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Missouri Rep Tells Marijuana Patient To “Get A Job And Get Off Dope”


bill lant marijuana missouriA Missouri State Representative named Bill Lant is a Republican who represents Missouri’s 159th District.  It’s a small, rural district dominated, if you can call it that, by the little town of Anderson, population 1,998.

Aarden Gross is a 27-year-old constituent of Bill Lant’s, just 26 miles away in tinier unincorporated Rocky Comfort.  Aarden is interested in having Missouri’s marijuana laws reformed and decided to email his state representative, Bill Lant, to express his feelings.

Aarden’s not a professional lobbyist or even an amateur activist.  His writing skills aren’t the best and his emails are a bit long.  But he is a citizen, a constituent of Bill Lant’s, and most important to this article, a patient suffering from a vascular disease for which medical marijuana would be helpful.

Aarden Gross and Bill Lant got into an email discussion where apparently Aarden told Rep. Lant about his medical need.  ”I have reached out to you several times trying to get a conversation started,” Aarden wrote, “and the only words I have got from you out of half a dozen emails was ‘I will think about it’.”  In that email, Aarden expressed how a CBD-only bill under consideration wouldn’t help most patients and wouldn’t help him.  ”The only way to ensure all patients are getting the medicine they need,” Aarden continued, “is to completely legalize marijuana.”  Aarden also asked Rep. Lant about his personal views on medical marijuana and what sources he uses to shape those views.

Rep. Lant responded:

Aarden, my District survey shows 89% disapproval. We will not have an opportunity this session to vote on a proposal as bill filing has closed, but I will send out another poll before next session.    Thanks, Bill

Disturbed that Rep. Lant deferred to a survey rather than offering his own opinions, Aarden responded to Rep. Lant angrily, upset that Rep. Lant wouldn’t answer any of his questions.  ”You need to have a conversation about Marijuana,” wrote Aarden, “It is a serious subject and with your obvious lack of willingness to even discuss the current situation I doubt you will be my representative for long.”

Now maybe Aarden showed a lack of respect and decorum in some of his writing.  Maybe after nine or ten long emails about the same subject, Rep. Bill Lant too hastily hit “Send” late after a long night of legislating.  But this response from an elected state official shows a disturbing lack of maturity and respect for the people he represents:

Aarden, are you as dumb as you appear? I answered your questions as succinctly as I could considering that there is NO current legislative action by the House or Senate. I WAS willing to send another survey out (which you would have received four of already if you are are indeed a resident and a registered voter) I can assure you that sending me messages that impune [sic]my character or honesty will get you nothing! Get a job and get off dope!

Bill Lant ran unopposed in the 2012 General Election, so perhaps he feels quite safe insulting one of the ten thousand or more voters in his district.

Source: National Cannabis Coalitionmake a donation


About Author

Executive Director: Russ Belville has been active in Oregon marijuana reform since 2005, when he was elected second-in-command of the state affiliate, Oregon NORML. After four years with Oregon NORML, Russ was hired by National NORML in 2009, working as Outreach Coordinator and hosting the NORML Daily Audio Stash podcast until 2012. Since then, Russ launched the 420RADIO marijuana legalization network and is the host of The Russ Belville Show, a live daily marijuana news talk radio program. Russ is also a prolific writer, with over 300 articles posted online and in print in HIGH TIMES, Huffington Post, Alternet, The Weed Blog, Marijuana Politics, and more.

  • Michael

    I find that quite rude, he obviously shows no sympathy towards others. I for one will not be voting for him.

  • Aarden

    M letter to the editor wash published in the Mcdonald county paper Its a tiny town with a tiny paper, her is going to see it, I am happy. Its was tittled “Cant Call Your Boss Dumb” by the editor.

  • Jetdoc

    I also use that argument as well. The fact that Marijuana legalization is a Conservative principle to begin with. We’re SUPPOSED to be all about “States Rights & Personal Freedoms”, yet we OPPOSE the freedom of allowing a State to regulate it’s own drug policy, as well as the freedom of an American to put whatever HE wants in his body. Who the fuck do we think we are? That we can’t be FOR something in this sense and AGAINST the same thing in another.

    Thanks for your sentiments. It’s been tough but I figured I was in a position to maybe make a difference. If I had that chance and didn’t take it, I was a MORON!

  • MrPC

    I applaud your efforts at reform from within the party. It makes sense that conservatives would prefer less government intrusion into citizen’s private lives. Thanks

  • Jetdoc

    Yes actually I have. I’ve made some of them realize that MOST of those in the Medical Marijuana program were already taking Pharmaceuticals/Opiates that are much worse for them and there cognition, than anything Cannabis could begin to do to them.

    I still here the “…what do we tell the children…?” bullshit, but my answer is always same. I say, “… no one’s advocating usage for children without a Medical necessity for it. However we QUIT lying to them for one thing. You tell them the truth! Tell them that it’s NOT for children, just like Alcohol and Tobacco and even Caffeine aren’t for children. Marijuana isn’t for children,unless they’re really sick. When you get old enough, you’ll get to make up your own mind, but this is NOT for kids! Then you enforce that on them… I know it’s a novel concept, but maybe BE A PARENT! Just don’t tell them in the schools that if you TOUCH it, you could die. As was recently done in an American school system”

    It’s definitely been an uphill battle because I live in AZ. There’s a lot of whackjobs out here! As well as a lot of “Old Guard”, but we’re making headway little by little. State Senator Kimberly Yee’s about to find out how powerful the MMJ voting block really is. One thing they’ve learned though, is that I’m not afraid to stand up to ANYONE who makes a STUPID FUCKING statement about it. I told the AZ AG he was a moron when he threw some statistics out that he’d just freshly removed his ASS! It actually was almost a Joe Wilson moment when he told Obama he was a liar during the SotU address. You should Google “Kimberly Yee + Marijuana PTSD study” and read about what’s gone down with her recently. She really shit in her Wheaties” this past couple of months.

  • John

    and have you made any difference?

  • Jetdoc

    Interesting… could be we’re seeing different polls and it also depends upon HOW the question was asked to participants as well. I know I’m fighting for legalization and I’m doing it from WITHIN the Party as well. I raise the issue at most every meeting, telling them were on the WRONG side of this issue. I definitely make the OLD GUARD squirm! ;-)

  • MrPC

    Well, here’s a direct quote from a December 2013 Reason-Rupe poll of voters:

    “Majorities of Democrats (55 percent) and independents (51 percent) favor marijuana legalization, as do 37 percent of Republicans. Instead, a majority (59 percent) of Republicans opposed legalizing marijuana. Despite the libertarian streak in the tea party movement, a majority (54 percent) of tea partiers also oppose making marijuana legal, while Republicans who don’t identify
    with the movement are slightly more likely to oppose (61 percent).”

    Maybe we’re seeing different polls?

  • m

    Missouri does have term limits. Eight years max as a representative, eight years max as a senator. I think a representative should represent the people in his district and not vote his personal opinions.

  • Robert Dewayne King

    The British have been trying to push through laws that effectively eliminate the freedom of the press ! Because of a phone hacking scandal that ” The News Of The World ” journalists were found guilty of , the politicians want to be able to shut down any story that they feel is “Inappropriate” (meaning anything that would embarrass one of them) ! THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS IS THE ONLY THING KEEPING THESE HOGS HONEST !

  • Jetdoc

    All I did was give you the latest poll results. Honestly though unless I see data proving what you say, it’s simply opinion. Don’t get me wrong I’m NOT being an ass. I’m just saying I’ve SEEN the data I quoted. I’ve not seen the data you speak of

  • MrPC

    There may be as many Republican voters as Democrats who believe cannabis should be legalized, but that is certainly not true of elected Republican officials. Almost all are completely against legalization, and won’t even discuss it.

  • MrPC

    There probably won’t be term limits for congress any time soon. After all, they would have to vote to change the law, and that seems unlikely. Our best hope, as always, is a free and strong press. Shine a bright light on every one of these guys and gals and keep it on as long as they are in office. And participate in our democracy! If we don’t vote for them, they’ll be forced to go out and get real jobs.

  • Alex

    This is why we have to vote them out of office as soon as we can, they are a blight on our nation!

  • If I lived there, I’d be there right next to you with a sign!

  • He’s been in office a long time already, read the article, not just the posts. That’s the problem, these “good old boys” that we keep in office even though they do not have our best interests in mind simply because we are either afraid of change or just too lazy to inform ourselves with their views before voting.

  • Go for it man, if you know how, what’s stopping you? We all gotta do our part and stick our necks out to get somewhere or we just stay in our Turtle Shells & hide. Yes, I’m doing my part here in Oregon, visit Ohana Mama’s Candy Creations, we make happy treats!

  • Stan

    No incumbents!
    Yes, if we vote for the same people over and over, we should expect, nothing will change. Not only is this a bad thing for marijuana legalization, it also, is a bad way to run a country. We complain about no term limits but we have the power to vote them out. I want new blood every term. I think four years is long enough to be a decision maker. We will loose a few good ones, but we will get rid of the bad ones. So I say, “no more career politicians”. No incumbents!