dope make people feel better? No doubt. So, despite what most serious medical practitioners have to say about it’s benefits and harmlessness being more anecdotal than backed by science and research, more power to a sovereign state if it purports to be acting out of compassion (despite the glee they express as they tell us how happy they are to profit at the supposed misery they are combatting.) There are studies out there supporting the caution and concern expressed above by Dr. Dunlap, the, uh, President of the Massachusetts Medical Society. But apparently the State of Massachusetts wants to make marijuana plentiful and easily accessible all over the state. Their compassion is boundless. They will probably subsidize the cultivating of Weed.
Karl Marx is roundly vilified in most constitutional democracies, at least the Western ones, for his pronouncements on religion. But Marx was merely a philosopher, and he didn’t advocate or put into action anti-religious dictums. That fell to the actual master practitioners of Spartan Communism – Lenin, Stalin, Mao and all the ..’great’ leaders. They didn’t want their populations sedated by the narcotic of religion; they wanted them awake, alert and out there giving it their all, mentally and physically, for The State.
The Western democracy nearest and dearest to our heart is America. What we are trying to get our head around is the fact that the trend seems to be for governments of all sizes in the United States, from the City of San Francisco to the State of Colorado to the State of Massachusetts, and more and more of them being encouraged and cajoled into doing so, to facilitate in the mindnumbing of the populus with narcotizing substances, while at the same time steadfastly adhering to the principles of Lenin and Stalin that there shall be no toleration of religion in the public square, lest people be sedated by its soothing allure and fail to be good, secular, obedient citizens. Seems like a dichotomy or something.
Barack Obama and Company of course are “evolving” on the propriety of marijuana use as a matter of right, whether in the furtherance of medicine or recreation. His exploits with the substance are of course legendary, and his evolution will probably be just as speedy as was his evolution on the question of homosexual marriage.
The first objective of a prospective tyrannical dictatorship is to appeal to the appetites of the various “victim”, or aggrieved, or whiny classes, and then to keep them happy, or may we say “sedated”, while whatever wealth or ambition or aspirational traits they have are slowly drained away from them until such time as sufficient power is concentrated and consolidated in order to be able to rule them and the rest of us with the proverbial iron fist.
When that time comes, that iron fist will not be doling out marijuana. The populus will be expected to get tough or, well, be excused, to put the Ultimate Solution politely.
The great anti-communist himself, enlisting the aid of his Ladyfair in the cause, had the proper advice for those being urged to ‘Give Drugs A Try’ – Just Say No. That campaign had some amount of success, but when the Great Communicator exited the stage, most of the things he stood for went with him. The American people are being led down the primrose path to a state of accepting the false urgency, and the unproven safety and validity, of normalizing the consumption of marijuana for ‘medicinal’ purposes and even just for ….recreational sedation. This at the same time the FDA and various state agencies are increasingly wont to put the squeeze on traditional pharmaceutical manufacturers and prescribers, not to mention their customers and patients. Go figure.
One thing for sure, in Communist Dictatorships and in the fifty supposedly sovereign United States , some things will just not be tolerated in the public square, sometimes not even in the desert: