Medical marijuana ruined Eddie and Dianna Davis' lives. Several years ago, a spat with an ex led Oconee County authorities to get a warrant to search their Walhalla, S.C., home. The next thing they knew, the South Carolina Department of Social Services had sundered the family, taking their four children into custody. Diana and Eddie's crime? Possession of 7 grams (less than a third of an ounce) of marijuana. I met them at the Anti-Marijuana Prohibition Rally last month, co-presented by two groups, the N.C. Cannabis Association and For Safe Access Now. She and Eddie, he in his wheelchair, reposed under the graceful oaks shimmering in the sun at Union Square in the shadow of the stately Greek Revival capitol building--the physical manifestation of the concept of the law: wisdom tempered with mercy.
The objective of the rally was to heighten awareness in North Carolina of the movement to supply people with serious medical needs with a compound used for millennia-- a safe and effective palliative for a host of human ailments, widely used in pharmacopoeia until "they"--industry and business boot-lickers like Bureau of Narcotics Director Harry Anslinger--rested control of this medicine in 1937, (via a propaganda campaign and government skullduggery) in order to inflate corporate profits.
Dr. James Woodward, representing the American Medical Association, had this to say during the Marijuana Tax Act hearings in 1937: "We cannot understand yet, Mr. Chairman, why this bill should have been prepared in secret for two years without any intimation, even to the profession, that it was being prepared." Woodward also stated "There is no evidence" that marijuana is a dangerous drug (www.druglibrary.org/olsen/norml/ crazy/crazy_01.html, www.parascope.com/articles/0897/timeline.htm).
So we live with the results of one of the biggest lies ever crafted, the price paid in full with pain, suffering, incarceration and shattered families.
"They told me they were taking our babies because we use pot," says Dianna, not some tie-dyed hippie mama; both parents are examples of what is known in some political circles (usually around Election Day) as "the salt of the earth"--blue collar, definitely working class. She has had multiple sclerosis for nine years. Eddie has muscular dystrophy and has suffered from epilepsy since he was 8. He blames some other respiratory ailments on paving work and his job as a rubber mixer at a Michelin plant, where he worked to raise two of the kids by himself for years, until Dianna came along and they decided to make a family.
"So y'all are sort of the poster couple for medical marijuana," I said after they listed the expensive and useless pharms they had ingested in an attempt to live balanced lives. Vicious reactions led them to marijuana, the only thing that worked, which in turn led to the destruction of their family.
"You'll never get your kids back," she recounts the sheriff saying, "because you smoke pot." While I spoke with the couple, other folks, some legless, some with big dents in their heads, sat in the shade and recounted their stories. Jeff Locke,showed me a 30-or-so-pound piece of tree limb he carries, the one that fell from a tree, penetrating his skull and brain. Other drugs didn't work. Jeff has to use the stuff.
The sun shone and the bands played. In the middle distance, uniformed police from the State Capitol Police and the Raleigh Police Department kept an eye to make sure no one did the --shudder -- unspeakable. The speakers droned conventional wisdom to the crowd of 30 or so (when I was there). Preaching to the choir. No one's mind was going to be changed here.
I wondered out loud to Eddie and Dianna where the doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs, some dying, to whom I have supplied weed, the ones who could make a difference, were. I wanted to step up to the mike and start spouting names of the hamster-testicled Who's Who of Raleigh that don't have the stones to get out of their Benzes and Lexi and finally stand up.
"I'd be dead before morning." Then, I laughed, remembering, after all, that this is Raleigh. What I saw, besides the genuinely afflicted, were the usual assortment of "heads" whining about the cops--the folks standing off in the distance who are not the enemy. Cops are ordinary Joes and Jolenes who have to do the best they can to enforce a bewildering set of intrusive laws they didn't make or necessarily even believe.
And then, Monday, da bomb--a transparent nod to business as usual: a typically disingenuous, ill-considered, mean-spirited U.S. Supreme Court decision reaffirming the Big Lie (under the rubric of "interstate commerce"), a 5-4 decision that ripped the rug out from under the medical marijuana movement (as well as making mincemeat of the typical smoke-screen/whopper of BushCo and his forked-tongue ilk about less government). The ruling held that people who smoke pot for medicinal purposes can be prosecuted for violating federal drug laws, but didn't strike down state laws allowing use of medical marijuana in California, Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington state. There is plenty of blame to go around--not local cops, but the gutless, cold-hearted political/judicial leaders on both sides, hypocrites of shocking dimensions, like war criminal and former Office of Drug Control Policy Director Lt. General Barry McCaffrey (www.zpub.com/un/un-bm.html) and current director John Walters, who dictate and manage the river of absolute horseshit flowing from the agency (and presumably have splendid health plans) (www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov).
Walters had this to say: "Obviously, it's a good ruling that will clarify and end the sideshow of medical marijuana which as in the past afflicted too many people in a number of states."
Hey, if the active ingredient, Tetrahydrocannabinol Delta 9, is so freaking dangerous, why, since the ruling, can one only legally now buy it in pill form from--ding dong--Solvay Pharmaceuticals (www.marinol.com). They must really think we are dummies.
The other poop factory is the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) who, the attuned may remember, got spectacularly busted (somewhat incredibly) by ABC News over the river of shit NIDA has spewed about drugs, in this case, Ecstasy. Read all about it: www.erowid.org/chemicals/mdma_media1.shtml
I've read a lot of NIDA's fantasies in my world, and any information stemming from an entity that cites mostly its own sources (the federal government) and ignores all others that don't agree with their own proven lies should be handled with long, long tongs.
Even though there is no evidence that what these people say is true, the results are tragedies like the soldier wannabe who died recently from drinking water to beat his drug test. Then there are the others who die via marijuana--cops. Not from busts so much as crashing helicopters looking for the stuff. Quite simply, helicopters have killed more cops than weed has killed anyone else, the most recent disaster when Franklin County Deputy Ted Horton died when the helicopter he rode in, a Hughes 269 piloted by Deputy Ben Barrick, failed and crashed (www.shanaberger.com/hughes_269.htm).
In a May 20, 2004, story in the Wake Weekly, the two thought they'd seen marijuana plants during that flight and left on Friday in the helicopter to verify the sighting. The helicopter appeared to be on its way back to the Franklin County Airport, where it was stored, when it crashed www.wakeweekly.com/archives/2004/May20-1.html
So, back to square one. It is not going to affect the weed business. Anyone who is already a recreational pot-smoker (i.e. a "criminal") is not going to quit being a "criminal" just because weed remains illegal. It is going to have the effect of steering sick grannies and ordinary people (those who need it most) to other legal pharmaceuticals (read: profits for the drug biz).
The ruling doesn't alter existing state laws; it gives the feds jurisdiction over doctors and marijuana caregivers--just another source of anxiety for people who have enough to shoulder.
The winners? Solvay Pharmaceuticals, who now possesses the patent (read monopoly) on THC; the incarceration industry (read Bushies' li'l buddy George Wackenhut (www.cpa.org.au/garchve3/1025pris.html); law enforcement, who partially fund their operations off seizure of property and sometimes by trafficking in purloined narcotics; and the illegal weed business, more than happy about the continued high prices--it is a business, after all, even if you are selling it to sick people.
The losers? The sick and dying, and again, the cops, who besides the benefits they receive also have to die in the service of finding something that never killed anyone.