Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Jeff Davis He Ain't

A few years ago John Ashcroft gave an interview to Southern Partisan, posing as some sort of pro-states rights, Southern conservative. I guess it depends on which states are involved and what rights are at issue. His Justice Department is challenging the right of California and several other states to allow people with cancer, AIDS and other diseases, to use pot for medical purposes. On this issue, the Bush administration is in agreement with the Clinton administration. A few years back, the late Peter McWilliams wrote about having federal agents invade his home and business after he spoke out in favor of medical marijuana: "Most disturbing to the DEA, I would guess, was my strong criticism of it in a two-page ad I placed in the December 1, 1997, Daily Variety . I denounced Administrator Constantine's threat to criminally investigate the creators of Murphy Brown for Murphy's fictional use of medical marijuana. Having made comments such as, "The DEA gives the phrase 'ambulance chasing' a whole new meaning," I'm surprised it took the DEA 17 days to find my house -- but, then, they are part of the government."
McWilliams lost his battle with the feds and subsequently lost his life.
William Watkins looks at some of the constitutional issues, along with the suffering that the plaintiffs in the case now before the Supreme Court, have alleviated with pot: "Angel Raich suffers from paralysis, an inoperable brain tumor, seizures, chronic pain, life-threatening weight loss, and many other ailments. Diane Monson is afflicted with chronic back pain and muscle spasms caused by a degenerative disease of the spine."
If they lose the case, perhaps they will lose their lives as well. At least that will solve their problem, but I don't see how having the feds interfere in a state's decision to allow the sick and dying relieve their suffering qualifies as either compassionate or conservative.

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